Playing against Peter Crouch is one thing, but standing next to 6-foot-11 Kevin Garnett was another matter altogether for Chelsea players Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba.
‘Kevin Garnett was really, really tall,” Schurrle said. “It’s unbelievable, but when I saw him it was good to see how this great player who achieved so many things was so happy to be at our stadium.”
Garnett’s Brooklyn Nets are in England to face the Atlanta Hawks, and members of both teams paid visits to Stamford Bridge, with Garnett donning the jersey of his beloved Blues. It’s not a publicity stunt, as Garnett has talked about his love for Chelsea and ex-player Didier Drogba in the past.
From the Chelsea press release:
Garnett, a huge Chelsea fan, who has a pair of specially-designed shoes in our museum, admitted: ‘I’m like a kid in a candy store right now!’
Among the Hawks visitors were German Dennis Schroeder, who spent time talking with Schurrle, and Kyle Korver, who presented Chelsea’s German international with his own team jersey in the Chelsea dressing room.
It’s not a bad marketing ploy for either side. Brooklyn and Atlanta fans just tipped off — pun intended — to the glories of the Premier League may not have a dog in the hunt yet, while the English NBA fans might be swayed in their potential love for an NBA team by The Big Ticket’s love for Chelsea.
The Hawks and Nets square off at O2 Arena on Thursday night and Schurrle is one of the Premier League players set to take in the contest. And by the way, though I doubt he took an NBA dribbling start on the pitch, he’s got ups (right).
Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.
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What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.
From Sky Sports:
“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.
“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”
Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.
The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:
“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”
Life is a good motivator.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.
The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.
[ MORE: USMNT’s Gonzalez wins Liga MX with Pachuca ]
We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.
Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)
An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.
The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.
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Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.
From The Independent:
There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.
In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.
I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.
It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?
Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
[ MORE: Rashford signs new 4-year deal ]
Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.
Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.
We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.