Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hippy Dippy Doo News

For whatever reason there is no Thursday night MLS game on ESPN2 this week. I guess the league thought it would be better to put three games on Saturday night up against the USA game v China. Smart people we got in charge of US Soccer isn't it. It's hard enough to get people to watch, so we might as well compete with ourselves. Luckily the league is back on ESPN2 next week to compete directly with the USA Gold Cup game on FSC. Brilliant people in charge. Absolutely brilliant!


Steven Goff is reporting via his blog Soccer Insider that Kasey Keller and Real Salt Lake are once again negotiating a possible contract.

Here are some more fairly important notes from Bob Bradley's Gold Cup roster announcement press conference that I have not seen in (m)any other places:
-Neither Kasey Keller or Tim Howard will play in Copa America.
-Steve Cherundolo, Bobby Convey & Cory Gibbs are all out for Copa America to rehab injuries.
-Pablo Mastroeni still has to serve a suspension for 2 more games stemming from the World Cup game v Italy. Those will be served the first 2 games of the Gold Cup.
-The Copa America roster must be set by June 21.
-We could see Clint Dempsey at forward.
-About a dozen players from the Gold Cup roster will be on the Copa America roster.
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Watch it: USA v China -Sat June 2 - live at 7pm on ESPN2 from San Jose CA
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LA Soccer News has a great Q & A with Kasey Keller about today & tomorrow.
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Andrea Canales at LASN also has an article on Jesse Marsch who is looking for just his 2nd USA cap. Very cool for him.
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Top Drawer Soccer has a Q & A with USA & Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley.
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US Soccer has an audio interview with youngster Kamani Hill of Wolfsburg who will suit up for the USA this weekend v China. Download or listen here.
-Then they have an audio interview with old friends Sacha Kljestan of Chivas USA & Benny Feilhaber of Hamburg. Download or listen here.
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Here is the official Team USA blog. Some really interesting stuff today too. Seriously.
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The USA U20’s will play Chile on June 23 in their final tuneup before the U20 World Cup in Canada. Chile is also in the tournament. The game will be played at Giants Stadium, as part of a double header with the USA Women who take on Brazil.
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du Nord MLS Player Of The Week - Eddie Johnson - Kansas City Wizards
-After the first game of the weekend it looked like NYRB's Juan Pablo Angel had the dNPOTW all sewn up. 2 very cool goals and an assist in a 3-0 win made him look nearly untoppbale. Then along came Saturday. New England launched themselves into a 2-0 home lead after just 20 some minutes and were cruising. But since new coach Curt Onalfo came to Kansas City the team has made one very big change. They are on the attack! All the time! And it really is a huge change from the dull Bob Gansler days. Especially for a striker like Eddie Johnson. Like any good striker EJ relies on others to get the ball to him. And boy oh boy do his teammates like to get the ball to him. Three great chances in this game, and three great goals. Top that! Eddie was smooth, dangerous and deadly. What a performance. And on top of that they need all 3 to win 3-4 on the road.
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My MLS game notes from last weekend:
-Kansas City played without 3 starting defenders - Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia & Jose Burciaga. First year player Aaron Hohlbein started in the center with second year player Tyson Wahl, while first year left midfielder Michael Harrington dropped into the left back slot.
-KC rookie Kurt Morsink also started in the center of the midfield.
-New England has not beaten KC at home since 1999.
-Bolivia and Ireland played to a 1-1 draw prior to this game on the same field, which held up nicely.
-KC keeper Kevin Hartman was playing in his 251st MLS game, the most by any keeper in league history.
-NE got goals in the 11th & 23rd minutes from Steve Ralston & Taylor Twellman to make the KC back line look shaky at best.
-KC stormed back with goals in the 25th, 26th & 37th minutes to take the lead.
-KC striker Eddie Johnson ripped the NE back line to shreds, and his teammates made excellent passes to him from all over the field.
-NE defender Jay Heaps was beaten badly by Davy Arnaud for the first tally, and Johnson on the third.
-During the third KC goal, the NE TV production team was busy showing us viewers a cliche filled interview with NE's Ralston and missed the goal. What are they doing? Idiots!
-NE turned it up a notch or two to start the second half as subs Wells Thompson and Adam Cristman helped with the energy.
-Argentine midfielder Carlos Marinelli returned to the field for KC after a couple weeks out with a hamstring injury.
-Shalrie Joseph tied the game for NE with a PK after Jack Jewsbury was called for a handball in the box.
-Marinelli threaded a perfect pass to EJ for the game winner. Marinelli is really good!
-NE did everything they could to tie it up late including a huge shot from Twellman that forced an amazing save from Hartman in the 85th, but to no avail. NE could have made better choices with their passing and shots.
-The game was sold out!
-Very dull game early on. Especially LA, who just looked flat.
-Terry Cooke was clearly on his game for Colo. His crosses were dangerous all night long.
-LA's Kyle Martino laid a very hard tackle from behind on Colo's Herculez Gomez and got red carded for his effort. Herculez got a yellow card for kicking back when they were both on the ground. I didn't think Martino deserved red personally, yellow OK, but not red.
-Herculez had 2 open headers on goal go high and wide.
-The red added 1 minute to first half stoppage time, but the red card alone took almost exactly 2 minutes to clear up. I timed it. Poor job by the ref.
-Cobi Jones subbed in to start the second half for LA. He replaced Santino Quaranta who was about as useful in the first half as a porcelain garden Buddha.
-Somehow with LA down to 10 men, the second half started even duller than the first.
-Colo finally broke through, and Herc finally put a header on target for the goal.
-LA made another sub bringing in Robbie Findley and started to come to life.
-Colo's Pablo Mastroeni got his requisite yellow card, for bringing down LA's Landon Donovan. It was actually a smart move by Pablo as Landy was about to break open a 1 v 4. Yes, Donovan v 4 Colo defenders (not even counting the keeper) and he almost beat them.
