Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Italians are coming! and other news.

The AC Milan U-21 squad, to be exact, on what is supposed to be a lovely Tuesday evening. Tickets are reserved seating only, so call or stop by the PGE Park box office or go here to purchase them online. The roster of Milan players for the match was released the other day and reveals a few first team players, and as long as the mysterious powers-that-be behind soccer at PGE Park continue to insist that a turf more likely to cripple a player than actually facilitate a decent game is perfectly good until 2013, this is the closest you are going to come to seeing a major European club in P-Town. If we are really fortunate, we can hope to see a little Serie A-style drama! intrigue! desperate beseeching of the ref! on the pitch. And over at local rag Willamette Week, your hardworking Eleven Devils correspondent Zach Dundas provides a point-by-point comparison of the two squads, which is pretty funny as long as you can get the chart, inexplicably provided as a .pdf attachment rather than just printed along with the intro, to load on your computer (alas, I couldn't, but I read the dead tree version).

Also in Timbers news: Earlier in the week, they successfully dodged what would have been a humiliating loss to the Bakersfield Brigade (I know, they sound a bit dodgy, but apparently they are a perfectly respectable PDL team) in first-round play of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

In other soccer news round the net from the past week:
The New York Times speaks with former Portland Timber Brent Sancho about the ongoing problems of players from the Trinidad and Tobago national team at getting the country's football federation officials to fulfill their World Cup promises.

A Guardian columnist actually admits that some Americans might actually know a thing or two about soccer, prompting a flurry of comments, the reading of which makes me want to do nothing so much as lie down with a cold compress on my head.

And finally: are you interested in the ins and outs of Eastern European football? Then you should be keeping up with the work of Jonathan Wilson over at the Guardian, whose insightful pieces on topics such as the influence of organized crime in Bulgarian clubs , a celebrated player's narrow escape from Sarajevo on the eve of war, or a look at the making of Serbian nationalist and Red Star hero Sinisa Mihajlovic nicely contextualize the sport within the region's history and politics.

No comments: