Monday, April 30, 2007

My Own Personal Pharmacy News

Here at the University of Minnesota, where I work, our campus newspaper The Minnesota Daily ran an editorial advocating the launch of a men's soccer program. The state of Minnesota doesn't have any Division 1 programs, and seeing as this school is one of the 10 biggest in the country, it makes sense to have one here. It's about time someone starts beating the drum.

MLS scores from this weekend:
-Toronto 0-1 Kansas City - goal by Eddie Johnson
Match report by Larry Millson of the Toronto Globe & Mail.
Match report by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star.
Post-game analysis by Stephen Brunt of the Toronto Globe & Mail.
Post-game analysis by Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star.
-Columbus 1-0 DC - goal by Ezra Hendrickson
Match report by Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch.
Post-game analysis by Steven Goff of the Washington Post on his Soccer Insider blog.
-Los Angeles 3-1 Chivas USA - LA goals by Landon Donovan, Kevin Harmse & Cobi Jones. Chivas goal by Claudio Suarez.
Match report by Grahame Jones of the LA Times.
Match report by Joel Aceves of LA Soccer News.
Match report by Phil Collin of the LA Daily News.
-Dallas 0-1 New England - goal by Taylor Twellman
Match report by Gabriel Cabarrouy of the Dallas Morning News.
Match report by Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe.
-Houston 0-1 Chicago - goal by Chris Rolfe
Match report by Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle.
Match report from the Chicago Sun Times.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The du Nord MLS Player Of The Week - Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
-He captained his team to their 8th win in the 10th edition of the fraudulently named Super Classico. (Not so Super on Chivas's part anyway.) None the less. The man we call Landy-Cakes was superb. Very early on, Los Angeles applied good pressure that led to Chivas committing a keeper-defender duel-self-takedown leaving LD a clear ball to pounce on and slam home for goal #1. Several more times in the first half Donovan dropped into midfield to help out his young central duo of Sturgis-Harmes to totally stifle Marsch & Guevara of the Goatboys. El Dee also used his superior speed to cause chaos from sideline to sideline, yet in the 17th minute he sat at the top of the box with his back to goal and played post up striker. Harmes charged toward him and worked a perfect give & go as Donovan drew 3 defenders leaving Harmes clear in on goal, allowing him to calmly slot home at the near post for goal #2. Chivas tried to apply pressure for the next 60 odd minutes, but could not get more than a couple decent shots. A scrambled home goal gave Chivas new life at 2-1, but Donovan answered again but taking a ball 65 yards at breath-taking speed, hurdling Lawson Vaughn (who bragged before the game that he could stick with LD's speed), and drawing the defense & keeper to his side of the box so he could slip a ball across them all for streaking teammate Cobi Jones to bury into an open net. Game over. 3-1 to LA. All scored or set up perfectly by the man we love to hate. And I do love him. Those assists and goal make Donovan the 11th player in MLS history to register 50 goals & 50 assists, and he is only 25! Great match from a true captain on the night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My MLS notes:
-It was the first ever MLS game in Toronto, the home opener for Toronto FC, and the debut of sold out BMO (pronounced Bee-Mo) Field.
-It was the also the first time that I had ever seen anything broadcast on CBC.
-Mitch Peacock from the Fox Soccer Report was the sideline reporter for the match.
-The announcers were some old English wanker and former Canadian national team keeper Craig Forrest.
-The national anthems (USA & Canada) were sung by a guy from the musical We Will Rock You. He twice forgot the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. The crowed roared each time he blew it.
-As soon as I saw referee Mauricio Navarro stroll out on to the pitch I knew we were in for a long whistle filled affair. He loves to blow that thing constantly. He must have been ignored as a child.
-Toronto moved Maurice Edu into the middle of the field were he belongs, not on the wing like last game.
-KC's Argentine midfielder Carlos Marinelli only lasted 15 minutes on the field till his hamstring gave out.
