Thursday, April 10, 2008

Let's Get A Little Closer News

Three of the four final teams in the Champions League are English. That is a big deal. Wasn't it just a couple of years ago where 3 of the 4 were from the same country?


The Independent newspaper in England with an article on the 1970 Brazilian World Cup winning team - some call the best team ever. Where are they now? See the South American News section below

CONCACAF Champions Cup

CONCACAF Champions Cup
Semifinals - 2nd Leg Matches & Scores (with 1st leg scores included):
-Wed Apr 9
DC 2-1 Pachuca - Pach advance 3-2 on aggregate. DC goals by Rod Dyachenko & Franco Niell. Pach goal by Damian Alvarez.
Match report by Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
Match report by John Haydon of the Washington Times.
Post game notes and DC player ratings by Goff on his Soccer Insider blog.
Post game notes by Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner on his blog The Pitch.
Saprissa 3-0 Houston Sapr adv 3-0 on agg. Sapr goals by Armando Alonso, Celso Borges & Jairo Arrieta.
Match report from the Houston Chronicle.
Player analysis for Houston by Glenn Davis on his Soccer Hour blog. Davis points out only a couple of small negatives, but when you lose 3-0 there is plenty of fault to go around. On the other hand Davis was actually in CR so we gotta give him credit for that! I am jealous.
Minute-by-minute report and post game notes by Bernardo Fallas on his Soccer y Futbol blog.
More notes and analysis from Fallas on his blog.
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Jeff Carlisle of Soccernet on the elimination of both MLS teams last night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ with an article on the wins by Saprissa & Pachuca.
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Pat Walsh of says it was not as bad as it may have seemed for our MLS teams.
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My notes and thoughts on the 2 games:
-Didn't you just have a terrible feeling for DC with Damian Alvarez came in as the first sub for Pachuca? I did. That guy is so awesome, and I felt that coming back from an injury he had something to prove.
-The back 3 for DC of Namoff, Peralta & Martinez played their asses off. I loved how they handled the ball and started things from the back rather than just blasting the ball forward whenever they felt pressure. What a joy to watch.
-This team really misses Ben Olsen.
-Jaime Moreno had some good moments on the ball. His amazing control is fun too watch. But with him and Gallardo both out there the team looks slow.
-Start with this - Saprissa has never lost a CONCACAF game at home. Not good odds for our boys.
-Houston was also going to have a tough time in Costa Rica without a lead from leg 1. In many ways they lost the series last week by dominating but not scoring goals at home, that is what 2 legged knockout soccer is all about.
-Having 4 regulars out with injury or suspension set Houston up for a long shot, then a leader like Craig Waibel goes out early with an injury to put you even further under a big rock ready to drop.
-Back up keeper Tony Caig was again a joke. The first Saprissa goal hit him in the chest and slid under him. I know it took a deflection, but it still went right under him. Brutal. The first goal he gave up last weekend against Dallas was eerily similar. Then on the 3rd goal last night he came waaaaaaay off his line for no damn reason and got torched, just like he was also off his line and got chipped by Dallas for a goal. That has to be some of the worst goalkeeping I have seen from MLS in a long time.
-Houston's offensive players kept looking for the perfect shot. When you are on the road, you have to shoot shoot shoot. Then shoot again. Quickly.
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UEFA Champions League

Quarterfinal 2nd Leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Tue Apr 8
Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal - the Liverpeople advance 4-3 on aggregate. - Liv goals by Sami Hyypia, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard(PK) & Ryan Babel. Ars goals by Abou Diaby & Emmanuel Adebayor.
Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce - Chel adv 3-2 on agg. Chel goals by Michael Ballack & Frank Lampard.
-Wed Apr 9
Manchester United 1-0 Roma - ManU adv 3-0 on agg. ManU goal by Carlos Tevez.
Barcelona 1-0 Schalke (1-0) - Barc adv 2-0 on agg. Barc goal by Yaya Toure.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Guardian on Eric Cantona's visit to Manchester to see his old team in action.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Daniele De Rossi missed a PK for Roma that could have put a lot more pressure on their game in Manchester, he called it “the worst moment of my career.” I hear ya.
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Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune says its now Barca v the English for the Champions League crown.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Semifinal 1st Leg Matches & Scores:
-Tue Apr 22
Liverpool v Chelsea
-Wed Apr 23
Barcelona v Manchester United
Semifinal 2nd Leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Tue Apr 29
Manchester United v Barcelona (-)
-Wed Apr 30
Chelsea v Liverpool (-)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS Scoreboard

