Monday, December 11, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 11, 2017

It's Day 345 of 2017.


Toronto are the new MLS Champions!

Tigres are the new Liga MX Champions!

A big weekend for North American soccer.

dN

It's crazy to think that I joined Twitter 10 years ago today. It has changed my soccer world like nothing else ever has.

dN

MLS CUP FINAL

-Sat Dec 9
Toronto FC 2-0 Seattle Sounders FC - Tor goals by Jozy Altidore and Victor Valdez

My MLS Cup Final Notes:
  • TFC earned it all. Three titles in one season: Canadian Championship - Supporters Shield - MLS Cup. No MLS team has ever done it before.
  • After losing at home to Seattle last year this was the only acceptable outcome for TFC and the fans.
  • Why didn't Seattle show up? At all.
  • If you were supporting Seattle you had to be completely baffled as to why your team was so bad. Actually probably more angry than baffled. Irate maybe. Two years in a row your team didn't play soccer in the final. Last year they got by with it.
  • Toronto never let up from the first minute to the last. They wanted this win so badly.
  • Stefan Frei is the only reason Seattle didn't get blown out. He had a great game in the Sounders goal.
  • The TFC midfielders seemed to stuff Nicolas Lodiero into a small sock and not let him out for 90 minutes. He was no factor what so ever.
  • Neither was Clint Dempsey or Will Bruin. Where was Christian Roldan in the attack? Where were the fullbacks?
  • Bradley, Delgado, Vasquez, Morrow, Osorio, Giovinco and Altidore seemed to have the ball for 75% of the game.
  • Hooray to the long suffering fans of Toronto. You have been insufferable and self-righteous at times, but you have also mellowed out and become more humble and more enjoyable. Congrats to you.

Media:

dN

LIGA MX

There is a new champion in Mexico:
  • Tigres UANL wins it 3-2 on aggregate in a derby match up. Fantastic stuff.
  • Tigres went on the road for the 2nd Leg and pulled off an upset over a big favorite! Huge congrats to them.
  • Monterrey scored just 2 minutes into the game and it felt like, uh oh, this is going to be a rout.
  • Hell no! Tigres was having none of that. They fought hard, tied the game, then got the lead, and watched Monterrey completely miss on a penalty kick late in the game that would have tied the series and changed the momentum.

American Jonathan Gonzalez started for Monterrey but came out in the 80th when Mont was desperate to get more attackers on the field.

Tigres head coach Tuca Ferreti lead his team to grand victory. By Tom Marshall for ESPNFC.

Liguilla Final Schedule:
1st Leg
-Thu Dec 7
Tigres 1-1 Monterrey
2nd Leg
-Sun Dec 10
Monterrey 1-2 Tigures

dN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Round of 16 Draw:
1st Leg
-Tue Feb 13
Juventus v Tottenham
Basel v Man City
-Wed Feb 14
Porto v Liverpool
Real Madrid v PSG
-Tue Feb 20
Chelsea v Barcelona
Bayern v Besiktas
-Wed Feb 21
Sevilla v Man United
Shakhtar v Roma
---
2nd Leg
-Tue Mar 6
Liverpool v Porto
PSG v Real Madrid
-Wed Mar 7
Tottenham v Juventus
Man City v Basel
-Tue Mar 13
Man United v Sevilla
Roma v Shakhtar
-Wed Mar 14
Barcelona v Chelsea
Besiktas v Bayern

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

Made one move before the roster freeze for the expansion draft on Tuesday: signed the coaches son Harrison from Atlanta in exchange for a future late round draft pick.
  • The spot on the roster and what they gave up to sign the player is basically inconsequential.
  • I hope there is already a plan in place for him to go out on loan.
  • The message it sends is pure nepotism. Not something this team needs to show its die hard fans.

Here is how the team divided up their roster in advance of the LAFC expansion draft:


dN

MLS

Three teams made moves over the weekend to acquire strong roster pieces:
  • Vancouver bought Kei Kamara from New England.
  • LAFC bought Walker Zimmerman from Dallas.
  • DC United bought Frederic Brillant from NYC.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Cristian Pulisic has a new head coach at Dortmund as Peter Bosz was fired. They have not won in 9 straight games. Peter Stoger who last managed Koln is now in charge.

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Leo Messi has 14 goals from open play in La Liga this season. Cristiano Ronaldo has 3. And Barcelona has an 8 point lead over Real Madrid. Interesting.

Four Teams Unbeaten in the Big 5 Leagues:
  • Manchester City 15-1-0
  • Barcelona 12-3-0
  • Internazionale 12-4-0
  • Atletico Madrid 9-6-0

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPE'S TOP LEAGUES

Weekend Fallout:
  • Chelsea, Man United and Dortmund were the 3 big teams to lose. And it cost them all a lot; Chelsea is now 14 pts behind, Man United is 11 pts behind, and Dortmund have not won in 9 games in all competitions and it cost their coach Peter Bosz his job.
  • Manchester City already has an 11 pt lead in the Premier League and the season isn't even half over. Money wins.
  • Bayern won and everyone else chasing them either tied or lost. They have an 8 point lead.
  • The top 4 teams in Italy all played in scoreless games. Fuck.

