Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So Who's Serious News

Steven Goff at the Washington Post looks at what DC United must do to right their ship by Thursday night.
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Andrea Canales at LA Soccer News checks in with Los Angeles rookie forward Robbie Findley who got his first start, in a big way, against Chivas USA. Not bad kid, not bad at all!
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Mike Biglin of the MetroWest Daily News looks at the great start New England's Taylor Twellman is off too.
-Biglin also reports that Joe Franchino is back training with the team, but did not talk to the media about his absence.
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Luis Arroyave at the Chicago Tribune talks to Fire defender CJ Brown, who I think has had an outstanding start to the season.
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Luis Bueno of LA Soccer News talks to Chivas USA players and coaches 2 days after the loss to LA, and it still hurts.
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Marc Connolly of the US Player Assoc has his blog at that organizations site, but there are not direct links to individual entries. His posts are all good, and if you scroll down a bit you will see a great Q & A with the best American soccer commentator JP Dellacamera. Why on earth they dumped JP for that hideous Dave O'Brien I will never understand or forgive. At least those of us in NY/NJ or with Direct Kick can hear JP call Red Bull games with another hero, Shep Messing.
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And Kevin McGeehan of the US Players Assoc asks questions about the business viability of the MLS franchise in Columbus.
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A lot of people are jumping on the Ronald Wattereus bandwagon. I don't get it. Sure the Red Bulls have yet to give up a goal, but has he actually been tested yet? Has he made one spectacular save so far? The answer to both is no. He did suffer hypothermia though, so maybe it's sympathy votes for the new foreigner. Don't get me wrong, he has done nothing in a negative way either, but I just don't understand all the love he is getting.
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The Oregonian fills us in on the identity of the potential MLS investor for Portland or Seattle. He is real estate developer Michael Keston of Los Angeles.
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Ridge Mahoney at Soccer America with his April MLS review.
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Jack Bell at the New York Times with words on the worst (Toronto) & best (New York) current teams in MLS, plus other stories from global football.
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Grahame Jones at the LA Times with his soccer news roundup - Corner Kicks.
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The rest of my MLS game notes from last weekend:
More from Dall v NE
-There is a real difference in attitude between Jaun Carlos Toja and Dax McCarty in the midfield for Dallas. Generally speaking, when Toja gets the ball his first thought and movement is always upfield, while McCarty looks go play it safe - sideways or back. Sure they both do the opposite at times, but I am talking "in most cases". Hence I favor Toja.
-The goal Taylor Twellman scored was unbelievable. He was in the air, body twisted, then swings a leg out and side volleys a ball that is behind him, yet needs perfect touch to get over the keeper and back down into the net. Amazing!
-Again like the previous Dallas game, Carlos Ruiz is really no factor at all. What is going on? Then he gets a yellow card for a deliberate handball in the box on a corner kick. That is his 4th yellow of the season.
-I have noticed that when Dallas right back Bobby Rhine gets forward he takes too many touches on the ball before crossing. If he hit the ball first time it would catch the other team totally off balance, but he always takes one or two touches and by then the defense and keeper are ready for it. Too bad. He gets himself is great spots, he just does not capitalize.
-Too many shots in MLS are right at the keeper. There are a lot of good chances, but pretty weak finishing. (I think Eddie Johnson had 2 or 3 against Toronto on Saturday)
-This is the second game in a row in which Dallas has had little or no rhythm in possession.
-Pat Noonan is really slow.
-New Eng had a second goal called off, but Twellman was not offside. I watched it about 8 times, and he was on. But then again, referees get one look at full speed, not 8 in slow mo.
-Dominic Oduro came on for Dallas and tried his best to stir up their offense.
-Dallas coach Steve Morrow looks like Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.
-There was a sign hangin' in PHP which said "Mullets Rock! Go Toja!" But he doesn't have a mullet. Does this person know what a mullet is? Yes he has long hair and bangs, but that is not a mullet. You gotta cut it short on the sides & leave it long only in the back to be a mullet. Get it right people.
Hou v Chic
-Houston like DC United wore burgundy shirts in tribute to VA Tech.
-For Chic, Thiago played for an injured Justin Mapp.
-And for Hous, Chris Wondolowski got his first ever senior team start in place of Ale Moreno and/or Paul Dalglish. Just to mix it up a bit I guess.
-WOW! Dwayne De Rosario cut all his cornrows off! Short haired DDR.
-Brain Mullan cut his mop off too.
-Fairly dull game early, but Houston forced Pickens to make a diving save off a corner kick shot and Brian Ching put a header off the crossbar. Later, Brad Davis put a hard shot off the crossbar for Houston too.
-Oh Lord, Chicago looked to be using the fabled 3-6-1 formation. Please no.
-Strong possession by Houston, but they could not break through.
-Announcer Kenn Tomasch quipped, "Mr. Robinson, are you trying to dispossess me?"
-Ricardo Clark is regaining some of his quality form since the knee surgery.
-In the blink of an eye Chicago dissected Houston. Seagares hit a long cross field pass of about 50 yards to Chris Rolfe. Rolfie gathered it and went in to the box past Wade Barrett and cut it sharply back to the inside post for the games only goal. Great pass, Great move and finish.
-Dasan Robinson did a great defensive job for Chicago as he completely stymied Brain Mullan.
-Houston brought in Holden & Dalglish to apply even more pressure, but to no avail.
-Again announcer Tomasch with a great line "These last few minutes will pass like a kidney stone for Fire fans - slowly & excruciatingly."
-Chicago is off to their best ever start to a season with 10 points from 4 games.
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MLS schedule this week (all times central):
Thu May 3
DC v New England - 6pm on ESPN2
Sat May 5
KC v Columbus - Noon on Direct Kick
Salt Lake v New York - 8pm on HDNet
Colorado v Houston - 8:30pm on FSC
Sun May 6
DC v Chivas - 2pm on Telefutura
New England v Chicago - 4pm on Direct Kick
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Yanks Abroad states their case for Team USA to spend a lot more time training and playing in Europe.