Week 3 Matches & Scores:
-Wed Apr 9
Kansas City 1-3 New England - KC goal by Jack Jewsbury(PK). NE goals by Jack Jewsbury(OG), Sainey Nyassi & Kenny Mansally.
-Attendance: 8,096
Match report by Bob Luder of the Kansas City Star.
Match report by Frank Dell'apa of the Boston Globe.
Match report from the Boston Herald written by the KC Star's Pete Grathoff.
Post game notes from Dell'apa.
-Sat Apr 12
San Jose v Chicago - 3:30pm central on FSC
Columbus v Chivas USA - 6:30pm central on Direct Kick
New England v Colorado - 6:30pm central on Direct Kick
Kansas City v Houston - 7pm central on HDNet
Dallas v New York - 7:30pm central on Direct Kick
Salt Lake v DC - 8pm central on Direct Kick
Sun Apr 13
Los Angeles v Toronto - 2pm central on TeleFutura
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS News


Chicago's Southtown Star with an article about an ongoing FBI investigation against the mayor of Bridgeview IL who helped fund the Fire's stadium. He has been accused o threatening a business into selling to secure land for the stadium. But the mayor got good news when one of the key witnesses against him recanted their story. The guy probably woke up with a horse head in his bed with him!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Has Chivas USA signed goalkeeper Dan Kennedy? He has recently been in the 2nd Division in Chile playing for Municipal of Iquique. Before that he played for the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL First Division.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch on the Crew's new Argentine defender Gino Padula, who is looking forward to being able to buy a hot roast beef sandwich, some tube socks, a leaf rake and a 75 pound bag of dog food at 4am in some giant faceless 24-hour mega-mart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mitchell also has lots of new team notes on his Covering the Crew blog.
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Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree gives us his weekly Dallas Practice Observations.
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TeleFutura gave Dax McCarty a nickname - Flecha Roja - Red Arrow! Good one. From the FC Dallas Updates blog.
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Now that KC has played their first 3 games on the season at home, winning 2 and losing 1, they get 1 last home match (fixed) and then have to play their next 6 games on the road, and do not get another home game until June 14. So not only are they playing in baseball park, but they also have to live with an insane schedule. They better win a lot of road games or the entire city will forget they exist.
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The official LA Galaxy blog tells that 3 of 7 Cuban Olympic team defectors are getting a tryout with the team.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Their young Costa Rican forward Argenis Fernandez has finally secured a work visa and is in the USA. He can now get back to training with the team and fighting for a spot on the field.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Several from Michael Lewis at Big Apple Soccer:
-Youngster Matt Kassel has come up through the MetroStars/Red Bulls youth teams and is now training with the senior team, and possibly going to sign a pro contract.
-Lewis gives his opinion on who the Red Bulls should consider hiring to run their soccer team now that Marc de Grandpre has stepped down.
-Scottish defender Chris Innes is on trial with the team, but his signing window is very short.
-With Jeff Parke suspended due to a Red Card, Carlos Mendes will probably starting at centerback this weekend.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Juan Pablo Angel is suffering from a hamstring strain is about 50-50 for this weekend.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


James Edward of the Deseret Morning News looks at the RSL attack in the first 2 games - 28 shots and 1 goal - not good.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Edward reveals on the newspapers RSL blog that Nathan Sturgis will probably get the start over Carey Talley this weekend. I think its a great move.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


It's official, Amado Guevara is a Red.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Jeff Bradley at MLSnet gives us his thoughts on team names in his column - First XI.
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Andrew Hush at Soccernet looks at the Over and Under paid of MLS.
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USL First Division News

The First Division season kicks off this Saturday!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Matches & Scores:
-Sat Apr 12
Miami v Charleston
Vancouver v Montreal
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Americans In Europe

Marcus Hahnemann talks to the Reading website about his feelings toward his former team and American friends at Fulham who are all but officially doomed for relegation. Great stuff from Marcus. (thanks to BQ for this)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ravi Ubha of Soccernet talks to young goalkeeper Tally Hall about his first season as a professional with Esbjerg in Denmark.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wrote in more than a few emails yesterday how depressed I was feeling about Fulham having such a disastrous season and being so close to relegation. I hate it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wednesday match results:
-Jay DeMerit - Watford - came off the bench in the 70th minute, but by then they were already down 0-3 at home to Barnsley. The score stayed that way. They are sitting in 5th place, which is a promotion playoff spot, with 4 games left to play. Sadly a win yesterday would have out them in 1st place.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mexico & FMF News

Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle looks at the mirror opposite seasons that Mexican powers Club America & Guadalajara Chivas are having.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ wonders if interim Mexican national team head Chucho Ramirez is the man for the permanent job?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

South American News

The Independent with a truly fantastic article - they track down the member of the amazing 1970 Brazilian World Cup team! Wow!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gregory Sica at Sports Illustrated with stories on the original clubs of both Pele & Maradona - Santos & Boca Juniors.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Copa Libertadores

Group Stage Matches & Scores:
-Tue Apr 8
Atlas 3-1 Boca Juniors - Atl goals by Gerardo Flores & Bruno Marioni(2). BJ goal by Sebastian Battaglia.
San Jose 2-4 Cucuta Deportivo - SJ goals by Luis Cerutti & Enrique Parada. Cuc goals by Matias Urbano(3) & Macnelly Torres.
Libertad 3-1 Liga Universitaria Quito - Lib goals by Dante Lopez, Juan Manuel Olivera & Nelson Cuevas. LDUQ goal by Alfonso Obregon.
-Wed Apr 9
Arsenal 2-3 Fluminense - Ars goals by Leonardo Biaggini & Juan Bottaro.
Guadalajara 3-2 Santos - Guad goals by Omar Arellano, Javier Rodriguez & Sergio Santana. Sant goals both by Kleber.
Cienciano 0-3 Flamengo - Flam goals by Renato Augusto, Toro & Juan.
-Thu Apr 10
Colo Colo v Maracaibo
Sportivo Luqueno v Atletico Nacional
Audax Italiano v Sao Paulo
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cucuta Deportivo join Atlas, Cruzeiro, Fluminense & LDU Quito in securing 5 of the 16 spots in the knock out rounds.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Group Stage Standings
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

England News

The Guardian tell us why jaded & cynical fans & reporters love to hate Kevin Keegan, optimistic coach of Newcastle.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Independent with an article that tells us the investigation into financial corruption at Birmingham City is getting even more serious.
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The Independent also talks to former England player and manager Bobby Robson about the state of youth programs in their country.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

European News

With only 7 games left in the Spanish season talented Zaragoza are in the relegation zone and 4 points from safety. Can they right the ship?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The rumor mill says Dennis Bergkamp could become the coach of Ajax. How will he travel with the team when he says he can't fly? On the other hand Bergkamp has been taking the classes needed to earn a coaching license.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian tells us about the best of the best in the history of Red Star Belgrade or Crvena Zvezda Beograd as they are now known.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Independent with a story on some people in German & Spanish football thinking that England's idea to play league matches outside their own country just might be a very good idea.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Quarterfinal 2nd Leg Matches & Scores (with first leg scores included):
-Thu Apr 10
Zenit v Leverkusen (4-1)
Sporting v Rangers (0-0)
Getafe v Bayern (1-1)
PSV v Fiorentina (1-1)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

World News

Nigeria has rehired Shaibu Amodu as their national team coach. He previously ran the team in both 1996 and 2000.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Guardian with an article on a new era of football in Syria.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure there were 3 English teams in the semis of the Champions League last year. The outsider being AC Milan, who won the whole thing.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Chicago's Southtown Star with an article about an ongoing FBI investigation against the mayor of Bridgeview IL who helped fund the Fire's stadium. He has been accused o threatening a business into selling to secure land for the stadium."

It sounds like something the Chicago Daley Democratic Political Machine would do.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Matth: said...

Bridgeview is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Cicero.

1:33 AM  
Blogger digchros said...

Regarding Bergkamp, outside of European competition he probably would never have to fly to a domestic match since Holland is so small!

7:47 AM  
Blogger Martek said...

Hey Bruce,

Great roundup as always. Except for that the Wizards are hosting Dynamo Saturday. THEN, they're on the road for what seems like forever.

And here's a shameless plug: I'll have a preview of he game up over at my Nutmegged ( blog later today. Could we get a listing as the 84th fellow freak?

10:58 AM  

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