Weekend Results:
-Sat Dec 9
Eintracht Franfurt 0-1 Bayern
West Ham 1-0 Chelsea
Dortmund 1-2 Werder Bremen
Juventus 0-0 Internazionale
Leipzig 2-2 Mainz
Monaco 3-2 Troyes
PSG 3-1 Lille
Real Madrid 5-0 Sevilla
Monchengladbach 1-1 Schalke
Tottenham 5-1 Stoke
Valencia 2-1 Celta de Vigo
-Sun Dec 10
Southampton 1-1 Arsenal
Real Betis 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Villarreal 0-2 Barcelona
Liverpool 1-1 Everton
Amiens 1-2 Lyon
Man United 1-2 Man City
Marsielle 3-0 Saint-Etienne
Milan 2-1 Bologna
Napoli 0-0 Fiorentina
Chievo 0-0 Roma
---
Midweek Schedule:
-Tue Dec 12
Huddersfield v Chelsea
Mainz v Dortmund
Wolfsburg v Leipzig
-Wed Dec 13
West Ham v Arsenal
Bayern v Koln
Liverpool v West Bromwich
Swansea v Man City
Man United v Bournemouth
Schalke v Augsburg
Tottenham v Brighton & Hove



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 7, 2017

It's Day 341 of 2017.


The USMNT annual winter camp will start Jan 10 in Carson, CA.
  • Dave Saracan will again be interim head coach.
  • Rumor says they will call in around 30 players.
  • As in most years it will be all players who are on a break from their club season, so mostly MLS.
  • Does Minnesota United forward Christian Ramirez get his shot?

Rumor: USMNT to play friendly at France on Jun 9 in Lyon.

dN

American Jonathan Gonzalez has been a key for Monterrey so far this season. And he is just 18. By Tom Marshall for ESPNFC.
  • The 1st Leg of the Liga MX Apertura Final is tonight.

dN

LIGA MX

Weather could be a factor tonight as they are expecting 35 degrees and rain.

Liguilla Final Schedule:
1st Leg
-Thu Dec 7
Tigres v Monterrey - 8:00pm CT on Univision Deportes
2nd Leg
-Sun Dec 10
Monterrey v Tigures - 6:00pm CT on Univision Deportes

dN

Some great looking games from Europe this weekend. See the schedule for the top games below.

dN

MLS CUP FINAL

-Sat Dec 9
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - kickoff at 3:30pm CT on ESPN

Media:

Two examples that tell me the teams are ready to play:




dN

An audio interview with MLS commissioner Don Garber. Download or listen here. By Roger Bennett for Men In Blazers.

dN

A long and detailed Q + A with ESPN TV commentator Taylor Twellman on the state of American soccer. By Matt Yoder for Awful Announcing.

dN

Accord: du Nord Music Mix Vol 149 (download + extract)

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

This early prediction for the USMNT January Camp roster includes Christian Ramirez. By Ari Creditor for Sports Illustrated.

dN

MLS

In the past two weeks there have been whispers that Columbus' effective defensive midfielder Artur would not be back as his loan from Sao Paolo had ended and no purchase deal had been completed. But today the Crew announced that a deal had been struck and they had bought Artur. Great move.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Jonathan "Haha" Klinsmann made his pro debut today as Hertha Berlin tied Ostersunds 1-1 at home in the Europa League.
  • Hertha won't be advancing to the knock out stages.

dN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Round of 16 Draw
-Mon Dec 11
  • #1 Seeds: Barcelona, Besiktas, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma, Tottenham
  • #2 Seeds: Basel, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Porto, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

There are still 4 unbeaten teams in the Big 5 Leagues:
  • Manchester City 14-1-0
  • Internazionale 12-3-0
  • Barcelona 11-3-0
  • Atletico Madrid 8-6-0

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Three very big derby matches this weekend:
  • Juve v Inter - #2 v #1
  • Man U v Man City - #2 v #1
  • Liverpool v Everton

Weekend Schedule:
-Sat Dec 9
Eintracht Franfurt v Bayern
West Ham v Chelsea
Dortmund v Werder Bremen
Juventus v Internazionale
Leipzig v Mainz
Monaco v Troyes
PSG v Lille
Real Madrid v Sevilla
Monchengladbach v Schalke
Tottenham v Stoke
Valencia v Celta de Vigo
-Sun Dec 10
Southampton v Arsenal
Real Betis v Atletico Madrid
Villarreal v Barcelona
Liverpool v Everton
Amiens v Lyon
Man United v Man City
Marsielle v Saint-Etienne
Milan v Bologna
Napoli v Fiorentina
Chievo v Roma



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 6, 2017

It's Day 340 of 2017.


The Draw for the CONCACAF Champions League knock out stage is Mon Dec 18.
  • The Round of 16 begins on Feb 20.
  • Five MLS teams in the tourney: Colorado Rapids, Dallas, New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders, and Toronto (as Canadian champs)

dN

MLS CUP FINAL

-Sat Dec 9
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - kickoff at 3:30pm CT on ESPN

Media:

dN

Accord: du Nord Music Mix Vol 149 (download + extract)

dN

MLS

Philadelphia GM and former USA international Earnie Stewart sits down for an in depth Q + A. By Scott French for Four Four Two.
  • Long interview with a lot of different subjects, past and present.

dN

NWSL

A very good story of newly moved and named Utah Royals (formerly FC Kansas City and now owned by Real Salt Lake) getting their first head coach, a highly sought after Laura Harvey. By Richard Farley for Four Four Two.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Timmy Chandler is back to training with Eintract Frankfurt. He had meniscus surgery 7 weeks ago. My gut instinct says he won't play again until after the winter break.

dN

LIGA MX

We don't often get a genuine derby in the finals, but the two powerhouses from Monterrey will face off for the Mexican championship. By Luis Miguel Echegaray for Sports Illustrated.

