Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 27, 2017

It's Day 178 of 2017.


Reminder: The new Adrian Heath radio show with host Jamie Watson will air on Tuesdays at 6pm CT on 1500ESPN radio. Listen here. That's tonight!

dN

German tabloid newspaper Bild got their hands on the secret FIFA Ethics Committee internal investigation into the bidding and voting for the World Cup's in 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) aka "The Garcia Report." Bild announced plans to publish the report, and so as a preemptive strike FIFA have now gone ahead and released it themselves.
  • The investigation found no smoking guns.
  • A little summary of the report. By Graham Dunbar and Rob Harris for the AP.

dN

du Nord MLS Team Hot List Power Rankings:
(Based solely on science using the 5 previous games, with no bias for prior standing or projections.)
(As of Tue Jun 27)
1 Chicago
2 New York City
3 Toronto
4 Colorado
5 Kansas City
6 Vancouver
7 LA
8 Montreal
9 San Jose
10 Minnesota
11 Portland
12 New York Red Bulls
13 Atlanta
14 Columbus
15 Philadelphia
16 Salt Lake
17 Houston
18 Dallas
19 Seattle
20 DC
21 Orlando
22 New England

dN

Minnesota United

A breakdown of the pros and cons of the recent performances by Johan and Kevin Venegas. The two players have been critized by many, including me, but they have provided some real positives to the team as well. By Alex Schieferdecker for Fifty Five One.

Loons make first MLS trip to New York. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.

Schedule:
-Thu Jun 29
New York City v Minnesota

dN

Three years of surveying American soccer fans has produced some interesting trends, generalizations and conclusions. This stuff never means much to me, but its still a snap shot of the world you and I love so much. From Ad Week.
  • I am sorry but I can't remember who sent this to me. I think it was someone on Twitter. I try to give credit for these things, but its lost on me today. Sorry.

dN

Trevin Caesar of Sacramento Republic named USL Player Of The Week.
David Accam of Chicago Fire named MLS Player Of The Week.
Poliana of Houston Dash named NWSL Player Of The Week.
Jon Busch of Indy Eleven named NASL Player Of The Week.

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US Open Cup

Round of 16 - Schedule:
-Tue Jun 27
Dallas v Colorado Rapids
-Wed Jun 28
Cincinnati v Chicago Fire - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2
Houston Dynamo v Sporting Kansas City
New England Revolution v DC United
New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union
Miami v Atlanta United
San Jose Earthquakes v Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy v Sacramento Republic
-Quarterfinals game will be played between Jul 7 and 16.

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MLS

San Jose takes a big gamble by firing head coach Dominic Kinnear at the mid point of the season, but they seem to be aiming for the future, so why wait. By Jeff Carlisle for ESPNFC.

A MVP for every team at mid-season. By Alexander Abnos for Sports Illustrated.

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USMNT

A variety of veterans and newcomers, young and old make up this Gold Cup roster. The mix is important. By Brian Strauss for Sports Illustrated.

Friendly Schedule:
-Sat Jul 1
USA v Ghana - 3:45pm CT on ESPN
Pratt + Whitney Stadium - East Hartford

Group Stage Schedule:
-Sat Jul 8
USA v Panama - 3:30pm CT on FOX
Nissan Stadium - Nashville
-Wed Jul 12
USA v Martinique - 8:00pm CT on FS1
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa
-Sat Jul 15
USA v Nicaragua - 6:00pm CT on FXX
FirstEnergy Stadium - Cleveland

dN

If yer lookin for a place to watch the USMNT in the Twin Cities just head on over to the Town Hall Brewery in the Seven Corners neighborhood of Minneapolis. They have some great rooms off the main bar with big TVs, and in the very back room a projection screen. Plus the staff is great, excited to see you, and the food is top notch. My beer drinking friends tell me the suds are excellent too (they are known for their award winning beers.)

dN

Canadian Championship - Final Schedule/Results:

2nd Leg
-Tue Jun 27
Toronto v Montreal (1-1)

dN

CONFEDERATIONS CUP:

Semifinals schedule
-Wed Jun 28
Portugal v Chile - 1:00pm CT on FS1
-Thu Jun 29
Germany v Mexico - 1:00pm CT on FS2

dN

My columns for 1500ESPN.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, June 26, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 26, 2017

It's Day 177 of 2017.


Russia's entire World Cup 2014 is under investigation for PEDs. By Martha Kelner for the Guardian.

dN

San Jose Earthquakes have fired head coach Dominic Kinnear.
  • He has been replaced by assistant coaches Chris Leitch.
  • Kinnear was not on the latest du Nord MLS Coaches Hot Seat Power Rankings. Meaning, I missed that one badly.

dN

Reminder: The new Adrian Heath radio show with host Jamie Watson will air on Tuesdays at 6pm CT on 1500ESPN radio.

dN

Minnesota United

Results:
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota 2-2 Vancouver - MU goals by Francisco Calvo + Jerome Thiesson. VW goals by Cristian Techera(PK) + Tony Tchani.

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Game highlights. [VIDEO]
  • Yes it was a comeback from 2 goals down.
  • Yes they got the tie and 1 point.
  • But man oh man how did that happen? Vancouver are just not very good.
  • The 1st half was one to forget.
  • MN gave up two huge mistakes for goals, the 2nd just moments before the halftime whistle.
  • And for the 3rd game in a row Shuttleworth had his butterfingers all over 1 of the goals allowed. Another PK!
  • This time KVenegas has too take a huge chunk of blame too. His awful backpass is what forced Shuttleworth into that position to begin with.
  • The 2nd half was a much better performance.
  • At times Minnesota passed circles around Vancouver. Some beautiful stuff. Really.
  • 2 defenders scored the goals - how about that - Calvo and Thiesson - both get their first Loons goal.
  • Calvo was not forward for a set piece when he scored. No, he brought the ball out of the back and after passing off just kept running until he was unmarked at the back post. Fantastic play, from a player with a huge future.
  • After his goal Jerry went Loony:

