Monday, April 23, 2007

Tricky Mercedes Lube & Oil Change News

Weekend MLS action:
New York 1-0 Houston - goal by Jozy Altidore.
-Match report by Ives Galarcep of the North Jersey Herald.
-Match report from the Houston Chronicle.
Chicago 2-1 Kansas City - Chic goals by Chad Barrett & Chris Rolfe. KC goal by Carlos Marinelli (PK).
-Match report by Luis Arroyave from the Chicago Tribune.
-Match report from the Kansas City Star.
Chivas USA 4-0 Salt Lake - Chivas goals by Maykel Galindo (2), Ante Razov and Matt Taylor.
-Match report by Grahame Jones of the LA Times.
-Match report by Bob Holtzman of the LA Daily News.
-Match report by James Edwards of the Deseret Morning News.
Dallas 3-1 Colorado - Dallas goals by Ramon Nunez (2) & Dominic Oduro. Colorado goal by Jovan Kirovski.
-Match report by Tobias Xavier Lopez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram
-Match report from the Dallas Morning News.
-Match report from the Rocky Mountain News.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

du Nord MLS Player Of The Week - Ramon Nunez of FC Dallas.
-Until the last game of the weekend I was struggling to find a player who deserved this award. But Nunez just took it and ran away from the rest. Nunez got his teams first two goals and probably had his best game as a professional. The first goal came on a counter attack with Dax McCarty storming up the center channel unchallenged and laying off a pass to Ramon on his left. Nunez faked like he was going to the end line then cut inside so sharp that he sent defender Brandon Prideaux tumbling. RN stopped on a dime and sliced a perfect shot inside the near post. Gorgeous. Prideaux ended up coming out of the game after injuring his knee on the play. Nunez continued to make great passes and set up his teammates. In the 78th minute of a tight game Nunez's scored again. This time on a perfect free kick from about 24 yards out. Nunez had been hacked down by Rapids defender Pablo Mastroeni who got a yellow card for his efforts. It was another gorgeous shot. RN was subbed out a few minutes later to a big ovation.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My MLS notes:
-Why didn't Brian Ching start for Houston in New York. We got the old "the fake turf is bad for his knee" excuse. Then why did they put him in after they fell behind?
-New York right wing Dane Richards looked good again this week. But went out late with some sort of leg injury. His speed helps him get past defenders with relative ease. He made Houston left back Wade Barrett look bad several times.
-One of Richard's crosses was knocked down by the arm of Dwayne De Rosario. DDR saw yellow, but why not red? It was deliberate and it was in the box. No it was not a shot on goal. A PK was given.
-Pat Onstad saved that PK taken very poorly by Clint Mathis.
-Not long after that, Mathis resumed the "Cleetus" persona and put his cleats to Houston defender Ryan Cochran's leg. Mathis got the red card. It should have been yellow, but it was a lousy foul for Cleetus to commit, so I can't really argue. Boo Cleetus, Hooray Clint.
-In the 2nd half with only 10 men, NY went right at Houston and it paid off after several good passes led to right back Hunter Freeman cruising in to the middle of the field and making a sharp pass to forward Jozy Altidore in the box. Altidore spun quickly away from defender Eddie Robison and smashed a right footed shot past Onstad for the games only goal. It was most excellent.
-NY played some great solid simple defense with all 10 players helping out
-But Houston had no spark at all for the entire 90 minutes. What was up with that? Dwyane De Rosario has looked very uninterested in this team, except for a few minutes here and there, in all 7 matches (CCC & MLS) the team has played so far.
-Richard Mulrooney had an OK outing for his new team.
-Very quietly FSC rolled out some new graphics that I like a lot. It showed distance to goal on free kicks, and a circle showing a 10 yard radius around the ball before free kicks are taken. Both good.
-Maykel Galindo opened his Chivas USA scoring account only 27 seconds into the game v Real Salt Lake. RSL keeper Nick Rimando made it really easy, as he came all the way out to the left edge of the penalty area for no apparent reason (he had defenders around to help out). Galindo just went around Nicky and shot into the open net. Great job.
-Galindo scored again 10 minutes later, again abusing the left side of the RSL defense and again shooting to the back post. The RSL defense was just terrible on this play.
-The Chivas USA announcer kept saying it was Galindo's first professional goals. I guess Seattle didn't pay him the last two seasons when he was scoring goals for them.
-I am also sick of hearing from Chivas announcers about what a great supporters group Legion 1908 is. It look likes about 10 guys in wrestling masks. But at least they show up and make noise, compared to the rest of the non-existent Chivas crowd. I though Chivas was gonna tap into that great LA Mexican population?!?!
-Right after the 2nd goal RSL took Freddy Adu off the left side and moved Chris Klein over there to support the defenders better.
-Ante Razov got his 100th career goal and C-USA's 3rd. Great team passing helped by more awful RSL defending led to a good cross that Ante headed home.
-Andy Williams came on in the 2nd half for RSL to try and add more offense, but went off with a potentially broken leg after a bad tackle by Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Damn.
-RSL's defense was so bad that even Matt Taylor got a goal. Taylor has been quality enough to last into this 3rd season at Chivas, but his shooting skills are so bad he is lucky to have a job. Good for him not giving up. I have to assume he works very hard in practice and is a great teammate. Why else do you keep a striker that gets in great spots and misses his shots so badly so consistently.
-They say the Dallas v Colorado game was a sell out, but I saw several blocks of empty seats. Why is that? I have seen it all too often. I wanna see packed stands before they scream "Sold Out"!
-Dax McCarty had a good game in the center of the Dallas midfield. Unlike the first two games, in this one he was sending most of his passes forward. He is a very good passer of the ball, but was too conservative in previous games, only going sideways and backward. Great to see.
-McCarty set up his teams first goal, with a great run down the center channel and then laying off to Ramon Nunez who beat a defender and the keeper for goal #1.
-Colorado tied that game up when a long ball was played over the top and Jovan Kirovski very obviously reached up with his arm to corral the ball and then chipped the keeper to score. How did the ref and side assistant both miss this call? See the tape, then you figure out how they missed it.
-I think I saw literary monster DJ Walker in the stands, at least twice.
-Chris Gbandi put in a perfect cross and some how FrankenCooper missed an open net. He slid in and put it wide.
-Nunez's 2nd goal came on a great free kick.
-Nunez also got his American green card this past week too!
-Later Dominic Oduro flew down the left wing, passed in to FrankenCooper who held the ball, drew defenders & the keeper, then passed back to Oduro who scored his teams third.
-After scoring the whole team piled on Oduro, who then got up hurt.
-Conor Casey made his Colorado debut to no effect.
-Dallas keeper Shaka Hislop is looking mighty old and slow out there. Maybe its more like he is out of shape.
-I did not see the Chicago v KC game cuz it was on HDNet and I don't get that channel. Oh well. I am sure there were highlights galore.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS games coming up mid-week:
Wed April 25
-Kansas City v Toronto - 7pm on Direct Kick
Thurs April 26
-Dallas v New York - 7pm on ESPN2
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

