Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Some Soccer News for Dec 6, 2016

It's Day 341 of 2016.


LATE ADDITION
Minnesota United Stadium Groundbreaking
Mon Dec 12 at 2:00pm CT
415 Pascal St N, St Paul, MN 55104
In attendance:
MN United Owner Dr. Bill McGuire
MLS Commissioner Don Garber
St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
And me
And you

dN

David Villa was named MLS 2016 Most Valuable Player.
  • The other two finalists were Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
  • Villa was great this season.
  • I voted for Mauro Dias of Dallas.



dN

MLS Cup - Final:
-Sat Dec 10
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - 7:00pm CT on FOX

dN

The city of Toronto, like Cleveland before them, is desperate for a winner. By Arch Bell of ESPNFC.

dN

Sounders inspired by championship won by bitter rival Portland last year. By Graham Parker of ESPNFC.

dN

Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei got his pro start with Toronto FC. By Matt Pentz of the Seattle Times.

dN

What is the Minnesota United on-field brain trust up to right now? Scouting for players. By Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.

dN

Atlanta United seems to be going for it from the start. By Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Former long time Minnesota Thunder player Freddy Juarez has been promoted by Real Salt Lake from head coach of their USL Monarchs team to an assistants position on the senior team.

dN

I placed my vote today:
2016 Futbol De Primera Player Of The Year
  • 1st Place: Jozy Altidore
  • 2nd Place: Bobby Wood
  • 3rd Place: Christian Pulisic

dN

And there are the nominees for US Soccer's Player Of The Year:
MALE
Jozy Altidore
Michael Bradley
Geoff Cameron
Clint Dempsey
Bobby Wood
FEMALE
Crystal Dunn
Tobin Heath
Carli Lloyd
Alex Morgan
Becky Sauerbrunn
YOUNG MALE
Andrew Carleton
Cameron Carter-Vickers
Jordan Morris
Christian Pulisic
Josh Sargent
YOUNG FEMALE
Emily Ogle
Kaleigh Riehl
Karina Rodriguez
Ashley Sanchez
Andi Sullivan

dN

Carolina RailHawks have officially changed their name to North Carolina FC.
  • Future plans include starting a NWSL team and pushing for MLS.
  • They also have a plan for a new stadium.
  • Rumor has the team playing in in the USL for the 2017 season.

dN

NASL 2016 Teams:
Carolina RailHawks
Edmonton
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Indy Eleven
Jacksonville Armada
Miami
Minnesota United
New York Cosmos
Ottawa Fury
Puerto Rico
Rayo Oklahoma City
Tampa Bay Rowdies

dN

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage - Big Teams - Matchday 6:
  • Advanced to the knock out rounds: Arsenal (A), Atletico Madrid (D), Barcelona (C), Bayern Munich (D), Dortmund (F), Juventus (H), Leicester (G), Monaco (E), PSG (A) and Real Madrid (F).
-Tue Dec 6
Bayern v Atletico
Man City v Celtic
Barca v Gladbach
Basel v Arsenal
PSG v Ludogorets
-Wed Dec 7
Juve v Dinamo Zagreb
Real Madrid v Dortmund

Americans in the UCL:
  • Fabian Johnson - Monchengladbach - Tue Dec 6 at Barcelona
  • Christian Pulisic - Dortmund - Wed Dec 7 at Real Madrid



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, December 05, 2016

Some Soccer News for Dec 5, 2016

It's Day 340 of 2016.


MLS Cup - Final:
-Sat Dec 10
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - 7:00pm CT on FOX

dN

Official MLS 2016 Best XI:
G
Andre Blake
D
Matt Hedges Jelle Van Damme Axel Sjoberg
M
Sacha Kljestan
Maruo Diaz
Ignacio Piatti
F
Giovanni Dos Santos
Bradley Wright-Phillips
David Villa
Sebastian Giovinco

My Best XI Notes:
  • Nothing against any of those players. All excellent.
  • But apparently they are gonna line up in a 3-3-4
  • No fullbacks
  • No defensive midfielders
  • Only 1 wide player
  • Two attacking midfielders
  • That is a clusterfuck of a line up

dN

Coming later this week: The 11th annual du Nord Futbol MLS Best 11.
  • I promise I will name an 11 that is capable of taking the field as a full team. And we would whip the donkeys ass of the MLS Best list in FIFA.

dN

Cristian Roldan is one of the Sounders unsung heroes in 2016. Who is he, how has he done it and what is his future? by Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

Atlanta United has made a huge investment in a little known player from Paraguay, Miguel Almiron who played for Lanus. Shit is changing fast in MLS. By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.

