Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back In The New York Groove News

A gigantic thank you goes out to Shawn Francis from the Offsides Rule for helping me out and creating yesterday's du Nord post. He did a fantastic job. And we all owe him at least hug or something. Well, you know.

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The 13th MLS Cup will be held in Los Angeles on Nov 23, 2008 at the Home Depot Center in Carson CA. See you there, It's gonna be a huge one!

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How come the MLS announcement of their 2007 Best 11 got so little fan fare? I have seen almost nothing about it. Here is the team: Brad Guzan, Michael Parkhurst, Eddie Robinson, Jonathan Bornstein, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Christian Gomez, Shalrie Joseph, Dwayne De Rosario, Ben Olsen, Luciano Emilio & Juan Pablo Angel. I think they got some of these wrong, but popularity over quality is hard for a league to resist.

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A special episode of The Dynamo Power Hour radio show with Glenn Davis - Tonight at 8pm central. Featuring the MLS Cup Champions. You can listen live on the radio in Houston on 710am or online at 790AM.com. Guests include team president Oliver Luck, coach Dominic Kinnear, midfielder Stuart Holden and hopefully more. Call in to ask a question at 713-212-5790.

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To me the most interesting piece of news from MLS Cup final weekend was that CONCACAF is going to launch it's own version of the Champions League. Steve Goff of the Washington Post has some good info about it on his Soccer Insider blog.


