Friday, November 30, 2007

Disco Lay-day News

Nearly two weeks ago there was a Q & A with MLS Commissioner Don Garber in the New York Times done by Jack Bell. I don't think this interview has gotten nearly enough attention. There is a lot of important stuff in here. If you are a MLS fan, this is a must read.


The Copa Sudamericana final series starts tonight. It's America of Mexico v Arsenal of Argentina. Should be a great match up. The second leg in next Wednesday. See details below.

MLSnet has produced a list of their favorite games of the 2007 season, with video highlights to back it up. Great viewing.
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Absolutely no-one was selected yesterday in the MLS waiver draft. Not too surprising really. See yesterday's du Nord for the list of players available.
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Steven Goff of the Washington Post on his Soccer Insider blog gives us the low down on a change in the "foreign player" rules for MLS next season (it's a very positive couple of moves), and the latest on DC United's contract negotiations with midfielder extraordinaire Christian Gomez.
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Jozy Altidore with his newest blog entry for the New York Times Goal. He writes about Europe, or rather doesn't, and the USA Olympic team which is training right now in Los Angeles.
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2 more guest bloggers at Luis Arroyave's Red Card blog: a player from a Chicago indoor league team, and another Chicago Tribune writer who is a big Fire fan.
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Have I told you how surprisingly good I think Marcelo Balboa's radio show in Denver is. You can listen to it at the link in the right column under Podcasts. He gets really good guests, and they ask real questions. I seriously suggest you listen in.
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MLSnet with a story on Dallas forward Kenny Cooper who is working on his college degree at SMU during his free time.
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Wellington New Zealand let kids out of schools today to go watch the Galaxy practice. over 16,000 of them turned up to watch. Video here.
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The latest design of Red Bull Park. Most impressive.
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J Hutcherson of the US Soccer Players Assoc gives his thoughts on the significance of the re-design of Red Bull Park – mainly removing the concert stage. Remember though, Home Depot Center doesn't have a stage either.
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Reuters with more from MLS's Don Garber, today he and other top American sports executives talk about the strong health of their leagues even in a shaky economy.
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Greg Lalas at with his latest column: The 3-5-2.
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Ben Knight at the Toronto Globe & Mail On Soccer blog goes through MLS team by team and examines their team name. I think he gets two things wrong, one we shouldn't have any teams called FC cuz we don't call it Football, we call it Soccer (hi there Joe). And two, he doesn't seem to understand where the Kansas City nickname Wizards comes from. It's the Wizard of Oz and Kansas dude. Otherwise, I like all the thoughts on those names.
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An English woman from BellaOnline tries to describe the inner workings of MLS to her fellow non-Americans. Interesting.
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MLS Off-season Friendlies
Matches & Scores:
-Thu Nov 29
Fresno Fuego 3-1 Chivas USA
Match report from the Fresno Bee.
-Fri Nov 30
T & T Pro League Foreign All-Stars v FC Dallas - Shaka Hislop Tribute tournament in Trinidad & Tobago
-Sat Dec 1
Wellington Phoenix v Los Angeles Galaxy - in New Zealand
-Sun Dec 2
T & T Pro League Local All-Stars v FC Dallas - Shaka Hislop Tribute tournament in Trinidad & Tobago
Chivas USA v Mexican Soccer Legends - Benefit match for flood victims in Tabasco & Chiapas.
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The Trinidad & Tobago Express gives us the latest on the Shaka Hislop Tribute tournament.
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The latest official news on Dallas' trip to T&T from the FC Dallas Updates site. Including a story about the strong earthquake that hit the Caribbean yesterday (video of coaches & players talking about it).
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FC Dallas Updates also has some video of their guys recreating Paul Caligiuri's "shot heard round the world" goal that happened in Trinidad & Tobago.
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Dallas and the TT Pro League have also begun an official agreement to work together to develop teams and players etc.
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MLS & SUM officially announced the Pan-Pacific tournament yesterday. Here is the video press conference. If you didn't read about this tournament a couple weeks ago here on du Nord then just watch this. Here is the official website. Another thing that I found to be pretty humorous is that the sponsor of the tournament is a Japanese company called MLJ that makes totally blinged-out car rims. I didn't see that one being affiliated with soccer in America any time soon, but I guess that time is now.
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MLS/Generation Adidas team in Spain
Matches & Scores
-Mon Nov 25
Rayo Vallecano Reserves 0-1 MLS-GA
-Thu Nov 29
Real Madrid Reserves 0-0 MLS-GA
This is a team that is traveling across Spain playing matches right now. All the players are from the leagues special Generation Adidas program. (see Tuesday's edition of du Nord for team roster)
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USL 2nd Division announces their league format for 2008.
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Rangers FC have confirmed the worst for USA & Rangers midfielder DaMarcus Beasley - his knee is badly damaged. He is headed home to the USA to have the surgery. They don't expect him back this season. Damn it!
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Yanks Abroad with an article pondering the significance of Real Madrid courting a young American potential star player.
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USA U20 Friendlies in Argentina
for 3 games. But their first game got canceled. So they set up another one with Boca Juniors U20's. The tied 1-1. Amobi Okugo got the USA goal.
Matches & Scores:
-Tue Nov 26
Boca Juniors 1-1 USA - USA goal by Amobi Okugo.
-Thu Nov 28
Argentina 1-1 USA - USA goal by Jorge Flores.
-Sat Dec 1
Uruguay v USA
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Jorge Flores who scored that goal for the USA U20's against Argentina is the kid who won the reality TV show contest to play for Chivas USA last spring! This guy is for real! What an amazing story! I guess these kinds of player are out there. I love it.
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The semifinalists have been announced for the 2007 Hermann Trophy. This is the Player Of The Year award for college. Included on the list is Joseph Lapira who won it last year.
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Doug McIntyre of Soccernet previews the NCAA round of 16 games being played this weekend. See du Nord update from the last couple of days for the bracket.
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The Peoria Journal Star in Illinois with an article on their local college team Bradley, and their former player, now defender for DC United - Brian Namoff.
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Copa Sudamericana Final
-Fri Nov 30 - First Leg
Club America v Arsenal de Sarandi
-Wed Dec 5 - Second Leg
Arsenal v America
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Mexican Premiera Playoffs
-Semifinal Matches & Scores:
-Wed Nov 28
Guadalajara 1-0 Atlante - goal by Ramon Morales.
-Thu Nov 29
UNAM Pumas 3-0 Santos Laguna - goals by Ignacio Scocco(2) & Hector Moreno.
-Sat Dec 1
Atlante v Guadalajara - 9pm central on TeleFutura
-Sun Dec 2
Santos Laguna v UNAM Pumas - 5pm central on Azteca America
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The Bermuda Sun talks to their national team coach Keith Tucker about the current state of his team. The play Cayman Islands in the first round of World Cup Qualifying next February.
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Argentine Apertura
Now with 1 game left in the season, it's down to two teams battling for the title, and it will end on Saturday:
37 Lanus
34 Tigre
Matches & Scores:
-Wed Nov 28
Tigre 2-1 Boca Juniors
Lanus 4-0 Gimnasia
-Sat Dec 2
Boca Juniors v Lanus
Argentinos Juniors v Tigre
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UEFA Cup - Matchday 3
-Thu Nov 29
Zenit 2-2 Nurnberg
AZ Alkmaar 1-0 Larissa
Lokomotiv Moskva 0-1 Kobenhavn
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Aberdeen
Elfsborg 1-3 Mlad Boleslav
AEK 1-1 Fiorentina
Hamburg 3-0 Rennes
Brann 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Sparta Praha 0-0 Spartak Moskva
Zurich 2-0 Toulouse
Braga 1-1 Bayern Munich
Bolton 1-1 Aris
Getafe 1-2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Tottenham 3-2 Aalborg
Panionios 0-3 Galatasaray
Helsingborg 3-0 Austria Wien