DJ Walker's Stream of Consciousness: Colorado Rapids vs FC Dallas.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS's biggest financial investor Phil Anschutz is featured in a big article in the Sunday New York Times.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Grahame Jones of the LA Times with a story on Chivas USA's Cubano defector striker Maykel Galindo. (From Saturday - thanks to Joe for sending me this)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Red Bulls have not given up a goal in 3 games. Dylan Butler at Big Apple Soccer looks for the key.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Steven Goff of the Washington Post reports on the Soccer Insider that "DCU will wear maroon jerseys Saturday at Columbus in honor of the Virginia Tech victims (the goalies will wear orange)".
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Glenn Davis of the Houston Chronicle talks to Dynamo Canadian goalkeeper Pat Onstad about the growth of soccer in the USA during his long career.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chicago has signed Brazilian Willem Oliviera.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Andrea Canales of the LA Soccer News talks to Chivas USA forward Ante Razov about hitting the 100 goal plateau.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

After some more bad goal keeping blunders Real Salt Lake has to seriously consider replacing Nick Rimando. I say it's Kasey Keller time. Spend the money you cheap punks. James Edwards of the Deseret Morning News looks into it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Larry Millson of the Toronto Globe & Mail gets an injury update on TFC midfielder Ronnie O'Brien.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bill Urban at the US Players Assoc writes about the growing dislike between Dallas and Colorado - he calls it rivalry. I think it could grow into much more.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccernet's weekly MLS Power Rankings.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

US Open Cup - MLS qualifiers. (The 4 teams who did not make the playoffs last year get underway first.) Here are those two games:
Tuesday April 24
-Columbus v Los Angeles (winner takes on New York Red Bulls)
Saturday April 28
-Salt Lake v Colorado
-Next round dates still to be determined.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

My Minnesota Thunder finished a long weekend with 2 draws on the road. Not bad considering they only got 4 points on the road all of last season. Next match comes Friday night in Atlanta, and wouldn't you know it, they are on FSC again this week too. Excellent. Are you becoming a fan yet? You oughta be.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Team USA will travel to Sweden on Aug 22 to play the host country in a friendly at Ullevi stadium in Goteborg.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The USA U17 ’91 team will once again play in the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland. Brian Maisonnueve will coach the team. Roster tba. Team USA is in Group B along with Scotland, Czech Rep & Ireland. Group A is Canada, Finland, Northern Ireland and Switzerland. Here is the USA group schedule:
April 23 Scotland
April 24 Czech Republic
April 25 Republic of Ireland
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And our full USA U17 team begins their World Championship qualifying on Saturday the 28th in Jamaica.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

