Coppa Italia: Fiorentina eliminates Siena, joins Roma, Udinese in semifinals

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Fiorentina continue to survive without their top two scoring threads, setbacks that haven’t kept la Viola from this year’s Coppa Italia semifinals. With goals from Josip Ilicic and Marvin Compper, Serie A’s fourth place team overcame the continued absences of Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez, moving into Coppa’s final four after their 2-1 victory over second-tier Siena.

Vincenzo Montella’s team will now face Udinese in the tournament’s penultimate round, the Zebras having eliminated Milan on Wednesday. On the other half of the bracket, a Roma team that beat Juventus on Tuesday awaits the winner of Napoli and Lazio, with Coppa’s last quarterfinal set to kickoff next Wednesday in Naples.

Ilicic got Fiorentina on the board early, beating Siena keeper Simone Farelli in the 19th minute to give the favorites a 1-0 lead they should have built on before halftime. Siena, however, made it to intermission with their one-goal deficit in tact, allowing Guillermo Giacomazzi to equalize for the visitors in the 59th minute. At the quarter-hour mark, however, Fiorentina ended their Serie B opponent’s dream, with Compper’s header from six yards out giving the hosts their 2-1 win.

It was the third one-goal game this week, with Roma becoming the first team to book their semifinal spot with Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Juventus. Gervinho’s 79th minute goal allowed the Giallorossi to advance in a match where the Serie A-leading Bianconeri failed to register a shot on target.

One Wednesday, Udinese made Clarence Seedorf’s second match as Milan’s head coach a losing one. Though Mario Balotelli gave the Rossoneri a sixth minute lead, goals from Luis Muriel and Nico Lopez made the home team pay for their inability to convert possession into goals.

The final semifinalist will be decided next week when winners of the last two cups meet at the San Paolo. Napoli, winners of Coppa in 2011-12, will host Lazio, who defeated rival Roma in last May’s final.

Coppa Italia Quarterfinal results

Roma 1, Juventus 0
Milan 1, Udinese 2
Fiorentina 2, Siena 1
Napoli vs. Lazio

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.