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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 19, 2016

It's Day 140 of 2016.


Minnesota United learned their potential US Open Cup 4th Round opponent:

  • MU will travel to Saint Louis FC on Wed Jun 1 for the 3rd Round.
  • Last year MU went to StL in the 3rd Round and lost in a Penalty Kick Shootout. Besides a short spell early in the 2nd half MU played a terrible game and StL took some of the nicest PKs I have ever seen.
  • A potential game hosting Sporting Kansas City would be on Wed Jun 15.

dN

Ben Speas of Minn United is out with an ankle injury:



dN

An interview with Minnesota United's #10 Ben Speas, and words from head coach Carl Craig. By Jeff Rueter of Northern Pitch.

dN

Minn United midfielder Jeb Brovsky brings a rugged peace to the world. What a great attitude. I can get on board with his philosophy. By David LaVaque of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

dN

You really need to listen to the latest edition of the Mutant Gene Podcast hosted by Alexi Lalas. He talks very candidly with Steve Sampson about the USA disastrous 1998 World Cup endeavor. [AUDIO]

dN

According to just leaked salary numbers 23 MLS players earn $1 million or more.

dN

Sports Business Journal, Americas leading sports business trade magazine, named MLS the League Of The Year. Interesting.


  • For me they won't be 100% legit league until the TV ratings are significantly higher.

dN

MLS Week 12 - two games last night:
-Wed May 18
Toronto 1-1 New York City
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire

My MLS Notes:
  • 30k+ in Toronto for a Wednesday game is tremendous.
  • The tie and 1 point gives NYC the Eastern Conf lead on points, but not points-per-game.
  • With only 3 total goals last night we might as well watch them all cuz they are quality:
-Mike Grella finishes off a great team goal for RBNY.
-Another strong team goal, this one by Toronto, touched into an open net by Will Johnson.
-And Kwadwo Poku of NYC had the best of the three!
  • Chicago has 7 points from 10 games. Its getting really bad. The summer transfer window can't come soon enough for them. The only good news is that they are just 10 points out of first place in the East.
  • Anecdotes on Twitter this morning are saying this is the worst start to a season for Chicago Fire ever.

dN

Guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk, all formerly of Rage Against The Machine, are joining Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill to form a new band called Prophets of Rage.

dN

12 of the Top 20 drunkest cities in the USA are in Wisconsin.

dN

Original bass player Ernie Brooks tells the story of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, one of the greatest 70s bands that never really even got off the ground. They made a legendary patchwork album that came out 2 years after they broke up. By Legs McNeil of Please Kill Me.

dN

US Open Cup:
Many 2nd Round games last night and one more on Thu May 19. See all the results right here.
  • Plenty of upsets of course - including 4 amateur teams beating pros.
  • Lets check in on the 8 derby matches:
Charlotte Eagles 0-2 Charlotte Independence
Richmond Kickers 3-0 Aromas Cafe
West Chester United 0-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
San Antonio FC 3-1 Corinthians FC of San Antonio
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1-0 Harpo's FC
Kitsap Pumas 1-0 Seattle Sounders U23
FC Tucson 0-5 Arizona United
LA Wolves 1-1 Orange County Pateadores Blues - LAW wins 4-2 in Penalty Kick Shootout.

  • In the next round OKC Energy (USL) plays at crosstown team Rayo OKC (NASL). I love it.
  • Other 3rd Round derby matches:
Carolina RailHawks FC (NASL) v Charlotte Independence (USL)
La Maquina (CA Amateur) v LA Wolves FC (CA amateur)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) v Lansdowne Bhoys FC (NY amateur)
Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL) v The Villages SC (PDL)

Former Minnesota United forward MacKenzie Pridham scored for Sacramento in their 5-0 victory over Aguiluchos.

dN

A new USL team will launch in Nashville in 2018.

dN

American Randy Lerner has sold English club Aston Villa to Chinese Tony Xia. Aston Villa had never been relegated out of the Premier League until this season.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Semifinals:
  • Four really good teams in the semis. No one will be a surprise winner.
1st Leg
-Wed May 18
America (4) 1-0 Monterrey (1)
  • goal by Osvaldo Martinez.
  • Edgar Castillo played the full 90 for Mon.
  • Ventura Alvarado was not in the game day 18 for Ame.
-Thu May 19
Leon (3) v Pachuca (2)