dN

The US Soccer Federation has big meetings in New York today and tomorrow. Expect to hear some news about something.

dN

The future of the NASL seems to be changing by the day, and could blow up at any minute. A round up of what we know so far. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Bruce Arena was in Germany over the weekend and he met with at least Christian Pulisic and Fabian Johnson. Probably more.

dN

The Bob Bradley + Swansea City Tracker:
  • Note: Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh. Bad. Yeesh.
  • Results - Sat Dec 3 L 5-0 at Tottenham
  • Standings - 20th Place, 3 Points + -1 GD into Relegation
  • Up Next - Sat Dec 12 v Sunderland

dN

Little known American (with duel Norwegian citizenship) Bjorn Johnsen scored his 5th goal of the Scottish Premier League season this weekend. (In 14 games.) The forward plays with fellow American and team captain Perry Kitchen. They are currently in 3rd place of the 12 team league.

dN

Another little known American forward, Andrew Wooten, plays in the German 2nd division at Sandhausen and has 8 goals in 14 games this season.

dN

Alejandro Camargo of Universidad de Concepcion in Chile scored the most stunning half field side volley goal I have ever seen. [VIDEO]

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Semifinals Schedule:
  • It will be a repeat of the 2011 Apertura Final with Tigres v America.
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 3
Tigres(3) 2-1 Leon(8) - Tig advances 3-1 on agg. Tig goals by Andre Gignac + Lucas Zelarrayan. Leo goal by Luis Montes.
-Sun Dec 4
America(5) 2-0 Necaxa(7) - Ame advances 3-1 on agg. Ame goals by Willian da Silva + Oribe Peralta.

Performance of the Americans in Liga MX Liguilla:
  • William Yarborough - Leon - played the whole game in a losing effort.
  • Jose Torres - Tigres - came on as a sub in the 3rd minute of stoppage time to kill off the game as they won and advanced to the Final.
  • Ventura Alvarado - America - went the full 90 at right fullback as they advanced. Who saw this coming?

Due to a conflict with the FIFA Club World Cup the Final series has been pushed back 2 weeks to Dec 21 + 24.

dN

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage - Big Teams - Matchday 6:
  • Advanced to the knock out rounds: Arsenal (A), Atletico Madrid (D), Barcelona (C), Bayern Munich (D), Dortmund (F), Juventus (H), Leicester (G), Monaco (E), PSG (A) and Real Madrid (F).
-Tue Dec 6
Bayern v Atletico
Man City v Celtic
Barca v Gladbach
Basel v Arsenal
PSG v Ludogorets
-Wed Dec 7
Juve v Dinamo Zagreb
Real Madrid v Dortmund

Americans in the UCL:
  • Fabian Johnson - Monchengladbach - Tue Dec 6 at Barcelona
  • Christian Pulisic - Dortmund - Wed Dec 7 at Real Madrid

Draw for the Round of 16 is on Mon Dec 12.

dN

Shock Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig has won 8 games in a row, and not lost a single game this season.
  • They will face Bayern Munich on Wed Dec 21 on the road.

dN

Paris Saint-Germain got smoked 3-0 at Montpelier and dropped to 3rd place. Yes, Zlatan is that good.

dN

Coming up this weekend in Europe:
-Sat Dec 3
Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea - Chelsea opens up a gap at the top!
Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid - RM retains their 6 pt lead.
-Sun Dec 4
Lazio 0-2 Roma - Rom trying to keep pace with Juve but still 4 back of the leaders.

dN

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



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, December 02, 2016

Some Soccer News for Dec 2, 2016

It's Day 337 of 2016.


NEXT WEEK
MLS Cup Final:
-Sat Dec 10
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - 7:00pm CT on FOX
  • Sadly I will not be there this year. I'm bummed. I love going to this game.

dN

DC United has signed centerback Steve Birnbaum to a new contract.

dN

The new director of the Chicago Fire academy program came from Paris Saint-Germain. What is his vision? By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

dN

After a turbulent week in NASL business the owners have met and progression is their goal. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.
  • As I wrote a couple of days ago, if you want to stay on top of this moving target these are 3 people I suggest you check out on Twitter (you don't need Twitter to read them, just a web browser):

dN

The president of US Soccer Sunil Gulati has been involved in the discussions with the NASL. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

dN

An ankle ligament injury which may require surgery will keep young American Lyden Gooch of Sunderland out for 3 months. Oof.

dN

The Bob Bradley + Swansea City Tracker:
  • Standings - 19th Place, 2 Points + -5 GD into Relegation
  • Up Next - Sat Dec 3 at Tottenham

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Semifinals Schedule:
  • If Tigres and America advance then the Final will be a repeat of Apertura 2014.
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 30
Leon(8) 0-1 Tigres(3) - Tig goal by Andre Gignac.
-Thu Dec 1
Necaxa(7) 1-1 America(5) - Nec goal by Felipe Gallegos. Ame goal by Willian da Silva.
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 3
Tigres(3) v Leon(8) (1-0)
-Sun Dec 4
America(5) v Necaxa(7) (1-1)

Former MLSer Fabian Espindola started and went 64 minutes for Necaxa.