Liguilla Final Schedule:
1st Leg
-Thu Dec 7
Tigres v Monterrey - 8:00pm CT on Univision Deportes
2nd Leg
-Sun Dec 10
Monterrey v Tigures - 6:00pm CT on Univision Deportes

dN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE


Matchday 6
  • NEWLY IN - Liverpool, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto
  • NEWLY OUT - Spartak Moskva, Napoli, Leipzig

  • Already ADVANCED (12 of 16): Barcelona, Basel, Bayern, Besiktas, Chelsea, Juventus, Man City, Man United, PSG, Real Madrid, Roma, Tottenham
  • Already OUT (13 of 16): Anderlecht, APOEL, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Celtic, CSKA Moskva, Dortmund, Feyenoord, Maribor, Monaco, Olympiacos, Qarabag, Sporting CP

-Mon Dec 11
Round of 16 Draw

Matchday 6 Schedule/Results:
-Wed Dec 6
Group E
Liverpool (12 pts) 7-0 Spartak Moskva (Out)
Maribor (Out) 1-1 Sevilla (9 pts)
Group F
Shakhtar Donetsk (12 pts) 2-1 Man City (In)
Feyenoord (Out) 2-1 Napoli (Out)
Group G
Porto (10 pts) 5-2 Monaco (Out)
Leipzig (Out) 1-2 Besiktas (In)

Seeds:
  • A1 - Manchester United
  • A2 - Basel
  • B1 - Paris Saint-Germain
  • B2 - Bayern Munich
  • C1 - Roma
  • C2 - Chelsea
  • D1 - Barcelona
  • D2 - Juventus
---
  • E1 - Liverpool
  • E2 - Sevilla
  • F1 - Man City
  • F2 - Shakhtar Donetsk
  • G1 - Besiktas
  • G2 - Porto
  • H1 - Tottenham
  • H2 - Real Madrid



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 5, 2017

It's Day 339 of 2017.


MINNESOTA UNITED

Nick Rogers has relieved of his job as President of Minnesota United. He had been the right hand of Dr Bill McGuire since he bought the team in 2012.
  • I want to thank Nick for everything he has done. We have had our conflicts over the years but always moved past them. I met Nick soon after he and Dr McGuire first took in a Minnesota Stars game and began comtemplating the purchase. Its been a great road. Thank you.
  • A couple more details. By Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.

dN

Sunil Gulati will not run for another term as US Soccer president. Here is the interview that broke the story. By Sam Borden for ESPNFC.
  • What does Gulati's stepping aside do to the race? By Grant Wahl for Sports Illustrated.

dN

Diego Valeri is beyond a great choice for 2017 MLS Most Valuable Player. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

dN

American soccer legend Brian McBride weighs in on the mess in Columbus and the potential of his first team moving to Austin. From the Columbus Dispatch.

dN

Russia has been found guilty of a state run doping program and banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Oddly FIFA responded by stating that they have no worries about the World Cup next summer, even though the guy who started the current doping program, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, is the chairman of this World Cup.

dN

MLS CUP FINAL

-Sat Dec 9
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - kickoff at 3:30pm CT on ESPN
  • I will be watching the game at New Bohemia on Lake Street in Minneapolis

Media:

dN

MLS

NYC has signed fullback Ronald Matarrita to a contract extension. Always good to sign the talented young ones.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Meet Jonathan Amon who at 18 years old is making his name in Denmark at Nordjaelland. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

dN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE


Matchday 6
  • Newly IN - Man United, Basel, Roma, Juventus
  • Newly OUT - CSKA Moskva, Atletico Madrid, Sporting CP

  • Already ADVANCED (8 of 16): Barcelona, Bayern, Besiktas, Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG, Real Madrid, Tottenham
  • Already OUT (10 of 16): Anderlecht, APOEL, Benfica, Celtic, Dortmund, Feyenoord, Maribor, Monaco, Olympiacos, Qarabag

Round of 16 Draw
-Mon Dec 11

Key Game Schedule:
-Tue Dec 5
Group A
Man United (15pts) 2-1 CSKA Moskva (OUT)
Benfica (Out) 0-2 Basel (12pts)
Group C
Roma (11 pts) 1-0 Qarabag (Out)
Cheslea (In) 1-1 Atletico(OUT)
Group D
Olympiacos (Out) 0-2 JUVENTUS (11 pts)
Barcelona (In) 2-0 Sporting CP (OUT)
-Wed Dec 6
Group E
Liverpool (9 pts) v Spartak Moskva (6 pts)
Maribor (Out) v Sevilla (8 pts)
Group F
Shakhtar Donetsk (9 pts) v Man City
Feyenoord (Out) v Napoli (6 pts)
Group G
Porto (7 pts) v Monaco (Out)
Leipzig (7 pts) v Besiktas (In)

Seeds:
  • A1 - Manchester United
  • A2 - Basel
  • B1 - Paris Saint-Germain
  • B2 - Bayern Munich
  • C1 - Roma
  • C2 - Chelsea
  • D1 - Barcelona
  • D2 - Juventus

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Sergio Ramos and his 24 Real Madrid red cards: a retrospective. From the Guardian.
  • 24 red cards is an insane amount. Most entire teams don't get that many in the same amount of time.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, December 04, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 4, 2017

It's Day 338 of 2017.


