Friday, April 27, 2007

Fly Me To The News

Why isn't Dave Dir the head coach in Salt Lake or Toronto? Seriously!

MLS scores from mid-week:
Thurs April 26
-Dallas 0-1 New York - goal by Hunter Freeman.
Match Report by Tobias Xavier Lopez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Match report by Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer.
Match report by Gabriel Cabarrouy of the Dallas Morning News
More post-game notes & analysis from Lewis of Big Apple Soccer.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My notes from Thursday's MLS match:
-It sure looked like a gorgeous weather night in Dallas, but I am sure there is some excuse why only a handful of people showed up to see the 2 top teams in MLS go at it. OK fine, its a Thursday night. So what. That is an old excuse that does not work for me any more. Let's start having NO EXCUSES.
-(Of course the attendance was nowhere near as heinous as that empty fish bowl in KC the night before - embarrassing for the new owners in their home opener.)
-Why was so little respect shown to Dallas in the pregame. They didn't even introduce the team in that fancy ESPN way like they did New York. Bogus.
-The announcers said a huge tree fell on Dallas keeper Shaka Hislop's house this week. Is that a bad omen? It sure is a drag.
-I figured out exactly who Juan Carlos Toja looks like - guitarist Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap. "It goes to 11"!
-Toja has committed the most fouls in the league this season. I like him. Interestingly Toja replaced Simo Valakari on the Dallas roster and Simo was always the top fouler in the league.
-Announcer Dave O'Brien made some completely moronic mention of the kid who plays Harry Potter in the movies being the same age as Jozy Altidore. DAVE, PLEASE STOP IT! WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YER LITTLE TRIVIA! NO ONE DOES! GIVE IT UP!
-Dallas only had one first half shot and it was a dribbler in the 45th minute.
-How have Carlos Mendez & Jeff Parke become such a solid center pairing in defense for New York? It could be the fact that this is their 3rd season together. Other than that, I have no idea how they are getting it done. Sure the midfielders help them alot, but I think it might be voodoo.
-I loved it when ESPN2 announcer Tommy Smyth called New York the Metrostars!
-The footwork and distribution of NY keeper Ronald Wattereus has got to be a very big steadying comfort to his defenders.
-They showed an old picture of Bruce Arena and announcer Eric Wynalda said, "Is that Tommy Hilfiger at a bar mitzvah?" I always thought BA looked like TH.
-The Dallas back line did a great job of smothering NY lone striker Jozy Altidore.
-Dallas defender Clarence Goodson got away with an obvious hand ball in the box on a corner kick.
-In the 79th minute NY left wing Dave Van Den Bergh got off two successive crosses into the box and Hunter Freeman buried the second one for his first ever MLS goal. Huge, powerful shot!
-Speedy Dominic Oduro almost made something happen late for Dallas. He could be a good one very soon.
-New York has now set a new MLS record by starting the season with 4 clean sheets.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A reader named Randy posted this comment on Ives Galarcep's Soccer by Ives blog, and I just had to share it, cuz I agree:
Obviously it's early, but Bruce Arena clearly knows what he's doing. Some coaches can ID talent (see Clavio, F.), some can motivate (see Novak, P.) and some can get their guys to buy into the team concept (see Kinnear, D. and Yallop, F), but Arena can do it all. He's definitely at the head of the class in MLS coaching.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS games this weekend (all times are central):
Saturday April 28
-Toronto v Kansas City - 1130am on HDNet & Direct Kick
-Columbus v DC - 630pm on Direct Kick
-Los Angeles v Chivas USA - 930pm on FSC
Sunday April 29
-Dallas v New England - 2pm on Telefutura
-Houston v Chicago - 6pm on Direct Kick
Monday April 30
-Salt Lake v Colorado - 8pm on Direct Kick
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(I had written stuff here about the latest in Salt Lake stadium controversies. But I knew at the time I wrote it that the issue was not important to the soccer on the field and I should just stay away from it. Unfortunately I let my brain get in the way and I wrote a critical rant. As a day or two went by I realized it was all pointless so I have taken it down.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Both Houston & DC United are gonna wear special Virginia Tech inspired maroon shirts this weekend in tribute, then auction them off afterward. Go to the team homepages for details.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Steven Goff at the Soccer Insider blog is saying that Facundo Erpen will not start in the back for DC United this weekend. It will be Devin McTavish in a possible 4 man back line with Bobby Boswell in the middle, Joshua Gros on the left and Brian Namoff on the right. Although I would get they still go with 3 in the back. I have always thought Namoff was way better on the right. As a matter of fact I named him to the du Nord best 11 two years in a row at right back, not left. And Fred2 will probably get his shot in the DCU first 11 too.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luis Arroyave on his blog The Red Card says Chicago's Justin Mapp most likely will not play this weekend in Houston, due to a hamstring injury.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe looks at New England's lack of success in Dallas at Pizza Hut Park, where they are headed for Sunday's game.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don Cuddy at Soccer365 has a Q & A with New England midfielder & captain Steve Ralston.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rookie Chris Seitz will get the start in goal this weekend for Salt Lake against Colorado. The two teams actually play twice this weekend, Saturday in the Open Cup and then Monday in the league. I would assume Seitz will play in both unless game #1 goes horribly wrong or he gets hurt. From the Deseret Morning News.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Several stories from Luis Bueno of the LA Soccer News ahead of this weekends LA derby:
