Friday, June 03, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jun 3, 2016

It's Day 155 of 2016.


The Reckoning begins now! Copa America Centenario starts tonight in Santa Clara CA with USA v Colombia.

Here is the weekend match schedule:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia
-Sat Jun 4
Costa Rica v Paraguay
Haiti v Peru
Brazil v Ecuador
-Sun Jun 5
Jamaica v Venezuela
Mexico v Uruguay
-Mon Jun 5
Panama v Bolivia
Argentina v Chile

dN

Argentina have to be the CAC favorites, and with good reason. By Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.
  • Wilson sees Uruguay and Mexico as the next two best threats to win it.

dN

James Rodriguez of Colombia has a chance to re-light his World Cup star power that has faded at the club level over the past 2 years. By Andrew Key of the New York Times.

dN

USMNT's Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara - 8:30pm CT on FS1
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago - 7pm CT on FS1
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia - 6pm CT on FS1

dN

I will be at the USA game in Chicago next Tuesday. I hope to see you there. Come say "Hi" if you see me.

dN

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann is really up for this tournament and sees success in the cards for his team. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

Q + A session with coach Klinsmann on the eve of the tournament. And as always he puts the blame for any any USA short comings on a lot of other people - but not himself. By Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal.

dN

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati talks about Copa America from a federation/business point of view and the potential of a future Men's World Cup on US soil. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

dN

USA Copa America roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

Group D
0 Colombia
0 Costa Rica
0 Paraguay
0 USA

If the USA can get out of their group then the most likely scenario to win the tournament would be to beat Brazil in the Quarterfinal, Mexico in the Semifinal, and Argentina in the Final.

dN

Minnesota United travels to Oklahoma City for the first time ever on Saturday night.

It was good to see random internet notes pertaining to Minnesota United showing Ben Speas and Brent Kallman both back from injury and making the trip to OKC. We had already seen another injured player Danny Cruz on the field in St Louis on Wednesday so we knew he is healthy too. That leaves just the long term injury of Greg Jordan and shorter term injury of Jeb! Brovsky to deal with.

dN

BTW, yesterday I asked Minn United for a GIF of Jack Blake's first ever goal, scored in St L on Wed, and they reciprocated:
(thank you thank you thank you)

dN

NY Cosmos can seal the Spring Championship on Saturday with a win at Fort Lauderdale. So for the first time in my life I say, "Come on Fort Lauderdale!!!"

dN

NASL Week 10 - coming up:
-Sat Jun 4
Fort Lauderdale v New York
Carolina v Jacksonville
Tampa Bay v Ottawa
Miami v Indy
OKC v Minnesota
-Bye: Edmonton

dN

MLS Week 14:
-Thu Jun 2
New York City 2-3 Salt Lake
Dallas 1-1 Houston
LA 0-0 Kansas City
-The league is now off until Jun 18.

My MLS Notes:
  • Salt Lake, (Go get em!), got the only win last night, but no big surprise since NYC has only 1 home win in 9 games.
  • LA + SKC are two teams with big questions in the goalkeeping category but neither made a change after gaffable prior games and both got a shutout. I am sure each team is happy with that.
  • LA was incredibly inept offensively at home, with not 1 single shot on goal. Pathetic might be a better word than inept actually. Where as KC had 15 shots on goal and couldn't score, now that is inept. (In truth the vast majority of the SKC shot were from the 15-25 yard range.)
  • People are telling me that continuous heavy rains in the Dallas area has caused the condition of the FCD field to suffer badly. Apparently its been getting worse during the past week or two of excess moisture. Damn. Flooding is one of those disasters that is hard to overcome. Also found out, after much cajoling, that a concert took place at the stadium last weekend. That plays a bigger role then rain ever will.

Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York Red Bulls named MLS Player Of The Month for May. Deserved.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jun 2, 2016

It's Day 154 of 2016.


US Open Cup - 3rd Round:
Saint Louis 0-2 Minnesota United

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • Unfortunately there is no video highlight package from the game.
  • MU goals by Kevin Venegas and Jack Blake.
  • Minn got revenge for last year's USOC loss at the same St Louis team.
  • Venegas continued his team MVP season with the game winner in the 69th minute.
  • Blake made his Minn debut and got the insurance goal in the 90th min.
  • The first half was very poor from Minnesota, and even after they took the lead they looked shaky and ready to give up the tying goal at any second, right up until the point when Blake snagged the death blow.
  • In most respects it looked like a carbon copy of the 2015 version of this same game. Except the happy ending.
  • The 2 subs did a great job helping to win this game. Which has not been something you could say very often for Minnesota this season. Both Ibson (replaced an injured JC Banks) and Danny Cruz (came on for Stefano) had great minutes with no mistakes and lots of positives. Including an assist by Cruz on goal #2. Great to see.
  • The other good aspect for Minn was at times they really pressed the ball high up the field and then filled the passing lanes behind them, a good tactic, but not used nearly enough.
  • Minnesota's 4th Round opponent will be none other than Sporting Kansas City at home on Wed Jun 15.
  • This will be the 4th time these two have met in the Open Cup, with KC winning twice (1 at home and 1 away) prior and MU once (away.)

Here is a clip of the Venegas goal. His defense led to a turnover, followed by a great chipped pass from Ramirez back to Venegas who put his shot between the StL keepers legs!


dN

Here are the other results from the 3rd Round of the US Open Cup.
  • A few upsets happened, and all were road victories:
Miami FC 1-2 Wilmington Hammerheads
Rayo OKC 1-2 OKC Energy
Sacramento Republic 1-3 Kitsap Pumas
  • And how did the 3 derby matches turn out:
Rayo OKC 1-2 OKC Energy - the lower division team won in Added Extra Time.
Carolina RailHawks 5-0 Charlotte Independence - weirdly close despite the score. The 90 minutes of regulation ended 0-0, but once the first goal was scored by the RailHawks the dam burst and the precious water flowed.
La Maquina 2-0 LA Wolves - two amateur teams battled it out and the winners reward is a game at the Stub Hub Center against the Galaxy - another derby!

dN

MLS teams join in the next (4th) round of the Open Cup on Tue Jun 14 and Wed Jun 15. Here are those matches.
  • Including 8 derbys:
Chicago Fire v Indy Eleven - The Peter Wilt's Ex's derby
Colorado Rapids v Colorado Springs Switchbacks
Houston Dynamo v San Antonio
Jacksonville Armada v Orlando City
LA Galaxy v La Maquina
New York City v New York Cosmos
Rochester Rhinos v New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders v Kitsap Pumas

dN

The USL (in conjunction with MLS) has been named as one of 6 leagues (Australia, Brazil, German, Netherlands, Portugal) that will test video replay. No date has been set for the testing to begin, but these are the 4 areas that will be affected by the review process:
  1. Goals scored
  2. Penalty calls
  3. Red Card calls
  4. Mistaken Identity in Card calls
They are calling this project: Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

dN

Domenico Scala resigned from FIFA last month, he was head of the Compliance Committee, after the new leadership of the organization took away all the independence of his job. Its now coming to light that new president Gianni Infantino played a big role in the departure, and US Soccer president Sunil Gulati's name is included in the mess but not explained. By Paul Nicholson and Andrew Warshaw of Inside World Football.
  • The gist of the story is that Infantino and Scala clashed and when Scala would not back down Infantino orchestrated the removal of Scala's power to investigate other FIFA members as was his mandate. So Scala walked.
  • Keep this in mind - NOTHING has changed at FIFA.

dN

An in-depth look at CONCACAF crook Jeffrey Webb, a very powerful FIFA player who we knew almost nothing about. By Steve Brenner of the Guardian.

