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Deportivo FAS
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17. maj 2014 19:26
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Sv: Sydamerikansk fodbold i Danmark - hvad mener I?

Carlos Bianchi: "A los hinchas les debemos un título"

BUENOS AIRES -- El entrenador de Boca, Carlos Bianchi, asumió el viernes que está en deuda con los hinchas "porque en tres campeonatos" no lograron ningún "título".

"A los hinchas les debemos un título porque en tres campeonatos no hemos logrado nada. Esperamos en algún momento conseguir los frutos del trabajo que hemos hecho", expresó Bianchi en conferencia de prensa.

Con todo, dijo que "el hincha tiene que estar tranquilo" porque hicieron "un trabajo profesional, tanto o más que en el pasado".

Y agregó: "Hasta el día que se mueran van a recordar las tres Libertadores y las dos Intercontinentales. Al ego del hincha le hace bien eso".

Ante una pregunta sobre si una eventual consagración de River como campeón del torneo Final le metería más presión a Boca de cara al próximo torneo, respondió: "Yo pienso solamente en mi partido, lo que juegan los demás no es nuestro problema. Si River sale campeón, saldrá campeón. No sé lo que pensaban ellos cuando nosotros ganábamos la Libertadores o la Intercontinental".

Por otra parte, el entrenador de Boca Juniors insistió en que Juan Román Riquelme es "el mejor de la historia" de esa institución, aunque evitó pronunciarse sobre la renovación del contrato del futbolista con la entidad xeneize.

"Riquelme es el mejor jugador de la historia de Boca Juniors", indicó , y luego agregó: "La situación, por lo que leí, la está manejando el club con su representante, son ellos los que tienen que resolver la situación".

De cara a la visita del domingo a Gimnasia, el DT dijo que a Riquelme "no lo veo" para que juegue, porque sigue dolorido por el hematoma en el pie. Y aclaró que la fecha pasada, el enganche "jugó con dolor".

Sobre su continuidad en Boca para el próximo semestre, Bianchi recordó que los dirigentes "tenían la posibilidad de rescindir el contrato el 30 de junio y decidieron que sigamos trabajando juntos. Me da placer, tengo más ganas que hace seis meses. Yo me exijo a mí mismo, la tranquilidad no me la dan los demás", En cuanto al apoyo de los hinchas a Juan Román Riquelme y la renovación de su contrato, el entrenador expresó que "todos sabemos del cariño de la gente por él. Es el mejor jugador de la historia de Boca. Es lógico. Respecto a la posibilidades de que continúe, es decisión de él con los dirigentes".

Comentó que afrontará el partido del próximo domingo ante Gimnasia y Esgrima en La Plata "con la expectativa de jugar un buen partido y ganarlo. Todavía tenemos la posibilidad de participar en la Copa Libertadores si se dan ciertos resultados. Por eso no comprendo muy bien por qué San Lorenzo juega más tarde".

"Tenemos que salir a la cancha a tratar de sumar puntos para Boca sostuvo-. No podemos ponernos a pensar en el adversario, que tuvo varios partidos antes como para estar en una mejor situación. Aparte, el destino de ellos no depende de nosotros, depende del resultado del que va primero".

Gimnasia es uno de los tres candidatos, junto al puntero River y al escolta Estudiantes, a quedarse con el título del torneo Final.

Finalmente, conceptuó Bianchi que "en los últimos partidos hemos encontrado un buen nivel. A pesar de que más del sesenta por ciento del equipo no será el mismo que estaba jugando últimamente y tal vez no podamos hacer un partido como los que hemos hecho últimamente, vamos a pensar en nuestro partido".

"Yo sé cómo encontré el grupo cuando llegué y sé lo que es hoy Boca. Fuimos de menor a mayor y estamos bien en estos momentos. Tendríamos que haber tenido una regularidad en los resultados anteriormente. Hubo partidos en que podríamos haber sumado y no sumamos, que nos hubiera dado la posibilidad de pelear hasta el último partido", concluyó.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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17. maj 2014 23:21
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Sv: Sydamerikansk fodbold i Danmark - hvad mener I?

International Friendly: Netherlands 1 Ecuador 1

https://www.youtube.com/…3s7L9j3wD9o

All eyes were on Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal on Saturday as his side drew 1-1 at home to fellow FIFA World Cup qualifiers Ecuador.

Van Gaal has been the subject of intense speculation linking him with the vacant manager´s position at Manchester United, emerging as a clear front-runner to succeed David Moyes.

The 62-year-old coach was insistent that his focus remains solely on the Netherlands until his future is cleared up in an official capacity, but media reports claim United could confirm his appointment within the next week.

