borussia_dortmund

Borussia Dortmund players upset with whistles from home fans during Wednesday’s Champions League match

Leave a comment

One day after securing their club’s second straight appearance in UEFA Champions League’s quarterfinals, Borussia Dortmund players are hitting back at their own fans, with whistles heard during the team’s 2-1 loss leaving a lasting impression on the team.

Despite losing to visiting Zenit St. Petersburg, BVB advanced in Champions League, posting a 5-4 aggregate win over the Russian club. The sellout crowd at the Westfalenstadion had shorter-term goals in mind, however, expressing their disapproval as last year’s finalists saw out the final portion of their Round of 16 meeting with Zenit.

The players noticed. One day after seeing the Russians out of the competition, Dortmund players turned there attention to their fans behavior, expressing their disappointment.

“Some in the team are really affected by this,” captain Sebastian Kehl said, as reported by Reuters. “A home game should be a positive experience and not feel as if we have committed some sort of crime.”

Dortmund have one of the more fearsome crowds in European soccer, with the 65,829 in attendance for Champions League matches coupling one of Europe’s largest crowds with a passion that’s made the Westfalenstadion one of the world’s more renown fan experiences.

On Wednesday, however, that passion turned on the team in yellow and black.

“I really do not like this,” midfielder Kevin Großkreutz said. “Every time we lost possession you could hear moans in the crowd.

“We do not need moans, we need support. Afterwards you can whistle but during the game we need the support.”

Veteran midfielder Nuri Sahin asked for perspective. Though Dortmund eased past Zenit on the back of the 4-2 win it posted in St. Petersburg, the team is still trying to compensate for the absences of Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Güdongen, Neven Subotic, and Sven Bender.

“Look at what kind of injury setbacks we have had to deal with and play football this season,” Sahin urged. “We are in the last eight and that is something that should be looked at carefully and honoured.”

Head coach Jürgen Klopp echoed the sentiments, saying “We as Borussia Dortmund have to learn that a great success sometimes is hidden in a 2-1 defeat.”

Great, perhaps unreasonable success is clearly what the crowd expected. Four years ago, this team wasn’t even in Europe. Now, they’re in Champions League’s final eight and 10 months removed from an appearance in the competition’s final. Interesting quickly expectations chance in the Ruhr valley.

In the league throughout and sitting on four away goals, perhaps BVB didn’t play their best game Wednesday against Zenit. Given the circumstances, however, supporters should have had more flexible expectations. After all, the team is still into the quarterfinals.

Coleman explains why he stayed as Wales coach, rejected Hull

ZENICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Chris Coleman of Wales celebrates after the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Elbasan on October 10, 2015. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”

The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.

Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”

But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”

Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”

FOLLOW LIVE: The UEFA Champions League finds its last five group stage teams

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Joe Hart of Manchester City warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Play-off Second Leg match between Manchester City and Steaua Bucharest at Etihad Stadium on August 24, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?

The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]

Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.

In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slateFOLLOW LIVE

Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)

FOLLOW LIVE – EFL CUP: Four Americans in the 18 for Fulham, Sunderland, Bournemouth

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.

American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.

Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup scheduleFOLLOW LIVE

Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town

L.A. Galaxy’s Keane retires from Republic of Ireland duty

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 11:  Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland applauds the fans during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.

Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.

Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.

[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]

In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.

No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.