Today, the Flying Donkey's traveled to the south of Italy where they faced Napoli. The Neapolitan side ran the show and won through first half strikes courtesy of Miguel Britos and Edinson Cavani. Michael Bradley played for 75 minutes but was relatively ineffective. The Napoli midfield pairing of Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano dominated the center of the pitch and left no space for the Chievo midfielders to operate. Chievo have now slipped to 14th place in the Serie A table, 9 points above the relegation zone.
Going into the match, I was hopeful that Chievo could come away with at least one point. Napoli hadn't won their last 5 Serie A matches and Chievo were in good form since the start of the new year. Unfortunately, the Stadio San Paolo is not an easy stadium to play in, and Chievo paid for it.
Can't put the blame on Michael for this match, but Napoli ran through Chievo. Gargano and Inler were ever-present in the midfield and didn't let Bradley and company have much time on the ball. This would have been a great opportunity for Michael and Chievo to show their quality against a feared team in Europe, but it wasn't meant to be. We'll see if Chievo and Bradley can bounce back next weekend away against Genoa.
The elite American duo of Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey were at it again on Saturday, displaying their class in the World's top league.
*Landon Donovan shows what the addition of a speedy winger with tremendous crossing skills can do for a team. The quality of Everton as a football club has reached new heights during Landon Donovan's short loan spell. Although the Toffees are only 2-3-2 in league play when Donovan starts, Everton's two victories have come against Manchester City and Chelsea, and any spectator can easily recognize the improved performances of David Moyes' side.
On an individual level, Donovan has been on a tear, as he racks up assist after assist. Today was no different as Donovan helped Everton deliver Chelsea a finishing blow in the 71st minute with his deft passing skills. Donovan collected the ball outside the box, made a move towards the center of the pitch and played in Denis Stracqualursi with the softest of passes. Stracqualursi took it in stride, streaked towards goal, and beat the monster that is Petr Cech to seal the game for the Toffees.
Here is Donovan's assist...no comments
Jozy Altidore ended his two month scoring drought, as he found the back of the net twice in AZ Alkmaar's 6-0 win over ADO Den Haag. Jozy came on in the 76th minute and it didn't take long for him to get to work, scoring in the 85th and 88th minute. Alkmaar's 6-0 destruction places them atop the Dutch Eredivisie table, tied with PSV for first place.
Jozy now has broke his personal season goal-scoring record with 11 goals across all competitions. His previous high was back in 2007 when he played in the MLS for the NY Red Bulls, scoring 9 goals that season.
Check out the match highlights and Altidore's goals...
US will face Brazil for the 4th time in the past four years on May 30th at FedExField in Landover, Maryland (ESPN2, ESPN3, and Univision). This will be the first time the US Men's National Team plays at this venue, which holds 82,000 fans.
"When you talk about Brazil, you are speaking of one of the most gifted football playing nations in the world," said US general Jurgen Klinsmann.
"It is our goal to be able to match up against teams like Brazil on a consistent basis, so this is an amazing opportunity. FedExField is an awesome facility for soccer as we have seen from the games they have hosted, so we are excited to play our first game in the stadium," Klinsmann added.
This will certainly be a great match in preparation for World Cup qualifying and hopefully the US can use it to improve upon their current 1-15 record against the international powerhouse. This is the second scheduled match against a top 10 opponent in 2012 as the Yanks will face Italy on February 29th as well. The US men's team is currently on a three game win streak and solid news has been making its way from across the ocean of stellar club play from a couple key players so US fans have a lot to hang their hats on as the Italy and Brazil friendlies approach.
A busy week down south began as Tigres traveled down to Chile to participate in the Copa Libertadores for their second leg of the qualifying round. Choosing to field what was labeled a reserve team by critics, Tigres coach Tuca Ferretti gave three Americans an opportunity at first team ball. Jonathan Bornstein, as well as youth products Victor Garza and Juan Pablo Ocegueda, got the opportunity to showcase themselves.
*Coming into the match down 1-0 on aggregate, the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for them, the home side scored in quick succession in the second half to show Bornstein, Garza, Ocegueda and the rest of Tigres the door out from Copa Libertadores and back to the Mexican clausura where Club America awaited them. Tigres won that contest, yet Bornstein was back on the bench while Garza and Ocegueda returned to the the U-20 squad.
*Elsewhere, super sub Herculez Gomez entered Santos Laguna’s match against U.N.A.M. Pumas in the 76th minute coming on for Mexican international, Oribe Peralta. Los Guerreros (Santos’s nickname) held out to win the match 2-1, despite a late Pumas surge.no comments