Monday, January 22, 2007

The Divine Bus Driver News

I cannot tell you how exicted it makes me feel to know that 3 Americans were on the field TOGETHER for Fulham in England this past weekend. Carlos Bocanegra, Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey. All in on the action, giving it their all for their team. Wow! Things are really changing in the world of soccer for us Americans!

The USA played a very average to below average first half, then corrected their mistakes and completely dominated the second 45 minutes in beating Denmark 3-1 in coach Bob Bradley's debut. Honestly I don't remember when a Bruce Arena team came back from a deficit to win any game. I am hoping one of you statistical junkies out there can help us out and get that answer. I am not dogging Arena here. I love the guy, and think he did a job as USA manager that every coach after him will have a hard time bettering.
-The du Nord Three Stars Of The Game:
3. Simon Busk Poulsen - the #5 player from Denmark who ran their left wing and made the day hellacious for Chris Albright. He also put in the deadly cross for his teams goal. He should come to MLS!
2. Jonathan Bornstein - went from Nervous Nelly in the opening minutes to powerful game changer over 90 minutes. Did everything I hoped he would do, including finishing off a great move in bagging the game winning goal.
1. Justin Mapp - Was he the best player on the pitch? Probably not, but no one had a greater impact on the game. His audacious spirit split Denmark open from the minute he stepped on the field to start the second half. And then he steals the whole show but winning a ball in his own half, weaving thru 3, 4, 5 Danes, goes all the way to the end line and slides in a powerful cross for Bornstein to whack home and win the game. Awesome!
-Here are some articles to read about the USA v Denmark game:
US Soccer match report (complete with links to photos, quotes, podcast & video interviews).
Jeff Carlisle of Soccernet with a match report and player ratings.
Grahame Jones of the LA Times with his match report.
Andrea Canales of Soccernet with a story on our star of the game, Justin Mapp.
Marc Connolly of the US Players Assoc with 5 Things We Learned, from this game.
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It looks very seriously like Chelsea will sign American & Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu any day now. Fulham had offered 1 million euros for him, while Chelsea make it 3. Its odd seeing Chelsea buy someone for a small amount actually. Maybe they learned their lesson. Lyon are also still in the hunt if the deal does not work, but they do not want to sign Gooch until summer.
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Clint Dempsey, wearing number 23, wasted no time what-so-ever with his Fulham debut and showing English football just who he is and what he plans to do. He came into the scoreless game in the 81st minute, made a couple hard tackles, passed the ball around, then got things going on a series that led to a McBride shot, and hand ball call in the box and Montella scoring on the subsequent PK. Somewhere in the middle he even had a nifty backheel pass that had the crowd oooowing! Sweet! David Hirshey of Deadspin was even on hand from New York to witness the event and talk to Deuce after the game.
-The Fulham website had a few words with him and his coach Chris Coleman after his first game too.
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Remember a couple weeks back when I wrote about DC United signing a Brazilian winger with the giant head named Ruy from Botafogo? Well the deal went bad so it's not gonna happen. I jumped the gun. Next.
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But DC did step up and sign a Brazilian forward instead. Emilio Luciano from Olimpia in Honduras. Steve Goff of the Washington Post with the story.
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In other DCU news, the dates are set for taking on Luciano's now former team Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Feb 21 at Olimpia in Tegucigalpa Honduras and March 1 at home in the District at RFK.
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Frank Dell'apa at the Boston Globe says Norwegian team Odd Grenland has offered New England $1 million for forward Taylor Twellman. I really hope it takes a lot more than that to sign Twellman.
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Marc Connolly of the US Players Assoc talks to Salt Lake coach John Ellinger.
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Chris Armas has a signed a new contract to stay in Chicago for another season. He is the team captain, and after returning from another knee injury had a great season in 06. This signing will help stabilize the young team after other team veterans Tony Sanneh & Zach Thornton were not brought back from last year.
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Somewhere along the line this weekend I heard someone say something about the New York Red Bulls getting yet another new look for their shirts for next year.
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And I also heard several MLS teams were trying to lure Leeds left winger Eddie Lewis back to America.