ADDED TO POST - Important News On Sunil Gulati:
dN

My fellow Minnesota United fans, and Dark Clouds especially, always make me happy. Here is a small taste why:


dN

Diego Valeri of Portland Timbers named MLS Most Valuable Player
  • An easy choice in 2017.

dN

A couple weeks back I mentioned Italian club Benevento because at the time they had played 12 games and lost them all. Since then they went on to lose two more leaving them at 0-0-14 in Serie A. This weekend that changed: 5 minutes into second half stoppage time they trailed Milan 1-2 but got a free kick just left of the box. The Benevento goalkeeper came racing forward and then put the ball into the net with his head to tie the game and claim their first point of the season, tying 2-2 v Milan.

dN

Q + A with Rob Stone - one of my favorite people in American Soccer, talking World Cup and his life as a sports broadcaster. By Mike Woitalla for Soccer America.

dN

An update on a potential new soccer league in the USA, called NISA, from our friend and league commissioner Peter Wilt. Press release from the NISA.
  • Not prepared to launch soon enough. I have always thought that their hope of starting in 2018 was pushing it too hard.

dN

MLS FINAL

-Sat Dec 9
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - kickoff at 3:30pm CT on ESPN

Media:

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

7 games in a row without a win in all competitions for Cristian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund.
  • And outside of a Cup win against 3rd division Magdeburg the streak goes back 3 more games to a win on Sep 30th.

How did other Americans perform over the last week. A good review. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

dN

LIGA MX

Oh boy, its gonna be the battle for the soul of the city of Monterrey in the Final. A derby in a final always makes things a lot crazier. Both people I talked to who live in Monterrey (one supporting each team) are nervous about how the city will react.

Liguilla Semfinals Results:
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 2
Tigres-2 3-0 America-3 - Tig advances 4-0 on aggregate
-Sun Dec 3
Monterrey-1 4-0 Morelia-4 - Mon advances 5-0 on aggregate

Liguilla Final Schedule:
1st Leg
-Date TBA
Tigres v Monterrey
2nd Leg
-Date TBA
Monterrey v Tigres

dN

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE


Matchday 6
-Tue Dec 5 + Wed Dec 6

  • ADVANCED (8 of 16): Barcelona, Bayern, Besiktas, Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG, Real Madrid, Tottenham
  • OUT (10 of 16): Anderlecht, APOEL, Benfica, Celtic, Dortmund, Feyenoord, Maribor, Monaco, Olympiacos, Qarabag

Round of 16 Draw
-Mon Dec 11

Key Game Schedule:
-Mon Dec 5
Group A
Man United (12pts) v CSKA Moskva (9pts)
Benfica (Out) v Basel (9pts)
Group C
Roma (8 pts) v Qarabag (Out)
Cheslea (In) v Atletico(6 pts)
Group D
Olympiacos (Out) v JUVENTUS (8 pts)
Barcelona (In) v Sporting CP (7 pts)
-Tue Dec 6
Group E
Liverpool (9 pts) v Spartak Moskva (6 pts)
Maribor (Out) v Sevilla (8 pts)
Group F
Shakhtar Donetsk (9 pts) v Man City
Feyenoord (Out) v Napoli (6 pts)
Group G
Porto (7 pts) v Monaco (Out)
Leipzig (7 pts) v Besiktas (In)

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

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

Unbeaten teams in the Big 5:
(6 became 4)
Manchester City 14-1-0
Internazionale 12-3-0
Barcelona 11-3-0
Atletico Madrid 8-6-0
---
Valencia - LOST this week
Paris St Germain - LOST this week

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Lost: Napoli to Juventus, Leipzig got smoked, and PSG lost for the first time.

In Spain, of the top 4 only Atleti got a win as Barca and Real Madrid both tied and Valencia lost for the first time all season.

Weekend Schedule:
-Fri Dec 1
Napoli 0-1 Juventus
Roma 3-1 SPAL
-Sat Dec 2
Arsenal 1-3 Man United
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad
Barcelona 2-2 Celta de Vigo
Bayern 3-1 Hannover
Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle
Leverkusen 1-1 Dortmund
Hoffenheim 4-0 Leipzig
Brighton & Hove 1-5 Liverpool
Monaco 1-0 Angers
Strasbourg 2-1 PSG
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid
Schalke 2-2 Koln
Watford 1-1 Tottenham
-Sun Dec 3
Internazionale 5-0 Chievo
Caen 1-2 Lyon
Man City 2-1 West Ham
Montpellier 1-1 Marseille
Benevento 2-2 Milan
Getafe 1-0 Valencia



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, December 01, 2017

Some Soccer News for Dec 1, 2017

It's Day 335 of 2017.


WORLD CUP GROUP STAGE DRAW

First game: Thu Jun 14 - Russia v Saudi Arabia

The lowest ranked team in the tournament is the host - Russia. And they are in the easiest group BY A MILE!

