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Friday, January 16, 2009

Snippets - QPR Youth Lose to Newcastle....Matt Pickens Gets a Club....Remembering Mick Leach....Bruno Aguiar Staying at Hearts

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- Among the latest articles posted: A fascinating/embarrassing item about a non-existent player included in The Times' "Football's top 50 rising stars" - The Youth Who Never Was!

Goal.com Colorado Rapids To Sign GK Matt Pickens
USA international goalkeeper Matt Pickens is set to sign for the Colorado Rapids. Goal.com has the exclusive story for you.
»Comments Print This Story Send To A Friend Contact Us galleria zoom A source with knowledge of the situation has told Goal.com that net-minder Matt Pickens will sign with the Colorado Rapids, reported first here at Goal.com.

The former Chicago Fire goalkeeper tried his luck overseas with Queens Park Rangers, but couldn't break into the squad. He's been out of contract since June of 2008, and will be returning to Major League Soccer action starting in 2009.

The 26-year-old was drafted 19th overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. He is currently in Carson, Calif. training with the USA national team.

The source explained that starting 'keeper Bouna Coundoul is out of contract and rejected an extension. Pickens will replace him between the sticks, with Preston Burpo continuing as backup.

"I would go almost as far to say that we've got the deal of the day today," Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith said exclusively to Goal.com, a strong claim considering 60 new players entered MLS in the SuperDraft.

Colorado traded with former club Chicago Fire for the rights to Pickens, which were still owned by the Illinois club. Chicago received this year's 20th pick overall in the MLS SuperDraft and allocation money in return for the rights to Pickens and the 28th pick overall.

--Zac Lee Rigg and Greg Lalas, Goal.com

Remembering Mick Leach - Mick Leach would have been 62 Today:

Born January 16, 1947. Died in 1992

- Great, very much unappreciated, QPR Hero of the mid-to late 1960s and much of the 1970s. Leach made his debut in 1964/1965 season (Feb 1965 vs Colchester) and left in September 1979 (for the US). Although he did not feature in QPR's 1967 Cup run/triumph, did play a big part in QPR's promotion to Division One; was joint top-scorer in QPR's Relegation team (with 8); and played a big part in Gordon Jago's Promotion team; and QPR's 1975/76 Championship (almost) team.
Leach Played over 300 league games and scored over 60 goals, first as a forward; then as a midfielder (including in the 1975/76 "Championship" Team).
For quite a time, Leach was the "boo-boy" victim of some in the QPR crowd; the scapegoat; the person whose name was booed when he was announced in the lineup. But he showed true character.

Dave's Queens Park Rangers website Profile of Mick Leach - Wikipedia on Leach

QPR Youth Lost 3-1 to Newcastle

QPR Official Site - YOUNG R'S BEATEN
Posted on: Thu 15 Jan 2009
QPR's youngsters bowed out of the FA Youth Cup after a spirited contest ended 3-1 to visitors Newcastle United.
Goals from Jeff Henderson, James Taylor and substitute Dan Williams ended Rangers hopes, but the R's did manage to score through Terry Smith.
But ultimately three could've been six or seven had it not been for the fine form of Rangers keeper Niki-Lee Bulmer who rescued the home side with a number of impressive saves.
In the dying moments, Josh Parker nearly added a second Rangers goal but it wasn't to be, and the R's bowed out with heads held high.

