Friday, March 24, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 24, 2017

It's Day 83 of 2017.


USA MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

Are you filled with trepidation??? I sure as hell am!

Holy Shit! LD jumped off the top of a food truck in San Jose last night:


LD's leap from another angle (even better):


World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - 9:30pm CT on FS1 + UDN
Avaya Stadium, San Jose
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - 9:00pm CT on beIN + Telemundo
Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City

Articles aplenty before tonight's huge game:

USA Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski

Honduras Roster:
  • G: Ricardo Canales, Donis Escober, Luis Lopez
  • D: Ever Alvarado, Brayan Beckeles, Felix Crisanto, Henry Figueroa, Maynor Figueroa, Emilio Izaguirre, Cesar Oseguera, Allans Vargas
  • M: Bryan Acosta, Erick Andino, Jorge Claros, Carlos Discua, Roger Espinoza, Boniek Garcia, Mario Martinez, Oliver Morazan, Andy Najar, Romell Quioto
  • F: Rubilio Castillo, Michaell Chirinos, Eddie Hernandez, Alberth Elis, Anthony Lozano

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

Match Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota - 1pm CT on MY29

My Notes On The Opponent:
  • The Revs have played 2 games and lost them both (and both were on the road) - 1-0 at Colorado and 2-1 at Dallas.
  • So they are desperate for a win.
  • If New England, who isn't missing anyone due to injury, suspension or international call up, can't utterly destroy Minnesota this weekend then they have massive issues and would probably benefit from new leadership.
  • With all of the Revs talented attackers I expect another bad loss for Minnesota.
  • Who are those attackers? Lee Nguyen, Kei Kamara, Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe, Teal Bunbury and Daigo Kobayashi.
  • And don't forget about the high quality delivery Chris Tierney contributes on set pieces.
  • The Revs have only scored 1 goal so far - which came from a Penalty Kick by Nguyen.
  • But the NER defense can be beaten. They have surrendered 3 goals in 2 games this season. And goalkeeper is a weakness for them.

Injuries, call ups and suspensions will make the task tougher for MNUFC this weekend. By Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.

MN roster for this game (just 17 players):
  • G: Billy Heavner, Bobby Shuttleworth
  • D: Vadim Demidov, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor Jerome Thiesson, Kevin Venegas
  • M: Josh Gatt, Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Ish Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Mohammed Saeid, Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez

dN

MLS

Week 4 Schedule/Results:

-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota
RBNY v Salt Lake - 3pm CT on UniMas + Facebook
Columbus v Portland

dN

A long and wide ranging interview with Bob Dylan. Covering topics from throughout his whole life, from the early days up until right now. From bobdylan.com.

dN

Crest: du Nord Music Mix Vol 116 (download + extract)

dN

The 2017 USL season begins on Saturday. Here is the full match schedule.

dN

THE HEX - CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

Standings: (2 of 10 games played)
6 Costa Rica (+6)
4 Mexico (+1)
4 Panama (+1)
-----
3 Honduras (+1)
-----
0 T+T (-4)
0 USA (-5)

-Matchday 3 + 4 Schedule/Results:
-Fri Mar 24
T+T v Panama - 6pm CT on beIN
Mexico v Costa Rica - 7:50pm CT on FS1
USA v Honduras - 9:50pm CT on FS1
-Tue Mar 28
Honduras v Costa Rica - 4pm CT on Telemundo
T+T v Mexico - 6pm CT on beIN
Panama v USA - 9pm CT on beIN

dN

CONMEBOL WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Standings:
(13 of 18 games played)
30 Brazil (+22)
23 Uruguay (+10)
22 Argentina (+3)
21 Colombia (+1)
-----
20 Ecuador (+5)
-----
20 Chile (+3)
18 Paraguay (-5)
15 Peru (-2)
7 Bolivia (-22)
6 Venezuela (-15)

Matchday 13 + 14 Schedule/Results:
-Thu Mar 23
Argentina 1-0 Chile
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
Venezuela 2-2 Peru
-Tue Mar 28
Bolivia v Argentina
Ecuador v Colombia
Chile v Venezuela
Brazil v Paraguay
Peru v Uruguay

dN

International football: 10 things to look out for in World Cup 2018 qualifying this weekend. By Nick Miller for the Guardian.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 23, 2017

It's Day 82 of 2017.


Bobby Wood has a herniated disc in his spine. Therapy can fix it. Surgery is inevitable. Never good.

dN

Landon Donovan already owns a piece of Swansea City and he has now invested in the bid to bring MLS to San Diego. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

dN

A look at the current state of the main contenders for World Cup 2018. From the Guardian.

dN

A new day begins in African football. With a lost election for Issa Hayatou as president of the African football federation 16 of the scumbags at the top of FIFA have now been ejected from the previous regime. By Rory Smith for the New York Times.
  • Hayatou had been prez of African federation for 29 years. Imagine the size of the bank account that dude has!!
  • Like Jack Warner in the Caribbean, Hayatou has led Africa to great heights in FIFA, demanding respect in the form of more places at each World Cup.
  • New leadership will get their chance in Africa.

dN

Now, lets switch to Europe and look at the new leadership for UEFA. They had a lot of house cleaning to do as well. By Rory Smith for the New York Times.
  • Interesting note: "The big five countries (England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France) bring in 86 percent of the revenue, and only take 60 percent."

