Monday, September 26, 2005

I Know This Isn't Exactly The News You Were Looking For, But.....

-In two huge upsets this weekend, Seattle & Richmond knocked off defending champs Montreal and perennials Rochester to reach the USL First Division Cup title match, which will be played in Seattle, next weekend!!! Seattle tied the champs in Montreal 2-2 Friday and won 2-1 at home on Sunday, while Richmond won 3-1 at home Friday and drew 1-1 at Rochester on Sunday. I was fully expecting to see Montreal and Rochester battle for the title, but now I have to watch the hated Seattle try for it. Go Richmond!
-Here we see it in all its ugly glory: Jeff Cunningham the little whiny baby making a fuss and disrupting a whole team. No surprise really, is it.
-Many people have questioned why Chivas coach(?) Hans Westerfhof didn't bring on defensive help late last week with Chivas 1-0 up on San Jose. San Jose scored 2 in the final 10 minutes for the win. Westerhof said this about his three man back line: "I was satisfied with Orlando Perez, and Ezra Hendrickson. They did their job well. You can play with one defender more, but you will lose in the midfield. We didn't need one more defender." His own words suggest he did though. Remember I said three man back line, and he only mentioned that two were playing good. No mention of the quality displayed by Mr Douglas Sequira who has been, frankly, bad most of the year, and a massive disaster many many games.
-There are a ton of big games this week including:
U17 World Championship quarters, semis, & finals
Matchday 2 of Champions League
Copa Sudamericana round of 16 second legs
US Open Cup Final
-Today its USA v Netherlands at the U17 World Championship in Peru. See it live on FSC at 4pm central.
-Yesterday at the U17WC Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-1 & Turkey beat China 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Mexico will play the USA/Netherlands winner, and Turkey will play the Brazil/N Korea winner in the semis.
-MLS score sheets from Sat & Sun:
NE 1-0 Mets - James Riley ninjas home a goal in the 85th minute for the win. NE totally dominated the entire match, but barely won it.
RSL 1-2 Columbus - Melvin Tarley missed about 5 more chances for his new team in Salt Lake
Chivas 1-3 Colorado - Its getting beyond "really bad" when a team with "inner turmoil" beats you by 2 at home
San Jose 1-1 Dallas - FCD makes Danny Callif eat his words about stuffing Dallas and gaining the psychological upper hand heading toward the playoffs
LA 2-1 KC - The Galaxy bring back Marcelo Saragosa at the last moment and he scores the winner in his first match for them (by the way, he was a Sigi Schmid guy, so Sampson doesn't get the credit for him)
DC & Chicago had the weekend off
-As for the upcoming MLS playoffs (which start in one month): In the West, San Jose has clinched the chance at home field for the semifinal, Dallas, LA and Colorado are all in but still need to sort out seeds 2, 3 & 4 amongst themselves, leaving Salt Lake & Chivas out (not surprising seeing as they are both brand new teams this year, and something would have been completely wrong if they had made the post-season). In the East: New England is the only team officially "in", while the other 5 battle for 3 spots (DC - 47 points with 4 matches left, Chicago - 45 points with 4 matches left, Kansas - 43 points with 3 matches left, Mets - 40 points with 4 matches left & still on the outside, and Lumbus - 34 points with 4 matches left & barely on life support).
-Do you realize that three rookies, Scott Sealy at KC, Michael Parkhurts at NE, James Riley at NE all came to MLS from Wake Forest this year!?!
-Oguchi Onyewu got tossed out of his teams (Standard Liege) 2-2 tie with Germinal Beerschot this past weekend. Here is the offending action as reported by Yanks Abroad: The game became passionate with Onyewu’s foul on Josemar Gil; the US defender saw a straight red after leaping a tackle and landing one foot on the chest of the sliding attacker.
Onyewu was stunned by the snap decision, and argued that he did not act with malice - an excuse backed by replays.
"The ball came out of the back and one of their players tried to tackle it away," he later told YA. "To avoid his tackle, I touched the ball in front first and I had to jump over his legs. And, you know... when you go up you have to come down."
"I had no intentions of coming down on his leg. I don’t even think there was a foul, but that’s how the referee saw it."