2nd Leg
-Sat May 21
Monterrey v America (0-1) - 8:30pm CT on Univision Deportes
-Sun May 22
Pachuca v Leon - 8:00pm CT on NBC UNIVERSO.

dN

Canadian Championship 1st Rd:
-Wed May 18
Ottawa Fury 0-2 Edmonton - OF advances 3-2 on aggregate.
  • Both teams won on the road. Doesn't happen very often.
  • Ottawa will next face Vancouver Whitecaps in the Semifinals.
  • Toronto and Montreal pair up in the other Semifinal.

dN

Europa League Final:
  • Sevilla wins their 3rd consecutive Europa championship!
-Wed May 18
Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla - Liv lead 1-0 at halftime.



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 17, 2016

It's Day 138 of 2016.


Its a new day at FIFA, but guess what happened almost immediately? The same old things. The majority of FIFA members have no interest in changing how they have done business in the past:
  • One of new president Gianna Infantino's first orders of business was to get a rule passed that that allows the executive committee to hire and fire members of the supposed independent audit and oversight committee.
  • The whole point of Infantino's new leadership was to reduce the power at the top. The opposite of what went down.
  • Ali called the new ruling: "...complete betrayal to all of those who thought they had voted for change, transparency, fair play and reform.”
  • Ali continued: "...a change to the statutes that removed the independence of the ethics committee, the audit and compliance committee, the appeal committee and the reform committee.”
  • The real kicker is that the 209 members of FIFA voted on this change, which tells us all that the majority of FIFA members have no interest in reforming.

dN

Norma Hunt was the wife of the late Lamar Hunt, one of the biggest American soccer backers. She is still involved today. By Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.

dN

The USMNT has gathered in Miami to prep for the Sunday game in Puerto Rico:


How the roster for this Puerto Rico match was put together. From US Soccer.

dN

The Dark Clouds home away from home, The Nomad Pub in Minneapolis, is for sale. Thanks to BL for the heads up.

dN

US Open Cup 2nd Round on Wed May 18 and Thu May 19:
  • Including these 8 derby matches:
Charlotte Eagles v Charlotte Independence
Richmond Kickers v Aromas Cafe
West Chester United v Harrisburg City Islanders
San Antonio FC v Corinthians FC of San Antonio
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC v Harpo's FC
Kitsap Pumas v Seattle Sounders U23
FC Tucson v Arizona United
LA Wolves v Orange County Pateadores Blues

dN

Kekuta Manneh of Vancouver Whitecaps named MLS Player Of The Week

Pape Diakite of Edmonton named NASL Player Of The Week

Alyssa Naeher of Chicago Red Stars named NWSL Player Of The Week

Tommy Thompson of Sacramento Republic named USL Player Of The Week

dN

Alejandro Moreno's weekly MLS award show! [VIDEO] From ESPNFC.

dN

Is NYCFC finally on the right track to success? By Alexander Abnos of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Rivalries are a big part of the present and bigger part of the future of MLS. By Jason Davis of ESPNFC.

dN

Chicago Fire has signed 29 year old Dutch forward Michael de Leeuw from Gronigen. He has scored 46 goals in 4 seasons for them. Not bad. He cannot join the team until the transfer window opens on Jul 1 though.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Semifinals:
  • Four really good teams in the semis. No one will be a surprise winner.
1st Leg
-Wed May 18
America (4) v Monterrey (1)
-Thu May 19
Leon (3) v Pachuca (2)
-2nd Leg matches on May 21 + 22

dN

Jim Jarmusch surprised us all last week with the announcement of his new film Gimme Danger, the story of the great Detroit rock band The Stooges. But to top that he has a new fictional film in the Cannes Film Festival this week, called Paterson. From the Associated Press.

dN

Some of the coolest video footage I have seen in a long time. 100+ MPH wind on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. [VIDEO]

dN

Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Borussia Dortmund named Bundesliga Player Of The Season by Deutsche Welle.
  • DW says he has 23 goals and 32 assists in all competitions. THIRTY TWO ASSISTS!
  • Its Dortmund v Bayern in the German Cup Final on Sat.

dN

Bremen fans dig deep to help their team avoid what seemed like certain relegation. By Jefferson Chase of Deutsche Welle.


dN

Sevilla is going for its 3rd consecutive Europa League championship. Here is the impressive story of Raman Rodriguez Verdejo AKA Monchi, who is making it all happen. By Sid Lowe of the Guardian.

dN

Europa League Final
-Wed May 18
Liverpool v Sevilla

dN

Huge congrats to Besiktas on winning their 14th Turkish Super Lig championship.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, May 16, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 16, 2016

It's Day 137 of 2016.