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

Holy smokes this team's roster is thin. Injuries and international call ups will leave MNUFC with just 17 healthy players for the this weekends game at New England. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.
  • Not having a full roster of 30 players and room to stash more on a USL team are hurting the Loons just 3 weeks into a 9 month season.
  • And playing games during the international break is hurting this team even more. 4 starters are missing.
  • MLS gives teams the choice of whether or not they want to play during these dates - only 6 of 22 chose to do so this weekend. And Minnesota will play during 5 of the 6 international breaks in 2017.

MNUFC roster for NER game:
  • G: Billy Heavner, Bobby Shuttleworth
  • D: Vadim Demidov, Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Jerome Thiesson, Kevin Venegas
  • M: Josh Gatt, Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Ish Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Mohammed Saeid, Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Christian Ramirez

Match Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota - 1pm CT on MY29

dN

Meet The Shaggs - an in depth look at one of the worst/greatest rock bands of all time! Either way its a fascinating story. By Susan Orlean for the New Yorker.

dN

Crest: du Nord Music Mix Vol 116 (download + extract)

dN

USA MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

The newest guys on the team: Kellyn Acosta, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman
  • Do we see any of them making an impact at this time?

The amount of press is really starting to build today:
  • The margin for error is pretty slim. By Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
  • US players know the game is important and very close to being a MUST-WIN situation. By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.
  • How different with the USA look under Bruce Arena than they did under Jurgen Klinsmann? By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.
  • The plan against Honduras. By Paul Tenorio for Four Four Two.
  • Its up to coach Bruce Arena to give the same support and guidance to Christian Pulisic that he gave to Landon Donovan at a young age. By Steve Davis for Four Four Two.
  • How have the past few months been for the 18 year old Pulisic? By Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.
  • Sebastian Lleget has had a bump ride but is getting his shot with the US national team thanks to his former head coach with the LA Galaxy. By Kevin Baxter from The LA Times.
  • How bad will all the injuries hurt the US team? By Ben Shpigel for the New York Times.
  • MLS has the most to gain from a successful turn around of the USA qualifying campaign. By Joe Lago for Yahoo.

World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - 9:30pm CT on FS1 + UDN
Avaya Stadium, San Jose
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - 9:00pm CT on beIN + Telemundo
Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City

Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski

Honduras Roster:
  • G: Ricardo Canales, Donis Escober, Luis Lopez
  • D: Ever Alvarado, Brayan Beckeles, Felix Crisanto, Henry Figueroa, Maynor Figueroa, Emilio Izaguirre, Cesar Oseguera, Allans Vargas
  • M: Bryan Acosta, Erick Andino, Jorge Claros, Carlos Discua, Roger Espinoza, Boniek Garcia, Mario Martinez, Oliver Morazan, Andy Najar, Romell Quioto
  • F: Rubilio Castillo, Michaell Chirinos, Eddie Hernandez, Alberth Elis, Anthony Lozano

Panama Roster:
  • G: Jose Calderon, Jaime Penedo
  • D: Felipe Baloy, Erick Davis, Fidel Escobar, Adolfo Machado, Amir Murillo, Luis Ovalle, Roman Torres, Jean Carlos Vargas
  • M: Edgar Barcenas, Miguel Camargo, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy, Gabriel Gomez, Amilcar Henriquez, Josiel Nunez, Alberto Quintero, Oscar Villarreal
  • F: Abdiel Arroyo, Blas Perez, Tony Taylor, Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres

dN

THE HEX - CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

Standings: (2 of 10 games played)
6 Costa Rica (+6)
4 Mexico (+1)
4 Panama (+1)
-----
3 Honduras (+1)
-----
0 T+T (-4)
0 USA (-5)

-Matchday 3 + 4 Schedule/Results:
-Fri Mar 24
T+T v Panama - 6pm CT on beIN
Mexico v Costa Rica - 7:50pm CT on FS1
USA v Honduras - 9:50pm CT on FS1
-Tue Mar 28
Honduras v Costa Rica - 4pm CT on Telemundo
T+T v Mexico - 6pm CT on beIN
Panama v USA - 9pm CT on beIN

dN

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying:

Standings
(12 of 18 games played)
27 Brazil (+19)
23 Uruguay (+13)
20 Ecuador (+6)
20 Chile (+4)
-----
19 Argentina (+2)
-----
18 Colombia (+0)
15 Paraguay (-6)
14 Peru (-2)
7 Bolivia (-21)
5 Venezuela (-15)

Matchday 13 + 14 Schedule/Results:
-Thu Mar 23
Argentina v Chile
Uruguay v Brazil
Colombia v Bolivia
Paraguay v Ecuador
Venezuela v Peru
-Tue Mar 28
Bolivia v v Argentina
Ecuador v Colombia
Chile v Venezuela
Brazil v Paraguay
Peru v Uruguay

dN

The NASL season begins this weekend. Remember them? Yeah, me neither. Just kidding. I'm not THAT big of a jackass. Here is the full match schedule.
  • For some reason 2 of the 8 teams are not playing on opening weekend.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 22, 2017

It's Day 81 of 2017.