-A yellow card was given to new TFC striker Danny Dichio for a hard charge on KC keeper Kevin Hartman. It was a pretty serious cheap shot on a keeper out of the box trying to clear the ball. The announcers went on at length about how it was NOT a foul at all, but rather a simple challenge for the ball. I guarantee you if Eddie Johnson had done that to Greg Sutton they would have been screaming for Johnson's head. Hypocrits.
-The camera shots are not the greatest. several times we cannot see the corner flags.
-TFC put a lot of pressure on KC but could not capitalize. Jack Jewsbury cleared a shot off the KC goal line.
-For the first time, late in the game, you could really hear TFC fans singing. They have been loud and occasionally chanting in short bursts, but the microphones are not detecting constant singing like I expected to hear. But finally we hear "All we are saying, is give us a goal"! Excellent.
-Eddie Johnson had several good chances but put his shots straight at the keeper every time.
-Until....the 81st, when Johnson cuts inside and beats Sutton to the near post for the game winner.
-Decent start in Toronto for the fans (not so much the team). Let's see em keep it up all summer.
-Ronnie O'Brien will help TFC a lot if he can stay healthy.
Lumbus v DC
-Dante Washington was one of the Columbus TV announcers, and he is reeeeeeeeealy mellow. He will also be playing for Columbus in their next reserve league game. They are really desperate I guess.
-Fred2 & Devin McTavish got their first starts for DCU.
-The main announcer Dwight Burgess kept calling Ricardo Virtuoso, Virch-ee-oso.
-Great Crew goal in the 28th minute after a Brian Carroll giveaway. Ned Grabavoy charges in, then swings it wide left to Jospeh Ngwenya who rips the ball across to Ezra Hendrickson who's first shot is blocked but he gets the rebound and does not miss again.
-Burgess says Ezra is 400 years old and 12 feet tall!
-Luciano Emilio got a yellow card for using his hand to put the ball into the net.
-And Christin Gomez got later got a yellow for a dive in the box. Excellent.
-Carroll pulled at half time.
-DC brought some of their great fans on the road, and they are much louder than the home fans.
-DC applied a lot of possession and pressure, but could not break through.
-Columbus counter attacked quite well.
-The game was delayed in the 84th minute for over twenty minutes due to a thunder storm, and lightning strikes in the area of the stadium.
-Columbus killed it off after that.
-Both Joseph Ngwenya and keeper Andy Gruenebaum had solid games for the Crew.
LA v Chivas
-During the pregame show, Colonel Sanders was standing behind the FSC live set. Good to see the Chicken God on hand.
-The FSC pregame show was also still plagued by interviews with no sound. Ugly.
-After LA scored early Chivas really turned it up, but saves from Joe Cannon kept em at bay.
-The crowd at the HDC was late arriving. But I have to ask, with the two teams being from LA why didn't we see overflow tickets sold to the the grass hill. Sad to see the demand for tickets dip.
-Right before Claudio Suarez scored for Chivas, Ante Razov had put a header off the post. It could have been #101.
-FSC misses a Landon Donovan breakaway attempt while showing replays of NOTHING!
-Off camera Amado Guevara who had been subbed off for Chivas was red carded for apparently shoving an assistant referee after Cobi Jones's game clinching goal. Oh, that is bad. He will get a suspension for that one. Andy Herron got 6 games two years ago for a similar stunt.
-I read on LASN that Chivas is now 0-27-8 when its opponent scores first!
Dall v NE
-Michael Parkhurts makes his season debut for New Eng after injury. Pat Noonan also gets his first start.
-Bobby Rhine starts for Alex Yi at the right back spot for Dallas.
-The Telefutura announcers were cracking Jimmy Buffett jokes. Apparently he just played a concert at PHP.
-The best part of the ultra-tiny crowd in Dallas is that everyone in attendance gets to personally meet each other. How nice.
-I am seeing lots of yellow shoes in the league. Taylor Twellman in this game. Joe Cannon of LA and Jonny Bornstein of Chivas also sporting them.
(sorry - more notes later - gotta run)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The MLS Coaches Hot Seat - Who will be the first one fired in 07?
1. Tom Soehn - DC United - leaps to the top of the table after another awful loss.
2. John Ellinger - Real Salt Lake - stinking it up for the third straight year. How will they do tonight v dreaded rivals Colorado.
3. Mo Johnston - Toronto FC - I know they are an expansion team, so no wins is not shocking, but no ties and NO GOALS either! Ugh.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