Group A - 43.75 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Russia - 65
  • 2 Saudi Arabia - 63
  • 3 Egypt - 30
  • 4 Uruguay - 17
Group B - 23.25 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Portugal - 3
  • 2 Spain - 8
  • 3 Morocco - 48
  • 4 Iran - 34
Group C - 19.75 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 France - 7
  • 2 Australia - 43
  • 3 Peru - 10
  • 4 Denmark - 19
Group D - 21.00 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Argentina - 4
  • 2 Iceland - 21
  • 3 Croatia - 18
  • 4 Nigeria - 41
Group E - 18.25 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Brazil - 2
  • 2 Switzerland - 11
  • 3 Costa Rica - 22
  • 4 Serbia - 38
Group F - 26.00 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Germany - 1
  • 2 Mexico - 16
  • 3 Sweden - 25
  • 4 South Korea - 62
Group G - 23.50 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Belgium - 5
  • 2 Panama - 49
  • 3 Tunisia - 28
  • 4 England - 12
Group H - 23.75 Avg FIFA Rank
  • 1 Poland - 6
  • 2 Senegal - 32
  • 3 Colombia - 13
  • 4 Japan - 44

Pre-tournament and on paper I think the toughest group is E.

My favorite match from each group:
  • A - Egypt v Uruguay - Fri Jun 15
  • B - Portugal v Spain - Fri Jun 15
  • C - France v Peru - Thu Jun 21
  • D - Argentina v Croatia - Thu Jun 21
  • E - Brazil v Costa Rica - Fri Jun 22
  • F - Germany v Mexico - Sun Jun 17
  • G - Belgium v Panama - Mon Jun 18
  • H - Poland v Colombia - Sun Jun 24

Tournament Timeline:
  • Group stage: Jun 14 to Jun 28
  • Round of 16: Jun 30 to Jul 3
  • Quarterfinals: Jul 6 to Jul 7
  • Semifinals: Jul 10 to Jul 11
  • Final: Jul 15

dN

The amount of ugliness surrounding the World Cup in Russia never lets up and none of the negative stories have gone away since day 1: kick backs, doping, racism, anti-homosexuality etc etc. By Tariq Panja for the New York Times.
  • The NYT addressed the Putin sports ministers directly and held their ground in their allegations.

dN

MLS

Seattle will travel to Toronto for a repeat of last year's final. And both teams are better than they were last year!

My Sea-Hou Notes:
  • Before the game there was a question posed on Twitter asking if this was a game to show a newbie. I replied: Two words - Clint Dempsey. And he delivered.
  • Dempsey was great scoring the 2nd goal, but was off the field when the 3rd and final goal went in.
  • Will Bruin with a little flick to Rodriquez for the opening Sounder goal was a thing of beauty.
  • And then Bruin with some SPEED and then a subtle chip for goal 3.
  • Seattle seemed to have every base covered and in control from minute 1-90.
  • Vicente Sanchez was the only threat that Houston could muster. He was good, but he had no help at all.
  • The Dynamo really missed Alberth Elis up top. He can make things happen out of nowhere.
  • Joevin Jones was the only weak link for the Sounders - he is fast but doesn't really have the 1 on 1 skills to beat someone and his decision making is so poor - he almost has to stop running, collect himself, and then decide what to do with the ball. On the other hand his cross went to Dempsey for goal 2.
  • Frei had another strong game in goal for the winners.
  • Six shutouts in a row for Seattle.
  • Two of Seattle's star players weren't even dressed for the game: Roman Torres (suspended) and Oswaldo Alonso (injured).
  • I think the Final is going to be tight again this year, but the Sounders clearly have the edge with their offense clicking.

Post-game Media:

Finals Opponents Comparison over the last 6 games:
  • Toronto - 6 Goals For - 4 Goals Against
  • Seattle - 14 Goals For - 0 Goals Against

We get an exact rematch of the 2016 Final. By Grant Wahl for Sports Illustrated.

Semifinal Results:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Toronto 1-0 Columbus - Tor advances 1-0 on aggregate.
-Thu Nov 30
Seattle 3-0 Houston - Sea advances 5-0 on aggregate.

Final Schedule:
-Sat Dec 9
Toronto v Seattle - 3:00pm CT on ESPN

In other MLS News: Atlanta has signed Mitch Hildebrand, former keeper for Cincinnati and Minnesota.

Official 2017 MLS Best XI
  • G: Tim Melia - Sporting Kansas City
  • D: Justin Morrow - Toronto, Ike Opara - Sporting Kansas City, Kendall Waston - Vancouver Whitecaps
  • M: Miguel Almiron - Atlanta United, Victor Vazquez - Toronto, Diego Valeri - Portland Timbers
  • F: Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto, Josef Martinez - Atlanta United, Nemanja Nikolic - Chicago Fire, David Villa - New York City
This team is gonna have to score 5-6 goals a game to be anyone with so little defense behind them. A 3-3-4 formation. Very unrealistic best 11.

dN

Sugar Pills: du Nord Music Mix Vol 148 (download + extract)

dN

LIGA MX

The two favorites have 1 goal leads and are headed home for 2nd Leg games this weekend.

Liguilla Semfinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 29
America-3 0-1 Tigres-2
-Thu Nov 30
Morelia-4 0-1 Monterrey-1
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 2
Tigres-2 v America-3 (1-0) - 6:00pm CT on Univision
-Sun Dec 3
Monterrey-1 v Morelia-4 (1-0) - 5:00pm CT on Univ Deportes

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Six unbeaten teams in the Big 5:
  • Manchester City 13-1-0
  • Paris St Germain 13-2-0
  • Barcelona 11-2-0
  • Internazionale 11-3-0
  • Valencia 9-4-0
  • Atletico Madrid 7-6-0

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Napoli opens up our weekend by losing for the first time this season, to Juventus, who are just 1 point behind Napoli at the top now.