  • Molino nice cross to Calvo for his goal. And Molino did a couple other things too. But he also missed a wide open net from about 5 yards away. He put the ball WIDE!!!!
  • Ibarra nice pass to Thiesson for his goal. And Ibarra did a couple other things too.
  • Teamwork!
  • KVenegas got a 2nd start in a row, building some confidence.
  • JVenegas - where do we start? He is afraid of contact now. Earlier in the season he would just fall over and whine about not getting calls, now he avoids opponents and lets them have the ball. And his passing... don't make my blood boil all over again.
  • No one on this team can deliver a decent cross either. No one.
  • Ibson did that crazy Ibson thing. Amazing effort, urging everyone else on, passing and dribbling. Pickpocket defense. Torturing opponents. But then he stops, throws his hands up and turns his back on the play if the littlest thing doesn't go his way. And he needs to work on his set piece service. The whole frickin team does.
  • Ramirez barely saw the ball. They NEED to get him the ball. Good things happen when he gets the ball a lot.
  • Kallman hurt his leg in a collision. Then came off a few minutes into 2nd half, replaced by Taylor who did not screw up. We shall see how Kallman is.
  • Kadrii finally came on in the 82nd for JVenegas. Should have come on 10 minutes sooner. Kadrii must be wondering what he has to do to get on the field.
  • My biggest question about Minn offense is this: Are the players on the field not carrying out the game plan? If they are, and its not working, then it needs to change. If they are not, then why the fuck not. One of those 2 is the real issue. By the way, what is that game plan?
  • 19k+ attendance. Its getting there. Slowly.

Media:

One quick note about Vancouver: I had no idea Fredy Montero was even out there until he was replaced in the 73rd minute.

Stats:
  • MU is back into the lead for most goal allowed - still averaging 2.2 allowed per game.
  • You take out those 18 allowed in March and there have still be 20 allowed in 13 games. Or 1.5 per game. Still one of the worst defensive records in the league.

Schedule:
-Thu Jun 29
New York City v Minnesota
-Tue Jul 4
Minnesota v Columbus - 6:00pm CT

Minnesota United FC has now played 17 games - exactly half the season - and before Thursday's game in New York I will grade the whole roster A-F.

dN

MLS

My MLS Notes:
  • Chicago now at 9 games with a loss, 7 wins and 2 ties, with 18 scored and 3 allowed.
  • One helluva goal by David Accam - best I have seen in the league this season - coming on the end of an 18 pass sequence for the Fire:

  • New York is Blue this week after beating Red Bulls in NJ.
  • Ike Opara can't stop scoring goals and this one is brilliant:

  • LA goalkeeper Clement Diop delivered this beauty. (Hint: its a disaster) [VIDEO]
  • LA lost again at home and now has played 8 home games amassing 1 win and 3 ties for 6 total points at Stub Hub Center. Wow, that is bad.
  • On the flipside LA has played 8 road games and has an excellent record of 5 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie for 16 points - by far the best in the league.
  • Clint Dempsey crushed Portland's spirits with a goal at the death knell. After the game he said, "Last week we tied and it felt like a loss. This week we tied and it felt like a win. Soccer is strange."
  • In the past 8 days Portland has played 2 of the 3 worst teams in the league plus their biggest rival and came out of it with just 1 point.
  • Andre Blake saved a PK and a win for Philadelphia.

Stats - Top Goal Scorers:
  • 14 Nemanja Nikolic (2 via PK)
  • 11 Erick Torres (5 via PK)
  • 10 David Accam (2 via PK)
  • 10 David Villa (2 via PK)

Media:

Week 17 schedule/results:
(15 games)
-Wed Jun 21
DC 2-1 Atlanta
Minnesota 3-2 Portland
Colorado 1-3 LA
Seattle 1-1 Orlando
-Fri Jun 23
Toronto 2-0 New England
Houston 1-1 Dallas
-Sat Jun 24
New York RB 0-2 New York City
Atlanta 1-0 Colorado
Philadelphia 1-0 DC
Columbus 4-1 Montreal
Minnesota 2-2 Vancouver
Chicago 4-0 Orlando
LA 1-2 Kansas City
San Jose 2-1 Salt Lake
-Sun Jun 25
Portland 2-2 Seattle

45 goals in 15 games = 3 gpg

dN

NASL:
The league has announced that an expansion team will begin next season in San Diego. They currently do not have a stadium.
  • Ownership is led by local businessman Bob Watkins, who will also be team president. Other owners include 4 top European players: Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Eden Hazard and Moussa Sow.

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USMNT

Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has flip flopped back and forth between USA and Mexico national teams, but now he has officially filed paper to play for the USA, so once this goes through FIFA even if he never plays for the USA he cannot go back and play for Mexico. This paperwork is permanent.

A big crop of talented central midfielders are ready for harvesting. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

The following squad has landed in Nashville to begin training for a friendly and the Gold Cup:
  • G: Brad Guzan - Atlanta United FC, Bill Hamid - DC United, Sean Johnson - New York City
  • D: Matt Besler - Sporting Kansas City, Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca, Matt Hedges - Dallas, Eric Lichaj - Nottingham Forest, Matt Miazga - Chelsea, Justin Morrow - Toronto, Jorge Villafana - Santos Laguna, Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City
  • M: Kellyn Acosta - Dallas, Paul Arriola - Tijuana, Alejandro Bedoya - Philadelphia, Joe Corona - Tijuana, Dax McCarty - Chicago Fire, Cristian Roldan - Seattle Sounders, Kelyn Rowe - New England Revolution, Kenny Saief - Gent, Gyasi Zardes - LA Galaxy
  • F: Juan Agudelo - New England Revolution, Dom Dwyer - Sporting Kansas City, Jordan Morris - Seattle Sounders
  • Coach: Bruce Arena

Breaking down the Gold Cup roster. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

Who is Kenny Saief anyway? By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.

Friendly Schedule:
-Sat Jul 1
USA v Ghana - 3:45pm CT on ESPN
Pratt + Whitney Stadium - East Hartford

Group Stage Schedule:
-Sat Jul 8
USA v Panama - 3:30pm CT on FOX
Nissan Stadium - Nashville
-Wed Jul 12
USA v Martinique - 8:00pm CT on FS1
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa
-Sat Jul 15
USA v Nicaragua - 6:00pm CT on FXX
FristEnergy Stadium - Cleveland

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I don't know how long this has been around, but its pretty cool:

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AMERICANS ABROAD

Bobby Wood has signed a contract extension with Hamburg until Summer 2021.