dN

Its always a good day when you find out that Werner Herzog has a new film coming out. Trailer for Lo And Behold.

dN

Bubble: du Nord Music Mix Vol 86 (download + extract)

dN

It's 2 months old and I'm still laughing hard! Space Pants.

dN

MLS Week 14:
-Wed Jun 1
Philadelphia 3-2 Columbus
DC 0-2 Seattle
Portland 1-0 San Jose
-Thu Jun 2
New York City v Salt Lake
Dallas v Houston
LA v Kansas City
-The league is then off until Jun 18.
My MLS Notes:
  • Philadelphia is becoming a legit contender. No longer just the best team in a lousy Eastern Conference.
  • Still plenty of time for Philly to throw it all away though.
  • Everything that went right for Columbus last season is going wrong this year: Odd bounces, out-working the opponent, timely referee decisions (like Red Cards,) inner-peace/inner-turmoil, beautiful goals. Its all gone bizarro.
  • DC created a lot of chances and took 15 shots but Seattle keeper Stef Frei only had to save 1. Not good enough for DC.
  • Seattle got 2 goals by pressuring high up the field on the road late in the game. Very effective and surprising tactic. Most teams only do this early in the game, and even less on the road.
  • The return of Liam Ridgewell for Portland paid off with a game winning goal. Despite helping them to the 2015 title, he is an underrated part of this team.

dN

Houston Dynamo castoff Owen Coyle already has a new coaching job: manager of Blackburn. Sweet lordy.

dN

Things just continue to go wrong for David Beckham and MLS in Miami. By Steve Brenner of Heat Street.

dN

2016 Canadian Championship Semifinals:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 1
Ottawa 2-0 Vancouver
Toronto 4-2 Montreal
  • A big upset win for Ottawa of NASL beating Vancouver of MLS by 2 goals. Nice.
  • Of course Captain-Of-All-Captain Jonny Steele scored. He should be credited with all Ottawa goals.
  • Vancouver only started 2 regulars and subbed on 2 more. Where as Ottawa played all their regulars.
  • 9,057 attendance for Ottawa. Great.
  • And Toronto lit up Montreal in the other first leg game. Toronto did make a big mistake though in letting the Impact get 2 late road goals which could prove to be very costly.
2nd Leg
-Wed Jun 8
Vancouver v Ottawa (0-2)
Montreal v Toronto (2-4)

dN

Alyssa Naeher of Chicago Red Stars named NWSL Player Of The Month for May

Yesterday I voted for Marcel De Jong of Ottawa as the NASL Player Of The Month For May. Results will be released sometime next week.

dN

Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara - 8:30pm CT on FS1
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago - 7pm CT on FS1
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia - 6pm CT on FS1

dN

Optimism for the USA at the Copa from one of Jurgen Klinsmann's biggest detractors. By Matthew Doyle of MLSsoccer.
  • This article starts out as more of an overall look at the tournament, but becomes an all-out USA primer.

dN

I am choosing Mexico to win it all.

dN

Current FIFA rankings of CAC teams by group:
(While Groups B, C + D are pretty even, the USA is in the toughest group by far.)
Group A
3 Colombia
23 Costa Rica
31 USA
44 Paraguay
(25.25 average ranking)
Group B
7 Brazil
13 Ecuador
48 Peru
74 Haiti
(35.50 average ranking)

Group C
9 Uruguay
16 Mexico
46 Jamaica
77 Venezuela
(37.00 average ranking)
Group D
1 Argentina
5 Chile
56 Panama
82 Bolivia
(36.00 average ranking)

dN

Frnech forward Andre-Pierre Gignac is breaking the unwritten rules of Europe's top players, by leaving the continent to star in Mexico (at Tigres) yet still be a part of the France's Euro 2016 team. By Philippe Auclair of the Guardian.
  • Sebastian Giovinco has been even more successful for Toronto in MLS than Gignac in Liga MX, but Italian coach Antonio Conte is too belligerent to admit it, and did not choose the red hot player for his squad.
  • I think in the end Didier Deschamps of France will look smart and Conte will look stupid with their roster choices.

dN

Finally, photographic proof that Peter Dinklage was in the original lineup of U2:

Special thanks to Setting The Table.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Some Soccer News for (date)

It's Day 153 of 2016.


We are hearing that the reason the Minnesota governor has not signed the legislation connected to the Minnesota United stadium bills is because deep inside this political clusterfuck is something related to the Minnesota Vikings Jawa Sandcrawler stadium that needs to get fixed. It really does figure that once again the Vikings are wreaking havoc with Minnesota United. Bullshit.
  • The governor is asking for a "special session" to sort out this and several other details, or he will VETO the whole thing!

dN

US Open Cup returns on Wed Jun 1 with Round 3. Several very interesting looking matches.
  • 3 Derby matches:
Rayo OKC v OKC Energy
Carolina RailHawks v Charlotte Independnce
LA Maquina v LA Wolves

But more importantly:
Saint Louis v Minnesota United - 7:00pm CT, stream it right here via YouTube

dN

The NFL is still king in the USA, by many many many miles, but for Americans age 12-24 soccer is now #2 over basketball. From the Economist.

dN

USA v Colombia is coming up on Friday night. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
  • Colombia will not make the mental mistakes that Ecuador and Bolivia did.
  • John Brooks will not be able to make errors against those fearsome strikers.
  • The three forwards up top will need to keep out of each others way as much as work together - Dempsey, Wood and Zardes made this mistake more than once against Bolivia, and they will get very few chances against this better opponent.

dN

Michael Bradley tell us where he thinks his team is at right now. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

A breakdown of team USA using some vital stats. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

dN

After five underwhelming years for the USMNT where is this optimism coming from for Copa America? By Paul Kennedy of Soccer America.
  • Honestly, I don't get it. I do like the little buzz the young kids bring, but nothing else about this team makes me sit up and take notice. Has everyone forgotten last year at this time the team got wins over Germany and Netherlands that in the end meant nothing as the horror of the Gold Cup followed. This blathering about this tournament being played in the USA did NOTHING last summer.

dN

Copa America Centenario predictions by Grant Wahl, Brian Straus, Avi Creditor, and Alex Abnos of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Here are all the details of American broadcasts and peripheral TV programming for Copa and Euro. Will be one helluva busy 5 weeks of soccer on TV. By Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Oh he of the magnificent ponytail and black fingernails, Paco Palencia, has been named the new Pumas UNAM head coach. Goth is back baby! Crank up the Bauhuas!

dN

Ricardo Velazco of Real Monarchs named USL Player Of The Week

Lynn Williams of Western New York Flash named NWSL Player Of The Week

Joe Cole of Tampa Bay Rowdies named NASL Player Of The Week

Ola Kamara of Columbus Crew named MLS Player Of The Week

dN

Who needs Kei when you have Ola!?!? This dude and Bradley Wright Phillips both had hat-tricks last weekend.

dN

I love a great team goal, and I stupidly forgot to link to this one yesterday - My man DaMarcus Beasley with a nice finish after a perfect through ball from Alex gave Houston an important road goal and a much needed point.

dN

MLS Week 14:
-Wed Jun 1
Philadelphia v Columbus
DC v Seattle
Portland v San Jose
-Thu Jun 2
New York City v Salt Lake
Dallas v Houston
LA v Kansas City
  • The league is then off until Jun 18.

dN

2016 Canadian Championship Semifinals:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 1
Ottawa v Vancouver
Toronto v Montreal

dN

Euro 2016: The complete guide to every team and player. From the Guardian.

dN

If you don't read Simon Kuper you are missing out - he always has the good stuff:




The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 31, 2016

It's Day 152 of 2016.


