Featured / World

Soccer for Union scabs

PhillySoccerPage spends the bulk of its time delivering top-rate commentary and news about the Union and the rest of the Philadelphia soccer scene. With MLS in the offseason, it’s time for the casual local soccer fans out there to expand their palates and latch onto an international team or two. Otherwise, March will roll around and you will be out of soccer-fan shape.

Imagine arriving at your seat on the River End of PPL only to realize you’ve forgotten which Union player you secretly made godfather of your last child? And what the heck are you supposed to say just before the opposing goalie hits a goal kick? Nightmarish, I know.

So check out these highlights each week and if one strikes your fancy, get some info on that team and start to follow them. Maybe you’ll pick Borussia Dortmund just as they take a big leap forward and jump out to a double-digit points lead in the Bundesliga. Or maybe you pick Liverpool, in which case I will see you in the whiskey aisle on Saturday afternoons.

Italian Serie B side Varese’s Nigerian striker Osariemen Ebagua sets a high bar with a leaping backheel goal against Siena. Varese only recently returned to Serie B after spending 25 years mired in financial issues. Their major claim to fame is the 1944 season when Italian legend Giuseppe Meazza spent the year with the team as part of his retirement tour.

Philadelphia has some of the best fans in MLS, but the summer season prevents us from engaging in anything like what happened when Belgian league leaders Anderlecht visited Club Brugge. As Jonathan Legear prepared to take a corner kick, Brugge fans pelted him with snowballs.

Americans had a good weekend abroad. Jozy Altidore got ten minutes in the Villareal’s win over Mallorca, Ricardo Clark played well as Eintracht Frankfurt knocked off Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, and Michael Bradley had a great assist for Borussia Monchengladbach. Unfortunately, Bradley’s squad lost 1-2, but the American midfielder will be a transfer target for the big teams if Monchengladbach continues to live at the bottom of the table.

Speaking of Villareal, they have this guy named Nilmar. He’s pretty good. Hopefully, Altidore is taking notes.

After scoring a great goal, you need a great celebration. Or you need two plastic bags. Samuel Eto’o went that route after scoring Inter Milan’s second goal in the World Club Cup final.

via Bundesligatalk.com

At the beginning of this post, I told you that it’s a good idea to pick a foreign side to follow. I also told you this could turn out to be exciting or frustrating. For PSP’s Mike and Ed, following Reading of England’s Championship division has been a mixture of both. But one of the more exciting things about keeping up with a foreign team is tracking your favorite players when they move between clubs. Reading fans were none too happy to see Icelandic striker Gylfi Sigurdsson go to Hoffenheim. Gylfi has been a star since arriving in Germany, and he scored again this weekend against Wolfsburg.

When he scored the winning goal against Holland in the World Cup final, Andres Iniesta made clear that Dani Jarque was his inspiration. Jarque, a defender for Espanyol, passed away in 2009 after suffering a heart attack on the field. Iniesta appeared in Espanyol’s stadium for the first time since the World Cup this weekend. He was substituted late in the match, with Barcelona up 5-1. The Espanyol fans gave the Spanish midfielder a moving send-off. Full Barca-Espanyol highlights here.

On the other end of the support spectrum, Panathinaikos fans rioted after their team slumped to defeat against lowly Volou. From 101greatgoals.com: “The ultras had made their message clear during the match, unfurling a banner that read ‘We are jobless and you wallow in luxury. Respect [the team symbols]. Patience is running thin.'”

And finally, 101greatgoals asks whether Craig Gordon’s save against Bolton was one of the best ever. Anyone remember Jerzy Dudek? I bet Andriy Shevchenko does.


  1. Legear should be happy he wasn’t in Philly, and his name isn’t JD Drew, and those weren’t batteries …

  2. Every time Gyfli scores for Hoffenheim, I die a little more on the inside.

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