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Canadian Championship - Final Schedule/Results:

2nd Leg
-Tue Jun 27
Toronto v Montreal (1-1)

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Americans in Mexico:

Tijuana with Paul Arriola, Joe Corona and Michael Orozco has a new head coach - Argentinian Eduaro Coudet.
  • This is his 2nd head coaching position, coming from Rosario Central where he had also been a long time player.

dN

CONFEDERATIONS CUP:

Semifinals schedule
-Wed Jun 28
Portugal v Chile - 1:00pm CT on FS1
-Thu Jun 29
Germany v Mexico - 1:00pm CT on FS2

dN

My columns for 1500ESPN.



The Bird Is The Word

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 23, 2017

It's Day 174 of 2017.


7 years ago today

dN

The 23 man USMNT roster for the Gold Cup will be announced on Sun Jun 25 at High Noon CT on FOX.

dN

Starting next week:
Every Tuesday at 6:00pm CT on 1500ESPN AM radio, the Adrian Heath Show, with host Jamie Watson.

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Minnesota United

I know I shouldn't be thinking this, but what would happen to MNUFC if Ibson were to get injured?

4 Teams in MLS have not won on the road yet, the other 3 are: New England, Houston and Colorado.

This weekends opponent Vancouver is coming off a 4 game homestand in which they went 2-1-1 with 6 goals scored and 3 allowed.
  • The Whitecaps have 2 road wins, coming just 2 and 3 games ago, at Colorado (0-1) and Montreal (1-2).
  • Their leading scorers are Fredy Montero (5), Christian Techera (4), Brek Shea, Kendall Waston + Matias Laba (2).
  • VW got a late tie at home in their last game, with Techera putting in a nice free kick to make it 1-1 v Dallas.

A match preview from Vancouver's point of view. By Steve Ewen for the Vancouver Province.

Two Minnesota players who have seen significant minutes are still on the Questionable injury list: Ismaila Jome (L Ankle) and Johan Venegas (L Glute).

Schedule:
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota v Vancouver - 7:00pm CT on My29.

dN

The evolution of soccer America certainly has a place for promotion and relegation. By Paul Tenorio for Four Four Two.

dN

Like the future doubts about rock music itself there is always the question hanging in the air - is the electric guitar a thing of the past? By Geoff Edgers for the Washington Post.

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MLS

Week 17 schedule/results:
(15 games)
-Wed Jun 21
DC 2-1 Atlanta
Minnesota 3-2 Portland
Colorado 1-3 LA
Seattle 1-1 Orlando
-Fri Jun 23
Toronto v New England
Houston v Dallas
-Sat Jun 24
New York RB v New York City
Atlanta v Colorado
Philadelphia v DC
Columbus v Montreal
Minnesota v Vancouver
Chicago v Orlando
LA v Kansas City
San Jose v Salt Lake
-Sun Jun 25
Portland v Seattle

dN

USMNT

The CONCACAF Gold Cup begins on Jul 7.

dN

My columns for 1500ESPN.



The Bird Is The Word

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 22, 2017

It's Day 173 of 2017.


Minnesota United

Results:
-Wed Jun 21
Minnesota 3-2 Portland - MU goals by Amobi Okugo(OG), Christian Ramirez + Abu Danladi. PT goals by Diego Valeri(PK) + Francisco Calvo(OG).

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Game highlights [VIDEO]
  • What an important win that was! Just when it felt like the team could be headed down the drain, they pull off a win at home.
  • And what a win. Loons win! Loons win!
  • And the way Minn came out of the gate with a fierce determination set the tone for the whole game.
  • And lemme tell ya, that game was a goddamn 3 ring circus:
  • 5 goals
    2 of them own goals - 1 for each team
    1 spectacular finish by Ramirez
    1 penalty for Portland
    2 red cards - 1 for each team on the same play
    1 goalkeeper blunder by Portland that became a goal
  • Ramirez had a highlight reel goal, which at first was a flubbed touch that he then turned into something spectacular.

  • Okugo put in an own goal for Minn.
  • Calvo put in an own goal for Port.
  • Shuttleworth made a poor decision and gave up a PK for Port to score.
  • Atinella made a poor decision and gave up a loose ball for Minn to score.
  • Again, happy for KVenegas getting on the field more. But he HAS to work on those crosses. The chances are there, but the passes MUST get better. If I was the coach I would just say to him, "at the end of practice everyday I will have someone out here on the field with you and I want to see a minimum of 100 crosses, every day."
  • No one celebrated on the field after the final whistle harder than KVenagas either.
  • Cronin again faded as the game wore on.
  • Molino put in a surgically accurate pass for the Ramirez goal.
  • But Molino's defense is pitiful, I mean really really pitiful.
  • Ibarra had some of the darting beauty up his sleeve last night. More please.
  • The tactics were right for Minn, except for 1 thing - WTF is up with not using subs. Heath is trying to kill these guys. I hope they have legs left for Saturday night cuz Vancouver is gonna bring it.
  • That was the 5th road loss in a row for Portland.
  • And then there's this gem:


Media:

Schedule:
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota v Vancouver - 7:00pm CT on My29.

Minnesota's NASL players have by and large done good for themselves in MLS. By Wes Burdine for Fifty Five one.

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Private: du Nord Music Mix Vol 127 (download + extract)

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MLS

My MLS Notes:
  • Orlando stole points from Seattle on a goal 4 minutes into 2nd half stoppage time.
  • Young Jack McBean is getting a shot again in the LA lineup and came through with 2 goals. The 2nd was a behind the back flick.
  • The Villarreal brothers, Jose and Jaime, both started for the Galaxy. They were part of the team's academy. As were 6 others who took the field last night: McBean, Zardes, Smith, Romney, Jamieson and Garcia.
  • Atlanta can't get Brad Guzan in their goal fast enough. That guy they got now is pretty awful.