Weekend Schedule:
-Fri Dec 1
Napoli 0-1 Juventus
Roma 3-1 SPAL
-Sat Dec 2
Arsenal v Man United
Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
Barcelona v Celta de Vigo
Bayern v Hannover
Chelsea v Newcastle
Leverkusen v Dortmund
Hoffenheim v Leipzig
Brighton & Hove v Liverpool
Monaco v Angers
Strasbourg v PSG
Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid
Schalke v Koln
Watford v Tottenham
-Sun Dec 3
Internazionale v Chievo
Caen v Lyon
Man City v West Ham
Montpellier v Marseille
Benevento v Milan
Getafe v Valencia



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Some Soccer News for Nov 30, 2017

It's Day 333 of 2017.


Huge congrats to Brazilian club Gremio on winning the Copa Libertadores.

dN

A Supermoon is coming on Sunday night. Are you ready to howl!

dN

MLS Semifinal 2nd Leg game on Thu night - Seattle v Houston - at 9:30pm CT
I'm gonna watch at Town Hall Brewery - Minneapolis - Seven Corners
Come hang with me

dN

Montreal's Hassoun Camara has retired early after suffering 3 concussion in the past season. He is worried about the long term affects. By Ian Holyman for ESPNFC.

dN

Gianni Infantino, FIFA, Russia 2018, future World Cups and other acts of bumbling idiocy. By Marina Hyde for the Guardian.
  • Sunil Gulati's support for Infantino is another reason that Gulati should not be US Soccer president any longer.

dN

MLS

Toronto has won the Semifinal in the East and will host the Cup Final on Sat Dec 9

Tonight the semis move to Seattle, who have a 2-0 lead, and Houston is without 2 suspended starters: forward Alberth Elis and fullback Jalil Anibaba. Seattle is also without a suspended starter: centerback Roman Torres.

My Tor-Col Notes:
  • That was a great tense jittery game.
  • Toronto deserved the win.
  • Columbus came out strong and through out the game had 3 or 4 excellent chances to score. Its all on them that they lost.
  • Justin Meram was the main failure for Columbus. He had 2 glorious chances to score, fumbling on one and frantically over-hitting the ball on the other. A calmer mind would have buried both.
  • Columbus had not lost a game since Aug 5.
  • Late in the first half Toronto began to pick up steam and really upped the pressure.
  • TFC earned a penalty kick. But the mighty Zack Steffen stuffed it.
  • Jozy Altidore went down with an ankle injury in the 49th min but came back on to score the game winner in the 60th. Then he was subbed off. Huge performance.
  • By the way, the hold up play by Giovinco should be taught in classrooms. It has little to do with size and strength. Magical back pass too.
  • Toronto hung on as Columbus tried everything to tie the game and win the series.

Post-game Media:

Today's Pre-game Media:

Gustav Svensson helped Sweden knock off Italy earlier this month and now wants to guide Seattle back to the top. By Matt Pentz for ESPNFC.

Semifinal Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Toronto 1-0 Columbus
-Thu Nov 30
Seattle v Houston (2-0) - 9:30pm CT on ESPN

Greg Vanney of Toronto named MLS Coach Of The Year.

dN

Sugar Pills: du Nord Music Mix Vol 148 (download + extract)

dN

USL

Rochester Rhinos announced that they will not operate in 2018 in an attempt to stabilize their business. Press release from the club.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Americans Jose Torres and Lalo Fernandez were on the bench for Tigres last night as they won 0-1 in the first leg of the Liga MX semifinals.
  • Jonathan Gonzalez and Edgar Castillo play tonight for Monterrey at Morelia in the other semifinal series.
  • Rumors say that Castillo has already signed with Colorado Rapids for next season.

dN

LIGA MX

A road win for Tigres in the 1st Leg is big.

America can't find a goal anywhere. Just 1 scored in the last 5 games and not more than 1 goal in any game since Oct 18.

Liguilla Semfinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 29
America-3 0-1 Tigres-2
-Thu Nov 30
Morelia-4 v Monterrey-1 - 7:00pm CT on Univ Deportes

dN

COPA LIBERTADORES

Gremio got a win on the road and claimed the 2017 trophy via 3-1 aggregate.
  • This is their 3rd Libertadores title, and first in 22 years.

Final Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Lanus 1-2 Gremio (0-1)

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Weekend Schedule:
-Fri Dec 1
Napoli v Juventus
Roma v SPAL
-Sat Dec 2
Arsenal v Man United
Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad
Barcelona v Celta de Vigo
Bayern v Hannover
Chelsea v Newcastle
Leverkusen v Dortmund
Hoffenheim v Leipzig
Brighton & Hove v Liverpool
Monaco v Angers
Strasbourg v PSG
Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid
Schalke v Koln
Watford v Tottenham
-Sun Dec 3
Internazionale v Chievo
Caen v Lyon
Man City v West Ham
Montpellier v Marseille
Benevento v Milan
Getafe v Valencia



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Some Soccer News for Nov 29, 2017

It's Day 332 of 2017.


MLS Semifinal 2nd Leg games on Wed and Thu night.
I'm gonna watch at Town Hall Brewery - Minneapolis - Seven Corners
  • Wed its Toronto v Columbus - at 6:30pm CT
  • Thu is Seattle v Houston - at 9:30pm CT
Come hang with me

dN

Lots of great soccer on TV tonight:
  • MLS Semifinals 2nd Legs
  • Liga MX Semifinals 1st Legs
  • Copa Libertadores Final 2nd Leg
  • (see all the details below)

dN

An organization working with FIFA on the World Cup in Russia has extended a warning to gays, transgendered and dark skinned races - Russia could get messy. By Tariq Panja.

dN

MLS

The winner of tonight's game will host the Cup Final.

