Friday, February 13, 2009

Pardew's Guardian news and notes ...

There's a bit of a format change going on with this post, considering we don't fashion ourselves a news-based Web site as such. Due to my full-time job commitments, I am only able to update this blog occasionally. But while I usually post (ill-informed???) opinions, there are a few things hanging out there that should be addressed in a timely manner: 1) The super soccer Web site Soccer By Ives enjoyed a moment in the sun during ESPN2's broadcast of the U.S. Men's National Team's comprehensive 2-nil World Cup qualifying win over Mexico in Ohio on Wednesday night. The cameras lingered on the "winning" banner (pictured above, top) from a contest on his site he ended up having printed in Columbus the day before the match. My goodness, how we as a soccer community in the United States have come a long way. We are inter-connected via the Internet, cell phones, etc. It's nice to know you have brothers (and, increasingly, sisters) of like mind out there. 2) The U.S. Men's National Team's next World Cup qualifier -- at El Salvador on March 28th -- will be televised live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. There was some uncertainty regarding a broadcast, but ESPN's Mac Nwulu confirmed to PardsGuard on Friday (after a media e-mail contained an erroneous date for the match) that the game is, indeed, scheduled to air. That match may go down in the annals as the 'Brad Guzan' game (pictured above, middle). Guze, the backup keeper behind fellow American Brad Friedel at English Premier League side Aston Villa, must step in to deputize for the suspended (and, we must add, world-class) Tim Howard. Will that make the difference between a win and a draw -- or, God forbid -- a loss?? We shall see. 3) Back to my earlier report about Inter Milan (and 'Special One' manager Jose Mourinho (pictured above, bottom) playing in New Jersey this summer -- According to well-placed sources, one of whom is in Milan as we speak for the AC-Inter derby on Sunday, a press conference will be held within a month that commits Inter to a Los Angeles-East Rutherford, N.J.-Canada itinerary for preseason. Where there's smoke, there's fire, so we will have to wait and see on this one.