A Q+A with Wilmar Cabrera whose leadership has helped turn the Houston Dynamo around. By Scott French for Four Four Two.

Week 17 schedule/results:
(15 games)
-Wed Jun 21
DC 2-1 Atlanta
Minnesota 3-2 Portland
Colorado 1-3 LA
Seattle 1-1 Orlando
-Fri Jun 23
Toronto v New England
Houston v Dallas
-Sat Jun 24
New York RB v New York City
Atlanta v Colorado
Philadelphia v DC
Columbus v Montreal
Minnesota v Vancouver
Chicago v Orlando
LA v Kansas City
San Jose v Salt Lake
-Sun Jun 25
Portland v Seattle

dN

Des Moines Menace considering a move up from PDL to new USL D3 set to begin in 2019. From USLD3.
  • Many Minnesota fans have a fondness for Des Moines after the teams encounters in the US Open Cup. Best of luck to them.

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A pretty good overview on how the Video Assistant Referee system works. By Ridge Mahoney for Soccer America.

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USMNT

The name Kenny Saief turned up on the preliminary Gold Cup roster and all but a very few (less than 2 hands worth) had no idea who he was. (I had no idea.) Well, today he got his FIFA approval to play for the Red, White and Blue. He had played for some Israeli youth national teams, so he needed to officially change his nationality with the governing body. He plays his club soccer in Belgium at Gent. From US Soccer.

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Canadian Championship - Final Schedule/Results:

Good result for TFC last night, getting a tie and a road goal.

1st Leg
-Wed Jun 21
Montreal 1-1 Toronto
2nd Leg
-Tue Jun 27
Toronto v Montreal

dN

My columns for 1500ESPN.




The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 21, 2017

It's Day 172 of 2017.


My latest for 1500ESPN: Minnesota United. USA Men's National Team. 12 Days. 4 Games. 3 Competitions. 2 Countries.

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Minnesota United

Lack of goals: Its one thing to be shutout twice by the best defense in the league in Kansas City, but not putting one past the worst defense in the league, Salt Lake, is worrisome. All those games were on the road. The next two are at home. And Portland is susceptible, lets see what happens at home.

Portland will focus on improving their defense for tonight's game. By Jamie Goldberg for the Oregonian.

Minn United brass says they are ready to add players. By Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.
  • I am very curious to see how far the management will take this. They need 5-6 players. My guess is we will see 1-2.

MNUFC sees Sporting Kansas City's entire organization as a role model. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.

Schedule:
-Wed Jun 21
Minnesota v Portland - 7:00pm CT on My29.
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota v Vancouver - 7:00pm CT on My29.

dN

Private: du Nord Music Mix Vol 127 (download + extract)

dN

Former Republican Senator Lowell Weicker Jr from Connecticut, was on a Watergate investigative committee and does not like what he is seeing and hearing from the White House today, it has too many similarities for him. By the former Senator for the New York Times.

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MLS

4 games tonight, and 2 more on Friday. Mid-week oh yeah!

The sound coming from the stands means everything to this New York Red Bulls player. In his own words. By Mike Grella of NYRB for The Players Tribune.

The LA Galaxy season got off to a very rough start, but things have turned around in an unexpected way. By Kevin Baxter for the LA Times.

Week 17 schedule/results:
(15 games)
-Wed Jun 21
DC v Atlanta
Minnesota v Portland
Colorado v LA
Seattle v Orlando
-Fri Jun 23
Toronto v New England
Houston v Dallas
-Sat Jun 24
New York RB v New York City
Atlanta v Colorado
Philadelphia v DC
Columbus v Montreal
Minnesota v Vancouver
Chicago v Orlando
LA v Kansas City
San Jose v Salt Lake
-Sun Jun 25
Portland v Seattle

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Samantha Kerr of Sky Blue named NWSL Player Of The Week

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USMNT

Gold Cup roster speculation. By Brian Straus for Sports Illustrated.
  • I am not big on speculation. Just thought I would put this here in case you are. I know many people dig it.

dN

Canadian Championship - Final Schedule/Results:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 21
Montreal v Toronto
2nd Leg
-Tue Jun 27
Toronto v Montreal



The Bird Is The Word

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 20, 2017

It's Day 171 of 2017.


Rest In Power Tony DiCicco
  • An American soccer pioneer, innovator, leader and legend.

dN

My latest for 1500ESPN: Minnesota United. USA Men's National Team. 12 Days. 4 Games. 3 Competitions. 2 Countries

dN

Minnesota United

Marc Burch injury update: out 2-3 months after having hernia surgery.
  • MU may need another left fullback. Add that to the extensive shopping list.

Portland comes to Minnesota on Wed with 4 consecutive road losses, and 5 without a win.

Since late April Minn has won and lost every other game at home, with the pattern saying they lose on Wednesday and win on Saturday.
  • Overall the Loon have played 7 games at home, winning 4 and losing 3.

Timbers centerback Liam Ridgewell is out with an injury. This team's defense can be beaten.

Post-weekend preview for Minn game from Portland. By Jamie Goldberg for the Oregonian.

Schedule:
-Wed Jun 21
Minnesota v Portland - 7:00pm CT on My29.
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota v Vancouver - 7:00pm CT on My29.

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MLS

The biggest offseason signing for Columbus was Ghanaian centerback Jonathan Mensah, and it hasn't gone well for him or them. He is hoping to turn it around starting with the Ghana friendly v the USMNT on Jul 1. By Michael Oti Adjei for ESPNFC.

The Chicago Fire are attempting a return to respectability, but it hasn't been easy. By Paul Tenorio for Four Four Two.