Two of the most iconic rock n roll albums of all time were released on this day 50 years ago. If you don't own them, you should.

dN

Bob Bradley and Le Havre finished the Ligue 2 season tied for 3rd place on points and goal differential with Metz, but the next tie breaker was total goals scored and Metz won that 54-52, achieving the final promotion place to Ligue 1 for next season.
  • Le Havre must start all over and play 38 games in Ligue 2 next season to attempt promotion. Tough way to end a season.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Quarterfinals:
  • The 4 higher seeds all advanced to the Semifinals
  • Match ups: Monterrey v America and Pachuca v Leon. Awaiting dates and times.
  • 3 Americans played full games, while 4 didn't play, in the Quarterfinal 2nd Leg matches:
William Yarborough - went the full 90 (advanced)
Omar Gonzalez - played the full match (advanced)
Jorge Villafana - went the 90, getting a yellow card (eliminated)
Edgar Castillo - on the bench (advanced)
Jose Torres - not in the game day 18 (eliminated)
Miguel Ibarra - not in the game day 18 (advanced)
Ventura Alvarado - not in the game day 18 (advanced)

2nd Leg
-Sat May 14
Monterrey 1-2 Tigres - Mon advances 4-3 on aggregate.
Leon 4-1 Morelia - Leo advances 5-2 on aggregate.
-Sun May 15
Pachuca 3-2 Santos Laguna - Pac advances 4-3 on aggregate.
America 2-1 Guadalajara - Ame advances 2-1 on aggregate.

dN

Tim Howard played his last game for Everton and got a huge send off from the team and fans:


Some really nice photos too:


dN

Bobby Wood has been sold by Union Berlin to Hamburg. He will be in the Bundesliga next season. A big move. It will not be easy to break into that starting 11.

dN

Former Columbus back up forward Aaron Shoenfeld has been a sensation this season at Hapoel Tel Aviv. 8 goals in 11 games! By Greg Seltzer of No Short Corners.

dN

USA must name a 23 player roster for Copa America by Friday.
  • Jozy Altidore will NOT be on that roster. He has jacked up his hamstring yet again and will be out 2 months.

dN

USMNT released an interesting roster for May 22 game in Puerto Rico (11:00am CT on FS1.) No MLS or Liga MX-playoff players included:
  • 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

NASL Week 7 Scoreboard:
Sat May 14
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0-0 Indy Eleven
Carolina RailHawks 0-0 Miami
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-1 Rayo OKC
Minnesota United 2-0 Jacksonville Armada
-Sun May 15
Edmonton 2-1 New York Cosmos
-Bye: Ottawa Fury
-7 goals in 5 games =  1.4 gpg. Terrible.

My NASL Notes:
  • The wheels appear to have gone a little flat on the Carolina race car. After rumbling to 4 wins in the first 4 weeks they have now lost 2 and tied 1. What was 12 points in Week 4 is now 13 points in Week 7.
  • At least they had a big crowd at the game - 7,100 is a great number for them.
  • Where did this Monton team come from? Seriously. They were the opposite of Carolina early. Not only could they not win, they couldn't even score a goal. Turn that around to 10 points from the last 4 games. And they are now up to 4th place.
  • Cosmos are having their worst spell in modern NASL history. 3 losses already this season. They lost only 4 in all of 2015. They lost 7 in all of 2014.
  • Still Cosmos are only 1 point off the lead. So its all relative.
  • Minnesota leads the league, tied with Carolina on points and ahead on GD, and has 1 game in hand over 2nd (CRH) + 3rd (NYC) place teams.
  • Miami is first team officially eliminated from Spring Season championship contention. And still winless.
  • Old Jonny Busch was the superstar in goal for Indy. Making 6 big saves and keeping a clean sheet.

