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CORNER KICKS This week in soccer

Five things happening around the world:

June 11, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

1 It appears as if Sven-Goran Eriksson is going to have his hands full with Mexico once he takes over as coach of the national team this month.

Having watched his new players get dismantled, 4-1, by Argentina in front of 68,498 in San Diego last week, Eriksson then had to face the fact that veteran goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez was arrested in Chicago for disturbing the peace.

According to Mexican media, Sanchez did not take kindly to being told by Chicago's finest to turn down the volume at a postgame party at the team hotel after Mexico's 4-0 victory over Peru at Soldier Field on Sunday. He was taken into custody and released a couple of hours later after posting $1,000 bail.

On his arrival back in Mexico, Sanchez told reporters he had been trying to protect his teammates.

"I went into the corridor to try to calm the situation," he said, "but they grabbed me, sprayed tear gas at me and took me to the police station. Before I realized what was happening, I was thrown into the police car like a delinquent."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, June 13, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Soccer: In Wednesday's Sports section, the Corner Kicks column incorrectly said that Salvatore "Toto" Schillaci was the leading scorer at soccer's 1982 World Cup in Spain. Schillaci was the leading scorer at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Don't look for Sanchez to be joining Mexico's Cuauhtemoc Blanco with the Chicago Fire any time soon. Or any MLS team, for that matter.

Mexico plays its first qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup on Sunday against Belize in Houston.

2 Landon Donovan, at 26 years, 3 months, 4 days, became the fourth-youngest player to make 100 international appearances when he helped the U.S. tie Argentina, 0-0, in front of 78,682 at Giants Stadium on Sunday.

The three players who reached the 100-cap mark at a younger age were South Korea's Cha Bum-Kun, who was 24, and Saudi Arabia's Sami Al-Jaber and Mohammed Al-Deayea, who both were 25.

3 Japanese fans were given a triple treat in Yokohama over the weekend.

First, they got to see the return to coaching of Jose Mourinho, who led a World XI to a 2-2 tie against a Japan invitational side captained by retired former national team star Hidetoshi Nakata.

Better than that, they got to see Salvatore "Toto" Schillaci, the hero of Italy's 1982 World Cup triumph and the tournament's top scorer. True, Schillaci is 44 and has lost a step or five, but fans weren't counting.

Even better still, in the game's 81st minute, Nakata brought Kunishige Kamamoto into the match, to a huge roar from the fans.

Kamamoto, 64, helped Japan win the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games.

4 One of those playing in the game in Yokohama was Edgar Davids, the Dutch midfielder who helped Holland reach the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000 semifinals. Davids, 35, is a free agent after being released by Ajax Amsterdam.

"At this time, I don't know where I will go," he said recently. "There has been interest from domestic and foreign clubs. I am fit and still feel good enough to play football on this level."

A move to Major League Soccer's FC Dallas fell apart last year. The Galaxy has a Dutch coach, Ruud Gullit, and needs a midfield general, so is it possible?

Nah, it'll never happen.

5 Brazil's 2-0 loss to Venezuela in front of 54,045 at Foxborough, Mass., on Friday brought the wrath of the Brazilian media down on the team's head.

A national daily newspaper, O Globo, labeled the defeat a "historic embarrassment." Others were equally scathing, but Brazil Coach Dunga was unperturbed.

"A lot of our players have been on holiday and that was a problem," he said. He then gave Venezuela a backhanded compliment. "When I played against them in 1993, they were mostly amateurs and were overweight," he said. "Today the players are more confident."

Brazil plays Paraguay in Asuncion on Sunday and then hosts Argentina in Belo Horizonte on June 18 in World Cup qualifying games.


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