Week 17 schedule/results:
(15 games)
-Wed Jun 21
DC v Atlanta
Minnesota v Portland
Colorado v LA
Seattle v Orlando
-Fri Jun 23
Toronto v New England
Houston v Dallas
-Sat Jun 24
New York RB v New York City
Atlanta v Colorado
Philadelphia v DC
Columbus v Montreal
Minnesota v Vancouver
Chicago v Orlando
LA v Kansas City
San Jose v Salt Lake
-Sun Jun 25
Portland v Seattle

dN

  • David Villa of New York City named MLS Player Of The Week
  • Vincenzo Rennella of Miami named NASL Player Of The Week

dN

Canadian Championship

Final Schedule/Results:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 21
Montreal v Toronto
2nd Leg
-Tue Jun 27
Toronto v Montreal

dN

Dani Alves describes going back to Barcelona with his new team Juventus, and how much Barca is on his mind and in his blood. In his own words for the Players Tribune.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, June 19, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 19, 2017

It's Day 170 of 2017.


Minnesota United

Results:
-Sat Jun 17
Salt Lake 1-0 Minnesota

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Game highlights - literally ALL Salt Lake. There isn't a single Minnesota attacking clip in the 4 minutes.
  • Where do you even start with a game like this?
  • Loons started the game in 4-2-3-1. Then shifted to 4-3-3, which has never worked for this team.
  • 3 minutes after the shift they got scored on.
  • MU used 1 sub - 1 sub at elevation!
  • Where was the bench? They only took 18 players and 2 were injured.
  • Outshot 29-5 - on target 9-1
  • It was The Inept v The Terrible.
  • NRV = No Redeeming Value.
  •  MU caught offside twice on set pieces.
  • All that work gone in a flash: Shuttleworth made 8 good saves, then blows an easy one to give away the game - Ramirez and Cronin gave up on play too.
  • Iron fucking skillet!
  • Shuttleworth good, until he wasn't.
  • Ibson good.
  • Thiesson ok.
  • Kallman ok.
  • Cronin good in 1st half, invisible in 2nd half.
  • Calvo messy.
  • Ramirez, Molino, Ibarra, Danladi, all invisible.
  • KVenegas good to see him on the field again, but the mustache appeared to be messing with his crossing abilities.
  • Schuller who?
  • It wasn't the defensive 4 alone who did not slow down RSL. It was the whole team. No one in front of the centerbacks slowed anyone down.
  • Manny Lagos and Amos Magee have to be under tremendous pressure to get several quality players into this roster asap. They need 5-6 players. Will they get more than 1 or 2? This is important stuff.
  • The Loons have dropped to the bottom of the overall league standings. Not good.
  • The loss was the first of 5 games in 17 days. Big trouble for a team with such a thin roster.
  • Other teams have figured out how to shut down the Minnesota offense. No re-adjustments from the Minn except reverting to defensive shell which does not work when you can't generate any offense.

Some more scary stats:
  • 7 goals scored and 14 allowed in all comps since Apr 23 - 9 games.
  • Last 5 games its 2 scored and 10 allowed.
  • Only 5 teams have scored less goals.
  • 1 team has given up more goals.
  • Least amount of points in the league - 14.
  • Only team in league that is averaging less than 1 point per game - 0.93.

Media:
(skip it - you don't want to read it anyway)

Schedule (2 this week):
-Wed Jun 21
Minnesota v Portland - 7:00pm CT on My29.
-Sat Jun 24
Minnesota v Vancouver - 7:00pm CT on My29.

Marc Burch has gone to a see a medical specialist about what has for weeks been called a groin injury. By Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune.

Heavy equipment is on the scene in St Paul and construction has begun on the new Minn United stadium. [BRIEF VIDEO]

dN

USMNT



Friendly schedule:
-Sat Jul 1
USA v Ghana - 3:45pm CT on ESPN
Rentschler Field, East Hartford

Gold Cup roster to be announced on Jun 27.

dN

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying:

Hexagonal results:
Matchday 5
-Thu Jun 8
USA 2-0 T+T
Costa Rica 0-0 Panama
Mexico 3-0 Honduras
Matchday 6
-Sun Jun 11
Mexico 1-1 USA
-Tue Jun 13
Panama 2-2 Honduras
Costa Rica 2-1 T+T

Hexagonal Standings:
(6 of 10 games played)
14 Mexico (+7)
11 Costa Rica (+5)
8 USA (+3)
-----
7 Panama (0)
-----
5 Honduras (-8)
3 Trinidad +Tobago (-7)

Matchdays 7 + 8 will be played Fri Sep 1 + Tue Sep 5 - USA v Costa Rica and at Honduras

dN

MLS

My MLS Notes:
  • Josef Martinez is really really good. And he is back in the Atlanta lineup.
  • Chicago wins ON THE ROAD AGAIN! Sticking right behind Toronto for best in the league.
  • Montreal has another guy to go along side Ignacio Piatti now! Look out - Blerim Dzemaili is for real.
  • DC is nearly as bad as Minnesota right now. Its a race to the bottom.
  • Alan frickin Gordon! 3 wins in a row for Colorado.
  • BWP gets 2 late goals after missing about 60 chances. At least he got 'em.

David Villa is the best MLS import since Robbie Keane. By Matt Pentz for the Guardian.
  • Giovinco has been better than Villa in my book.

Media:

Week 16 schedule/results:
(11 games)
-Sat Jun 17
New York City 2-1 Seattle
Atlanta 3-1 Columbus
New England 1-2 Chicago
Orlando 3-3 Montreal
Toronto 2-0 DC
San Jose 0-0 Kansas City
Colorado 2-1 Portland
Salt Lake 1-0 Minnesota
Vancouver 1-1 Dallas
LA 2-2 Houston
-Sun Jun 18
Philadelphia 0-2 New York RB

30 goals in 11 games = 2.7 goals per game.

dN

CONFED CUP

  • Does anyone actually care? Tell me if you do.
  • It seems that the Russian people do not care. The stands were quite empty for the first two games.
  • I watched Mexico v Portugal on Sunday and it was a decent game. The VAR came in to play.
  • Later Sunday I watched Chile v Cameroon and again the VAR was used. But after getting the correct call the 1st time and disallowing a Chile goal, they got it wrong the 2nd time and gave Chile a goal that should have been stopped for offside.



The Bird Is The Word

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Walking The Dog

I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 6, 2017

It's Day 157 of 2017.


