Early Club Updates!
First weekend of the club season is in the books and all around the world our national team players took the field to represent their clubs. It was a mixed bag of performances.
Let’s start with the good shall we? Real Madrid vs Valencia battled to a 1-1 draw, and 5 Portugal NT players were representing. Coentrao made the start at left back and played a terrific game. He galloped up and down the left wing combining with Ronaldo very well, and played in some good crosses. But he was even better defensively. Mourinho will have a hard time putting Marcelo back in as the starter, but they are both so damn good it’s kind of a shame they eat away at each other’s minutes. Ronaldo didn’t have a great game. He looked dangerous early cutting in and getting some shots away, but it didn’t look like he was match fit yet to go 90. He did provide a few nice crosses that should have been goals, but Valencia’s keeper was a brick wall. Pepe unfortunately got wrecked in the head when he collided with Casillas on Valencia’s goal, and he was taken out at halftime. Word is that he spent the night in the hospital, but he was released and seems to be ok. However he will miss Real’s clash with Barcelona Thursday. Pereira got his Valencia career off on the right foot as he put in a solid game. For the most part he contained his compatriots on the right wing and made some fabulous tackles. He has proven he was more than ready to play at a top flight club, and he can only thank Sporting for launching him there. Ricardo Costa also got the start at centerback and looked pretty damn good I must say. He was strong in the air and really covered a lot of ground on the pitch. Anytime you hold Real to one goal, you know your doing something right. He is acres ahead of Rolando on the depth chart for Portugal now in my opinion.
Nani got the start at right wing in Manchester United’s opening game, but he struggled mightily with his final product, as did his teammates as they were beaten by Everton 1-0. Nani made good runs and got into dangerous positions, but his crosses were way off and he never got a great look at goal. Probably early season jitters.
Miguel Veloso has been a vital piece for Dynamo Kiev already this season, and he was once again in their 3-1 Champion’s League win over Borussia Monchenglabach. He was always positive in possession, stringing passes forward right where they were intended time and time again. His long balls were especially lethal. Miguel also lined up and took a beautiful free kick that curled to the near post, and the German’s had such struggle with it that it was deflected in for an own goal. Veloso is only getting better, and this move to Ukraine seems to be working well.
Other good news is that Oliveira capped off his La Liga debut with a wonderfully taken goal. He took the ball on the left, shrugged off a defender and chipped the keeper perfectly for the decisive second goal in a 2-0 win for Deportivo La Coruna. Things are seriously looking up for the young striker.
In other news, Simao and Bosingwa have finally found homes for this season. Simao has signed a deal with La Liga side Espanyol, while Bosingwa opted to stay in England and signed with QPR. Good deals for each, and good luck to them!
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