Robin van Persie – who Van Gaal looks set to link up with at Old Trafford – pulled the Dutch level just before the break after tricky winger Jefferson Montero put Ecuador one up early on.

The Netherlands generally controlled the match at Amsterdam ArenA, but Van Persie and company were wasteful in front of goal as the hosts´ World Cup warm-up got off to a stuttering start.

It was the home side who almost got off to a flyer, with Georginio Wijnaldum squaring across the face of goal for Memphis Depay, but the highly rated 20-year-old missed the target under pressure from Juan Carlos Paredes.

Ecuador capitalised on that let-off in the ninth minute when Joel Veltman failed to cut out Felipe Caicedo´s defence-splitting pass and Montero coolly slotted past Jasper Cillessen.

The lively Wijnaldum went close to pulling the Netherlands level with 18 minutes on the clock, but his dipping half-volley flew just wide of the left-hand post.

Caicedo´s World Cup hopes were cast into doubt in the 34th minute as he was forced off with an innocuous injury and things got even worse soon after as Van Persie equalised.

The United star nonchalantly brought down Jordy Clasie´s long ball on the chest and smashed past the helpless Maximo Banguera eight minutes before the break.

Ecuador enjoyed an enterprising start to the second half as they appeared intent on attacking their hosts, but their chances received a blow as debutant Armando Wila – Caicedo´s replacement – was carried off with a suspected thigh injury.

Netherlands should have taken the lead just after the hour mark, but Van Persie failed to connect properly with Patrick van Aanholt´s low cross right in front of goal.

Van Aanholt was presented with a chance of his own in the closing stages, but the Chelsea-owned full-back´s finish was tame.

Under-strength Netherlands – whose World Cup campaign starts against Spain on June 13 – were unable to force themselves in front late on and Ecuador earned a commendable draw ahead of another friendly meeting with Mexico later this month.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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17. maj 2014 23:24
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Caruso Lombardi: "Me gustaría ganar para darle una mano a Estudiantes"

BUENOS AIRES -- El Director Técnico de Quilmes, Ricardo Caruso Lombardi, afirmó el viernes que quiere darle "una mano" al escolta Estudiantes La Plata, equipo del cual es hincha, con una victoria de su equipo ante el líder River, el próximo domingo en el Monumental, por la 19na. y última fecha del torneo Final.

"Me gustaría que gane Quilmes para darle una mano a Estudiantes, el equipo del que soy hincha", aseguró Caruso Lombardi en diálogo con Télam tras el entrenamiento matutino en la cancha auxiliar del estadio Centenario.

Caruso Lombardi también expresó que su equipo tiene "un incentivo" por jugar ante River que no pasa por lo económico.

"Siempre es especial enfrentar a un rival así y más en esta oportunidad en la que se juega el campeonato" explicó y agregó que "Se habla mucho de la incentivación, pero los tecnicos somos los ultimos en enterarnos; si hay algún tipo de incentivación, la arreglan entre los jugadores".

El ex-DT de Argentinos, San Lorenzo, Racing, Newell`s y Tigre, señaló que sus dirigidos están "más tranquilos" tras haber superado a Gimnasia La Plata en la fecha pasada, resultado que le permitió al club continuar en el primera división del fútbol argentino.

"Eso nos puede dar un plus porque la presión la puede tener el jugador de River, porque juega con su gente", indicó el ex volante de Argentinos Juniors.

Por otra parte, Caruso Lombardi señaló a Télam que es "posible" que continue en Quilmes, con el cual tiene siete meses más de contrato, y que la próxima semana se reunirá con el presidente, Aníbal Fernández, para resolver la cuestión.

También el volante Leandro Benítez, se refirió al partido ante los millonarios y coincidió con el deseo de Caruso Lombardi.

"Tenemos la motivación de jugar contra River, por ser un grande, que está peleando arriba y además para darle una mano a Estudiantes, del cual soy hincha", dijo.

El Chino aseguró que no recibieron "ningún tipo de llamado" asociado con la incentivación y advirtió que "cuando se llega a esta instancia se habla mucho, son miles de cosas que se dicen y no son ciertas".

Además, reveló que el miércoles coincidió con su amigo y ex compañero en Estudiantes, el defensor Leandro Desábato, en una cena: "No hablamos de la definición del torneo, sí de fútbol, pero por parte del Chavo no surgió nada; no tiene plata para pagar un asado, menos una incentivación".

LA PRÁCTICA DEL VIERNES

El plantel de Quilmes se entrenó en la cancha auxiliar del estadio Centenario donde realizó trabajos físicos en espacios reducidos y juegos recreativos.

