Monday, February 27, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 27, 2017

It's Day 58 of 2017.


Minnesota Dark Clouds annual preseason Supporters Summit is Tue Feb 28. Its really important that you are there.

dN

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The odds are good that once again it will be 2 MLS teams and 2 Liga MX teams in the Semifinals, but we have to wait cuz some big second leg games this week will determine that.

There is a lot of pressure on MLS teams to end the disappointment and win this tournament, finally. By Jon Marthaler for the Star Tribune.

2nd Leg
-Tue Feb 28
Pachuca v Saprissa (0-0) - 9pm CT
-Wed Mar 1
Arabe Unido v Dallas (0-4) - 7pm CT
Pumas v Tigres (1-1) - 9pm CT
-Thu Mar 2
Vancouver v Red Bulls (1-1) - 9pm CT
  • All games on Univision Deportes & CONCACAF Facebook

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

MNUFC lost its final preseason game 2-0 to USL team San Antonio.

My Notes:
  • Starting line up - Shuttleworth, KVenegas, Greenspan, Kallman, De Villardi, Martin, Ibson, Molino, Thompson, Kadrii, Gatt
  • Subs - unknown, as the team did not provided a box score or any mention of the match post game. I guess I saw Jome in there now that I  think about it. So there's 1 sub.
  • No one who is expected to start on Friday night in Portland, except Molino, played at all.
  • The team didn't have enough subs so a San Antonio player named Kevyn McFarlane played the last 10 minutes on the left side of midfield for the Loons. Odd. That makes 2 subs.
  • Good - Did you see any? The Loons had a lot of possession but rarely tested the goalkeeper at all. A couple of shots here and there.
  • Bad - Bust out the Iron Skillet! Defending on set pieces was quite bad. They played without a forward. So there was not much in the attack. Not much at all.
  • Where has first draft pick Abu Danladi been? We have seen less than 90 total minutes of him in all of preseason. Again odd.

Now it all leads to Friday and the season opener in Portland.

From the local newspapers:
  • The preseason is over, and there were no wins, but there were no injuries etc either, and a lot of team building was done. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.
  • The team has revised their projection for game 1 attendance down to 30,000 from a previous 35,000.

In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU 0-3 Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU 0-2 San Antonio

Training camp roster (28):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain, Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

dN

RIP Judge Wapner. Case dismissed.


dN

MLS

Orlando traded Brek Shea to Vancouver for Giles Barnes. Big names who have not lived up to the promise.

I could watch this on a loop:


One foreign player signing that has really flown under the clouds is Romain Alessandrini for the LA Galaxy. He could be a huge player this season. By Kevin Baxter for the LA Times.
  • Frankly the Galaxy will need him to be big time.

A 2017 MLS season preview. By Michelle Kaufman for the Miami Herald.

The first of many to come - a comparison of Atlanta and Minnesota on the eve of the 2017 season. By Clemente Lisi for The US National Soccer Team Players Association.

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

USA is thru to the 2nd group stage (2 groups of three) with the top 2 teams advancing to the World Cup.

Losing that 1st game to Panama was a real blow for the USA chances of making the World Cup though because they got stuck in by far the tougher of the 2 groups, facing both other prelim group winners Mexico and El Salvador. Oof.

Group D Matches:
-Mon Feb 27
USA v Mexico - 4pm CT on Facebook
-Wed Mar 1
Mexico v El Salvador
-Fri Mar 3
USA v El Salvador

-----

Group B Results:
-Sat Feb 18
USA 0-1 Panama
-Tue Feb 21
USA 4-1 Haiti
-Fri Feb 24
USA 4-1 St Kitts + Nevis - USA goals by Brooks Lennon, Jonathan Lewis + Sebastian Saucedo(2).

Final Group B Standings:
9 Panama (+7)
6 USA (+5)
3 Haiti (-1)
0 St Kitts + Nevis (-11)

Final is on Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

The biggest news by far was that Geoff Cameron made a short 8 minute appearance for Stoke, the first time he has been on the field since he suffered a knee injury in late October! This is great for him and the USMNT. Stoke lost badly, 4-0 at Tottenham.

Unfortunately for some of the Americans in the Bundesliga, they are on the 4 teams at the bottom of the league:
  • 15 Werder Bremen 22 - Aron Johnnsson
  • 16 Hamburger 20 - Bobby Wood
  • 17 Ingolstadt 18 - Alfredo Morales
  • 18 Darmstadt 12 - Terrence Boyd

By the way, Bobby Wood didn't play at all this past weekend after suffering a thigh injury last week, but it didn't matter cuz Hamburg was crushed 8-0 by Bayern.

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - Sat Feb 25 Lost 1-2 v Augsburg
  • Note - Boyd came on at half time in a losing effort.
  • Standings - Last place, 10 points below relegation, and 4 points below playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Mar 4 at Werder Bremen (and American Aron Johannsson)

dN

MEXICO

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Fri Feb 24 Win 2-0 v Monterrey
  • Note - The big win coupled with Toluca + Chivas losses vaults Xolos from 3rd back to the top!
  • Standings - 1st Place, with a +3 GD lead over Toluca
  • Up Next - Fri Mar 3 v Pachuca (3rd place)

Biggest matches last weekend in Liga MX:
-Fri Feb 24
Tijuana 2-0 Monterrey - #3 moves to #1 v #4 drops to #6

Up Next - its like a mini tournament:
-Fri Mar 3
Tijuana v Pachuca - #1 v #3
-Sat Mar 4
Guadalajara v Toluca - #4 v #2

dN

EUROPE

Biggest matches last weekend in Europe:
-Sun Feb 26
Inter 1-3 Roma - fell from #4 to #6 v #2 (but 7 pts back of Juve)
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona - #4 (now 10 pts off the lead) v #2 (still 1 pt behind RM)
Villarreal 2-3 Real Madrid - #6 v #1
Marseille 1-5 Paris St Germaine - a rout in Le Classique, the biggest rivalry in France

dN

Well I see you got a new boyfriend
You know I never seen him before
Well I saw him makin' love to you
You forgot to close the garage door
-Bob Dylan



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, February 24, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 24, 2017

It's Day 55 of 2017.