Youth Team Manager Steve Brown handed starts to young hot-shots Antonio German and Josh Parker up front, with a midfield boasting the attacking talents of Smith, Cyrus Sylvan-Vanterpool and Andrew Perring, alongside holding midfielder Max Ehmer.
The back five saw Bulmer take up position between the sticks, whilst ahead of him sat right-back Michael Wright, a central defence pairing of Captain Ed Harris and Luke Olley, with left-back Femi Ilesanmi completing the line-up.
The visitors did the honours by creating the opening chance of the match. When a nervy clearance fell into the path of onrushing Magpies right-back James Tavernier, he had no hesitation in trying his luck from 25 yards. Rangers collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief when his effort whistled wide.
It proved a sign of things to come as minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Michael McCrudden curled in a free-kick from the left and Newcastle defender Henderson rose highest to glance home past a standing Bulmer.
Rangers' heads stayed high however, and should've been rewarded for a period of sustained pressure right after the restart. Unfortunately the likes of German, Parker and Perring just didn't have luck on their side and a clear sight of goal.
Bulmer had to be alert to keep out a Nile Ranger header, as the Geordies continued to pose a greater threat. But the R's were making a game of it and Tavernier had to be well positioned to clear a dangerous Parker cross.
McCrudden was enjoying a lot of possession in dangerous areas and, after a lucky deflection put him through, he was only denied adding to Newcastle's lead by a solid stop from Bulmer.
Rangers were hanging in there, and Perring needed just a touch more luck wit a rasping strike that took a wicked deflection off a defender that sent it looping over Magpies keeper Max Johnson and, regrettably, the crossbar.
Perring was at the heart of the next Rangers attack when his threaded pass nearly found German, but Johnson rushed off his line quickly to smother before the big striker could get a shot away.
Newcastle responded, and put together a fine move of their own, Bulmer once again coming to the rescue with a fine save.
Bulmer was in a determined mood and threw himself at the feet of Ranger who looked odds on to score after a left wing cross picked him out at the back post. Incredulously, Bulmer spread himself wide enough to block a certain goal.
In the 38th minute, Rangers finally drew a save out of Johnson when Parker received Ilesanmi's throw-in and took aim from 25 yards. The United keeper dived well at his near post to turn it away.
A rejuvenated Rangers took to the field in the second half and nearly equalised within minutes. Sylvan-Vanterpool was fed down the right side by Wright, and his cross fell kindly to Parker. The forward's initial shot was well saved by Johnson in the Newcastle goal, and Parker needed a little bit more luck with the rebound but a collection of bodies made it difficult to turn the ball home.
However, on 57 minutes, Newcastle doubled their lead. Tavernier's long free-kick into the box fell at the feet of fellow defender Taylor and he was allowed enough time and pick his spot before firing superbly into the top corner.
United were buoyed by the second goal, and the giant Ranger was again denied by a diving Bulmer.
Back came Rangers, and a Perring free-kick caused mayhem inside the Newcastle penalty area. As the ball bounced around and bodies fell to the ground in attempts to keep the ball out, Harris thought he'd pulled one back when he hooked goal-ward, only for a grounded Magpies defender to deflect it over.
Parker went close, heading a Wright centre narrowly wide as the R's searched for a way back into the match.
In a bid to achieve that, Manager Brown sent on Christian Nanetti for the tiring Sylvan-Vanterpool.
Unfortunately it was the visitors who found the net next in the 73 rd minute. Tavernier's long pass up field beat the retreating Harris, allowing United substitute Williams to poke past the advancing Bulmer.
Then suddenly, a lifeline. German robbed Newcastle full-back Paul Dummett and found Parker who raced down the right, bearing in on goal, before squaring unselfishly for Smith to fire home from close range.
Just as instantly, United should've regained their three-goal advantage. Shane Ferguson broke down the left and, with Bulmer way out of goal, centred for Ranger who tried to place the ball into the net first time, but somehow only succeeded in firing wide.
Bulmer, who had been terrific throughout, once again denied Newcastle, this time standing tall to block McCrudden's well struck shot.
Rangers should've added a second minutes before the end but when German found Parker in the six yard box, the latter conspired to blast over the bar when it appeared easier to score.
And so 3-1 it remained and 3-1 it ended, as the R's crashed out, with Newcastle advancing to the next round.

QPR: Bulmer, Wright, Ilesanmi, Ehmer, Harris, Olley (Bailey 74), Parker, Perring, German, Smith, Sylvan-Vanterpool (Nanetti 69).
Subs: Cox, Brittain, Molloy.
Scorers: Smith (78) QPR

The Herald - Aguiar set to stay, but Balogh bid rejectedDARREN JOHNSTONE January 16 2009
Bruno Aguiar is on the brink of signing a new two-year deal with Hearts, but the Tynecastle club seem likely to miss out on goalkeeper Janos Balogh.

Aguiar, who has been outstanding since returning from an 18-month injury-enforced lay-off, has snubbed offers from Portugal and English Championship side QPR to open talks with the Edinburgh side on extending his stay.

The 27-year-old midfielder has missed the last four games due to a hamstring injury, but is ready to return to the squad for tomorrow's trip to Kilmarnock.

His agent, Paolo Barbosa, said: "We have opened talks with Vladimir Romanov about a new contract and are discussing extending Bruno's stay by two or possibly three years.

"They have first option on him and right now we aren't even looking at a move to any other club. Bruno has made the decision he wants to give Hearts the opportunity to keep him before looking elsewhere.

"We have a very good relationship with the club. I'd expect our talks to be successfully concluded within the next two weeks."

However, Hearts have had a £75,000 bid for on-loan Balogh rejected by Debrecen, who want double that amount.

A Debrecen spokesman said: "We made an agreement with Hearts on the transfer fee when the initial loan deal was signed, but now Hearts have changed their mind and want a big reduction on the agreed fee. If no deal is agreed, then he will be back at our club for training on Monday."

Csaba Laszlo, the Hearts manager, admitted: "It is not in my hands now. At the moment I try to do the best that I can and now the board must decide what happens.

"Janos is a professional and I am sure that if he has to go back and his last game is against Kilmarnock, then he will still go out and do his best for the club."
The Herald

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