Performance of the Americans in Liga MX Liguilla:
  • Ventura Alvarado - America - went the full 90 at right fullback as they came from behind and got that precious away goal.

dN

Coming up this weekend in Europe:
-Sat Dec 3
Manchester City v Chelsea - 6:30am CT on NBCSN
Barcelona v Real Madrid - 9:00am CT on beIN Sports
-Sun Dec 4
Lazio v Roma - 8:00am CT on beIN Sports

dN

You can have your Messi, Xavi, Henry, Zlatan, Eto'o and today Neymar and Suarez, but the real sparkle in Barcelona's long haul has been Andres Iniesta. By Jonathan Wilson of Sports Illustrated.

dN

Zinedine Zidane has Real Madrid playing very well. They want to put Barcelona under their heel on Saturday. By Sid Lowe of the Guardian.

dN

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend. From the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Some Soccer News for Dec 1, 2016

It's Day 336 of 2016.




dN

MLS Playoffs - Semifinals:
  • The 2016 Final will be played in Toronto!
  • What do you want me to say? Epic. Nuts. Nerve wracking. Bonkers. Brilliance.
  • Benoit Cheyrou and Tosaint Ricketts, both subs, scored for Toronto in Added Extra Time to break the 5-5 aggregate tie.
  • And Jozy Altidore was a monster! He has now scored in 6 consecutive playoff games for Toronto.
  • Montreal had the lead when the game started. Pushed it further with the first goal. And again with a goal to start the 2nd half. But the pressure seemed to have caught up to them and they folded down the stretch.
  • When Sebastian Giovinco went out injured early in AET how many of you thought TFC was done?
  • Where did Ignacio Piatti go to after about the 80th minute? He vanished.
  • You know who didn't vanish for Montreal? Marco Donadel! Holy smokes did he leave it all on the field or what? I love that guys tenacity.
  • The fans support in Montreal, Seattle and Toronto was just fantastic. I am not going to dump on Colorado but it just wasn't even close to the same level of passion.
  • Attendance for the two legs in the East was 98,000!
2nd Leg-Sun Nov 27
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Seattle Sounders - SS advances 3-1 on aggregate - SS goal by Jordan Morris.
-Wed Nov 30
Toronto 5-2 Montreal - Tor advances 7-5 on aggregate - Tor goals by Armando Cooper, Jozy Altidore, Nick Hagglund, Benoit Cheyrou + Tosaint Ricketts. MI goals by Dominic Oduro + Ignacio Piatti.

Final
-Sat Dec 10
Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC - 7:00pm CT on FOX
  • Sadly I will not be there this year. I'm bummed. I love going to this game.
  • Toronto is the favorite to win it all.

dN

Finally, after 9 years of futility, TFC gets it right this season. By Dough McIntyre of ESPNFC.

dN

Oscar Pareja of Dallas named MLS Coach Of The Year
  • Other finalists: Pablo Mastroeni of Colorado Rapids and Patrick Vieira of New York City.

dN

Kevin Venegas + Justin Davis are officially the first players announced for the MNUFC MLS roster.

dN

Minnesota United will again take part in the Portland preseason invitational tournament:
-Thu Feb 9
Minnesota United v Vancouver Whitecaps – 5:00pm PT
Portland Timbers v Real Salt Lake – 7:30pm PT
-Sun Feb 12
Vancouver Whitecaps v Real Salt Lake – 2:30pm PT
Minnesota United v Portland Timbers – 5:00pm PT
-Wed Feb 15
Minnesota United v Real Salt Lake – 5:00pm PT
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps – 7:30pm PT

dN

Comparing new Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath to Atlanta's Gerardo Martinez. By Haris Kruskic of Dirty South Soccer.
  • They rate Martinez a mile ahead of Heath. Natch.
  • But like the Golden Ball or the Group Of Death, you can only analyze this one after the fact. Not before.

dN

Five of the hottest topics around MLS, and more, reviewed. By Steve Davis at FC Dallas.

dN

Refreshments: du Nord Music Mix Vol 106 (download + extract)