In a stunning move Turner Broadcasting and Univision have outbid Fox and NBC for UEFA Champions League rights starting in the 2018/19 season. By John Ourand for Sports Business Journal.
  • Gotta be a real gut punch to FS1 and their crew.

dN

Several teams have taken the same path as Minnesota United into MLS, from the second division. What did those teams do and what can we expect? By Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.

What point total is Minnesota aiming for? Only 1 of the past 11 expansion teams have made the playoffs in season 1 - Seattle. So don't count on that happening. Notice that the #2 team on the list has a direct connection to MN. Here are the First Season Point Totals for the last 11 expansion teams: (pro-rated for 34 games)
  • 53 Seattle '09
  • 44 Orlando '15
  • 42 Montreal '12
  • 42 Portland '11
  • 37 NYCFC '15
  • 37 San Jose '08
  • 35 Phila '10
  • 28 Vancouver '11
  • 28 Toronto '07
  • 21 Salt Lake '05
  • 19 Chivas '05

dN

Atlanta has crossed the 30,000 season ticket threshold. Incredible!

dN

American forward Bobby Wood was tight with Jurgen Klinsmann. So is he nervous about new coach Bruce Arena? Probably. By Andrew Keh for the New York Times.

dN

The big story of yesterday was Leicester City firing head coach Claudio Ranieri. An explanation of why. By Barney Ronay for the Guardian.

dN

To say David Villa is the anti-Steven Gerrard is putting it mildly:


dN

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Yesterday I said that I thought Dallas could win this tournament, and their first Leg performance in the Quarterfinals did nothing to suppress that instinct. Of all 8 teams in the first game they were by far the most explosive looking. Powerhouse 4-0 win.
  • Kellyn Acosta, a player I think very highly of, scored the 2nd and 3rd goals. He is a defensive midfielder.

I still think Tigres is the favorite. They have a lot of experience in their team which will be valuable the longer they stay in the tournament.

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) 4-0 Arabe Unido(2) - goals by Cristian Colman, Kellyn Acosta(2) + Michael Barrios.
2nd Leg
-Tue Feb 28
Pachuca v Saprissa (0-0)
-Wed Mar 1
Pumas v Tigres (1-1)
Arabe Unido v Dallas (0-4)
-Thu Mar 2
Vancouver v Red Bulls (1-1)
  • All games on Univision Deportes + CONCACAF Facebook

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

The final preseason game of the year takes place on Sunday against San Antonio near Orlando. No details are known on a start time or possible webstream or anything. (WTF?)

New MNUFC fullback Jerome Thiesson. Pronounced: Yuh-ROAM TEE-uh-son.
  • Here is a highlight reel of him playing both fullback spots. [VIDEO]

In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU 0-3 Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

Training camp roster (28):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain, Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

dN

MLS

Chris Wondolowski is exactly the kind of teammate I would want. The fire still burns hot, but he knows the end isn't that far away. By Ben Valentine for Goal.

One of the most genuine journalists in American soccer is Michael Lewis who has launched a new soccer site this week: Front Row Soccer. Read it.
  • Lewis Formerly ran Big Apple Soccer.



dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

In the Europa League Round of 16 yesterday Fabian Johnson and Monchengladbach fell behind 3-0 to Fiorentina by the 28th minute of the 2nd Leg (1-0 from 1st) then came roaring back with 4 unanswered goals ON THE ROAD to take the series 4-3 on aggregate. What a comeback!
  • In the Quarterfinals Gladbach will be paired against fellow German squad Schalke, and host the 2nd Leg.
  • ADDITIONAL EUROPA LEAGUE NOTE: The big upset of the round was Belgian team Gent beating Tottenham. Gent will get another Belgian team in the next round - Genk. Yes, that's right, Gent v Genk!

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Standings - Last place, 7 points below relegation + 4 points below playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Feb 25 v Augsburg

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

The heart of this USA team comes directly from the Real Salt Lake academy. 5 key players all came up through that system together. By Mike Woitalla for Soccer America.

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA 0-1 Panama
-Tue Feb 21
USA 4-1 Haiti
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
-Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Group B Standings:
6 Panama (+5)
3 USA (+2)
3 Haiti (+1)
0 St Kitts + Nevis (-8)

Tournament runs until Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

Group A: Mexico, Antigua + Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, St Kitts + Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad + Tobago

Tournament format: 3 initial groups. Top 2 from each group advances to a 2nd group stage consisting of 2 groups of 3. The top 2 teams in each of those groups advances to the U20 World Cup, and winners of those 2 groups playing for the CONCACAF Championship on Mar 3.

dN

LIGA MX

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Standings - 3rd Place, 3 points behind leader
  • Up Next - Fri Feb 24 v Monterrey

Big matches this weekend in Liga MX:
-Fri Feb 24
Tijuana v Monterrey - #3 v #4

dN

EUROPE

Biggest European matches this weekend:
-Sun Feb 26
Inter v Roma - #4 v #2
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona - #4 v #2
Villarreal v Real Madrid - #6 v #1
Marseille v Paris St Germaine - Le Classique, the biggest rivalry in France



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 23, 2017

It's Day 54 of 2017.