First Chuck Berry and now Chuck Barris. RIP fellas.
  • Chuck's around the country are all changing their name to Charlie right about now.

dN

Silver Lining! Today FIFA wrote about our supporters group Dark Clouds community service trip to Haiti with the Tony Sanneh Foundation! Fantastic. Spread the Word.

dN

In case you were wondering, it doesn't look like there will be an International Champions Cup game in the Twin Cities this summer.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

How many times over the past year, on this blog and on Twitter, did I warn Minnesota United about the consequences of not spend enough time, money and effort getting their defense right for MLS? Yeah, its a real big problem for them.
  • Only 6 teams have scored more goals than MNUFC - and over the past several years goal scoring has been a good team trait.
  • On the flipside, the 13 goals allowed is a complete disaster. The 2nd worse defense in the league is a tie between Houston and DC who have each allowed 6 goals. Oof.
  • It took Toronto 9 years to figure this out and fix it.

We hear from Collen Warner on the start of the season, plus other MNUFC tidbits. By Jeff Rueter for Fifty Five One.

What is the progress on the lacerated knee suffered by goalkeeper John Alvbage in the Atlanta game? By Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.

MNUFC keeper Bobby Shuttleworth returns to play his former team this weekend - New England Revolution. He is well liked back there. Jeff Lemieux for New England Revolution.

Match Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England Revolution v Minnesota United - 1pm CT on MY29

dN

MLS

A few versions of the Bastian Schweinsteiger to Chicago Fire story:

Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City is now a USA citizen. This is the road he took. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

Week 4 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota
RBNY v Salt Lake - 3pm CT on UniMas + Facebook
Columbus v Portland

dN

Crest: du Nord Music Mix Vol 116 (download + extract)

dN

USA MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

Jordan Morris still not training with the team due to an ankle injury. The pickin's are slimmin'.

World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - 9:30pm CT on FS1 + UDN
Avaya Stadium, San Jose
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - 9:00pm CT on beIN + Telemundo
Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City

USMNT Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski

Honduras Roster:
  • G: Ricardo Canales, Donis Escober, Luis Lopez
  • D: Ever Alvarado, Brayan Beckeles, Felix Crisanto, Henry Figueroa, Maynor Figueroa, Emilio Izaguirre, Cesar Oseguera, Allans Vargas
  • M: Bryan Acosta, Erick Andino, Jorge Claros, Carlos Discua, Roger Espinoza, Boniek Garcia, Mario Martinez, Oliver Morazan, Andy Najar, Romell Quioto
  • F: Rubilio Castillo, Michaell Chirinos, Eddie Hernandez, Alberth Elis, Anthony Lozano

Panama Roster:
  • G: Jose Calderon, Jaime Penedo
  • D: Felipe Baloy, Erick Davis, Fidel Escobar, Adolfo Machado, Amir Murillo, Luis Ovalle, Roman Torres, Jean Carlos Vargas
  • M: Edgar Barcenas, Miguel Camargo, Armando Cooper, Aníbal Godoy, Gabriel Gomez, Amilcar Henriquez, Josiel Nunez, Alberto Quintero, Oscar Villarreal
  • F: Abdiel Arroyo, Blas Perez, Tony Taylor, Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres

THE HEX - CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

Standings:
(2 of 10 games played)
6 Costa Rica (+6)
4 Mexico (+1)
4 Panama (+1)
-----
3 Honduras (+1)
-----
0 T+T (-4)
0 USA (-5)

Matchday 3 + 4 Schedule/Results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras
T+T v Panama
Mexico v Costa Rica
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA
Honduras v Costa Rica
T+T v Mexico



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 21, 2017

It's Day 80 of 2017.


Forever United [VIDEO]
  • From the pregame pageantry of the first Minnesota United home game in MLS. Narrated by you know who.

dN

Real Salt Lake is the first MLS team to push the ejector button this season and they fired head coach Jeff Cassar on Monday night.
  • Cassar was #4 on the du Nord Futbol preseason MLS Coaches Hot Seat list.
  • Assistant Daryl Shore will become the interim head coach.
  • Former Minnesota Thunder player Freddy Juarez is another assistant at RSL.
  • Former Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke is the current head coach of RSL's USL team Real Monarchs.

