Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Live From Screen One News

So Jimmy Conrad and Brian Ching huh?!?!?! Awesome for them. They make the USA squad named by coach Bruce Arena. As we saw in 02 though, players will get hurt and there is a 10 man alternate list ready to step in and take their spot. The team looks great to me.
-You can see the full list of the team, including alternates, at US Soccer. USS also have tons of other goodies like video and audio podcasts of the actual announcement and reactions from many players and coach Arena. The amount of info they have on this site is pretty incredible.
-US Soccer has also announced that they will feature daily webcasts from Germany on their site.
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And before you can say "Presto Chango Alakazam Flash Pop Whizz Bang" Frankie Hejduk quickly becomes the first victim of the injury grinder. He blows out a knee and is replaced on the team by Chris Albright.
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Team USA will start their World Cup preparations on May 10 in Cary, NC.
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I have been thinking about who from the USA will make that difference when we didn't expect it. Several players did that in 02 like Tony Sanneh, Pablo Mastroeni & DaMarcus Beasley. My pick to surprisingly shine for this WC is Cory Gibbs. I think he has every tool to be an amazing defender. He is without a team as of right now (Feyenoord loaned him out to Den Haag last season, and then foolishly cut him loose.) He has played great for every team he has been on, and when healthy, he's been amazing for most of those teams.
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The two people that most thought would be on that roster and that were left off, defender Gregg Berhalter & forward Taylor Twellman, have to be bumming pretty hard. They are both alternates, but......
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Several people have commented or emailed about the lack of Jonathan Spector's name on the USA alternates list. The reason he is not on that list is that he suffered a separated shoulder that needed surgery to repair.
-In other JS news, he has also ended his loan playing for Charlton. That team has a very nice reflection of him on their website today. Will he get a gig back with his real team Man United next year? We shall see.
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Many articles that I have been reading have quotes from players who give the impression that they did not know they had made the team until they saw their name on the TV screen like you and I did. Really? I was sure Arena had told everyone over the past weekend. Hmmmmmmm.
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Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle says Brian Ching saw his name on the TV screen in a airport bar.
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Mike Biglin of the Boston Herald talked to Taylor Twellman about his not making the team.
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One of our bestest du Nord friends is BQ, and he gives his thoughts on each player over at his N.S.S.A. Players & Coaches blog.
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Mark Bechtel of Sports Illustrated tells us what he thinks of the whole line up. Good and bad.
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Ugly, ugly, ugly mess. Salt Lake suburb of Sandy pulls out of deal to build stadium with the team in their town.
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Yesterday I asked people to try and explain to me why there were less than 12,000 in the stands for the Rev's first game of the year at home. The weather looked gorgeous on TV. I only got 2 comments, one being the cynical "they haven't learned how to inflate their numbers" which is a joke of an answer, and another person said it was too expensive to buy a ticket for a Rev's game. I looked at prices for this weeks big upcoming match v LA and they are $18, $24, and $35. Is that really too much? Please, tell me more. This is a really good team and has been for a couple yeard in a row now. Do they have no momentum built up from last year to propel their attendance?
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San Diego Tribune's Mark Zeigler with his weekly column, plus Red Cards, Trophies & Sidelines sections.
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Soccernet has a Q & A with new LA big-boss Alexi Lalas, by Andrea Canales.
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Our man Ethan in Philly sent an update on the potential team/stadium project in South Jersey. If you remember, a University there (Rowan) wants to partner with a professional soccer team to develop a major Education, Sports, Residential, Retail hub etc etc. Rowan have found a developer to lead the charge - Milestone Group from NYC. As the plan is currently laid-out, all parties involved must come to a financial agreement by July 1 for this project to move forward. We shall see, but its been on track so far. An important fact that Ethan pointed out to me was that Milestone has hired Rossetti Architects for the MLS team stadium part of the overall project. He says that they are the ones who designed the Home Depot Center in LA and Bridgeview Stadium in Chicago. Very smart move. Local newspaper report here.
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Big Hawk, the Houston hip hop king who produced Clint Dempsey's (sadly unimpressive) "Don't Tread On This" was shot and killed Monday in his home town. RIP BH!
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Columbus Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven's ankle sprain is going to keep him off the field for at least a month, maybe more.
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MLS Single table standings:
12 Kansas City
11 DC United
11 Dallas
9 Houston
7 Los Angeles
5 Chicago
4 New England
4 New York
4 Columbus
4 Chivas USA
4 Colorado
1 Salt Lake
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MLS Week 6 matches (all on Saturday & central time)
New England v Los Angeles - 3pm on ESPN2
Kansas City v Chicago - 730pm on HDNet
Houston v Dallas - 7:30pm on Direct Kick
Salt Lake v Columbus - 8pm on Direct Kick
Colorado v DC United - 8pm on Direct Kick
-Chivas USA (again?) & New York both have the weekend off.
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Barcelona have clinched the Spanish Liga today as their 2nd place challenger Valencia lost giving Barca an insurmountable lead. Hooray Barca. Hooray Catalonia. Hooray Grappa. Hooray Beer.
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With Blackburn's 1-0 win over Chelsea last night they assured themselves of at least a 6th place finish in the Premiership and a spot in the UEFA Cup next season.
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Let me say this now: Its been 4 days since Wayne Rooney of England & Man Utd broke his foot, so all you idiot news agencies can stop making it your TOP story now. It's broken. It does not look good. But nothing has changed. At all. Move on!
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Former Metrostars midfielder Michael Bradley helped launch his Dutch club team Heerenveen into next years UEFA Cup with a monstrous 5-0 win over Twente (6-0 on aggregate). A lot of people have been saying that Heerenveen are a really crappy team and didn't even deserve to make the playoffs, but look where they are now. Sucka's. It was Bradley's 5th straight start after having joined the team in January and working his way up from reserve games to first team substitute appearances to now being a full fledged starter! Awesome for him! And hell, awesome for his dad Bob Bradley too.
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Brazil for some odd reason felt they needed to announce their starting 11 today:
Cafu, Juan, Lucio, Carlos
Emerson, ZeRoberto
Ronaldinho, Kaka
Ronaldo, Adriano
And as mighty as Brazil is, this team is beatable, mainly because of their age. I am gonna state for the record that this will not be their starting 11 come game 1.
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English Championship Division Playoffs
The four teams who finished in 3rd-6th spots will fight it out now in a playoff for the third and final promotion spot. Here is the play off match line up:
#5 Leeds v #4 Preston
#6 Crystal Palace v #3 Watford
Preston v Leeds
Watford v Crystal Palace
Sunday May 21
3-6 winner v 4-5 winner
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La Copa Libertadores 2006 round of 16 first leg matches are done! Here are the deciding second leg games (with first leg scores included):
G: May 2 - Atlético Nacional 0-1 Liga Dep. Universitaria Quito - LDUQ win it easily 5-0 on aggregate.
H: May 2 - Independiente Santa Fe 3-1 Chivas Guadalajara - Chivas hold on for 4-3 agg win.
A: May 3 - Vélez Sarsfield v Newell's Old Boys (4-2)
B: May 3 - Internacional v Nacional (2-1)
D: May 3 - São Paulo FC v Palmeiras (1-1)
C: May 4 - Corinthians v River Plate (2-3)
E: May 4 - Goiás EC v Estudiantes LP (0-2)
F: May 4 - Libertad v Tigres UANL (0-0)
-Sports Illstrated with the Tuesday match recaps.
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The Mexican Primera Division Clausura playoffs start Wednesday. 2 legged matches. Here we go:
Wednesday (return matches on Saturday)
Toluca v Cruz Azul
San Luis v Atlante
Thursday (return matches on Sunday)
Morelia v Pachuca
Guadalajara v Chiapas
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The Italian TIM Cup Final fist leg this Wednesday:
Roma v Inter - (return leg May 11)