Watching NBA Game 7 of the Golden State v Oklahoma City game last night reminded me why I loved basketball growing up. Great shooters and clutch defense.

Watching NBA Game 7 of the Golden State v Oklahoma City game last night reminded me why I stopped watching basketball. TV has caused constant interruptions that takes all the tension and fire, not to mention my concentration, out of the game.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Finals:
  • Huge congrats to the Liga MX 2016 Clausura champions Los Tuzos of Pachuca!
2nd Leg
-Sun May 29
Monterrey 1-1 Pachuca (0-1) - Pac wins the title 2-1 on aggregate.

My Liga MX Finals Notes:
  • Holy Rollers that was an ending.
  • With the series tied at 1-1 in the 74th min Aquivaldo Mosquera of Pachuca (who I raved about on Friday) got a Red Card. [VIDEO] With Monterrey being at home in the 2nd Leg it seemed inevitable that they were going to win the thing! Right?
  • Wrong 'em boyo! Guzman + Pachuca pulled off the miracle.
  • This was Pachuca's first Mexican championship since Clausura 2007.
  • American Omar Gonalez went the full 90, and helped his team hang on after his centerback partner was ejected.
  • American Edgar Castillo played the whole game for the #1 seed who could not pull it off at home. At the end of that game I bet he wanted to dig a tunnel in the stadium floor, El Chapo style, and escape.

dN

A good article about women struggling to gain respect as soccer supports gets slagged by misogynistic trolls. By Nicole Hack of CF97 Sirens.

dN

UEFA Champions League Final:
  • Huge congrats to Real Madrid on winning their 11th European title.
-Sat May 28
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol 1-1 Club Atlético de Madrid - RM wins it 5-4 in a Penalty Kick Shootout.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo with the championship winning PK.

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Sat May 28
USA 4-0 Bolivia - USA goals by Gyasi Zardes (2), John Brooks and Christian Pulisic.

My USA Notes:
  • Easy win against a weak opponent. Told us almost nothing ahead of Copa America.
  • Hm, so instead of using the best 11 that will play together next week, when it counts, and giving them time on the field together to work out kinks, The Genius started with 4 centerbacks across the defense.
  • Yes the starting fullbacks, Yedlin and Johnson came on at half time, but why not give them the first 45 when the pressure is at its highest. There is no big picture structure within this team, yet we were told that this is The Genius's strength.
  • Its a weird quid pro quo we get from Gyasi Zardes - for every 3 horrible touches, passes or runs he makes there is 1 brilliant moment that gives us reason to believe. Or a goal. Or two. As was the case on Saturday.
  • Is this 4-3-3 that got trotted out the past two games the way to get the best players on the field? I have no idea.
  • People really have some serious boners for Pulisic. H became the youngest goalscorer in the modern USA era. He is the 3rd American to get this hype treatment. We are at 1 win and 1 loss in that category so far: Landon Donovan win and Freddy Adu loss.

dN

USA Copa America roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

Jumping into the wayback machine to tell the story of the USA 1995 Copa America team, from mess to glory. By Jeff Carlisle and Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

Landon Donovan gives his opinions on USA in Copa America possibilities/expectations. [VIDEO] By Bernado Osuna.

By the way, Landon Donovan was 18 when he first made his presence felt at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After sitting on the bench in games 1 + 2 he came on in the 30th minute of game 3 for an injured Conor Casey and lit the field up, scoring a goal in the 88th minute of a 3-1 win over Kuwait. He then came on at half time for Ben Olsen in the next game, the Quarterfinals, a 2-2 tie with Japan that saw the USA advance 5-4 in a Penalty Kick Shootout with Donovan making PK #3. Donovan then subbed on for Chris Albright in the 39th minute of the Semifinal against Spain (ft. Xavi, Puyol, Capdevila, Albelda and Jose Mari,) but the USA lost 3-1 to the eventual Silver medalists. Finally, Donovan played the last 8 minutes of the Bronze medal game that was lost 2-0 to Chile (ft. Pizzaro, Zamorano, and Herrera.) FYI: Cameroon featuring Samuel Eto'o won the Gold.

The youthful path to the current level of success for Pulisic. By Nick Ames of The Guardian.

Ale Moreno makes the case for why Omar Gonzalez is NOT in the USA Copa America team, and why that is the CORRECT choice. Solid argument. [VIDEP] From ESPNFC.

What the 3 friendlies the USA just finished can tell us about the first game against Colombia. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

Notes on the USA final prep for the tournament. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

dN

USMNT in Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara - 8:30pm CT on FS1
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago - 7pm CT on FS1
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia - 6pm CT on FS1

dN

Costa Rica's star goalkeeper Keylor Navas has withdrawn from the team due to a long suffering achilles injury.

dN

An examination of the Mexican star player Chicharito Hernandez. By Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.

dN

SunnO))) will play a concert in world's largest hedge maze! (It's in Italy) From Fact magazine.

dN

Prophets of Rage, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Chuck D, B-Real, and DJ Lord, make their live debut tonight at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles.

dN

Silicon Valley dialog
Bachman: Aloha
Bighead: Uh, th-that means Hello. Oh, AND Goodbye.

dN

US Open Cup returns this week, on Wed Jun 1, with Round 3. Several very interesting looking matches.

dN

Saint Louis v Minnesota United - 7:00pm CT, stream it live right here via YouTube

I had a lot of fun talking Saint Louis v Minnesota in US Open Cup with Phill Grooms of STL Soccer Report. [AUDIO]

If Minnesota United goes to St Louis and puts in another embarrassing performance like last season in the Open Cup I am going to be very pissed off.

This Saint Louis FC goal by Irvin Herrera looks a lot like the Kevin Venegas goal from 3 weeks ago. Great stuff. Minn United better be ready for this guy:


dN

NASL Week 9
-Fri May 27
Ottawa 1-2 Fort Lauderdale
-Sat May 28
Jacksonville 1-1 Indy
New York 1-0 OKC
Minnesota 0-2 Tampa Bay
Miami 1-0 Edmonton
-Bye: Carolina

9 goal in 5 games = 1.8 gpg.

My NASL Notes:
  • About the only thing that made sense this round is that New York won. And they are now in control and all but assured the Spring title.
  • Besides New York, Indy, Minnesota and Carolina are the only teams left in the chase for the Spring Championship.
  • Tampa looked great against Minnesota.
  • Indy remained unbeaten. (But 5 draws in 8 games does not make a great team.)
  • Miami got their first EVER win.
  • The Montons LOST to Miami right when they were on the verge of joining the upper echelon.
  • Jacksonville and their confused owner hit the bottom of the barrel. I am sure he thinks its time to make another change, and none of it is his fault.
  • Oh yeah, and Ottawa stinks too. That great run last season is looking even more impressive right now. Some will tell you that they play nice soccer, but the other thing that matters is results.
  • I expect Joe Cole of TBR to be named player of the week.
  • Freddy Adu made the bench for Tampa! First time all season! Wow. Accomplishment City.