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Dan Loney of American Soccer News with a column on the Beckham invasion. (What else?) Loney told me that the media frenzy in LA felt more like a moon landing than a soccer event.
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The English rumor mill has added old Liverpeople forward Robbie Fowler to the list of players headed to MLS. Let's hope not. On the other hand he did have perhaps the greatest goal celebration of all time: There had been rumors in all the English tabloids that Robbie enjoyed way too much time "out and about" instead of concentrating strictly on his football. The worst rumors said he had grown a large appetite for the marching powder. After scoring a goal, he actually got down on the ground and pretended to "snort" one of the white lines on the pitch!!!!! Brilliant. He was punished by the FA for the move, but what the hell. Brilliant!!!!
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The Toronto Star with the story of Richard Asante, who was born in Ghana, raised in Toronto and now drafted by Toronto FC.
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It's really exciting to know that Toronto has passed the 10,000 mark in season ticket sales! Remarkable.
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A terrible rumor is floating that with 4 MLS team playing in the SuperLiga next summer v Mexican teams that those four will NOT play in the US Open Cup. If this is true then it is a fuckin joke, and we should all let US Soccer know it!
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How many of you readers remember Devin Barclay. He was a rising American star 6 years ago that signed on with Tampa Bay at 18, but burned through 3 more teams in the next 3 seasons. Then his career was over. At 22. Wow. He is now a freshman at Ohio State and is in a feature story about ADD & Ritalin from Sunday's LA Times. Interesting. We wish Devin the best. FYI - this is not a soccer article, its a medical article.
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Another Frank Dell'apa story from the Boston Globe has him talking in-depth to Manfred Schellscheidt, who coached Team USA in the 70's, about new coach Bob Bradley.
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3 more shut outs for the 3 American keepers in England. Let's check in with all our favorite Americans in Europe and see how their weekend matches went:
-DaMarcus Beasley - Manchester City - came on at half time to try and spark his teams awful performance, but they still lost 0-3 at home to Blackburn. Ugliness.
-Gregg Berhalter - went 90 as this team got the second half of the season off to a rotten start losing 0-3 at home to Furth.
-Carlos Bocanegra - Fulham - played really hard at d-mid as they drew 1-1 with Tottenham.
-Michael Bradley - Heerenveen - came on as a half time sub and played left back as his team played 76 minutes with 10 men in a losing effort, 3-1 at PSV.
-Bobby Convey - Reading - saw the light of day finally as he came on as a late sub (85th min). Let's hope he gets more and more time on the field. Unfortunately for him his replacement Steve Hunt is playing really good.
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - did not play for the first time all season in a 2-0 loss at Aston Villa.
-Clint Dempsey - Fulham - made his EPL debut in the 81st minute, stole the ball from Robbie Keane, made clever a pass (typical Dempsey though) that lead to a McBride shot which lead to a PK and his teams goal in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
-Brad Friedel - Blackburn - they went on the road to Man City and Brad got another clean sheet. This one 0-3. Excellent.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - started in the goal of course, of a 3-1 win over Sheffield United.
-Tim Howard - Everton - another 90 minutes of goalless soccer for Howard in a 0-2 win at Wigan.
-Eddie Lewis - Leeds - went the whole match on the left wing in a 2-3 loss to West Brom. Rumors have him headed home soon.
-Brian McBride - Fulham - played a great game and took a big shot that was knocked away from goal by a hand. His teammate Montella bagged the PK, but they gave up a late one in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham. He really is playing out of his mind right now.
-Oguchi Onyewu - Standard - started and went the distance as captain of his team in a 3-1 win over Lokeren in their first game since the winter break. Will THIS ONE be his final game in Liege?
-Jonathan Spector - West Ham - came on as a 86th minute sub in a 2-2 tie with Newcastle.
-Josh Wolff - made his German debut in the 60th minute with his team already down 0-3 to Furth. The score did not change. Bad loss.
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Claudio Reyna's German nemesis Jens Nowotny has retired from soccer. He played many times for Germany and was a long time member of Bayer Leverkusen. His current team had been Dinamo Zagreb.
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Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba and Guadelupe(?!?!) have qualified for next summers Gold Cup. They join the USA, Mexico and Canada, and 5 teams from Central America still to be determined.