You can't start anywhere else but here: 7 new planets with qualities that could make them Earth-ish have been found. They are only 235 Trillion miles away too. From NASA, who else?

dN

This would have been first today, but nothing beats 7 planets! Leicester City, the beloved of all beloveds in 2016 have fired head coach Claudio Ranieri. Yup, fired! Adios. Arrivederci. By Matt Lawson for the Daily Mail.
  • After that sensational, once in a 100 years championship of last season, they are currently just 1 point above relegation in the Premier League.
  • I have seen a lot of online chatter about how ruthless, heartless, thankless and brutal this all is, I am sure he walked away with a brown paper bag containing a couple Million bucks - that sure would soften the blow for me.

dN

The British footballing industry has created an index of the top black "movers and shakers" - Football's Black List. Thanks to Rob Harris of the AP for the link.

dN

A new MLS column appears for the first time in the St Paul Pioneer Press. Welcome aboard the soccer band wagon to writer Joe Bisson.

dN

  • The quality of football across the Middle East is on the rise, but its not all smooth and silky! UAE, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Palestine are a couple countries profiled. By Uri Levy for The New Arab. Thanks to Keiran for the link.
  • "UAE's Arabian Gulf League secured top place in the Asian Football Confederation's power ranking."

dN

CONCACAF Champions League

We got two 1-1 ties on Wed night. That is good news for Vancouver + Pumas - road goals!

New York had a man advantage for the final 19 minutes but didn't take it. Cristian Techera of Vanc was ejected for a wild boot that caught Sal Zizzo right in the groinal zone.

Sacha Kljestan of RB had a Penalty Kick saved by VW's David Ousted.

American Jose Torres was on the bench but didn't play for Tigres.

The Chilean demon Eduardo Vargas, who was a menace in the Copa America Centenario last summer, got the goal for Tigres.

It was cool to find out that our Friend In Football Simon Evans is doing some of the English language commentary on Facebook for this tournament.

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Saprissa(6) 0-0 Pachuca(3)
-Wed Feb 22
Red Bulls(8) 1-1 Vancouver(1) - goals by Bradley Wright-Phillips for NYRB and Kekuta Manneh for VW.
Tigres(5) 1-1 Pumas(4)
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) v Arabe Unido(2) - 7:00pm CT
  • All games on Univision Deportes & CONCACAF Facebook

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

One big question is what level Miguel Ibarra and Christian Ramirez attain in MLS? By Arch Bell for ESPNFC.

A pretty rough loss to Toronto on Wednesday. (See yesterday's post for my notes.)

Game highlights v TFC. [VIDEO]

Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun responded to me on Facebook last night with his analysis of Minnesota's performance against TFC:
"On this day, the gap in quality was marked. Factors included a bus ride for Minnesota and the fact they were missing a few players. But the beating was pretty comprehensive. Minnesota didn't really have an attempt on goal in the second half. As TFC's coach told me, the score could have been -- and maybe should have been -- even more lopsided. Toronto FC is good, though."Thank you Kurt.

My three areas of concern:
  • Fullbacks are having a tough time on the defensive end.
  • Goalkeeper looks slow.
  • The 3 in the midfield are not contributing to either end of the field.

Megan Ryan of the Star Tribune reported that Tiago Calvano, Alvin Jones and Eugene Starikov, all invitees to preseason training camp are no longer with Minnesota United.

In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU 0-3 Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

Training camp roster (28):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain, Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

dN

The two favored teams going into this MLS season are Toronto and Dallas:
  • Is it really MLS Cup or nothing for Toronto FC this season? That is what this article says. By Daniel Squizzato for Four Four Two.
  • Dallas wants to win even better this season. Cuz they can't win much more than in 2016. By Jon Arnold for Sports Day.

dN

Reports say Real Madrid will be this years MLS All Star game opponent, which will be held on Aug 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

dN

The Nod: du Nord Music Mix Vol 113 (download + extract)

dN

UEFA Champions League

Here are reviews of the 2 games on Wednesday: Sevilla v Leicester - AND - Porto v Juventus. Via UEFA.com.

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Wed Feb 22
Sevilla 2-1 Leicester
Porto 0-2 Juventus
-2nd Leg games start Mar 7

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

Very important game on Friday.

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA 0-1 Panama
-Tue Feb 21
USA 4-1 Haiti
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
  • Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Group B Standings:
6 Panama (+5)
3 USA (+2)
3 Haiti (+1)
0 St Kitts + Nevis (-8)

Tournament runs until Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

Group A: Mexico, Antigua + Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, St Kitts + Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad + Tobago

Tournament format: 3 initial groups. Top 2 from each group advances to a 2nd group stage consisting of 2 groups of 3. The top 2 teams in each of those groups advances to the U20 World Cup, and winners of those 2 groups playing for the CONCACAF Championship on Mar 3.

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Standings - 3rd Place, 3 points behind leader
  • Up Next - Fri Feb 24 v Monterrey

Up Next in Liga MX:
-Fri Feb 24
Tijuana v Monterrey - #3 v #4



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 22, 2017

It's Day 53 of 2017.


All 25.5k tix have been sold for Orlando's season opener in their new stadium. That is great.

dN

CONCACAF Champions League

My Note: I think Dallas has a really good shot to win CCL! Tigres has to be the favorite though.

Pachuca got a scoreless draw on the road which leaves it all in their hands for leg 2. Just win baby.
  • American Omar Gonzalez played a strong game at centerback for the Tuzos.

New York Red Bulls are taking a "no excuses" attitude for the CCL. By Brian Lewis for the NY Post.

An little preview on Vancouver too, hitting the road for game 1. By Patrick Johnston for The Province.

And finally a look at what Dallas brings to the tournament on Thursday. By Arman Kafai of the Dallas Morning News.

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Saprissa(6) 0-0 Pachuca(3)
-Wed Feb 22
Red Bulls(8) v Vancouver(1) - 7:00pm CT
Tigres(5) v Pumas(4) - 9:00pm CT
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) v Arabe Unido(2) - 7:00pm CT
-All games on Univision Deportes & CONCACAF Facebook

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

Well Minnesota finally got something other than a tie game in preseason - unfortunately it was a 0-3 beat down by Toronto. Oof.

But heavy rain and a mostly failed video stream kept us from seeing virtually all of the 2nd half.

Its official: MU has signed 29 year old Swiss fullback Jerome Thiessen from Luzern FC.

