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Archive for the ‘Nick Noble’ Category

Some news from Sweden
   December 23, 2011 (7:24 PM) by Howie Michaels

Not since ABBA released “Dancing Queen” have we seen such an exciting month for American-Swedish relations in entertainment. Melancholia, featuring Alexander Skarsgård, looks set to be a sleeper at the Academy Awards. The American adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hit theaters in the US this week and looks to add to the already massive international franchise. Most notably, Gregg Berhalter was named manager of 2nd-division Swedish club Hammarby after retiring from the MLS Cup winners Los Angeles Galaxy. Yet, the excitement continues!

Our Man in Hammarby made his first notable signing today, bring in former Chicago Fire midfielder Baggio Hušidić. The Bosnian-born Hušidić was not retained by his hometown Fire; while he was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Re-Entry draft, he has opted for the allure of Stockholm instead.

However, the American quota in the Swedish 2nd division will not be increasing as Berhalter’s old club has signed Nick Noble, a one-time teammate of Hušidić who spent the last two seasons as starter for Ljungskile, a mid-table side in the Superettan. Noble will presumably battle Brian Perk to be the primary backup to Josh Saunders following the sale of former starter Donovan Ricketts to L’ Impact de Montréal.

Things will probably be pretty quiet around here until next year, so I’ll take this moment to wish you a happy holiday with the greatest Christmas song of all-time.

Categories: Nick Noble
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Inside the Numbers: Clean Sheets
   May 4, 2011 (6:54 AM) by Matt Benson

I checked out the top American goal scorers in Europe back in January (top flight leagues here and lower level guys here), so I thought I would give the goalkeepers some love this week.  For the goalies, I am doing all guys (top flight and lower level) in one post and these numbers include all competitions (League/Cup/Champions League/Europa League/etc).

But here are the goalies with the most clean sheets in Europe (through games of Tuesday, May 3).  I am just going to list down to guys with at least four.

David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg) – 13
Tim Howard (Everton) – 8
Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) – 6
Nick Noble (Ljungskile SK) – 6
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/Hull City) – 5
Luis Robles (Karlsruher) – 4
Josh Wicks (IFK Mariehamn) – 4

From what I can find, David Yelldell’s 10 clean sheets during league play are the sixth most in the German 2. Bundesliga.  Add in his three during cup competitions and his 13 look to be the second most among 2. Bundesliga goalkeepers (Simon Jentzsch of FC Augsburg leads the way with 14 across all competitions).

Looking at the Premier League, Tim Howard’s eight clean sheets are tied with Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) and Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers) for the seventh most, while Brad Friedel’s six are tied with Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan Athletic) and Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) for the 12th most.

Back to Yelldell for a minute, but he has put together a nice little season with Duisburg and could possibly be in the Gold Cup picture if Bob Bradley wants to put him on the roster over Marcus Hahnemann (getting older) or Brad Guzan (getting married during some of the Gold Cup).  And he has a chance at some hardware on May 21 when Duisburg takes on Schalke in the DFB Pokal Final.  It will be Duisburg’s fourth German Cup finals appearance (1966, 1975, 1998), but they have never walked away with the trophy.

Categories: Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, David Yelldell, Josh Wicks, Luis Robles, Nick Noble, Tim Howard
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Scandinavian League Roundup
   October 19, 2010 (6:21 AM) by Matt Benson

With a few of the Scandinavian leagues coming to a close in the next month, I thought I would give a quick run down on how a few Americans are sitting with the last couple games to be played.

Finnish Veikkausliiga

In Finland, there is one game left for each of the 14 teams.  Daniel Antunez and FC Inter Turku sit in sixth place with 36 points.  Unfortunately, they are four points behind fourth place and unable to get a Europa League First qualifying round spot.

Vaasan Palloseura (Greg Eckhardt and Brian Pope) are in 10th place with 30 points, three points ahead of 13th place and a spot in the relegation playoffs.  While there are teams in 11th and 12th place, their -11 goal differential is worse and could come into play if they lose and some teams below them get wins.

