Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Soccer ban on visiting fans lifted in Argentina

Thousands of soccer fans in Argentina will be able to support their teams at away matches for the first time in four years after the Argentine Football Association lifted a ban on visitors in the lower leagues.

The ban was put in place in July 2007 amid rising violence inside and outside stadiums that culminated in a fan's death after a promotion playoff between Nueva Chicago and Tigre.

The ban will be lifted this weekend, and did not apply to clubs in the country's top Primera Division. 

The AFA was under pressure to scrap the ban after top club River Plate's surprise relegation last season.

In June, River was relegated to the second division for the first time in its 110-year history, a blow to a club that has won 33 titles in the top flight - 10 more than anyone else.

At River's first away match in the lower tier, home club Independiente Rivadavia sold around 15,000 tickets to visiting fans in defiance of the ban.

Faced by the practical difficulties of keeping River fans from attending away matches, the AFA decided to lift the ban for all clubs in the four divisions beneath the top flight on Tuesday.

"The return of fans to pitches is good news," AFA president Julio Grondona said.

Monday, August 22, 2011

UCLA football assistant coaches get a pay cut

Pool of money for salaries has dropped from $1.8 million to $1.645 million since Rick Neuheisel become coach.

Salaries for UCLA football assistant coaches have dropped since Rick Neuheisel was hired as a coach.

Bruins coaches will receive a total of $1.685 million in base pay this season, according to information obtained by the times through a public records demand. After Neuheisel was hired in 2008, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero improved the pool of money for assistant coaches from $1.625 million to $1.8 million.

The Coordinators Mike Johnson and Joe Tresey will be paid $250,000. The low end is shifty line coach Inoke Breckterfield, who will receive $110,000.

The junior coach pay does not include the $500,000 takeover paid to offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who was fired in January and hired by Utah.

Quarterback roulette

Quarterback Kevin Prince was a near shoo in to win the job a third successive season and has been exclusively with the first team since guidance camp began, but concerns about his passing game efficiency have narrowed the gap between him and Richard Brehaut.

Both are continue to make mistakes that frazzle Neuheisel.

Cornerback concerns

Tresey is confident that cornerback Aaron Hester will be able to get well from a hamstring injury suffered in Saturday's scrimmage before the Bruins play Houston.

Still, it exposes a depth issue at that position. Jamie Graham is out at smallest amount a month after knee surgery. Anthony Jefferson is out awaiting at least October after back surgery.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Women's soccer seemingly has options for escalation

Plenty of people believe in women's professional soccer as a concept. The question is how many believe in Women's Professional Soccer as a league or in each other's visions for how the league should look.

How women's soccer takes shape in the months between the bright spotlight of the World Cup and the slightly dimmer spotlight of the Olympics depends on several key players:

Potential WPS expansion owners

The names aren't known, but league CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas said WPS is talking with parties whose interest grew during the World Cup.

"[The Cup] has buoyed our continuing expansion discussions with West Coast teams, which have been ongoing since early this year," Eileraas said.

WPS currently has six teams and is operating under a waiver from U.S. Soccer, which normally requires eight teams for a first-division league.

Dan Borislow

The magicJack owner stepped up when no local buyer could be found for the Washington Freedom, and he moved the team to Boca Raton, Fla. He quickly established he wasn't one to follow league precedent.

Borislow has been fined, his team was deducted a point in the standings and the league banned him from any coaching role after receiving a grievance from the league's union over the way he treated players.

Added Eileraas, "The 2012 WPS season is not dependent on Mr. Borislow's participation."
And yet owners are leaving the door open as well, not begrudging Borislow for having a different way of doing things.

Major League Soccer

The men's league is stable, and it has a few footholds in the women's game with affiliates in lower divisions.
WPS owners have kept open lines of communications with MLS for years.
"We're very friendly with MLS, and if something comes of that, that'd be fantastic," Johnson said.

The W-League

Over the winter, the W-League's Buffalo Flash became WPS' Western New York Flash. But don't expect the W-League, which operates under the large umbrella of United Soccer Leagues (USL), to let itself be a training ground for future WPS teams.

Instead, the W-League is exploring the possibility of its own pro division, though not one that would compete head-to-head with WPS.


Despite sharing three letters of its abbreviation with WPS, the Women's Premier Soccer League is not affiliated with the pro league.

WPSL commissioner Jerry Zanelli says his league is poised to expand from 62 teams to more than 70 in the wake of the World Cup. He says he has productive relationships with some WPS owners. Not with the W-League, though.


Leagues and teams are seeing a surge of interest since the World Cup. Johnson says the Beat has attracted new sponsors for small items such as the game ball.

Players also might not be looking at huge checks to supplement their modest pay from WPS or even smaller pay from the W-League and WPSL. But they're finding more doors open as well.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vancouver whoops it up for return of big-league soccer

VANCOUVER : Long-time Whitecaps fan Colin Clarke was drinking in the atmosphere at Oscar's Pub Saturday, match-day watering hole for the team's diehard Southsiders.

"It's a very big day, one I never thought would come again," said Clarke, 58, sitting with his wife, Brenda. "It's very nostalgic. This club means a lot to me. I hope this really takes hold and it's here forever."

As fans in the packed pub sang, Clarke said he was looking forward to the Whitecaps' return to top-league soccer in their Major League Soccer home opener against Toronto FC at Empire Field.

Clarke was a photographer for the original Whitecaps supporters club and went to the team's first game in 1974. 

He was on the 25-hour round-trip charter to New Jersey in 1979, when the Whitecaps beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies to win the North American Soccer League's Soccer Bowl.

"I have a lot of friends amongst the old players," he added. "My wife and I got married in Carl Valentine's backyard in 1993."

Read more

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soccer Playing Robots

They shuffle around, find the ball, plan their next move, and, of course, kick all on their own. Designed by Manuela Veloso, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and her team, these soccer-playing robots stand at the forefront of machines that can learn about the world and act appropriately. 

They can sense their surroundings and respond to changing conditions, like the arrival of another player in the vicinity. 

The long-term goal of Veloso's and other AI labs? To win the World Cup against humans by 2050. But they've got a few bugs to work out of their 'bots like keeping them upright.
Read more: 
Copyright 2010 @ Live soccer update news