Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pop That Balloon News

2 more Cuban players have defected today, raising the total to 7. That would bring their available squad down to 13. How can they possibly play like that? One of the defecting players told a reporter: "My dream was always to play in the MLS." Other reports are quoting Cuban team officials who are claiming to be "stunned" by the defections. St Petersburg Times has 2 articles with more info. One -and- Two.


West Ham has confirmed on their website that they will be the opponent for this years MLS All Star game. The match will be Thu Jul 24 in Toronto.

MLS News

Kartik Kirshnaiyer of the American Soccer Spot and American Soccer Radio Show has a heartfelt essay laying out how he feels MLS is failing in its original mission of growing soccer in America. There is some good stuff here.
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Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe reports on the final weeks ahead for New England's preseason - it will be tough.
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John Connolly of the Boston Herald with an article on Rev's midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. I think he quietly had a very good season last year, which is not something that I saw coming.
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Mike Biglin of the MetroWest Daily News on New England's trip to New Orleans this weekend for friendlies.
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Buzz Carrick at 3rd Degree with his weekly report from FC Dallas practice.
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FC Dallas Updates has video of players Abe Thompson & Dario Sala talking about preseason preparations.
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Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer on New York's #1 keeper Jon Conway.
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Frank Dell'apa at Soccernet says Claudio Lopez is great player for Kansas City to sign.
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Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star talks to TFC management about the complaints being lodged against them by fans of away teams who are being limited to 100 tickets per game.
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MLS Preseason Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Mar 12
Rosario Central (Argentina) 2-2 Salt Lake in Rosario
San Lorenzo (Argentina) 0-3 Kansas City in Buenos Aires
-Thu Mar 13
Dallas v U Tulsa at PHP
Boca Juniors or Velez Sarsfield (Argentina) v Kansas City in Buenos Aires
-Fri Mar 14
New England v Marathon (Honduras) in New Orleans
Estudiantes (Argentina) v Kansas City in Buenos Aires
Bermuda (National team) v Colorado in Bermuda National Sports Center
-Sat Mar 15
Dallas v Los Angeles at PHP
Chivas USA v San Diego State at HDC
New York v Hammarby (Sweden) at HDC
-Sun Mar 16
New Orleans v New England in New Orleans
Fresno Fuego v Chivas USA
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Diego Aparicio of the Dallas Morning News previews Dallas v LA on Saturday.
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Carolina Challenge Cup

-Preseason Tournament March 15-22 in Charleston South Carolina
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Charleston Battery
San Jose Earthquakes
Toronto FC
New York Red Bulls
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Matches & Scores:
-Sat Mar 15
San Jose v Toronto
New York v Charleston
-Wed Mar 19
New York v Toronto
San Jose v Charleston
-Sat Mar 22
Toronto v Charleston
San Jose v New York
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The two groups were announced today for this summers tournament. Website
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Group A:

Group B:
Chivas USA
Santos Laguna
New England
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Matches & Scores:
-Sat Jul 12
DC v Guad
Hou v Atl
-Sun Jul 13
NE v Sant
Chiv v Pach
-Tue Jul 15
Dc v Atl
Hou v Guad
-Wed Jul 16
NE v Pach
Chiv v Sant
-Sat Jul 19
DC v Hou
Atl v Guad - location tbd
-Sun Jul 20
Chiv v NE
Sant v Pach - location tbd
-Tue Jul 29
Semifinal #1 - location tbd
-Wed Jul 30
Semifinal #2 - location tbd
-Tue Aug 5
Final - location tbd
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USL First Division & PDL News

Miami has signed 2 young Brazilian midfielders, Mineiro & Caue, from the Reserve team of Vitoria.
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USA Olympic Team

Official team blog.
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CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

Group A Matches & Scores (all games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa FL):
-Tue Mar 11
Panama 0-1 Honduras -Hon goal by Hendry Thomas.
USA 1-1 Cuba - USA goal by Freddy Adu. Cuba goal by Roberto Linares.
-Thu Mar 13
Honduras v Cuba
USA v Panama - live at 7pm central on Fox Soccer Channel
-Sat Mar 15
Cuba v Panama
USA v Honduras - live at 6pm central on Fox Soccer Channel