MLS Cup Finals
New England 1-2 Houston - NE goal by Taylor Twellman. Hou goals by Joseph Ngwenya & Dwayne De Rosario.
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DDR was also named the games Most Valuable Player. Most deserved. He has become one of, if not the best big game player is this leagues history. Amazing guy.
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My notes from the game:
-Ching was out and now too is New England. On the canvas for the 4th time. Luckily in MLS there is no 3 knock down rule of they wouldn't have even gotten this far. I can't imagine how painful it is to be a Revs fan right now. Ugly ugly ugly. As a kid I was a Minnesota Vikings fan, and they managed to lose 4 Super Bowls before I was even 20 years old. It was not good. And I honestly don't think the team has ever recovered from it. Somehow I think New England will be a little tougher to knock completely off the upper reaches of Mount Emeless.
-I still haven't see the replay of the game yet, but there was a wild scene down on the field right before Houston scored the game winner: New England had a decent chance on goal and a defensive mistake by Brad Davis & DDR made it possible. As the teams headed back the other way BD & DDR could be seen screaming at each other for several seconds. But moments later there was Davis lashing in a fantastic cross and DDR getting his head on it and beautifully finishing it off. The two players ran to opposite sides of the field to celebrate with various teammates, then made their way down the sidelines to get ready for the next kickoff, and at the last moment made a huge run toward each other and ended in a big big hug! Excellent to see.
-An amazing feat Khano Smith pulled off by NOT getting a Red Card after throwing a head butt at Craig Waibel, who I can only assume said something very unsavory in Smith's direction. KS got the Yellow, and shortly after he stupidly was seen pushing Houston's Joseph Ngwenya off the field when he was substituted.
-Those of us in attendance had no idea why Steve Ralston was taken off, but I figured it had to be because he asked out. Turns out he was cramping up and couldn't go any further. What a drag for one of the leagues all time best.
-After that game NE defender Jay Heaps could not get off that field fast enough. I glanced to my left as the match ended and he was already over the end board and blazing a trail to the tunnel to get him the hell out of there. I would hate to have that feeling.
-Can anyone explain to me why Adam Cristman wasn't added to the field for New England in the later minutes of that game. He scored 6 or 7 goals during the season and is a very big guy in stature. Surely he could have helped. Why oh why would you leave this guy on the bench when you are in extreme desperation mode?
-This game was #371 for Steve Ralston, the largest number ever for a professional player in America.
-I can't forget to mention that Pat Noonan played probably his best game of the season for New England. His touch was fantastic all game long.
-I have to say I was a little disappointed to hear the DC United fans in the stand chanting "Boring, Boring, Boring, Boring...." Ok, the first time they did it, it was kinda funny, but the second time is what bothered me, cuz this was no boring game at all. Poor sports. And sadly not the first time I have thought this about the DC United fans lately.
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The whole weekend in the DC metro area was a great deal of fun.
-Thanks goes out to Kim and the Screaming Eagles for all the fan events. (Too bad about the A/V troubles at the Supporters Summit though.)
-Special thanks has to go out Neil Beuthe at US Soccer, and D & company from the DCenters for helping bring in the great crowd to watch USA at South Africa on Saturday morning at Summers in Arlington. What a great success that was.
-Gotta give a wave to several excellent people I met and/or talked to over the three days:
-Bill from Class VI
-Eric Salsbery from AYL Soccer
-Ives Galarcep from the North Jersey Herald News
-Luis Arroyave from the Chicago Tribune
-Frank Dell'apa from the Boston Globe
-Jen Chang from ESPN Soccernet
-The American Outlaws
-Dave Lifton from the Screaming Eagles podcast
-Zach Walker from DC United
-Eddie Rock & Ben Dickey from Libero
-Chris Wilson & Brad Kessler from the Columbus Crew front office
-All the du Nord readers I met! You were awesome!
-And lastly an extra special huge thanks to all my traveling partner friends who made the trip a blast - Paul, Kevin A, Tom, Kevin J, Keith, Andy, Ethan, Reagan, Pat & Crystal.
-If I forgot anyone I will just blame it on the Ibogaine. It can do that to a fella.
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MLSnet has post game-notes from both Michael Lewis and Steve Davis.
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Dave Lifton of the Screaming Eagles podcast has a special post-MLS Cup final edition. See link in the right hand column for podcasts.
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Kyle MCarthy at Goal.com writes about the Houston Dynamo championship, and calls them one of the best ever in MLS. I don't think there is any doubt about that.
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Greg Lalas at Sports Illustrated on the magic of the Houston Dynamo.
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Don Cuddy of Soccer365 says New England's biggest need for next season is depth.
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New York Red Bull has officially bought out the remaining 50% that AEG still controlled in building Red Bull park in New Jersey.
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Ives Galarcep of the North Jersey Herald News with articles yesterday and today on the Red Bulls coaching search.
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The Red Card blog, by Luis Arroyave, has a guest blogger today and it is Chicago Fire midfielder Diego Gutierrez. He writes about his friend and now former teammate Chris Armas who retired.
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Arroyave also has a huge story in Sunday Chicago Tribune on Fire midfielder Bakary Soumare from Mali. It is a very massive feature on his life. Excellent.
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Rumors from San Jose says that they will sign Galaxy forward Carlos Pavon. But why?
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As of yesterday Seattle has taken deposits on 6500 season tickets. Wow.
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Lars Lifrak of Soccer365 writes an article on the Seattle team name that gives a pretty strong hint from the insiders that Sounders will NOT be the new teams name. Huge mistake.
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Lifrak also does a Q & A with one of Seattle's owners, Drew Carey.
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MLS has given special considerations to 3 teams who have long time league players on their books who make a lot of money but won't qualify as Designated Players next season. Dallas & Carlos Ruiz, Kansas City & Eddie Johnson and Los Angeles & Landon Donovan. I am not surprised at all that the league would figure out a way to help these teams keep these players on their rosters for next year.
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Cleetus is back in LA! Clint Mathis was traded by New York back to the team where he started his MLS career, The LA Galaxy. NY got a third round draft pick as compensation.
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Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America with news on the New York search for a new head coach, which initially sees them trying to steal Juan Carlos Osorio away from Chicago.
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By my calculations there are less that 75 days until will see MLS teams back in pre-season training. Excellent. Let the rumor mongering begin.
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North American Club Friendlies
-Sat Nov 17
Guadalajara Chivas 2-1 Chivas USA - Benefit match for the victims of the Tabasco flood. - Guada goals by Sergio Santana & Edgar Solis. C-USA goal by Claudio Suarez(PK).
-Fri Nov 30
TT Pro League Foreign All-Stars v FC Dallas - the Shaka Hislop Tribute Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
-Sun Dec 2