My new article for 1500ESPN: Former NASL players having big impact on MNUFC MLS roster.

dN

Twin Cities viewing parties for the 2 USMNT World Cup qualifiers, Thurs & Sun, is at Town Hall Brewery in Seven Corners, Minneapolis.

dN

USMNT

John Brooks trained with the USA today. He suffered a bruised thigh against Venezuela.

Despite the truck loads of praise Christian Pulisic still has his head squarely on his shoulders and his feet of the ground. By Jeff Carlisle for ESPNFC.

Some chaos in the Trinidad team. By Shaka Hislop for ESPNFC. [VIDEO]
  • Hislop sees his former team T+T getting a tie in Denver.

World Cup qualifier schedule/results:
-Thu Jun 8
USA v T+T - 6:50pm CT on FS1
Denver CO
-Sun Jun 11
Mexico v USA - 7:30pm CT on FS1
Mexico City DF

USA Roster (26 players):
  • G: Brad Guzan - Atlanta United, Ethan Horvath - Club Brugge, Tim Howard - Colorado Rapids, Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley - Houston Dynamo, Matt Besler - Sporting Kansas City, John Brooks - Hertha Berlin, Geoff Cameron - Stoke City, Timothy Chandler - Eintracht Frankfurt, Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca, Matt Hedges - Dallas, Tim Ream - Fulham, Jorge Villafana - Santos Laguna, DeAndre Yedlin - Newcastle, Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City
  • M: Kellyn Acosta - Dallas, Paul Arriola - Tijuana, Alejandro Bedoya - Philadelphia Union, Michael Bradley - Toronto, Fabian Johnson - Borussia Moenchengladbach, Dax McCarty - Chicago Fire, Darlington Nagbe - Portland Timbers, Christian Pulisic - Borussia Dortmund
  • F: Jozy Altidore - Toronto, Clint Dempsey - Seattle Sounders, Jordan Morris - Seattle Sounders, Bobby Wood - Hamburg
  • C: Bruce Arena

The 23 player USA roster for the Gold Cup will be announced on Jun 27.

T+T Roster:
  • G: Jan Michael Williams - Juticalpa, Marvin Phillip - Morvant Caledonia United, Adrian Foncette - Police
  • D: Carlos Edwards - Ma Pau Stars, Daneil Cyrus - W Connection, Joevin Jones - Seattle Sounders, Aubrey David - PS Kemi, Radanfah Abu Bakr - Suduva Marijampole, Sheldon Bateau - Krylia Sovetov Samara, Curtis Gonzales - Defence Force, Mekeil Williams - Colorado Rapids, Alvin Jones - W Connection, Tristan Hodge - W Connection
  • M: Khaleem Hyland - Westerlo, Andre Boucaud - Dagenham & Redbridge, Hughtun Hector - W Connection, Kevin Molino - Minnesota United, Kevan George - Jacksonville Armada, Leston Paul - Central, Hashim Arcia - Defence Force, Nathan Lewis - San Juan Jabloteh
  • F: Kenwyne Jones - Atlanta United, Shahdon Winchester - Murcielagos, Jamille Boatswain - Defence Force
  • C: Dennis Lawrence

Mexico Roster:
  • G: Guillermo Ochoa - Granada, Alfredo Talavera - Toluca, Rodolfo Cota - Guadalajara
  • D: Rafael Marquez - Atlas, Hector Moreno - PSV, Miguel Layun - Porto, Diego Reyes - Espanyol, Nestor Araujo - Santos Laguna, Oswaldo Alanis - Guadalajara, Carlos Salcedo - Fiorentina, Ricardo Reyes - Atlas
  • M: Andres Guardado - PSV, Hector Herrera - Porto, Javier Aquino - Tigres, Marco Fabian - Eintracht Frankfurt, Jonathan dos Santos - Villarreal, Jesus Molina - Monterrey, Jesus Dueñas - Tigres, Jurgen Damm - Tigres, Jesus Gallardo - Pumas, Orbelin Pineda - Guadalajara, Jorge Hernandez - Pachuca
  • F: Giovani dos Santos - LA Galaxy, Javier Hernandez - Bayer Leverkusen, Oribe Peralta - America, Carlos Vela - Real Sociedad, Raul Jimenez - Benfica, Jesus Manuel Corona - Porto, Hirving Lozano - Pachuca
  • C: Juan Carlos Osorio

dN

Incredible article on the battle with ISIS for Mosul - told from inside the Iraqi special forces. By Mike Giglio for Buzzfeed.

dN

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying:

Hexagonal Schedule/results:
Matchday 5
-Thu Jun 8
USA v T+T
Costa Rica v Panama
Mexico v Honduras
Matchday 6
-Sun Jun 11
Mexico v USA
-Tue Jun 13
Panama v Honduras
Costa Rica v T+T

Hexagonal Standings:
(4 of 10 games played)
10 Mexico (+4)
7 Costa Rica (+4)
5 Panama (0)
-----
4 USA (+1)
-----
4 Honduras (-5)
3 Trinidad +Tobago (-4)

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

US Open Cup Schedule/Results:
-Wed Jun 14
Sporting Kansas City v Minnesota United - 7:30pm CT


dN

US Open Cup

4th Round Schedule/Results - Jun 13 + 14.

dN

  • Giuseppe Gentile of Puerto Rico named NASL Player Of The Week
  • Roland Lamah of Dallas named MLS Player Of The Week
  • Irvin Parra of Seattle Sounders 2 named USL Player Of The Week
  • Lindsey Horan of Portland Thorns named USL Player Of The Week

dN

MLS

16 year old Jesus Ferriera of Dallas became the 2nd youngest goal scorer in league history last Saturday in their 6-2 win over Salt Lake. Jesus is the son of former Dallas star and MLS MVP David Ferriera.

All those games in May seems to have caught up with Toronto in New England last weekend as they got smoked. Don't expect it to last. By Kurt Larson for the Toronto Sun.

Week 15 schedule results:
(3 games)
-Sat Jun 10
Chicago v Atlanta
Kansas City v Montreal
Portland v Dallas

dN

AMERICANS ABROAD

David Wagner has signed a new contract to remain head coach of Huddersfield who have been just promoted to the English Premier League.