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Semifinals:
  • Tigres got the road win and the road goal. Will be hard to keep them out of the Final.
Semifinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 30
Leon(8) 0-1 Tigres(3) - Tig goal by Andre Gignac.
-Thu Dec 1
Necaxa(7) v America(5) - 9pm CT on Univision Deportes
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 3
Tigres(3) v Leon(8)
-Sun Dec 4
America(5) v Necaxa(7)

Performance of the Americans in Liga MX Liguilla:
  • William Yarborough - Leon - played the full 90 as they lost at home. He did his best on the 1 goal that was scored against him.
  • Jose Torres - Tigres - on the bench but did not play in the winning effort.

dN

Coming up this weekend in Europe:
-Sat Dec 3
Manchester City v Chelsea - 6:30am CT on NBCSN
Barcelona v Real Madrid - 9:00am CT on beIN Sports
-Sun Dec 4
Lazio v Roma - 8:00am CT on beIN Sports

dN

Today I saw someone refer to Tinfoil Ted as Fred Phelps. Perfect.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Soccer News for Nov 30, 2016

It's Day 335 of 2016.




We all know about the horrible plane crash on Monday night in Colombia that killed almost everyone involved in the Brazilian club Chapecoense, but most of us know next to nothing about the team, and the awful sadness that has enveloped the city of Chapeco. by Simon Romero of the New York Times.

dN

MLS Playoffs
Lots of preview material to read:
Semifinals Schedule
2nd Leg
-Sun Nov 27
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Seattle Sounders - SS advances 3-1 on aggregate - SS goal by Jordan Morris.
-Wed Nov 30
Toronto v Montreal (2-3) - 6:00pm CT on FS1

Final is in Toronto if TFC wins tonight.
Final is in Seattle if Montreal wins tonight.

MLS Cup Final:
-Sat Dec 10
Seattle + ???

dN

Someone has leaked the 2017 MLS game ball. Its different:


dN

Let me first say that I hate rumors... There are a lot of rumors swirling around the internet about the NASL. I don't know what to read or believe or anything. But there is plenty of talk of the New York Cosmos going belly up, followed by the whole league going belly up, followed by multiple teams jumping ship to the USL. If you want to stay abreast of the rumors I suggest you check out these Twitter feeds (you don't need Twitter to read them, just a browser):

dN

On Monday the New York Cosmos laid-off most employees, told players they are free to look for other teams, and left many people unpaid. Yesterday their sibling TV company One World Sports did the same thing. By Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing.

dN

Our very smart Friend-In-Football Mr T. Zathras has put together a great quiz for fans of USMNT:
Can you name the USMNT players Capped by Jurgen Klinsmann?
  • I got 63 on the Klinsmann list. And a 60 on the Arena list. Let me know your scores.

dN

Bruce Arena knows he needs to add to the attack for the USMNT. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

Arena did a long sit down interview with the crew at MLS Extra Time Radio. [VIDEO] By Andrew Wiebe and David Gass of MLSsoccer.com.

dN

Refreshments: du Nord Music Mix Vol 106 (download + extract)

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Semifinals:
Semifinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 30
Leon(8) v Tigres(3) - 8:30pm CT on Univision Deportes
-Thu Dec 1
Necaxa(7) v America(5) - 9:00pm CT on Univision Deportes
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 3
Tigres(3) v Leon(8)
-Sun Dec 4
America(5) v Necaxa(7)

Americans in Liga MX Liguilla:
  • William Yarborough - Leon
  • Jose Torres - Tigres
  • Ventura Alvarado - America



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Some Soccer News for Nov 29, 2016

It's Day 334 of 2016.




In devastating news, Brazilian team Chapecoense from Chapeco, Santa Catarina, Brazil was on their way to Medellin, Colombia for the 1st Leg of the Copa Sudamericana Final against Atletico Nacional when their air plane crashed in the mountain Cerro Gordo.
  • 76 people are dead. Rest In Power.
  • 3 players, Alan Ruschel, Jackson Follman and Neto survived, along with a journalist, a flight attendant and a flight crew member.
  • The team flew commercial airlines from Sao Paulo to Santa Cruz, Bolivia where they changed to a private charter, which is the plane that crashed.
  • The best coverage is from Brazilian newspaper O Globo. (in Portuguese)
  • Damn, this is some really sad news!

