Monday, April 16, 2007

We Are All Romantics News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Inter Milan tells Simon Kuper at the Financial Times how he beats his opponents: "I went left, he went left. I went right, he went right. I went left again, he went to buy a hotdog."

MLS Weekend Scores (with local match reports):
-Salt Lake 0-0 Columbus
James Edwards of the Deseret Morning News.
-New England 4-0 Toronto - goals by Taylor Twellman (2), Shalrie Joseph (PK) & Andy Dorman.
Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe.
-DC United 2-4 Kansas City - DC goals by Luciano Emilio & Christian Gomez. KC goals by Michael Harrington, Sasha Victorine, Eddie Johnson & Scott Seally.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
-Houston 1-0 Chivas USA - goal by Brian Ching.
Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle.
-New York 3-0 Dallas - goals by Jozy Altidore, Clint Mathis & Dave Van Den Bergh.
Ives Galarcep of the North Jersey Herald
-Colorado 1-1 Chicago - Colo goal by Herculez Gomez. Chic goal by Chad Barrett.
John Meyer of the Denver Post
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du Nord co-Player(s) Of The Week: Clint Mathis & Jozy Altidore of the New York Red Bulls.
The two forwards played off and for each other all game long, both grabbing huge assists on the others goal. They made a really dynamic pair up top all game long. And for the most part we saw "Clint Mathis" in this game, and not the "Cleetus" character that he had become. Clint is an amazing player who does whatever it takes to win for his team and himself. Cleetus is an idiot who gets distracted by every little thing on the field and gets lost inside his own giant head. Altidore just keeps getting better, and he is only 17. On the teams first goal, Mathis whipped a powerhouse corner kick to the near post and Jozy met it with a glancing header that beat defender Clarence Goodson, keeper Shaka Hislop and a third defender who was supposed to be guarding the post. But it all happened so fast that they probably didn't even see it go past them. The second goal came from rookie Dane Richards flying to the end line with the ball and cutting it toward the near post where Altidore was planted, and then Jozy tipped the ball beautifully to an on rushing Mathis who slammed it home from 4 yards out. Both were text book and gorgeous goals. If Mathis grows up, and Altidore keeps playing above his age, they could be deadly. How weird a combo would that be.
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My notes from MLS week 2:
-I will write it again - the best signing Toronto made was Bob Gansler. That way when the fire Mo Johnston before this season ends they will have his ready replacement all set, and that replacement will have tons of head coaching and MLS experience. That is how you start a new franchise.
-Last week I laid it on the Colorado fans for letting a little cold weather chase them away, but this week they turned out in force (although technically they only had 12k at the gate which stinks), and the new home looked great. Now keep it up, and lets fill ALL the seats, EVERY week!
-After Carey Talley of RSL got a yellow card for a hard foul, he walked away from the referee and gave the old English hand gesture for "tossin' off". Excellent.
-New England Rev's season opener plus USA Women v Mexico = 19,000 in attendance. I guess thats OK. But shouldn't it have been closer to 30,000?
-New England's 4th goal was a thing of beauty as Pat Noonan took a quick throw in down the line to Steve Ralston who took it to the end line and then dropped it back for Andy Dorman to smash home!
-Many New England players look ready to fight for the top again. Khano Smith, Shalrie Joseph, Avery John, Andy Dorman and Taylor Twellman looked very sharp. Albeit against Toronto.
-That heavy rain in Giants Stadium really water logged that field, but it kept draining. So, not bad.
-NY had to replace goalkeeper Ronald Wattereus at half time with Jon Conway due to hypothermia. Damn. With a name containing the word "water" you would think the rain would make him powerful, not sick.
-The Red Bull's Marvell Wynne lost his starting right back spot to Hunter Freeman. Freeman played really well, especially getting under the skin of Dallas forward Kenny Cooper and taking him out of the game for the most part.
-Claudio Reyna has already missed a game due to injury for New York. The doubters are in heaven.
-Can you believe that Dema Kovalenko was captain of the Red Bulls! Dema! A captain! It's gotta be very near the end of the world now.
-Clint Mathis was wearing bright orange shoes.
-Mathis took a shot that hit Dallas defender David Wagenfuhr so hard in the face it knocked him out cold. Oh this is bad. He has had some prior concussions too. Damn. The announcer compared it to a Mike Tyson punch.
-Telefutura spelled Wagenfuhr's name on the screen like this: WADANGEFUHR. That looks like something very dirty in German.
-Even in the pouring rain you could hear someone playing the bag pipes in the Meadlowlands.
-Speaking of the rain making you better, Max Bretos of FSC pointed out during the broadcast of the DC v KC game that Wiz forward Scott Seally holds two national swimming records in his native Trinidad & Tobago. It was raining hard during that game too, so Max figured, "Maybe the rain will help him?!?!"
-Even though they gave up two goals, KC made a big step up in goal keepers by obtaining Kevin Hartman.
-DC subbed out the awful Facundo Erpen at half time.
-Jaime Moreno elbowed Jimmy Conrad just before half time, so during the break assistant referee's went to both locker rooms and warned the players.
-People are raving about Eddie Johnson breaking a slump by scoring in his first game of the season. But don't forget this - he did the same thing last year. Then went on to score 1 more all season long.
-Every KC shot taken was on goal - 9 taken, 4 goals, 5 saves.
-KC rookie Michael Harrington scored in the 3rd minute giving him the fastest goal to start an MLS career. The old record was 4 minutes, set in 1996, by none other than Jaime Moreno!
-I forgot about Houston getting to use the special Adidas gold ball for home games because they are the MLS Cup winners. Nice looking.
-Great to see Ricardo Clark back on the field so quick after that knee injury. He did well.
-Chivas USA's new speedy striker Maykel Galindo is gonna cause a lot of teams grief this season. Now he has to learn how to be a deadly finisher. Not an easy thing to learn.
-Lawson followed up his terrible season debut last week in the center of the Chivas defense with a really good outing this week. He took on Ching and Dalglish with tenacity! Good for him.