The RSL organization is a disaster! Owner Dell Loy Hansen appears to be crazy:
  • Ran head coach Jason Kreis out of town - now coach of Orlando
  • Ran general manager Garth Lagerway out of town - now gm of Seattle
  • Ran president Bill Manning out of town - now pres of Toronto
  • Gave head coach Jeff Cassar a 3 year contract extension at the END OF LAST SEASON!

dN

Chicago Fire has signed former German great Sebastian Schweinsteiger.
  • I hope he can play and isn't another Steven Gerrard. I haven't seen him in a while.
  • The story of the deal from Chicago exec Nelson Rodriquez. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

dN

I think its highly likely that the next uniform deal for MLS is worth $1.5 billion over 10 years.
  • The current deal with Adidas, worth $25 million per year, ends after 2018 season.

dN

Remember when LA FC announced they were selling their stadium naming rights to a little known financial institute for a large sum of money? Many thought it sounded too good to be true. Well, apparently all is not right in heaven:


dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

My MNUFC Notes from Colorado updated/upgraded and continued:
  • Yesterday I heaped praise on Ibson and kinda dumped dirt all over Kevin Molino. Some people set me straight.
  • No complaints about my Ibson hyperbole. He seems to universally have earned the love.
  • But my opinion of Molino had to be straightened out. I wonder if I am down on him because of the high price the team paid to sign him? That's very possible. To me Molino should be your 3rd or 4th best player. Instead he is expected to be #1 for Minnesota. That is way too much to ask.
  • Molino was better in Colorado than I gave him credit for. He is the one who set up Collen Warner to be fouled in the box for the penalty and first goal. Not Ibson like I said.
  • I wrote "For the 3rd game in a row Molino was 85% invisible - is he this year's Lance Laing?" That answer is simple: No, he is not. I was a huge fan of Laing but it didn't happen for him last year at all. Molino already has drawn a PK, assisted on drawing a PK and scored the goals on both of those plays.
  • I was wrong about KM.
  • This weekend without him will be a big test to see what his real significance to the team is.
  • End of story.


Some more final notes on Minnesota at Colorado - several fine points made here. By Alex Schieferdecker for Fifty One Fifty.

Minnesota will be without 4 starters on Saturday in New England due to national team call ups: Rasmus Schuller, Johan Venegas, Franciso Calvo and Kevin Molino.
  • MNUFC will also be without Justin Davis due to a 1 game red card suspension.
  • The Revs lost no one to call ups.
Various notes about players health and availability plus quotes from coach and players. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.

dN

Max Kellerman compared Conor McGregor fighting Floyd Mayweather to Evel Knievel jumping the Snake River Canyon. Its a great spectacle, not a great sporting challenge. Perfect analogy. That's why Max is one of the best.

dN

MLS

Maxi Urruti of Dallas named MLS Player Of The Week.

Best goals of the week:

dN

USA MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

With the status of Jordan Morris's ankle injury still a mystery, we see USA add Chris Wondolowski to the roster for Friday.
  • It was an easy addition to the roster to make because Wondo plays for San Jose and the team is training in San Jose for the Friday game, so it gives them an experienced body for at least training.
  • Jeff Carlisle reported that US Soccer says Morris is "day to day," with the injury. Not good.

Tim Howard is ready to go for USA despite a bad thigh muscle injury last Fall. By Janie Mccauley for the AP. Via SF Gate.

Lots of notes from Bruce Arena on his team for Friday. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski
  • OUT: DeAndre Yedlin (injury), Fabian Johnson (injury), Bobby Wood (injury), Jermaine Jones (suspended 1 game), Timothy Chandler (suspended 1 game), Brad Guzan (new child).



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, March 20, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 20, 2017

It's Day 79 of 2017.


Hail Hail Rock N Roll - the guitar king is dead - Chuck Berry - Rest In Power my man!

dN

A deep dive into the modern history of soccer in Minnesota. Great article. By Andrew Wiebe for MLSsoccer.

dN

Univision and MLS have made a deal with Facebook to live stream 22 games in English that are also being broadcast on the Univision network in Spanish. Great move.
  • First game was Sat Mar 18 - Atlanta v Chicago.
  • Univision is already doing this with Liga MX

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

A point is a point is a point. That is what everyone is saying after Minnesota got a tie on the road at Colorado.

-Sat Mar 18
Colorado 2-2 Minnesota - CR goals by Dominique Badji and Marlon Hairston. MU goals by Kevin Molino (PK) and Christian Ramirez.

Christian Ramirez bagged his 2nd MLS goal, and it was a quality one:


Game highlights [VIDEO]

Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press:

Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune:

