Morning Ticker: UEFA Cup draw set, Saha to Everton and Riera to Liverpool

Oguchi_onyewu_afp

Good morning all. Today is shaping up to be a very busy day in the soccer world. It’s the last weekday before the close of the transfer window and it is the day before many of the world’s top leagues kickoff. Throw in the UEFA Cup draw and the UEFA Super Cup and you’ve got nice selection of soccer news to discuss.

Let’s get the day started:

UEFA Cup Draw Set

As if one trip to Liverpool for a knockout home-and-home series wasn’t enough, Oguchi Onyewu’s Standard Liege is set for a return trip to the home of the Beatles as the Belgian champions were drawn against Tim Howard’s Everton in today’s UEFA Cup draw.

Liege-Everton joins Benfica-Napoli and Udinese-Borussia Dortmund as arguably the three toughest match-ups in the 80-team draw. AC Milan’s UEFA Cup run begins against FC Zurich while Aston Villa draws Litex Lovech (Bulgaria) and Manchester City draws Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus). Here is the full draw.

Saha joins Everton

Everton’s late-window shopping spree has landed none other than Manchester United striker Louis Saha. The former Fulham striker struggled the past two seasons with injuries but could be a perfect fit in a Toffees attack that was in desperate need of a striker to replace Andy Johnson. A Yakubu-Saha strike force could be pretty formidable.

Liverpool land Riera

Just when you thought Rafa Benitez had enough Spaniards on his squad, now comes word that Liverpool is set to add Spanish left winger Albert Riera. Liverpool beat out, among others, arch-rival Everton for the midfielder’s services.

That’s something to get your day going. There should be some news on American player transfers that do or don’t happen so keep an eye out for that today, as well as our weekly installment of ‘This week’s soccer on TV’ and some other posts throughout the day.

For now, share your thoughts on the UEFA Cup draw, Saha’s signing and Rafa’s latest Spanish acquisition in the comments section below.

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15 Responses to Morning Ticker: UEFA Cup draw set, Saha to Everton and Riera to Liverpool

  1. Z-Indy says:

    you can check out the groups for the uefa cup draw on wikipedia. group four is the early contender for group of death if it all the games go to the seeded teams.

  2. RK says:

    I had no idea that losers in the last round of the CL qualifiers dropped to the UEFA Cup — I knew they did after the round of 32. I like it.

  3. Brant says:

    How many teams does Cyprus get in the knockout competitions?! They’ve got one in the Champions League group stages, and two here in the UEFA cup. How big is that league? 4 teams? What gives?

  4. Scott, PA says:

    No one expects the Spanish acquisition.

  5. Jacob says:

    Any news on a Gooch move?

  6. RK says:

    I can’t wait until this month ends — now Marca is reporting that Robinho is staying…

  7. Brant says:

    I didn’t mean “knockout” – I meant “European tournaments”… sorry. Brain not yet fully engaged in anticipation of long weekend.

  8. The Athority says:

    Jacob,

    Gooch moves really well in a straight line. But his lateral movement and acceleration is really poor.

  9. Jacob says:

    I meant in terms of teams. I’ve heard a lot about PSG or Catalina (however you spell that, the Italian one), and not that I don’t thinks hes much improved the last couple months, I just think that move up could obviously do nothing but help.

  10. A.S. says:

    Gooch (I don’t think he’s being transferred) versus Timmy??? Crap!!!

    Why can’t each of them play some team from Bulgaria or Cyprus? Now one will be going out of Europe immediately.

  11. The Athority says:

    Jacob,

    I know, I was just butin’ chops.

    Sometimes no move is best. Gooch is doing really well in Belguim and is building confidence. At NewCastle he was in over his head. Sometimes guys have to dominate at a level to get really confident. He’s still learning his trade.

  12. Brandon says:

    Just to point it out again Shaun Wright-Phillips, the prodigal son, has returned to City!

  13. anon_e_moose says:

    Veloso to Spurs. Rumour surfaced last night.

  14. DemonJuice says:

    I never quite understood why CL Qualifying losers got into the UEFA Cup, but CL Group Stage 4th placers are SOL. Doesn’t seem fair to me.

  15. Andrew says:

    It wouldn’t shock me to see Onyewu go to Arsenal. He speaks French, they are stinking up the joint, and there is pressure on Wenger to get a quality defender (and it won’t cost alot).