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Here are the UEFA Cup group standings after 3 of 5 rounds.
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Three Americans are playing matches in the UEFA Cup:
-Dan Califf - Aalborg - played all 90 minutes as team captain but lost 3-2 at Tottenham.
-Ramiro Corrales - Brann - started and went the distance in a 2-1 home win over Dinamo Zagreb.
-Tim Howard - team had a buy this round.
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Big Euro matches this weekend:
-Sat Dec 1
Chelsea v West Ham - another of the many London derbies that always seem to work.
Espanyol v Barcelona - the Barcelona derby!
Milan v Juventus - one of the great old wars.
Werder Bremen v Hamburger - #2 v #3 in die Bundesliga.
Benfica v Porto - a very big one in Portugal, with #2 hosting #1.
-Sun Dec 2
Fiorentina v Inter - top of the table battle.
Roma v Udinese - #3 v #4 in Serie A.
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The English tabloid rumor mill is churning with word that American Tom Hicks is already prepared to sell his stock in Liverpool due to disagreements with manager Rafael Benetiz. This story sounds like a complete joke to me.
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The Daily Mail of England talks to Sunderland coach & Man U/Ireland legend Roy Keane about the 7-1 pasting they took last weekend at Everton. It's a feeling Keane has never experienced before.
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Marcela Mora y Araujo of the Guardian raves about the return of THE #10 shirt to Boca Juniors - Juan Roman Riquelme.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ has a Q & A with Mohamed Abdalah, coach of the Sudan national team.
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Simon Kuper of the Financial Times with articles on 2 different countries who will be represented next summer in the European Championship: Host Switzerland and defending champs Greece. Plus a third story on his personal reminiscences of Euro's past.
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Football Italia talks to Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu about his team, his season so far and his teammate Christian Vieri.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~'s Starting XI: The Most Exotic Stadiums In The World. Too bad they didn't include pictures of all of them, almost a useless list without the images. But I guess I can go look em up. I would add two stadiums to that list - Allianz Arena in Munich, and the Chocolate Box in Buenos Aires. There is a third stadium that I have seen pictures of that looks ancient and is set in amazing vista, but I can't remember what it's called or if it's in Spain or Portugal so no use including it. I bet there is some amazing stadium in Transylvania too. Don't know why I think that, just do.
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South Africa has not included forward Benni McCarthy on there African Nations Cup roster. I would assume you will see several players with big European contracts to skip this tournament. I am curious to see which big names demand to go home and play for their country!
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Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka & Lionel Messi are the 3 finalists for the FIFA World Player Of The Year.


