Thursday, July 20, 2006

He Wore His Tweed Coat With Pride News

USA monster defender Oguchi Onyewu: "I received an offer from Middlesbrough but I refused it. If I leave Standard and Belgium, it's for a top club. Not Middlesbrough."
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Fabio Canavarro and Emerson have both flown the Juventus coop and signed with Real Madrid. A Q & A with RM's new coach & Mr Magoo look-a-like contest winner Fabio Capello.
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The Clint Dempsey to Europe rumor mill continues to grow. Most of the new action is coming from England. I have heard/read mention of Bolton, West Ham, and now Charlton. Will he be gone within a month?
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Yanks Abroad with three tidbits today - Jay Demerit got a contract extension from Watford, Conor Casey of Mainz has to have another knee surgery, and Jonathan Spector hopes to be ready to play for West Ham by September after his shoulder surgery.
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MLS midweek games-
Last night:
Columbus 0-2 New York - Columbus showed very good quick passing skills early on, but it faded as the match went on and New York got their two goals against the grain of action. I am not saying Columbus dominated and deserved better, I'm just not sure NYRB deserved to win this one either. The first goal came from a great 25 yard diagonal pass by Edson Buddle right on to the foot of Chris Henderson who put an average shot thru the legs of Noah Palmer. NY's second goal came very late as Columbus bombed the NY goal looking for the tie, when a young fresh -legged newcomer named Jerrod Laventure chipped Palmer from 35 yards to seal it up in the 90+ minute. NY moved up the standings to a 3 way tie for third place. Columbus dropped to last (6th) place in the East. This was New York's first win on the road this season.
Colorado v Chivas - 7pm central time on Direct Kick
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And some MLS teams had international friendly's too-
Dallas 2-0 UANL Tigres - The younger players from Dallas beat the pre-season shape Tigres in the first leg of the Rio Grande Plate. Dallas rested almost all their starters and gave the youth a chance to shine. They did. One other thing to note, the attendance was over 17,000 which blows away most Dallas regular season Saturday night games (I would hate to see the paltry #'s for a US Open Cup match), giving the impression that many Tigres fans were in the house. It also shows that many fans see this kind of match as having greater value than MLS regular season matches. Interesting. The return leg is next Wed in Monterrey.
-3rd Degree match report by Buzz Carrick
-Dallas Morning News match report by Mike Heika
Salt Lake 1-3 Morelia
-Desert Morning News match report by Dan Rasmussen
-Salt Lake Tribune match report by Lauren Gustus
New England 1-1 Celtic - Sounds like NE played a lot of regulars and moved the ball well, but just could not score. They got the late equalizer to keep Celtic winless this preseason.
-Boston Globe match report by Frank Dell'apa
LA 1-1 Crystal Palace (in Richmond VA) - The game was called at half time due to excessive lightning.
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Word on the street has John Harkes leaving his role as DC United Youth Director to join Bruce Arena and Richie Williams at the New York Bulls. That leaves me wondering about Giovanni Savarese's current role as NYRB Youth Director?
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It's to bad for Bob Gansler that his coaching days in KC are over. He seems like a good man. And he did a great job with the USA in 90, not to mention bringing an MLS Cup and US Open Cup to KC. But they have only won 6 of their previous 26 games. The time was now. Sorry Bob. The down fall began last season when my mighty Minnesota Thunder went to KC in the Open Cup and pulverized em 3-1. KC had not lost in 8 games prior to that night. After that night they didn't win a single game the rest of the regular season, and did not qualify for the playoffs.
-The Kansas City Star with more details on Gansler's firing.
-And how did the players react?
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The Chicago Sun Times with a feature story on the Fire's Costa Rican striker Andy Herron.
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Beau Dure with a feature story on the amazing run of DC United, for USA Today.
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The Richmond Times Dispatch has a Q & A with Los Angeles Pres Alexi Lalas. Lalas takes another shot at Eric Wynalda.
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Dallas has signed former LA midfielder Marcello Saragosa. (He actually played and scored in Dallas's match v Tigres last night.)
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Glenn Davis at the Houston Chronicle looks at the supposed rise in fan interest in American soccer. I ask, Is it real?
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In yesterdays edition of the Toronto Globe & Mail (thanks to Ed for sending me this) former Canada and current LA Galaxy coach Frank Yallop says that the main reasons why he left the job in Canada is that the Canadian Soccer Assoc lacked a long term plan, and that the men's national team was not the primary focus of the association. Plus ... you know ... it's Canada and all that.
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The USL First Division All Stars played English Championship Division's Sheffield Wednesday to a 0-0 draw last night in Cary NC. Dustin Branan represented my Minnesota Thunder on the All Star team and came on as a substitute. The USL website has a short match report.
-At half time of that game the newest team in the First Division was introduced - the Carolina Railhawks - who will begin play next season. The excellent weblog TriSoccer Fans has some images and details. But I think it's a hideous name and bland colors. Did they make up that nickname out of the thin air?
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The Quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores kicks back in now that the World Cup is over. It's time for the return leg matches!
-Second leg matches (with first leg scores):
Libertad 3-1 River Plate (Liber win 5-3 on aggregate) game abandon due to crowd violence - see story below
Internacional 2-0 Liga Dep. Universitaria - Internacional win 3-2 on agg
Sao Paulo 1-0 Estudiantes LP - with the agg score tied at 1-1 Sao Paolo win 4-3 on PK's
Velez Sarsfield - Guadalajara Chivas (0-0)
-The away goal rule DOES apply in the knock out stages.
-Match reports from Sports Illustrated.
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The 06-07 Champions League First Qualifying Round return leg matches (with 1st leg scores):
Ekranas (Lithuania) 3-0 Elbasan (Albania) - Ekranas win 3-1 on aggregate
Baku (Azerbaijan) 1-0 Sioni (Georgia) - Sioni win 2-1 on agg
Sheriff (Moldova) 2-0 Pyunik (Armenia) - Sheriff win 2-0 on agg
Rabotnicki (Macedonia) 0-0 Dudelange (Luxembourg) - Rabotnicki win 1-0 on agg
Gorica (Slovenia) 2-2 Linfield (Northern Ireland)- Gorcia win 5-3 on agg
Hafnarfjordur (Iceland) 1-1 TVMK (Estonia) - Hafnorfjordur win 4-3 on agg
B36 (Faroe Islands) 2-2 Birkirkara (Malta) - B36 win 5-2 on agg
Apollon (Cyprus) 1-1 Cork (Ireland) - Cork win 2-1 on agg
Aktobe (Kazakhstan) 1-1 Metalurgs (Latvia) - Metalurgs win 2-1 on agg
Siroki Brijeg (Bosnia-Herzegovina) 0-1 Shakhtyor (Belarus) - Siroki Brijeg win 2-0 on agg
The New Saints (Wales) 0-1 MyPa (Finland) (0-1) - MyPa win 2-0 on agg
-The Second qualifying round games happen on July 25/26 & Aug 2/3
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For some reason today, everyone and their dog sent me this article by Bill Simmons at ESPN about how he picked an English Premiership team to support. This guy is great, and I always enjoy reading him, but this is heinous to the high hilt. Why can't the dude pick an American team to support. Sure, they're not nearly as good, but fer cripes sake man, you live in America! Bill Simmons, you are now officially a Euro-snob.
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Did you know that Dick Advocaat has taken over the head coaches job at St Petersburg Zenit since the World Cup?
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FIFA has handed Zinedine Zidane a 3 game suspension for his ugly head butt in the World Cup final. Um, didn't he retire? So then the ban is to be served...... in his next backyard matches?
-The victim of the offense, Marco Materazzi got a 2 game suspension. But this makes absolutely no sense at all. There have a been a million players taunt someone into retaliation over the years (including Materazzi nearly every game he has ever played) and they are not punished for it. This sets an odd precedent that I am not sure I like.
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Two more Italian teams are going to prosecuted in the ongoing match-fixing scandal. The teams were not named yet, but it's believed they are also Serie A teams, and one of them is Reggina.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of Simmons's reasons for getting turned on to soccer were the crowds. I can't blame the guy for not choosing an MLS team where you'd find 3,000 families stuffing their fat faces with hot dogs and pie.