-How Chivas will try to stop Landon Donovan. Defender Lawson Vaughn thinks he has the speed to stay with Landy.
-A look back at the 9 previous meetings between the two sides. LA holds a dominating 7-1-1 record.
-Rookie forward Laurent Merlin tried hard to make the Galaxy roster but was eventually cut, and then made the Chivas roster. He wants to play in this game very badly.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Do you remember when Chivas was coached by William H. Macy's stunt double Hans Westerhoff?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Phil Collin at the LA Daily Breeze says Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan who will miss the Classico on Saturday feels bad about the tackle on Andy Williams of RSL that got him a red card suspension. Plus other Chivas pre-derby notes.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Collin at the Breeze also talks to new Chivas midfielder Amado Guevara.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston tells Larry Millson at the Toronto Globe & Mail that the goals will come.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dean McNulty says TFC will shuffle their lineup for the home opener. OK. I guess. Did they have someone on the bench better than the starters over the last 3 games that will make that kind of difference?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Toronto Star looks at the unveiling of BMO Field.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yellow Card Journalism with a photo of BMO Field from outside, which I have not seen before. Top notch.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Brian Forbes of the Denver Post takes a look at Colorado's trade of Joe Cannon to LA for Herculez Gomez & Ugo Ihemelu. Who got the better deal so far?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New Dallas Argentine midfielder Pablo Richetti received his visa papers yesterday and has flown to his homeland to have them stamped. He will be back for training next week and ready to play soon after.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you have been wondering where Columbus defender Chad Marshall has been - Concussion. Nothing to be messed around with.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Walt Wheeler at the Hunt Park Insider reports on the arrival of Guillermo Barros Schelotto in Columbus. And other recent Crew news.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I forgot to mention yesterday that I thought Brian Roberts did a really good job calling the KC v Toronto game on TV. Congrats to him. He played for my Minnesota Thunder for a season before going to play in KC. He retired from the field after last season and now works in the KC front office besides the TV gig.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Philadelphia Daily News with a brief update on the possibility of an MLS team landing in Philly.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I rocked the house last night with Zach from the Eleven Devils blog. We got some chow and then moshed like crazed goons to the electro-goth-rock of VNV-Nation at Ground Zero. The band wore beaver pelt outfits. And we rocked. Hard. It was heavenly. I love meeting the fellow bloggers from other cities. Zach was in the area from Portland covering bike racing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As I wrote yesterday, the Kansas City supporters have been given a new section for their home at Arrowhead Stadium. It's near midfield on the north side. A great spot. A reader named M posted his thoughts on the new spot in yesterday's comments (go check it out), and another reader, James, emailed me his thoughts (thank you very much):
Seems to be a brilliant idea so far... (based on one game.)
The old regime in KC tried to keep us separated from the "regular" fans. The new ownership/FO has placed us right between GA & the "sideline reserve" seats with the hope that the fans around us will join in with the supporters group.
It seemed to work well on Wednesday night... but you've got to think that a Wednesday night game in a downpour probably skews the crowd towards the hardcore end of the scale. We'll see how it goes May 5th when the soccer moms make their return to Arrowhead.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Andrea Canales at Soccer365 kicks up the MLS calendar debate again. Should the league play in summer or winter? You all know what I think.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another small town America newspaper guy steps up to praise the beautiful game. This one from the Russelville Arkansas Courier News! Thank you!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where is Tino Palace with the Clean Sheet. We miss you Tino! Come back soon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

