Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 27, 2016

It's Day 209 of 2016.


One day after firing the only head coach they have ever had in MLS the Seattle Sounders signed 27 year old Uruguayan attacking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro from Boca Juniors. This guy has one helluva resume. Before Boca he played for Corinthians, Botafogo, Ajax and Montevideo Nacional.
  • The club also said that they have another key player signing to announce later in the week.
  • Seattle sits 11 points away from a playoff spot with 14 games left to play. Making the playoffs is their priority but that is a very very tall order.
  • Here is how 1 player feels about the great coach that was shown the door:

  • Clint Dempsey has been silent.

dN

Fabian Espindola was sold a few days ago by DC United to Vancouver Whitecaps, but he never even got on a plane to Vancouver as the Whitecaps turned right around and sold him at a profit to Necaxa in Mexico. Shrewd business.

dN

Young American Gedion Zelalem, Arsenal and the MLS All Star Game. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

A full article on Zelalem. by Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

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Copa Libertadores Finals:
  • This is it! For all the marbles! Two minnows fighting it out for South America's biggest trophy! Someone is getting laid tonight! Someone else is not!
2nd Leg
-Wed Jul 27
Atletico Nacional (COL) v Independiente del Valle (ECU) (1-1) - 7:45pm CT on FS2

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Wouldn't you like to be this bullheaded:


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The other day Conor McGregor was training for his rematch with Nate Diaz (on Aug 20) when none other than the King of Tanning Beds + Bronzer showed up at the gym to say Hi - Cristiano Ronaldo. [VIDEO]

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Miguel Ibarra started for Leon last night in Copa MX. He played 79 minutes and they won on the road 0-1 at Atlante.

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At the midway point of the NASL season only 2 teams have a better defensive record than Minnesota United (Indy + Eddy) and no one has a better offense. Come on you Loons.

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Ismaila Jome scored in his professional debut, in a hometown uniform, for Minnesota United. He calls it a dream. By Matthew Levine of NASL.
  • Jome is basically claiming the spot of Lance Laing who has been a huge disappointment this season.

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Edmonton goes for their 7th consecutive home win tonight.

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Mid-week games in the NASL:
Week 15
-Wed Jul 2
Ottawa Fury v Carolina RailHawks - 6pm CT on beIN
Edmonton v NY Cosmos
Rayo OKC v Tampa Bay Rowdies - 8pm CT on CBS Sports

dN

Its official: ESPN2 will broadcast both US Open Cup Semifinal games on Aug 9 + 10.



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 26, 2016

It's Day 208 of 2016.


Sigi Schmid has been shown the door by the Seattle Sounders. He is my favorite coach in the history of MLS. But something had to change. By Matt Pentz of the Seattle Times.
  • Schmid was the only coach the team has ever had in MLS.
  • Brian Schmetzer, singer and guitarist of the Stray Cats, was named interim head coach.
  • Schmid had been #1 on the du Nord Futbol MLS Coaches Hot Seat Power Rankings for months. Greg Vanney of Toronto now goes to the top of the charts.
  • LAFC should be on the phone with Sigi's agent right now.
  • On Sep 3 2005 I was in a bar in Columbus Ohio telling every Crew fan I could find that their team should be hiring Sigi Schmid as head coach. In 2008 he lead them to the MLS Cup Championship. A month later he left the Crew for Seattle.

dN

Diamond Bill "Call me Governor" Edwards, owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies wrote an amazing open letter to fans of his team bitching about the poor quality referees. It is straight out of the Onion. Enjoy:


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The deal to sell Fabian Castillo by Dallas to Trabzonspor is not straight forward. By Brian Strauss of Sports Illustrated.

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A female assistant coach at River Plate has brought a whole new level of mental training to the futbol field. Meet Sandra Rossi (a life long River Plate supporter living her dream.) By Juan Arango of the Guardian.
  • The head coach who hired her is Marcelo Gallardo, a River Plate legend who spent a frustrating year (injuries) at DC United in 2008.

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A great interview with Louis CK, about his life, TV, stand up, politics, family, attitudes and more. By David Marchese of Vulture.

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Miguel Ibarra and Leon travel to Atlante for a Copa MX match tonight. Will Ibarra see the field? He damn well better, or I am gonna halfta text my old drinking buddy Carlos Slim and ask him what the hell is wrong with his coach Luis Tena.