-LA really turned on the pressure, even with a man down. Why didn't they do that from the start of the game.
-Colo keeper Bouna Coundoul then stepped up to make several great saves on LA's very good shots.
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Steven Goff at the Washington Post with an article on the continued success, at multiple levels, for DC United forward Jaime Moreno.
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Dan Stienberg at the DC Sports Bog checks in with new Salt Lake striker Alecko Eskandarian, minutes after his plane lands in his new home town. OK, hours after.
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Tobias Xaiver Lopez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram with an article on Dallas's Colombian midfield marvel & hair farmer, Juan Toja!! (I missed this one from last weekend, but any story about Toja is a good one in my book.)
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Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune on the arrival of Marcelo Salas in Chicago for a try out with the Fire.
-Arroyave has more quotes on Salas and other topics on his Red Card blog.
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Chris Gbandi of Dallas headed to Liberia this week to play for his country in their African Nations Cup qualifier against Samuel Eto'o and Cameroon on Friday.
-The Liberian Soccer website talks to Gbandi about the match.
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The US Soccer Players Assoc has a Q & A with Houston midfielder Brad Davis.
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Real Salt Lake has signed veteran defender Richie Kotschau. He was last with Columbus. He will not help.
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MLS is hooking up with YouTube.
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The San Jose Mercury News with an article on a new proposal to build a stadium in San Jose that is about to be officially discussed by city government.
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With MLS teams having played vastly different amounts of games so far (Dallas 10, LA 6) a straight table might not be the best way to tell who is doing well and poor. So how about a points per game average? Let's see what that table looks like:
2.125 NY
2.000 KC
1.889 NE
1.667 COLO
1.600 FCD
1.429 DCU
1.375 CUSA
1.222 CHIC
1.000 COLU
0.875 HOU
0.875 TFC
0.833 LA
0.625 RSL
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Ryan Hunt at Sports Illustrated with this weeks MLS news, notes and team rankings - Free Kicks.
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Grahame Jones of the LA Times with his weekly soccer news roundup - Corner Kicks.
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And LA Times readers send soccer questions to Jones and he does his best to answer.
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Jesse Erdmann at Blue Sky Soccer with this weeks USL First Division Power Rankings.
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The US Open Cup first round games are all set to start June 12. You can see them all here.
-My Minnesota Thunder take on El Paso Indios USA of the USASA league in St Paul at The Jimmy. The winner of that game will take on the winner of California Victory v BYU Cougars. Home teams for the second round have not been announced yet.
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Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune writes about the tiny French island nation of Guadaloupe that will be playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The French have typically raided the island for players. Who has come from there you ask? How about this quadrant - Louis Saha, Mikael Sylvestre, William Gallas & Sylvian Wiltord.
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Soccer America has a list of the 22 MLS players who are on Gold Cup rosters across the CONCACAF universe. It's very interesting that the top team in the league, New York, and the worst team in the league, Salt Lake, are the only two teams not losing any players to the tournament.
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Paul Kennedy at Soccer America takes a look at the squad Trinidad & Tobago is sending to the Copa Oro. It is weak to say the least. Why? Remember last winter when the team was suspended for a while due to a lack of funds? Well, it turns out that their World Cup roster players have still not been paid their earned bonus's so those players are not on this team. That is a huge bummer. Sometimes the small guys greatest challenge is the after effects of success. I have an idea for T & T though. Maybe Jack Warner's son can pay the bonus's out of his illegal profits from selling black market World Cup tickets.
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Rumor says that former Argentine coach Jose Pekerman is being hired at Toluca in Mexico.
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Copa Libertadores - Semifinals scores and matches:
Wed May 30
Gremio v Santos
Thur May 31
Cucuta v Boca Juniors
Wed June 6
Santos v Gremio
Thur June 7
Boca Juniors v Cucuta
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Wales Euro 08 qualifier against the Czech's on Saturday will be the last international for Ryan Giggs. He is calling it a day for his country.
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Luca Toni, the big Italian striker who scored a ton of goals for Fiorentina over the past couple of years has officially signed a deal to play for Bayern Munich next season.
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Jack Bell of the New York Times with a story on young Israeli & Chelsea phenom striker Ben Sahar.
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Alain Perrin is the new coach for Lyon, not Didier Deschamps as many expected.
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The Chicago Tribune has reported that the "Chicago Trophy tournament" will take place at Soldier Field this summer, July 27-29. The four teams will be Parma, Toluca, Cracovia Krakow & Sevilla. That sounds very cool. I wish it was at Toyota Park though. A lot more intimate and friendly. And isn't that why they built the place?
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Don Cuddy at Soccer 365 says that New Englanders did not turn out to see Ireland play last weekend as expected, and the Irish team did those who showed up no favors by playing a flat game.
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The excellent writer Alex Bellos looks at coach Dunga's current Brazil squad. From the Guardian. And check out Bellos's great book, Futebol, Soccer The Brazilian Way.
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Moritz Volz of Fulham is in Florida on a little get away and checks in on his diary.