Week 7 league recap. By Jake Nutting of Empire of Soccer.

dN

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • First Place Baby!
  • Good first half, which head coach Carl Craig apparently said in a half time interview was poor. Hahaha.
  • Stale but competent 2nd half. I kept fearing that at any minute Jax would get a goal and turn the game into chaos. But no.
  • Brilliant game winning goal by Kevin Venegas. So calm and composed. Perfection. See below.
  • Minn defense was solid but gave away a golden chance that should have been buried by Fondy of Jax.
  • Bernardo Anor was my Man Of The Match. He was a major pest in the first half. He hounded the Jax players and forced several give-aways and bad passes. His play lead to both MU goals.
  • It appears as though Jax coach Tony Meola has a stipulation in his contract that at all times one of his players must have the same hairstyle he sported in his playing days: The New Jersey Pony Express! Meet Matt Fondy.
  • Good to see Stefano Pinho get his first start, first major minutes and more importantly first goal.
  • Ben Speas appeared to injure his leg, but I don't know what actually happened. I saw him go into a challenge and end up on the ground. Then they checked him out and took him off.
  • MU is tied for the highest scoring offense and stingiest defense. That is a very good combination to have. And they are doing this by having both ends of the field help each other out. The D is suppling goals and service, while the O is defending from the front.
  • It looks to me like Lance Laing was punished this week. He was replaced in the starting 11 and did not getting off the bench as a sub either. Tough week for the talented player.
  • Jax has never won a road game in NASL.

Watch the Venegas goal:


dN

Amobi Okugo has been a free agent since leaving Sporting KC last fall, and I was kinda hoping he might turn up here in Minnesota, cuz defensive depth is badly needed. But he signed with Portland Timbers today.

dN

Cincinnati set another USL attendance record of 23,375, breaking their own record from a few weeks ago. And they won 1-0 over Pittsburgh. Happy customers.

dN

MLS Week 11 Scoreboard (14 midweek games)
-Wed May 11
Philadelphia Union 2-2 LA Galaxy
Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
Dallas 2-1 Portland Timbers
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Houston Dynamo
-Fri May 13
DC United 2-0 New York Red Bulls
-Sat May 14
Montreal Impact 1-1 Philadelphia Union
Toronto 3-4 Vancouver Whitecaps
Columbus Crew 1-1 Colorado Rapids
New England Revolution 2-0 Chicago Fire
Dallas 2-0 Seattle Sounders
-Sun May 15
Houston Dynamo 1-0 Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Orlando City
Portland Timbers 1-2 New York City
-39 goals in 14 games = 2.8 gpg. Decent.

MY MLS Notes:
  • Jozy Altidore has another hamstring injury. And he will miss another tournament (Copa America) because of it. Out 2 months.
  • And Altidore got hurt taking a Penalty Kick that was saved. (Why Sebastian Giovinco didn't take the PK I have no idea. He usually does, and always makes them.)
  • In the same game Kekuta Manneh out Giovinco-ed Giovinco. 2 goals and an assist to beat Toronto on the road. And won it with this ridiculous goal. [VIDEO] He turned Steven Beitashour into a pretzel!
  • Two great goals for NYC gives them a very rare road win. Villa and McNamara both rocked it.
  • Thats 3 wins in a row for NYC. Can you believe that? Prior to this run they had not won since the first game of the season.
  • KC took 34 shots in their win over Orlando. Thirty four.
  • If the playoffs started today 5 preseason contenders would be out, including last year's 2 finalist: Red Bulls, Columbus, KC, Seattle and Portland.
  • Oh, and one other playoff note: the BEST teams in the Eastern Conference would be in 8th place in the Western Conference and not make the playoffs at all.
  • Fanendo Adi, Giovinco and Villa lead the league with 8 goals.
  • Houston v Salt Lake was delayed 24 hours after severe thunderstorms ripped through south Texas on Saturday.
  • This Week in Caleb Porter Whining: "There was an obvious hand ball on NYC's game winning goal." My retort: "There were several calls against both teams that either got called incorrectly or were missed, its part of the game." Most of us really enjoy watching your team play, and your stadium is unparalleled but the constant excuses is annoying. (How long before Portland fans start seeing my silly overwrought antics about their coach and come after me?).