El probable equipo para visitar a River sería con: Walter Benítez; Damián Leyes, Joel Carli, Cristian Lema y Lucas Suárez; Emiliano Carrasco, Leandro Díaz, Leandro Benítez y Lucas Pérez Godoy; Gonzalo Ríos y Fernando Telechea.

El volante Rodrigo Braña no será de la partida porque acumuló la quinta tarjeta amarilla y deberá cumplir una fecha de suspensión.

Además concentran Silvio Dulcich, Sebastián Martínez, Wilfredo Olivera, Leonel Bontempo, Franco Cáseres, Matías Morales, Arnaldo González, Sebastián Romero, Facundo Diz, Genaro Vuanelo y Giuliano Passerini.

En tanto, Alan Alegre (esguince rodilla derecha), Miguel Caneo y Pablo Garnier (desgarro), continuaron con su etapa de recuperación. Estos dos últimos no seguirían en el club, al igual que el arquero Sebastián Peratta y el delantero uruguayo Joaquín Boghossian.

Quilmes, que reúne 24 puntos, visitará el domingo al líder River Plate (34), en partido válido por la 19na. y última fecha del torneo Final 2014, a partir de las 17.30, con el arbitraje de Silvio Trucco.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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17. maj 2014 23:26
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Liga MX Final, Second Leg: Leon’s Defence Hold the Key to Glory

Leon travel to Pachuca tomorrow evening for the final match of the 2014 Clausura. Trailing 3-2 after the first leg, Leon need to win to stand any chance of lifting their second consecutive title – though after conceding three times in front of their own fans they will be glad they the away goal does not apply in the final.

All three of the goals conceded in the first leg came as a result of set pieces, and manager Gustavo Matosas will doubtless have been working on their defensive organisation in the limited time he has had since Thursday’s game.

One man especially will need to turn in an improved performance in Leon’s back four – Mexico’s captain Rafa Marquez. After a great quarterfinal and semifinal, he once again showed his petulant side in midweek, launching a verbal tirade against referee which earned him a yellow card.

Despite their defensive frailties, Leon will be buoyed by their excellent offensive performance – they dominated the first half and should have easily scored more than the two goals than they managed over the ninety minutes. At 41, Pachuca goalkeeper Oscar Perez isn’t as agile as he once was, but he made a string of fine saves to keep to prevent the hosts, including three crucial stops deep into added time.

Leon made two changes for the first leg, with Cardenas and Loboa replacing Hernandez and Arizala – it will be interesting to see whether Matosas keeps the same eleven or switches to a more attacking line-up in order to chase the game and find the goal they need.

Regardless of how they line-up, Leon will need to do a better job of marking Enner Valencia - the Ecuadorian twice took advantage of poor marking to grab himself a brace in the opening game. Youngster teammate Dieter Villalpando will also require closer attention; he was repeatedly afforded too much space in the midfield allowing him to supply the assists for all three of Pachuca’s goals.

Leon are ninety minutes from becoming the first team to defend the title since Pumas in 2004. Trailing by one goal and with both teams vulnerable in defence it promises to be another wonderful evening of football.

Kickoff in the Estadio Hidalgo is 21:00 EDT.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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17. maj 2014 23:33
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Sv: Sydamerikansk fodbold i Danmark - hvad mener I?

End of the world for Paredes, Canales and Andía

The World Cup dream has ended for Esteban Paredes, Gustavo Canales and Enzo Andía.

The three players have been released by Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli and will not take part in the World Cup in Brazil.

Many pundits thought Colo Colo striker Paredes, the top scorer in the Clausura, and Unión Española striker Canales were fighting it out for a place, but they have both been axed.

Young Universidad Católica centre-back Enzo Andía was an outsider to make the final 23-man squad, so it´s not such a surprise that he´s been let go.

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Unión Española have signed experienced midfielder Milovan Mirosevic, who was recently released in controversial fashion by Católica, on a two-year contract.

Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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18. maj 2014 00:01
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Sports wrap: Berizzo leaves for La Liga, Lasarte to lead ‘La U’

Universidad de Chile pin turnaround hopes on third-choice candidate, Manchester United makes formal bid for Arturo Vidal, Copa Chile kicks off.


Ex-Católica manager joins ‘La U’

Universidad de Chile officially announced the arrival of Martín Lasarte as the club’s new manager Friday, charging the former Universidad Católica head coach with the task of reversing its recent decline and restoring success to the nation’s second-biggest team.

