Afternoon Ticker: Mourinho poised to join Madrid, Holden offered extension and more

Jose Mourinho 1 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

One of the world's greatest coaches looks set to join one of the world's richest clubs.

Fresh off winning the Champions League with Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho looks poised to join Real Madrid. Club president Florentino Perez has announced a board meeting for Tuesday evening and stated that it pertains to the coaching position. With Mourinho being linked to Real Madrid in recent weeks, it is likely he will complete his move from Inter. 

Manuel Pellegrini is currently the Real Madrid manager, but he has fallen under much pressure due to club's trophy-less season.

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Bolton offer Holden extension

Bolton Wanderers have seen enough in U.S. national team midfielder Stuart Holden to offer him a contract extension that would keep him at the club until the end of the 2011-12 season. Holden, who joined the club in the winter, originally signed a six-month deal, but eventually signed an extension until the end of next season. Now manager Owen Coyle looks to extend that deal another year, stating he would love to see Holden stay with the club for a long time.

Newest FIFA Rankings released

The latest FIFA rankings have been released, and the U.S. national team will head into the World Cup in 14th place. The Americans' World Cup opponents, England, Slovenia and Algeria, currently stand in eighth, 25th and 30th respectively.

Brazil tops the rankings while 2008 European champions Spain are in second. Rounding out the top five are Portugal, Holland and Italy. 

Hosts South Africa are listed at 83, while Cameroon is the top-ranked team in Africa at 19.

Paraguay defeated by Ireland in friendly

Paraguay's preparations for the World Cup took a minor blow, as the South Americans fell at the hands of Ireland, 2-1, in a friendly on Tuesday. Kevin Doyle and Liam Lawrence each scored in the first half before Lucas Barrios pulled one back for Paraguay in the second.

Paraguay is in Group F in the World Cup, where it will play Italy, Slovakia and New Zealand.

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Do you see Mourinho being the answer to Madrid's problems? Surprised Bolton offered Holden another contract extension? Think the U.S. national team is fairly ranked at 14th? How do you see Paraguay doing this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, International Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Afternoon Ticker: Mourinho poised to join Madrid, Holden offered extension and more

  1. SeattleStan says:

    Yes, now I can see Ronaldo perform side pass after side pass and play in his own 18 yard box!

  2. Quakes in your panties says:

    Yeah Holden

  3. eric says:

    A little off topic but I’ve noticed many teams doing altitude training in the Alps, yet the USA have camp in New Jersey. Why isn’t altitude training one of USA’s priorities?

  4. sread says:

    I don’t think very many people should look into the results of these brush-up friendlies too much. Jurgen Klinsmann put it very well after the game when he said that these games really only serve scouts/coaches to pick apart individual performances. Paraguay, Portugal, USA, etc didn’t really show a lot that will reflect their chances in the WC. Now, if it’s Tim Howard getting scored on 4 times vs Australia in a few weeks, then there’s plenty to worry about…

  5. JFOAIENFIEJ says:

    Good for Holden, he was the best player of the field last night BY FAR. It’s incredible.. he broke his leg 2 1/2 months ago. He should be a starter against England

  6. White Kix says:

    Eric, I read that most experts believe that 2 weeks is all that is needed to adapt to the altitude. We will have almost 2 wweks in S.A.

  7. Lost in Space says:

    Holden will be a starter against England ONLY if Dempsey moves up top to pair with Jozy as the starting forwards. Otherwise Holden will be a 2nd half sub.

  8. Waterlewd says:

    The national team made the decision based on extensive studies by the USA Olympic Committee on altitute and its effect on athletes. Something like 10 days is all that is needed at high altitude to get acclimated.

  9. A Guest says:

    More than that, there’s apparently a fair bit of evidence that the optimum is to “live high, train low.” We don’t know that they’re not using hypobaric chamber treatments during the day or night.

  10. Betinho says:

    I really didn’t like Madrid before. Now I like them less. Mourinho and Ronaldo really make a perfectly detestable pair – for me. I really prefer them as puppets. That’s pure entertainment.

    wow, Holden hardly got to play with Bolton. Very cool. I’ve been thinking of 2014. i wonder if Deuce and LD will still be holding down the wings? They will be 31 and 32 then. Will Holden, Bedoya, Rogers etc surpass them by then?

    is it me or is there a huge drop off from Brazil and Spain to the rest of the pack?

  11. kev says:

    Spain will win the World Cup. I’m betting $50

  12. kev says:

    Great news for Holden. I didn’t know much about this kid until the Gold Cup. i don’t really follow MLS but just amazing. I wish for him the very best. He seems to be just an all around cool dude with great skills.

  13. Al17 says:

    Well put. The result wasn’t a concern of mine last night, individual performances and drive were my concerns and a few people showed that they will be there when needed in regards to determination and taking whatever opportunity they’re given. We’ve got a better team than many people on this site will give credit and an equally excellent coaching staff.

  14. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Pure gut feeling, but I think Dempsey is the most likely guy to announce a surprise retirment from international play witin a year or so.

  15. sread says:

    I’d put $500 on them.

  16. John says:

    Good for Holden indeed. The Holden v. Beasley struggle as to who starts at wing opposite Donovan is shaping up to be the best story after Bradley announces the 23 for South Africa. Both players looked good last night, although while Holden was great on dead balls, Beasley looked more lively and dangerous in the run of play. If Holden wins out, Donovan is likely to start at left wing; if Beasley, then Donovan on the right. Whichever side Bradley thinks Donovan is more dangerous from for individual games might make the difference for who gets the nod opposite him in those games.

