Thursday, February 07, 2008

Marry Me You Marvelous Hunk News

It will be Cameroon v Egypt for the African Nations Cup title on Sunday. They both pulled off stunning upsets beating favorites Ghana and Ivory Coast.


For a change, the Colorado Rapids have done something positive for their team on the field - They have acquired attacking midfielder and former league MVP Christian Gomez from DC United. I am so glad that El Gomito is not leaving MLS. I love to watch that guy compete. He will be introduced Friday afternoon.


(drum roll please) Lardies & Jellybellies, without further fredua-adou, I give you the 2008 MLS regular season schedule. Feel free to mull it over.


Norway announced today that they will play the USA this year, most likely on Memorial Day weekend in Norway.

USA v Mexico

USA 2-2 Mexico - USA goals by Oguchi Onyewu & Jozy Altidore. Mexigoals both by Jonny Magallon.
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USA Men's official team blog.
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Match Reports:
-US Soccer: the Official match report
-Steve Davis of Soccernet: Mexico game provides more questions than answers
-Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports: Altidore shines in U.S.-Mexico spotlight
-Steven Goff of the Washington Post: After Leading Twice, U.S. Settles for Tie
-J Hutcherson of the U.S. National Soccer Players Association: US-Mexico Analysis: Difficult Positions
-Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated: What we learned
-Mike Woitalla of Soccer America: USA shares the spoils with Mexico
-Woitalla also with: REPORT CARD: Jozy, Gooch & Timmy earn high marks
-Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune: El Tri can't end the skid on U.S. soil
-Luis Arroyave on his Red Card blog: U.S.-Mexico running log
-Grahame Jones of the Los Angeles Times: U.S. ties Mexico, 2-2, on goal by Altidore
-Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle: Sellout crowd, plenty of goals but no victor
-Fallas on the Houston Chronicle Soccer y Football blog: Bernardo Fallas - Impressions of U.S.-Mexico tie
-Kyle McCarthy of U.S. and Mexico Play to a Thrilling Draw in Houston
-Ben Brackett of U.S. Player Ratings
-Tobias Xavier Lopez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Sam's Army can't top Mexico's sea of green Jonny on the spot in clasico
-Ives Galarcep at Soccernet: Altidore announces his arrival
-Jen Chang of ESPN's blog: The good and the bad
-Chicago Tribune: U.S.-Mexico: 5 questions, 5 answers
-Matthew T Sussman of Blogcritics Magazine: USA Ties Mexico 2-2, So Therefore Must Be Equal In Every Way
-Big Apple Soccer: First Start, First Goal, Altidore connects vs. Mexico
-Greg Seltzer of American Soccer Daily: El Tri Double Rally Draws US
-US Soccer: Post-game quotes from USA coach & players
-US Soccer: Photos from the game
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du Nord 3 Stars of the Game