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Thankfully there were fairly big changes to the starting lineup - Kallman in for Demidov, Davis back in for Taylor, Ibarra for Saied.
  • The formation became a 4-2-3-1 and for the first time in 3 games Heath did not start 3 defensive midfielders! Hooray! Seriously!
  • But defensive mistakes in this game, like the previous two, cost them dearly. The first Rapids goal was the combined effort of 3 players screwing it up - Davis with a rotten pass to Schuller who had a hard time handling it, so Schuller flicked it back toward goal over the head of Calvo, making Calvo run toward his goal to try to clear a bouncing ball, but he tried to finesse it instead of walloping it and missed completely, which let Badji run right past him, scoop up the loose ball and easily slot it past Shuttleworth.
  • That first goal the Loons gave up was HORRENDOUS!
  • At half time the team made a further change to the line up, this time Ibson coming on for Schuller, who in addition to his poor back pass also picked up a yellow card.
  • The insertion of Ibson is what made the turnaround possible.
  • The Loons went right to work as Molino fed a nice pass to Warner who was fouled in the box leading to Goal #1.
  • Then Ibson flicked a ball down the line perfectly into the path of the overlapping Thiessen who crossed sharply as Ramirez made the run to the near post to put a glancing header past Howard for Goal #2.
  • Ramirez ran to the corner flag and sang: I am, I am Superman. And I can do anything!
  • Unfortunately the whole gang went to sleep immediately afterward and paid the price with Rapids tying the game 1 minute later.
  • To make things worse, another minute after that Davis got a red card for jabbing his studs into the knee of Hairston as the two battled for a 50/50 ball.
  • Heath had already made his 3 subs so the guys on the field had to buckle down and ride out 20 minutes short a man.
  • They did hold on too, and got 1 point on the road. Decent.
  • All 3 subs for Minnesota were attacking players. I love it.
  • Going back to the high point of the 2nd half for a second, when the game swung in Minnesota's favor there were no less than 5 of their NASL roster players on the field together. Familiarity can help a lot.
  • This was the 10th game since preseason began and there is still nothing in the win column. Danger Danger Warning Warning. This is not good.
  • Eric Miller, from the Twin Cities, suffered a hamstring tweak and did not play for Colorado. He is usually a starting right full back.
  • The good - Ibson makes it happen. Ramirez holds up strong. Kallman was almost perfect. Molino scores another PK. Warner keeps it simple and effective. Those guys had very good games. Need everyone to perform to that level.
  • The bad - Davis had a really bad one - poor pass led to first goal, no communication with teammates led to 2nd goal, and then a straight forward red card, not to mention his passing out of the back was almost all panic-clearance style. Schuller with awful back pass that led to 1st CR goal, and a yellow card got him pulled at half time. Calvo with a weak clearing attempt finished the mess on the 1st CR goal. Shuttleworth put several goal kicks and punts across the sideline for no apparent reason. For the 3rd game in a row Molino was 85% invisible - is he this year's Lance Laing?
  • The next - Schuller, Calvo, JVenegas and Molino gone for national team duty, and Davis Suspended. A lot more changes coming. I don't know how you make the backline worth this time.

My Denver Notes:
  • On the first night I went to "The Bar With No Name" - its really really old and has no name. Greasy bar food! Nice.
  • Saturday breakfast at Cozy Cottage after a poor nights sleep was at - OK food, and sad service. Saw Minnesota United ticket sales maestro Sean Sitnick eating there too. A good sign.
  • The day was 80 degrees and gorgeous in the city so we were off to Red Rocks and a hike up to the amphitheater. What a spectacular setting.
  • We continued west into the mountain all the way out to Lake Dillon where it was still winter! Snow, frozen lakes, skiing and snowboarding everywhere.
  • Drove out to the game and it was an easy drive.
  • At the designated time and gate I met up with my fellow Dark Clouds. Such great people.
  • Security was cool and friendly in our section and we sang for 90 minutes.
  • One young woman walked past in the first half and wondered out loud if we were every going to stop singing and sit down. I had to tell her that there was no chance of that happening again.
  • The game ended in a deserved tie and the Loons first MLS point.
  • Good defense for long stretches. Nice.
  • The players and staff acknowledged the fans and showed their respect.
  • After the game we met up with the DC's at Falling Rock bar. I had been there before. Late night Ceasar Salad - perfect.
  • The Sunday breakfast happened at Javier's diner - simple and satisfying, and cheap.
  • Then I hit the airport to the train to the bus and home sweet home.
  • An unexpected and quick trip was nearly perfect.

dN

MLS

Thought of the week: Atlanta's slogan should be Burn Baby Burn!

Week 3 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 18
New York City 1-1 Montreal - I have nothing for this one.
Atlanta 4-0 Chicago - damn, AU is goooooooood.
Vancouver 0-2 Toronto - how can Vancouver be this bad? I am confused. What am I not seeing when I look at this roster? Well, there is Brek Shea with a brutal tackle followed by mouthing off to the ref which earned him 2 yellow cards on 1 play.
DC 0-2 Columbus - has DC scored yet?
Orlando 2-1 Philadelphia - the Purple might be mighty!
Dallas 2-1 New England - FCD continues the roll and are the league's best.
Kansas City 2-1 San Jose - ick. Did you see that goalkeeper own-goal? Tough to watch.
Colorado 2-2 Minnesota - no one has scored 2 on Colorado in Denver in several years.
Salt Lake 1-2 LA - RSL is a Real mess.
Portland 4-2 Houston - Timbers are the only team with 3 wins. And they look good.
-Sun Mar 19
Seattle 3-1 New York Red Bulls - Sounders unveiled their championship banner, toasted the crowd and got the strong win.