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Last weekend Minnesota United benched starting goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock (after The Own Goal) and gave Stewart Ceus his first start. Will it continue this weekend in Oklahoma City? Only time will tell us, or possibly a mid-week training report.

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The novelty of the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS has lost its thrill for the locals, but the games are still selling out and fans are becoming much more savvy, demanding and critical, which is a GREAT thing. By Tyler Green of 24 Hrs Vancouver.

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The new DC United stadium will reportedly be the most expensive in MLS. By Michelle Goldchain of Curbed - Washington DC.
  • But if this total includes what the city is spending to acquire the land then its not even close to the top price.

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Landon Donovan, coach of the MLS Homegrown team during All-Star week, talked to the press on many subjects. Always good to hear from Landon. By Alex Morgan of Football Everyday.

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Some very important mid-week games coming on Wednesday in the NASL:
Week 15
-Wed Jul 2
Ottawa Fury v Carolina RailHawks
Edmonton v NY Cosmos
Rayo OKC v Tampa Bay Rowdies

dN

Jaime Chavez of Miami named NASL Player Of The Week

Nicole Barnhart of Kansas City named NWSL Player Of The Week

Maikel Chang of Charleston Battery named USL Player Of The Week

Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto named MLS Player Of The Week



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, July 25, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 25, 2016

It's Day 207 of 2016.


MLS Week 20 results from the biggest games:
  • Dallas came back late to get the tie in Colorado. (While Dallas is the top team in the league by 3 points over Colorado, the Rapids have played 3 fewer games. How is that possible in a league with 20 teams? Seriously?)
  • Montreal, Red Bull and SKC all had very big wins with many goals scored!
  • LA got a HUGE road win. They have never been good on the road under Bruce Arena. I wonder if this is changing?
  • Toronto was the other team with a dominant performance, 4-1 over DC.
  • Sebastian Giovinco with a hat trick. Was this the best goal of the week by Giovinco, or the worst goalkeeping? Either way, its a goal!
  • Didier Drogba with a hat trick.
  • Bradley Wright Phillips with a pair.
  • Dom Dwyer with a pair.
  • No shots on goal for Seattle. And just 1 shot period. Oof.
  • I have asked the question many times this season: Is this the end for Sigi Schmid in Seattle? Every time my Twitter feed responds with a certain, "No." Will that change now?
-Sat Jul 23
Colorado 1-1 Dallas
Montreal 5-1 Philadelphia
Portland 1-2 LA
-Sun Jul 24
Red Bulls 4-1 NYC
KC 3-0 Seattle

dN

Go deep for a review of MLS Week 20. By Matthew Doyle of MLSsoccer.com.
  • Dallas just finished a run of 8 games in 29 days. Their record? 6-1-1. Yeah. They are really good. But the potential sale of Fabian Castillo will really hurt. (If Dallas actually sells Fabian Castillo for just $4M as reported, its a crime.)

dN

If you watched Portland play this weekend you saw centerback Nat Borchers go down with an injury late in the first half. Many speculated that it looked like it might be an achilles tendon injury. It was. Fully ruptured. Surgical repair coming. Out for the season. Damn.
  • And just like that the team announced the signing of 30 year old English centerback Steven Taylor from Newcastle.

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The RBNY-NYC derby is for real and getting nasty. By Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Four NYC players earned suspensions from the next game (v Colorado) during the derby. Out: David Villa, Ethan White, RJ Allen and Federico Bravo. Very costly. By Christian Araos of Empire Of Soccer.

Tommy McNamara looks more like a college hacky sack guy than a MLS player, but he sure gets the job done for NYC. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

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The MLS All Star game is on Thursday night in San Jose against Arsenal. Kick off is at 5pm local time in San Jose. Brutal.

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Rough weekend for Greg Garza of Tijuana. He suffered a bad triple. Scored an own goal, got a Yellow Card and left the game with a concussion. Not good. They also lost 3-2 at Puebla.

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Omar Gonzalez and Pachuca off to a great start again. 2 wins from 2 games. 7 goals scored and 1 allowed. Omar has played all 180 minutes too. The champs are good!

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Did you know that there are 4 Americans starting at left fullback in Mexico? Jonathan Bornstein, Jorge Villafana, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza.