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The Washington City Paper says you can forget about Pele being the star of the NASL - the real star was Johan Cryuff!
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From the New York Times yesterday: Refugees Find Hostility and Hope on Soccer Field. This story will make you happy and mad at the same time. That's good. (Thanks to Jason for sending us this one.)
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Aston Villa made a great deal today in swapping striker Milan Baros to Lyon for forward John Carew. Why do I say Villa got a great deal? Cuz Carew can actually have an impact on the game at the position, whereas Baros cannot.
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Brazilian midfielder Elano of Shaktar Donetsk has had his fill of Ukraine. He wants desperately to move to a bigger team in a bigger league - like, today already. From Soccernet.
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You know, on Saturday after the Liverpeople had ruined Chelsea's day with a 2-0 win, all the Man U fans were ear-to-ear grinning fools. But by noon central time on Sunday they were sour faced too as Arsenal came back to beat them 2-1 in one hell of a weekend for the English Premiership. Bad news for Arsenal in the end though as Robin Van Persie broke the troublesome fifth metatarsal in his foot. He is likely out until March.
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Inter Milan have now won 13 Serie A games in a row, and have a huge 11 point lead over 2nd place Roma. But you know what, I find it all pretty meaningless. Without Juventus, Milan & others at their best, is there a worse "top league" in Europe. Nope! None even close. It's literally a one team league. Booooooooooooooooooring. If they succeed in the Champions League I will be ecstatic, but they got a tough road when they drew against Valencia, who I think are the top dark horse to win it all. We shall see, but so far its been a really anti-climatic for me as an Inter fan.
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Parma fans went wild for the debut by Giuseppe Rossi this weekend. He got the games only goal in a 1-0 win over Torino. Fans are saying it's the Serie A goal of the week too.
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Sid Lowe of the Guardian says David Beckham is not the only foreign midfield star on the outs with his Spanish club - meet Juan Roman Riquelme of Villareal.
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Phil Ball at Soccernet with his weekly LA Liga column featuring Becks and the mad mad mad mad mad Spanish title race: From Galactico to Galaxy
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Simon Kuper of the Financial Times on Jose Mourinho's level of paranoia.
-In two non-soccer stories for the FT, Kuper writes about Miami basketball star Dwayne Wade and the wretched state of poverty in Miami. Yes, Miami. And he writes about what the last days of Fidel Castro in Cuba could mean in Miami. Great stuff.
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New Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez has named an all domestic team to face the USA on Feb 7 in Phoenix. He also did not pick any players from Club America because they have a Copa Libertadores game. So with this squad he can brag if they win, and have an easy excuse if they do not. Does that make him a smart bastard or what?
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Again, thanks to BQ for all the help today.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S. came back from a deficit in the 2005 Gold Cup game against Honduras.

http://www.ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_202353.html

There are probably others, but this is the one I remember the best!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say, nothing gets me excited like thinking about Robbie Fowler getting down on the ground and pretending to snort coke.

Brucio, it probably reminds you of some of the music industry parties you attended way back in the day, eh ?

8:34 PM  
Anonymous bq said...

Rossi's goal was nice and you can see it here but it's a bit overhyped in this video. You get to watch it about 35 times in 3 min. Still....here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGY1QC-04Oo

8:35 PM  
Anonymous marc said...

Rossi's debut goal for Parma is available on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xu5cWh347U

Enjoy. Thanks for all the great updates!

9:13 PM  
Anonymous marc said...

oops. should've read the other comments before i posted a duplicate.

arena's team came from behind in a couple of games, although i'm drawing a blank on which ones (i just remember having a similar reaction when they did).

the press seems to be a little hyped on mapp's performance; granted, it's great to see a U.S. player with some flair and guts, but let's not oversell the guy just yet.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. Great stuff. I'll be checking it regularly. :)

11:01 AM  

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