Maybe Simmons will get into the EPL and then start enjoying the beauty of the game. Then, who knows, he'll get into the MLS too?

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Sasha said...

1. I don't blame OO for staying in Standard. Why go to Middlesbrough, when Liege is only an aggregate series away from securing 6 CL games?? What the hell is Middlesbrough going to be playing for? To see which team with a red shirt is the next best after Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal???

2. Carolina Railhawks is an absolutely kick ass name!!!! I love it! It has a nice ring to it. Ditch the FC/SC/whatever though...

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Sasha said...

In addition to Real Madrid's signing of Emerson and Cannavaro...Barcelona have now cherry-picked Zambrotta and Thuram. With the Italian super clubs in the shitter, it's looking to be serious arms race between Madrid and Barca.

If these teams aren't meeting each other in Athens next May, it will be because they were drawn together in an earlier knockout.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Bill Simmons article, other than the mistakes he was told by supposed die-hard EPL fans but I was wondering the same thing about Mr. Simmons and not choosing an American team.

Maybe I'm paranoid but from a majority of sports writers around the country I've noticed very few who have were actually turned on to soccer by the World Cup show an interest in the game in this country. Rather it seems many have been completely content to talk about the game as long as they don't have to acknowledge there are pro leagues here in the States.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

right that post above was by Matthew. I just should set up an account.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous ken said...

Cary, NC has a long railroading history/tradition. Hence the name Railhawks.

My understanding is that Zidane has to perform 3 days of community service for the FIFA youth program, not a 3 game ban. At least that's what they said on the FSW report last night.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous winonanick said...

I heard the same as Ken, Zidane will do three days of community service, I heard that one on MPR

10:38 AM  
Blogger Flatlander said...

How does that interviewer hear Lalas rip Wynalda and not ask a follow-up question. Even if the interview was done via email, he could have followed up with the guy.

10:50 AM  
Blogger kj said...

RailHawks is a horrible, horrible name. That said, the logo isn't awful. If you dropped the tracks and moved the hawk down into the shield a bit more, "Carolina Hawks" isn't too damn bad.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is this: Where would Onyewu develop better as a player? Playing in Belgium or in the EPL? In the EPL Onyewu would be exposed to defending against some of the best players in the world. It would certainly stretch him as a player, and if he performed well, it would get him more notice than being a star in the Belgian league. But if he doesn't particularly want to stretch himself, then staying at Standard makes sense. I think his comment that he's holding out for a top team is ridiculous and unjustified arrogance -- his World Cup performance was mediocre at best, and if anything he looked like an amateur who was way out of his depth.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can't blame the guy for not choosing an MLS team where you'd find 3,000 families stuffing their fat faces with hot dogs and pie."

Very amusing and true.

1:52 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

3000 families is so true it makes me cry

railhawks is awful

and i think onyewu got low-balled on the $$ by middlesbrough

3:56 PM  

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