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The Anatomy of Liverpool (Review)

Discussing the history of a legendary club is always a challenge. What do you include? What do you leave out?

Cover Art Courtesy of IPG

Deciding to show the legacy of a club through just ten matches is a rather novel and effective idea. Jonathan Wilson and Scott Murray do this to perfection in The Anatomy of Liverpool: A History in Ten Matches.  We’re sure that it wasn’t an easy decision to pick out the ten matches. This duo did a perfect job with that, choosing games from a wide range of years , from 1899 to 2005.

Wilson is a great choice for this content, considering the number of popular titles, including the cult favorite Inverting the Pyramid, he has contributed to the football literary scene.

This is yet another gem, one that is an absolute must-have for Liverpool fans. It is also a must for English football fans from any side as Liverpool is one of those teams that have defined the game in England. Arguably English football would not be what it is today without the contributions of Liverpool, particularly in Europe.

As you would expect every match is told in pristine detail along with great photographs that complement the content.  Wilson, with the help of Murray, is able to capture the true spirit of Liverpool FC in a single text.  Not many have been able to do that even with a miniseries or a series of books.

The authors pay homage to the incredible players and managers that graced Liverpool over the years, sharing some from every era of the club.

This title does Liverpool FC justice, which is about the best compliment you give.


Photo Credit: Rob Ivory/

Our friends at Allstate are pulling out all the stops again, this time at the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in Portland!

Allstate is inviting soccer fans attending the match to visit the fun and interactive Fan Zone at Providence Park from 6:00 to 8:00 pm PT on game day. It’s free and open to everyone so be sure to stop by before you head into the stadium.

If you don’t have tickets to the game stop by the MLS All-Star viewing party that Allstate is hosting in Pioneer Courthouse Square from 6:00 – 9:00 pm PT!

But there’s more.  We’re talking to the legendary Tony Meola on Monday, August 4 and we are asking for your help in asking the questions.  Send us your best question on Twitter by using the hashtag #AskTony.  We’ll pick our favorite and give the winner two tickets to the All-Star game courtesy of our friends at Allstate.

Record Crowd Turns Out for Man City’s Rout of AC Milan

Photo Credit: Matt Shisler/

Today’s match between Manchester City and AC Milan had a little bit of everything.  A pitch invasion to obtain a selfie, a weather delay, six goals, a great crowd, and a whole lot of world-class talent.  Over 34,000 turned out to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field to see Manchester City dismantle AC Milan by a 5-1 margin.

“I think it was a very good game for our team,” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “It’s important to win and also important to score five goals. But not only that, I feel like we played with a good pace and that for me is important.”

It was a certainly great day for Stevan Jovetic, who finished with a brace after goals in the 11th and 58th minutes.  The former Fiorentina star was indeed a handful for the AC Milan backline, proving to be a deadly finisher in the attack.

Jovetic would be joined on the scoresheet by Scott Sinclair (13th minute), Jesus Navas (23rd), and Kelechi Ihenacho (26th).  The Navas goal was the most impressive, scoring off a sick side-volley that beat Michael Agazzi and added to a rout.

It was a breakout performance for Jovetic, who struggled with injuries last season.

“I think that now that he is continuing every day, he will demonstrate why he is here at Manchester City,” Pellegrini added. “Because I think he’s a very good player.”

Sulley Muntari scored the lone AC Milan goal in the 43rd, keeping the Serie A side from being shut out.   Muntari, Michael Essien, and Mario Balotelli all saw time in the match so Milan fans were able to at least see the team’s star despite a difficult result.

“It was a great atmosphere today,” AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi said via a translator. “Usually when AC Milan comes to the U.S., they get a lot of support from their fans here. He hopes that on Saturday that they are able to give them a better result on the field.”

A weather delay due to lightning and high winds kept fans under cover for about 30 minutes, but the crowd remained engaged for an even more entertaining second half.  Only one goal was scored in the final 45 minutes as the game was much more competitive.

Photo Credit: Matt Shisler/

Balotelli had a late goal called back much to the chagrin of his many fans in attendance.  He received quite a few cheers and jeers when two fans entered the pitch just to get a selfie with the Italian national team superstar.  He smiled for the picture, just before security and police escorted the two offenders off the field.  Apparently a photo is worth more than a thousand words, even more than a night in the county jail.

Tonight’s crowd broke the record for a soccer audience in Pittsburgh, a considerable improvement over the 25, 137 that turned out for Chelsea/AS Roma in 2004.

Complete Photo Gallery Courtesy of Matt Shisler/

Our Subside Sports Man of the Match is an obvious choice as Stevan Jovetic takes home the honor.  We hope that this is the start of great things for the talented striker; hopefully he can avoid the injury bug this season.

Crew Defeat Revolution on the Road

The Columbus Crew (6-7-8, 26 points) defeated the New England Revolution (7-11-2, 23 points) at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 26 behind goals from Federico Higuain and Ethan Finlay.

The victory was the second straight for the Crew, who took the lead just before halftime courtesy of Higuain’s stunning free kick, which was bent up and around the Revolution wall and just inside Bobby Shuttleworth’s left post. The goal was Higuain’s seventh of the season, which leads the Black & Gold.

After A.J. Soares tied the match in the 50th minute, Ethan Finlay won it for Columbus in the 84th minute of action by playing a Justin Meram pass perfectly and slotting the ball past Shuttleworth. The goal was Finlay’s fifth of the season, and the former Creighton player now has recorded at least a goal or an assist in seven of his last 10 League contests.

The Black & Gold attempt to make it three wins in a row by next playing on Saturday, August 2 in Chicago (8:30 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel).

Manchester United 1907-1911: The First Halcyon Years

Cover Art Courtesy of Amberley Publishing

Every football club has a turning point, a moment that changes the face and direction of the club forever.  For Manchester United one might think of the Munich Air Disaster or the many successes in Europe, but there was a period that was just as defining, long before either of those.

The years 1907-1911 represent early success for Manchester United, a time that allowed the club to grow and prosper under the expert eye of Ernest Mangnall. Zero league championship became two league titles, two Charity Shield wins, and triumph in the FA Cup.

Manchester United wouldn’t have been the global superpower that it is today without Mangnall and the legendary Billy Meredith, a Manchester legend who scored 169 goals in 681 appearances for both City and United.  Meredith was also instrumental in the labor movement for footballers, creating the first Players’ Union.

Manchester United 1907-1911: The First Halcyon Years by Mark Metcalf breaks down these influential years, something no title has ever done in such detail.  This period of time might be a footnote in any other Man U book, but this author does it right.  He gives these influential footballers and administrators the respect and credit they deserve.

Metcalf proves once again that he is the master of Manchester United lore.  His eye for detail and nose for impeccable research are second to none.