TT Pro League Local All-Stars v FC Dallas - the Shaka Hislop Tribute Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
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Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup
South Africa 0-1 USA - goal by Steve Cherundolo.
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The du Nord Three Stars Of The Game
3. Subusiso Zuma - He didn't have great success on the field but for some reason I loved watching this South African striker play. The bleached out hair didn't hurt either, cuz he wore it well. Again,I don't think he had any real dangerous chances, but I sure enjoyed watching him move around the field and dance with that ball.
2. Maurice Edu - Looks like a seasoned veteran out there. Better than Benny Fielhaber in the both of the last two USA games, and that is saying something. Great assist, unrelenting defense, and some very good passing. He looks like the real deal.
1. Steve Cherundolo - What a monster goal that was from Stevie C. Top shelf near side, the keeper looked baffled. Awesome.
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My notes from the game:
-First and foremost, I watched it at Summers in Arlington VA with over 160 other USA fans and had a blast. Thanks go out to Neil Buethe helping to make it possible, and to D and the gang from the DCenters for co-hosting and spreading the word.
-Bob Bradley used all 17 players that he brought to South Africa. That was pretty cool.
-Steve Cherundolo's goal for the USA was just outstanding. Maurice Edu gave him a great pass as he streaked past everyone on the right wing, then cut straight at the keeper and put it top shelf near side. There was no stopping that one!
-The fans were a great to watch on TV. Especially the big guy with the women’s bra and wig on. Gutsy outfit. And, why were so many fans wearing big oversized glasses? Was that a Mandela thing?
-The first half for the USA looked pretty good. But the second half with 6 subs was ugly and dull. They also had no real offensive threat, and I doubt they had a shot on goal. That was not so cool.
-The one second half sub who really stood out to me was Sacha Kljestan. The team was scrambling for any kind of possession until he entered in the 73rd minute. He was a big help in slowing it down, and then killing it off in the end. He looked really confident out there.
-Great to see Jozy Altidore get his first cap. He didn't get to do much, but he certainly helped hold the ball at the end and kill the match.
-And Freddy Adu got his first start. Some moments on the ball looked excellent.
-It was really fun hearing TV commentator Max Bretos repeat the last name of South Africa midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala over and over again, like it was a 60's Girl Group pop song title.
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Official Team USA blog.
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Audio, video, images & words from US Soccer:
-Game photos.
-Match report.
-Behind the Scenes video.
-Audio of interview with Steve Cherundolo & Oguchi Onyewu post-game.
-Audio of USA post-game press conference.
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US Soccer has announced the finalists for both Men's & Women's Player & Young Player Of The Year awards. Vote now.
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Sports Network with a good overview of 2007 for Bob Bradley and Team USA. Via the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
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Coach Thomas Rongen will take a USA U20 team to Argentina, for training and 3 games, on Friday.
Matches & Scores:
Nov 26 v Paraguay
Nov 28 v Argentina
Dec 1 v Uruguay
Roster:
G:
Josh Lambo - Middleton WI
Larry Jackson - East Palo Alto CA
D:
Gale Agbossoumonde - Syracuse NY
Victor Cortez - U of San Francisco
Kyle Davies - Southampton FC
Ian Kalis - Plano TX
Chris Klute - Grand Prairie TX
Aubrey Perry - Ocoee FL
Kofi Sarkodie - Huber Heights OH
Anthony Wallace - FC Dallas
M:
Bryan Arguez - DC United
Pablito Cruz - Azusa CA
Jorge Flores - Chivas USA
Andrew Giallombardo - Southampton FC
Abdusalam Ibrahim - FC Dallas
Amobi Okugo - Sacramento CA
F:
Charles Renken Edwardsville IL
Ben Speas - Stow OH
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American forward Kamani Hill has been released by his German club Wolfsburg.
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In the Mexican Premiera Playoffs both America & Pachuca were knocked out in the first round! Wow! Morelia & Cruz Azul move on to meet the other 6 in the Quarterfinals starting on Wednesday. I will post the schedule tomorrow.
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First Round first leg Matches & Scores:
-Wed Nov 14
Pachuca 0-2 Cruz Azul - goals both by Julio Cesar Dominguez.
-Thu Nov 15
Morelia 3-0 America
First Round Second leg Matches & Scores:
-Sat Nov 17
Cruz Azul 4-0 Pachuca - Cruz Azul takes out the champs 6-0 on aggregate and advance to the last 8.
-Sun Nov 18
America 1-0 Morelia - Monarcas pull the huge upset and beat America 3-1 on aggregate to advance to the last 8.
Quarterfinal first leg Matches & Scores:
-Wed Nov 21
Cruz Azul v Atlante
San Luis v Guadalajara
-Thu Nov 22
Morelia v Santos Laguna
UNAM Pumas v Toluca
Quarterfinal second leg Matches & Scores:
-Sat Nov 24
Guadalajara v San Luis
Atlante v Cruz Azul
-Sun Nov 25
Toluca v UNAM Pumas
Santos Laguna v Morelia
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South America World Cup Qualifiers
Another round today Matches & Scores:
-Tue Nov 20
Brazil v Uruguay
Ecuador v Peru
Venezuela v Bolivia
Colombia v Argentina
Chile v Paraguay
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The Gaffer at EPL Talk has a fantastic podcast interview with one of my teenage years idols - Toby Charles. TC hosted a show on PBS in the 70's that introduced many of us to the beautiful game - Soccer Made In Germany. The show was a weekly recap of German league game action. Without it I would never been able to so effortlessly pronounce Borussia Monchengladbach.
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3 Iraq players & 1 asst coach have all defected from their country while the U23 team was playing a match in Australia, and have asked for asylum.
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Reuters with a story on Italy's new version of Castel di Sangro. I love stories like this.
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Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez has quit the team after getting beat yet again. They were quite a good team not too long ago.
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As Germany was smoking Cyprus 4-0 the home fans were heckling their own keeper, Jens Lehmann, and in typical Jens fashion he flipped em all the bird. Of course he denies he did that, but I think this picture pretty much says it all.
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Canada lost 2-0 in South Africa today, against a team that was fairly different in make up to the one that lost 0-1 to the USA on Saturday. Many of the best SA players had already headed back to their Euro teams.
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Simon Kuper of the Financial Times looks at the state of South Africa in this week when the World Cup Qualifing draws will be held in that country.
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Soccernet has a Q & A with Inter Milan forward Julio Cruz aka The Gardener.
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Marcela Mora y Araujo of the Guardian shows massive love for long time Argentine star Javier Zanetti.
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Gavin Hamilton of World Soccer raves about Argentina's forgotten man Juan Roman Riquelme.
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Gregory Sica of Sports Illustrated also raves about Riquelme and looks at Argentinas road ahead in qualifying.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune says Russia's sports teams still carry the burden of success from the Soviet days.
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12 teams have now qualified for Euro 2008, with the 4 others all to be settled on Wednesday. Those 12 are: Poland, Greece, Croatia, Romania, Netherlands, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and the co-hosts Switzerland & Austria.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Dave Lifton said...