USL First Division Schedule this weekend:
-Atlanta v Minnesota - see the game at 7pm central time live on FSC.
-Miami v Seattle
-Charleston v Montreal
-Carolina v Atlanta
-Vancouver v California
-Puerto Rico v Seattle
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jesse Erdmann has posted his latest USL First Division Power Rankings at Blue Sky Soccer. Excellent. He also previews this weekend's games, and gives us a primer on the new team from San Francisco - The California Victory.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

USA U16 team in the Ballymena International Tournament:
Mon - USA 1-1 Scotland - USA goal by Parker Walsh.
Tue - USA 3-2 Czech Republic - USA goals by Dersu Abolfathi, Kofi Sarkodie & Ryan Finley.
Wed - USA 1-2 Republic of Ireland - USA goal by Gale Agbossoumonde.
Fri - April 26 v Israel - for 3rd place trophy
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CONCACAF U17 World Championship Group B Qualifying Tournament.
-All games will be played in Kingston Jamaica.
-The top 3 from this group will advance to the finals in Korea in late summer.
-Here is the match schedule:
Sat April 28
-Costa Rica v Trinidad & Tobago
-Jamaica v Canada
Mon April 30
-Canada v Costa Rica
-Trinidad & Tobago v USA
Wed May 2
-USA v Canada
-Jamaica v Costa Rica
Fri May 4
-Canada v Trinidad & Tobago
-Jamaica v USA
Sun May 6
-USA v Costa Rica
-Jamaica v Trinidad & Tobago
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luis Bueno at Sports Illustrated previews the final weekend of the Mexican Clausura, then previews the playoffs to follow. Plus he has some thoughts on the Mexican teams in the CONCACAF Champions Cup final and the Copa Libertadores.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Copa Libertadores - this was the final week of the group stage:
Apr 24
Gremio 1-0 Cerro Porteno
Deportes Tolima 3-4 Cucuta Deportivo
Apr 25
Necaxa 2-0 Alianza Lima
Sao Paulo 2-2 Audax Italiano
River Plate 1-0 Colo Colo
LDU Quito 3-1 Caracas
Apr 26
Toluca 3-0 Cienciano
Boca Juniors 7-0 Bolivar
-Match reports via Sports Illustrated.
-Toluca & Boca Juniors advanced last night. So the field for the next round is now complete.
-Flamengo, Santos, Colo Colo, Caracas, Libertad, America, Parana, Nacional, Velez Sarsfield, Defensor Sporting, Gremio, Cucuta, Necaxa & Sao Paulo had already advanced to the knock out stages.
-Knock out match ups TBD, with games played on May 2 & 9.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UEFA Cup semifinal first leg matches last night:
Espanyol 3-0 Werder Bremen - goals by Moises Hurtado, Walter Pandiani & Ferran Corominas. Bremen had goalkeeper Tim Wiese sent off.
Osasuna 1-0 Sevilla - Roberto Soldado with the games only goal
-Return leg matches in 7 days.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is it for the Eredivisie title! Last games this weekend, and its all tied up between 3 teams! (They are separated only by goal difference.) The slight edge goes to PSV cuz they have a home match while the other two are on the road. Here are their matches:
-Excelsior v AZ Alkmaar
-PSV v Vitesse Arnhem
-Willem II Tilburg v Ajax
All three have 72 points.
-AZ Alkmaar - +53 goal difference
-Ajax - +47 goal difference
-PSV - +46 goal difference
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some of the other big Euro league races are really tight too. Here are the weekend's matches and standings:
-La Liga:
-Barcelona v Levante
-Sevilla v Espanyol
-Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid
-Valenica v Recreativo Huelva
-Osansuna v Zaragoza
59 Barcelona
58 Sevilla
57 Real Madrid
53 Valencia
53 Zaragoza
(7 left to play in Spain)
-Bochum v Schalke
-Armenia Bielefeld v Werder Bremen
-Borussia Monchengladbach v Stuttgart
-Bayern Munich v Hamburger
62 Schalke
60 Werder Bremen
58 Stuttgart
53 Bayern Munich
(4 left to play in Germany)
-Everton v Manchester United
-Chelsea v Bolton
82 Man United
79 Chelsea
(4 games left to play)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another big game this weekend is in Italy - The Roman derby - Roma v Lazio on Sunday.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Inter Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to forego the rest of this season so he can have surgery on a long lingering groin injury.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A disgruntled AC Milan fan has put the teams goalkeeper Dida up for sale on Ebay. Yes!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Werder Bremen are very pissed off at striker Miroslav Klose after they found out he was having secret meetings with Bayern Munich. Will there be repercussions?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