3 Jozy Altidore - A great start for Jozy. The only thing he lacked was adequate service from teammates. He was dangerous many times, and his potential is unreal. I cannot wait to see him with 20 caps on his resume when South Africa 2010 starts. That headed goal was a thing of pure beauty. Rafa Marquez has no chance to sticking with JA.
2 Oguchi Onyewu - Seems to have regained the lost confidence from 2 years ago. And his thrown in that lead to him scoring the first goal was fantastic. I have to imagine that they had discussed him throwing it in, then sneaking in to the box afterwards. Near perfection from him.
1 Jonny Magallon - Two goals on set pieces from a defender. Now that is Man of the Match material!
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My notes from the game:
-I came away with this game with way more negatives than positives for the USA.
-How many more times can I say that I don't think Landon Donovan is nearly as effect on the outside of the field as he is in a free flowing role based in the center? He gets at least 1/3 less touches out wide, and is not available for the long fast break down the middle. I can almost guarantee you will not see him playing anywhere near the sidelines for LA this season.
-Other players that I found worthy of praise: Fernando Arce, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Pavel Pardo & Carlos Vella.
-One step forward, two steps back: The right back spot was my biggest fear going into this game, and Drew Moor did nothing to ease my mind. He put in a brilliant cross for Jozy Altidore to head home, but he also lost his marker twice on set pieces and both times Jonny Magallon buried his shot for goals.
-Where was Jonathan Spector? No one seems to able to answer this one, and that bothers me.
-I thought both Michael Bradley and Ricardo Clark looked half a step off last night. They lost the overall battle to Pavel Pardo and Gerrard Torrado. I hate to admit that.
-Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey did the best job they possibly could considering how little service they got all game long.
-Bobby Convey added almost no offense to the game.
-The centerback pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra were very solid.
-And good for the USA that Mexico's two forwards were pretty crappy.
-Jonny Magallon has some of the worst hair I have ever seen. It looks like he died it himself with a blindfold on. Or maybe he just lost a bet.
-Speaking of bad looks, Bozo Bautista improved his after halftime by removing his kamikaze head scarf. He looked like a mental patient in the first half.
-It's been hard to get much info on this, but 2 people where shot after the game. This is some info from KHOU in Houston.
-If I ever get a chance to talk to someone high up at ESPN about their soccer broadcasts I just might strangle them over the idea of cutting away 2 or 3 times to show us basketball highlights!!! If I wanted to watch the frickin basketball game I would change the channel. And I dare them to interrupt play in any other sport to show soccer highlights.
-Over 70,000 in the sold out stands! Fantastic.
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My friend Ethan F sent me his comments after the game last night too, and I thought I would share his many good points:
-Good game, although I was hoping for some drama over the last 30 minutes.
-I wonder if Marquez heads back to Barca raving about Altidore--it sure seemed like Jozy gave him all that he could handle.
-It seems like Corrales isn't quite confident enough with possession or good enough defensively for this level.
-Moor is a great crosser, but defensively...surprising since he often plays CB for FCD
-Bradley had an off game, but I think that I could like him and Clark together if MB would get forward a little more. Clark certainly has the motor to cover behind him.
-Convey always seems steady, but completely unable to offer the moment of brilliance necessary to change a game
-Why is Eddie Lewis still play for the national team?
-Can we stop the Donovan at RM experiment? Please! He still looks dangerous out there, but he just doesn't get enough touches for my liking. I would still rather see Deuce out wide and LD up top with Jozy, so that LD can get more touches (he is the better passer) and Deuce can have more 1v1 ops (he is the better dribbler). I would have at least liked to see them swap positions at some point during the game (like the second half, when LD fell out of the game!)
-Gooch and Boca looked pretty good in CD. Now if only we can find a LB!
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MLS News

Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree with his FC Dallas Practice Observation report for the week.
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Jeff Bradley at MLSnet uses his First XI to tell us why Real Salt Lake shouldn't stink again this year. For some reason my ESP tells me that Javier Morales will have the most impact on that team.
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Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe says the New England Revolution have all eyes focused on the MLS Cup.
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Larry Millson of the Toronto Globe & Mail on the new coach, John Carver, and what he brings to the field.
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Millson also writes about TFC's first round draft pick Pat Phelan.
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I think we already knew this: The MLS All Star game will be played in Toronto. The date is July 24.
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MLS Rumor City

A couple of Bermudian's are headed for Chicago to try out with the Fire. Defender Cud-Joe Matthews (you can't make that up) of Boulevard and forward Antwon Russell of Dandy Town (you can't make that up either). That's gold, Jerry, gold.
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Bayern Munich's Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto says he wants to come play in MLS. In 2009. Whatever.
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We now know that the 2 MLS teams with the best regular season records in 2007 will take part in SL08. This 4 are DC, Chivas USA, Houston & New England.
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College News

UCLA has hired Bruce Arena's son Kenny as an assistant coach. Kenny, if you are reading this, congrats to you my man.
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US Soccer News

