Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Team We Really Like News

The first Euro 08 Semifinal is today with Germany v Turkey. The other Semi, Russia v Spain is Thursday. See all the details below in the UEFA European Championship section.

~and~

The first leg of the Copa Libertadores Final is tonight with LDU Quito hosting Fluminense. I will be watching the game at the Charlys Polleria, and Ecuadorian place at 29th & Central in Minneapolis. Where will you be watching from? See details below in Copa Libertadores section

~and~

Grahame Jones of the LA Times, one of the most experienced & crabbiest journalists covering American soccer, calls MLS "strange, perhaps even foolhardy" for putting the DC v LA game on ABC right before the Euro final on Sunday. He figures it will expose the leagues weak quality of play. I beg to differ. I think it will show that MLS is not that far off from the top squads of the world, and if we get the kind of ultra conservative final that big tournaments tend to spawn, then we may even see something very exciting before the big game. That NY v LA game last summer was as good as anything I saw, and those SuperLiga games last summer were fantastic. We shall see who is right come Sunday evening.


US Open Cup

2nd Round Matches & Scores:
Carolina Railhawks 1-0 Real Maryland Monarchs
Richmond Kickers 2-1 Western Mass Pioneers
Minnesota Thunder 0-2 Cleveland City Stars - Extra time
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0-3 Rochester Rhinos
Atlanta Silverbacks 0-1 Miami FC Blues
Charlotte Eagles 1-2 Charleston Battery
Crystal Palace Baltimore 2-2 Harrisburg City Islanders - After extra time, CPB adv 3-1 on PK's.
Seattle Sounders 6-0 Hollywood United
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My Thunder went down with a dull thud, 0-2, like a bag of wet dirt last night. It was not fun to watch. They came out in a decent mode, but still not in top gear, then slowed as the game went a long, and finished in full on frustrating lethargy. They were beaten by a team with very few if any real talented players, but guys who knew their purpose and stuck together for 90 scoreless minutes and did the job in extra time. Praise to Cleveland for the strong effort, they earned it. On the sour note, Cleveland forward Anthony Stovall was a striker in the most literal translation of the word last night - he punched Minnesota's Ricardo Sanchez right in the face knocking him out and putting a tooth right through his lip. It was really ugly. I hope that guy doesn't play another minute this year, he sure doesn't deserve to be on a field.
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MLS Scoreboard

Week 14
Matches & Scores:
-Thu Jun 26
Houston v Dallas - 8pm central on ESPN2
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The always fun, yet lopsided, Texas derby! The battle for El Capitan!
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du Nord MLS Player Of The Week

Gonzalo Martinez - Defender - DC United
The Colombian defender has dazzled us all season with his speed and strength out of the back. Then occasionally he makes a mazy run with the ball into the attack. And this week he added a new title on his resume - goal scorer. His goal against San Jose should easily win the goal of the week contest, cuz it rocked. We need more guys like this coming from foreign lands to light up the league!
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MLS News

COLUMBUS CREW

Shawn Mitchell of the Dispatch tells us all about rookie Steven Lenhart who made a big splash in his 4th appearance with a big late goal against LA last Saturday. He is the kid with that insane looking white afro helmetish thing on his head. This article reveals that we won't recognize him next time we see him cuz he cup that weird stuff off.
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Mitchell also has more team notes on his blog Covering The Crew.
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FC DALLAS

Tobias Lopez of the Fort Worth Star Telegram hears some squawking about playing time coming from Brazilian forward Ricardinho.
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DC UNITED

Steven Goff of the Washington Post does his monthly on line chat with fans. You ask, and he answers.
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The Washington Times with a story on how great the DC United fans are. I am glad these things get written even if it is the 376th story on this subject.
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HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Fox affiliate with a report on the building of a Dynamo practice facility and youth soccer complex.
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Bernardo Fallas of the Chronicle reports that with a proper stadium deal nowhere near done, the team is going to sign a lease extension to keep playing at Robertson field. Hey, at least the place has grass.
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KANSAS CITY WIZARDS