In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU 0-3 Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

My Notes:
  • MU starters - Alvbage, Taylor, Demidov, Calvo, Davis, Saeid, Warner, Schuller, Ibarra, JVenegas, Ramirez.
  • No idea who any subs might have been.
  • High press worked well for Minn, but they didn't have enough quality attackers on the field to be effective.
  • Three defensive midfielders also didn't provide nearly enough cover for the back four. Got hit on the counter attack several times.
  • No shots on goal for MU in the 1st half. And only 1 great chance created - shot went wide.
  • Two 1st half goals by Sebastian Giovinco.
  • Easily could have been 4 in the first half for TFC - they had golden chances.
  • In the second half the video stream failed so I saw none of it. I do know Toronto scored a 3rd.
  • ADDITION - I just saw video of TFC's 3rd and it was a quick pass right down the middle that split the 3 central midfielders and both centerbacks, then goalscorer Hamilton rounded the goalkeeper and popped it into an empty net. That's Amateur Hour from MNUFC.
  • The Good - not much.
  • The Bad - pretty much all of it.
  • I hope the coaching staff find some good things to take from the game.

dN

The Nod: du Nord Music Mix Vol 113 (download + extract)

dN

Beautiful new video from Tribe Called RED.

dN

The use of fullbacks as more attacker rather than defender is not new, but always changing and having a big impact in England this season. By Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.

dN

Huddersfield Town coached by American David Wagner has climbed up to 3rd place in the English Championship (2nd div.)
  • Monday they beat American Danny Williams and 4th place Reading 1-0.

dN

UEFA Champions League

14 goals on Tuesday! In just 2 games!

Here are reviews of Tuesday's 2 games of madness: Man City v Monaco - AND - Leverkusen v Atleti

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Man City 5-3 Monaco
Leverkusen 2-4 Atletico
-Wed Feb 22
Sevilla 2-1 Leicester
Porto 0-2 Juventus

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

Into the win column beating Haiti. The second half was a runaway. First half was ugly.

Brooks Lennon had a hat trick including a Penalty Kick.

Here is an expert opinion on the game and USA team. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA 0-1 Panama
-Tue Feb 21
USA 4-1 Haiti at 4:30pm CT
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
-Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Group B Standings:
6 Panama (+5)
3 USA (+2)
3 Haiti (+1)
0 St Kitts + Nevis (-8)



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 21, 2017

It's Day 52 of 2017.


I have always thought that current Club America coach Ricardo LaVolpe was a bit of a lunatic and a villain, and this pretty much seals it: On Saturday he wandered onto the field and intentionally tripped a Chivas player, then played dumb. From Soccer America. (with video)

dN

A man who has said that he doesn't believe there is any racism in Russian football has been put in charge of investigating racism in Russian football. Classic. From the AP.

dN

More and more people are raving about American DeAndre Yedlin's current season at Newcastle. This article asks if he is the best right fullback in the English Championship (2nd div.) By Peter Bowler of London's HITC.
  • The Sunderland to Newcastle move is one aspect of the story that is fantastic.
  • Newcastle is currently in 1st place by 1 point, which would give them automatic promotion at seasons end.

dN

UEFA Champions League

The man who put Chile on the international map is now taking Sevilla to new heights - Jorge Sampaoli. By Miguel Delaney of the Independent.

14 freakin' goals scored today in the 2 matches! Wow! And half of them were "away" goals. Love it!

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Man City 5-3 Monaco
Leverkusen 2-4 Atletico
-Wed Feb 22
Sevilla v Leicester - 1:45pm CT on FS1
Porto v Juventus - 1:45pm CT on FS2

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

This article from Switzerland says MNUFC's new right fullback signing Jerome Thiessen is waiting for his work visa and probably won't arrive before the season begins on Mar 3. No reason is given for that conclusion. From 4-4-2. [text in German]
  • Also includes video of him getting into the attack and scoring a goal.

In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU v Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

Training camp roster (30):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain, Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Tiago Calvano (trialist), Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Alvin Jones (trialist), Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Eugene Starikov (trialist), Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

Are these unsigned draft picks and trialists still with Minnesota United?
  • T Thompson - Yes
  • R Gonzalez - Yes
  • T Calvano - ?
  • M Carducci - ?
  • A Jones - ?
  • E Starikov - ?
  • T de Villardi - ?

dN

If you have an interest in falling in love with a writer of amazing books that have been made into movies and TV shows then read this about the brilliant writer Phillip K Dick. By Joshua Sky of Tor.com. Thanks to Bill for the link.

dN

Diego Valeri's embracing of the city of Portland is what makes him extra special. By Jamie Goldberg of the Oregonian.

dN

New DC United signing Ian Harkes brings a big family name back to the club. By Charles Boehm at Four Four Two.

dN

Conor Casey returns to Denver and Colorado Rapids as an assistant coach, where his soccer life began. By John Meyer of the Denver Post.

dN

The story of Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer, who knows its going to be very difficult to win MLS Cup again this season. By Matt Pentz for the Guardian.

dN

CONCACAF Champions League

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Saprissa(6) v Pachuca(3) - 8:00pm CT
-Wed Feb 22
Red Bulls(8) v Vancouver(1) - 7:00pm CT
Tigres(5) v Pumas(4) - 9:00pm CT
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) v Arabe Unido(2) - 7:00pm CT
-All games on Univision Deportes



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, February 20, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 20, 2017

It's Day 51 of 2017.


How did Monaco become the team to beat in France? By using their academy. By Igor Mladenoic of the Guardian.

dN

Corporate sponsors are finally showing FIFA how poor their decision making has been, and the corruption scandal was the last straw. By Tariq Panja of Bloomberg.
  • The World Cup expansion to 48 also has TV broadcasters on the run. They will not pay top dollar for watered down regional qualifying that has been big business for the Confederations in the past.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

The MNUFC 2017 uniforms:


People have been asking me what I think about the new uniforms. I haven't said much. So here we go:
  • They are just fine.
  • Nothing special.
  • Happy they are not hideous.
  • The colors are good.
  • I like the symmetry of gray shirt, gray shorts, gray socks - AND - white shirt, white shorts, white socks.
  • Only part I don't like is the gray shoulders on the white shirt. Should have gone all white.
  • I don't usually have much feeling about the uniforms - but the past few seasons with the gray shirt with the black wing on it have been very special and unique.

