Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dreamy Creamy Goodness News

The new MLS Anthem (thanks to Matthew for the link)

MLS named Real Salt Lake forward Jeff Cunningham as their Player Of The Week. He got 2 goals in his teams 2-2 draw at home against FC Dallas.
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I have to admit that I am kind of stunned to learn that the rumors are true and Columbus is about to announce the signing of Boca Juniors semi-legendary midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Not that he is not the biggest household name from Argentina, but he is revered in his homeland, especially among Boca fans. His nickname is El Mellizo, cuz he has a twin brother. Good for Sigi & the Crew.
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A couple more of my notes from MLS opening weekend:
-Did you see Chicago's Chris Armas with hair! Wow. We need to find a picture. Anyone?
-Who was that dude playing right back for Toronto - Miguel Canizalez? I have never heard of him. The Toronto website doesn't even have a number listed for him on their official roster. Actually all they have is his height, weight and date of birth, plus they have him listed as a midfielder. Aaaaaaaaaaaah, the mysteries of MLS rosters continue.
-And speaking of guys I have never heard of, who is Gary Flood and what was he doing in the New England midfield. We know Shalrie Joseph was hurt, but what about Daniel Hernandez? There was no word of injury to him.
-Upon further viewing it looked to me like Dallas's game tying goal was not scored by Carlos Ruiz but rather a RSL own goal (Jack Stewart maybe).
-With all the bluster last week about the new stadium opening in Colorado, I was really disappointed to see all the empty seats from my TV set. Even worse the seats really emptied out at half time and never really filled back in. I thought the people of Denver understood winter. After all, relatively, it wasn't THAT cold. This was opening day! And a brand new stadium! Are you kidding me? This reminded me of the opening two summers ago in Dallas that was not full, and still hasn't been. Even the 2 MLS Cup finals I attended in Dallas were "sold out", yet had several big empty patches of seats. Saturday in Denver was "sold out" too, but it sure looked bad as the TV announcers raved on and on about the great facility and the sold out crowd. I was in Chicago on Saturday night where we had colder temps and the night time chill, yet the crowd was certainly bigger than in Colorado, even thought the official attendance was listed at just under 16,000. (FYI, That number did not seem inflated to me either.) I know that Colorado has never really lit it up on the field, but Chicago hasn't either lately. I have no idea what my real point is here, except to say that I was saddened to see the half empty stadium on opening day in Denver.
-Hey, how about that Fox Soccer Channel pregame show! Have you ever seen a more messed up and poorly produced 30 minutes of live TV in your life. Holy Outtacontrolly. From start to finish every cut-away, graphic and supposed live interview was a wreck. They went to graphics when they were interviewing players. They had shots of the hosts when were supposed to be seeing graphics, they had shots of the person who wasn't talking. You could see people making hand gestures to each other when they weren't supposed to be on camera. It was awful. And it never got better. Right until the final moments it was a disaster. Nice start folks. It can't get any worse. As a side note, the post game show was better, with only a couple quick graphics blips, but the set was so dark you could barely see the host. Maybe it was their effort to "go green" and conserve energy.
-Kyle Beckerman wore the captain's armband for Colorado.
-At half time of the Chicago v New England game I met up with Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune to shake hands in person, talk a little turkey and discuss the cold. Then the second half started. Nice to meet you amigo.
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Ben Knight of Canada's SportsNet has experienced the supporters of Toronto FC and he is knocked out. He agrees with all of us - Soccer supporters are just plain better supporters of their team than those in any other sport. Hooray Ben. Hooray Beer. Hooray TFC supporters.
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Check out this picture. It's of Toronto defender Adam Braz angrily lecturing Freddy Adu during a USA v Canada match. (When was this one played? I sure don't remember it.) Anyway, my point is that Braz is a terrible defender with a really short temper. He played for Montreal in the First Division last season and when they came to Minnesota last season, us fans heckled him so badly that he melted down early in the second half and got torched for two quick goals. His coach then subbed him out. It was a glorious win for the fans, and some fuel for you fans of other MLS teams to remember.
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Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star calls TFC "ho-hum" after watching their first game. Agreed.
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Big time du Nord fave & Kansas City left back Jose Burciaga has his sites set on an even better 2007 season, and a shot at the USA team. From MLSnet.
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Bob Luder of the KC Star with a profile of Kansas City first round draft pick Michael Harrington. They are high on this guy.
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Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America writes about the newfound ownership stability in Kansas City that can only do good things for the team on the field. I could not agree more. I think they were the definition of underachievement from the day Lamar Hunt put the team up for sale.
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Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle looks into the approach being taken by the Dynamo for their youth development.
-Fallas also has notes on Dynamo players Kelly Gray & Brian Mullan.