Great meeting you, too, Bruce...

11:22 PM  
Anonymous diego r. said...

I also couldn't figure out why Adam Cristman did not make it into the game in around the 75th minute, while fellow rookie Wells Thompson lasted the whole match. I hope the people up in New England are asking some questions about using 1 sub in a 2-1 defeat, when there were offensive substitutions that could have been made

As a DC United fan I was disappointed to see how many of my fellow DCU'ers stayed home on Sunday. This is the cup final and even if DC is not playing you can celebrate an RFK final, Emilio's MVP, Ben Olsen's first ever First XI selection, etc...

12:56 AM  
Blogger kebmodee said...

ibogaine, eh? very interesting.

kebmodee

8:11 AM  
Anonymous 99 bottles of beer said...

Ah, we only chanted "boring" a handful of times, and it was during lulls in the action, so quit yer bitchin'.

:)

It's our house, we can do whatever we want in it.

8:18 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

thanks 99 bottles
yer absolutely right - its your house
and you are the best fans in the league
toronto can go suck on that
but it still bothered me

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Ken said...

Why no MLS Cup at Toyota Park? And don't give me that lame cold weather city excuse. Grrr...

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Nidal Baba Superstar said...

DC fans are indeed the worst sports in MLS. That arrogant organization is rotten to the core, and who knows whether it starts with the fans, or just ends with them?

3:31 PM  

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