LA coach Frank Yallop told Andrea Canales at LA Soccer News that there is "No chance" of Zinedine Zidane coming to play in LA. Does this boost the chances of him coming to Chicago as I think he might, or not? But then again we all know that there is really no chance of "No chance" ever being 100%.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The San Francisco Chronicle talks to potential San Jose Earthquakes re-animator Lew Wolff about the stadium deal at San Jose State University that fell apart last week. Several myths debunked.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have been trying to figure out why MLS teams have backed away from signing goalkeeper Kasey Keller. I have my own theories brewing. Namely that he raised his asking price after MLS invented the Designated Player rule. Do you have any theories?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS game tonight:
Monday April 30
-Salt Lake v Colorado - 8pm central time on Direct Kick
-Match preview from the Deseret Morning News.
-The Rocky Mountain News says Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni is healthy and ready to return to Salt Lake and torment the fans of Real Salt Lake again.
-The Salt Lake Tribune with articles on two RSL youngsters - goalkeeper Chris Seitz who will get the start - and - defender Nik Besagno who is yearning for a chance to get on the field regularly after 2 years in the reserves.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

USL First Division scores from last weekend:
-Atlanta 3-1 Minnesota
-Miami 3-2 Seattle
-Charleston 2-3 Montreal
-Carolina 0-0 Atlanta
-Vancouver 2-2 California
-Puerto Rico 0-0 Seattle
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am really disappointed by my hometown team the Minnesota Thunder. They opened with 3 games on the road, and came away with an acceptable 2 points, but they have not looked very good doing it. There are bright spots, but I am not pleased with the overall effort shown. Let's hope this coming Sunday when they open at home they take all of our frustrations out on last seasons champs from Vancouver.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The USA U16 team finished 3rd on Friday in the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland.
Third place game:
USA 5-1 Israel - USA goals by Ryan Finley (2), Ben Speas, Amobi Okugo, Eder Arreola. Israel goal by Guy Lipka.
Group Stage games:
USA 1-1 Scotland - USA goal by Parker Walsh.
USA 3-2 Czech Republic - USA goals by Dersu Abolfathi, Kofi Sarkodie & Ryan Finley.
USA 1-2 Republic of Ireland - USA goal by Gale Agbossoumonde.
-The host country lost to their southern cousins 3-0. That has got to be bitter.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CONCACAF U17 World Championship Group B Qualifying Tournament kicked off yesterday in Kingston Jamaica. Here is the match schedule:
Sat April 28
-Costa Rica 2-0 Trinidad & Tobago - goals by Jorge Castro & Diego Brenes.
-Jamaica 0-3 Canada - goals by Daniel Tannous, Jarek Whiteman & William Hyde
Mon April 30
-Canada v Costa Rica
-Trinidad & Tobago v USA - 7pm
Wed May 2
-USA v Canada - 5pm
-Jamaica v Costa Rica
Fri May 4
-Canada v Trinidad & Tobago
-Jamaica v USA - 7pm
Sun May 6
-USA v Costa Rica - 5pm
-Jamaica v Trinidad & Tobago
-The top 3 from this group will advance to the finals in Korea in late summer.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

US Soccer with the latest info on the USA team at this tournament.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

US Soccer has interviews with USA U17 team captain Mykell Bates & coach John Hackworth previewing the qualifying tournament. Listen or download via podcast.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And the team has an official blog too.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let's check in with our favorite Americans in Europe and see how their weekend matches went:
-DaMarcus Beasley - Manchester City - did not dress due to his ongoing hamstring injury, for 0-2 home loss to Aston Villa.
-Gregg Berhalter - 1860 Munich - started and played the full game in a 2-1 loss at Koblenz.
-Carlos Bocanegra - Fulham - started and went 90 in a 3-1 loss at Arsenal. They are now only 1 point above relegation.
-Michael Bradley - Heerenveen - came on in the 68th minute with the scored tied at 1, and helped his team pound Feyenoord 5-1!
-Danny Califf - Aalborg - went 90 in the center of defense of a 2-0 win over Vejle.
-Steve Cherundolo - Hannover - started at right back as usual in a 2-1 win at Mainz.
-Charlie Davies - Hammarby - started and went the full 90 of a 4-0 win over Brommapojkarna in the Stockholm derby.
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - with nothing left to play for, he was given the day off from a 1-0 loss at Sheffield United.
-Clint Dempsey - Fulham - came off the bench in the 59th minute but lost 3-1 at Arsenal. They are now only 1 point above relegation.
-Brad Friedel - Blackburn - went the distance in a 4-1 win over Charlton.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - take on Newcastle today.
-Kamani Hill - Wolfsburg - came on in the 70th minute as they tied Nurnberg 1-1.
-Tim Howard - Everton - not allowed to play against Man United because of his season long loan deal. His team lost 2-4.
-Kasey Keller - Monchengladbach - did not play due to hip injury as his team got beat 1-0 by Stuttgart. They are now all but relegated.
-Eddie Lewis - Leeds - started and played 77 minutes as Leeds drew 1-1 at home to Ipswich. They too are all but relegated.
-Brian McBride - Fulham - started and went 59 minutes in a 3-1 loss at Arsenal. They are now only 1 point above relegation.
-Oguchi Onyewu - Newcastle - take on Reading today.
-Heath Pearce - Nordsjaelland - played the whole of a 2-3 win at Horsens.
-Frank Simek - Sheffield Wednesday - started and went 86 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Birmingham.
-Jonathan Spector - came on in the 83rd minute of his teams huge 0-3 win at Wigan. This win brings them level on points with Wigan, but behind on goal difference at the top of the relegation battle.
-Brian West - Fredrikstad - came in the 84th minute of a 2-0 win over Viking.
-Josh Wolff - 1860 Munich - did not dress due to injury for his team 2-1 loss at Koblenz.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I think we can expect to see Eddie Lewis in MLS when the transfer window opens on June 15. His Leeds team is 3 points into the relegation zone with only one game to play, and -9 in goal differential. In other words they are doomed. Can you believe Leeds, the mighty Leeds, are going to the third division?? They were in the Champions League only 4 or 5 years ago.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By now it's obvious to everyone that Fulham firing coach Chris Coleman and hiring Laurie Sanchez has done nothing at all to halt their slide toward the relegation zone. Sanchez has lost all three games in charge.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And when was the last time Brian McBride scored for Fulham? He had a great first half to the season, but they ran him dry. He looks tired.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