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Shawn at The Offside Rules blog has transcribed an interview that Kristian Dyer did with Giorgio Chignalia on the eve of MLS 12 kickoff. The article ran in Metro magazine and is not available online. Thanks to Shawn for letting us all read more of Giorgio's massive ego bullshit.
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Ives Galarcep at the North Jersey Herald wonders if Clint Mathis can fill the much needed goal scorers role for NYRB.
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And Galarcep also looks at the first game of the season for youngster Jozy Altidore.
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Luis Bueno at LA Soccer News looks at the talent of Chvias USA midfielder Sacha Kljesten.
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Metrofanatic is reporting that Red Bulls midfielder Markus Schopp needs hernia surgery and will go to Germany for the operation that only takes about 2 weeks to fully recover from.
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Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe looks at the support of owners AEG for the Chicago Fire in dropping big money on Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
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Nick Green of the LA Daily New looks at the Home Depot Center 4 years after it opened.
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Paul Gardner at the New York Sun says MLS has to do something to get more goal scoring into the games.
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Andrew Dixon of Gol Noir fame, writing for the Black Athlete Sports Network, with his list of 10 MLS players to watch not named David Beckham. Without looking I presumed they would all be black seeing the name of the web site and all.
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I missed out on this one last week as US Soccer asked Chicago's Chris Rolfe & Chivas USA's Sacha Kljesten to preview the East & West conferences in MLS for 07.
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US Soccer has also launched its own You Tube channel.
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The Guardian newspaper of England looks at the "money aspect" of MLS.
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My beloved Minnesota Thunder have signed 4 more players as their preseason training builds toward their opening match on Friday April 20 at the Charleston Battery. It will be on TV too - live at 7pm central time on Fox Soccer Channel.
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Soccernet talks to American keeper Marcus Hahnemann about the success of Reading in the EPL this season.
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Andrew Hush at Soccer New England examines the tough slow start that Clint Dempsey has had at Fulham.
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Copa Libertadores - here are the week's matches:
Apr 10
Cerro Porteno - Deportes Tolima
Real Potosi - Parana
Emelec - Internacional
Apr 11
Cucuta Deportivo - Gremio
Libertad - America
Audax Italiano - Necaxa
Apr 12
Bolivar - Toluca
Nacional - Velez Sarsfield
-Flamengo, Santos, Colo Colo & Caracas have already qualified for the next round with all teams still having at least one more round of the group stage to play and some others have two.
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Champions League quarterfinal second legs - Matchday 10 - this week (with first leg scores included):
Manchester United v Roma(1-2)
Valencia v Chelsea (1-1)
Bayern v Milan (2-2)
Liverpool v PSV (3-0)
-The Semifinals, Matchday 11 & 12, will be April 24/25 & May 1/2.
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The English media are trying to lump the new Manchester United struggles on their goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar. This is exactly what they did to Tim Howard before him. Of course they try to overlook the fact that those keepers get little or no defensive cover from their wide midfielders like Ronaldo & Giggs, their central midfielders like Scholes, or their pile-up of injured defenders like Vidic, Silvestre & Neville. They blame the keeper.
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Trying to avoid getting dumped into the relegation zone (after hovering near the top of the table for a long long time) Hertha Berlin have fired their coach Falko Goetz. He will be replaced, for now, by reserve team coach Karsten Heine.
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Hristo Stoichkov has resigned as coach of Bulgaria. Rumor has him assuming the helm at Celta de Vigo in Spain.
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David Pleat writes for the Guardian about Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell, who Pleat says epitomizes Reading's team as a whole. (So why does Sidwell want out? Money I suppose.)
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The Times of London takes the Glazer family to task for not attending very many Manchester United games. I don't know how I feel about this. Does it bother the rest of the board of directors, the coaches, the staff and the players? Those people are the only ones who's opinions I care about on this subject. I couldn't care less how the media feel.
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Phil Ball at Soccernet goes to see Mallorca v Getafe with his son.
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Former Uruguayan great Dario Silva sadly lost his leg last year in a car accident. But he is not feeling sad. Q & A via FIFA.com.
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A great story from Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune. The fans of Brazilian club Corinthians stormed the teams training facility last week to "clean house" of the wretched people in charge of their team. But really it's the story of Corinthians and West Ham, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, an Iranian businessman and controversial players transers, and the ugly state of finance that can get in the way of the game. It makes fans mad!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While dramatic, that MLS anthem succeeded in being completely unmemorable


4:29 PM  
Blogger kebmodee said...