Since the departure of Jorge Sampaoli in 2012, “La U” has struggled to reach the heights achieved under the current Chile coach that guided the team to three consecutive domestic titles and a Copa Sudamericana trophy in 2011. Under interim manager Cristián Romero last season, the club’s third coach since Sampaoli, the team achieved its worst points tally since 1991.

The size of the challenge is not to be underestimated, but Lasarte comes with a wealth of experience and success, having guided Uruguayan side Nacional to two national titles between 2005 and 2006. He also restored Argentine giants River Plate and Spanish side Real Sociedad to first division soccer after both had suffered relegation, winning promotion back to their respective top leagues in 2004 and 2010.

Following his spell at Real Sociedad, the Uruguayan manager spent three seasons at Universidad Católica. In his final two seasons at the club, he enjoyed a win percentage of more than 70 percent but narrowly missed out on the league title on both occasions, cementing the club’s reputation as perennial runners-up. He resigned from his role in controversial circumstances, announcing that he would walk out just two days after losing the 2013 Apertura grand final to O’Higgins.

The Universidad de Chile board has been a long-term admirer of the victorious manager that day, Eduardo Berizzo, but the former assistant to iconic manager Marcelo Bielsa turned down its recent contract offer in favour of a move to Spain.

The club also attempted to entice Ricardo Gareca, the Argentine manager who led Vélez Sarsfield to four league titles between 2009 and 2013 in Argentina and a semi-final spot in the 2011 Copa Libertadores, but the club’s US$1.2 million contract offer fell short of his US$1.6 million demands.

Such pursuits suggest that Lasarte represented the club’s “Plan C,” but president Carlos Heller denied that that was the case.

“If I say that we had a first, second and third choice, it’s not fair on the manager that comes in. All of the candidates we were looking at were of a very high calibre,” he said. “We need results as soon as possible and Lasarte knows the environment here.”

Lasarte said he was delighted with his new role in his first press conference at the club, clearly setting out what he wanted to achieve in his time with “La U.”

“It’s a privilege for me to come here. I’m very happy to take on the challenge and we’ll work hard to achieve our objectives,” he said. “In the upcoming national tournament we can’t aim for anything less than the title, which would be a personal vindication for me. In the long term the idea is to cement qualification in the different international competitions.”

Lasarte has reportedly signed a two year contract worth US$800,000 per annum.

Berizzo close to Celta Vigo move

O’Higgins manager Eduardo Berizzo is on the brink of a move to Spanish side Celta Vigo, much to the disappointment of his long list of suitors in Chile that included Universidad Católica and Universidad de Chile.

The Argentine manager is reportedly in advanced negotiations with the club and is due to arrive in Spain on Friday to finalize contract details.

If the deal goes ahead, Berizzo will take over from current manager Luis Enrique, widely tipped to become the next Barcelona manager.

La Tercera reports that the manager is hoping to take Colo Colo defender Julio Barroso, the 2014 Clausura player of the season, with him. The center-back was a crucial figure in O’Higgins’ 2013 Apertura title win.

The move would leave a gaping hole at the center of Colo Colo’s defence — however, his sale could provide funds to reinforce Héctor Tapia’s thin squad that will face the rigors of the Copa Libertadores next season. The club paid US$1.2 million for Barroso before the start of last season, and with two and a half years remaining on his contract it is thought to be holding out for a fee of at least US$3 million.

Vidal on the move

Manchester United has made the first move with a formal offer for Chilean talisman Arturo Vidal, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have also stepped up their efforts to secure the signature of the coveted Juventus midfielder.

According to La Tercera, the English club sent none other than former manager Sir Alex Ferguson to Turin to personally put a US$43 million bid on the table, but the offer is some way short of Juventus’ asking price.

Reports from Europe claim that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are also ready to make an official approach.

Barcelona could offer Chile teammate Alexis Sánchez to Juventus as part of the deal, while striker Alvaro Morata could be part of a swap deal from Champions League finalist Real Madrid.

It is believed that Juventus would ideally like to keep hold of its star midfielder, but would struggle to offer first-team assurances to young French midfielder and former Manchester United player Paul Pogba if he were to stay.

Lucas Barrios and Milovan Mirosevic to Colo Colo?

Spartak Moscow striker Lucas Barrios hinted on Twitter that he could be set for a return to 2014 Clausura champion Colo Colo, the club where he scored 49 goals in 53 appearances between 2008 and 2009.

The lethal frontman, whose 39 goals for Borussia Dortmund helped the club to two Bundesliga titles after leaving Colo Colo, took to twitter last week to thank his former club’s fans for their continued support and declared that his future would be clarified in June.

“I want to thank all the Colo Colo fans for continuing to follow and support me!! In June you’ll know more about my future!!” he said via Twitter on May 9.