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • The stinkbomb of all unearthly stinkbombs.
  • Game highlights [VIDEO] (will be interesting to see if they can dress up this pig)
  • Losing at home to an average team is way out of line.
  • Jeb Brovsky came out of the game with what he calls a "Separated shoulder/clavicle." Oof.
  • Down goes another d-mid. Adding to the Jordan injury. That leaves: Juliano, Ibson, Pitch and new guy Blake.
  • Kalif Alhassan of Tampa made Minnesota pay for letting him go after last season by getting a great assist on the game winning goal by Joe Cole.
  • How in the world Kevin Venegas got beat by Alhassan's ONLY move is baffling. Venegas only saw it in training every single day last year. My parents know that Alhassan is going left to the end line after a step over. WTF?
  • Not signing any backup fullbacks in the off season had disaster written all over it.
  • Staring Brent Kallman at left fullback was sure to bite them in the ass. And it did with the 2nd goal on the counter attack.
  • Add that to no offense produced on the left side of the field - Kallman and Bernardo Anor were particularly ineffective together.
  • And why was Jamie Watson used on the right?
  • And why didn't Lance Laing start?
  • And why doesn't Lance Laing take every free kick?
  • Back to Alhassan, a big reason he was jettisoned is his poor defense and Minnesota did not go at him hardly at all. My game plan would have been to go right at him over and over and over again.
  • Who knew Ben Speas had the keys to the Minn United car. He has been out 2 games due to injury and the team has been have been poor in both.
  • I would prefer if Tiago Calvano didn't play any more.

dN

Trying to make sense of this Minnesota United mess. By Bill Stenross of Fifty Five One.

dN

NASL Week 10 - coming up:
-Sat Jun 4
Fort Lauderdale v New York
Carolina v Jacksonville
Tampa Bay v Ottawa
Miami v Indy
OKC v Minnesota
-Bye: Edmonton

dN

MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando 2-2 Philadelphia
-Fri May 27
Kansas City 0-1 DC
-Sat May 28
Vancouver 1-1 Houston
Red Bulls 3-0 Toronto
Columbus 4-3 Salt Lake
New England 2-1 Seattle
Montreal 3-2 LA
Chicago 1-1 Portland
Colorado 1-1 Philadelphia
San Jose 0-0 Dallas
-Sun May 29
New York 2-2 Orlando
-33 goals in 11 games = 3 gpg.

My MLS Notes:
  • There were lots of players missing from games this weekend due to Copa America and Euro 2016 national team call ups, but MLS teams did NOT have to release their players for the friendlies. They did it anyway.
  • Both the Montreal and LA goalkeepers made giant-ugly mistakes! The worse of the two came on the last kick of the game as LA keeper Brian Perk puked all over himself with a horrific BLUNDER in goal. Didier Drogba fired a free kick right at Perk who watched it go through his hands, and 1 point became THREE for Montreal. [VIDEO]
  • Montreal had not won in 5 prior games and it took a fluke to win this one.
  • New York Red Bulls kept the clobbering stick they used last week on NYC in hand and used it on Toronto this week.
  • Kansas City seems to have lost control of their bowels. They have lost 7 of the past 10. The latest at home to DC on Friday night after a long lightning delay.
  • Some will try to tell you that Chicago and Houston are the worst teams in the league, but both are better than SKC over the past 10 games. That leaves KC at the bottom of the trash heap.
  • I sense an end is coming soon to te remarkable home game sell out streak for SKC. (Unless they can turn this around quickly I suppose.)
  • The teams with the top records in the East and West (Philly and Colorado) played a forgettable game.
  • Yes Philadelphia has now gone 7 games without a loss, but 5 of those have been ties. That is far from a strong team.
  • Oh Sigi, not so fine. Seattle lost again. I bet club ownership are already talking to people about taking over the head coaching job.

dN

The weekly MLS awards show from ESPNFC hosted by Alejandro Moreno. [VIDEO]

dN

Sadly we have several more MLS games (all mid-week) without many star players in Week 14:
-Wed Jun 1
Philadelphia v Columbus
DC v Seattle
Portland v San Jose
-Thu Jun 2
New York City v Salt Lake
Dallas v Houston
LA v Kansas City
  • The league is then off until Jun 18.

dN

2016 Canadian Championship Semifinals:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 1
Ottawa v Vancouver
Toronto v Montreal
2nd Leg
-Wed Jun 8
Vancouver v Ottawa
Montreal v Toronto

dN

The draw for the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League group stage:
Group A: W Connection (TRI), Honduras Progreso (HON), Pumas (MEX)
Group B: CD Dragon (SLV), Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), Portland Timbers (USA)
Group C: Central FC (TRI), Vancouver Whitecaps (CAN), Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Group D: Don Bosco FC (HAI), Arabe Unido (PAN), Monterrey (MEX)
Group E: Police United (BLZ), Olimpia (HON), Pachuca (MEX)
Group F: Alianza CF (SLV), Antigua GFC (GUA), New York Red Bulls (USA)
Group G: Plaza Amador (PAN), CS Herediano (CRC), Tigres (MEX)
Group H: Real Esteli (NIC), CD Suchitepequez (GUA), FC Dallas (USA)
  • Games begin in August. I think.

dN

The odds are stacked against Jose Mourinho having big success at Manchester United. By Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.

dN

The most loathed team in German football these days is RB Leipzig. Newly promoted to the Bundesliga for next season. And owned by Red Bull. From the Economist.



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, May 27, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 27, 2016

It's Day 148 of 2016.


Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Finals:
1st Leg
  • Omar Gonzalez went the full 90 for Pachuca.
  • Edgar Castillo was on the bench but did not see the field for Monterrey.
  • Pachuca put a lot of pressure on the Monterrey keeper and I am sure they wish they had gotten more than 1 goal in their home leg.
  • It was a real flashback to see Aquivaldo Mosquera on the field for Pachuca. He was a monster in the defense for them 10 years ago when they won multiple domestic and regional championships under Enrique Meza.
-Thu May 26
Pachuca 1-0 Monterrey - Pac goal by Franco Jara.
2nd Leg
-Sun May 29
Monterrey v Pachuca (0-1) - 8:30pm CT on Univision

dN

FIFA went all candy-assed on its anti homophobia stand: "FIFA fines the Mexico and El Salvador federations $35K each and Honduras’ federation $40K for cases of homophobic chants in stadiums." From Jonathan Tannenwald.

dN

UEFA Champions League Final
-Sat May 28
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol v Club Atlético de Madrid - 1:45pm CT on FOX
  • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza aka San Siro, Milan, Italy
  • El Derbi Madrileno at the pinacle of Europe for the 2nd time in 3 years - won by Real Madrid 4-1
  • Real v Atletico
  • RM v AM
  • Los Merengues v Los Colchoneros
  • Los Blancos v Los Rojiblancos
  • Vikingos v Atleti
  • North Central Madrid v Southeast Madrid
  • Santiago Bernabeu v Vicente Calderon
  • Mar 6, 1902 v Apr 26, 1903
  • 10 times winners v 0 times winners
  • Zidane v Simeone

dN

Previews of UCL finalists: Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid. Fernando Torres and Atletico Madrid. By Sid Lowe of the Guardian.
  • To me its almost shocking that a player as famous as Zinedine Zidane is coaching Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final cuz it so rarely happens.

dN

Read this and learn something about the UEFA Champions League trophy. By Sam Borden of the New York Times.
  • It weighs 16 1/2 pounds!