-Lyon extended their lead to 4 points in France over PSG as du Nords favorite player Fred scored in the 1-0 win. Lyon has won the French Ligue 1 title 4 years in a row. Even without Essien it looks like nothing has changed.
-Jeff Rusnack of the South Florida Sun Sentinel with a long remembrance of his beloved Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, and a dude's dream to revive the Strikers has possibilities. And even an old crabby sports guy from the Sun Sentinel chimes in with Strikers memories. What the hell is up with Strikers mania all of a sudden.
-The Pasadena Star News covers the smartest guy in MLS - Jimmy Conrad.
-The MFL weekend scorecard looked like this:
Cruz Azul 2-2 Dorados
Monterrey 2-1 Tigres
Veracruz 2-2 Santos
Morelia 2-2 Pumas
Atlas 0-0 Chiapas
San Luis 1-2 Guadalajara
Pachuca 3-2 Atlante
Tecos 1-2 Toluca
America 4-1 Necaxa
-HEY! Sunderland won an EPL game! 2-0 over Middlesborough. They had not won in 26 games prior to this. Do you think they will win again this season? I predict 2 more wins, and then relegation.
-Long time MLS veteran (of many teams, currently Salt Lake) Brian Kamler, has announced he will retire at season end and go to work for RSL in some sort of management position. Youth development maybe?
-A lot of nasty and near nasty cheap shots and retaliations went down in the San Jose - Dallas 1-1 draw.
-I don't remember the last time a team other than Celtic or Rangers fought for the Scottish League title. But Hearts are making an early season run. They are 8-0-0 for 24 points after beating Rangers 1-0 on Saturday. This leaves them 8 points ahead of Celtic, and 11 ahead of Rangers. Not bad boys. Not bad at all.
-Andrea Canales of Soccer 365 tells us how to become a real fan, and a real player.
-The next round of the Carling English League Cup will be played the week of Oct 24. Here is the draw:
Chelsea v Charlton
Sunderland v Arsenal
Everton v Middlesbrough
Fulham v West Brom
West Ham v Bolton
Grimsby v Newcastle
Manchester United v Barnet
Doncaster v Gillingham
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Wigan v Watford
Birmingham v Norwich
Aston Villa v Burnley
Blackburn v Leeds
Reading v Sheffield United
Cardiff v Leicester
Mansfield v Millwall
-Dedi Ben Dayan scored for his second game in a row for Colorado. See, I told you he was good.
-The big scores from the Bundesliga (including bummers and upsets):
Schalke 2-0 Hannover
Hamburger 2-0 Bayern Munich
Werder Bremen 2-1 Leverkusen
Bielefeld 0-2 Moenchengladbach
Cologne 0-1 Hertha
The Big English Premier League Matches (I am not kidding when I say its over already!):
Birmingham 2-2 Liverpool
Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa
Everton 0-1 Wigan
Manchester United 1-2 Blackburn
Newcastle 1-0 Manchester City
West Ham 0-0 Arsenal
-Phil Ball is: Keeping the folks happy (with a pig-out)
-After 6 rounds of play, here are the Dutch Eredivisie top 5 standings:
18 Feyenoord
15 Alkmaar
15 Waalwijk
13 PSV
10 Ajax
-In Serie A over the weekend we had these scores:
Reggina 2-0 Udinese
Parma 1-2 Juventus
Cagliari 0-0 AS Roma
Empoli 1-0 Lecce
Lazio 4-2 Palermo
Livorno 2-0 Ascoli
Sampdoria 1-2 Chievo Verona
Siena 4-2 Messina
Treviso 0-2 AC Milan
Inter Milan 1-0 Fiorentina
-I am talking to someone about getting an actual Italian perspective on the Serie A season. I hope it happens. That would be very cool, and exactly what I had in mind when du Nord started.
-Next weekend is the first major clash of the Serie A season when first place Juventus takes on second place Inter! WooooHoooo!
-Simon Kuper takes time, for some reason, to tell us all how to be a good sport during the heat of the battle. OK?!?!?!
-And Rob Hughes yawns at Chelsea's success (me too, cuz while immensely talented, they play dull ass football): Ho-hum, Chelsea wins another one
-Big scores from Spain:
Espanyol 1-2 Villarreal
Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona
Alaves 0-3 Real Madrid
-The Bulgarina Genius, Hristo Stoichkov will not be coaching his national team for its next 4 games after being suspended for nasty remarks he made about UEFA President Lennart Johansson. Hristo insisted the Sweden-Bulgaria match was fixed for Sweden to win because Johansson is Swedish and he left the game early. Turns out Johansson's wife is in a wheel chair and needed to leave. Smooth move dude, you not only look dumb as hell, but you insulted the guys wife.

5 Comments:

Blogger Zathras said...

Re: the Scottish Premier League

The last team other than Celtic or Rangers to win it was Aberdeen in both 1983-4 and 1984-5 (and Dundee won in 1982-3.)

Who was the manager of Aberdeen during those years?

None other than a certain Alec Ferguson.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brucio-

I had read that story about Stoichkov a while ago. Remember, this is the same guy who broke a collegete players leg in a friendly 3 years ago or so.
So much information Bruce. How do you keep track of it all. I am overwelmed but kudos to you the great Brucio for keeping track of it all.

9:13 PM  
Blogger matthew said...

Hamburg fans will get 10,000 free liters of beer from Bitburg Brewery thanks to their team beating Bayern.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I was at that game where Stoich broke the kid's leg. It gets exaggerated quite a bit. It was a tackle, a foul, something that happens every day. But it was also done by a hoss of a man on a skinny kid. He didn't lose his temper or do it on purpose. That time.

It added to the man's legend nonetheless.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guys from the Sun-Sentinel captured the beauty of the magic of the Strikers. I was 6 in 1977, and their activity in the community, style on the pitch, and zaniness everywhere else got me hooked on the game. They were not a pretty lot, but they were ours.

4:42 PM  

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