In a wonderful gesture the director of Atletico Nacional has asked CONMEBOL to award the Sudamericana championship to Chapecoense.

dN

Minnesota United introduces new head coach Adrian Heath:


Here is the story on the Heath hiring:

An interview with Heath about his new job and his ambitions. By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.

dN

Bruce Arena laid out his plan for the USMNT:

Someone who for a short time shined as a USA international player was John O'Brien. What does he think of the re-hiring of Bruce Arena? By Miguel Delaney of ESPNFC.

dN

Yesterday people were talking about one of Jurgen Klinsmann's biggest accomplishments was getting the team out of the Group Of Death at the 2014 World Cup. So I started thinking about this Group Of Death concept. It is always tagged the day the draw is made. But I realized, like the Golden Ball this tag should be applied post-tournament when the facts are in, not pre-tournament when its just pure speculation. The Group Of Death as we know it rarely lives up to its billing.

dN

18 year old American Josh Perez made his debut for Fiorentina yesterday, coming on as a sub in the 75th minute. He is a midfielder. They lost 4-2 at Inter.

Another American, 21 year old forward Jack McBean, formerly of the LA Galaxy, made his debut at Coventry City (English League One, third division) on Saturday. He also came on as a 75th minute sub. They lost 1-2 v MK Dons.

dN

MLS Playoffs - Semifinals Schedule:
2nd Leg
-Sun Nov 27
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Seattle Sounders
-Wed Nov 30
Toronto v Montreal (2-3) - 6:00pm CT on FS1

If Toronto wins then they host the Final. If Montreal wins the Final is played in Seattle.
  • Come on Montreal!

dN

Toronto FC is focused on winning Wednesday night and will think about hosting MLS Cup after that. By Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun.

dN

The Impact are prepared for hostility! By Bill Beacon of the Canadian Press. Via the Gazette.

dN

Sporting Kansas City has signed head coach Peter Vermes to a new contract.

dN

USWNT have been knocked out of the Women's U20 World Cup.
  • USWNT U20 lost 1-2 to North Korea in the Semifinals in Added Extra Time.
  • USA came from behind to tie the game in the dying seconds of regular time only to see N Korea score immediately off the AET kickoff.
Semifinals Results:
-Tue Nov 29
USA 1-2 North Korea
Japan 1-2 France
Final:
-Sat Dec 3
North Korea v France

dN

Coming up this weekend in Europe:
-Sat Dec 3
Manchester City v Chelsea
Barcelona v Real Madrid
-Sun Dec 4
Lazio v Roma



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, November 28, 2016

Some Soccer News for Nov 28, 2016

It's Day 333 of 2016.


Seattle Sounders are into MLS Cup Final.
  • After making the playoffs in all 8 seasons in MLS, this is the clubs first trip to the championship.

MLS Playoffs - Semifinals Schedule and Results:
  • Seattle will host the final if Montreal beats Toronto. Otherwise the Sounders head to Ontario for the championship game on Dec 10.
  • Colorado lost at home for the only time this season. Not a good time to have that happen.
  • Rapids lose war of attrition that is usually their forte at altitude. By Daniel Boniface of the Denver Post.
  • Colorado had 16 shots, and Seattle keeper Stefan Frei had 0 saves. That is poor shooting.
  • Jordan Morris spent the 48 hours prior to the game in bed with the flu, then started, got the crapped knocked out of him for 90 minutes and still got the game winner. One helluva effort.
  • A truly ugly Semifinal game. Lets hope Wednesday is better.
1st Leg
-Tue Nov 22
Montreal Impact 3-2 Toronto - MI goals by Dominic Oduro, Matteo Mancosu + Ambroise Oyongo. T goals by Jozy Altidore + Michael Bradley.
Seattle Sounders 2-1 Colorado Rapids - SS goals by Jordan Morris + Nicolas Lodeiro (PK). CR goal by Kevin Doyle.

2nd Leg
-Sun Nov 27
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Seattle Sounders - SS advances 3-1 on aggregagte. SS goal by Jordan Morris.
-Wed Nov 30
Toronto v Montreal - 6:00pm CT on FS1

Seeding for hosting MLS Cup:
  1. Toronto
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. Montreal Impact

dN

LA Galaxy wasted no time in filling half of Bruce Arena's job: Peter Vagenas has been named General Manager.

dN

With Bruce Arena now the former LA Galaxy head coach the team has released some of his very best quotes during his reign. By Adam Serrano of the LA Galaxy.
  • The funniest: "Actually, analytics in soccer, if no one here has figured it out, doesn’t mean a whole lot. Analytics and statistics are used for people who don’t know how to analyze the game."
  • My favorite: "At the end of the day, there’s 11 players on the field. And once in a while it’s 10."

dN

NASL has sunk further into crisis with word of lack of funds for champions New York Cosmos. By Dave Martinez of Empire Of Soccer.
-The gist of what is happening:
  • "The team hasn’t taken ticket deposits for next year."
  • "The location of their 2017 home venue remains a mystery."
  • "Players are being shopped for transfer."
  • "Payroll isn’t being met."
  • "Staff are being furloughed."