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Sat May 28
USA v Bolivia - 7:00pm CT on FS1, UniMas, UDN

dN

Geoff Cameron is healthy, Timmy Chandler is not, and the latest word on the USA roster. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

Timmy Chandler has been dropped from the USA Copa America Centenario roster due to injury. Edgar Castillo has been added to the roster. Chandler suffered a right quadriceps strain while playing for Eintracht Frankfurt. Castillo is still involved in the Liga MX Clausura playoffs with Monterrey and will join the team after the series ends on Sunday. At least Castillo's an actual left fullback.

dN

USA Copa America roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia

dN

A USA team preview. By Scott French of Four Four Two.

dN

Copa America Centenario begins in a week with one game on Fri Jun 3 and three more on Sat Jun 4.

dN

10 lesser known (and non-USA) players to keep your eyes on in the Copa. By Arch Bell of ESPNFC.
  • Unfortunately the very first player on this list have already been replaced due to injury.

dN

Came across these odds to win Copa America Centenario:
Argentina: 9/4
Brazil: 5/1
Chile: 7/1
Uruguay: 10/1
USA: 10/1
via MyTopSportsBooks
  • Many people have asked me who the 5000/1 long shot is (ala Leicester.) Maybe it should be the USA.
  • And I my pick to win the tournament is Mexico. Place your bets on them.

dN

Minnesota United Reserves play their first game of the season and in a brand new league, Premier League of America, on Saturday night at Cedar Rapids Rampage. The teams head coach is Andy Seidel.
  • First home game is the next day - Sun May 29 vs Croatian Eagles (Milwaukee) at 4:00pm CT at East Ridge High School stadium in Woodbury MN.

dN

Some details and drawings of the supporters section in the new Minnesota United stadium. By Adam Jarvi of Fifty Five One.

dN

NASL Week 9
-Fri May 27
Ottawa v Fort Lauderdale
-Sat May 28
Jacksonville v Indy
New York v OKC
Minnesota v Tampa Bay
Miami v Edmonton
-Bye: Carolina

dN

MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando 2-2 Philadelphia
-Fri May 27
Kansas City v DC - expect the game to be delayed for a few hours due to weather tonight.
-Sat May 28
Vancouver v Houston
Red Bulls v Toronto
Columbus v Salt Lake
New England v Seattle
Montreal v LA
Chicago v Portland
Colorado v Philadelphia
San Jose v Dallas
-Sun May 29
New York v Orlando

New York Red Bulls v Toronto looks like it could be the tastiest of all the weekend treat.

dN

The odds are stacked against Jose Mourinho having big success at Manchester United. By Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 26, 2016

It's Day 147 of 2016.


After 18 months in charge of the team in Houston head coach Owen Coyle became the first manager to be fired in the 2016 MLS season. No surprise really. This team has never gotten going under Coyle. He was a strange hire to begin with, and it ended pretty much like most people thought it would. By Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Our last MLS Coaches Hot Seat Power Rankings (Apr 28) had Coyle at #2 behind Sigi Schmid, who is still very much in danger as well.

dN

ALL NEW!
du Nord Futbol's MLS Coaches Hot Seat Power Rankings:
5 Jay Heaps - New England - since making the final in 2014 they have not had much success and the team seems to be regressing now (but lets be honest, the owner is too cheap to fire him mid-season.)
4 Adrian Heath - Orlando - the team is not improving in year two. the same issues are front and center. many thought he would be ousted during the past off-season, so maybe its good sign for him that he is still around.
3 Mauro Biello - Montreal - owner Joey Saputo is always lurking around every corner just waiting to strike, and they haven't won in 6 games now.
2 Greg Vanney - Toronto - no coach of that team is ever NOT on the hot seat, and the big home stand is not off to the greatest start.
1 Sigi Schmid - Seattle - will he get a chance to coach reinforcements come summer? its not looking good right now.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Finals:
1st Leg
-Thu May 26
Pachuca v Monterrey - 8pm CT on NBC Universo

dN

Jozy Altidore's philanthropic foundation is helping to get the Copa America games televised in Haiti, the country of this ancestors. Great news. By Avi Creditor of Sports Illustrated.

dN

A feature story on Fabian Johnson, a very good USA player that we know very little about. By Uli Hesse of Eight By Eight, via Vice.

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Wed May 25
USA 1-0 Ecuador - USA goal by Darlington Nagbe.

My USA Notes:
  • They won. Good. They should have. The USA should never lose a home friendly.
  • Darlington Nagbe with a 90th minute winner - unmarked in the box he chested down a header from Bobby Wood and hit a side-volley off the ground and past the keeper from 8 yards out.
  • The defense held very strong all game. Sure there was some last ditch defending a couple times, but nothing extreme. They held together well against a good technical team.
  • Brad Guzan had to make a handful of plays on the ball, which he did with confidence every time except once when he dropped it but recovered. Other then that he only had to make 1 official save.
  • Ecuador only had 1 shot on goal and that came late and Guzan handled it cleanly.
  • Starting 3 players (Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman) in 2 positions is beyond my comprehension. All 3 were in the center of midfield. Its like playing with 10 men. And it has NEVER worked. For this team or any other. Yet Klinsmann lines up his team this way over and over and over again - seems like we see it almost every other game. It insults my intelligence.
  • Once they shifted to 2 central midfielders the whole team took a step up in quality. Imagine that. Another attacker on the field makes a difference. It like a miracle happens.
  • You also don't get 6 subs in a game to get it right. This team has won many meaningless friendlies off the contributions from 6 subs. Much less so in the usual 3 subs.
  • If Geoff Cameron cannot get healthy does Klinsmann call in Omar Gonzalez, like he should have from the start? Steve Birnbaum and Michael Orozco are not the answer.
  • Fab Johnson was OK at fullback. He is not a really good one, but average.
  • Fab Johnson was nowhere to be found in the attack which is where he is GREAT. Imagine that team last night with an excellent left midfielder!
  • Wood, Nagbe and Christian Pulisic are all strong attacking players with a spark in them. You can't teach spark.
  • Of the 3 who started up top, Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi and Gyasi Zardes, it was Zusi who had the best game. Dempsey had a couple moments. Zardes was invisible.
  • Zardes had the best USA chance in the first half when he split the centerbacks and Dempsey hit a perfect pass over the top to him, but his terrible touch let the ball go all the way to the keeper causing the two players to collide and cause an injury stoppage. Great run, terrible ball skills.
  • Michael Bradley had a strong game, especially after he dropped deeper into the midfield in front of the centerbacks.
  • Another case of a painfully dull game sending everyone home giddy with a last minute goal and win.

dN

USA Copa America roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Chandler, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes
  • If Geoff Cameron cannot get healthy then the exclusion of Omar Gonzalez is amplified stupidity.
  • And when Fabian Johnson goes down or is exhausted there is NO ONE to replace him, more sheer stupidity.

Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia

dN

Minnesota United has signed former Nottingham Forest academy, Mansfield Town and Scottish youth international 21 year old central midfielder Jack Blake.

dN

MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando 2-2 Philadelphia
  • Philly took the lead on the road, Orlando made some offensive subs and roared into the lead, but Philly stole it back late to gain a point on the road. Philly continues to shock us. Orlando has a lot of issues.

dN

CONCACAF has hired a new General Sectretary. Philippe Moggio comes to the federation as a NBA Senior Vice President for Latin America.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 25, 2015

It's Day 146 of 2016.


Who will start at left fullback for Minnesota United this coming weekend with Justin Davis suspended? Could there be a shocking new starter? And quotes from head coach Carl Craig. By Jeff Rueter of Fifty Five One.

dN

It used to be called Northern Pitch. Now its called Fifty Five.One.

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendly tonight:
-Wed May 25
USA v Ecuador - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2, UniMas, UDN

Tonight's USA roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Accosta, Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Johnson (?), Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

dN

A preview of the game against Ecuador tonight and an overview of the Copa America roster. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.
  • 8,000 tickets sold for tonight. Why do they play games in Frisco? Any games. By any team. In any sport.

dN

The Brad Guzan and Tim Howard relationship. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

dN

Copa America will use the Hawk-Eye system for goal verification during the tournament.

dN

The USA - Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia

dN

Minnesotan and USA keeper Cody Cropper has been released by Milton Keynes Dons. He is free to sign with anyone, no strings attached.

dN

Tarpaulin: du Nord Music Mix Vol 85 (download & extract)

dN

Supposedly Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Manchester United he wants $17 Million to play next season. Yeah. So... He's not coming to MLS any time soon then.

dN

MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando v Philadelphia

dN

DC is expecting Bill Hamid to start in goal this weekend. Big.

dN

Atletico Madrid wants to be seen as equals to Real Madrid, and the UEFA Champions League Final is just the place to earn that status. By Raphael Minder of the New York Times.