On Saturday morning the team was around the city showing off the new uniforms using this mannequin!


In Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU v Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

We have not been told yet if any of the unsigned players made the trip to Florida.

In this article about the new Minn uniforms there is mention of a projected attendance for home game #1 on Mar 12 v Atlanta, and its impressive. By Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.

I would love to see Minn United spend big money this summer on a true defensive midfield destroyer!


dN

One ardent follower of all things MLS reviews the 2017 uniforms, team by team. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

dN

As MLS budgets grown and the league gets more sophisticated teams are spending real money of defense. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.
  • Look where it got Toronto last year after 9 years of total failure before that. And they didn't even spend that much, they just made defense a focus.

dN

USL team Cincinnati has fired their head coach John Harkes on the eve of a new season after just 1 year in charge. No real reason was given, they just said "it wasn't working out for us." Much better than the usual, "we parted company amicably." Which is always bullshit.
  • I once got fired from a high profile job in which I felt that I had performed really really well for 1 year, and a week after getting fired it was in the newspaper that we had parted company on good terms. Ha! There was no such thing. I got fired. They had decided that they really didn't like me very much. (Despite the great success!) I cried. It hurt. Still does - but that was a long time ago, so not that much.
  • Good luck to Harksey.

dN

CONCACAF Champions League

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Saprissa(6) v Pachuca(3) - 8:00pm CT
-Wed Feb 22
Red Bulls(8) v Vancouver(1) - 7:00pm CT
Tigres(5) v Pumas(4) - 9:00pm CT
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) v Arabe Unido(2) - 7:00pm CT
-All games on Univision Deportes

dN

An quick initial voice over from Werner Herzog leads into this amazing scene of family dysfunction brought on by national recession. Only from Metalocalypse. [VIDEO]

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

From all reports that USA laid an egg in the first game against Panama (I have been warning people that Panama is really on the rise!)
  • USA played up a man for 72 minutes, just to make the result that much worse.
  • And their next opponent, Haiti, put 5 in the back of the net in their game 1 v St Kitts + Nevis. So that game will be very tough for the USA.

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA 0-1 Panama
-Tue Feb 21
USA v Haiti at 4:30pm CT
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
-Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Tournament runs until Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

Group A: Mexico, Antigua + Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, St Kitts + Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad + Tobago

Tournament format: 3 initial groups. Top 2 from each group advances to a 2nd group stage consisting of 2 groups of 3. The top 2 teams in each of those groups advances to the U20 World Cup, and winners of those 2 groups playing for the CONCACAF Championship on Mar 3.

dN

Americans Abroad

Bobby Wood suffered a thigh injury in game warmups on Saturday. No further word on just how bad the injury is. Not good news. They tied 2-2 v Freiburg.

John Brooks and Hertha got its heart broken - they lead Bayern Munich 1-0 until deep into stoppage time when Robert Lewandowski scored to tie the game on literally the last kick before the whistle.

Julian Green and his club Stuttgart have won all 4 games since the winter break ended and they have a 3 point lead at the top of Bundesliga 2. They have played 21 of 34 games. Things are looking good for promotion. Green is fully in the starting 11.

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - L Sat Feb 18 2-0 at Hoffenheim
  • Note - Boyd started and played 57 minutes.
  • Standings - Last place, 7 points below relegation + 4 points below playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Feb 25 v Augsburg

dN

Former baseball great Mike Piazza is currently the owner of a 3rd division team in Italy - Reggiana. Why? By Andrew Keh of the New York Times.

dN

UEFA Champions League

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Man City v Monaco - 1:45pm CT on FS1
Leverkusen v Atletico - 1:45pm CT on FS2
-Wed Feb 22
Sevilla v Leicester - 1:45pm CT on FS1
Porto v Juventus - 1:45pm CT on FS2

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - D Sun Feb 19 3-3 at Pumas UNAM
  • Note - blew a 0-3 lead in the last 18 minutes of the game! OOF!
  • Standings - 3rd Place, 3 points behind leader
  • Up Next - Fri Feb 24 v Monterrey

dN

Big results in Liga MX:
-Sat Feb 18
Monterrey 1-0 Pachuca - #5 climbed up to #4 v and #3 went down to #6
Guadalajara 1-0 America - the Classico
-Sun Feb 19
Pumas 3-3 Tijuana - #7 stayed the same v #2 fell to #3

Up Next in Liga MX:
-Fri Feb 24
Tijuana v Monterrey - #3 v #4

dN

Biggest European matches this weekend:
-Sat Feb 18
Hertha Berlin 1-1 Bayern Munich - a last second goal saved Bayern.

Up Next:
-Sun Feb 26
Inter v Roma - #4 v #2
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona - #4 v #2
Villarreal v Real Madrid - #6 v #1
Marseille v Paris St Germaine - Le Classique, the biggest rivalry in France



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, February 17, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 17, 2017

It's Day 48 of 2017.


It only took 13 years, but DC United finally has the all-clear to begin building their stadium. Finally! By Steven Goff of the Washington Post.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

MNUFC will introduce their uniforms tonight! See you there.

The age of the core of the team - Avg 25.8 - is right where you want it to be:
21 Danladi
24 Calvo
24 Greenspan
25 Kadrii
25 Schuller
25 Ramirez
25 Gatt
26 Ibarra
26 Kallman
26 Molino
26 Saeid
26 KVenegas
28 Anor
28 Jvenegas
28 Warner
29 Shuttleworth
30 Demidov
32 Taylor
33 Ibson
34 Alvbage

Next the team heads to Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU v Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

dN

Pressure must be huge on Dominic Kinnear and San Jose to have a successful season. Having a new GM over him adds to the build up. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.
  • I have Kinnear at #2 on my MLS Coaches Hot-Seat Preseason edition which will come out next week.

dN

CONCACAF Champions League

This article includes story on Dallas' prep for this tourney. Plus news on Fredy Montero signing and a couple other things. By Sam Stejskal of MLSsoccer.