A recap - Bend It Like Bretos. [VIDEO] By Max Bretos for ESPN:


And the top notch analytical recap. By Matthew Doyle for MLS.

Sadly 6 teams chose to play during the upcoming International break. The league gives all teams the choice and most choose not to play without all those starters. Not these dummies, for Week 4:
-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota
RBNY v Salt Lake
Columbus v Portland

dN

USA NATIONAL TEAM

Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood were removed from the squad due to injury.

Brad Guzan was removed from the roster as his wife is about to have a child. ADDITION: had a girl on Sunday! Huge congrats to them.

Jordan Morris comes into training today with a dinged up ankle. Oof.

These are going to be 2 very tough games to get points from. A perfect scenario sees them get 6 points, but with all the injuries they might be lucky to get a win and a draw. And DO NOT BE SHOCKED if our team only gets 1 point. Which would be a disaster.

Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris

World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - Avaya Stadium in San Jose - late game, 9:50pm CT on FS1
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City - 9:00pm CT on BeIN.

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Since 1999 US Soccer has housed a boys development academy in Bradenton Florida, but when the current season ends this summer the program will be closed down.

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AMERICANS ABROAD

I hear that John Brooks got himself a goal for Hertha, but they gave up 4 goals in a loss at Koln. His first goal in over a year.

And Emerson Hyndman continues as the best player on a bad Rangers team. He got the first goal as they won 4-0 v Hamilton Accies.
  • And last week at Celtic he set up the game tie-er very late in the match.

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The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - Sat Mar 11 Lost 1-0 at Mainz
  • Note - TB was not on the bench for this one.
  • Standings - Last place, 12 points below relegation playoff and 14 points from safety.
  • Up Next - Sat Apr 1 at Leipzig

dN

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Fri Mar 17 Tied 1-1 v Santos Laguna
  • Note - only have 1 win in the past 5 games, and now falling down the table.
  • Standings - 4th Place, now 3 points behind 1st after 10 of 17 games.
  • Up Next - Sat Apr 1 at Atlas



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, March 13, 2017

Out Walking My Dog

For a week.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 10, 2017

It's Day 69 of 2017.


MINNESOTA UNITED

A deep dive into the modern history of soccer in Minnesota. Great article. By Andrew Wiebe for MLSsoccer.

The home opener is almost here:
-Sun Mar 12
Minnesota United v Atlanta United - 4pm CT on ESPN2

A terrific interview of Christian Ramirez by MLS's Extra Time Radio podcast. [AUDIO]

The latest news from MNUFC and words from player Justin Davis and coach Adrian Heath. By Jeff Rueter of Fifty One Fifty.

The MNUFC home opener is important to a lot of people in Minnesota. But none more so than team director Manny Lagos. by Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.

Star Tribune reporter Megan Ryan answered question about MNUFC for an Atlanta newspaper. By Doug Roberson for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Minn coach Adrian Heath's son Harrison plays for Atlanta United. By Andy Greder for the St Paul Pioneer Press.

Love for Minnesota's oldest and biggest supporters group - Dark Clouds:

Opening weekend in Atlanta was a sight and sound to take notice of in many ways, great and sad. By Nate Scott for Fox Sports.

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MLS

Univision and MLS have made a deal with Facebook to live stream 22 games in English that are also being broadcast on the Univision network in Spanish. Great move.
  • First game will be Sat Mar 18 - Atlanta v Chicago.
  • Univision is already doing this with Liga MX

Jordan Allen, a young homegrown player for Real Salt Lake, is adding social activism to his life alongside his professional athletics career. By Christopher Kamrani for the Salt Lake Tribune.

Week 2 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 11
Chicago v Salt Lake - 1:00 pm CT
POSTPONED New England v Orlando
RBNY v Colorado - 3:00 pm CT on UniMas
Philadelphia v Toronto - 3:30 pm CT
Montreal v Seattle - 6:00 pm CT
Houston v Columbus - 7:30 pm CT
Kansas City v Dallas - 8:00 pm CT
San Jose v Vancouver - 9:00 pm CT
-Sun Mar 12
NYC v DC - 1:00 pm CT
Minnesota v Atlanta - 4:00 pm CT on ESPN2
LA v Portland - 6:00 pm CT on FS1

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AMERICANS ABROAD

Fabian Johnson started and went the full 90 with Monchengladbach drew 1-1 with local rivals Schalke in Europa League Rd of 16 1st Leg.

Tab Ramos talks about his CONCACAF championship winning USMNT U20 team. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Standings - Last place, 11 points below relegation playoff
  • Up Next - Sat Mar 11 v Mainz

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MEXICO

The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Standings - 3rd Place, 1 point our of 1st and 2nd
  • Up Next - Sat Mar 11 at Queretaro

This weekend in Liga MX:
-Sat Mar 11
Tigres v Gaudalajara - last seasons champs against the new #1

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EUROPE

Biggest matches coming up in Europe:
-Fri Mar 10
Juventus v Milan - #1 v #7 - nasty old rivals
-Sat Mar 11
Hertha v Dortmund - #5 v #3

dN

The scumbag who leads the Russian sports ministry and soccer program, Vitaly Mutko, has been suspended from any FIFA leadership role. By Rebecca Ruiz for the New York Times.
  • He is also suspected of being the ring leader of all of Russia's doping programs.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 9, 2017

It's Day 68 of 2017.