USA U20 forward Johann Smith got his first goal this weekend for Carlisle United.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yanks Abroad talked to USA & Watford defender Jay DeMerit about getting promoted and now relegated after one season in the EPL.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This weeks EPL Talk podcast interview is with one of the main writers at the US Players Association website, Ian Plenderleith. He is an Englishman that lives in the DC area and has covered DC United for a long time, among other writing gigs.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Copa Libertadores:
-This week begins the round of 16 in the knock out stages.
1st Legs:
Wed May 2-
Caracas v Santos
America v Colo Colo
Defensor Sporting v Flamengo
Sao Paulo v Gremio
Boca Juniors v Velez Sarsfield
Thu May 3-
Parana v Libertad
Nacional v Necaxa
Cucuta Deportivo v Toluca
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luis Bueno at LA Soccer News with a look at the last regular season matches in his Mexican league Jornada 17 Roundup.
-Omar Bravo of Chivas scored 11 goals to win the Clausura golden boot.
-I will have the playoff match-ups asap.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

PSV are the 2007 Champions in Holland!
The Dutch Eredivisie ended in a tie! Wow! So the title was settled on goal difference, and it came down to a one goal advantage after 34 games!
This weekends scores (AZ Alkmaar were eliminated when they lost):
-Excelsior 3-2 AZ Alkmaar
-PSV 5-1 Vitesse Arnhem
-Willem II Tilburg 0-2 Ajax
Two finished with 75 points:
1. 75 PSV +50 goal difference
2. 75 Ajax +49 goal difference
3. 72 AZ Alkmaar
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some of the other big Euro league races are really tight too. Here are the weekend's matches and standings:
-La Liga: - Everything stayed the same.
Barcelona 1-0 Levante
Sevilla 3-1 Espanyol
Athletic Bilbao 1-4 Real Madrid
Valenica 2-0 Recreativo Huelva
Osansuna 2-2 Zaragoza
62 Barcelona
61 Sevilla
60 Real Madrid
56 Valencia
54 Zaragoza
(6 left to play in Spain)
-Bundesliga: - Big move for Stuttgart as their opponents at the top all lost, and Bayern Munich were eliminated from the race.
Bochum 2-1 Schalke
Armenia Bielefeld 3-2 Werder Bremen
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 Stuttgart
62 Schalke
61 Stuttgart
60 Werder Bremen
(3 left to play in Germany)
-England: - Chelsea choked again with a draw.
Everton 2-4 Manchester United
Chelsea 2-2 Bolton
85 Man United
80 Chelsea
(3 games left to play)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has surprised everyone by resigning as the teams coach immediately. There are a couple of rumors floating that he will take over as manager of Manchester City or Newcastle. But many things stand in the way of either of those happening right now. Or maybe he will get the England job?!?! The Guardian with the story & some speculation.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Birmingham and Sunderland have secured promotion to next seasons English Premier League. The next 4 teams will play off for the third and final promotion spot. The Championship Division still has one round left to play before the playoff teams are fully determined (Derby is in, with the other 3 coming next weekend).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In France, goalkeeper Fabian Barthes led his team Nantes to relegation after 44 straight years in the top flight. Depressing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Phil Ball at Soccernet is trying to translate the weekends La Liga scores - Pigs May Fly.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ has a Q & A session with Spain & Barca forward Javier Saviola.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CBC announcers were excessively homer-ish. Dichio deserved a yellow on the keeper challenge, and then (from my vantage) he jabbed his cleats into a defender's thigh, and the guy went down, and the announcer said it was "a slight elbow to the back, not sure why he's grabbing his thigh." Wow. If the ref had seen it better, it probably would've been a second yellow. I have this same problem when I watch CBC NHL games...I usually end up muting. This was an impressively biased performance though.