Big news on upcoming USA friendlies to be played before World Cup qualifying start on June 15:
US Soccer has now confirmed that they will play matches in Poland on March 26 and in Spain on June 4. The also said that they are working on a match with a FIFA top 5 opponent on June 8 somewhere in the northeastern USA. Right now the top 5 are Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain & Germany. So let's sleuth this one out: Spain & Brazil are out. That leaves the other 3. With Euro 2008 starting on June 7 Germany & Italy are out. That leaves only Argentina. But for some reason I keep thinking about England (cuz they are not busy and many delusional people think England is a top 5 team). Then there is talk of a game against a so called FIFA top 20 team to be played in Europe before the Spain match. So we could see where this would be Norway, except that they are #29 in the FIFA rankings right now.
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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 6
Dominica 1-1 Barbados - Dom goal by Richard Pacquette. Bar goal by Rashida Williams.
Belize 3-1 St Kitts & Nevis - Bel goals by Deon McCalauy(2) & Harrison Rochez. SK&N goal by Gerard Williams.
Nicaragua 0-1 Netherlands Antilles - NA goal by Anton Jongsma.
El Salvador 12-0 Anguilla - El S goals by Eliseo Quintanilla, Emerson Umana, Shawn Martin(2), Ronald Cerritos(3) & Rudis Corrales (5).
Turks & Caicos 2-1 St Lucia - T&C goals by Gavin Glinton & David Lowrey. SL goal by Nyhime Gilbert.
Aruba 0-3 Antigua & Barbuda - A&B goals by George Dublin, Grayson Gregory & Dario Sierra(OG).
-The return matches will be played on Mar 26.
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Can you believe El Salvador put a 12 spot on the board?!?! Rudi Coralles scored 5 goals & Ronald Cerritos got 3 more! Just how awful is Anguilla (Can you find it on a map without looking it up? I can't).
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Chivas USA midfielder Attiba Harris lead his St Kills & Nevis team to an ass kicking at the hands of mighty Belize.
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San Jose forward Gavin Glinton scored as his team won 2-1!
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The USA will face the winner of Dominica-Barbados, which ended shockingly tied. How bad did Barbados biff that one?
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Michael Lewis at Big Apple Soccer attended Dominica-Barbados. Here is his match report.
-He also reported that the field in Dominica was a near disaster.
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Copa Libertadores

The final qualifying round.
1st leg Matches & Scores:
-Thu Feb 7
Chico v Audax Italiano

2nd leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Tue Feb 5
Mineros 2-1 Arsenal - Arsenal adv 3-2 on agg.
Lanus 3-0 Olmedo - Lanus adv 3-1 on aggregate.
-Wed Feb 6
La Paz 1-0 Atlas -Atlas adv 2-1 on agg.
Cerro Porteno 2-3 Cruzeiro - Cruzeiro adv 6-3 on agg.
-Thu Feb 7
Montevideo Wanderers v Cienciano (0-1)
-Tue Feb 12
Audax Italiano v Chico
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Arsenal, Lanus, Atlas & Cruziero have advanced to the group stage, which begins as early as next week for some groups.
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American's In Europe

Queen's Park Rangers introduces their new American goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
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Greg Seltzer of American Soccer Daily reports that Jeremiah White returned from USA camp to his club team Aarhus and was promptly leveled by an elbow to the face that caused 3 fractures in his cheek. He could be out a month and a half after surgery.
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European News

Ollie from Who Ate All The Pies gives us his: 5 things about England vs Switzerland that made me genuinely angry. This would be kinda funny if it didn't make him so pissed off. Ya gotta feel for the guy.
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The Insider from Soccernet gives us the lowdown from Don Fabio's first game in charged of England.
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A handful from the Guardian:
-The Premiership has a plan to go global.
-Sid Lowe on the insanity that surrounds Luis Aragones Spanish team.
-Can Capello make England work?
-Barney Ronay says yes ,maybe he can.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune calls Capello a molder of clay.
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The Telegraph take a closer look at Liverpool's financial debts.
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Inter Milan want to add Villarreal forward (and American traitor) Giuseppe Rossi to their team this summer.
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European National Team Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 6
Wales 3-0 Norway
Turkey 0-0 Sweden
Cyprus 1-1 Ukraine
Slovenia 1-2 Denmark
Israel 1-0 Romania
Hungary 1-1 Slovakia
Georgia 1-3 Latvia
Iceland 2-0 Armenia
Malta 0-1 Belarus
Macedonia 1-1 Serbia
Poland 2-0 Czech Republic
Greece 2-1 Finland
Moldova 1-0 Kazakhstan
Ireland 0-1 Brazil
Northern Ireland 0-1 Bulgaria
England 2-1 Switzerland
Austria 0-3 Germany
Croatia 0-3 Netherlands
Italy 3-1 Portugal
Spain 1-0 France
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World News