Also: "The NASL is conducting a Board of Governors meeting this Tuesday to address the future of the league."

dN

Today is a grand day in music! One of my favorite and one of the most interesting artists of the 2000s releases a new single today!
  • Burial - "Young Death" + "Nightmarket"


dN

Things for US Soccer to consider when hiring the next head coach. Mostly good old fashioned common sense with some CONCACAF and USA specifics mixed in. By Gabriel Marcotti of ESPNFC.
  • The 2nd part of this article has the best insight for us die-hards.

dN

Only one person was able to split open the Jurgen Klinsmann myth during the 5 year spell, and he paid with his job - why not read what that person thinks will be the Klinsmann legacy. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.
  • To me, this is the most damning: "Among the seven U.S. teams that have qualified for the World Cup in American soccer’s modern era, Klinsmann’s side took the fewest shots per 90 minutes, yielded the most and eclipsed only the 1994 squad in possession."

dN

Trinidad + Tobago follow suit with the USA and fired their head coach after losing the first two World Cup qualifiers - Stephen Hart has been shown the door.
  • The whole federation is a mess, no surprise, courtesy of the crook Jack Warner.

dN

USWNT in Women's U20 World Cup
  • USA on to the Semifinals, coming from behind to win 2-1 in the Qfinals over rivals Mexico!
  • 2 substitutes got the USA goals - Ally Watt and Kelcie Hedge.
Quarterfinal Results:
-Thu Nov 24
North Korea 3-2 Spain
Japan 3-1 Brazil
-Fri Nov 25
USA 2-1 Mexico
Germany 0-1 France
Semifinals Schedule:
-Tue Nov 29
USA v North Korea - Tonight at midnight CT on FS1.
Japan v France
Final:
-Sat Dec 3

dN

The Bob Bradley + Swansea City Tracker:
  • Note - A very wild win on Saturday. The first win for Bradley. Leading 3-2 with 16 minutes to play they gave up 2 goals and trailed 4-3 as stoppage time began. But they got goals in the 1st and 3rd minutes of added time to dramatically win it.
  • Results - Sat Nov 26 W 5-4 v Crystal Palace
  • Standings - 19th Place, 2 Points + -5 GD into Relegation
  • Up Next - Sat Dec 3 at Tottenham (its going to be a very rough run with 7 more games to play before the transfer window opens in January)

dN

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

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Quarterfinals:
  • There will be no repeat Champion in Mexico as Pachuca is OUT.
  • 3 of the 4 lower seeds advanced! Including the #7 and #8!
  • Tigres the #3 is the highest seed left.
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 23
Leon(8) 3-0 Tijuana(1)
Necaxa(7) 2-1 Pachuca(2)
Pumas(6) 2-2 Tigres(3)
America(5) 1-1 Guadalajara(4)
2nd Leg
-Sat Nov 26
Tijuana 3-2 Leon - Leo adv 5-3 on agg
Necaxa 0-0 Pachuca - Nec adv 2-1 on agg
Tigres 5-0 Pumas - Tig adv 7-2 on agg
Guadalajara 0-1 America - Ame adv 2-1 on agg

Semifinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 30
Leon(8) v Tigres(3)
Necaxa(7) v America(5)
2nd Leg
-Sat Dec 3
Tigres(3) v Leon(8)
America(5) v Necaxa(7)

Americans in Liga MX Liguilla:
  • William Yarborough - Leon - in goal for both legs as they advance.
  • Miguel Ibarra - Leon - not in uniform for either leg as they advance.
  • Michael Orozco - Tijuana - started the 1st game and on the bench in 2nd game but they are knocked out.
  • Paul Arriola - Tijuana - not in uniform for either leg but they are knocked out.
  • Jose Torres - Tigres - subbed on in 1st game and on the bench in 2nd game as they advance.
  • Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca - went the distance in both legs but they are knocked out.
  • Ventura Alvarado - America - on the bench for the 1st leg and STARTED and went 83 minutes in 2nd leg as they advance. Only his 2nd appearance of the whole season.

