Jose Izquierdo Signs Four-Year Deal with the Premier League’s Brighton & Hove Albion

Jose Izquierdo is headed to the United Kingdom…

The 25-year-old Colombian soccer player has signed with the Premier League’s Brighton & Hove Albion club.

Jose Izquierdo

Izquierdo was signed from Club Brugge in Belgium for an undisclosed fee on a four-year deal.

Brighton had agreed terms with Brugge and Izquierdo more than a week ago, but had to apply for work permit clearance in order to secure a UK work visa and register the transfer, which breaks the club’s record fee paid for the third time this summer.

“This has been a very complex deal, but I am absolutely delighted we are finally in a position to confirm it is completed. I would like to thank all those involved for their hard work and am delighted Jose is now able to begin work,” said Brighton coach Chris Hughton.

Subject to international clearance, Izquierdo could make his debut in Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Barnet.

In his three years in Belgium, Izquierdo helped Brugge win the Belgian Cup and Belgian League.

He’s expected to be named to Jose Pekerman‘s squad for Colombia’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers in Venezuela on August 31 and at home to Brazil on September 5.

Rodriguez Scores Two Goals to Lead Colombia Into Its First World Cup Quarterfinal

World Cup 2014

It looks like James Rodriguez is emerging at this year’s FIFA World Cup superstar…

The 22-year-old Colombian footballer scored a pair of goals to give Colombia a 2-0 victory on Saturday over Uruguay, earning his team its first-ever World Cup quarterfinal berth.

James Rodriguez

The Uruguayans came into the match at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana Stadium with a chip on their shoulder after Luis Suarez was given a nine-match international ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Group D action Tuesday, but the loss of their star striker proved too much against Jose Pekerman’s talented squad.

Both teams started off the match at an unhurried pace, patiently looking to mount their attacks in the Round of 16 knockout match.

But when it seemed that the crowd of 73,804 might have to wait a while for the action to heat up, Rodriguez produced one of the most stunning goals of the 2014 World Cup in the 28th minute.

The play started with midfielder Abel Aguilar lofting a ball in the direction of forward Jackson Martinez, who was standing just outside Uruguay’s penalty area.

Uruguayan defender Maxi Pereira tried to clear the ball but it went back to Aguilar, who headed to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez proceeded to bounce the ball off his chest to give himself some space and then, without letting it hit the ground, fired a left-footed rocket from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar over the outstretched arm of net minder Fernando Muslera and ricocheted into the goal.

It was Rodriguez’s fourth goal of the World Cup and tied him for the tournament lead along with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and Germany’s Thomas Müller.

But Rodriguez, who plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, wasn’t done yet.

Just five minutes into the second half, midfielder Juan Guillermo Cuadrado received a cross from defender Pablo Armero and headed it back across the box to Rodriguez, who knocked a right-footed shot into a practically empty net for his tournament-leading fifth goal.

Nearly an entire half of soccer still remained to be played but Uruguay, lacking Suarez’s firepower, was unable to cut into the lead against a well-organized defense backed by stellar goalkeeper David Ospina.

Next up for this history-making Colombian squad will be host nation Brazil, which topped Chile on penalties earlier Saturday.

That quarterfinal clash will be played Friday at Castelao Stadium in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

del Bosque Named National Soccer Team Coach of the Year

Vicente del Bosque isn’t only the man of the hour… He’s the man of the year.

The 62-year-old Spanish soccer coach was named the 2012 national soccer team coach of the year in a vote organized by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

Vicente del Bosque
Del Bosque, who guided the Spanish men’s soccer team to victory in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, garnered 231 votes from among the soccer insiders and sports journalists surveyed by the IFFHS.

It’s the third time del Bosque has picked up the IFFHS World’s Best National Coach award. He’d previously earned the title in 2009 and 2010.

The Salamanca native picked up almost three times as many votes as the 83 that went to runner-up Cesare Prandelli of Italy, who was followed by Mexico’s Luis Fernando Tena with 70 votes.

Next came German coach Joachim Löw, with 48 votes; Herve Renard of Zambia, 38; Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella, 21; Paulo Bento of Portugal, 16; Jose Pekerman of Colombia, 15; and England coach Fabio Capello, with 13 votes