One of those teams slightly behind them is IFK Mariehamn and the American trio of Giuseppe Funicello, Lamar Neagle and Mason Trafford.  They sit in 11th place with 28 points, one point ahead of the relegation playoffs (13th place) and two points ahead of the automatic relegation (14th place).

So the Veikkausliiga is coming down to the last game of the season.

Norwegian Eliteserien

Next we head to Norway’s top-flight league, which has three games left in the season for the 16 teams.

IK Start (Clarence Goodson and the now injured Hunter Freeman) currently sit in eighth place with 38 points.  They are safe from relegation and probably mathematically eliminated from third place (Europa League First qualifying round spot).

Mikkel Diskerud and Erik Benjaminsen are in 11th place at Stabæk with 36 points.  They are safe from relegation.

Over at Hønefoss (Steve Clark and Kenneth Di Vita Jensen) are in 14th place (relegation playoffs), five points ahead of 15th place (automatic relegation), but six points behind 13th place and safety.  If they get stuck in the relegation playoffs, they will be in a four-team playoff with the teams that finished between third to fifth in the Adeccoligaen.

Norwegian Adeccoligaen

In Norway’s first division, there are four or five games left for the 15 teams.

Joseph Bendik and Sogndal are in first place with 52 points, seven points ahead of second place.  In the Adeccoligaen, the top two teams get promoted automatically, so they have a good shot at promotion with four games left to be played.

Colin Burns and Sarpsborg 08 are in third place with 41 points.  Like mentioned above, teams third through fifth are put in the promotion/relegation playoffs.  Fourth place is at 40 points, while fifth and sixth place are at 34 points.

Graham Dugoni and Mjøndalen are in 11th place with 28 points, only three points ahead of the relegation zone, so their last five games are very important.

Swedish Allsvenskan

Over in Sweden, there are three to four games left for the 16 teams in the top-flight league.

USMNTer Alejandro Bedoya has his Örebro SK side in third place with 45 points.  They are 13 points behind second place, but only two points ahead of fourth place.   If they can hold onto third place, they will get a Europa League First qualifying round spot for next season.

Ryan Miller and Halmstads BK are in 12th place with 32 points, but are only four points ahead of the relegation playoffs spot (14th place).  So they have some work to do in their last three games to stay safe this season.

Swedish Superettan

A pair of Americans play at Ljungskile BK  (Nick Noble and Michael Thomas).  They are in fifth place with 44 points, but with only one game left to be played, they are five points shy of making the promotion playoffs, so they will be in the Superettan in 2011.

League of Ireland Premier Division

Two games are left in Ireland and Ryan Guy has his St Patrick’s Athletic squad in fifth place, three points behind third place and a Europa League First qualifying round spot for next season.

League of Ireland First Division

Down in the first division, goalkeeper Chris Konopka and Waterford United are currently in third place (promotion playoffs), two points ahead of fourth place and nothing with two games left in the season.

Russian Premier League

Finally, we head over to Russia where Eugene Starikov (on loan from FC Zenit Saint Petersburg) and FC Tom Tomsk are in 10th place out of the 16 teams with 27 points.  There are still five to eight games left, depending on the team, so there is still a lot of soccer left to be played in Russia.

So there you have it.  Hopefully you are all caught up to speed on the leagues that are coming to a close in October and November.

Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Brian Pope, Chris Konopka, Clarence Goodson, Colin Burns, Daniel Antunez, Erik Benjaminsen, Eugene Starikov, Graham Dugoni, Greg Eckhardt, Hunter Freeman, Joe Funicello, Joseph Bendik, Kenneth Di Vita Jensen, Lamar Neagle, Mason Trafford, Michael Thomas, Mix Diskerud, Nick Noble, Ryan Guy, Ryan Miller, Steve Clark
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