Quarterfinal Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 21
Saprissa(6) v Pachuca(3) - 8:00pm CT
-Wed Feb 22
Red Bulls(8) v Vancouver(1) - 7:00pm CT
Tigres(5) v Pumas(4) - 9:00pm CT
-Thu Feb 23
Dallas(7) v Arabe Unido(2) - 7:00pm CT
-All games on Univision Deportes

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

Feb 17 to Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

Tournament format: 3 initial groups. Top 2 from each group advances to a 2nd group stage consisting of 2 groups of 3. The top 2 teams in each of those groups advances to the U20 World Cup, and winners of those 2 groups playing for the CONCACAF Championship on Mar 3.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA v Panama at 3pm CT
-Tue Feb 21
USA v Haiti at 4:30pm CT
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
-Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Group A: Mexico, Antigua + Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, St Kitts + Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad + Tobago

dN

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Standings - Last place, 7 points below relegation + 4 points below playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Feb 18 at Hoffenheim

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Standings - 2nd Place, 1 point behind
  • Up Next - Sun Feb 19 at Pumas UNAM

dN

Up Next in Liga MX:
-Sat Feb 18
Monterrey v Pachuca - #5 v #3
Guadalajara v America - the Classico
-Sun Feb 19
Pumas v Tijuana - #7 v #2

dN

Biggest European matches this weekend:
-Sat Feb 18
Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich

dN

No matter what your feelings are on Italy's Serie A you can't deny that the league produces quality managers. by Richard Williams of the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 16, 2017

It's Day 47 of 2017.


Carli Lloyd is going to play part of this year for Manchester City. Its a deal that happened quickly and simply. By Andrew Das of the New York Times.
  • She will return to Houston Dash later in the year.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

Another friendly last night in which Minn took the lead and gave it up. Leading 2-0 early in the 2nd half over Real Salt Lake they began to fall apart and eventually trailed 2-3 very late in the game. But with the final kick of the game JVenegas scored again and tied it at 3-3. Success on some level. Failure on another.

Oof: Minnesota traded forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen back to New England (acquired from the Revs in Expansion Draft) in exchange for goalkeeper Bobby "Mr Buttersworth" Shuttleworth. Horrific move.

This appears to be legit:


Official launch of 2 uniforms is on Friday night for Minnesota. Again I am confused by their marketing as a Friday night launch basically ensures they will get minimal pop that night and little to no residual effect the days after (Sat + Sun.)

Matches + Results:
Portland Invitational
-Thu Feb 9
MNUFC 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps - MU goal by VW Own Goal.
-Sun Feb 12
MNUFC 2-2 Portland Timbers - MU goals both by Johan Venegas.
-Wed Feb 15
MNUFC 3-3 Real Salt Lake - MU goals by Kevin Molino (2) + Johan Venegas.

Game highlights [VIDEO]

My Notes:
  • Starters - McLain, Taylor, Demidov, Calvo, Davis, Warner, Schuller, Molino, JVenegas, Ibarra, Ramirez.
  • Subs - Kadrii for Ibarra, KVenegas for Taylor, Saeid for Warner, Ibson for Ramirez, Starikov for Schuller.
  • Did not play - Greenspan, Martin, Danladi, Kallman, Anor, Jome.
  • Goals - Molino from JVenegas, Molino from Ramirez, JVenegas from Starikov.
  • Vadim Demidov was the captain.
  • Good - the first string offense. with 4 full time attackers - Ibarra/Kadrii, JVenegas, Molino and Ramirez were very very good. And Schuller and Warner behind them kept it really simple.
  • Bad - switching from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3. They whole game went down the drain the minute this change was made. Uncanny. End of Story.
  • RSL - Minn got torched by The Vasectomy!

Match reports:

Training camp roster (30):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain, Bobby Shuttleworth.
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Tiago Calvano (trialist), Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Alvin Jones (trialist), Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Eugene Starikov (trialist), Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

Next the team heads to Orlando for the final 2 preseason games:
-Wed Feb 22
MU v Toronto
-Sun Feb 26
MU v San Antonio (USL)

dN

Unaffiliated: du Nord Music Mix Vol 112 (download + extract)

dN

Jack White's Third Man Records is opening a vinyl pressing plant in Detroit, and a special party is planned for Feb 25. The highlight is the limited edition records that will be sold that day - all incredible music from Detroit. Limited edition vinyl pressings from:
  • White Stripes
  • The Stooges
  • MC5
  • Destroy All Monsters
  • Carl Craig
  • Derrick May
  • and more!

dN

New York Red Bulls have fired technical director Ali Curtis. This has been rumored since mid January and was announced today. No reason has leaked out as to what went wrong. He helped turn the team inside out and make it even stronger than before. He also hired successful coach Jesse Marsch. An odd one. I am sure the tale will be told eventually.
  • No word on whether or not he took his 300 page ring binder with him.

dN

USMNT U20s at the CONCACAF Championship and U20 World Cup qualifying

Feb 17 to Mar 5 in Costa Rica.

First USA game is on Sat Feb 18.

Tournament format: 3 initial groups. Top 2 from each group advances to a 2nd group stage consisting of 2 groups of 3. The top 2 teams in each of those groups advances to the U20 World Cup, and winners of those 2 groups playing for the CONCACAF Championship on Mar 3.

USA roster:
  • G: Jonathan Klinsmann - U California, JT Marcinkowski - Georgetown
  • D: Marlon Fossey - Fulham, Justen Glad - Real Salt Lake, Aaron Herrera - U New Mexico, Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City, Tommy Redding - Orlando City, Auston Trusty - Philadelphia Union
  • M: Danny Acosta - Real Salt Lake, Tyler Adams - New York Red Bulls, Coy Craft - Dallas, Luca De la Torre - Fulham, Jonathan Gonzalez - Monterrey, Jeremiah Gutjahr - Indiana U, Jonathan Lewis - New York City, Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake, Eryk Williamson - U Maryland
  • F: Jeremy Ebobisse - Portland Timbers, Brooks Lennon - Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Sabbi - Las Palmas
  • C: Tab Ramos

Group B Matches:
-Sat Feb 18
USA v Panama at 3pm CT
-Tue Feb 21
USA v Haiti at 4:30pm CT
-Fri Feb 24
USA v St Kitts + Nevis at 4:30pm CT
  • Games broadcast on Univision networks.