Blogger pate said...

For whatever reason there is no Thursday night MLS game on ESPN2 this week. I guess the league thought it would be better to put three games on Saturday night up against the USA game v China.

Yeah, I've been wondering about that too. Dropping the game this week seems like a really silly choice on a lot of levels.

At least there's a good Friday night USL1 game to watch.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toja's colombian smart guy

4:54 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

maybe LA should steal Keller. I am already tired of Joe Cannon.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous diego r. said...

of course Columbus is averaging 1.000 points per game - ha!

5:57 PM  
Anonymous bq said...

From what I understand in Europe and for sure in the UK, there are no youth team games nor any other sort of games on during full Nat team games. Think of what would happen if U.S. Soccer said to all youth tourneys and MLS and USL leagues, NO GAMES DURING NAT TEAM GAMES! Period! Instead, make sure you make television schedules available to all. Let them know that the National Team is the biggest thing around. What every young boy or girl should aspire to. But instead, we even allow youth games during our World Cup games. Hey, if you can't respect yourself, then don't expect anyone else to respect you either.

6:06 PM  
Blogger wilablog said...

Check out Lapira-- do we know if he could have played for the US one day?

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Well said, BQ.

8:19 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

"Anonymous said... Toja's colombian smart guy"

thanks for the heads up you anonymous jackass

3:58 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

i guess my question about lapira is, is he worth checking out?

3:59 PM  
Blogger wilablog said...

People in Louisiana would tell you yes.

Hermann trophy (as a junior), consensus first-team all American, and an Ireland call up.

10:38 PM  

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