EPL Talk has an interview with ESPN commentator Tommy Smyth. Tommy was one of 23 kids in his family growing up! 23!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sadly American defender Jay DeMerit and his club Watford have become the first team relegated from the Premiership back to the Championship Division this season.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The most dramatic game of the weekend for an American happened to Marcus Hahnemann & Reading. They gave up an own goal to go down 1-0 with only 16 minutes left at Bolton. But somehow they stormed back with 3 huge goals (2 from Kevin Doyle & 1 from Stephen Hunt) to win in 1-3. Wow!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yanks Abroad has 11 questions from readers for American forward Gabriel Ferrari of Sampdoria.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chuck Culpepper of the LA Times with a nearly-end-of-the-season look at the Americans in the EPL. (thanks to Joe J for sending me this one)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let's check in with our favorite Americans in Europe and see how their weekend matches went:
-DaMarcus Beasley - Manchester City - started, but came off after only 33 minutes of a 1-1 draw at Watford. Yanks Abroad is reporting it was a hamstring injury, while other game reports said it was after a collision.
-Gregg Berhalter - 1860 Munich - played the whole game in a 3-1 win over Cologne.
-Carlos Bocanegra - Fulham - played the full 90 at centerback in a 1-1 draw v Blackburn.
-Danny Califf - Aalborg - went the distance at centerback in a 0-2 win at Viborg.
-Steve Cherundolo - Hannover - started and played the whole game as usual in a 1-0 win over Monchengladbach.
-Charlie Davies - Hammarby - Yanks abroad says he looks to get the start on Tuesday night in the Stockholm derby v AIK.
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - played the whole match at center back but drew 1-1 at home v Man City. This single point was not enough to keep them from being relegated back to the Championship Division.
-Clint Dempsey - Fulham - came on in the 83rd minute of a 1-1 draw v Blackburn.
-Brad Friedel - Blackburn - played the full 90 in goal for a 1-1 draw at Fulham.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - in goal for the full match as usual in a 1-3 win at Bolton.
-Kamani Hill - Wolfsburg - did not play due to injury.
-Tim Howard - Everton - played the whole game in goal of a 1-0 loss at West Ham.
-Kasey Keller - Monchengladbach - out with hip injury as his team lost 1-0 at Hannover.
-Eddie Lewis - Leeds - started and went 80 + minutes in a 1-0 loss to Southampton. Leeds still sit 1 point into the relegation zone with 2 games to go.
-Brian McBride - Fulham - played the full 90 at forward in a 1-1 draw v Blackburn.
-Oguchi Onyewu - Newcastle - was injured and did not dress for his teams 0-0 draw at home with Chelsea.
-Heath Pearce - Nordsjaelland - started and went the distance in his team 2-1 win over Odense.
-Frank Simek - Sheffield Wednesday - started and went the distance in a 2-1 win over Coventry.
-Jonathan Spector - dressed but did not play in a 1-0 win over Everton.
-Brian West - Fredrikstad - did not dress in his teams 3-3 draw at Aalesund.
-Josh Wolff - 1860 Munich - did not play due to injury as his team won 3-1 over Cologne.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CONCACAF Champions Cup final second leg match (with first leg score included):
Wed Apr 25-
Pachuca v Guadalajara (2-2)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luis Bueno at the LA Soccer News reviews the past weekends Mexican league matches with his Jornada 16 Rewind.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

