World Soccer Report 10/01/2008

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Mexico suffered a loss to Chile in an international friendly, their first non-win since coach Sven Goran Eriksson took over. Mexico fans need not be overly worried; both teams were fielding experimental sides. The lone goal of the match was an own goal by Juan Carlos Valenzuela late in the game while trying to clear a Chilean cross. Mexico’s next CONCACAF game is at Jamaica on Oct. 10.

Overseas, a (mostly) healthy Cristiano Ronaldo is struggling at Manchester United, which itself is struggling midway down the Premiership table, and rumors are flying that a transfer to rivals Manchester City might be imminent. Nothing will be done while Ronaldo is still trying to get back in form after difficulties with his ankle and knee. And it doesn’t help Ronaldo’s confidence that his opening goal on the season was a controversial penalty from a controversial referee, Rob Styles, who has angered a great deal of players and coaches amidst seemingly arbitrarily strict rulings in the box over the years.

In Italy, Brazilian maverick Ronaldinho has notched his first start for AC Milan – and notched his first goal, a winner over cross-town rivals Internazionale Milan. He shared the attacking field with fellow Brazilians Kaka and Alessandro Pato, the usual Italian trio of Nesta, Pirlo, and Borriello were down with injuries. Ronaldinho scored on his second shot on goal and looks to have a good season with Milan.

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