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 24, 2016

It's Day 145 of 2016.


My music service of choice is Bandcamp. Its small, but the quality and ease of using the system is impeccable. Esp when you compare it to the major services which are a frickin nightmare to use.

dN

The 4th paragraph here is very important and good news. It addresses Minnesota United being turned down for a tax exemption on stadium building materials. We thought that part of the deal was lost, but it is in place after all. From Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Of St Paul.

dN

What is expected in the new Minn United stadium for supporters? Designer Bruce Miller tells us and its revolutionary. Lots and lots of info here. By Adam Jarvy of Fifty Five One.

dN

The draw for the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League group stage will be on Mon May 30 at 7:00pm CT.
  • Pot 1: Police United (Bel), Central (T+T), W Connection (T+T), Don Bosco (Hai), Real Esteli (Nic), Plaza Amador (Pan), Alianza (ES), Winner of Dragon/Aguila (ES)
  • Pot 2: Vancouver Whitecaps (Can), Herediano (CR), Saprissa (CR), Antigua (Gua), Winner Comunicaciones/Suchitepequez (Gua), Honduras Progreso (Hon), Olimpia (Hon), Arabe Unido (Pan)
  • Pot 3: Pumas UNAM (Mex), Tigres UANL (Mex), Monterrey (Mex), Pachuca (Mex), Sporting Kansas City (USA), New York Red Bulls (USA), Dallas (USA), Portland Timbers (USA)

dN

Starting next season Liga MX teams will no longer have a limit to the number of foreign players they can sign. But gameday 18 player rosters must contain 8 Mexicans. (Must be registered as Mexican before age of 18.)

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendly:
-Wed May 25
USA v Ecuador - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2, UniMas, UDN

dN

Jurgen Klinsmann told media today that his goal for USA at Copa America is getting to the Semifinals.

dN

An interview with the American wunderkind in Germany - Christian Pulisic. By Jonathan Harding of Four Four Two.
  • Pronounced puh-LIS-ik

dN

MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando v Philadelphia

dN

Earnie Stewart was always one of my favorite USA players and now he is starting to make his presence felt at the helm of the Philadelphia Union. By John Smallwood of the Philadelphia News.
  • BTW, this Earnie Stewart goal in the 94 World Cup against Colombia is as good a team goal as you will ever see. [VIDEO]

dN

Q + A with Landon Donovan on the current state of things MLS, USA etc. By Nate Scott of USA Today.

dN

Montreal Impact is not getting the wins right now but some don't see it as all doom and gloom. By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.
  • The team's current form is: loss, tie, tie, tie, tie, loss. Oof. Mauro Biello needs to watch out for Joey Saputo sneaking up behind him with a long knife.
  • On the MLS flipside, LA Galaxy has only lost 1 time this entire season, while Colorado and Dallas each have 8 wins already.

dN

Its not easy being a woman in a MLS team supporters group. By Gaby Kirschner of Howler.

dN

Last weekend the attendance in Edmonton was 1,338. That is not good.

dN

The Tweet below tells us that Miami FC has paid a little over $1Million in the past two weeks for Lahoud and Richie Ryan. Setting a new standard in the American soccer.


dN

Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York Red Bulls named MLS Player Of The Week.

Ramon Nunez of Fort Lauderdale Strikers named NASL Player Of The Week.

Irvin Herrera of Saint Louis named USL Player Of The Week.

Tobin Heath of Portland Thorns named NWSL Player Of The Week.

dN

Eric Cantona, is he worth listening too and does his opinion matter today? He is not down with Jose Mourinho taking over Manchester United. By Owen Gibson of the Guardian.

dN

Pep v Jose. In Manchester. By Sid Lowe of the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, May 23, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 23, 2016

It's Day 144 of 2016.


Two of the 3 items Minnesota United had asked for from the Minnesota State Legislature have been passed and now await the Governor's signature in the next day or two. By Brian Quarstad of Northern Pitch.
  • Tax Exemption on property was passed.
  • Liquor License was passed.
  • Tax Exemption on stadium building materials was dropped from consideration, thus not passed.
  • Once the Gov signs the bills we should hear from the MU on what the next step is.

dN

CONCACAF has filed a law suit for fraud against Jack Warner. They say he stole more than $50M. By Tariq Panja of Bloomberg.


dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Semifinals:
  • The #1 and #2 seeded teams have advanced to the Final!
  • The whole tournament has gone according to seed. That very rarely happens.
  • Omar Gonzalez went the whole 90 minutes for Pachua in the victory.
  • Edgar Castillo played the full 90 for Monterrey in the win.
  • William Yarborough was in goal for Leon on the losing end.
  • Ventura Alvarado was on the bench for America in the loss.
2nd Leg
-Sat May 21
Monterrey 4-3 America - Mon advances 4-3 on aggregate.
-Sun May 22
Pachuca 2-1 Leon - Pac advances 3-2 on aggregate.

Finals:
1st Leg
-Thu May 26
Pachuca v Monterrey - 8pm CT on NBC Universo
2nd Leg
-Sun May 29
Monterrey v Pachuca - TV TBA

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Sun May 22
Puerto Rico 1-3 USA - PR goal by Luis Betancur. USA goals by Tim Ream, Bobby Wood and Paul Arriola.
-Wed May 25
USA v Ecuador - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2, UniMas, UDN
-Sat May 28
USA v Bolivia - 7:00pm CT on FS1, UniMas, UDN

My USA notes:
  • Hmmm. A win as expected. But a weak performance.
  • Paul Arriola did a very good job in this game, setting up Wood with a great pass for a goal and then streaking toward goal to get on the end of a cross Bedoya to finish the game off.
  • Great run and chip over the keeper by Bobby Wood for goal #2 of the game.
  • Tim Ream with his first ever USA goal. Great shot off a rebound of a very good shot by Alfredo Morales. Other then that Ream was sub-par.
  • And Morales was solid all game.
  • Man, that DeAndre Yedlin can run. All day long. Too bad he is only 50% of a soccer player. Imagine how good he could be if he could cross the ball with some quality. The new Frankie Hejduk.
  • Other good performances off the bench: Lichaj, Hyndman, Green.
  • How Matt Miazga didn't start this game is beyond me. He was good when he was in there.
  • Miazga is 5 times the player Michael Orozco is.
  • Three defensive midfielders started the game for the USA. THREE! Kitchen, Williams and Morales. Against minnows. Insanity. They only needed 1.
  • 4 Guys played out of position: Arriola, Kitchen, Morales and Ream.
  • For a guy with an athletic trainer for a wife Bedoya sure limps off the field early a lot.
  • How does this team give up a goal and 3 more great chances to Puerto Rico? Many of these guys are still in college and the rest can barely be considered professional.
  • Klinsmann and apparently Eric Wynalda are the only two people on earth who think the USA is ready to do big things in the Copa America. Did they watch the Gold Cup?

dN

Its doubtful that the USA could field a stronger roster for Copa America then this one (maybe 1 or 2 spots different, but those were probably 50/50 calls):
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Chandler, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

