Monday, February 20, 2006

Technical Knock Out News

-USA 4-0 Guatemala: another thorough whooping by the boys in the new blue uni's. The TV dudes gave the Man of the Match to Eddie Johnson for some odd reason. Here are my Three Stars of the Game:
3) Eddie Pope - his defense again was outstanding, he cut off nearly every chance Guatemala mounted. The play were he raced back and completely stuffed Pando Ramirez said it all. And El Pescadito didn't get a sniff of the goal.
2) Ben Olsen - he hit that first goal that got the team rolling. It was a 25 yard bomb that blew the Guate keeper away. What a shot. Captain Caveman also played great on both sides of the ball with quality passing and excellent defense, helping to keep Guate from ever really getting their offense going at all.
1) Chris Klein - the right winger, who I have always thought deserved a better chance with Team USA, set up the first two goals, and then scored the 4th one himself. He is a great passer and crosser and proved it again yesterday.
And here is a round up of game coverage:
3rd Degree - Match Report by Ed Buzan
ESPN Soccernet - match report & player ratings by Steve Davis
Soccer Times - Match Report & Player Analysis by Robert Wagman
LA Times - Short Match Report by Sir Grahame Nosedevoidofun
Houston Chronicle - Match Report featuring analysis of Brian Ching & other notes by Bernardo Fallas.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - match report by Tobias Xavier Lopez
Dallas Morning News - match report by Steve Davis
Yanks Abroad - Match Report by Rich Fidler.
USA Today - Match Report from the AP.
American Soccer News - match report by Francisco Valdivia
MLSnet - match report by Scott Joiner
Matchnight - match notes by Scott Viar
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-The next USA match is Wednesday March 1 in Kaiserslautern Germany v Poland. It will be shown live on ESPN2 at 1pm central time.
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-DC United coach Peter Nowak has been accused by Real Salt Lake of using a racial slur against a player on trial with them, during a preseason match. Salt Lake coach John Ellinger made the accusation about remarks made toward Atiba Harris. Nowak, DC United management & DC United players all deny it happened, and say it was a misunderstanding. The excellent Washington Post reporter Steven Goff has the whole story. Neither of the two Salt Lake City newspapers have anything on the story.
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-One of my favorite Fellow Freaks, Donovan from The DCenters, has two excellent posts on the Peter Nowak saga that you should read: One - and - Two. Quality.
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-Glenn Davis in the Houston Chronicle: During name flap, let's not lose sight of game's strides
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-We need a preseason update on Frank Dell'apa's mustache. Any readers seen how its doing?
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-Italy & Roma star Francesco Totti sustained a broken ankle & ligament damage on Sunday. It could jearpordize his World Cup! AFP has a detailed article on his injury and the surgery needed to repair the damage. (It was not ALL horribly wrong for Roma though, they won a Serie A record 10th game in a row, beating Empoli 1-0. But that's probably of little consequence to them right now.)
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-Speaking of broken bones - did you see that ugly mess that happened to Man U's Alan Smith. Oooof. Dislocated ankle and broken shin bone. Oh man that must have hurt. I am not a fan of Mr Smith, but that was sad to see. Good luck man.
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-Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune comments on the nastiness of Smith's broken bones: Hope crumples on one bad break
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-How did our top Americans & their respective clubs fair in Europe this past weekend? Let's review:
Well Well Well! Reading finally got beat! For the first time since the opening game of the Championship season (August 6) Reading have gone down to defeat. 3-2 to Luton. Bobby Convey set up the first goal with one of his deadly crosses, but was replaced in the 64th minute. Marcus Hahnemann did not have a good day in goal either.
Kasey Keller and 'Gladbach beat Cologne 2-0.
Stevie Cherundolo & Hannover almost beat Bayern, but drew 1-1 when that Bayern bollacker Michael Ballack scored just before the 90th minute.
The Watford-Leeds battle for 3rd place in the English Championship teetered back toward Watford this week as they beat B&H 0-1, while Leeds drew 1-1 at Leicester. Defender Jay DeMerit & winger Eddie Lewis went the full 90 for their respective teams.
PSV, with DaMarcus Beasley subbing in at the 60th minute came from behind to win 1-3 at Vitesse. Jefferson Farfan scored 2 more for PSV giving him 17 on the season. They play Lyon in the Champions League tomorrow.
Oguchi Onyewu and his Standard Liege absolutely hammered Cercle 7 – 1 in Belgium.
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-Soccernet has a Q&A with Chicago's Chris Rolfe.
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-The CONCACAF Champions Cup 2006 launches tomorrow and Wednesday. You can see all but 1 match of the whole tournament on Fox Soccer Channel. Here are the 8 teams first leg matches (return matches in a weeks time or so):
Tue Feb 22
Olimpia v Toluca - 6:30PM Central
Portmore United v Club America - 8:30PM Central
New England v Alajuelense - no TV - but there is live audio at 5pm central from Revolution Soccer.
Wed Feb 23
Los Angeles v Saprissa - Thu Feb 23 10:00PM Central
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-Kyle McCarthy previews New England & LA in the Cup for the US Players Assoc.
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-As New England prepares for this big match, they are stationed in Bermuda and will play their "home" leg on the island. Yesterday they took on the Bermuda national team as a warm up and beat them 0-3. Deuce Dempsey scored 2. The Royal Gazette of Bermuda has the full story.
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-Salt Lake is really cleaning house after that awful first season last year. In the offseason they got rid of Clint Mathis, D.J. Countess and Brian Dunseth, and last week during preseason training camp they cut loose 7 more players - Tiger Fitzpatrick, Melvin Tarley (who they bought from my Minnesota Thunder late last year), Michael Lookingland, Sergio Flores, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Jake Besagno, & Robert Scarlett.
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-And the Salt Lake Tribune has a feature story on RSL's recovering striker & one of MLS's all time goal scoring leaders Jason Kreis.
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-Barcelona had lost two in a row, and not surprisingly it happened while Ronaldinho was suspended for 2 games. But he was back Saturday and led them to a 5-1 stomping of Betis. This is why many people, including me, say he is the best in the world right now.
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-The mighty UEFA Champions League is back, and now we get the nitty gritty - 2 legged knockout matches starting this week, with return legs played two weeks later. Here are the match-ups, and there are some doozies:
Tuesday Feb 21:
Bayern v Milan
Benfica v Liverpool
Real Madrid v Arsenal on ESPN2 at 1:30pm central time
PSV v Lyon
Wednesday Feb 22:
Chelsea v Barcelona on ESPN2 at 1:30pm central time
Rangers v Villarreal
Bremen v Juventus
Ajax v Inter
~ ~ ~
-Sports Illustrated's Gabriel Marcotti previews Chelsea v Barca.
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-St Pauli drew 1-1 with Fortuna and now sit in 2nd place in Germany's Regionalliga. If they finish in this spot they will be promoted to the Bundesliga 2.
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-Columbus Dispatch has a feature story on former Columbus player, interim manager & current assistant coach Robert Warzycha.
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-The Oregonian with a story on young USA defender Heath Pearce.
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-Fifth Round of the English FA Cup was this weekend. Here are the scores from matches:
Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United
Bolton 0-0 West Ham (replay on Tue Mar 7)
Charlton 3-1 Brentford
Newcastle 1-0 Southampton
Preston 0-2 Middlesbrough
Stoke 0-1 Birmingham
Chelsea 3-1 Colchester
Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester City (replay Wed Mar 8)
Sadly all the little clubs are gone, and we are left with Premiership teams to duke it out.
So here is the draw for the 6th round:
Charlton v Middlesbrough
Aston Villa or Manchester City v Bolton or West Ham
Chelsea v Newcastle United
Birmingham v Liverpool
~ ~ ~
-Copa Libertadores Group stage!! This weeks matches:
Tue Feb 21
Estudiantes LP - Sporting Cristal - Grupo 2
Newell's Old Boys - Unión Española - Grupo 3
Tigres UANL - Deportivo Cali - Grupo 4
Wed Feb 22
Goiás EC - The Strongest - Grupo 3
Corinthians - Universidad Católica - Grupo 4
Pumas UNAM - UA Maracaibo - Grupo 6
Thur Feb 23
Internacional - Nacional - Grupo 6
Rosario Central - Cerro Porteño - Grupo 7
~ ~ ~
-Let's finish today with the unqualified brilliance of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho: "Sometimes you see beautiful people with no brains. Sometimes you have ugly people who are intelligent, like scientists." Does this mean that my dream of someday meeting and falling in love with a hot & sexy bio-chemist is gone???? Say it isn't so Jose!