Group B Matches & Scores (all games at Home Deport Center in Carson CA):
-Wed Mar 12
Haiti 0-1 Guatemala - Guat goal by Marvin Avila.
Canada 1-1 Mexico - Can goal by Will Johnson. Mex goal by Luis Landin.
-Fri Mar 14
Canada v Haiti
Mexico v Guatemala
-Sun Mar 16
Guatemala v Canada
Mexico v Haiti
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The top 2 teams from each group will meet in the semifinals: A1 v B2 & B1 v A2.

Semifinal Matches & Scores (all games at LP Field in Nashville TN):
-Thu Mar 20

Final Matches & Scores (all games at LP Field in Nashville TN):
-Sun Mar 23
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Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer previews USA v Panama.
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USA Match preview from US Soccer.
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2 USA players, Charlie Davies & Dax McCarty, do an audio interview for US Soccer and preview the game.
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Soccer In America

Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald with a story on the first 5 Cuban Olympic team players that defected in Tampa on Tuesday night.
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Americans In Europe

Wednesday games to keep an eye on:
-Benny Feilhaber - Derby - did not dress for a humiliating 6-1 loss at Chelsea.
-Tim Howard - Everton - went the full 90 in his teams 2-0 win over Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup, but went on to lose 4-2 on Penalty Kicks to decide the winner after the aggregate scored ended 2-2.
-Eddie Lewis - Derby - started and went 58 minutes in that same awful match.
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CONCACAF Champions Cup

Quarterfinals - 1st Leg Matches & Scores:
-Tue Mar 11
Motagua 0-0 Pachuca
-Wed Mar 12
Harbour View 1-1 DC - Harb goal by Lovell Palmer. Dc goal by Devon McTavish.
Municipal 0-0 Houston
-Thu Mar 13
Atlante v Saprissa - 10pm central on FSC

Quarterfinals - 2nd Leg Matches & Scores (with 1st leg scores included):
-Tue Mar 18
DC v Harbour View (1-1)
-Wed Mar 19
Pachuca v Motagua (0-0)
Houston v Municipal (0-0)
-Thu Mar 20
Atlante v Saprissa (-)
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NOTE: There is no away-goals tie breaker used in this tournament.
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Jeff Carlisle of Soccernet reviews both the DC & Houston road games.
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My notes on last nights 2 games:
-Luciano Emilio did not have a good game for DC. His touch was bad, his shots weak, and his passing dreadful. But he never gave up and we all know what he can do.
-The DC back line looked pretty solid for a first game. The 2 Gonzalos in the middle are bruisers and Burch seems to picking up right where he left off.
-DC looked really out of shape though. They got so tired that they could not even jump on those last few free/corner kicks and it cost them a goal.
-New DC #10 Gallardo looks like he has some skill left in his old body. But you gotta hope he holds up all season long. (See Jaime Moreno who tweaked a hamstring 15 minutes in)
-That stadium in Jamaica looked very very small.
-Houston proves again that they have what it takes. Short on players? No problem. They didn't score, but they didn't give up a goal either.
-But Houston definitely needs more strikers. Badly. Chris Wondolowski is not gonna get it done.
-Speaking of goals - if Municipal could finish they could be a fantastic team. But they are like the Colorado Rapids in front of goal. High & Wide.
-Was it just me or did former LA midfielder Pando Ramirez of Municipal look like he wanted some revenge on MLS? He tried to kill a couple people with his wild tackles and cannon shots.
-I enjoyed watching both Harbour View and Municipal. They have some real skills and seem to have a lot of fun playing.
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FMF News

Mark Walsh of Soccer365 with another Mexican derby story - Clasico Joven. A Mexico City derby of America v Cruz Azul. Great stuff.
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South American News looks at the Colombian national team and feels this one could make big strides.
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Gregory Sica of Sports Illustrated gushes for River Plate. He has them penciled in for a return to world power.
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Copa Libertadores