On the other hand the roster is still weird, as is the Klinsi standard. Here are my issues, several of them:
  • Guzan named the starter in goal over Howard.
  • No left fullbacks on the roster. (BTW, there are 3 American left fullbacks playing regularly in Mexico: Bornstein, Castillo and Villafana.)
  • Consensus is that Fab Johnson, currently injured, is going to be the left fullback, which means taking one of your best weapons out of the attack.
  • And if you ask Johnson to attack from fullback he will be out of gas by the 65th minute in game 1, by halftime in game 2, and nothing left to give for game 3. IF he is healthy.
  • When you need to replace Johnson, and you will, there is no one on the roster to do that.
  • Except Timmy Chandler. Yes, that guy.
  • Why is Chandler on this roster at all? I guess cover at right back for Yedlin. Cuz there is no one else?
  • No Jordan Morris. One of the few guys who can make a play all on his own.
  • Geoff Cameron arrives injured too, so beyond John Brooks the other centerbacks are Besler, Birnmbaum and Orozco.
  • No less than 4 defensive midfielders on the roster. Who needs four? Beckerman, Bradley, Jones and Kitchen.
  • Orozco - the only guy brought in from Mexico is a guy who never players for his club in Mexico (Tijuana - a bad team.)

dN

A breakdown of the USA roster. By Avi Creditor of Sports Illustrated.

dN

USA has added Dallas' Kellyn Acosta to the roster for the Wed game v Ecuador. That makes it 5 defensive midfielders for that 1 game. Most likely he will be played out of position at fullback cuz...
  • Chandler is out for this one warm up game, still in Germany trying to avoid relegation with Eintract.

dN

Other young American players are chasing the same dream as Christian Pulisic is living at Dortmund. DC area native Jacob Labovitz is one of them. Good story of self drive. By Nick Eilerson of the Washington Post.

dN

All 16 Copa America rosters, via Sports Illustrated.
  • 28 players from MLS in this tournament. Plus some from Liga MX, NASL and USL:
Arg: 0 (1 LMX)
Bol: 0 (1 NASL)
Chi: 0 (2 LMX)
Col: 0 (4 LMX)
CR: 5
Ecu: 1 (3 LMX)
Hai: 1 (5 NASL)
Jam: 6 (1 USL)
Mex: 0 (14 LMX)
Pan: 3 (2 LMX)
Par: 1 (5 LMX)
Per: 0 (1 LMX)
USA: 11 (1 LMX)
Uru: 0 (3 LMX)

dN

Steward Ceus of Minnesota United is on the Haiti Copa America roster.

dN

NASL Week 8 Scoreboard
-Sat May 21
Indy Eleven 4-2 Minnesota United
Rayo OKC 1-2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
-Sun May 22
Ottawa Fury 1-0 Jacksonville Armada
Edmonton 1-0 Carolina RailHawks
New York Cosmos 2-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies

My NASL Notes:
  • The Carolina drop continues! After 4 weeks they had 4 wins, 12 points, and were in first place. After 8 weeks they still have those same 4 wins, but now 1 tie and 3 losses to go along, and just 1 more point then after Week 4. And they are in 5th place.
  • Minnesota laid an egg in Indy, saw their #1 spot vanish, and drop to 3rd.
  • That leaves New York #1 again, and shockingly the Montons are the new #2.
  • This has to be the highest the Montons have EVER been in the standings at this point in the season.
  • And Indy is STILL unbeaten. Great for them. They are in 4th place. And along with Minnesota have a game in hand on the 2 league leaders.
  • The unlikely Marcel De Jong with yet another goal for Ottawa. This latest one from a tight angle right over the Jax keepers head. Nicely done by de Jong.

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • Oof.
  • 4 trips to Indy now, and this is the third complete stink bomb they dropped. If it was a truck stop mens room it would need to be fumigated.
  • Yes, Stefano Pinho scored a great goal.
  • And yes, Damian Lowe did a terrific job converting on a corner kick.
  • And sure there were a couple other gorgeous attacks that came close.
  • But the rest was a nightmare.
  • And where was the leadership on the field? This team melted down at the end. Seriously?
  • Jason Davis earned himself a red card. And I mean earned it. He whined and hacked for the entire game, and finally in the 3rd minute of stoppage the referee had had enough and booked him (what took so long?) But that wasn't enough for Davis as in the 6th minute of stoppage time he hacked down another Indy player and get sent off. That is not how captains act. Ever. Maybe after playing every game last year and this year he decided he just wanted a game off next week.
  • Now one of the biggest defensive issues shows up... This team does not have any back up fullbacks on the roster. None. So who starts in Davis's place against Tampa? Lance Laing I suppose.
  • Davis was also caught napping on 2 Indy goals, the 1st when they got torched on the counter attack, and the 2nd when his man beat him to a rebound and chipped it over Ndjock to break they tie.
  • That 3rd goal for Indy was the Minnesota killer. After going down 2-0 MU had fought back to tie the game and seemed to have all the momentum. Then they go to sleep again and Indy capitalizes.
  • Actually Indy capitalized almost the entire game. They got to almost every 50/50 ball first. They pounced on every MU mistake. They won just about every ball in the air. They were faster. They were simpler. They were tighter. They played like a team.
  • Sammy Ndjock made another horrible mistake too - the 3rd goal saw him misjudge a ball and take a very weird angle on the play.
  • The centerbacks got caught a few times too, especially Brent  Kallman.
  • That team that had given up 4 goals and was tops in the league defense has now allowed 8 and is down closer to the worst teams in that department.
  • We have seen this weird elitism from MU for 4 years now. They think they are better, and yet they never prove it. When the chips are down they fail.
  • Sure they are near the top of the table for the 4th straight season, but they are NOT the best team in the league. The Cosmos are. And the Cosmos have earned it. But I have never seen the Cosmos come out and shit the bed like MU does at times. It hurts me deep inside.
  • The 3 subs, Laing, Banks and Mendes, contributed a grand total of nothing to the game. How is that possible? They know they only have a few minutes to make a difference.
  • I begrudgingly salute Indy. Only begrudgingly because I am just a dick like that.

dN

Philadelphia Union has recalled Michael Lahoud who was on loan to New York Cosmos, and then sold him to Miami FC.
  • Will be interesting to hear how much Philly got for him. He is in the same talent range as Richie Ryan who Miami bought (insanely) for $750K.

dN

Delta flight #15 left Atlanta on the morning of September 11 2001 bound for Frankfurt and went on a scary but ultimately incredible journey. Humans, including Americans, can go great things. From The Coast, New Zealand. (I have been on Delta flight #15 before. Kinda cool.)

dN

The story of the Xpressway record label of Dunedin, New Zealand. I took huge inspiration from these brilliant people in the early 90s. By Gavin Bertram of Audio Culture.

dN

MLS Week 12 Scoreboard:
-Wed May 18
Toronto 1-1 New York City
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire
-Fri May 20
Philadelphia Union 1-0 DC United
-Sat May 21
New York City 0-7 New York Red Bulls
Chicago Fire 1-0 Houston Dynamo
Toronto 0-0 Columbus Crew - rivals
New England Revolution 2-4 Dallas
Orlando City 2-1 Montreal Impact
Sporting Kansas City 1-3 Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders 0-1 Colorado Rapids
-Sun May 22
Portland Timbers 4-2 Vancouver Whitecaps
LA Galaxy 1-1 SJ Earthquakes