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Trainspotting 2 is coming in January 2017. Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle all return. Teaser. [VIDEO]

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NASL Week 14 results:
  • Solid win for Minnesota against a deflated Ft Lauderdale team.
  • Christian Ramirez got his league leading 11th goal for Minnesota.
  • And Ismaila Jome made his professional debut with Minnesota, coming on as a sub, and then scoring a goal!
  • Indy returned to the win column and the top of the table.
  • Puerto Rico got its first ever expansion team win, coming in its 5th game. Add that to 2 draws and they have a respectable 5 points.
  • Rayo OKC and Edmonton are the big surprises early in the Fall season sitting in 4th and 5th place respectively.
  • A wild finish in Tampa saw the home team get a tie against the Cosmos in the 5th minute of stoppage time on a typical Tommy Heinemann penalty - he bulled his way into the box plowing into anyone he could and then with the slightest touch on his back went down like a ton of bricks. Why do referees fall for his garbage? Great job by Heinemann though - you gotta give him credit for helping his team.
  • Omar Bravo made his debut for Carolina, playing the full 90 and scoring his team's final goal.
-Fri Jul 22
Carolina RailHawks 3-3 Miami
-Sat Jul 23
Jacksonville Armada 0-2 Ottawa Fury
Puerto Rico 1-0 Rayo OKC
Indy Eleven 1-0 Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-2 New York Cosmos
Minnesota United 3-1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers

dN

Minnesota must now go on the road to that nasty fake turf on fake turf stadium in rural OKC. They did not perform well last time they made the trip. Are they mentally in a better place now to get the desired results? I am not confident.

dN

Lionel Messi was pictured last week with a Joy Division t-shirt on, and now he's got blonde hair.


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Many outside England see the 1966 World Cup as a scam not a moment of national glory the way the English people still do. Great anecdotes. by Simon Burnton of the Guardian.

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FIFA says that the former president of the German FA Wolfgang Niersbach knew about shady deals that went down when Germany was awarded the 2006 World Cup and did nothing about it. For this he has been banned for 1 year. Really? That's all? For that big of an offense. Hmmmmmm. From Deutsche Welle.

dN

When do the 5 biggest European Leagues begin the new season?



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, July 22, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 22, 2016

It's Day 204 of 2016.


Five really tasty games this weekend in MLS Week 20:
  • Its one of the those "true test" games for Colorado. Unbeaten at home they now face the top team in the league, Dallas. A classic Defense v Offense showdown.
  • The New York derby moves to Harrison for a huge battle.
  • Montreal and Philly both need to keep pace with the Eastern leaders.
  • The other two games feature 4 of the most popular teams in the league: LA, Seattle, Portland and KC.
-Sat Jul 23
Colorado Rapids v Dallas - 8:00pm CT on MLS Live
Montreal Impact v Philadelphia Union - 6:30pm CT on MLS Live
Portland Timbers v LA Galaxy - 2:30pm CT on ESPN
-Sun Jul 24
New York Red Bulls v New York City - 12:00pm CT on FOX
Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders - 2:00pm CT on ESPN

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The Rapids have been shockingly good this season, but the strike partnership of Kevin Doyle and Shkelzen Gashi is just starting to cook. Look out. By John Meyer of the Denver Post.

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They say Jozy Altidore is healthy again and ready to roll for Toronto. He has been out over 2 months. And the never-ending struggle of this club needs an injection of quality. By Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun.

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Tommy McNamara is holding his own and thriving among the superstars at NYCFC. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

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Former MLS Deputy Sherrif Ivan Gazidis, now CEO of Arsenal, gives his appraisal of MLS in 2016 - the future is the development of youth players. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

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Jay Heaps, head coach of New England Revs, is an intense dude who curses like a sailor. A US Open Cup game diary. By Graham Parker of Four Four Two.

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Columbus Crew has signed young American goalkeeper Zack Steffen from German club Freiburg.

dN

Damn!
Loud Warning Sirens Going Off!

No word on how long he will be out!
  • UPDATE: From the team "Venegas is expected to be back and at full strength this Fall Season." Oof. That could put him out 2 months or more. Lets hope not.

dN

Minnesota United hosts Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday night at NSC Stadium. The Strikers are winless in their 4 games of the Fall Season and lost 3 in a row. But 9 of their season total 16 points have come on the road. The Loons better not take them lightly.

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Omar Bravo will make his debut for Carolina RailHawks tonight.