Pete Grathoff of the Star writes about rookie Roger Espinoza who has played in 6 games this season, but has 2 Red Cards for taking a pop at someone on the other team. Not a bright guy apparently.
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LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Andrea Canales on her blog Sideline Views has some questions for Landon Donovan about last weekends 3-3 tie with Columbus.
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RED BULL NEW YORK

NYRB travels to Phoenix tonight to take on Chivas of Guadalajara in a friendly. You can watch it at 10pm central on TeleFutura. Big Apple Soccer with a preview.
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Arizona Republic with a match preview.
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Metrofanatic reports that the team has signed Gordon Kljestan to a developmental contract. He is the older brother of Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan.
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MF also has a great list of the 10 most hated opposition players to ever end up playing for NYRB-NYNJM. Pretty great stuff.
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REAL SALT LAKE

Pat Walsh of Goal.com checks in on a team he thought would do well before the season started - Real Salt Lake. I thought they would do well too, and picked them to finish 2nd in the West.
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James Edward of the Deseret News on the player leading the team up the standings - midfielder Javier Morales.
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SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The USA Today says the return of a team to the Bay Area has not been all chocolates and red roses.
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GENERAL

Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America wonders where the first half of the MLS season has gone to already. And where does the league sit as a whole in a summer of big excitement like Euro 08.
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Take a minute today and go read The Other Football, the excellent blog from the Orlando Sentinel. It is mostly done by Brant Parsons, but occasionally people like our pal Kartik Krishnaiyer, Robert Caggiano and others contribute. Great job.
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Orrin Schwarz of Chicago's Daily Herald tells us who his All-Star Game picks are.
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MLS Rumor City - Don't Tease Me Bro!

The Taylor Twellman to Preston North End transfer rumors are getting hot again.
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Pete Grathoff of the KC Star on the possibility of forward Josh Wolff returning to the Wizards after 2 seasons at 1860 Munich.
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Is Irish defender Gary Doherty from Norwich heading to San Jose?
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MLS Stadium Talk

Miami Today reports that the plan to build a soccer stadium on the site of the Orange Bowl is dead.
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Minnesota Thunder News

Us fans have heard quite a bit during the preseason and now a full third of the way through the regular season schedule that this team has a lot of depth. The problem is that we don't see that reflected on the field. We see generally the same 11 game in and game out. The Open Cup provided a great chance to hungry players to get on the field and show what they can do, but we saw the same old same old. This season has too many vibes as the last three, and that is not good.
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Team USA

In case you had not seen the it, here is the schedule for our team in this next round of World Cup qualifying:
Aug 20 at Guatemala
Sep 6 at Cuba
Sep 10 v Trinidad & Tobago - Chicago
Oct 11 v Cuba - DC
Oct 15 at Trinidad & Tobago
Nov 19 v Guatemala - Denver
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Soccer In America

The Chelsea Football Club of London has officially formed a partnership with prestigious Raleigh North Carolina club CASL. Chelsea will sponsor and train the clubs elite squads, and the teams will wear Chelsea gear. Soccernet has some more details. CFC also plan to add more American youth clubs to their group. Very interesting.
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Americans In Europe

The Associated Press checks in with Freddy Adu.
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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying News

Panama fired coach Alexandre Guimaraes after getting clobbered out of qualifying by El Salvador.
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Canada & CSA News

The third of six games between Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal to determine their countries entrant in the CONCACAF Champions League takes place this week:
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Matches & Scores:
-Thu Jun 26
Vancouver V Montreal
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Standings (games played):
3 Toronto (1)
3 Montreal (2)
0 Vancouver (1)
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Copa Libertadores