The club is also currently monitoring the situation of striker Carlos Muñoz, who scored 35 goals in 74 appearances for Colo Colo before leaving for Baniyas SC in 2013.

Additionally, manager Héctor Tapia expressed his interest in Universidad Católica midfielder Milovan Mirosevic.

Tapia labelled the playmaker a mature, intelligent player that “every team would want.” However, Mirosevic, who also previously played under new “La U” manager Martín Lasarte, denied that he had spoken to either club.

“Neither ‘La U’ or Martín [Lasarte] have called me. I’ll wait to see if they do, but so far they haven’t and neither has Colo Colo,” he said. “I don’t know where I’ll end up playing, we’re looking at the situation at the moment and I hope to make a decision soon.”

Copa Chile: Audax Italiano 1-1 Universidad de Chile

Audax Italiano and Universidad de Chile kicked off the first round of the 2014-15 Copa Chile on Thursday, drawing 1-1 in an entertaining encounter at the La Florida stadium.

In departing manager Cristián Romero’s final match with “La U,” his side failed to give him a victorious send-off as it let Audax Italiano back into the game after taking an early lead through a Ramón Fernández penalty.

Striker Omar Zalazar was the man to level the scores for the home side, capitalizing on confusion in the Universidad de Chile area after 66 minutes and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Nelson Espinoza, standing in while Johnny Herrera trains with the national team.

Already struggling in the absence of commanding defender José “Pepe” Rojas, also on international duty, the visitors’ defensive line became even more vulnerable following the sending off of Osvaldo González with 10 minutes remaining. However, Audax couldn’t make its numerical advantage count.

The result leaves both teams with one point in Group 1 of the competition.

Eight further fixtures will take place this weekend in the opening round of the cup, with Colo Colo vs. Palestino this Saturday at 6 p.m. promising to be a close encounter.

The winner of the Copa Chile will automatically qualify for the Copa Sudamericana of the following season
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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18. maj 2014 12:09
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Ricardo Zielinski acordó su continuidad en Belgrano

CÓRDOBA -- El técnico Ricardo Zielinski acordó su continuidad al frente del plantel del Belgrano de Córdoba por una nueva temporada, que según lo que se establezca con el nuevo torneo de AFA se extenderá hasta noviembre de 2015.

Así lo informó a Télam, el jefe de prensa y uno de los vicepresidentes del club del barrio Alberdi, Abraham Rufail, quien dijo que el acuerdo se logró tras una reunión de unas cuatro horas, que el entrenador sostuvo en Buenos Aires con el presidente de la entidad celeste, Armando Pérez.

Belgrano concluyó anoche su participación en el torneo Final, empatando sin goles como visitante del descendido All Boys, completando una regular campaña, sumando 20 unidades, con apenas 3 triunfos y 11 empates, perdiendo los 5 cotejos restantes. Logró 17 goles y le convirtieron 21.

De completar este nuevo ciclo de un año y medio de vínculo, Zielinski habrá estado al frente del plantel pirata por cinco años, habiendo logrado el ascenso a Primera en la promoción que envió a River a la B Nacional y además clasificó para la Copa Sudamericana, lo que no pudo lograr esta temporada.

El plantel estará licenciado hasta el miércoles 18 de junio venidero, momento a partir del cual el técnico definirá a los jugadores que seguirán en el plantel y los posibles refuerzos.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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18. maj 2014 12:17
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Draw versus Holland a good sign for Ecuador

Switzerland, Honduras and France will surely have taken note -- their Group E World Cup opponents Ecuador cannot be dismissed as mere altitude specialists. They came down from the mountain on Saturday to start their preparation for Brazil 2014 with a highly satisfactory 1-1 draw away to Holland.

True, it is always unwise to read too much into friendlies, especially when they turn into second-half substitute parades. And it is also fair to note that Holland fielded a very young side. But Ecuador, too, were below full strength, with left-back Walter Ayovi and support striker Enner Valencia, in superb form at the moment, both busy with the final of the Mexican championship. Furthermore, a number of Ecuador players were less than 100 percent fit. The key midfield duo of Segundo Castillo and Christian Noboa arrived in Amsterdam only on the eve of the game, and goal scorer Jefferson Montero is still easing his way back from injury.

Especially with Montero´s goal, Ecuador demonstrated the virtues that could carry them out of the group phase next month and into the second round; they break with pace and skill, stretching the opposing defence. Antonio Valencia and attacking fullback Juan Carlos Paredes form an interesting partnership down the right, and on the other flank, Montero can go outside or cut in onto his stronger right foot.

