February 20, 2012
AUCKLAND – All Whites skipper Ryan Nelsen made his first appearance in a Tottenham starting line-up this morning while there has been plenty of transfer activity as new seasons draw near in Europe and Asia.
After making his debut from the bench last weekend, All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen lined up in a Spurs starting XI for the first time, anchoring the defence against Stevenage in a fifth round FA Cup tie.
Nelsen, who led Blackburn to two FA Cup semi finals, helped Tottenham keep a cleansheet but with the home side doing the same in an unlikely 0-0 draw, a replay at White Hart Lane now awaits both teams.
Cup action gave Winston Reid’s West Ham United the weekend off, and saw them slip to second albeit with two games in hand, behind Southampton who held the Hammers to a 1-1 draw midweek.
Tommy Smith’s Ipswich continued their recent run of fine form, knocking over Portsmouth 1-0 away from home midweek then backing that up with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cardiff at home with Smith at the heart of the Tractor Boys defence for both clean sheets.
Chris Wood Played 90 minutes in Bristol City’s midweek 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace but was used just for the second half in Sunday’s 0-2 loss to Peterborough that leaves them just three points above the drop zone.
Elsewhere in the UK, Rory Fallon was on the bench for Aberdeen for a 0-0 draw with St Johnston, while in Wales, Greg Draper scored his 14th goal of the league as The New Saints won 2-0 at Llanelli to stay in second place behind Bangor City.
Football Ferns goalkeeper Aroon Clansey completed her move to Liverpool during the week and got her first taste of life as a Red in a 1-1 pre-season draw against Celtic.
Chelsea are also warming up for the upcoming FA Women’s Super League and Ferns midfielder Hayley Moorwood clocked up 60 minutes in a 2-1 pre-season win over Gillingham.
Over on the continent, the Frauen Bundesliga was again hit by snow with a clash between Rebecca Smith Wolfsburg and Amber Hearn’s USV Jena one of those to be postponed. Lokomotive Leipzig were also affected delaying Anna Green’s debut for her new club.
Bad Neuenahr were able to get a game in with Katie Hoyle and Sarah Gregorius both featuring as their side picked up a vital away point with a 0-0 draw at Freiburg.
Meanwhile, following the suspension of the WPS in the US, Ali Riley is rumoured to be training with a Bundesliga club although league regulations would prevent her from signing for this season now that the transfer window has closed.
Dan Keat continues to celebrate his All Whites call up scoring his second goal of the pre season in a 3-2 win over Chivas USA. Keat, who was joined by Andy Boyens in the starting line up, a first time shot past Dan Kennedy to give the Galaxy a 3-0 lead heading into the break.
Meanwhile, Michael Boxall was an unused sub in Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2-1 pre-season win over University of Victoria Vikes.
Chris Killen has a new club after transferring from Shenzhen Ruby to fellow China League One club Chongqing FC who won promotion from Division Two last season and play at the 58,680 capacity Olympic Sports Center in Chongqing.
In Australia, Shane Smeltz missed Perth Glory’s 2-0 win over Jeremy Brockie’s Newcastle Jets but the striker reassured All Whites fans on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ShaneSmeltz) that it was “nothing serious ...just want to fix it now. [I’m] aiming to be fully fit next weekend and of course [for] Jamaica.”
The Phoenix suffered their second straight loss, falling 2-0 to Michael McGlinchey’s Central Coast Mariners who remained five points clear at the top of the table.
Tim Brown missed the match-up against McGlinchey – his likely midfield partner against Jamaica in nine days time but Mark Paston, Leo Bertos and Tony Lochhead all started alongside captain for the day Ben Sigmund.
Marco Rojas was once again in the starting eleven for Melbourne Victory and hinted at a return to his best form, running at defenders and picking out Harry Kewell for the first of his two goals. Unfortunately for Rojas and his team mates Brisbane are also rediscovering their form and edged the encounter 3-2 to consolidate second place.
In Oceania Champions League action Ivan Vicelich led Auckland City to an easy 7-3 win over Solomon Islands side Koloale to edge closer to a place in final.