Anonymous Cdin said...

You havn't mentioned your Everton over Wigan prediction in a while so I thought I would bring it up.

As it currently stands Wigan is in 10th place with 51 points. Everton is in 11th with 49. If Wigan ties this weekend they will finish ahead of Everton as long as Everton doesn't win by more than 10 goals.

Normally you would think that Wigan has a really good shot of finishing ahead of Everton but look at the opponents. Everton plays West Brom who will be relegated. Wigan on the other hand play Arsenal. Who as you know are in a Champtions League battle with Spurs not to mention the fact that this will be the final game ever played at Highbury. I think they will be a little motivated to win.

If anyone cared about your prediction other than us this would be exciting.

8:59 AM  
Blogger mirarchi said...

That's great that Michael Bradley has earned a starting spot, and that his club has earned a spot in the UEFA Cup. Thanks for passing that news along.

And thanks also for the nice collection of links to commentary about the U.S. roster.

I agree with you that Gibbs could be a breakout player at the WC. My guess is that Pope and Gooch get the nod to start, but given Pope's frailty, I wouldn't be surprised to see him injur himself and open up an opportunity for Gibbs.

I also agree with my good friend DF that Gooch and Dempsey could be two other new U.S. players who could make a big difference to us in the WC.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breakout US players! my goodness, lets hope they all break out. Depsey and Gooch seem almost certain to. I have the image of Gooch OWNING Borgetti in Cleveland forever burned into my conciousness.

as for my ticket price comment - one, I don't live there anymore, two, at the time the cheapest tix were $25, not $18, and three, I was a graduate student living on approximately $7000 a year. so... train passes plus game ticket. pretty steep, I don't care how you cut it.

but, eh, what does it matter what I think about it. I live in West Virginia, so every sporting event involves some amount of travel. I suppose my "market" for soccer is DC and thats a 3 hour drive, plus train, plus tickets... whew. The trip to see teh Mexico v. US game in columbus cost something on the order of 80-100 bucks for tickets, gas, food, etc. thats a lot!


9:28 AM  
Blogger Kevin-- said...

Bummer about "Hayduke" tearing his ACL...

I can't believe he finished the game, then a training session before he noticed it?!

That's a toughness we definitely could have used come June.

10:28 AM  
Blogger truth said...

Last time I went to Gillette Stadium for soccer, it was the Chelsea-AC Milan friendly last summer. Once you get used to seeing the national team play, or the high level European teams, it's hard to watch MLS. That's why I wish Landon Donovan had stayed in Europe, so he continued to play at a higher level.

I wish ticket prices had been that cheap for Chelski. But Gillette does nickel & dime you in every way. $25 to park, in a stadium built out in the boonies so everyone who goes there drives. And of course, the $5 hotdogs, $6 or $7 watered-down beers, etc.

I think the prices are high to pay for that ring Kraft gave to Vladimir Putin, but that'st just me.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous bq said...


Have to agree with you about the level of play. But we experience that here in the Twin Cities probably even more with a USL team. But you gota support your local team. If we don't the pro game will never get to the level is at in other countries. I have said this before but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that MLS games just don't mean a hell of lot because at the end of the season almost everyone gets into the playoffs. I am not saying relegation because we just don't have a strong enough league and minor league system to support that. But there are other things that could be done to make each game more meaningful. If that is done you will see an increased level of play.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

like a single table , less playoff spots and a bunch of money for winning?


1:24 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

well i guess you have the right to say its expensive
but for pro sports in america in 2006 thats cheap
and its no higher than all the other mls teams
i want to know why only 12,000 for the opening game after a great season
lame lame lame lame lame

4:21 PM  

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