Thursday, July 03, 2008

Got My Spine News

Liga Deportiva Universitaria Quito are your 2008 Copa Libertadores Champions!!!


The Blue Sky Soccer Store has a great new shirt for sale - No one likes a diving Italian. Here is the image, here is the shirt, and here is where you can buy one. Awesome!

MLS Scoreboard

Week 15
Matches & Scores:
-Thu Jul 3
Salt Lake v Houston - 9pm central on ESPN2 & ESPN Deportes
Match preview by Jeff Carlisle at Soccernet.
Match preview by James Edward of the Deseret News.
-Fri Jul 4
Dallas v Kansas City - 6pm central on HDNet
Colorado v New York - 8:30pm central on Direct Kick
Los Angeles v New England - 9:30pm central on Direct Kick
-Sat Jul 5
Columbus v Chicago - 7pm central on FSC & FSE
Chivas USA v San Jose - 9:30pm central on FSC & FSE
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Toronto & DC have the week off.
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MLS Standings

Eastern Conference
30 New England
26 Columbus
22 DC
21 Toronto
20 Chicago (GD +9)
20 New York (GD -3)
16 Kansas City
Western Conference
21 Los Angeles
19 Salt Lake (GD -1)
19 Houston (GD -2)
18 Chivas
17 Dallas
16 Colorado
12 San Jose
(Goal Differential is the first tie breaker)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS News


Lars Lifrak of Soccer 365 does a Q & A with keeper Brad Guzan. They talk a little about Chivas and a lot about leaving to play in Europe.
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George Tanner of FC Rocky, the blog from the Rocky Mountain Times newspaper, says the Raps are gonna introduce another new shirt next Wednesday in a home friendly v UANL Tigres of Mexico.
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Friday nights game v New York is sold out. But some standing room tickets will be available.
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Shawn Mitchell of the Dispatch looks at what it's going to take to get former Rev's forward Pat Noonan on the Crew roster. It's not easy.
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Mitchell on his blog Covering The Crews says coach Sigi Schmid is off to his daughters wedding this weekend, so assistant Robert Warzycha takes over at the wheel of the company truck.
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FC Dallas Updates with some interesting news - the top brass from River Plate are in Texas all week to discuss forming a partnership with FCD. I hope that works. It would be a great one.
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If Houston win tonight they will take over 1st place in the West.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bernardo Fallas of the Chronicle says the second half of the season will be much tougher for Houston than the first half has been.
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Fallas with today's team notes.
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Fallas tracks down former Dynamo Paul Dalglish - and guess where he is living. Houston. He is going to be involved with the teams youth club!
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Friday nights game v New England is sold out. But some standing room tickets will be available.
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The team has sent young forward Argenis Fernandez out on loan to Alajuelense in his native Costa Rica.
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Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer on the teams introduction of two new players - defensive midfielder Juan Martin Pietravallo of Argentine & left midfielder Jorge Rojas of Venezuelan.
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Lewis talks to former Metro Giovanni Savarese about his countryman Rojas.
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Frank Giase of the Newark Star Ledger with an article on the new boys.
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If RSL win tonight they will take over 1st place in the West. Can you believe that??
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Michael C Lewis of the Tribune says RSL need to keep this new momentum going into the 2nd half of the season.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


SJE is very close to signing midfielder Francisco Lima. The good new is that he has a lot of international experience as a defensive midfielder. The bad news is that he is 37 and hasn't been a regular anywhere for the past 2 or 3 years of a 12 year pro career.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Elliot Almond of the Mercury News with more on Lima.
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Normally I don't comment on which play wins "Goal of the Week", but I just had to say something when Luciano Emilio's little bloop header wins, and Steve Ralston's rebound into a nearly open net finishes 2nd, both beating out Emmauel Ekpo's brilliant 55 yard dash and smash to the back post from over 20 yards out. Now THIS is a goal of the week. Come on people?!?!?!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccer America name their MLS Team of the Month (June) for each of the Eastern & Western conferences.
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Nick Green of the Daily Breeze on his blog 100 Percent Soccer laments the loss of several soccer writers spots at newspapers in the recent days, weeks & months, with the trend only expected to continue.
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MLS Rookie Of The Year

Here is our pick of the award candidates so far:
1 Kheli Dube - New England Revolution
2 Sean Franklin - Los Angeles Galaxy
3 Ely Allen - Los Angeles Galaxy
4 Anthony Beltran - Real Salt Lake
5 Justin Braun - Chivas USA
6 Luke Sassano - New York Red Bulls
7 Julius James - Toronto FC
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ lists their 11 favorite rookies so far.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS Golden Boot

11 Landon Donovan - LAG
10 Edson Buddle - LAG
10 Luciano Emilio - DCU
8 Kenny Cooper - FCD
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MLS Rumor City - Don't Tease Me Bro!

Darren Huckerby is visiting Toronto & San Jose this week as he tries to decide if he wants to sign with a MLS team. TFC have first dibs.
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Brian Lewis on the NY Post blog Extra Time looks at two more potential Red Bulls signings.
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Former MLS Player News

Ives Galarcep of Soccer by Ives reports that former Houston forward Joseph Ngwenya is on a trial with one of his admirers - Juergen Klinsmann and his new team Bayern Munich. Ngwenya also happens to have Martin Vasquez in his corner who was an asst coach in LA when Ngwenya was there, and now Vasquez is Klinsi's right hand man in Germany. Is there any chance he makes this team?
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In yesterday's comments, but friend KJ remarked at how much he does not like SuperLiga. So I feel the need to go on the record and say how much I LOVED last years edition. I hope the games are as good this year. But I do understand KJ's disapproval of a tournament jammed right into the middle of the MLS season, and serving no other purpose than to make money. And now that we have a proper CONCACAF Champions League is there a reason for this tournament to continue after this one?
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USL First Division Scoreboard