Anonymous Demko said...

i thought conrad was at least as good as pope. He had several fine tackles, including one that saved pretty heath pearce's ass in the first half.

Boy did the Guat's stink! hopefully the u.s. will get some more stringent competition in germany.

1:15 PM  
Blogger D said...

Wolf -- Thanks for the links. I actually had to think for a long time before doing those posts, and I'm still a bit icky about the entire situation.

So instead, let me say Hooray for the Nats!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Coach Brian Quarstad said...

No way does Totti make it back for the W.C. His injury is pretty much as bad as Smiths. Smith also may have torn ligaments. It's just that everything was too swollen and damaged to be able to tell until things calm down in the area. I have dislocated my ankle as well as stretching and also tearing ligaments in my ankles and I have been told each time that ligaments will set you back longer than broken bones will. It was a very long recovery for me each time and the most painful experience I have ever had. Totti will be lucky to be playing by season start next fall. They say Smith will be out for 8 months minimum.
Pope did kick ass! I too was impressed with the recovery run and tackle of the ball. He looked like the Eddy Pope of 10 years ago. Bruce Arena had made the comment in his last U.S. Soccer press conference that Pope is rejuvenated and been training extremely hard. I didn't even want Pope on the W.C. team last summer but he has made a believer out of me again. Agreed Mr. Wolf....Eddie Johnson?

4:35 PM  

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