Media for today's game:

Semifinal Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Toronto v Columbus (0-0) - 6:30pm CT on FS1
-Thu Nov 30
Seattle v Houston (2-0) - 9:30pm CT on ESPN

dN

Former New Zealand head coach Anthony Hudson has been named new boss of the Colorado Rapids.
Hudson was in charge of New Zealand since Sep 2014. In 27 games here is who they beat:
  • Fiji (3x)
  • New Caledonia (2x)
  • Oman
  • Solomon Islands (2x)
  • Vanuatu
(total record: 9W - 7T - 11L)
  • I hope things in Colorado go better than that.

dN

Sugar Pills: du Nord Music Mix Vol 148 (download + extract)

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

Ventura Alvarado was traded by Santos Laguna to Necaxa.

dN

LIGA MX

5 key players to watch for in the semifinals. By Cesar Hernandez for ESPNFC.

Liguilla Semfinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 29
America-3 v Tigres-2 - 8:55pm CT on Univision
-Thu Nov 30
Morelia-4 v Monterrey-1 - 7:00pm CT on Univ Deportes

dN

COPA LIBERTADORES

Only on Fox Deportes.

Final Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Lanus v Gremio (0-1)

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas resigned as head coach of Shanghai SIPG in China at the end of the season (Nov 4) to go race in next year's Dakar Rally! From the Guardian.

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

All the are not in yet but we already have some big team losses: Lyon and Monaco.

Midweek Schedule:
-Tue Nov 28
Watford 2-4 Man United
Leicester 2-1 Tottenham
-Wed Nov 29
Arsenal v Huddersfield
Chelsea v Swansea
Stoke v Liverpool
Lyon 1-2 Lille
Man City v Southampton
Metz 0-3 Marseille
Nantes 1-0 Monaco
PSG v Troyes



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some Soccer News for Nov 28, 2017

It's Day 330 of 2017.


The draw for the World Cup is Friday. I hope this doesn't give any of you flashbacks. (9am CT)

dN

At the end of November its always interesting to see who sits in the drop zone of Europe's Big 5 Leagues:
  • There is a team in Italy with no wins, no ties and therefore no points. They have scored 6 and allowed 34. How does a team that bad get into any top flight league?
Premier
10 West Ham
9 Swansea
8 Crystal Palace
---
Bundesliga
11 Freiburg
8 Werder Bremen
2 Koln
---
La Liga
7 Malaga
7 Las Palmas
6 Deportivo Alaves
---
Serie A
10 SPAL
9 Hellas Verona
0 Benevento
---
Ligue 1
14 Nice
12 Lille
4 Metz

dN

The ripples are quieter than people thought they would be, but sponsors have bailed on FIFA and not many are stepping up to fill the financial gaps. By Tariq Panja for the New York Times.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

MNUFC made roster moves yesterday.
Released:
  • Bernardo Anor
  • Ismaila Jome
  • Justin Davis
  • Thomas de Villardi
  • Joe Greenspan
  • Jermaine Taylor
  • Kevin Venegas
  • Patrick McLain
  • Brandon Allen (back to NYRB)
Current Roster:
  • G: Alex Kapp, Bobby Shuttleworth
  • D: Michael Boxall, Marc Burch, Francisco Calvo, Vadim Demidov, Brent Kallman, Jerome Thiesson
  • M: Sam Cronin, Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Jose Leiton (on loan until mid-July), Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Sam Nicholson, Rasmus Schuller, Collen Warner, Johan Venegas
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez

dN

Here are all of the MLS roster moves yesterday, listed by team. (Teams in the playoffs get extra time to decide.) From Soccer America.

dN

The 2nd annual Du Not list - coming soon.

dN

MLS

Media:

Semifinal Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Toronto v Columbus (0-0) - 6:30pm CT on FS1
-Thu Nov 30
Seattle v Houston (2-0) - 9:30pm CT on ESPN

dN

Tim Leiweke took a huge risk that turned Toronto FC into a real team and then walked away. In an interview he gives his thoughts on where the team stands today, and comments on another project of his - the David Beckham team in Miami. By Kurt Larson for the Toronto Sun.

dN

This new rock n roll song by Ty Segall is smokin'!!!
  • My brother says that I am a sucker for punk rock saxophone. I fear he is correct.

dN

LIGA MX

Liguilla Semfinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 29
America-3 v Tigres-2 - 8:55pm CT on Univision
-Thu Nov 30
Morelia-4 v Monterrey-1 - 7:00pm CT on Univ Deportes

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Arsenal has hired one of Barcelona's top football minds to help the London team move back to the elite ranks. By Simon Burnton for the Guardian.

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Midweek Schedule:
-Tue Nov 28
Watford v Man United
Leicester v Tottenham
-Wed Nov 29
Arsenal v Huddersfield
Chelsea v Swansea
Stoke v Liverpool
Lyon v Lille
Man City v Southampton
Metz v Marseille
Nantes v Monaco
PSG v Troyes



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, November 27, 2017

Some Soccer News for Nov 27, 2017

It's Day 329 of 2017.