Group A: Mexico, Antigua + Barbuda, Honduras, Canada
Group B: USA, Panama, St Kitts + Nevis, Haiti
Group C: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bermuda, Trinidad + Tobago

dN

Fabian Johnson started and went 77 minutes as Gladbach lost 0-1 to Fiorentina in Europa League today.
  • Another American Josh Perez was not in the gameday 18 for Fiore.

dN

American Terrence Boyd is trying to make an injury comeback with lowly Darmstadt and is off to a good start. By Franco Panizo of SBI.

dN

This happens so often now days that it seems like its barely a story - but in reality almost always a very good story - lets read about an 18 year old Texan trying to turn pro in Mexico at Santos Laguna. By Tom Marshall of ESPNFC.

dN

UEFA Champions League

A review of yesterday's games via words, photos, audio + video: Bayern v Arsenal - AND - Real Madrid v Napoli. From UEFA.

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 14
PSG 4-0 Barcelona
Benfica 1-0 Dortmund
-Wed Feb 15
Bayern 5-1 Arsenal
Real Madrid 3-1 Napoli
-Tue Feb 21
Leverkusen v Atletico
Man City v Monaco
-Wed Feb 22
Porto v Juventus
Sevilla v Leicester

dN

Up Next in Liga MX:
-Sat Feb 18
Monterrey v Pachuca - #5 v #3
Guadalajara v America - the Classico
-Sun Feb 19
Pumas v Tijuana - #7 v #2

dN

Biggest European matches this weekend:
-Sat Feb 18
Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 15, 2017

It's Day 46 of 2017.


CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals begin next week on Tue Feb 21. Games to be broadcast in the USA on Univision Deportes.

dN

Philadelphia Union is looking to hire a Chief Tattoo Artist.

dN

Brad Davis will sign a 1 day contract with Houston Dynamo and then retire in the orange shirt. Nice move.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

Josh Gatt is now officially a MNUFC player. Blazing fast right outside midfielder. Missed 3 full years (mid-2013 to mid-2016) due to knee injuries and surgeries. Lets hope he can stay healthy - a very rare thing to return from.

The team has traded away the #1 spot in the MLS Allocation Order so Vancouver can acquire former Seattle forward Fredy Montero from Tianjin Teda. MU receives a bunch of money and an extra international roster spot.
  • Minnesota is now #4 in Allocation Order.

Head coach Adrian Heath talks about what he has seen so far in preseason. By Jeff Rueter of Fifty Five One.
  • Heath addressed the dearth at fullback: "We’re actively looking to bring in more players who can compete at those positions."

Matches + Results:
Portland Invitational
-Thu Feb 9
MNUFC 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps - MU goal by VW Own Goal.
-Sun Feb 12
MNUFC 2-2 Portland Timbers - 7:00pm CT - MU goals both by Johan Venegas.
-Wed Feb 15
MNUFC v Real Salt Lake - 7:00pm CT - Webstream at mnufc.com

Goalkeeper John Alvbage is back in Sweden to finish his work Visa process, and will return as soon as that is completed. He will not play on Wed against Salt Lake.

Training camp roster (30):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Tiago Calvano (trialist), Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Alvin Jones (trialist), Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Eugene Starikov (trialist), Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

dN

Unaffiliated: du Nord Music Mix Vol 112 (download + extract)

dN

A player speaks out on how MLS and soccer in America are missing an essential part of developing American soccer players. By Jeb Brovsky of Howler.

dN

Doctors have given Clint Dempsey the all clear to play again. His heart issue is under control. Fantastic. By Matt Pentz of the New York Times.
  • Matt Pentz, who was laid off by the Seattle Times, is back and writing an article for the New York Times. I love it.

dN

The mission in Toronto is to do better than last year. A nearly impossible task. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

dN

DC United's new stadium will be called Audi Field. They say it will open some time in 2018. Although they are still awaiting final city approval, which they are hoping happens on Thursday.

dN

MLS lists all of the USL affiliates for their teams. From MLSsoccer.com.
  • Minnesota is the only team in the league WITHOUT an affiliate.

These USL teams have no MLS partner:
  • Cincinnati
  • Louisville
  • Phoenix Rising
  • Sacramento Republic
  • Saint Louis
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies

dN

I am an American coach. By Bob Bradley for The Players Tribune.

dN

American Danny Williams played the whole match and scored for Reading yesterday as they won 3-2 v Brentford in the English 2nd division.

dN

A new USA uniform has been introduced. All red. Supposedly the socks (not pictured) are red as well:

  • More details here, including the socks. By Footy Headlines.
  • These will be worn by the USMNT against Honduras on Mar 24.

dN

UEFA Champions League

American Christian Pulisic came on as a late sub for Dortmund and tried his hardest to tie the game, to no avail. They lost 1-0 at Benfica.

A review of yesterday's games via words, photos, audio + video: PSG v Barca - AND - Benfica v Dortmund. From UEFA.

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 14
PSG 4-0 Barcelona
Benfica 1-0 Dortmund
-Wed Feb 15
Bayern 5-1 Arsenal
Real Madrid 3-1 Napoli
-Tue Feb 21
Leverkusen v Atletico
Man City v Monaco
-Wed Feb 22
Porto v Juventus
Sevilla v Leicester

dN

Football in Israel is always under a cloud in the Middle East, add to that a remote religious city to the formula and you get even more oddities - league champs Hapoel Beer Sheeva. Oh, and the team is owned by a woman. By Jame Montague.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, February 13, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 13, 2017

It's Day 44 of 2017.