Coach Reinaldo Rueda is well aware of the strengths of his side. More important to him were two other aspects of the game against Holland.

One was psychological: This was a high-profile friendly in a glamorous, modern stadium and, as such, was interesting preparation for the challenges to come. In World Cup terms, Ecuador´s current squad are inexperienced; less than a handful remain from the 2006 campaign. The fear of the coach is that the players might be overawed by the World Cup. It happened in Ecuador’s debut campaign in 2002 -- and it happened to Rueda four years ago, when he was in charge of Honduras, who were playing their first World Cup since 1982. On both these occasions the players "froze" and only played their best football in the third group game, by which time it was already too late.

Back in February, I asked Rueda if he feared that the same might happen to Ecuador this time. "It´s certainly a worry that we have," he said. "New groups always have problems, and in our case, it´s worse because our players haven´t been through an under-20 World Cup. So the emphasis of our preparation will be on this -- we´ll be trying to work with great intensity in our warm-up games so that we’re ready to go from the start."

This was part of the justification for taking on such a high-risk game as the visit to Holland. A heavy defeat would have been a serious blow to morale. Coming away with a draw is exactly the opposite.

Rueda´s other concern was about the quality of his defence. "Centre-back is our problem position," he readily confessed. "We lost lots of defensive references -- the centre-back partnership of [Ivan] Hurtado and [Giovanny] Espinoza, as well as right back [Ulises] de La Cruz and [Jose Francisco] Cevallos in goal [all players vital to the rise of Ecuadorian football in the late ´90s and early years of the past decade], and their absence is still being felt. We´re not producing many top quality defenders, and we´ve lost Jayro Campos, one of our best, to injury. Frickson Erazo´s move to Brazilian football has started badly, and if he doesn´t react well, we’re worried about losing him."

These worries were swiftly borne out when, a couple of weeks after we spoke, Ecuador played a friendly against Australia in London. The defence was not at full strength, but even so, few could have imagined that Ecuador would soon find themselves 3-0 down. After some halftime substitutions, they rallied to win 4-3, but the doubts remained. Rueda hurriedly fixed up a match (Ecuador versus foreigners playing in the country) to have a look at new defensive options -- but did not find what he was looking for.

So his leading centre-backs are still Jorge Guagua, who has been around the national team since 2001 without ever looking top class, and Erazo, who is still not getting a game for Flamengo of Brazil. And their first reserve remains the crude Gabriel Achilier.

This crop of defenders are not going to become great players overnight, but Rueda has decided they are the best available to him. The deficiencies of both Guagua and Erazo were occasionally highlighted by the Dutch; Guagua was at times made to look very leaden-footed by the sharp skills of Memphis Depay, while Erazo went missing for Robin van Persie´s wonderful equaliser and always looks vulnerable when drawn out into open space.

Rueda will be pleased, though, that keeper Maximo Banguera did not have too much to do -- he had to field a few shots from outside the area, but for most of the game, Ecuador´s central midfielders stayed close enough to the defensive line to ensure that the centre-backs were protected. The team can afford to do this because it sucks the opposition forward and opens up space, in which they can launch their dangerous counter-attack.

Rueda and Ecuador, then, can leave Amsterdam with a spring in their stride. The rib injury suffered by centre forward Felipe Caicedo is a concern -- those fast breaks seldom looked as dangerous after the focal point of the attack was forced off before halftime. But individual worries aside, in collective terms, Ecuador responded well to the demands of a high-risk fixture.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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18. maj 2014 12:26
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Tim Vickery Column: Some thoughts on the Brazil squad announced last week

This last time week Brazil’s World Cup squad was speculation. Now it is reality. Luiz Felipe Scolari has descended from the mountain and named his group of 23 players.

A little over a month ago I had to predict the squad for World Soccer magazine. I was wrong three times, all of them close calls. I thought that Rafinha’s relative youth would win the day against Maicon in the race to be reserve right back. I went for Robinho over Bernard – and time may well tell whether Scolari has made a mistake with this one. It is a vital position. The make up of any squad should have a likely first team, a number of variations – and a figure able to come off the bench and change the course of the game. Imagine the situation; in one of the knock-out games Brazil are losing with twenty minutes to go, and the opponents are looking comfortable in defence. Who can come on and change things, open up space, provide some individual inspiration? This is the post that Bernard now occupies – Scolari is showing huge faith in the young winger.

My third error would have been avoided had I listened to my own instincts. I had convinced myself that the fourth centre-back position would go to Henrique. But early last month I went to interview Oscar Bernardi, a great centre back of the past, for a forthcoming documentary on Brazil’s 1982 team. We talked about the composition of the squad, and he was convinced that, as part of preparation for future campaigns, Marquinhos of PSG would be named. I bowed to his knowledge and contacts – and got it wrong.