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Playoffs - Quarterfinals - Wed Nov 23 L 3-0 at Leon, Sat Nov 26 W 3-2 v Leon
  • Standings - Knocked out of playoffs in Quarterfinals on 5-3 aggregate score
  • Up Next - Apertura season is over

dN

RB Leipzig are from the old East Germany, owned by Red Bull, but not allowed to call themselves that, and are roundly loathed by most German fussball fans. They are also in first place above mighty Bayern. By Barry Glendenning of the Guardian.

dN

A former Yugoslavian club with a history dating back to 1932 was torn apart by war in the 1990s. Today 2 teams, FK Trepca and KF Trepca, claim the same history and colors, but little else, beyond sadness. By James Montague of the New York Times.

dN

USL team Arizona United has been renamed Phoenix Rising. OK then.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I'm Stuffing A Turkey

See you next week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Some Soccer News for Nov 22, 2016

It's Day 327 of 2016.


Jurgen Klinsmann is out. I just have to say it again.

And my name sake and Zen master Bruce Arena has been named as the new national team coach:


I am not surprised or disappointed by this hire. Its not the sexiest choice. But I really think with the issues at hand the US federation went for safe, simple and solid. Klinsmann was a longer term plan that had ground to a halt and and begun to spin down the drain. Now its all about plugging the holes, and winning games to take the team to Russia. Then they can get back to the bigger plan.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati had a press conference today to answer all the questions everyone is asking. I had hoped to include the transcript of that conference call here, but its not been posted by the time I am ready to close up shop for the day. So you will just have to go search that out on your own.

This is the best summation of Jurgen Klinsmann's problems at the helm of the USMNT. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

Words from the man who released the bats on Klinsmann back in the winter of 2013, showing that the structure wasn't high quality wood as promised, but rather cheap veneer. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.
  • After his excellent expose in 2013 Straus found himself out of a job and shunned by US Soccer. He has been back in the fold the past year or two but it can't have been comfortable for him.

You know whats gonna happen in 2018 don't you? Klinsmann will get another national team job, that team will qualify for the World Cup and then be drawn into the group with the USA!

Getting back to Bruce Arena for a moment:
  • He will most assuredly say that some of the media don't know what they're talking about!
  • Arena will show off his championship level sarcasm skills.
  • Bruce won't contradict himself, fail to take responsibility, or make promises he can't deliver.
  • And at some point he will bitch about some aspect MLS.

Arena says that their WILL be a domestic player training camp in January.

And finally I would love to see Steve Cherundolo as part of Bruce Arena's USA staff, and be the eyes and ears in Europe.

Sunil Gulati (paraphrasing): "Our fans are far more intelligent about the game then they were 15 or 20 years ago." Touche!

American holding midfielder Danny Williams, currently playing great at Reading, is the first USMNT player to talk about the new head coach and says he is willing to show what he is made of. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.

dN

LATE ADDITION:
A hearty thank you message from Jurgen Klinsmann has been posted on his Facebook page. [VIDEO]

dN

Key members of the USA Women's national team were on 60 Minutes Sunday night to talk about their pay and what they see as unfairness and inadequacy. [VIDEO] From 60 Minutes.
  • The collective bargaining agreement between the team and federation dissolves at the end of the day on Dec 31.

A breakdown of that interview and a deeper look at the issues and big questions. By Beau Dure of the Guardian.

dN

Great note from the U20 Women's World Cup. By Mike Woitalla of Soccer America.
  • USA and France ended the group stage tied on points, goal differential, goals scored, goals allowed and head to head. Amazing. So how did the USA get the #1 seed and France the #2? They NEXT tie breaker was yellow card and the USA had 0 while France had 1. Wild.

dN



dN

MLS Playoffs - Semifinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Tue Nov 22
Montreal Impact v Toronto - 7:00pm CT on ESPN
Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids - 9:00pm CT on FS1

dN

So, who does the LA Galaxy hire as their new head coach:
  • Arena's top assistant Dave Sarachan left the team last week, so there will be no promotion for him.

dN

FC Dallas just keeps rolling forward with its plan for total domination on a minimal budget, signing another 15(!) year old from their academy to the senior squad - Bryan Reynolds. That makes 17 of them signed now.

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Quarterfinals:
1st Leg
-Wed Nov 23
Leon(8) v Tijuana(1)
Necaxa(7) v Pachuca(2)
Pumas(6) v Tigres(3)
America(5) v Guadalajara(4)

dN

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage - Big Teams - Matchday 5:
  • Have already advanced to the knock out rounds: Arsenal (A), Atletico Madrid (D), Bayern Munich (D), Dortmund (F) and PSG (A).
-Tue Nov 22
Sporting 1-2 Real Madrid
Sevilla 1-3 Juventus
-Wed Nov 23
Celtic v Barcelona
Monchengladbach v Manchester City

Americans in the UCL:
  • Christian Pulisic - Dortmund - Tue Nov 22 - Gets the start and was always in the middle of a chaotic wide open game that they won 8-4 v Legia. 12 goals in 1 game is nuts AND a UEFA Champions League record.
  • Fabian Johnson - Monchengladbach - Wed Nov 23 v Man City



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, November 21, 2016

Some Soccer News for Nov 21, 2016

It's Day 326 of 2016.