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All of the NASL Week 14 matches:
-Fri Jul 22
Carolina RailHawks v Miami
-Sat Jul 23
Jacksonville Armada v Ottawa Fury
Puerto Rico v Rayo OKC
Indy Eleven v Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies v New York Cosmos
Minnesota United v Fort Lauderdale Strikers

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John Brooks is cleared of his injury issues and training at full speed with Hertha Berlin for a new season. By Stephan Uersfeld of ESPNFC.
  • Brooks is another one of the people who unfortunately says he is "OK" with that loss to Argentina. He should be pissed off and embarrassed instead. Its OK to lose to a great team, but not like that, not if you want any one to take you seriously.

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The Chinese men's national team will be hosting an international tournament Jan 9-16 next year. I would not be surprised to see the USMNT participate.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 21, 2016

It's Day 203 of 2016.


US Open Cup Quarterfinals:
  • Brad Knighton of NER saved PKs by Sebastien Le Toux and CJ Sapong of Philly after Added Extra Time ended tied 1-1.
  • The last non-MLS team, Fort Lauderdale, was easily ousted by Chicago.
  • Dallas was the only road winner, with Fabian Castillo scoring in the 90th min.
  • LA trailed twice before pulling out the win with 2 late goals by Sebastian Lleget.
-Wed Jul 20
New England Revolution 1-1 Philadelphia Union - NER advances 4-2 in Penalty Kick Shootout.
Chicago Fire 3-0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Houston Dynamo 0-1 Dallas
LA Galaxy 4-2 Seattle Sounders

The draw was held this morning for the Semifinal matches:
-Tue Aug 9
New England Revolution v Chicago Fire
-Wed Aug 10
LA Galaxy v Dallas
  • Both games will be shown on the ESPN Networks, details TBA.

dN

The extreme heat did not help.... But:
  • Minnesota United 0-4 Bournemouth - Oof!
  • Minnesota held strong and had two great scoring opportunities, but a water break stopped their momentum and it was all Bournemouth after that.
  • I personally witnessed the worst Own Goal I have ever seen. We have all seen blunders on TV, but my own two eyes witnessed this one. Minnesota goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock literally threw the ball into his own goal. Literally. -0-3 at half time
  • Both teams brought out completely different 11's in the 2nd half.
  • Minnesota showed that they do have depth as the 2nd 11 contained some very good players and held their own until a late mistake cost them 1 more goal against.

I guarantee that come Saturday night when Sammy Ndjock takes to the field for Minnesota against Fort Lauderdale at NSC Stadium he is gonna get one helluva welcome from the hardcores of the Dark Clouds and True North Elite! Sammy, we got yer back.

Sammy Ndjock and Minnesota United decided to embrace the madness - blame it on sticky Jelly!


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This whole Jason Kreis coaching Orlando thing could have a big pay off. By Brian Strauss of Sports Illustrated.

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The excellent Weekly MLS awards by Alejandro Moreno of ESPNFC. [VIDEO]

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Copa Libertadores Finals:
-Wed Jul 20
Independiente del Valle (ECU) 1-1 Atletico Nacional (COL)
-Wed Jul 27
Atletico Nacional (COL) v Independiente del Valle (ECU)

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Did you like the TV show Louie? How about Baskets? If yes, then get ready for a third Louis CK production on FX. "Better Things" premiers on Sep 8, starring Pamela Adlon who had an excellent recurring role on Louie.

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Testing of the proposed Video Assistant Referee system is underway in New Jersey. By Wayne Epps Jr of the New York Times.

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A very interesting conversation with Umberto Gandini the general manager of AC Milan. They talk Milan, money, Serie A and MLS. By Stanley Kay of Sports Illustrated.

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A little Copa MX last night too, and I have 2 things to say:
  • 1. Again Miguel Ibarra did NOT play for Leon. He was on the bench... Get him the hell out of there! Please! Someone! Save Batman.
  • 2. Paul Arriola scored the game winner for Tijuana, but that is not the story - the story is that SIX Americans started for Tijuana. Holy Smokes! SIX. Goalkeeper Carlos Lopez, defenders Michael Orozco and John Requejo, midfielder Alejandro Guido, and forwards Arriolo and Amando Moreno!

dN

FYI: Freddy Adu has come on as a late game sub in the last two Tampa Bay Rowdies games. These are his first appearances of the season.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 20, 2016

It's Day 202 of 2016.