Message from Kansas City today:
From: Mike Kuhn ‏@downthebyline
Bruce,
For anyone coming to KC for MN game on Sat Jun 3.
"Rockfest" will be same day at the KS Speedway (right next to the soccer stadium)
The show is called largest 1 day music festival in USA (concert draws 50K+)
If you are looking to book hotel near stadium you should do that ASAP

dN

Univision Deportes is going to start broadcasting some Liga MX games in the English language on its Facebook page.
  • First game will be Sat Feb 18 America v Chivas - 9:00pm CT.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED PRESEASON

The fourth tie of the preseason, 2-2 last night against Portland.
  • Minnesota got a 0-2 lead on 2 goals by Johan Venegas. The first a scrapper, but the 2nd was beautifully set up by Baskhim Kadrii and finished off perfectly.
  • Portland put in their First 11 in the 59th minute and came away with a tie against pretty much all Minnesota subs.
  • Good to see the Loons hang on, but too bad they couldn't grab all 3 points.

In case you missed it on Friday, Minnesota is looking to sign American winger Josh Gatt from Molde in Sweden. Not official yet, but is already with the team in Portland. Blazing speed, but missed 3 full years Summer 2013 to Summer 2016 due to knee injuries and surgeries. He played all 6 games last Fall for Molde. If he is healthy he can be a big signing.

Matches + Results:
Portland Invitational
-Thu Feb 9
MNUFC 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps - MU goal by VW Own Goal.
-Sun Feb 12
MNUFC 2-2 Portland Timbers - 7:00pm CT - MU goals both by Johan Venegas.
-Wed Feb 15
MNUFC v Real Salt Lake - 7:00pm CT - Webstream at mnufc.com

Game highlights. [VIDEO]

My Notes:
  • MU starters - Alvbage, KVenegas, Greenspan, Kallman, De Villardi, Martin, Molino, Ibson, Kadrii, Jome, JVenegas
  • MU Subs - Halftime: Ramirez for JVenegas, Starikov for Molino. 64th: Thompson for Kadrii.
  • Neither back up keeper played again.
  • Did Not Play - Anor, Calvano, Calvo, Danladi, Davis, Demidov, Gonzalez, Hollinger-Janzen, Ibarra, Saeid, Schuller, Taylor, Warner.
  • Portland also started a 2nd team, then brought in their first 11 in the 59th minute.
  • Looking good - Ibson (until a horrible 2nd half pass lead directly to the 1st Portland goal), Martin was cool and calm, JVenegas-Molino-Kadrii all had great moments in the attack, Jome was very solid and worked extremely hard, Alvin Jones got forward really well, Starikov again worked his ass off.
  • Rough spots - Ibson on the 1st Port goal, Kallman was in the middle of both Portland goals (oof), De Villardi-KVenegas-Jones had a tough night on fullback defense, Alvbage is not filling me with confidence (more of that punching, ick), Greenspan had 2 clean looks at goal on set pieces and didn't put his headers anywhere near the frame.
  • The lack of fullback depth is either going to keep me awake at night or give me nightmares if I manage to fall asleep.
Game reports:

Training camp roster (30):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Tiago Calvano (trialist), Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Alvin Jones (trialist), Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Joshua Gatt, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Eugene Starikov (trialist), Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Christian Ramirez, Johan Venegas

dN

Here it comes! UEFA Champions League is back, baby!

Has the Champions League turned into the Same-Old, Same-Old, Same-Old? by Rory Smith of the New York Times.

Round of 16 Matches:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 14
PSG v Barcelona - 1:45pm CT on FS1
Benfica v Dortmund - 1:45pm CT on FS2
-Wed Feb 15
Bayern v Arsenal - 1:45pm CT on FS1
Real Madrid v Napoli - 1:45pm CT on FS2
-Tue Feb 21
Leverkusen v Atletico
Man City v Monaco
-Wed Feb 22
Porto v Juventus
Sevilla v Leicester

dN

Eric Wynalda is back in the coaching game - taking over LA Wolves who play in United Premier Soccer League. All the teams in this league are amateur and located in the Southwestern USA. I am sure he was brought in to give them some of his US Open Cup magic.

dN

American Fabian Johnson is finally back to full strength after dealing with an achilles injury - he played the full 90 as Gladbach went to Bremen and won 0-1.

dN

American fullback Eric Lichaj got 2 yellow cards and was ejected for Nottingham Forest as they lost 5-1 at Norwich.

dN

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - Win Sat Feb 11 2-1 v Dortmund
  • Note - huge shocking win over Dortmund! Boyd got the 1st goal too! Boyd started and went 58 min. (Pulisic played the full 90 for Dort.)
  • Standings - Last place, 7 points below relegation + 4 points below playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Feb 18 at Hoffenheim

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Lost Fri Feb 10 1-2 v Necaxa
  • Note - a bad home loss dropped them into 2nd place
  • Standings - 2nd Place, 1 point behind Toluca
  • Up Next - Sun Feb 19 at Pumas UNAM

dN

Results from the big games in Mexico this weekend:
-Sat Feb 11
Atlas 1-2 Guadalajara - Chivas wins the fiercest derby in Mexico
Monterrey 2-0 Pumas UNAM - Mon jumps from #9 to #5, while Pum falls from #3 to #7
Pachuca 1-0 Tigres UANL - Pachuca moves up to #3
-Sun Feb 12
Toluca 1-0 Veracruz - Tol moves from 2nd to 1st Place

  • The biggest stories in Liga MX after those weekend results. By Tom Marshall of ESPNFC.

dN

Biggest European matches:
-Sat Feb 11
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham - moved Liv from #5 to #4, but left Tot at #2 (barely.)

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action. From the Guardian.

Leaders of Top 5 Euro Leagues:
  • Prem - Chelsea by 10 points with 25 of 38 played
  • Bund - Bayern by 7 points with 20 of 34 played
  • Seri - Juventus by 7 points with 24 of 38 played
  • Liga - Real Madrid by 1 point with 20 of 38 played
  • Ligu - Monaco by 3 points with 25 of 38 played



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