Christian Pulisic has a new head coach at Dortmund - Peter Bosz. Dutch former pro player who brought Ajax back to respectability last season.

dN

A tournament review of the USMNT U20 team at the World Cup. By Brian Sciaretta for American Soccer Now.
  • They were eliminated in the Quarterfinals by Venezuela on Sunday.

dN

Men's U20 World Cup - South Korea

Semifinal Schedule:
-Thu Jun 8
Italy v England
Uruguay v Venezuela

Final
-Sun Jun 11

The tournament.

dN

Goztepe SK from Turkey's third largest city Izmir is back into the top flight after several years floundering. They have a fierce following that will bring another lively team to the very lively Super Lig. They will be the only team from Izmir in the top division. By for Daily Sabbah. Thanks to Justin for the link.

dN

My columns for 1500ESPN.



The Bird Is The Word

Monday, June 05, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jun 5, 2017

It's Day 156 of 2017.


Real Madrid won its 3 UEFA Champions League Final in 4 years. I am not a fan, but man oh man are they good. You really have to give it up for them. Huge congrats.
  • This is their 12th European championship. Far and away the most of any team.
  • Zinedine Zidane the manager gets the job done in a big big way. By Sid Lowe for the Guardian.

Final results:
-Sat Jun 3
Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid

dN

USMNT U20 team lost in the Quarterfinals of the World Cup, 2-1 by Venezuela.

dN

MINNESOTA UNITED

Results:
-Sat Jun 3
Kansas City 3-0 Minnesota

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Game highlights [VIDEO] - if yer smart you will not watch this.
  • Let's begin with the good part: Minnesota fans snapped every ticket they could get their hands on and filled the section they were given to overflowing. And for only a few minutes late in the game when the score, futility, heat, early start to the day, and beer caught up to everyone did they ever slow down. And that was only for a moment. Then it was right back to full tilt boogie. Loud and proud. Well done.
  • Sadly this was pretty much what I feared we would see in Kansas City. Due to the lack of depth there were a lot of holes to fill, and after the injury to Ibarra the coach changed the formation and really hampered any chance the team had of competing.
  • To make things worse, the formation the coach changed to was the same one they used in games 1,2 and 4 when they got hammered into the dirt. (Actually fake turf in games 1 and 3, and snow + fake turf in game 2.)
  • That formation involved 3 central holding/defensive/linking midfielders. You only need 2 players for this area of the field, so using 3 is kinda like playing with 10 men, except its worse. Because those 3 are confused as to who has what responsibility. "Do you have that guy, or do I? Are going forward? No? You are dropping back? OK, well then I guess I will go forward. How about him, who is marking him now? Which side of the field?" etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
  • No Calvo, no Cronin, no JVenegas, then no Ibarra. Yeah its ugly.
  • Ibarra suffered some sort of lower leg injury. I think its an injury to his calf.
  • I know playing at KC is almost a no-win situation. They rarely give up points at home. So maybe I should just stop right here and drop it. Just let it go. Forget about it. Move on. But you know me, there is no way I can do that.
  • So here we go.
  • KC got there payback. They were embarrassed by losing 2-0 in Minnesota a month ago. So they were motivated.
  • MN had managed to keep the game scoreless until into first half stoppage time and then gave up one of the worst goals I have seen all season.
  • The whole team just seemed to stop playing in unison leaving Ike Opara, a centerback, to waltz to the top of the box and then just pass a shot into the open net, while no Minnesota player tried to stop it. Literally, no one even lunged or dove or anything.
  • (You could actually say this about all 3 KC goals. Every MN player standing around watching.)
  • The second half started and KC smelled blood and grabbed goal #2. It was over then.
  • But Minnesota, with Kadrii on the field meekly attempted a comeback. He and Ramirez actually combined, and drew Ibson and Thiessen into the game. Davis came in a few minutes after that and at least pushed forward.
  • KC was in full defensive wall mode though and only 2 or 3 real chances materialized for the Loons with none of them forcing a great save.
  • Sporting hit them on the counter for goal 3 and the journey toward the dark side was complete.
  • Shuttleworth made a couple good saves and horribly watch the 1st goal go in.
  • Kallman was named captain, nice, but couldn't rally the troops.
  • Burch appears to not have much in the tank right now.
  • Warner was just plain bad.
  • Same with Jome.
  • Ramirez had no service, so he wasn't involved much at all. His few attempts were weak.
  • And Schuller came on for Ibarra in the 8th minute, and ... boy oh boy don't get me started on Schuller. WTF? Did he make more than 1 forward pass? Yes he did. 6 out of 57 passes.
  • I kept wondering all game when Molino was going to show up. He must have missed the flight.
  • A lot of guys just booted the ball up field when they got it, and gave it right back to KC.
  • MN had 7 shots total. 1 on goal. This is getting worse every game. You know why? Because other teams do scouting, and they have MN figured out, and MN has no plan B except retreat into a shell and get smoked.
  • On many of the few times MN did get into the attack they whipped in crosses that were easily cleared by Opara who is literally the best leaper in all of MLS and OWNS the air in front of there goal. Who thought those crosses might lead to something?
  • Actually, besides shots and corners the stats were pretty even. It just that KC's numbers seemed to me made of something much tougher and more durable.
  • When I think back on it, KC wasn't exactly great on Saturday. They were a little better then average, yet barely tested.
  • Minn has only scored 2 goals in the last 3 games.
  • And finally, the "missing players" excuse doesn't work, cuz KC had guys out too.

Coach Adrian Heath to media after the game: "Outfought, outplayed, outrun. No desire. No enthusiasm." All correct. But he forgot to add "Outrostered and outcoached," too. I don't think its right to publicly put all the blame on the players with this team

Media:

Up Next:
-Wed Jun 14
Sporting Kansas City v Minnesota United - 7:30pm CT.
  • Back to Kansas City for the US Open Cup.
  • KC will roll out a very similar line up to what we saw on the field at the end of the game.