Henrique became a logical choice from the moment that Fernandinho of Manchester City forced his way in. As I argued last week, against South Africa in March Fernandinho played an unconvincing first half in the holding midfield role, and then did much better after the break when he was pushed forward into Paulinho’s slot. His inclusion meant there was no room for Lucas Leiva, leaving Scolari without a natural reserve for the holding position – identified last year as a vital part of Brazil’s defensive system, when Luiz Gustavo established himself in the side. But an occupational hazard of the defensive midfielder is the possibility of picking up cards – meaning that Scolari felt the need to include more cover for this position. He knows Henrique well from their time together at Palmeiras, where the player was often used in midfield. As befits one of the fringe members of the squad, Henrique has the versatility to provide cover in two functions.

Henrique’s call up, then, was not so hard to predict. The fact that in Brazil it has been treated as something of a shock is an eloquent symbol of the lack of surprise, and the absence of controversy, in Scolari’s list of 23.

But that is not how it looks from the other side of the Atlantic. Those whose primary focus is European club football have been scratching their heads at some of Scolari’s decisions – or more specifically, some of those he has left out.

Some – and you would surely have to be in Europe to think this – are shocked by the absence of Ronaldinho. They have clearly not seen much of him in the last few years. They have, though, seen plenty of Phillipe Coutinho, who has enjoyed such an excellent season with Liverpool, and would not be out of place in the squad. His problem, though, was the fact that Brazil are strong in his position, and everyone who has played there for Scolari has done well. There was no space for him – or for Kaka, who, unlike Coutinho was given a chance to show Scolari what he could do, and was judged physically past his best.

A strong case could be made for the Atletico Madrid pair of Miranda and Filipe Luis – though the latter clearly did not impress in training during the Confederations Cup. Miranda only played a few minutes under Scolari – the last few minutes of his first game back in charge, the 2-1 defeat against England last February. Maybe he came close to being named in that final centre-back slot - which Scolari said had taken up more time than any other during the selection meeting, and which finally went to Henrique.

And then there is the case of Lucas Moura, such a big money signing for Paris Saint Germain. That huge transfer fee (in excess of 40 million Euros) hid the fact that the right winger remains more of a promise than a reality, a rapid dribbler with sustained pace, but still a work in progress.

Some of his problems started with success; in the 2011 South American Under-20 Championships he had enjoyed an interesting, if frustrating campaign, full of pace but one dimensioned and lacking in collective play. The last game, though, was one of those in which everything went right. It was against Uruguay, and would decide the title. The Uruguayans had a man sent off early, and Lucas ran riot, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 rout.

It was the last impression and in the decisive game – and on his return to Brazil Lucas was treated as if he had played the entire tournament at the level of his great display against Uruguay. This was not true, but, mistakenly, he was fast tracked into the senior Brazil squad for the Copa America. It would have been far better had he gone to the World Under-20 Cup in Colombia, where, with Neymar on senior duty, Lucas would have had the responsibility to carry the attack. He would have been obliged to operate in a more collective manner.

Instead, his presence in the senior squad allowed the hype to build around his transfer fee. Then-Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson exclaimed that PSG paying so much for a 19 year promise was evidence that “the game’s gone mad.” The young man at the centre of the insanity, Lucas Moura appears remarkably level headed. But being surrounded with massive expectations at such an early stage of his career must inevitably take a toll, and he is still a long way from the finished article.

The 2018 World Cup may be his moment, but he has missed out this time. During last year’s Confederations Cup he was head-to head against Bernard. Lucas had the big name price tag, and started the race in front – he was the player the crowd called for whenever Brazil needed a goal. But over the course of the campaign he was overtaken by Bernard, who comes with the extra bonus of looking comfortable on either flank.

Lucas then played himself out of contention with a very disappointing first half against Zambia last October, and Bernard made the most of his chance in the next game against Honduras, scoring the opening goal and ensuring that he is the man to whom Scolari is most likely to turn to if Brazil are desperate for a World Cup goal.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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18. maj 2014 13:24
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Consistency is the name of the game for Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- With no players coming through the window and no need for the media to change their preliminary lists or swap out front-page headlines substantially, the 30-man preliminary list of Alejandro Sabella was made official.

Hours earlier, the main concerns in Argentina were in knowing when and how the World Cup squad list would be released. For many, "Tuesday the 13th" did not go unnoticed. At the very edge of the limit imposed by FIFA, the announcement took a greater relevance than the issue warranted.