Jason Kreis has been hired as the new head coach of Orlando City.
  • Why in the world would Jason Kreis take the job as head coach at Orlando City, one of the leading contenders for Titanic of the Year. (New award I just made up.) The ownership that came on board to take the lower division club into MLS has been shipping people out the door left and right for a year and a half now - both field staff and business staff alike.

dN

Speaking of head coaches, Jurgen Klinsmann remains in charge of the USMNT as Sam Allardyce is hired to lead England.

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Minnesota United plays a friendly against English Premier League team Bournemouth tonight. Kick off is 7:00pm CT at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine MN. I am pretty sure there is no broadcast or online stream of the game.

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US Open Cup Quarterfinals:
  • 5 of the 8 teams (Chic, LA, Sea, Dall and NER)  in the Qfinals have won the tournament in the past.
  • Fort Lauderdale is the only non-MLS team left standing.
  • 3 MLS teams (Chic, Sea and Hous) are performing poorly in league play this season.
  • 3 MLS teams (LA, Dal and Phil) are having very strong seasons in league play.
Matches
-Wed Jul 20
New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire v Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Houston Dynamo v Dallas
LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders

dN

DC United has decided that Fabian Espindola is just not working for them any more and has been sold to Vancouver Whitecaps.

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Peter Papas, one of the TV commentators for Philadelphia Union games has pleaded guilty in a scheme to turn prescription drugs into cash. Or something like that. Its complicated. But he's guilty. And he took about half a million bucks. From the Associated Press via NorthJersey.com.

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Why did the Fort Lauderdale Strikers leave their long time home stadium, Lockhart? By Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald.
  • The new home, Central Broward Stadium, is very close to old one, just 7 miles apart.
  • But make no mistake, their latest stadium is far from ideal as it was built for cricket, and will be kinda nasty for soccer. See it here.
  • One of the big pluses is that the team will be able to house their club offices and practice facilities at CBS.

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Copa Libertadores Finals:
-Wed Jul 20
Independiente del Valle (ECU) v Atletico Nacional (COL)
-Wed Jul 27
Atletico Nacional (COL) v Independiente del Valle (ECU)

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CONCACAF Champions League group stage starts in just 2 weeks!

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The English Premier League is supposedly going to get serious about punishing players for abusing referees this season. By the Press Association via the Guardian.
  • I will believe it when I see it in action on a regular basis.
  • It took the NBA 2 years to really crack down against referee abuse when they instituted a similar policy. In the case of the NBA it has really worked. You just don't see the insane histrionics that used to go on happening at all any more, and the game is much better for it.



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 19, 2016

It's Day 201 of 2016.


One of the rarest of 1970s New York musicians was Alan Vega. Without being anything like our modern interpretation of  punk, Vega was more punk then all of the NY and London punks put together. His band with Martin Rev was called Suicide, and their music could make the hair on your neck stick straight out. An amazing, unnatural, electro-charged, unhinged variation of minimal rock n roll. Last weekend Vega passed away at age 78. Rest In Power Ghost Rider.
  • Vega's obituary by Jon Pareles of the New York Times.

dN



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In just 10 days Bob Bradley and Le Havre (HAC) begin their first full season together. Opening game of the new Ligue 2 season is Fri Jul 29 at Orleans.

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Michel of Rayo OKC Named NASL Player Of The Week

Estefania Banini of Washington Spirit Named NWSL Player Of The Week

Diego Valeri of Portland Timbers Named MLS Player Of The Week

Memo Rodriguez of Rio Grande Valley Named USL Player Of The Week

dN

Wednesday night! US Open Cup Quarterfinals:
  • New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union
  • Chicago Fire v Fort Lauderdale Strikers
  • Houston Dynamo v Dallas
  • LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders

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Who's Hot and who's cold in the current USMNT player pool. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

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Are German teams getting sucked into the stupid game of throwing transfer money at players on a gamble the way teams do in England? Pragmatism can get easily distracted by loud noises and shiny flashing colors. But this is not what made the Bundesliga so successful. By Stefan Bienkowski of Deutshe Welle.

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My political advice to everyone: Beware the fearmongers.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, July 18, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 18, 2016

It's Day 200 of 2016.