Tuesday was an extraordinary day in the UEFA Champions League.

American Christian Pulisic had a huge game for Dortmund and they rolled into the next round. (See more below in Americans Abroad.)

But the biggest story was Barcelona overcoming a 4-0 loss at PSG in the 1st Leg only to score SIX goals at home and win the series 6-5. Unreal comeback. Si se puede indeed!

Great words to describe Barcelona's stunning comeback in the Champions League. Instantly one of the more famous games in recent years. By Rory Smith for the New York Times.
  • "Camp Nou seemed to liquefy."




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MINNESOTA UNITED

The home opener is near:
-Sun Mar 12
Minnesota United v Atlanta United - 4pm CT on ESPN2

Over 32,000 tickets have been sold for the game.

As you would expect, the coach is giving nothing away for this weekends game. By Megan Ryan for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  • Ryan also reports that Bernardo Anor is out for what could be an extended period with a thigh injury.

Where has #1 overall draft pick Abu Danladi been?


One more time: Batman + Superman - the MLS promo video!

dN

Fargo - Season 3:
Coming April 19

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Skim: du Nord Music Mix Vol 115 (download + extract)

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Goat videos!!!

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People ask me all the time why I don't do playlists on streaming services like Spotify. This is the reason: Pharrell Williams had song his hit song Happy played 43 million times on Pandora alone. And do you know what me made in songwriting royalties? $2,700! From Business Insider.

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MLS

At age 22 Kekuta Manneh of Vancouver is already mentoring other, even younger, pro players - like 16 year old Alphonso Davies who is turning into a main attraction for the Whitecaps. By Ed Willes for The Province.

Week 2 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 11
Chicago v Salt Lake - 1:00 pm CT
New England v Orlando - 1:00 pm CT
RBNY v Colorado - 3:00 pm CT on UniMas
Philadelphia v Toronto - 3:30 pm CT
Montreal v Seattle - 6:00 pm CT
Houston v Columbus - 7:30 pm CT
Kansas City v Dallas - 8:00 pm CT
San Jose v Vancouver - 9:00 pm CT
-Sun Mar 12
NYC v DC - 1:00 pm CT
Minnesota v Atlanta - 4:00 pm CT on ESPN2
LA v Portland - 6:00 pm CT on FS1

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AMERICANS ABROAD

Christian Pulisic - Dortmund rolled over Benfica 4-0 in Champions League with Pulisic starting and right in the middle of all the action! He got the assist on 2 goals and scored the game and series winner! What a night for the 18 year old.

Paul Arriola - scored a huge goal in the Rd of 16 in Copa MX as they beat Club America 1-0. In the Quarterfinals they will host Morelia.
  • Michael Orozco and Joe Corona both played the full 90 in this game as well.
  • Jose Villafana started and went 90 for Santos Laguna as they won 1-3 at Necaxa. They will take on Cruz Azul next.
  • Jonathan Bornstein played the whole game but Queretaro was knocked out in Penalties.

Geoff Cameron - again went the full 90 in the center of midfield as the went to Manchester City with Stoke and got a 0-0 result. Looks like he is back to 100%, if not 100% fitness.

Fabian Johnson - Monchengladbach is playing today Europa League Rd of 16 1st Leg at Schalke

Bobby Wood tells his own story - From Honolulu to Hamburg. From the Players Tribune.

dN

A look ahead to World Cup 2018 in Russia and what we can expect to experience. By Aimee Lewis for CNN.

dN

UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 Matches:

Advanced: Barcelona, Bayern, Dortmund, Real Madrid.

2nd Leg
-Wed Mar 8
Dortmund 4-0 Benfica - Dor advances 4-1 on aggregate.
Barcelona 6-1 PSG - Bar advances 6-5 on aggregate.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 8, 2017

It's Day 67 of 2017.


Batman + Superman - the MLS promo video!

dN

A thigh injury for De'Andre Yedlin could be costly to the USMNT. Could miss 2 weeks which would take him right up to the qualifiers on Mar 24 + 28. By Lee Ryder for the Newcastle Chronicle.

USMNT's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - Avaya Stadium, San Jose
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City

dN

ESPNFC conducted their annual anonymous poll of MLS players on a wide variety of subjects. Lots of questions with some good answers. Always interesting.

dN

Copa Libertadores kicked off last night with the group stage that runs through May.

Best team names in this years tournament:
  • Iquique
  • Sport Boys
  • Jorge Wilstermann
  • Universidad Catolica
  • The Strongest
  • Brazilian club Chapecoense is back in the tournament despite the fact that last November they lost nearly every member of the team and staff in a horrible plane crash. How can we not be pulling for them!?!?