Although some names seem surprising, the fact is that those will be part of the next cut on May 20. Broadly speaking, the call is justified and marked by the predictability that characterizes the coach.

Named goalkeepers

For some time now, guarding the posts is the greatest fear for the Argentine fans. The lack of regularity of Sergio Romero (Monaco) and Mariano Andujar (Catania), and the slump shown by Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors) along with the popular Argentine club, seemed to increase the chances of others.

However, a few months ago Sabella cast aside claims by Willy Caballero, Marcelo Barovero and Sebastian Saja and reasserted his confidence in three of the eight goalkeepers that he most called in his cycle. Romero, in principle, will be the team´s first-choice goalkeeper.

A sensitive area, defense

Undoubtedly, the back four is the one that needs the most work. This explains why a third of the 30 are defenders. Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Ezequiel Garay (Benfica), Federico Fernández (Napoli) and Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisboa) are starting players. Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan) and José Basanta (Monterrey) are first-choice substitutes.

The least expected inclusion was that of Martín Demichelis (Manchester City), who hadn´t worn the national team jersey since playing against Colombia in November 2011, when he went to the bench after his gross error against Bolivia. Champion of the Premier League with Manchester City, it would seem strange for him to be left out of the 23 as in Germany 2006. These days he would fight hand to hand with Lisandro López (Getafe) and Nicolás Otamendi (Atletico Mineiro).

The other potential candidate was Gabriel Mercado (River Plate), who had been called to the last two-legged qualifying round. His versatility pleases the coach, who knows him from his time in Estudiantes. His presence might call his attention, but not as much as that of Garcé, the defender chosen by then-manager Diego Maradona for South Africa 2010.

A banged-up midfield

The injuries suffered in recent times forced Sabella to take precautions in the midfield. Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors) will just make it, Ever Banega (Newell´s Old Boys) just recovered from a lung infection, and Augusto Fernández (Celta de Vigo) is a serious question mark because of a sprained knee.

That´s how the opportunity arose for José Sosa (Atlético Madrid), Fabian Rinaudo (Catania) and Enzo Pérez (Benfica). The last two had not been called since the friendly against Sweden in early 2013, and if the injured players recover, they have a great chance of being left out.

Angel Di María (Real Madrid) will be in the starting lineup. Lucas Biglia (Lazio) could see his stock go up due to the injury of his competitors for the position. Maxi Rodríguez (Newell´s Old Boys) is a wild card, and Ricky Álvarez (Inter Milan) needs more playing time to prove himself.

An untouchable attack

Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan) and Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain) will be the five strikers in Brazil 2014.

Franco Di Santo´s (Werder Bremen) appearance among the 30 responds to the need to add another area man and the intention to marginalize him from the 23 without making too much noise.

The case of Tevez and the absentees

A national controversy arose due to the presence or absence of Carlos Tevez. The truth is that his is a topic that was closed a long time ago. And the debate, fired by the press, proved futile.

Nobody can detract from his qualities, or minimize his shining moment in Juventus. But though the protagonists deny it, his absence does not respond strictly to matters of the sport. His strong personality and maybe his lack of feeling with the consolidated group excluded him from this cycle.

"Playing on the national team today takes away prestige, because if you don´t win you get killed," said Tevez himself one day after Sabella´s first preliminary list in 2011, still smarting from the penalty that he erred in the Copa America elimination against Uruguay.

It was speculated that Sabella would yield to political pressures in favor of Carlitos, but nothing like that happened. The coach said all along that there would be no surprises, and he fulfilled it.

Unlike other World Cups (Roman Riquelme and Javier Saviola in 2002; Walter Samuel, Juan Sebastián Verón and Javier Zanetti in 2006; the same Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso in 2010), there are no names that are conspicuous by their absence.

Surely there won´t be a green light for Clemente Rodríguez, Desábato, Coloccini, Rodrigo Braña, Pablo Guiñazú or Erik Lamela, footballers with many call-ups who were left out of the 30. Sabella had confirmed the 26 that were in the last match in Bucharest, and the only one left out was Gino Peruzzi. "I am also enormously grateful at those who are not present. I´ve had to make a difficult decision. I apologize for those not on the list," said the coach.

Perhaps it won´t be necessary to wait again up to the last day (June 2) to know who the 23 traveling to the World Cup will be. On May 20 there will be a cut on the 30-player squad to start work at the Ezeiza training site.

"We´ll do it with dedication, sacrifice, humility, a sense of teamwork and fundamentally, a sense of permanence. I ask you to help us," said the manager.

Sabella´s words reflect the constant coherence that he maintained during his cycle. That´s why his list of 30 isn´t so surprising. Even if some insist it is.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ

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