Monday, March 26, 2007

Ever Changing News

TV commentator Dave O'Brien to former USA coach Bruce Arena: "You must be a big fan of The Boss (Bruce Springsteen". To which Arena replies emphatically: "No!"

USA 3-1 Ecuador - Goals: USA - Landon Donovan 1, 66, 67 Ecuador - Felipe Caicedo 11

The du Nord Three (Four) Stars of the Game:
3. Brian Ching - he doesn't always play that good for the USA but he sure teams up with Donovan well. And any guy that will take a kick to the face for his team, stuff cotton up his nose and come back out to play even better is a 3rd star in my book every time.
2. Benny Feilhaber/Michael Bradley - this combo platter of defensive midfielders took over the game in the second half. They shut Ecuador down. They were also cool and calm on the ball (something we can't always say for two other fave's Mastroeni & Clark). These two are good.
1. Landon Donovan - waddaya want. Three goals, great runs, great passes, some defense and the captain's armband, adds up to a supreme performance.

-Match Reports & stuff like that"
Tampa Tribune w/ photos, video and audio
Bradenton Herald
This American Soccer - Adam Spangler analysis
Soccer Times - Robert Wagman + player ratings
Soccernet - Jeff Carlisle + player ratings
Soccernet - Jen Chang blog
Soccernet - Ives Galarcep analysis
US Soccer
Soccer America - Ridge Mahoney player ratings
St Petersburg Times + game notes
Andrea Canales of LA Soccer News gives us a recap of press from leading Ecuadorian daily newspaper Hoy. Thank you Andrea!

More total coverage from USA v Ecuador and looking forward to USA v Gautemala on Wednesday:
-Others strongly considered for the third spot on the 3 Stars list were: Ulises de la Cruz of Ecuador, and Jimmy Conrad & Tim Howard of the USA.
-Landcakes adds to his career goal total and will probably become the all time leading USA scorer at age 25! What can you say? He is now tied with Brian McBride for 2nd place on the tally sheet with 30. They are 4 behind leader Eric Wynalda. After not scoring in 18 monthes in USA matches, Dandy now has 5 goals in the past 3 games.
-But I have to say, as great as he was yesterday and against Mexico last month, where was Donovan last summer when we really needed him? Really. Where was he? He has done a bunch of interviews and said he played bad etc etc. Ok fine. But we all know that cuz we saw it. But "why?" is the question he has not answered.
-Bob Bradley has become the first USA coach to win his first 3 games.
-The USA starting back line of Cherundolo, Onyewu, Conrad and Bocanegra was the same starting four as the World Cup USA v Ghana game.
-Kyle Beckerman was added to the USA roster on Friday after he has returned from a trip to Argentina with Colorado. It does not appear as though anyone was dropped from the roster to add Beckerman either.
-On the same field just prior to the senior team game in Tampa, the USA U17's beat El Salvador 2-0. Goals scored by Greg Garza & Tommy Meyer. They will try to qualify for the youth World Championship tournament in 1 month in Jamaica.
-The official USA team blog. Sadly this thing hasn't been updated since late Saturday afternoon, when they could be using it to give us all kinds of cool little shit.
-There was a comment left at This Is American Soccer by a reader named Mike who said getting into the stadium yesterday was horrible. "...disaster that was Will Call yesterday I really enjoyed being in Tampa, 90 minutes in line to retrieve tickets, since walk up sales and will call were in the same line, got into the stadium at halftime." This is an insult to fans and shows one of many ways US Soccer only pays lip service to its paying customers.
-The Bradenton Herald with a nice story on USA U17 Residency School player Alexander Nimo.
-The Northern California newspaper North County Times with a story on hometown boy, USA & Hannover defender Steve Cherundolo.
-Four USA players were released back to their clubs following yesterday's game:
Carlos Bocanegra - Fulham
Brian Carroll - DC United
Tim Howard - Everton
Oguchi Onyewu - Newcastle
-The following players did not see the field - G: Brad Guzan, Kasey Keller, D: Wade Barrett, Jay DeMerit, Heath Pearce, Frank Simek, M: Kyle Beckerman, F: Kenny Cooper
-Greg Seltzer at Yanks Abroad makes a very vague reference to Heath Pearce not playing yesterday due to an injury. As far as I can find there is no other reference to this injury on the entire set of tubes knows as the internets.
-US Soccer as always has really good insider type video footage for us fans. Nothing post game yet, but still a lot to see.
-On Soccernet's USA page there are two good video clips, one an interview with Landon Donovan on the field post game byAllen Hopkins, and then a Sports Center highlights & analysis bit. (Sorry but they do not provide direct links. I send you to the page, and then you gotta find em yourself. Lame I know.)