-It took until the 68th minute for the Chivas TV announcers to make the "Brian Ching is the first Hawaiian in MLS" remark.
(More notes tomorrow cuz I still need to watch all of the Colorado v Chicago game)
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Steve Davis with a Week 2 Round Up from MLSnet.
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Jen Chang of Soccernet with his MLS Week 2 notes.
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Soccernet's MLS Power Rankings.
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Still no word on if New York, Columbus or Chivas got any new players signed before yesterdays league deadline.
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A new player rumor today says Steaua Bucharest midfielder Banel Nicolita will be purchased by DC United in the summer transfer window. Hold your breath.
-DC technical director Dave Kasper told Steve Goff of the Wash Post - "Never heard of him. We've had no contact."
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The BBC says Toronto has signed veteran English journeyman forward Danny Dichio from Preston in England's Championship division. They must have got the deal done yesterday before the deadline, or this story falls apart. The story also makes note of the fact that he has a USA passport, but this does him no good seeing as the team is Canadian. Silly English, can't tell the countries apart after all these years.
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DJ Walker's Stream of Consciousness: FC Dallas at NY Red Bulls
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Steven Goff of the Washington Post talks to DCU coach Tom Soehn about being a player in the USA before there was a MLS.
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Goff also looks at DC's team plan of not spending huge on any one player, and doing quality scouting for talent. I think they better get scouting for some defense. Pronto.
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Luis Bueno at LA Soccer News bring us - A Day In The Life Of Jonathan Bornstein, the Chivas USA left back who is tearing up the country.
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Glenn Davis of the Houston Chronicle weighs in on his feelings about the MLS Designated Players rule.
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Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun Times with an article on the return to the Fire backline of Jim Curtain who missed most of 06 with injury plague.
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Soccer New England talks to Revolution keeper Matt Reis about the team on field in front of him. He likes it.
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Mike Biglin on the Boston Herald sings the praises of New England left winger Khano Smith.
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MLS qualifiers for the US Open Cup begin this week. The 4 teams who did not make the playoffs last year get underway first. Here are those two games:
Wednesday April 18
-Real Salt Lake v Kansas City Wizards (winner takes on Colorado Rapids)
Tuesday April 24
-Columbus Crew v Los Angeles Galaxy (winner takes on New York Red Bulls)
-Next round dates still to be determined.
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USL First Division scores from this past weekend:
-Puerto Rico 2-1 Rochester
-Miami 0-1 Rochester
-My Minnesota Thunder start their season this week Friday, April 20 in Charleston, and the game will be on FSC live at 7pm central time. Tune in.
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USL First Div champs Vancouver claim that they have signed to play an exhibition game v LA later this summer, with Beckham in tow. Again, hold yer breath.
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A year old PDL team from Lancaster California is run by a guy with a dream. And he has a good dream. A dream I suspect most of us have. (No, not the one about Pam from The Office, a hot tub full of jello, a sleeve of saltine crackers, a roll of duct tape, and a short wave radio tuned in to Swedish hip hop.) Tonight they play an exhibition v the LA Galaxy, and have games v Chivas USA on the schedule. From the LA Daily news.
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Mike Woitalla of Soccer America talks to Hylton Dayes, the head of the Black Soccer Coaches Committee about the growth of black players in the American game. As in other articles we've linked to here, the call now becomes, "more chances for coaches of color."
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CONCACAF Champions Cup final round matches begin this week:
-Apr 18 - FIRST LEG
Guadalajara v Pachuca
-Return leg is 7 days later.
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Let's check in with our favorite Americans in Europe and see how their weekend matches went:
-DaMarcus Beasley - Manchester City - started and went the distance of a 0-0 draw at home against Liverpool. DMB had the best shot in the whole game, which beat the keeper but banged off the crossbar. It's great to see him getting his confidence back.
-Gregg Berhalter - 1860 Munich - played the full match but lost 3-0 at Paderborn.
-Carlos Bocanegra - Fulham - played the full 90 to no avail as they lost 1-0 at Reading.
-Michael Bradley - Heerenveen - dressed but did not play in a 1-3 win at Willem II.
-Danny Califf - Aalborg - started and went 90 in defense as the team won 3-2 over Brondy.
-Steve Cherundolo - Hannover - started as usual at right back and even scored his teams goal, but they lost 2-1 at the leagues second place team Stuttgart.
-Charlie Davies - Hammarby - came on in the 71st minute for his pro debut. Assisted on the 2nd goal in a 3-0 home win over Trelleborg.
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - went the distance as usual in defense, but his team were skinned alive 4-1 by Man U in the FA Cup semifinal.
-Clint Dempsey - Fulham - came on in the 68th minute and did his best, but the team lost 1-0 at Reading. He cannot work his magic if his team cannot string more than 2 passes together. They look bad.
-Brad Friedel - Blackburn - in the nets as usual, but lost 2-1 to Chelsea in extra time of the FA Cup Semifinals. Heartbreaking.
-Marcus Hahnemann - Reading - goalkeeper as always in a 1-0 win over Fulham.
-Kamani Hill - Wolfsburg - came on in the 72nd minute and assisted on his teams 2nd goal, but lost 3-2 at Cottbus.
-Tim Howard - Everton - started and went the distance in goal, as his team beat Charlton 2-1 and are now in 5th place (UEFA Cup position).
-Kasey Keller - Monchengladbach - started and captained as usual, in a relegation battle, but lost 0-1 at home to Hamburg by giving up the goal in injury time. Huge loss.
