Friday, May 26, 2006

Soccer Miscellany

Fans of the English national team (albeit the B squad) got a chance to see the lads play a friendly against Belarus in Reading Thursday in preparation for next month's World Cup. And though the game had no real importance, it did give us all the chance to see Michael Owen slowly getting back to speed and, of course, the opportunity to finally watch much-hyped 17-year old Theo Walcott who was subbed in for Owen in the 62nd minute. Except for his wonderful swiftness and one attention-getting attempt on goal, forward Walcott was a bit underwhelming in my opinion and at least from my vantage point (far, far away, nestled in front of my television set on the West Coast) didn't really do anything else. 19-year old Aaron Lennon, on the other hand, was more consistent, faster (he gave his defender plenty of trouble), and delivered some nice crosses. I like him. Oh, and England lost 1-2, by the way. You can read more about the match here, and you can also read here about the horrible and excruciating injury to England's third-choice keeper, Robert Green.

I know my a pretty move compatriot Lisa will be happy about this news item--Robert Pires, of the mighty Arsenal, is in fact not staying with the North London club despite what the very manly Thierry Henry promised last week. Harry Pearson, writing for the Guardian, isn't so amused.

Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes is fleeing Albion and heading down south as well.

The French World Cup team is currently training at their super-secret mountain retreat, and it seems that the lack of oxygen is definitely getting to alternate keeper Gregory Coupet. You can read more about his crazy beef with the fab one here.

Over at the Guardian, the second "warmup" World Cup podcast has just gone up, hosted by James Richardson. Good stuff and you can listen to it here.

And back here in Portland, our very own Scot Thompson (S-C-O-T, Scot with one T!) from the Timbers has started an online journal over at the official team site. And you can read one of his poems to boot!

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