West Ham United have been handed a staggering 5.5 Million Pound fine by the English Football Association for their crooked backroom dealings last summer in signing the two Argentine players, Carlos Tevez & Javier Mascherano. From the Times of London.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The rumor mill in England says American Paul Allen is interested in buying Southampton. No, not the city, the team. But he could afford the city too. He is an original Microsoft guy, and owns the NFL Seattle Seahawks & NBA Portland Jail Blazers.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Manchester United will tour Asia next summer as part of their preseason training.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The excellent Kevin McCarra of the Guardian asks us this question - "What do Carlos Bocanegra, Hameur Bouazza, Emile Heskey and 48 others have in common?" The answer - "They've all got more Premiership goals than Chelsea striker Andrei Shevchenko this season."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Check this out - "You can become the owner/manager of a UK football club." That's what the banner says anyway. It's nuts. Put down your 35 Pounds, and join 50,000 fanatics in the bid to buy a club. Then the signings and line ups will be voted on democratically. Yeah right. I love it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lastly, any regular reader of the LA Times sports section for the last decade or so knows the name Mike Penner. Sports columnist, soccer fan, etc. Yesterday he wrote the stunning story that he is going away for a short while, and when he returns he will be Christine Daniels. He is making a gender transformation. It is an amazing story of someone with more guts than most of us can even imagine. Good luck Christine.
-Not surprisingly the Times got a lot of reader response.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You report an Open Cup match on Saturday between Fake Salt Lake and Colorado, but no one else has that. According to both team's Web sites and MLS, they're meeting in a League match on Monday. The Open Cup web site doesn't show it either. (I know how it is -- do great work day after day, then everyone points out one mistake. Sorry to be "everyone" here. Thanks for all the great work!)

5:16 PM  
Anonymous kstrygg said...

RSL'S website shows the US open game on the 18th with KC winning 2-1.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous kstrygg said...

Strike that. RSL wins 2-1.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HATS OFF to Christine Daniels. God only knows the shit she's going to have to put up with from this redneck nation. I wish her luck and have never read a column of hers, but I support her to death.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said about Dave Dir. He's a great coach and an absolutely hysterical guy to be around.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous 12th man said...

When Dave O'Brien is in the booth (and Bruce Arena is not), I just mute and watch the broadcast. You might want to try this.

3:08 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

George at FC Rocky sent me the details on the US Open Cup that i messed up. Here ya go:
Rapids' U.S. Open Cup play-in game against RSL as 7:30 p.m. Wednesday May 23, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park

Thank you George
the facts are much appreciated

10:26 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

over the last two days i have written rants about the latest in stadium funding controvery in salt lake

i wrote dumb things

things that have nothing to do with soccer

i woke up this morning and realized they should just vanish

so my posts and comments are gone, along with everyone elses comments that were critical of me

they were right

i was wrong

thanks for setting me straight

10:29 AM  
Anonymous winonanick said...

thanks for the links to BMO field. Rather spartan, but hey they got an MLS team and a home field. So who should complain?

I am suprised it took 15 months to get the thing done! Looks like the have plenty of room to grow as well. Heck I think it has been over two years since both Vancouver and Montreal annouced their stadiums. Vancouver is stuck in red tape and Montreal just scooped some dirt. Good for Toronto.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no wonder dc hasn't been scoring, lol - jaimes got no arm
was on dcu front page

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah gay it doesn't work

5:26 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

nice try

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why did you feel you needed to hide the comments about your Salt Lake rants ?

Certainly, it is YOUR blog and you'll do as you please, but haven't you preached to "anonymous" commenters that they should be 'open' with their identity ?

How does wiping out comments from the record contribute to an "open" forum ?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Matth: said...


It makes sense to me why Bruce deleted out the comments. He also deleted his post which induced the ire and openly admitted that what he had written was something that should not have been written. If he'd left the comments up after changing his post, what purpose would they have served?

As it happened, I saw neither his original post nor the subsequent comments, but I think that his actions have shown that this is an open forum and that we can all freely criticize him. In fact, he will respond to the criticisms. If this were not an open forum, he would have deleted the comments without changing his initial post. I, for one, think that he made the right decision in the way he openly handled the situation, although (as I said) I don't have all the background.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're right, you don't have all the background, on account of everything being deleted by Brucio.

Thus, by definition, that's not very "open."

6:47 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

i deleted things cuz its my blog and i felt like it asswipe, that's why

2:16 PM  
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