5:30 PM  
Blogger kebmodee said...

Univ of Minnesota has Div 1 football, basketball, probably many other sports too in both men's and women's sports.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous McCrum said...

Why not sign Keller?

1 - MLS keepers are already good enough, why spend the money on someone World Class when there's a cheaper version leaving UVA or Portland tomorrow?
2 - MLS forwards aren't THAT good. Why make Keller wait around to make five saves through the day when Matt Pickens can do the same at minimum wage. Maybe when Blanco, Angel and Beckham arrive Kevin Hartman needs to worry, but I don't think he's sweating bullets right now.
3 - MLS would rather spend the money on someone who can leave the box and show off their skill and be more telegenic. Great positioning makes them work less. However, it's not very exciting to watch.

Bottom line, the league can spend that money better elsewhere. Besides, what's Stoner going to talk about for 90 minutes if Keller doesn't live in a castle in Germany?

11:04 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Bruce and anonymous,

Why the hate for the CBC coverage? Yes the commentary was biased (though less so than some of the other commentary teams I've heard in MLS). And at least it was professional and did not feature ads every five minutes for birthday party promotions at Arrowhead or long-winded stories which have to be interrupted when a goal is scored.

Plus the production values were quite good and they'll only get better as this was the first time (perhaps since the 1986 WCQ campaign) that the CBC has produced soccer.

- Steve

PS Love the blog, despite your hate for TFC :P

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Demko said...

the canadians have nothing on the fools calling games in salt lake. Listening to the broadcast last night you would've thought RSL was in first place. Bill Riley is like a dumber version of dave o'brien. And Robin Fraser is surely a nice guy, but his rose-hued assesments of the pitiful RSL squad are embarassing.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Rodrigo said...

Congrats to Alex Nimo for scoring two goals (including his first ever international goal) in the 3-0 victory against T&T yesterday. What a story this kid has and he deserves all the support we can give him.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Tom Soehn is even in the top ten likely to be fired -- yet. Three more consecutive losses and he'll crack the top 5. 3 more after that and he will be on the bubble.

11:32 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i like to tease the canadians
but i have to take exception with this statement you made:

"Plus the production values were quite good"

no, they had some definite troubles
-the camera couldnt see the corner flag when it panned right
that was awful
-and every time the stadium got loud the camera shook
that was awful

but you are dead right
commercials for birthday parties at arrowhead are embarrassing during a telecast
but then again those are local broadcasts, not national like cbc

craig forrest was good, he knows what he is talking about
but the old english wanker has to go

danny dichio = douglas seguira
as in, big rough and tumble with little to no talent
will gather more yellows that goals and assists combined

i love my canadian friends, i just like to give em shit
and expansion teams always get my loathing

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody hear about Juan Sebastian Veron going to Panathanaikos? MLS needs to take a hard look at guys like him, Jay Jay Okocha, even a long shot like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. top class pedigrees that can still contribute another 2-3 years and are craving playing time/a challenge


1:02 PM  
Blogger Dave DuJour said...

I agree with you 100% about Landy Cakes. When he's on he's really on. The problem is he's off for so many games. Not just WC '06, during the season he's off too. And he was on for WC '02 and looked great. We need a new name for him like Clint/Cleetus. LC doesn't become the "Cleetus" that Clint does, but he does disappear from the game for far too long and far too often. I wish he'd stay as Landon more often. He is a lot of fun to watch.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the CBC broadcast was just really biased. I've watched pretty much all of the games thus far on the MLS Direct Kick, and I haven't seen another crew protect their players more than the CBC crew did. Dichio should have had two yellows, and the English dude tried to defend both of the plays. It was brutal. I'm pulling for TFC. I was really excited that they had a big crowd, and I hope they do well. The English guy covering the game was absurdly biased. I think it's hard to deny that. (I wrote the first post as well). --Pat

10:06 PM  
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11:22 AM  

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