During the USA v Ecuador game did you hear Eric Wynalda say MLS is going to make all teams cut their grass the same. (I guess this is to help with offsides or something.) I think that is a crock of shit, cuz I love interesting cuts in the grass. And I don't think referee's can even see the cut of the grass from field level. The other "news" Wynalda gave us was that MLS is going to unveil their own theme music. Thats fine. The World Cup has theirs. The Champions League has theirs. The EPL has theirs. It just better not be ultra-awful like that song US Soccer used to play when our boys scored a goal. That was moronic. NO LYRICS PLEASE!

The USA U20's are in Texas getting a little training in as they prepare for next summers World Cup. Gabe Ferrari of Sampdoria scored 2 in a 3-2 win over SMU. Freddy Adu got the game winner. Good to hear.
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Kansas City has shipped defender Shavar Thomas to Los Angeles for a draft pick next year.
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US Players Assoc has a Q & A with brand new Toronto striker Conor Casey. We have seen few words from Conor. (I think it's great that US Soccer has a one guy called Conor Casey and another called Kasey Keller.)
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Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe with a story on first year New England forward and preliminary MLS rookie of the year candidate (I just made that up) Adam Cristman,
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Reader Tim, aka TNT, has written a guest column at Raging Bull Nation. This is his New York Red Bulls season preview.
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Metrofanatic reports on the 5 draftees just signed by the New York Red Bulls.
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John Haydon of the Washington Times reports on DC United's training in central Mexico ahead of next weeks CCC match in Guadelajara.
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Former Columbus Crew stand out Dante Washington has been hired by the team to provide analysis during some of the teams TV broadcasts. This is great. He has a real personality. I hope he becomes a soccer TV announcing star. We need more like him. And holy crap does that guy have a physique.
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Luis Bueno of LA Soccer News explores the MLS v Europe debate for players.
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Jeff Rusnack of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel gets to write something about soccer that us die-hards want to read. He usually gets stuck writing about Samuel Eto'o and Barcelona having a hissy fit, a week or two after it happens. Yesterday he talked to folks involved in south Florida soccer about MLS returning to the area.
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Bill Urban over at the US Players Assoc site wants MLS to expand the scope of the reserve teams. Here Here! Abso-frickin-lutely. Double the size next season and double their schedule too. Let's not take so many small steps when something works as well as the reserves already has. Small is good for testing the waters, but if it works then dive in and get swimming, cuz we've got about 100 years of catching up to do here.
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The Wall Street Journal reports positively on the eve of the 12th season in MLS.
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Puerto Rico USL-MLS Challenge:
Los Angeles 3-2 Rochester
Puerto Rico 1-0 Dallas
Los Angeles 2-1 Puerto Rico
Dallas 2-0 Rochester
-LA Galaxy were handed the title - whatever that might mean.
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Carolina Challenge Cup
Houston 2-0 Toronto
Charleston 0-1 New York
Toronto v New York
Houston v Charleston
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There is more of that wild drooling over Brian McBride on the Fulham web site. It's a quality article of course, full praise and admiration. But what exactly is the point? Maybe Volzy was busy talking to someone else. Thanks to BQ for sending the link.
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CONCACAF friendly matches and scores this week and next:
Thur Mar 22
-Jamaica 0-2 Switzerland - Marco Streller & Goekhan Inler with the Swiss goals.
Sat Mar 24
-Costa Rica 4-0 New Zealand - Alvaro Saborio with 2 goals, Alonso Solis & Bryan Ruiz with the other 2 for CR.
-Panama 0-3 Haiti - goals by Eliphene Cadet, Fecien Brunel & Pierre-Roland Saint-Jean
-Guadeloupe 2-2 Trinidad & Tobago - both Guade goals by Xavier Bematol, T & T goals by Christian Baptiste & Andre Toussaint.
-Honduras 2-0 El Salvador - both Hondu goals by Carlos Olivia
Sun Mar 25
-Bermuda 0-3 Canada - goals by Attiba Huchinson, Tomasz Radzinski & Paul Stalteri.
-Mexico 2-1 Paraguay - both Mexi goals by Jared Borgetti, Para goal by Roque Santa Cruz
-Barbados 0-0 Guatemala
-USA 3-1 Ecuador - 3 USA goals by Donovan, Ecua goal by Felipe Caicedo.
Mon Mar 26
-Jamaica v Panama
Tue Mar 27
-El Salvador v Honduras
Wed Mar 28
-Chile v Costa Rica
-Mexico v Ecuador
-USA v Guatemala
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The Mexican league played a near full slate of games this weekend. Here is the Jornada 12 Roundup from LA Soccer News.
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Copa Libertadores - here are the week's matches:
Mar 27
Colo Colo - Caracas
Gremio - Deportes Tolima
Mar 28
Bolivar - Cienciano
Defensor Sporting - Deportivo Pasto
Internacional - Velez Sarsfield
Mar 29
Audax Italiano - Alianza Lima
River Plate - LDU Quito
-With 2 rounds of the group stage still to be played both Santos & Flamengo have already qualified for the knock out stages.
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Reading coach Steve Coppell has signed a two year contract extension for next season and the one after that.
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Jack Bell of the New York Times with a story called: Ronaldinho Becoming the Face of Soccer. Now correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't he been the face of soccer for about 4 years now. And in reality isn't he actually starting to slip off this perch, as guys like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi blossom. This seems to me like a story that should be in People Magazine, not the New York Times.
-Here is the full Q & A with the "beautiful bucktoothed Brazilian".
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune looks at the weird, wild and worrisome weekend of international matches. Are things really worse than ever? Or does this bad stuff just get all the press scrutiny these days. I think its the latter.
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I was very surprised to see South Korea beaten at home by Uruguay 0-2.
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South Africa won their first game under new coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. They beat Chad 0-3 in an African Nations Cup qualifier.
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FIFA made a profit of 156 million euros on the 2006 World Cup. And that is not counting all the private profits FIFA executives made with their under the table side deals. If Jack Warner made a cool million in black market ticket sales imagine what the real big boys like Blatter raked in.
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There have been stories speculating on a possible takeover of Arsenal by an outside investor. And it will come as no surprise to us American soccer fans to learn that that person in Stan Kroenke. The Colorado Rapids press department deny the validity of this story. Another version of the story says Roman Abramovich's newly divorced and now billionaire wife is going to buy Arsenal. How great would that be!?!
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Non-Futbol ending: Georgetown v Ohio State & Florida v UCLA - now that's a solid final four! I can't wait to see Greg Oden v Roy Hibbert not Hibbard [thanks for straightening me out on that one].