-Eddie Lewis - Leeds - played the whole game in midfield and beat Burnley 1-0. They now sit at the top of the relegation heap with 45 points tied with Hull but behind on goal differential, with 3 games to play.
-Brian McBride - Fulham - started and went 90 but lost again, this time to Reading 1-0.
-Oguchi Onyewu - Newcastle - did not start, but came on in the 30th minute of a 2-1 loss at Portsmouth.
-Heath Pearce - Nordsjaelland - back from injury. Did not start but came on in the 24th minute of a 1-1 draw at Midtjylland.
-Frank Simek - Sheffield Wednesday - returned from suspension and went 90 minutes (was subbed out in added time) of his teams 0-1 win at West Brom.
-Jonathan Spector - West Ham - was on the bench but did not see action as his team was beaten 3-0 by Sheffield United. The loss hurt their chances of crawling out of relegation.
-Brian West - Fredrikstad - FINALLY returned to the field after a long time off with injuries. Came on in the 83rd minute and then scored his team's final goal in a 3-1 home win over Lyn.
-Josh Wolff - 1860 Munich - played the full match but lost 3-0 at Paderborn.
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Yanks Abroad is reporting that Josh Wolff has another thigh or foot muscle injury (it's a bizarrely written description so don't blame me for confusion).
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There is also word that Kasey Keller may have torn a muscle as well, and will miss a month or more. That could knock him out for the rest of the season. Stay tuned.
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During the Blackburn FA Cup match the announcer mentioned that Brad Friedel has a signed a new contract at the team.
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Copa Libertadores - here are the week's matches:
Apr 18
Flamengo - Real Potosi
Parana - Maracaibo
Banfield - Libertad
Alianza Lima - Sao Paulo
America - El Nacional
Apr 19
Internacional - Nacional
Velez Sarsfield - Emelec
Gimnasia - Defensor Sporting
Santos - Deportivo Pasto
-It looks like many of the groups are going to go right down to the last games to decide the top 2 spots for elimination rounds.
-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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The English FA Cup semifinal scores:
-Watford 1-4 Manchester United
-Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn - tied at 1-1 after regulation time.
-The FA Cup final at the new Wembley stadium will be Manchester United v Chelsea on Saturday May 19.
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Ashley Cole of Chelsea proved again that he is one of the worst pricks in all of football. As Blackburn midfielder David Dunn goes in for a slide tackle Cole leaps over him, only to land with both feet on Dunn's back. When you watch the replay you see he holds up his jump so he lands on Dunn on purpose. He literally drags his legs back to nail the prone man. Then Cole gets all indignant and angry when Dunn gets in his face about it. What a gutless bastard.
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Some of the big Euro league races are really tight. Here are the weekend's scores and new standings:
-La Liga: Barcelona 1-0 Mallora, Valencia 2-0 Sevilla, Racing Santander 2-1 Real Madrid, Gimnastic 1-0 Zaragoza
59 Barcelona
55 Sevilla
54 Real Madrid
53 Valencia
50 Zaragoza
(8 left to play in Spain)
-Bundesliga: Mainz 0-3 Schalke, Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Werder Bremen, Stuttgart 2-1 Hannover, Bayern Munich 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
59 Schalke
57 Werder Bremen
55 Stuttgart
53 Bayern Munich
(5 left to play in Germany)
-Eredivisie: PSV 2-0 Twente Enschede, AZ Alkmaar 1-0 Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax 2-0 NAC Breda
71 PSV v Twente Enschede
69 AZ Alkmaar v Vitesse Arnhem
69 Ajax v NAC Breda
(2 left to play in Holland)
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On the other end of the spectrum - Inter Milan can win the Serie A on Wednesday when they play Roma at the San Siro. If Inter win, its all over. And they have yet to lose in the league this season. I don't see it happening now. Inter are 16 points ahead with 7 games to play. You can see the game live at 10:30am central time on GolTV.
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El Superclasico - Boca Juniors 1-1 River Plate - this game is always one of the great spectacles of the world. If you have never seen this game, then you are missing out and need to see it when it comes around next fall during the 07 Clausura.
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The Professional Footballers Association of England has released their list of nominees for Player Of The Year & Young Player Of The Year. Here they are:
-Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
-Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
-Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
-Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
-Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
-Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
-Kevin Doyle (Reading)
-Cesc Fabgregas (Arsenal)
-Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
-Micah Richards (Manchester City)
-Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
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Damien Duff, a long time du Nord fave, will miss the rest of the season for Newcastle with a badly sprained ankle.
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Phil Ball at Soccernet takes on the subject of Spain's referee conspiracy theories.
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Rob Hughes at the International Herald Tribune on "the people's teams" in Israel and Italy.
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Simon Kuper at the Financial Times examines the life and winning ways of Inter's Swedish/Bosnian striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
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Steven Wells of the Guardian says that there is a war going on in northwest London - Soccer v Softball! It's on!
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Also from the Guardian, Portsmouth keeper David James writes his regular column, asking "Where are the gay players?" That's a fair enough question.
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Fulham defender Moritz Volz with his latest column for the Times of London - the power of being a bluffer. I love the bluffing arts myself. Joe Strummer of the Clash once said that he was disappointed by art school, cuz it was "full of nothing but bluffers and malingerers". That is where Joe and I differ. What did he expect, artists? And to that end, Andy Warhol once said that "Art is just a man's name".