4:33 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

That picture of Braz shouting Adu is from the friendly held at the University of San Diego in a "friendly" at the beginning of last year. This happened right in front of me. Braz was mad because Freddy had taken a pretty blatant dive in the box moments after coming on for his first ever US cap.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Maycoll Canizalez is a Canadian winger (mainly left, sometimes on the right, as you saw saturday where he played wingback).

He's nicknamed "MC2".



5:43 PM  
Anonymous Shandy Sisters said...

It was nice to meet you at the tailgate. We were wondering...how do find the time to run such an informative soccer blog when you're not out chopping down trees with Babe the Blue Ox at your side?

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Braz is a hack and an asshole. I remember heckling him as Montreal was going into the tunnel for halftime and he flipped me the bird. Priceless and classless...

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Wow. This just in: Fulham have sacked manager Chris Coleman.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous bq said...

Interesting and not surprising news on Cookie Coleman. The fans have found him intolerable for quite some time now. I think it is time for a change at Fulham as he always plays for safety and never takes risks.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out (good or bad) for Dempsey. Bocs has locked a place in for himself and it young enough. McBride could also be a commodity if the new manager decides to start playing younger players. We will see.

As to the MLS anthem, I agree, dramatic but unmemorable. Perhaps they can get a techno version going of it like the EPL did with their theme, hiring Judge Jules to make it the popular anthem it now is.


9:07 PM  
Anonymous Colin said...

From the SA article about Kansas City:

'It seemed like for the first time in a long time, all the questions were about the team, getting a new coach, stuff like that, not where, or if, we'd be playing next year ,'' says Conrad, who joined the Wizards in 1999.

Conrad didn't join KC until 2003. You'd think a soccer mag could get their facts straight.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous McCrum said...

MF Daniel Hernandez (groin strain)

Straight off my TV on Saturday as the Mighty Fire undid the evildoers. It's also on the MLS site.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

BQ: I agree that the sacking of Coleman is no surprise and, while looking at Fulhams' place in the table on Sunday, I silently wondered how much more slippage would occur before he would be history. Not much, I guess. However I would disagree that Bocanegra's job is safe...

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Adu picture would be from the us v canada game in san diego jan 06? Adu actually dove by the box pretty blatantly and deserved to be chewed out. ChaosCk - L.A. Riot Squad

9:37 AM  
Blogger Todd McClamroch said...

I have a photo of Armas with hair and looking like Rocky Balboa up on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagoist_todd/451351224/in/set-72157600057011632/)

The accompanying post can be found on Chicagoist.com (http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2007/04/09/fire_win_opener_at_toyota_park.php)

12:55 PM  
Anonymous RobbyMinuteman said...

Technically, McCrum, I think you'd have to say that the Revs undid themselves: you've got Riley to thank for the goal. Class all around to let Pause take the credit though . . .

Apparently, the Revs picked up Flood in the Supplemental Draft. Sort of under the radar though.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous McCrum said...

Robby, whatever it was, I will take it based on how we've done against the Revs the past six seasons. I recall heading up there when you were 0-6 for the season only to watch Chicago get a 6-0 shellacking. And then there's the playoffs lately where we seem to do our own undoing...

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

I hate to defend the English media, but Van Der Sar's goalkeeping has been very eccentric lately. He has a newfound habit of simply palming the ball back in front of him (not just on the two goals resulting from this, but on other occasions too) that is simply not acceptable for an elite goalkeeper.

That's not to say you're wrong to point to other aspects, too, but when an elite goalkeeper starts doing odd things, it's very noticeable, and the media jumping on it is par for the course anywhere.

3:50 PM  
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9:23 PM  

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