Anonymous ari said...

this is a link to a picture you will enjoy. that is baby drogba in the background

6:15 PM  
Anonymous bdr said...

I think Wynalda suggested grass be cut the same way so that anyone tuning in would recognize the field and know it was a MLS game. Maybe I misunderstood.

Dave O'Brien stinks. Where's J.P.Delacamara?

6:40 PM  
Anonymous hartley said...

You asked who could want more from Landon after that performance on Sunday? Well, we talked last week about the need for the USMNT team to play games abroad -- friendlies, tournaments, whatever. This is just more proof. Has Mr. D ever had a good game off of the North American continent? I don't think so. If our team, and Landon, are going to succeed in international play of any kind, we need to play on international soil. We should be having friendlies with the teams we played in the Cup. Let's go to Africa and play Ghana and other teams. Let's go to Europe and play the Czech Republic and Italy or even any of the teams already knocked out of Euro Cup competition. We need to play away from home and prove even to ourselves that we can. Staying home is too easy. Landon has actually proved it. And until he shows me he can get a hat trick anywhere outside of North America, then I will continue to doubt that he really is the best player we have.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, Hartley...purchase a globe before you make some brilliant geographical point about where Donovan has played well. Is Korea on the continent? Is Germany? (Yes, he played a magnificent game against the Italians) There are others, but since you weren't too concerned with facts when posting, I won't list every single game for you. I figured pointing out the locations of the last two World Cups might possibly make the point.