Anonymous Ken said...

I would agrue that Hong Kong stadium should be on that list:

10:17 AM  
Anonymous bq said...

The revisions to the Red Bull Stadium include a larger roof section to make sure more of the fans are covered. But what I thought was cool about this is that there going to do it with a translucent material so they still get plenty of light and don't get those big shadows that some stadiums get causing all that contrast on the eyes and even worse for the TV cameras. This may have been done elsewhere but I sure haven't heard of it. Great idea! Sort of like a roof with sun glasses.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Wizards morphed out of the original name of the team the Wiz. The league was threatened with a lawsuit by an electronics retailer already using the name.

And nobody from the Missouri side (where the team is actually based) would ever acknowledge the Kansas side, or indeed, that Kansas even exists. Plus nobody from Kansas would willing put up with stereotypical Oz references. Trust me, after the millionth time it just ain't funny. And Toto too.


11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he gets two things wrong, one we shouldn't have any teams called FC cuz we don't call it Football, we call it Soccer (hi there Joe).

We don't call it Football here? What are you smoking?

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Beech said...

There is a common misconception that the Missouri base Kansas City team was themed in any way after that stupid freakin movie. It was not, it was in reference more to the magical skills to be displayed on the field. BTW we did have prime Preki then.

Officially from the 1996 KC Wiz Media Guide:

Although early speculation toward the name centered around the obvious connection with the Wizards of Oz, that was never an intention of the club. Rather, the team wanted a completely unique name, that would create instant awareness for the team throughout Kansas City, as well as the rest of the United States. With the 'Wiz' moinker, the club has certainly created market awareness.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Nidal Baba Superstar said...

Remember all those Wiz-Burn jokes back in the day?

Anyway, good on Greg Lalas for recognizing that Brian Ching's career could still go a long ways. Easily the most underrated US striker.

The hell with the Torontonian writer for claiming that NY have no identity. We've been around for a dozen years, and he's been around for one. We're METRO, and we're RBNY, and he doesn't know what he's talking about. Also, he continues on with the completely-false notion that Columbus is some sort of post-industrial, working-class Rust Belt town. Columbus is one of the most white-collar cities in the United States, and the writer's impression could not be further from the truth. The whole "hardhat" image was a bit of a mistake in the first place.

The FCD video is really interesting! Good find.


10:24 PM  
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9:41 PM  

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