After harsh international condemnation of the Russian Ministry of Sports, which is behind the supposed state sanctioned doping of Russia's Olympic athletes, will FIFA now respond with a SERIOUS investigation of the World Cup program being run by those same Russian authorities? No chance. In reality we are just too close to the tournament, and billions have already been spent in prep, for there to be a change now, barring natural disaster or war. You can kick Russia out of the Olympics taking place in Brazil, but trying to do something like that IN Russia is nearly impossible.
  • Video from the press conference after the release of the damning report.


dN

Will this week's US Open Cup match be the last straw for head coach Sigi Schmid in Seattle? The team is floundering badly right now, so will a loss in the Cup be the end of his reign?
  • Sounders plays at LA Galaxy on Wednesday.
  • Tomorrow we can talk about the other 3 Quarterfinal match-ups.

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Where do things stand today in the world of USA youth soccer development? We all know its still way behind. Some of the big names in the region give their opinions. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.
  • "We're just in the beginning stages. I think in the next five to seven years, there's going to be a lot of really good players coming out of the U.S. in world soccer." Not everyone is this enthusiastic about what they see.

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MLS News + Notes:
  • Top three goal scorers are: David Villa 13, Ignacio Piatti 11, Fanendo Adi 10.
  • Dallas (on total points: 40) + Colorado (on points per game: 1.95) are still the Top 2 teams in the league. LA, NYC and Philly round out the Top 5.
  • This Fabian Castillo to Maxi Urruti goal is a thing of fabulous subtle skill and beauty. [VIDEO]
  • Colorado has not faded away like we thought they would. They are currently 14 games without a loss.

MLS results - 4 games of big importance:
-Sat Jul 16
Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
-Sun Jul 17
Portland Timbers 3-1 Seattle Sounders
Montreal Impact 1-3 New York City
Phildelphia Union 2-2 Red Bull New York

dN

Atlanta has signed 31 year old T+T forward Kenwyne Jones from Cardiff. They plan to loan him out until January of next year when they open their first preseason camp. He spent last season on loan at At Jazira in UAE.

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Portland won MLS Cup back in December with goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, but he got hurt earlier this year, then he couldn't win his job back, and [POOF-POW-FLASH] just like that, now he is out the door to Norwegian club Rosenborg. No word on the price paid.

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Fantastic! Over 35,000 in Cincinnati for their friendly against Crystal Palace. Beyond impressive.

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Huge congrats to Luchi Gonzalez, FC Dallas Academy director and FCD U16 head coach, as their teams won the US Development Academy championships at both U18 and U16 levels this weekend.

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Dennis Crowley has a vision for the future of American soccer. I like the way this guy thinks. Posted at SI's The Cauldron.

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Liga MX News + Notes on the Americans:
  • Greg Garza (who has been out injured for a year) was back for Tijuana. He started and played 69 minutes as they won 2-0 over Morelia. Paul Arriola + Michael Orozco dressed but did not play for the Xolos.
  • Jonny Bornstein went 90 for Querataro in a 2-0 win v Veracruz.
  • Edgar Castillo went 61 min for Monterrey but he replacement saw Red and they gave up a late tying goal to end 1-1 v Puebla.
  • Omar Gonzalez played the full match as Spring/Clausura Champions Pachuca picked up right where they left off, rolling 5-1 over Leon.
  • William Yarborough was in goal for Leon as they were crushed 5-1 at Pachuca. Miguel Ibarra again did not suit up for Leon. Ibarra needs to get out of there.
  • Ventura Alvarado on the bench for America as they beat Chiapas 2-0.
  • Jorge Villafana played the entire game for Santos as they tied at home 0-0 with Tigres. Jose Torres was on the bench for the Tigers.

Liga MX Apertura opening weekend results:
-Fri Jul 15
Tijuana 2-0 Morelia
-Sat Jul 16
Queretaro 2-0 Veracruz
Monterrey 1-1 Puebla
Atlas 1-1 Toluca
Pachuca 5-1 Leon
Necaxa 0-0 Cruz Azul
America 2-0 Chiapas
-Sun Jul 17
Pumas 1-0 Guadalajara
Santos Laguna 0-0 Tigres

dN

NASL News + Notes:
  • Minnesota United ended Indy Eleven's 13 game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win that was over after just 6 minutes. Minn also set a new attendance record of 9460.
  • The other big result was OKC smashing the Cosmos 3-0. Is OKC going to be a force in the Fall season?
  • And just 8 months after playing in the NASL Championship game, Ottawa is now the worst team in the league. Oof.
  • Remember when us negativos said Joe Cole was a stupid signing for Tampa. Yeah right, eat crow Bruce:

  • Top three NASL goal scorers are: Christian Ramirez 10, Michel 8, Eamon Zayed 6.