But really, you're right - he's not a legit player until he scores hat tricks everywhere on the planet, just like everyone else does. Hat tricks are old hat to everyone in international matches.

Perhaps in 5 years, after he's obliterated the US scoring record, you'll actually recognize what it is that you're seeing, and learn to appreciate it.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the game yesterday. The organization could have been better, and the upper deck wasn't open eventhough I heard about 2,000 people couldn't buy tickets right before the game.
Attendance was 33,000 + which shows you that people in Florida love the beautiful game.
For me, the revelation of the game was Benny Feilhaber(I hope I spell it right). His awareness on the field, tackling, and passing ability were amazing for such a young kid. US needs a player like him as a defensive mid. I wish him all the best in Hamburg SV. Bradley was also very impressive in the second half.
Gooch was a disaster in the first period. How Ecuador didn't score a second goal is beyond me. The other big disappointment was Eddie Johnson-completely useless for 45 minutes.
Overall, there were a lot of positives to be taken from this game!

8:31 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

" Anonymous said... Please, Hartley ... purchase a globe before you make some brilliant geographical point about where Donovan has played well. Is Korea on the continent?"

i have said it before and i will say it every time, where do you people who post anonymously get off on ripping others! put your name on it, then stand up and be counted, until then sit down and shut up or say somthing nice and constructive like the person after you did

hartley signs his name every time and makes valid points, dont rip the guy personally for em, save that crap for big soccer

now head back to your cave

9:05 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

ari, you rule!!!!!!!

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where was Dempsey in the game???

Jack Bell covers soccer well although he does not give NYRB sufficient coverage and I don't this Ronaldinho article was his best; I also think Jack Bell was the victim of a poorly chosen title (Ronaldinho Becoming the Face of Soccer) by a NYT copy editor.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You sort of mis-quoted Bruce Arena when Dave O'Brien asked him if he was a fan of New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen.
Arena did NOT respond "NO !" emphatically.

Arena actually responded very casually, "Not really."

11:44 PM  
Blogger kristy said...

i can't stand the arguing on bigsoccer & i love your blog, so i decided to start my own!

keeep up the amazing work!

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Roy Hibbert, not Hibbard, from Georgetown.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Idle said...

Goals! Goals! Goals! For the red, white and blue...

I'm with you, Bruce. That song has to be one of the worst things ever recorded. I was at the US-England match in Chicago in '05, and the English fans were cracking up when they started playing that. No matter how well we play on the field, it's tough to be taken seriously when that kind of crap is coming through the PA system.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous JB said...

" Anonymous said... Please, Hartley ... purchase a globe before you make some brilliant geographical point about where Donovan has played well. Is Korea on the continent?"

Anoy...I have to lean more towards Hartley's observation, in general Donovan has not played well overseas and judging his performance or anyone's can be subjective because I was at the Italy game and I thought he sucked...he had two or three good runs on counter attacks otherwise if possession for poor, he gave the ball away, could handle himself in the midfield with the Italians (Reyna saved us) etc....that said, when Donovan puts on the red, while and blue (or light blue) he can be brilliant at times like against Ecuador and the fact that he remains a major nemesis for Mexico means he gets my respect, but he needs to be more consistent....

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the pearce news -

6:33 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i think everyone should do there own weblog!

8:30 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

Anon said: Arena actually responded very casually, "Not really."

yeah, i listened back to it before i wrote that but i took some english tabloid style poetic license for effect
the bland "not really" answer didnt make for a good bold head line, so i made up my own answer
i figure thats why i have a blog
so i can make up my own answers

8:35 AM  
Blogger Kali said...

They do still play that obnoxious "Goal! Goal! Goal! for the red white and blue" song at USA games.

I was a little embarrassed at the Mexico game, not gonna lie.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous hartley said...

Okay, I will give in that Landon has played well outside of N.A. He did play well in Korea. And I will point out that I wasn't as big a soccer fan at that time so I didn't see any of those matches.