'Member last month when we said that Canada would be announcing a new coach in a few weeks? Well, false alarm. It's looking bad up there.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Copa Libertadores - this is the final week of the group stage:
Apr 24
Gremio - Cerro Porteno
Deportes Tolima - Cucuta Deportivo
Apr 25
Necaxa - Alianza Lima
Sao Paulo - Audax Italiano
River Plate - Colo Colo
LDU Quito - Caracas
Apr 26
Toluca - Cienciano
Boca Juniors - Bolivar
-Flamengo, Santos, Colo Colo, Caracas, Libertad, America, Parana, Nacional, Velez Sarsfield & Defensor Sporting have advanced to the knock out stages. 6 more will join them this week.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UEFA Champions League Semifinals - Matchday 11:
Tues April 24
Manchester United v AC Milan - 1:30pm central on ESPN2
Wed April 25
Chelsea v Liverpool - 1:30pm central on ESPN2
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Manchester United will be without many injured players for the first leg v Milan - Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Mikael Silvestre, Louis Saha, Ji-Sung Park & Kieran Richardson. There is a good chance that Patrice Evra is not going to be healthy either.
-Milan looks fully healthy.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some of the big Euro league races are really tight. Here are the weekend's scores and new standings:
-Eredivisie is all tied up with 3 teams at the top and 1 match left to play:
scores - FC Utrecht 1-1 PSV, AZ Alkmaar 3-1 Heerenveen, Ajax 5-2 Sparta Rotterdam
72 AZ Alkmaar (53 goal difference)
72 Ajax (47 goal difference)
72 PSV (46 goal difference)
(1 left to play) Next Sunday-
Excelsior v AZ Alkmaar
PSV Eindhoven v Vitesse Arnhem
Willem II Tilburg v Ajax Amsterdam
-La Liga: Villareal 2-0 Barcelona, Sevilla 4-1 Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid 2-0 Valenica, Zaragoza 2-0 Celta de Vigo
59 Barcelona
58 Sevilla
57 Real Madrid
53 Valencia
53 Zaragoza
(7 left to play in Spain)
-Bundesliga: Schalke 2-0 Energie Cottbus, Werder Bremen 3-1 Alemania Aachen, Stuttgart 2-0 Bayern Munich
62 Schalke
60 Werder Bremen
58 Stuttgart
53 Bayern Munich
(4 left to play in Germany)
-England: Manchester United 1-1 Middlesbrough, Newcastle 0-0 Chelsea
82 Man United
79 Chelsea
(4 games left to play)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ with a story on one of the men who saw the skills in Cristiano Ronaldo at a very young age. (thanks to BQ for sending us this)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And Man U's Ronaldo has been named both Player Of The Year & Young Player Of The Year by his peers in England.
-Here is the full Team Of The Year:
David James (Portsmouth)
Michael Essien (Chelsea)
Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United)
Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
Matt Taylor (Portsmouth)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Mikel Arteta (Everton)
Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham)
-I have two questions about this list:
1. How can a midfielder like Essien be named in the defense? I know he played some games back there, but he was less than top notch when he did. I guess they just wanted him on the best 11 list and this is where he could fit in. Lame choice.
2. I know Matt Taylor of Portsmouth is listed as a defender, but all of his heroics this season came when he was playing in the midfield. He is simply not a great defender, but has one hell of a shot when he is playing near the front. Again lame choice.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By virtue of winning 1-2 at Siena on Sunday, Inter Milan have claimed the 06-07 Serie A scudetto. They are 16 points ahead of Roma with 5 games to play. I love Inter, and I should be excited, but I am not. This whole season has been such a sham with teams being deducted points, and getting demoted etc. I just can't get very fired up about the title. Marco Matterazzi being the guy who scored both goals in the clincher doesn't make me happy either. Anyone but him.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Celtic officially sealed up a second straight Scottish title this weekend.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lyon nabbed their 6th consecutive French Ligue 1 title. 6 in a row!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Observer in England with an article on the return to action of Man United striker Alan Smith after long term injury problems.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccernet's The Insider was at the fabled North London derby. That's Tottenham v Arsenal to you.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The New York Times with a story on South Africa's preparations for World Cup 2010.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Phil Ball at Soccernet with his usual excellent round up of all things Spanish.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Simon Kuper with a story on Milan & Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso. I want to like Gattuso very much, but over the last few years he has proven to also be another in a long dense line of flopping, diving, whining Italians. Sad.


Anonymous DJ Walker said...

Yes, it was I.

I'm sure you had the same reaction everyone else has when they see me on the TV: "Dang them hoop jerseys do not flatter chubby guys. . . ."

The Kirovski handball was heinous!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

how great / funny was it that the Telefutura announcer kept on saying: "US resident Ramon Nunez"? (in reference to Nunez's new green card). Maybe when you get a green card they make you say "US resident" in English over and over?

8:04 PM  
Blogger Rodrigo said...

Anyone else notice during FSC's pre-game show on Saturday posted the Houston Dynamo coach's name as Arsene Wenger?

7:39 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

great catch rodrigo
i totally missed that one
they obviously use a template and never took his name off an arsenal line up
but thats way too funny
if kroenke buys arsenal could wenger take over colorado someday?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All complaints about the team of the year aside, the list that you posted looks better than the official PFA Team of the Year.

That team includes, ridiculously, *8* ManU players. Gerrard, Berbatov and Drogba are the only non-United players in the side. A double kicker: no Essien, who has been outstanding, and van der Sar in goal - I'd take Cech, James, even Foster over the Dutchman.

And those are only the most egregious oversights in a side from which a casual observer might reasonably infer that United won the league by 30 points.


9:57 AM  
Blogger JDJ said...

RSL Goalkeeping - keep preaching it. Rimando needs to go. I've written several posts about it on my blog, and I will write more with each passing week that displays his inability to perform.

11:41 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i heard that the pfa votes were cast in january!

4:25 PM  

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