Anonymous McCrum said...

You still have yet to watch Chicago-Colorado? Do yourself a favor and watch paint dry for two hours, it's more exciting.

Fire up by a man for 85 minutes and just manage to come away with a tie? 9 shots in 85 minutes? I can manage a shot every ten minutes, it was awful!

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction- You say: "The BBC says Toronto has signed veteran English journeyman forward Danny Dichio ...The story also makes note of the fact that he has a USA passport..."

BBC story says: "The 32-year-old, whose wife holds a United States passport..."

As for confusing the two, when people meet me over here (Scotland), most say, 'so where you from, Canada?', as Canadians throw a fit when it is assumed they are American, but American's couldn't care less if they're assumed to be Canadian.

I counter this by slaggin off Canadians as much as possible...

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wolff injury is a muscle injury in his foot, but came as a side effect to the earlier higher injury... so it seems to be one of those favor one thing, hurt another injuries.

Really, any injury from stomach/hips down can easily lead to a second related lower body injury, happens all the time.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Colin said...

So gays are 10% of the population and should also be 10% of soccer players? Why? Should be NBA also then be mostly white?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous b said...

My God, was Simon Kuper paid for every time he used the word "ghetto" in that Zlatan article?

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

but American's couldn't care less if they're assumed to be Canadian.

I would actually prefer that when travelling abroad...

2:29 PM  

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