The Guardian with an article on the growth of Asian football at the international level.
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World Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 6
USA 2-2 Mexico - USA goals by Oguchi Onyewu & Jozy Altidore. Mex goals both by Jonny Magallon.
Venezuela 1-1 Haiti - Ven goal by Alexander Rondon. Hai goal by Brunel Fucien.
Argentina 5-0 Guatemala - Arg goals by Gonzalo Higuain(2), Ezequiel Lavezzi, Jonathan Maidana & Marco Ruden.
Honduras 2-0 Paraguay - Hon goals by Amado Guevara & Carlo Costly.
Bolivia 2-1 Peru
Jamaica 1-1 Costa Rica - Jam goal by Tyrone Marshall. CR goal by Victor Nunez.
Uruguay 2-2 Colombia
Trinidad & Tobago 0-0 Guadeloupe
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Jaime Cardenas of the LA Times with a match report from Argentina v Guatemala. The game was played at the LA Coliseum.
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Asian World Cup Qualifiers

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 6
S Korea 4-0 Turkmenistan
Australia 3-0 Qatar
Japan 4-1 Thailand
United Arab Emirates 2-0 Kuwait
Oman 0-1 Bahrain
Jordan 0-1 N Korea
Iraq 1-1 China
Iran 0-0 Syria
Lebanon 0-1 Uzbekistan
Saudi Arabia 2-0 Singapore
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African Cup of Nations

Semifinal Matches & Scores
-Thu Feb 7
Ivory Coast 1-4 Egypt - Ivo goal by Abdelkader Keita. Egy goals by Ahmed Fathi, Amr Zaki(2) & Mohamed Aboutrika
Ghana 0-1 Cameroon - Goal by Alain Nkong.
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A 2nd former MLS player has brought glory to his team in Africa as Alain Nkong of Cameroon scored the game winner to advance to the finals. At one time he played for Colorado, as did Ghana's Junior Agogo.
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Paul Doyle of the Guardian on Cameroon's dream to succeed.


Anonymous MK said...

Goff reported that Jonathan Spector was not involved in the Mexico game because a deal worked out with West Ham that would see him available for the Olympic qualifying run.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Graham said...

I've finally watched the Wire after you were yelling about it aways back and it does indeed rock.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playing Donovan on the outside is just plain dumb. If Bradley can't figure that out, we need a new coach.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Brucio -

Do you really feel that way about Rossi or are you just saying that in jest (the traitor thing). I think Jozy gonna make us forget Rossi anyway.

It's funny Dempsey plays in the right midfield for his club (at least when they have true forwards available... welcome back BMcB!) and Landon plays CAM/FW for his club - but their switched for the Nats- somebody's thinking goofy.

8:23 PM  
Blogger FC Uptown said...

Moor has always played RB for Dallas. Goodson played center back.

When the f is Kenny Cooper going to get called up to the national team again? Altidore is sharp, but Cooper has comparable skills plus 2 inches of height.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

What up Bruce!

Actually, Ze Roberto is still a quick, urgent, quality player and one that can go at about 3-4 positions.

Would love to see him in Chicago or San Jose... or heck, Chivas USA

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Demko said...

So who can challenge Convey on the left midfield slot until Beasley gets healthy? Davis? Mapp?

Agree that donovan needs to be in the middle.

Continuing to call up eddie lewis, much as i love the guy, is a waste.

Spain and Poland in Europe is fabulous. Kudos to us soccer.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

FYI- During the Duke vs. UNC game, ESPN cut in to show highlights of the US game. While ESPN still struggles to broadcast soccer effectively, they seem to putting forth a much better effort.

RE: Donovan on the right.
Bradley seems to go nuts for defensively minded CM (yes M. Bradley is a scoring threat in Holland but Dad makes him play more defensively oriented).
When you play out wide you have the ability to get isolated with one defender more often. I think Bradley is hoping that Donovan gets into these situations more regularly...albeit, it doesnt seem to be working...

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a left back.... Frank Simek, for some reason Bradley hates calling him up (I know he is injured now). I've always been impressed watching his games for club & country. I think Bornstein must have dirty pics of Bradley to keep getting the calls above Simek, he is fine for club, but too small for international duty
Reid in CT

11:59 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i thought simek played right back?

5:14 PM  
Anonymous balerion said...

yeah, Simek is a RB -- I've never heard of him shifting over. He's behind Cherundolo and probably Spector at RB, although he may move up a notch if Spector settles in at LB -- depending on that situation develops.

and I believe it was Ives who reported the WHU-Spector deal. It was made when 'Dolo was healthy, but when he got hurt, Bradley got caught with his pants down.

and finally, Khano Smith played for Dandy Town before making it over to the Revs.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I was driving around this weekend it did pop into my mind that Simek plays RB.... sorry about that

11:31 AM  

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