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MINNESOTA UNITED

Details on the field at U of M stadium for Minnesota United games for the next 2 seasons, and a few other bits of team news. By Andy Greder for the St Paul Pioneer Press.

dN

Fullback Jerome Thiesson has his visa in hand and got on a plane last night headed to Minnesota:


dN

With a few days perspective here is another look at the Minnesota loss in Portland. By Jeff Rueter for Fifty One Fifty.

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Skim: du Nord Music Mix Vol 115 (download + extract)

dN

I was at this show!!! The Birthday Party (live) - April 6th, 1983, First Avenue, Minneapolis [VIDEO] Really good quality.

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MLS

You Know It, You Love it - Ale Moreno's Weekly MLS Awards. [VIDEO] From ESPNFC.

A look behind the scenes with ESPN and FOX on their MLS TV broadcasts. By Richard Deitsch for Sports Illustrated.

Nick Rimando of Salt Lake has saved 29 penalties in MLS. 29! Think about it, 2 is standard, and 9 is pretty good. But 29?!?!?!?! Unreal.

Not surprisingly the LA Galaxy is chasing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. By Grant Wahl for Sports Illustrated.

What it would take for Sporting Kansas City to expand and create new seating at their stadium, which seems to be perpetually sold out, and why they aren't at the point where that is feasible yet. By Sam McDowell for the KC Star.

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USA NATIONAL TEAM

What kind of form are some of the players currently in - good or bad? By Doug McIntyre for ESPNFC.

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AMERICANS ABROAD

Christian Pulisic got the start today for Dortmund in UEFA Champions League.
  • Oh, and he scored this goal to give them a 2-1 aggregate lead:


Matt Miazga is finally finds his footing in Europe after time on the bench at Chelsea and his current club Vitesse in Netherlands where he is on loan, and in the starting lineup. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

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EUROPE

UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 Matches:

Bayern was a huge winner over Arsenal, combining two 5-1 victories.

Real Madrid also coasted into the Quarterfinals.

Arsenal is left to wonder what is needed to elevate them past 3rd of 4th best in England, and last 16 in Europe. I think its time for changes.

2nd Leg
-Tue Mar 7
Arsenal 1-5 Bayern - Bay advances 10-2 on aggregate.
Napoli 1-3 Real Madrid - RM advances 6-2 on aggregate.
-Wed Mar 8
Dortmund v Benfica (0-1)
Barcelona v PSG (0-4)



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 7, 2017

It's Day 66 of 2017.


To my delight and astonishment I realized that du Nord Futbol blog is 12 years old today. To steal a line from the greats: What a long strange trip its been.

dN

Weather forecast for Minnesota United home opener - Sun Mar 12, light snow and a high of 34! Awesome.

dN

YES! A pronunciation guide, direct from the player himself - John Alvbage - Minnesota United goalkeeper.

dN

3 very handy tips for new fans attending professional soccer. by Nach Karnik of Fifty One Fifty.
  • You should probably print this out and put it in your wallet for future reference.

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Landon Donovan is now part of the investor's group that is trying to bring MLS to San Diego.

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The groups have been drawn for the 2017 Gold Cup:

Group A
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • French Guiana
  • Honduras

Group B
  • Haiti/Nicaragua Winner
  • Martinique
  • Panama
  • USA

Group C
  • Curacao
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • El Salvador

USMNT match schedule:
-Sat Jul 8
USA v Panama - Nashville
-Wed Jul 12
USA v Martinique - Tampa
-Sat Jul 15
USA v Haiti/Nicaragua - Cleveland

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Who have been the best players in Liga MX so far this Spring? A great list. By Cesar Hernandez for Four Four Two.

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I love a good insult:


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MLS

Diego Valeri of Portland named MLS Player Of The Week.

The best and worst from Week 1. By Steve Davis for Four Four Two.

Eleven points of interest from opening weekend. By Alexander Abnos for Sports Illustrated.

Atlanta seemed to have everything going their way until they didn't, and opened like most every other expansion team ever - with a loss. By Doug Roberson for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  • Some insight on what Minnesota might see on Sunday from Atlanta.

MLS HQ has moved into some pretty damned swanky new office space. From Sports Business Journal.

Three teams found hit hard to draw big opening game crowds.
Columbus - 15,023
Colorado - 16,126
DC - 18,268
  • We know that DC has a new stadium coming and hope that helps, but what are Columbus and Colorado, along with Chicago, New England and Dallas going to do about the poor attendance.

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USA NATIONAL TEAM

Who is Bruce Arena looking at for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, and who is on the fence? By Jeff Carlisle for ESPNFC.

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

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UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 Matches:

2nd Leg
-Tue Mar 7
Arsenal v Bayern (1-5)
Napoli v Real Madrid (1-3)
-Wed Mar 8
Dortmund v Benfica (0-1)
Barcelona v PSG (0-4)



The Bird Is The Word

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