NASL Weekend results:
-Sat Jul 16
Fort Lauderdale 0-1 Carolina
Tampa Bay 3-0 Puerto Rico
Minnesota 2-0 Indy
Miami 1-0 Jacksonville
OKC 3-0 Cosmos
-Sun Jul 17
Edmonton 1-0 Ottawa

dN

Minnesota United hosts an exhibition match against English Premier League team Bournemouth on Wed Jul 20.

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With two HUGE name coaches moving into Manchester this summer what are the biggest questions ahead for them. By Jamie Jackson of the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, July 15, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 15, 2016

It's Day 197 of 2016.


USL president Jake Edwards talks about the status and future of his league. By Anthony J. Merced of Empire of Soccer.

dN

Copa Libertadores Semifinals:
  • The two big names are OUT! And it really wasn't even very close.
-Wed Jul 13
Atletico Nacional (COL) 2-1 Sao Paulo (BRA)
- AN advances 4-1 on aggregate.
-Thu Jul 14
Boca Juniors (ARG) 2-3 Independiente del Valle (ECU)
- IdV advances 5-3 on aggregate.

Finals:
-Wed Jul 20
Independiente del Valle (ECU) v Atletico Nacional (COL)
-Wed Jul 27
Atletico Nacional (COL) v Independiente del Valle (ECU)

dN

Ian Curtis, singer of Joy Division, would have turned 60 today. He took his own life in the Spring of 1980. H/T to Joe.

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A band with one of the worst names of all time was also one of the very greatest bands I ever saw perform: The Butthole Surfers. An article on just how incredible and incredibly challenging they were at their peak. By Daniel Dylan Wray of Vice.
  • This quote says it all: “There was this tightrope between entertainment and sheer terror that existed. Very few bands had that kind of power to have you, quite justifiably, fear for your own safety.” (That is exactly how I felt the 3 or 4 times I saw them in '84, '85 and '86)

dN

No one in the USA has a soccer academy as successful as FC Dallas, and its only growing bigger and better. By Peter Welpton of the Dallas News.
  • Two former Minnesota pro players are coaches in the FCD system - Marco Ferruzzi (asst on the senior coaching staff) and Luchi Gonzalez (academy head coach).

dN

Chicago Fire had this guy on their team and shipped him off to NYCFC without a 2nd thought, now Jack Harrison is bursting onto the scene as a big time prospect. Oh Chicago. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

Sean Johnson is back in goal for Chicago Fire and making a difference. By Jon Gallo of Gwinnett Daily Post.
  • He has only given up 1 goal in 3 games since being reinstated in the starting lineup - 2 wins and a draw.

dN

Longtime TV match commentator JP Dellacamera talks Copa America, Olympics, Philadelphia Union, MLS and more. Q + A by Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com

dN

du Nord's MLS Team Trending Power Rankings: (based on immediate heat from the last 5 games)
01 New York City
02 Sporting KC
03 Dallas
04 LA Galaxy
05 Toronto
06 Vancouver Whitecaps
07 Chicago Fire
08 Philadelphia Union
09 New England Revolution
10 Montreal Impact
11 Colorado Rapids
12 Portland Timbers
13 Houston Dynamo
14 Red Bull New York
15 DC United
16 Real Salt Lake
17 Orlando City
18 Seattle Sounders
19 Columbus Crew
20 San Jose Earthquakes

dN

MLS this weekend - 4 games look to be top notch:
-Sat Jul 16
Colorado Rapids v Sporting Kansas City - 8pm CT on MLS Live
-Sun Jul 17
Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders 2pm CT on FOX
Montreal Impact v New York City - 4pm CT on ESPN
Phildelphia Union v Red Bull New York - 6pm CT on FS1

dN

Liga MX returns tonight and is targeting big growth in the USA. TV is already good, but they want more. By Scott French of Four Four Two.