Group Stage Matches & Scores:
-Mar 11
Chivas Guadalajara 0-1 Cucuta Deportivo - Cuc goal by Matias Urbano.
Cienciano 1-0 Coronel Bolognesi - Cien goal by Carlos Solis.
Bamin Real Potosi 2-3 San Lorenzo - Pot goals by Matias Loayza & Alvaro Pintos. San goals by Bernando Romeo, Cristian Chavez & Aureliano Torres(PK).
-Mar 12
Arsenal 0-1 Liga Universitaria Quito - Quito goal by Patricio Urrutia (PK).
Universidad Catolica 1-2 River Plate - Cat goal by Roberto Gutierrez. Riv goals by Sebastian Abreu & Mauro Rosales.
Atlas 3-0 Maracaibo - Atl goals by Gerardo Flores, Jorge Achucarro & Bruno Marioni.
-Mar 13
America v Dep Univ San Martin
Lanus v Deportivo Cuenca
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Group Stage Standings
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European News

Martin Samuel of The Times does not like where the Champions League is leading European football.
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Sports Illustrated talks to Lionel Messi's father who is very angry that rumors are spreading that growth hormones are playing a part in his sons injury problems.
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Frank Lampard scored 4 goals for Chelsea in a Wednesday league match. One he scored on a PK, the other 3 from the run of play, and the team went on to a 6-1 demolition of last place Derby.
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Soccernet has a Q & A with the great Robert Pires, about his current team Villarreal, and his old team Arsenal.
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James Lawton of the Independent wonders if Liverpeople coach Rafa Benitez has finally decided to scrap his rotation system so he can win more games.
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There are reports coming from Russia that fans of Zenit used racial slurs to taunt Marseille players yesterday in the UEFA Cup match.
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And the Russian league kicks off their 2008 season on Friday. Zenit is the defending champs.
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UEFA Champions League

The final 8 teams:
Arsenal - England
Barcelona - Spain
Chelsea - England
Fenerbahce - Turkey
Liverpool - England
Manchester United - England
Roma - Italy
Schalke - Germany
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The draw will be held on Friday.
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Round of 16 - 2nd leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Wed Mar 12
Bayern 1-2 Anderlecht - Bay adv 6-2 on agg.
Hamburg 3-2 Leverkusen - series ends tied 3-3, with Lev adv on the away goals tie breaker.
Getafe 1-0 Benfica - Get adv 3-1 on agg.
Everton 2-0 Fiorentina - series ends tied 2-2, with Fior adv 4-2 on PK's.
PSV 0-1 Tottenham - series ends tied 1-1, with PSV adv 6-5 on PK's.
Zenit 2-0 Marseille - series ends tied 3-3, with Zen adv on the away goals tie breaker.
-Thu Mar 13
Sporting v Bolton (1-1)
Werder v Rangers (0-2)
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FIFA Scandal News

The Telegraph latches onto the ISL/FIFA bribery story and keeps the momentum going against the greed.
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A little more on that same story from The Times Insider column.
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World News

This goes waaaay beyond any derby - Israel and Palestine club football. From the LA Times Babylon & Beyond blog.
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World Soccer has a Q & A with Frederic Kanoute of Sevilla & Mali. Via Sports Illustrated.
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World Cup 2010 - South Africa News

The Confederation Cup is a warm-up tournament sponsored by FIFA that takes place the summer before each World Cup in the host country, ie. South Africa. They use it as a test run of sorts. But it has become more than that when you see the prize money being handed out - Winner: $3.75 Million, 2nd Place: $3.25 M, 3rd Place: $2.75 M, 4th Place: $2.25 M, and the other 4 teams get $1.4 M each. The tournament is set for June 14-28 09.


Blogger sleepylabeef said...

anyone going to be doing some MLS fantasy footie? just picked my squad and i want to see if Brucio can beat the best Greenville, SC has to offer. post your league name in the comments and let's get this going

Sleepy LaBeef

9:10 AM  

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