The best MLS weekly round up. By Matt Doyle of MLS.

dN

Orlando has gotten very creative in their methods of paying for their stadium. By Ken Belson of the New York Times.

dN

Kei Kamara sat down for an interview just days after being sent packing by Columbus. [VIDEO] He is a cool customer. By Taylor Twellman of ESPN.

dN

This is awfully humbling (thanks to Guy for sending it to me):


dN

Twelve games coming in MLS Week 12 starting with two on Wednesday.

dN

Huge congrats to Barca!
  • Europe's last top league championship goes to Barcelona on the last week of the season.
  • Its their 24th league title.
Final La Liga standings for 2015/16:
91 Barca (+80) - Sat May 14 W 0-3 at Granada
90 Real (+74) - Sat May 14 W 0-2 at Deportivo La Coruna

dN

The Best and Worst of the English Premier League 2015/16 season. By the staff of the Guardian.

dN

For 66 years Gunnar Nordahl of AC Milan has held the Serie A scoring record of 35 goals in a season. Until now! Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli broke the run with a hat trick on the final day to give him 36 for the 2015/16 season. Wow.

dN

A look at security for the European Championship in June/July. By John Irish of Reuters.

dN

What in the name of Sam Hell happened in Manchester on Saturday at Old Trafford Stadium? Here is the man behind the entire debacle fully accepting all responsibility, saying the buck stops with him and he screwed up. (With no caveats.) By Neal Keeling of the Manchester Evening News.
  • This also clears up a lot of the rumors and misconceptions of what actually caused security to empty the stadium and postpone the game.



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, May 13, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 13, 2016

It's Day 134 of 2016.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a free agent!
  • Dr. McGuire get out your checkbook and bring the fisherman to his natural home - the land of 10,000 lakes.
Humble till the end: (thanks Daniele)

  • He could fish in a different Minnesota lake every day for the next 32 years. Never repeating a single one.

dN

[UPDATED]
Brutally Bob Bradley + Le Havre came up very very very short in the battle for the final promotion spot in France's Ligue 2. His team HAC needed a win, a Metz loss, and then make up a goal differential of -7 to capture 3rd place.
-They got the win 5-0.
-And Metz lost 1-0.
-Thats the 3 pts but only 6 goals, but dammit they needed 7.
-The two teams end tied on Pts and GD, but the 2nd tie breaker was goals scored.
-And Metz had that one on their side: 54-52.
What a tough way to end a pretty good season.

dN

Lets check out what the election of Canadian Vitor Montagliani as the new president of CONCACAF really means. By Simon Evans of the Guardian.

dN

FIFA has named Fatma Samoura of Senegal its new Secretary General. Why is this important? Its a woman. That is a radical move for FIFA.
-Here is the press release of the announcement and a description of her background.

dN

Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Quarterfinals:
  • A couple of ties in both of last nights 1st Leg games gives the favorite tag to the higher seeds who will host 2nd leg games this weekend.
  • Omar Gonzalez + Jorge Villafana both played the full 90 for their respective clubs Pachuca + Santos.
1st Leg
-Thu May 12
Santos Laguna (7) 1-1 Pachuca (2)
Guadalajara (5) 0-0 America (4)
2nd Leg
-Sat May 14
Monterrey v Tigres (3-1)
Leon v Morelia (1-1)
-Sun May 15
Pachuca v Santos Laguna (1-1)
America v Guadalajara (0-0)

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A preview of this weekends NASL games. By Jake Nutting of Empire of Soccer.

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NASL Week 7
Sat May 14
Fort Lauderdale Strikers v Indy Eleven
Carolina RailHawks v Miami
Tampa Bay Rowdies v Rayo OKC
Minnesota United v Jacksonville Armada - 7pm CT on MY29 + beIN Sports.
-Sun May 15
Edmonton v New York Cosmos
-Bye: Ottawa Fury

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This article on Kansas City's struggles and inner turmoil could shed a little insight on why Benny Failhaber has been on the outs with the USMNT. From ESPNFC.

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What can Kei Kamara add to New England? By Kyle McCarthy of the Boston Herald.

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MLS Week 11
-Fri May 13
DC United v New York Red Bulls
-Sat May 14
Montreal Impact v Philadelphia Union - who had these two as tops in the East?
Toronto v Vancouver Whitecaps - a Canadian rivalry
Columbus Crew v Colorado Rapids - downward spiral v upward spiral
New England Revolution v Chicago Fire - its desperation time already for both
Houston Dynamo v Real Salt Lake
Dallas v Seattle Sounders - supposed to be two of the best
-Sun May 15
Sporting Kansas City v Orlando City - SKC needs a win very badly
Portland Timbers v New York City

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The only one of Europe's top leagues still without a champion on the last week:
La Liga
88 Barca (+80) - Sat May 14 at Granada
87 Real (+74) - Sat May 14 at Deportivo La Coruna

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Belated congrats to PSV Eindhoven on winning their 23rd Dutch Eredivisie championship last weekend.



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