Liga MX begins its Apertura season tonight!
-Fri Jul 15
Tijuana v Morelia
-Sat Jul 16
Queretaro v Veracruz
Monterrey v Puebla
Atlas v Toluca
Pachuca v Leon
Necaxa v Cruz Azul
America v Chiapas
-Sun Jul 17
Pumas v Guadalajara
Santos Laguna v Tigres

dN

Minnesota United is out for revenge this weekend as they play Indy Eleven for the 2nd week in a row. Down in Nap town it was a Minn mistake that lead to a late goal for Indy and a 1-0 win. Will the high powered offense show up this week for the Loons? It frickin better.

dN

Its official, Ft Lauderdale Strikers are moving out of their home Lockhart Stadium. While the building is falling down around the spectators a standoff between stadium owners and government officials have put any major renovations on hold indefinitely. By Larry Barszewski and Pedro Heizer of the Sun Sentinel.
  • So the strikers are moving to a cricket stadium. Yikes.

dN

NASL Weekend matches:
-Sat Jul 16
Fort Lauderdale v Carolina
Tampa Bay v Puerto Rico
Minnesota v Indy
Miami v Jacksonville
OKC v Cosmos
-Sun Jul 17
Edmonton v Ottawa

dN

After a really underwhelming performance by his team at the Euro 2016 tournament Belgium has fired head coach Marc Wilmots. No surprise.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Some Soccer News for Jul 14, 2016

It's Day 196 of 2016.


Chant it like a mantra: Tab Ramos for USMNT

dN

HERE is the article that the New York Times SHOULD HAVE run on diversity in the stands of MLS and American soccer. By Nachiket Karnik of Fifty Five One.

dN

Judith Hill tells the story of being on the infamous flight with Prince when he ODed and had to be revived at a Moline IL hospital just days before he died. By Melena Ryzik of the New York Times.

dN

A restored and 4k digital quality edition of the film The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie will be re-released in theaters this fall. The great/odd movie directed by Nicola Roeg was made in 1976.

dN

Seattle Sounders put a 5-0 beatdown on Dallas (who played almost all backups) on Wed night, but it was costly as Clint Dempsey got a Red Card for slapping/batting at Juan Esteban Ortiz's head.
  • Dallas defender Maynor Figueroa was sent off for Dallas in just the 4th minute of game for a handball that stopped a shot from going into the goal.
  • The damage done by the Dempsey Red Card will be felt on Sunday in the derby with Portland. Not what coach Sigi Schmid needs right now.

dN

Lots more MLS on the dockett this weekend - 4 of them look to be top notch:
-Sat Jul 16
Colorado Rapids v Sporting Kansas City - 8pm CT on MLS Live
-Sun Jul 17
Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders 2pm CT on FOX
Montreal Impact v New York City - 4pm CT on ESPN
Phildelphia Union v Red Bull New York - 6pm CT on FS1

dN

Up up and away as Liga MX begins its Apertura season on Friday night!
  • Champions Pachuca host Leon who already have their eyes on the trophy that'll be won in December. Don't count out America, Tigres, Monterrey or Pumas either.
-Fri Jul 15
Tijuana v Morelia
-Sat Jul 16
Queretaro v Veracruz
Monterrey v Puebla
Atlas v Toluca
Pachuca v Leon
Necaxa v Cruz Azul
America v Chiapas
-Sun Jul 17
Pumas v Guadalajara
Santos Laguna v Tigres

dN

FC Cincinnati has already sold 30,000 tickets to their friendly against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

And the Chelsea v Milan game in Minneapolis at Jawa Sandcrawler Stadium on Aug 3 has sold 45,000.

dN

In the NASL last night the 2 league leaders rolled to big home wins. Their confidence has to be soaring.
  • Indy's streak of games without a loss is up to 13.
  • Indy comes to Minnesota for a Saturday Showdown! Be there.

3 NASL games were played last night:
Indy 3-0 Ft Lauderdale
Cosmos 3-0 Jacksonville
OKC 2-2 Puerto Rico

This coming weekends matches:
-Sat Jul 16
Fort Lauderdale v Carolina
Tampa Bay v Puerto Rico
Minnesota v Indy
Miami v Jacksonville
OKC v Cosmos
-Sun Jul 17
Edmonton v Ottawa

dN

The biggest NASL newsmakers this week were the Carolina RailHawks, a team that has really struggled on the field, but just had a big exhibition match and introduced a game changing player.
  • They signed Mexican star Omar Bravo from Chivas.
  • The Railhawks played a friendly against EPL team West Ham, tying 2-2 and setting an attendance record of 10,125.

dN

Word has come out that the US Open Cup semifinals will be played Aug 10 and shown on ESPN2.
  • Quarterfinal matches will be played next Wed Jul 20.



The Bird Is The Word

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