Jurgen Klinsmann is gone.



I did not think US Soccer would do this. But seriously, what the fuck do I know.

Bruce Arena is wide speculated to be the next head coach, possibly as soon as Tuesday. We shall see.

These two interviews with Jurgen Klinsmann were probably the end of the line. He was defiant and contradictory and insulting:

Regardless of all of this, I loved how much attention Klinsmann brought to soccer in America. He really raised the profile as few others could have.
dN

How did things go in the five big rivalry matches in Europe over the weekend:
-Sat Nov 19
Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid 0-3 Real Madrid
-Sun Nov 20
Fenerbahce 2-0 Galatasaray
AC Milan 2-2 Inter Milan

  • The biggest fall out from rivalry weekend is Bayern falling out of the first place in Germany for the first time since September 2015!
  • Due to that loss for Bayern the new surprise leader in the Bundesliga is RB Liepzig!
  • Now American Terrence Boyd needs to get full healed and join the Liepzig first team on the field!

dN

The Bob Bradley + Swansea City Tracker:
  • Results - Sat Nov 19 D 1-1 at Everton
  • Standings - 20th Place, 5 Points into Relegation
  • Up Next - Sat Nov 26 v Crystal Palace

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Fri Nov 18 L 2-1 at Veracruz
  • Standings - 1st Place - Regular season is over
  • Up Next - Playoffs - Quarterfinals - Wed Nov 23 at Leon, Sat Nov 26 v Leon

dN

MLS Playoffs - Semifinals Schedule:
1st Leg
-Tue Nov 22
Montreal Impact v Toronto - 7:00pm CT on ESPN
Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids - 9:00pm CT on FS1
2nd Leg
-Sun Nov 27
Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders - 3:00pm CT on ESPN
-Wed Nov 30
Toronto v Montreal Impact - 6:00pm CT on FS1

Seeding for hosting MLS Cup:
1 Colorado Rapids
2 Toronto
3 Seattle Sounders
4 Montreal Impact

dN

All hail the great and powerful Ignacio! By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.

dN

Nicolas Lodeiro of Seattle Sounders named MLS Newcomer Of The Year.
  • Other two finalists were Ola Kamara of Columbus Crew and Jelle Van Damme of LA Galaxy.

dN

The time is ripe for more cooperation between MLS and Liga MX. By Tom Marshall of ESPNFC.

dN

In 2015 the top-seven largest sporting crowds in Canada were all soccer matches.
  • Montreal v America in CCL and 6 Women's World Cup games.

dN

Liga MX Apertura Liguilla Quarterfinals:
  • Leon bumped Toluca out of the final playoff spot in the final round of the regular season.
-Wed Nov 23
Leon(8) v Tijuana(1)
Necaxa(7) v Pachuca(2)
Pumas(6) v Tigres(3)
America(5) v Guadalajara(4)
-Sat Nov 26
Tijuana v Leon
Necaxa v Pachuca
Tigres v Pumas
Guadalajara v America

dN

UEFA Champions League - Group Stage - Big Teams - Matchday 5:
  • Advanced to the knock out rounds: Arsenal (A), Atletico Madrid (D), Bayern Munich (D), Dortmund (F) and PSG (A).
-Tue Nov 22
Sporting v Real Madrid
Sevilla v Juventus
-Wed Nov 23
Celtic v Barcelona
Monchengladbach v Manchester City

Americans in the UCL:
  • Christian Pulisic - Dortmund - Tue Nov 22 v Legia
  • Fabian Johnson - Monchengladbach - Wed Nov 23 v Man City

dN

USWNT in Women's U20 World Cup group stage:
  • It will be USA v Mexico in the Quarterfinals on Fri Nov 25!
-Mon Nov 14
USA 0-0 France
-Thu Nov 17
USA 3-1 New Zeland
-Mon Nov 21
USA 1-1 Ghana

Group Stage Standings
5 USA
5 France
3 New Zealand
2 Ghana

Quarterfinals:
-Thu Nov 24
North Korea v Spain (Game 25)
Japan v Brazil (Game 26)
-Fri Nov 25
USA v Mexico (Game 27) - 12:00am (end of Thu) Fri Nov 25 on FS1.
Germany v France (Game 28)
Semifinals:
-Tue Nov 29
Winner 25 v Winner 27
Winner 26 v Winner 28
Final:
-Sat Dec 3

dN





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