Saturday, August 22, 2009

Maybe better then before

Sometimes getting rid of your best player makes you better and other times it does not. But for Lyon getting rid of striker Karim Benzema might have been the best thing that they could have done. During the summer the super talented striker traded Lyon for Real Mardrid. The transfer fee was priced at €35 million with the fee rising to as much as €41 million based on incentives.

Instead of pocketing the money, the Lyon board decided to splash the cash in hopes of regaining the Ligue 1 title. They brought in forward Bafetimbi Gomis from Saint-Etienne for a fee of €13m; Defender Aly Cissokho from Porto for a fee of €15m; Brazilian defender Michel Bastos from Lille for a fee of €18m; Argentinean forward Lisandro Lopez from Porto for a fee of €24m. In all told they spend 70 millions euros on improving their squad. The talent added plus the continued development of play maker Miralem Pjanic has made Lyon a force.

So far the plan seems to be paying off. During the first four games of the season Lyon has scored 11 goals including a 5-1 win over Anderlecht in the first leg of their Champions League Playoff. During their first leg win, Bastos, Gomis, and Lopez scored and the team played with a flair that was not present in Europe over the last couple of years. The speed they showed during the game was amazing, they looked like the fasted team in Europe.

In the past, Lyon dominated the French League and then failed when it came to getting to the Champions League Final. With the moves that they have made and the continued development of Pjanic, Lyon might be closer to being in a Champions League Final then ever before.

Friday, August 21, 2009

WSD is no more

Citing the on going attacks from Liverpool fans, World Soccer Daily is no more. Steven Cohen made the announcement at the start of the show today that Friday would be the last show. Saw them in Philly last year and had a great time. Thanks for doing a great show and this is a sad day for American Soccer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've seen this story before

In the fall of 2006, a hot shot freshman quarterback from Dallas enrolled at Georgia with the hope of one day leading the bulldogs. The hot shot freshman was future number one pick Matt Stafford. Instead of picking Stafford to lead the dogs out of the gate Georgia head coach Mark Richt decided to have senior Joe Tereshinski III lead the team. JT's run at qb did not last long as he got hurt in the second game and Stafford took over for good.

I know what people are thing, what is the point of this. The point is that a similar situation is developing at the State University of New Jersey.

Today Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano named senior Dom Natale as his starter over a group that includes a hot shot from Philly, Tom Savage. I could see a situation developing where Natale struggles and Schiano turn to Savage just like Richt did three years ago. I hope Natale does a good job and he might, but its always worth remembering the situation at UGA a couple years and how it ended up.

I would say it turned out well, Stafford after all ended up being the first overall pick in the draft.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tale of Two Signing Days

Once a year college football fans and baseball fans hold their breath for one day. For college football fans its National Signing Day. While for baseball fans its draft deadline signing day, I know that it does not have the same ring yet, but its getting there.

National Signing Day has developed into one of the most important days on the college football calendar. The day schools and fan bases around the country celebrate Johnny Five Star coming to their school. The day also gives fans bases hope for the future. College football fans sit in front of their computers waiting for players to put on the hat of their favorite team from USC to Notre Dame to Alabama.With message boards, twitter and other Internet sites National Signing Day has become a can't miss day on the college football calendar.

While not as old as National Signing Day, baseball draft signing day has developed its own special place in the sport. With all of the drama surrounding Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals this year the day has been made a little bigger. This is the first time in the history of the draft that a top pick had left it to that late before deciding on what his future holds. Heading into the day, the top three picks were not signed, adding a little more to the drama of the day. Baseball fans were glued to web sites, twitter, espn, and MLB Network all day to find out if their teams top picked signed. Maybe in the future this day will turn into something similar to National Signing Day.

It's funny how a days that don't involve on the field play mean so much to a sport.

Its all over

The deadline has passed and the Nats have gotten our man. Stephen Strasburg signs a MLB deal worth $15.67 million over 4 years, according to Baseball America.

A good deal for the Nats considering the numbers that Scott Boras threw around where in the $50 million range. This is a day of hope for Nats fan around the country, they broke the signing bonus record but did not go above $20 million, which is a good deal. In honor of this I will be rocking the Nats polo tomorrow for work. Now off to bed.
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