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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 0-0 Costa Rica
-Trinidad & Tobago 0-3 USA - goals by Alex Nimo (2) & Ellis McLoughlin, who was also red carded.
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
-Standings (points - games played - team - goal differential)
4 - 2 - Canada +3
4 - 2 - Costa Rica +2
3 - 1 - USA +3
0 - 1 - Jamaica -3
0 - 2 - Trinidad & Tobago -5
-The top 3 from this group will advance to the finals in Korea in late summer.
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US Soccer has an interview with U17 coach John Hackworth following the first match. Listen or download via podcast.
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USS also has a fairly fluffy Q & A with USA keeper Zac MacMath.
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USA forward Ellis McLoughlin who was red carded v T & T got a two game suspension for the "reckless challenge".
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Current Jamaica, and former USA coach Bora Milutinovic was, not surprisingly, spotted at the games. Later Bora stopped by the USA training and said a few words. The team blog says most players looked confused as he talked and were asking themselves two questions - "1) who is this?, and 2) what in the world is he saying?" Hahahahahahaha.
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Mexican Playoffs - 10 teams qualify with the bottom 4 playing home and away with winners joining top 6. Here are those first matches:
Wed May 2
Morelia Monarcas v Atlas Zorros
Santos Laguna Guerreros v San Luis Tuneros
-Return legs are on Cinco de Mayo
-The other 6 teams awaiting match-ups are:
Pachuca Tuzos
Guadalajara Chivas
Cruz Azul Cementeros
America Aguilas
UAG Tecos
UANL Tigres
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UEFA Champions League Semifinals - Matchday 12 (with first leg scores included):
Tues May 1
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea - ended 1-1 after regulation and extra time, so they went to PK's and Liverkeeper Pepe Reina saved two to give him team a 4-1 win and another shot at Euroglory.
Wed May 2
AC Milan v Manchester United (2-3)
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Richard Jolly at Soccernet with a review of last nights game at Anfield.
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Rob Hughes at the International Herald Tribune with his match report.
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Reuters is reporting that while Liverpool was beating Chelsea last night, someone was cleaning out Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina's house. They stole his Porsche (and burned it!) and took several other valuables. During the past year several other players have had the same thing happen to them in the Liverpool area - Jerzy Dudek, Daniel Agger, Peter Crouch, Florent Sinama-Pongolle & Everton's Andy Van der Meyde.
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The Times of London with an article on new Liverpool owner George Gillett after last nights big win. They talk about the coach, the game, the fans, the players and the potential new stadium.
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James Richardson of the Guardian with a CL Milan-ManU preview and an article on du Nord fave Milan striker Super Pippo Filippo Inzaghi.
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UEFA Cup semifinal second leg matches (with first leg scores included):
Thursday May 3-
Werder Bremen v Espanyol (0-3)
Sevilla v Osasuna (0-1)
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In the Inter v Empoli match, Alvaro Recoba scored for Inter by curling his corner kick straight into the net through the shocked keepers hands!
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Parma coach Claudio Ranieri has compared Giuseppe Rossi to Roberto Baggio. Don't make me gag.
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I forgot to post this glorious story last week - Croatian club Zagora could not afford to pay their top player Ivica Supre a great deal of money and were afraid he would leave to play for a bigger team. So the clubs main sponsor, a Sheppard business, gave Supe one sheep for every goal he had scored this season. 16! I am not sure what he can do with the sheep, cuz I doubt he will raise them himself. Hell, he probably lives in one of those Tito-era 1000 unit super block concrete monstrosities. I guess he could sell them to the local butchers. Beats the hell out of being traded to another club for a truck load of meat though.
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Red Bull Salzburg has won the Austrian league title.
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Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (no, he did not lose an election, he was overthrown in a military coup while he was out of the country!) has made a substantial bid to buy Manchester City. And he is a wealthy dude. Looks like the American bidders have taken a back seat at least for the moment.
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Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune on the American goldrush on EPL teams.
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Bayern Munich is the latest big team rumored to be chasing after Fiorentina striker Luca Toni.
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The Scottish Football Writers Assoc has named Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura as the Player Of The Year, and Celtic honcho Gordon Strachan as Manager Of The Year.
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The Sunday Business Post in Ireland says ESPN is looking in to purchasing Setanta Sports, the world wide broadcaster of many games we all love. (thanks to Kevin for sending me this link)
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Lastly, our friend Zach in DC is a major fan (not to mention mover & shaker i the scene) of the underground cult hit soccer table top game called Subbuteo. He sent us a link to a new article from Four Four Two this month! Rock on finger flickers!


Blogger Justin said...

Why the love for Waterreus? Because his name means "water giant" in Dutch, and that's possibly the best name ever.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous leper said...

The US vs Canadia U-17 is up on a match tracker at right now (530 Central) if anyone's interested.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's definitely not a mullet that Toja's got, but he's one hell of a hesher! If the Universe conspired to put him and Paco Palencia on the same team, I'd buy season tickets wherever they played.
-Bucky Lawless

12:51 AM  
Blogger Joe Ginto said...

Parma coach Claudio Ranieri has compared Giuseppe Rossi to Roberto Baggio. Don't make me gag.

It's not a bad comparison. As a youngster, Giuseppe is making a tremendous impact on Serie A. He's often been one of the most dangerous men on the pitch and I believe he's only 19 or 20.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Pepe Reina left the line early when he made the first save in the PK round. Came close to doing so again on his 2nd save, although it was hard to tell.

4:38 PM  

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