Final 1st Leg Match & Score:
-Wed Jun 25
Liga Deportivo Universitaria de Quito Ecuador v Fluminese Football Club of Rio de Janeiro Brasil - 7:30pm central on Fox Sports Espanyol
-Wed Jul 2
Fluminese v LDU Quito
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tim Vickery of Sports Illustrated with a preview of these two unexpected finalists.
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European News

The Independent with a story on the European Union government proposing an EU football team to play against other regions of the world.
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FRANCE

Young French star midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has left Lyon and signed with Marseille.
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Old French star defender Lillian Thuram is leaving Barcelona to sign with Paris St Germain.
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OTHERS

Fenerbahce has hired Spain coach Luis Aragones as their new manager.
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2008 UEFA European Championship News

Mark Zeigler from the San Diego Union Tribune with his great news and notes.
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The Daily Utah Chronicle reports on the diverse crowds gathering around TV's on the U of Utah campus to watch the big matches.
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The State Journal of Frankfort, Kentucky with an article on just how fun it's been watching this tournament.
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For all the rest of today's Euro news check with the previously posted special edition.
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2008 UEFA European Championship Schedule

Semifinal Matches & Scores:
-Wed Jun 25
Germany v Turkey - 1:30pm central time on ESPN
-Thu Jun 26
Russia v Spain - 1:30pm central time on ESPN2
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The Final is on Sunday at 1:30pm central on ABC. And will be preceded at 11am central by DC v LA!
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World News

John Conway at the Soccer Training Info blog with an interesting essay on the selling of sex and soccer in advertising etc.
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African News

An editorial in the New York Times suggests the world use South Africa and the 2010 World Cup as a means to put pressure on the cruel and corrupt government of Robert Mugabe in neighboring Zimbabwe.
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Asian World Cup Qualifying

The latest Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad has stepped down from the job after the team was eliminated from World Cup qualifying competition.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I beg to differ. I think it will show that MLS is not that far off from the top squads of the world"

this is a nice sentiment, comparing the standard of play of the MLS to that of the best national teams in Europe, but it is completely untrue. i have played in the MLS as recently as 2 years ago and am excited about the league's growth in both popularity and level of play, but it is extremely far fetched to say that the MLS standard is on par (or even close) with a German or Spanish national team (teams i expect to play in the final).

that said, it is GREAT exposure to be televised before a European Championship and, more importantly, it shows a faith, committment and investment in the MLS from ABC that has traditionally been lacking.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who on Cleveland's team did you like? Why did Stovall punch the Thunder player? Sounds brutal!

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This anonymous agrees with the first anonymous' anonymous comments. So Josh, how will you like coming back to Kansas City? ;-)

I'm MLS through and through but the level at which the Euro games are being played will make MLS look like rec league over 30. Agree, great exposure but expect the feedback to not be all that great from those that watch both and aren't MLS through & through - and they'll be right. At least the two teams playing both seem to be rolling at the moment, so it should be a couple of the better ambassadors showcasing the league in something more than a lull nil-nil tie.

8:05 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

i would take you remarks seriously if you posted your name

otherwise yer opinions are just a joke to me

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brucio,

You're absolutely right about Grahame Jones of the LA Times.

He's not only crabby, but he's openly anti-MLS, and anti-Team USA.
As you might expect, he's not very popular among players.

I realize that Jones has been writing about soccer for a long time (he's in his 60s), and he knows all the teams and players off the top of his head, but I think that people assume because he's British, that he therefore must "know" a lot about the tactics of the game.
And I would say that Jones gets a lot of tactics wrong. Jones can recite the 'who,' 'what,' 'when,' and 'where,' but he's not a particularly strong analyst of tactics.

The funny thing is that he's a Brit, and if he doesn't like America, then why did he move here ?...and why does he continue to live here if he doesn't like America ?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

I heard that Aragones has denied the claim by Fenerbahce that he has been hired as their new manager.

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=451276&sid=SPO

?

4:25 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

"Ken said... I heard that Aragones has denied the claim by Fenerbahce that he has been hired as their new manager."


then he is lying

9:18 AM  

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