My new article for 1500ESPN: Former NASL players having big impact on MNUFC MLS roster.


dN

My recommendation for watching the 2 USMNT World Cup qualifiers in the Twin Cities, Thu + Sun, is Town Hall Brewery in Seven Corners, Minneapolis.

dN

USMNT

My USMNT Notes:
  • It was not easy for me to watch this game. I was out on the town in Kansas City and there were a lot of people around to socialize with. So I did that more than watching.
  • I watched at the Peanut bar on 9th St in KC. I love this place. Thanks to Graham for taking me there several years ago. Not great TVs or site lines, but we had fun.
  • One thing I did notice - for a friendly it was played at a frantic pace late in the game. Which was fantastic.
  • That kid Pulisic just keeps getting better.
  • Villafana might be better than I give him credit for. I will save my judgements now for the next two games. Huge for him.
  • I don't think I missed much else by being so distracted.

Bruce Arena gives his assessment of the game. By Jeff Carlisle for ESPNFC.
  • I think he needs the Iron Skillet Method to clean up the set pieces

Friendly Result:
-Sat Jun 3
USA 1-1 Venezuela - USA goal by Christian Pulisic. Ven goal by Jose Velazquez.

Next Up - 2 HUGE World Cup qualifiers:
-Thu Jun 8
USA v T+T - 6:50pm CT on FS1
Denver CO
-Sun Jun 11
Mexico v USA - 7:30pm CT on FS1
Mexico City DF

USA Roster (26 players):
  • G: Brad Guzan - Atlanta United, Ethan Horvath - Club Brugge, Tim Howard - Colorado Rapids, Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley - Houston Dynamo, Matt Besler - Sporting Kansas City, John Brooks - Hertha Berlin, Geoff Cameron - Stoke City, Timothy Chandler - Eintracht Frankfurt, Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca, Matt Hedges - Dallas, Tim Ream - Fulham, Jorge Villafana - Santos Laguna, DeAndre Yedlin - Newcastle, Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City
  • M: Kellyn Acosta - Dallas, Paul Arriola - Tijuana, Alejandro Bedoya - Philadelphia Union, Michael Bradley - Toronto, Fabian Johnson - Borussia Moenchengladbach, Dax McCarty - Chicago Fire, Darlington Nagbe - Portland Timbers, Christian Pulisic - Borussia Dortmund
  • F: Jozy Altidore - Toronto, Clint Dempsey - Seattle Sounders, Jordan Morris - Seattle Sounders, Bobby Wood - Hamburg
  • C: Bruce Arena

2009 Flashback - Game highlights from the WC qualifier in Mexico City, the last time I was at the Azteca stadium. Quite the memorable day. [VIDEO] Attendance was a staggering 104,499

USMNT lineup for that game:
  • G: Howard
  • D: Cherundolo Onyewu DeMerit Bocanegra
  • M: Donovan Bradley Clark Dempsey
  • F: Ching Davies
  • S: Holden, Feilhaber, Altidore
  • C: Bradley

The USMNT Gold Cup 40 player preliminary roster is out. From US Soccer.
  • It will be trimmed to 23 at some point.
  • I saw the list and said to myself, "Who the hell is Kenny Saief?" Never heard of him.
  • Turns out Saief is 23 year old American-Israeli left footed wide midfielder who plays for Gent in Belgium.
  • He has played for Israel national teams at the youth and senior level, but only in friendlies, so he will need to file a request to transfer to the USA and that move would be permanent.
  • The other real surprise is the exclusion of Danny Williams. I thought he might be in for the WC games, but no Gold Cup either? Huh.

dN

  • Samantha Kerr of Sky Blue named NWSL Player Of The Month for May
  • Nemanja Nikolic of Chicago Fire named MLS Player Of The Month for May
  • Zach Steinberger of Jacksonville Armada named NASL Player Of The Month for May

dN

MLS

My MLS Notes:
  • Toronto just got smoked by New England! The mysteries of MLS will never cease to exist. Thankfully.
  • And how about the beating Dallas put on Real Salt Lake. Wow.
  • Horrible week for RSL with a 5-1 and 6-2 loss on their trip through Texas.
  • RSL coach Mike Petke: "I've never been a part of anything like this."
  • Colorado got a win. Good for them. Still really bad though.
  • Orlando held on for a tie at home against Chicago even though 2 of their players got ejected.
  • Will Bruin got revenge on Houston for dumping him by scoring the game's only goal for Seattle.
  • I didn't see a single minute of it, but I bet DC + LA was a horrible game.
  • DC played 2 games last week and didn't score in either.

Media:
  • MLS XI for Week 14. By Alexander Abnos for Sports Illustrated.
  • 6 takeaways from Week 14. By Caitlin Murray for Fox Sports.
  • The full analysis of Week 14. By Matt Doyle for MLS.

Week 14 results:
(15 games)
-Wed May 31
Columbus 3-0 Seattle
New York City 2-2 New England
Orlando 2-0 DC
Houston 5-1 Salt Lake
-Fri Jun 2
Portland 2-0 San Jose
-Sat Jun 3
New York City 2-1 Philadelphia
Kansas City 3-0 Minnesota
Vancouver 3-1 Atlanta
DC 0-0 LA
New England 3-0 Toronto
Montreal 1-0 New York RB
Dallas 6-2 Salt Lake
Colorado 2-1 Columbus
-Sun Jun 4
Orlando 0-0 Chicago
Seattle 1-0 Houston

43 goals in 15 games = 2.9 goals per game - decent, but not good enough. Try harder.

Week 15
(I loudly BOOOOOOOOOOOO all 6 of these teams for playing during the International break)
-Sat Jun 10
Chicago v Atlanta
Kansas City v Montreal
Portland v Dallas

dN

Men's U20 World Cup - South Korea

And the USA is out. I did not see the game. All accounts said they were outplayed. But it was still scoreless after 90 minutes. All 3 goals scored in Added Extra Time.

Quarterfinal Results:
Portugal 2-2 Uruguay - Uru advance 5-4 on penalties
Venezuela 2-1 USA - USA goal by Jeremy Ebobisse
------
Italy 3-2 Zambia
Mexico 0-1 England

Semifinal Schedule:
-Thu Jun 8
Italy v England
Uruguay v Venezuela

Final
-Sun Jun 11

The tournament.

dN

My soccer columns for 1500ESPN.



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