The Curse of Couva? Since Cristian Pulisic returned to Dortmund after the USMNT 2-1 loss to Trinidad + Tobago in Couva he has played 7 games in the Bundesliga and Champions League and not won any of them. By Paul Kennedy for Soccer America.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

This is roster decision day.

Released:
  • Bernardo Anor
  • Ismaila Jome
  • Justin Davis
  • Thomas de Villardi
  • Joe Greenspan
  • Jermaine Taylor
  • Kevin Venegas
  • Patrick McLain
  • Brandon Allen (back to NYRB)
Current Roster:
  • G: Alex Kapp, Bobby Shuttleworth
  • D: Michael Boxall, Marc Burch, Francisco Calvo, Vadim Demidov, Brent Kallman, Jerome Thiesson
  • M: Sam Cronin, Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Jose Leiton (on loan until mid-July), Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Sam Nicholson, Rasmus Schuller, Collen Warner, Johan Venegas
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez

dN

MLS

4 players suspended for 2nd Leg games:
  • Artur – Columbus
  • Alberth Elis + Jalil Anibaba – Houston
  • Roman Torres – Seattle

The last time Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco played a game was Sun Nov 5 - that will make it 24 days between games.

Media:

Semifinal Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Toronto v Columbus (0-0) - 6:30pm CT on FS1
-Thu Nov 30
Seattle v Houston (2-0) - 9:30pm CT on ESPN

Greg Vanney of Toronto named MLS Coach Of The Year

Bob Bradley sets about building his 2nd MLS team from the ground floor up. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

San Jose Earthquakes hired Mikael Stahre as their new head coach. He just coached Hacken to a 4th place finish in Sweden.
  • Still no announcement from Colorado Rapids on their new coach.

Some people have loudly complained about the playoff games being on such irregular days of the week, but both stadiums last week were sold out and TV viewership was up 20%. Via Soccer America.

dN

USL

Dane Kelly of Reno 1868 named USL Most Valuable Player

dN

NASL

Both San Francisco and Edmonton have closed their doors. It was expected.
  • The real question mark is on the future of Puerto Rico.
  • North Carolina has left the league to join USL.
  • That leaves just 5 teams (which I think could easily be 4) at this time for 2018.

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

First, over the weekend, the Bad:
  • Weston McKennie got a yellow card in the 3rd minute, then was replaced in the 33rd min (along with a teammate) as Schalke were already down 4-0 at Dortmund. Luckily for them the game ended tied 4-4. Bad game for McKennie, great save by his team.
  • DeAndre Yedlin had the awful distinction of scoring an Own Goal for Newcastle in a 0-3 home loss v Watford.
  • Cristian Pulisic played the whole game as Dortmund went up 4-0 in the 1st half but fell into a 4-4 tie v Schalke.
The Good:
  • Matt Miazga scored the game winning goal with his head on a corner kick as Vitesse won 2-0 over ADO Den Haag.
  • Terrance Boyd played 83 min and got the first 2 goals for Darmstadt as they tied 3-3 at Union.
  • Fab Johnson came on at half time for Gladbach as they upset Bayern 2-1.
  • Kenny Saief made his return from surgery (last summer), coming on as a sub for Gent in the 76th min as they won 3-1 v REM Mouscron.
In MX:
  • Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey) and Jose Torres (Tigres) advance to Apertura Liguilla Semifinals.

dN

LIGA MX

The seeds advanced in order 1-4. That sure doesn't happen very often.

Liguilla Semfinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 29
America-3 v Tigres-2 - 9pm CT
-Thu Nov 30
Morelia-4 v Monterrey-1 - 7:30pm CT
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 2
Tigres-2 v America-3 - 7pm CT
-Sun Dec 3
Monterrey-1 v Morelia-4 - 6pm CT

dN

MEXICO - COPA MX

Final
-Date TBA
Monterrey v Pachuca

dN

COPA LIBERTADORES

Lanus will have to overcome a 1 goal deficit at home to win it on Wed.

Sadly no American TV broadcast.

Final Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 22
Gremio 1-0 Lanus
2nd Leg
-Wed Nov 29
Lanus v Gremio (0-1)

dN

EUROPEAN NEWS

Lionel Messi has signed a new 4 year contract with Barca.

Looks like human-pitbull Gennaro Gattuso is the new head coach of AC Milan.

dN

BIG TEAMS + GAMES IN EUROPES TOP LEAGUES

Bayern and Monaco were the only 2 big teams to lose this weekend, but Mon was to another big.

And France's 2nd place team Lyon has been added to the this schedule beginning with a midweek game.

Results: -Sat Nov 21
Levante 0-5 Atletico Madrid
Valencia 1-1 Barcelona
Monchengladbach 2-1 Bayern
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Dortmund 4-4 Schalke
Cagliari 1-3 Internazionale
Leipzig 2-0 Werder Bremen
Man United 1-0 Brighton + Hove
Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga
Tottenham 1-1 West Brom
-Sun Nov 22
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Juventus 3-0 Crotone
Huddersfield 1-2 Man City
Marsielle 1-0 Guingamp
Milan 0-0 Torino
Monaco 1-2 PSG
Udinese 0-1 Napoli
Genoa 1-1 Roma

Midweek Schedule:
-Tue Nov 28
Watford v Man United
Leicester v Tottenham
-Wed Nov 29
Arsenal v Huddersfield
Chelsea v Swansea
Stoke v Liverpool
Lyon v Lille
Man City v Southampton
Metz v Marseille
Nantes v Monaco
PSG v Troyes



The Bird Is The Word

Older Posts