My MLS Notes:
  • A touchdown, and the extra point, in a baseball stadium! NYC just got frickin CRUSHED by Red Bulls. CRUSHED!!!
  • Frank Lampard returned the field for NYC. And he got welcomed the way many before him have been welcomed to Yankee Stadium - with the ol' Bronx Cheer! After the game Frank talked about the fans being uninformed about how bad his injury was, and that's why they booed him. No dude, its cuz you get paid a TON of money and have given the team exactly nothing yet!
  • The two New York teams have played 4 times now and Red Bulls have won all 4 by a combined score of 14-2.
  • And the miracle of Colorado is the 5th item on this weeks list somehow. They won again! In Seattle too. And while being dominated for a majority of the match. They find a way to win. And their defense has been solid - with Bobby Burling and Marc Burch starting on the back line. There has to be voodoo involved.
  • SJE v LA wasn't a very pretty game, but San Jose pulled another Goonies out of their ass and snagged a point with an 87th minute tying goal that was set up by "the Reverse Vasectomy" himself Chad Barrett. (Balls used to go there to die, now they live and swim upstream again!)
  • Oh SKC, the flounder continues after a 1 game reprieve.
  • Dallas and Portland both put 4 on the scoreboard, with Dallas doing it on the road in New England. Impressive from both.
  • Yura Movsisyan had his first big game since returning to RSL. Took 1 shot that deflected into the goal (Brad Davis Own Goal) and scored another when he turned on the jets and then lifted his shot over the onrushing keeper. Great game for him and the whole team.
  • I expect Movsisyan to be named Player of the week.
  • New England's 2nd goal against Dallas came on a PK after Lee Nguyen took a complete dive in the box! He is one of the worst divers in the league. How does a referee fall for that crap? Refs are supposed to know who the notorious divers are, right? The ensuing goal briefly gave the Revs a lead, but like they have sooooooo many times over the past couple years they choked away. Anyway you slice it New England was a little embarrassing.
  • Toronto started the season with 8 games on the road, and did OK, now they've had 4 in a row at home but managed just 1 win, 1 loss and 2 ties. 5 goals scored and 5 conceded. Not good enough. A scoreless tie with Columbus this round.

dN

Chris Wondolowski has signed a new long term contract with San Jose Earthquakes. He is worth every penny they pay him, and a whole lot more.

dN

Robbie Keane got trapped and interviewed on the streets of LA by TMZ. This shit is always awkward, but I have to admit I kinda love it. [VIDEO]

dN

There were no surprise winners in the 5 big League Cup Finals around Europe last weekend:
- - -
FA Cup Final
-Sat May 21
Crystal Palace 1-2 Man United - in Added Extra Time
- - -
Copa Del Ray Final
-Sun May 22
Barcelona 2-0 Sevilla - in Added Extra Time
- - -
DFB Pokal Final
-Sat May 21
Dortmund 0-0 Bayern - 3-4 in Penalty Kick Shootout
- - -
Coppa Italia Final
-Sat May 21
Milan 0-1 Juventus - in Added Extra Time
- - -
Coupe De France Final
-Sat May 21
Marseille 2-4 Paris Saint-Germain

Coming Soon: UEFA Champions League Final
-Sat May 28
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - 1:45pm CT on FOX
-San Siro Stadium, Milan Italy

dN

Do we really need to spend any time on who got fired/hired as coach of some floundering big European club next season?

dN

The FIFA finance director Marcus Kattner has been fired after it was found out that for 6 years he was getting secret payments totaling Millions of dollars for unknown reasons. (In total he was involved in FIFA finances for 12 years, that leaves 6 more years unaccounted for.) By Graham Dunbar of the AP. Thanks to Joe for yet another new FIFA lowlight.
  •  A few months ago Kattner was one of the people busy laying out some of the new "FIFA reforms." Hahahahahahahaha.
  • I am gonna put a hypothesis out there: the payments to him were to keep him silent as much larger sums of money were going under the table to many other people in the soccer world. Just a hunch.



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 20, 2016

It's Day 141 of 2016.


No less than 5 big League Cup Finals around Europe this weekend:
- - -
FA Cup Final
-Sat May 21
Crystal Palace v Man United
- - -
Copa Del Ray Final
-Sun May 22
Barcelona v Sevilla
- - -
DFB Pokal Final
-Sat May 21
Dortmund v Bayern
- - -
Coppa Italia Final
-Sat May 21
Milan v Juventus
- - -
Coupe De France Final
-Sat May 21
Marseille v Paris Saint-Germain

dN

Very interesting:
Giovani dos Santos has said NO to Mexico for the Copa America. By Tom Marshall of ESPNFC.
  • See! He knows its just meaningless friendlies.

dN

Would we help ignite the revolution if we built thousands upon thousands of these mini pitches all over the country? Philadelphia Union is building 20. From MLS Works.

dN

USMNT pre-Copa America friendly:
-Sun May 22
Puerto Rico vs USA - 11:00am CT on FS1, UniMas, UDN

USA v Puerto Rico Roster:
G: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Zach Steffen
D: John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Eric Lichaj, Matt Miazga, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, DeAndre Yedlin
M: Alejandro Bedoya, Emerson Hyndman, Fabian Johnson, Perry Kitchen, Alfredo Morales, Caleb Stanko, Danny Williams
F: Paul Arriola, Julian Green, Fabrice Picault, Amando Moreno, Bobby Wood

dN

USA players are training in south Florida in prep for PR, and articles from Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald have appeared this week:

dN

Christian Arbeit of Union Berlin on Bobby Wood: "...he will leave with three records: our most expensive signing, our top goal scorer, and our most lucrative sale.” Union has been the site of a breakthrough for Wood in Germany. By Matthew Schofield of the Miami Herald. (Article published last week before he was sold to Hamburg.)

dN

Talking about Minnesota United, NASL and soccer journalism, Wes Burdine is the guest of Neil Morris on the Inverted Triangle podcast. Wes comes on the show at 40:30. [AUDIO] From WRAL Sports Fan.

dN

NASL Week 8
-Sat May 21
Indy Eleven v Minnesota United
Rayo OKC v Fort Lauderdale Strikers
-Sun May 22
Ottawa Fury v Jacksonville Armada
Edmonton v Carolina RailHawks
New York Cosmos v Tampa Bay Rowdies

dN

A month ago we were all saying NYCFC was off to another blundering start. Now we are saying that they are a decent team in a very weak conference which makes them big dogs in the East. David Villa has been good in MLS since day 1, so who else is contributing? By Filip Bondy of the New York Times.

dN

Kekuta Manneh might be having that breakout season people have been expecting for a while now. He is also working on becoming a citizen of the USA. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

MLS Week 12 (AKA Rivalry Week)
-Wed May 18
Toronto 1-1 New York City
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire
-Fri May 20
Philadelphia Union v DC United - rivals
-Sat May 21
New York City v New York Red Bulls - rivals
Chicago Fire v Houston Dynamo
Toronto v Columbus Crew - rivals
New England Revolution v Dallas
Orlando City v Montreal Impact
Sporting Kansas City v Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids
-Sun May 22
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps - rivals
LA Galaxy v SJ Earthquakes - rivals

dN

An amateur team from Flordia called The Villages SC has been disqualified from the US Open Cup:

  • The team they knocked out, Charleston Battery, is back in and will travel to Jacksonville Armada.

dN

Got a hankering for spaced out German meditative gentle-drone cycle? Or maybe you are just freaky? Then Max Richter's 8 hour album Sleep is for you. Released by one of the most respected classical music labels, Deutsche Grammaphon.

dN

A mythical music list from 1979 has pointed a lot of odd balls on a path to discovery over the past 37 years. And remains a giant challenge even by today's standard. That is quite the achievement. By Gustavo Turner of the LA Weekly.

dN

Starting at noon local time today, you will be able to ride light-rail from downtown LA to Santa Monica in about 50 minutes. This is huge for a city that is so devoted to the automobile.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Semifinals:
1st Leg
-Thu May 19
Leon (3) 1-1 Pachuca (2)
  • William Yarborough and Omar Gonzalez played the whole match for their respective clubs.
2nd Leg
-Sat May 21
Monterrey v America (0-1) - 8:30pm CT on Univision Deportes
-Sun May 22
Pachuca v Leon (1-1) - 8:00pm CT on NBC UNIVERSO.

dN

Bayern Munich tries to become one of the biggest football clubs in the USA. By Joshua Kloke of the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Older Posts