Matches & Scores:
-Thu Jul 3
Atlanta v Minnesota
Carolina v Seattle
-Fri Jul 4
Miami v Puerto Rico
-Sat Jul 5
Charleston v Seattle
Rochester v Vancouver
-Sun Jul 6
Montreal v Puerto Rico
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

USL First Division Standings

Standings (games played):
24 Charleston (13)
23 Vancouver (12)
21 Portland (16)
19 Seattle (13)
17 Atlanta (13)
17 Carolina (14)
16 Minnesota (14)
16 Miami (16)
15 Montreal (13)
15 Puerto Rico (11)
11 Rochester (12)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccer In America

Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune on his blog the Red Card gives us a list of his Top 20 favorite soccer commercials. There are some great ones here. I can't believe I am saying that about advertising, but I am.
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Canada & CSA News

Next up is the fifth of six games between Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal to determine the Canadian entrant in the CONCACAF Champions League:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Matches & Scores:
-Jul 9
Vancouver v Toronto
-Jul 22
Toronto v Montreal
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Standings (games played):
6 Montreal (3)
3 Toronto (2)
3 Vancouver (2)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Copa Libertadores

Final 2nd Leg Match & Score:
-Wed Jul 2
Fluminense 3-1 LDU Quito - Flu goals all by Thiago Neves. LDU goal by Luis Bolanos - series ends tied 5-5 on aggregate, 30 minutes of extra time were played to no effect, and LDU win on Penalty Kicks 3-1!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My thoughts on the match:
-A huge night for Ecuadorians everywhere.
-LDU survived a hat trick of goals by Thiago Neves from Flu. He was a monster out there.
-I watched the game at Charlys Polleria in Northeast Minneapolis and it was a blast. Charly was all smiles and gave me a huge handshake afterward. The girls were very happy and shrieking with excitement. The boys got drunk and argued about their bills.
-The funniest part of this match was the PK's. The Liga goal keeper was fairly awful all game long, yet he made saves on 3 of 4 Flu shots (unintentional humor) in the shoot out. I don't think this says as much about his goalkeeping as it does about how bad those PK attempts were. They were truly horrible!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gregory Sica of Sports Illustrated on the giant killing title winners called Liga.
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Four articles from Reuters on the grand finale:
-LDU celebrate another first for Ecuador
-Neves nets bittersweet final hat-trick
-Fluminense coach devastated by Libertadores final defeat
-Another Maracana flop, say the Brazilian media
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

European News


With Luis Aragones leaving the national team job for Fenerbahce, he has thrown the name of former Real Madrid multiple title winning coach Vincente Del Bosque into the mix to replace him.
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The French Football Federation are keeping head coach Raymond Domenech on as the leader of their national team. I am surprised by this.
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Hernan Crespo is now free to pick any team he wants after his contract with Chelsea expired. He spent two years on loan at Milan, and the most recent 2 on loan at Inter.
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Juergen Klinsmann's first order of business as Bayern coach was to ban all cell phones from the teams training grounds! Hard core. I love it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Portugal is expected to hire Man United assistant coach Carlos Queiroz as their new national team coach, replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

SIgi's midseason vacation is a total joke!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just ordered a thousand of those caution azzuri shirts! Brilliant! Ok, I only ordered one, but in spirit I ordered a gazillion.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Drew said...

Your right anon. #1, he should just blow off his daughter's wedding. Much less important than that meaningful once in a lifetime mid-season MLS match. Tool.

12:06 PM  
Blogger betch said...

Any possibility of adding a section for the WPS, the USWNT, or maybe even the W-League (since you do cover USL from time to time)?

* W-League playoffs are coming up soon

* WPS may see teams in San Diego and the Bay Area next year

* USWNT won the Peace Queen Cup tournament and the roster was announced for the Olympics

If you've already touched on some of these topics then great, thanks! But I'd love to see them as a regular part of your posts.

12:55 PM  
Blogger mike said...

I agree with you completely about Emelio's goal, what a joke. But as for Ralston's goal you were looking at the wrong one, his second goal was up for the vote (the one where he cut back twice and then bounced it off the woodwork with his left). It seems like DC always wins no matter what kind of crap ends up in the back of the net.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ekpo's goal is a joke. What did he do? nothing that was an easy goal. Take a look at the great defending oh wait there was none. Only after the shot did 4 guys decide to defend.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad that comments here reflect the general ignorance of many "soccer" afficianados in America.

Its as if americans do not under stand the game and instead are impressed by someone who runs far or shoots from far out against a weak defense.

Emilio's goal deserves goal of the week due to degree of difficulty. If you think scoring a goal on a header while moving away from the goal is easy then ask yourself how many MLS players do it on a regular basis?

9:21 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hey Fatass - tell that effin' store that they forgot the four gold stars on that Azzurri shirt.

Forza Italia

11:43 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

thanks greg
i will tell them
i am glad it pisses you off!
cuz the truth hurts doesn't it

now i will get back to my general ignorance

9:58 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

hey betch
i understand where you are coming from
but i just dont know the teams and players well enough to cover it
there are several other blogs who do a great job with it though

9:59 AM  
Blogger brucio said... other thing greg -
my ass is not the part of me that is fat
that would be my belly
my ass is actually quite flat
so calling me fatass doesn't realy apply in this case

10:01 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

anyone bashing emilio's goal is nuts! he was off balanced, moving away from goal (due to the cross being over him) and yet he still managed to find enough power to hit it to the top, opposite corner. maybe the replays dont do it justice, but i was there, and let me tell you, it was beautiful. Epko simply dribbled up field with no pressure (and horrible defense) and then kicked it in without even one foot trying to block the shot...

10:34 AM  

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