  17. bottlcaps says:

    The British press have noticed Holden’s excellent crossing ability and good accuracy and pace on his free kicks and corners. Giving him a nickname already , a bit after that other already famous blond footballer, the press has named him “Holdenballs”

  18. OmarVizquel says:

    He definitely looked like he belonged out there. Man, he keeps improving. GREAT to see, and he’s a helluva a nice guy (it seems).

  19. Dominghosa says:

    My thoughts exactly. Well, not exactly. But you hit the point.

  20. d says:

    How is Portugal 3rd in the world…………..

  21. Vik says:

    Needing 10-14 days is only part of it. When you’re acclimatizing, you can’t train as hard. The idea is to train fitness like crazy at low altitude here, and then focus more on technique/shape/soccer skillz at altitude in SA.

  22. JFOAIENFIEJ says:

    That’s what I’m thinking… Portugal are talented but I’ve seen no evidence they can play as a team. England, Argentina, Germany and Italy should all be ahead of Portugal.

  23. Warren says:

    I see Dempsey and Donovan as second half subs off the bench in 2014.

    Though yeah I wouldn’t be that shocked once either hits 29 they give up the international game.

  24. jahs says:

    roster’s up

    link to preview.ussoccer.com

    how did ching not make it? but findley and gomez and buddle did?????

  25. Aaron in StL says:

    Wow, a bit of a surprise.

  26. Aaron in StL says:

    15 guys making their first WC. I wonder how that compares to other countries. Has to be a higher number. To be expected given the transition period that occurred right after ’06.

  27. ko'd says:

    That can’t be right. Findley? But it’s on US Soccer’s website. Wow.

  28. DC Josh says:

    I can die happy knowing that I called Mourinho heading to Madrid months ago. It will be interesting to see what he does there. Could we be in for an all-Spanish Champions League final?

  29. Aaron in StL says:

    Mourinho out after 1 year, 2 years max.

    Working for a guy completely controlled by the power of public opinion, and a style that completely contradicts the one RM fans favor, it could get ugly.

  30. Patrick says:

    Real Madrid must really want to “Be Champions” again.

  31. CR9 says:

    3 words: Cristiano. Freakin. Ronaldo.

  32. Betinho says:

    Bocanegra had mentioned how dangerous Findley looked on an ESPN chat session. it raised my eyebrows. I don’t see how Ching didn’t make it. I would prefer for any one of Buddle, Gomez or Findley to be left home in favor of his experience and work rate (passing too).

  33. ko'd says:

    Ives just tweeted “USA World Cup Roster has been posted on US Soccer site but team official says roster is not finalized.”

  34. torporindy says:

    Why Findley and not Ching? I think Ching is a great passer and does a lot of little things that neither Findley and Buddle can do. Findley has no touch for the international game.

  35. Betinho says:

    Otherwise I’m solid with this group. I’m glad BBwent with 4 forwards and 7 Defenders

  36. Josh D says:

    That’s my thought too. He’ll destroy any individual creativity they have. Can’t see Ronaldo liking it there…

  37. Pappajohn says:

    I agree. If not the best on the field, at least one of the best. Quality crosses and corners…great field sense. He should definitely start against England. Put him at left mid with LD at right mid. Put Dempsey and Jozy up front.

  38. Fred says:

    ESPN feed?

  39. mikeandike says:

    if Ching is left off the final roster for Findley, wow… someone better check if BB is still coaching this team, how could he leave off his boy after the last four years?

  40. Peter Bering says:

    Rankings are uninteresting. The only rankings worth anything are the actual results in tournaments. Until they are out of the WC, Italy and France are still nos 1 and 2, along with regional champions Spain and Brasil.

  41. Josh D says:

    Ching is the more consistent and different player than the lot. Experience, hulking – the kind of striker Bob loves… verrrrry strange.

    RoboBob does it again!

  42. AKDN says:

    I called the roster (except findley).

  43. blokhin says:

    the total number of goals scored for USMNT by our four forwards? 9

    including the four forwards means to me that Dempsey won’t be playing up top and instead will play on the wing.

  44. maka says:

    2 words: Cape Verde

  45. Coach Finstock says:

    Findley?!?! Did Ching pull a John Harkes ’98 or something??

  46. SPectra says:

    two more words: Barely Qualified

  47. eric says:

    Coyle knows that Stu will break-out in South Africa. Those who have never heard of him will have to pay-out for him once they watch him play. Bolton could use the money.

  48. Eric says:

    Nigel De Jong just had to ruin all the progress that Stu was making. Im still bitter.

  49. stpauljosh says:

    +1

  50. K Bone says:

    I’m not saying Mourinho won’t be a success, but how many talented coaches have failed at Real? I guess if anyone can do it, it’d be him. I know Mourinho is one of the best around, but he truly would be amazing if he gets Real to the CL final in one season considering the difficulty they’ve had. Real do not play his style…

  51. Chris says:

    Stuart is a great guy. I met him here in Houston when he was signing autographs at a sporting good store. He was super nice to my kids, talked to them, signed autographs. Really the kind of guy who makes me proud to root for the USMNT.

  52. Stephen says:

    Portugal is in the top 5? Didn’t they just draw with a team ranked 107th?

  53. bryan says:

    im really interested in JM at madrid. im worried our style of play could be affected, however, madrid has hardly had any style for two or three seasons now. so i’ll take anything at this point. and i think JM is smart enough to know he’ll have to play slightly less defensive than he did in italy. plus, maicon will come as well, so that is awesome. the next question is who goes and who comes? Silva, Hazard, Javi, Navas? Guti, Raul, VdV, both Diarras, Gago out? Metzelder is already gone. Pepe will be back next season and hopefully Kaka can stay healthy. should be an interesting year. and certainly the year where madrid need to win something.

  54. Andy says:

    That Holden story is WAY old. Coyle offered him the contract within a couple days of the Holland game.