But when he played well against Italy, it was too late. Too late in that World Cup to be playing well and too late in that match.

I'm sorry, but Landon has pointed out that comfort level is important to him. And he made not even the smallest splash in Germany playing at the club level.

In the MLS he is a big fish in a little pond right now. Hey, I love to watch him play, but I think he could do that in Germany, Italy, France, England, wherever. Point is, he doesn't bring his A game every time out.

I just want to see the guy step it up when it counts most. I want him to show the rest of the world how good he really is. And I want our national team to do the same.

Go U.S.!

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Bruce Arena said it again during the Ecuador match: This is the 2nd time I’ve heard him say “I remain corrected” while doing match commentary. Sounds ridiculous…

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Golnoir said...

I also was stuck in the disaster that was Will Call. I spent a solid 40 mins in line and got my tickets right before kickoff. What was the point of me buying online.

My father, who lives about an hour south in Sarasota says that all the Bucs games are sold out so Will Call would normally move very quickly. Someone should have let them know that there is always a big walk up crowdon game days.

Otherwise, a very good time and my Dad earned his first cap.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

You're asking for LD to explain why he went "missing" at WC 06? If players knew why they went in a slump, their slumps would last about 1 game.

You're asking for why - I'd be looking at Bruce Arena. He never figured out how to play LD. He admitted as such during the US vs. Ecuador game. "The problem is, Landon is our best midfielder and our best forward. So where do you play him." Arena had Donovan for over 6 years - and never figured it out. Yanking him from midfield to forward on a regular basis - because of ineptness of other players - instead of putting him somewhere and helping him excel at one position.

Then he plays LD in midfield leading up to the WC, supposedly "builds" the team around him - then takes the keys away and gives them to Claudio Reyna at the WC and expects LD, a young player, to flip everything he's been doing and suddenly turn it on, playing in a style that DOES NOT SUIT HIM - then blames him when he can't adjust on the fly - at the freakin' World Cup against top 10 competition?

A telltale sign to explain LD's slump was mentioned by Cherundolo yesterday - "we did great when we started 1 and 2-touch passing through the midfield, instead of dribbling too much" and holding it and slowing it down.(paraphrasing).
Donovan needed better faster players with 1 and 2 touch (like him) at the WC; instead Bruce leaves Reyna in charge so he can "control the pace."

While I'm on a roll here - LD is the only person associated with US Soccer who stepped up and admitted how badly he sucked and let the fans, team, and himself down. No other player or coach has been man enough to do so.

Thank god for Bob Bradley; he's instilling TEAM PASSION and COMMITMENT TO EACH OTHER and ACCOUNTABILITY TO EACH OTHER on this team and he's building a team around the strengths of our young guys - quickness, technical ability and working it through midfield. And he's not afraid to take chances. And if he were to fail, something tells me he won't throw his players under the bus.

You want to know why LD was in a slump - look at Bruce Arena for starters.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm nothing more than Pavlov's dog, whenever I hear the "Goals, Goals, Goals" song I get all chipper and wanna scream hysterically at the top of my lungs.


12:12 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

adrian - i think you are on the right track for sure, and i would guess all the players and coaches who were in Germany thing this things internally, but i would love to hear someone verbalize and get it out in the open

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Bill Urban said...

looks like we'll be stuck with the Dave or his broadcast equivalent for the near future...

"More ominously, the journal (Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal)reports that ESPN "will use a production package that emphasizes storytelling rather than the wall-to-wall play-by-play often used by European soccer broadcasters". According to ESPN's executive vice president of content, John Skipper, that doesn't work for a US audience.

from Ian P's News Review today...

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That storytelling crap is one of the reasons the Olympics are unbearable to watch now.


3:43 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

According to ESPN's executive vice president of content, John Skipper, that doesn't work for a US audience.

yea, the audience that ISNT watching the game.

6:15 PM  
Blogger kristy said...

Adrian- well put! I totally agree.
That lineup from last summer was retarded. When I heard he was playing up top, that was when I realized we needed a new coach.

Hypothetically, if for some reason Arena became England's manager, I bet he would start Beckham. Maybe make him a striker. :P

2:27 AM  

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