Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting Away With It All My Life News

I knew he wouldn't waste any time.... Luis Bueno has already started up a new blog The Touchline. We get an update on our Americans in Mexico right off the bat too! The allure of the blog was too strong to keep him away. Check it out now.


DC United lost at home 2-4 to Marathon of Honduras last night, and finished the 6 game group stage with just 1 point. That is quite embarrassing, not just for the team but for all of MLS.


AC Milan & LA Galaxy have come to an agreement for a loan deal on Beckman. No details beyond "starts in January and ends sometime before the start of the 2009 MLS season. There is also some vague wording about a "technical partnership" formed between the two teams. Ok. Here is all the Galaxy will tell us.

MLS Scoreboard

Quarterfinals - 1st Leg Matches & Scores:
-Thu Oct 30
New England v Chicago - 6:30pm central on ESPN2
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Match preview by Nick Firchau of the Chicago Sun Times.
Match report by Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune.
Match preview by Kyle McCarthy of the Boston Herald.
-Sat Nov 1
New York v Houston - 4pm central on Direct Kick
Venue: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
Salt Lake v Chivas - 5pm central on FSC
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy UT
Kansas City v Columbus - 7pm central on HDNet
Venue: Community America Ballpark, Kansas City KS
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Steve Davis at MLSnet previews the 4 series.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kyle McCarthy at previews all the quarterfinals.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports gives us his picks for best playoff sub-plots.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pete Grathoff of the the Kansas City Star previews the playoff series.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Grahame Jones of the LA Times blog The Fabulous Forum lists all the former Galaxy players in the playoffs this season.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Luis Bueno at Sports Illustrated with his preview of the road to the cup.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MY PREDICTION: Somewhere deep in the dusty corners of my mind I hear a whisper telling me that the final on Sun Nov 23 at the Home Depot Center in Carson CA will be contested between Chicago and Houston. And I sense a three-peat winner coming on.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS News


Beau Dure of USA Today with an article on Brian McBride. Includes an amazing "mouse over" graphic detailing McBrides facial injuries!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The CUSA press office gives us news on the health of Maykel Galindo: Forward Maykel Galindo successfully underwent surgery today for a bilateral sports hernia which has kept him sidelined for much of the season. The procedure was performed by Dr. William C. Meyers at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Galindo could be out up to three months. The surgery is Galindo’s third in 2008, following sports hernia surgeries in Milwaukee on Jan. 9 and June 11.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The New York Times with an article on Crew coach Sigi Schmid and his rise back to the top of the ranks in USA coaches circles.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shawn Mitchell of the Dispatch on his blog Covering the Crew has the complete transcript of the conversation he and columnist Michael Arace had with team owner Clark Hunt about the future of the team.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Even though their season is over, Buzz Carrick makes it out to FCD training for one last time this year - Practice Observations.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Carrick then breaks down the entire team and grades them player by player. The average grade he hands out is a B-. But to me a team who doesn't even make the playoffs in this league is in C- territory at best. Sorry, Buzz, but I think your grades are too generous.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Diego Aparicio of the Dallas Morning News looks ahead to next season at FCD.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Both Santino Quaranta & Francis Doe were Red Carded (both got 2 Yellows) in the Champions League loss last night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The Back Post blog has an audio clip with Herculez Gomez talking about the incidents with the New England players last Saturday night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The team has lowered their ticket prices from 10-33% on all seats for the 2009 season if you buy season tickets. Not bad.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Khano Smith saw his suspension become 3 games for his Red Card foul on KC's Herculez Gomez last weekend. He got 1 for the Card, and 2 more for the deliberateness.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monique Walker of the Globe with an article on forward Kheli Dube who had himself a very decent first year as a pro. It can't be easy to start your pro career at age 24 either.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rich Thompson of the Herald with an article on goalkeeper Matt Ries, who is really going to have to step up and lead this team if they want to advance in the playoffs with other key players missing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Metrofanatic asks a simple question about coach Juan Carlos Osorio. Will he find redemption this weekend or not?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccer By Ives reports that the teams "Mr. Do-It-All" Seth Stammler is having knee problems that may affect his ability to play this weekend against Houston.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

SBI also talks to winger Dane Richards about taking on the Dynamo.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


James Edward of the Deseret News talks to RSL players about what its going to take to beat Chivas.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Michael C Lewis of the Tribune talks to defender Nat Borchers about playing expansion rivals Chivas in the playoffs. Seems fitting doesn't it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Greg Seltzer of Soccer 365 talks to midfielder Kyle Beckerman about the teams first ever trip to the postseason.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Nigel Reed of the CBC gives a review of the season ended for TFC.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

John Molinaro of the CBC reports that TFC ownership is meeting to decide on whether or not they want to pursue a Designated Player.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Carl Robinson writes for this hometown paper about the conclusion of the season.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Let's take a look at just how bad my Pre-Season prediction were for final standings in the two conferences (actual finishing spot included). George Tanner at FC Rocky posted these:
1 DC (6)
2 New England (3)
3 New York (5)
4 Chicago (2)
5 Kansas City (4)
6 Toronto (7)
7 Columbus (1)
1 Houston (1)
2 Salt Lake (3)
3 Los Angeles (6)
4 Chivas USA (2)
5 Dallas (5)
6 Colorado (4)
7 San Jose (7)
-My East picks were a disaster! But the West I got almost dead on (except for LA and a few other minor adjustments). My real bungle was Columbus. Oh how wrong I was. Did you have them winning the East and the Supporters Shield? I didn't think so. And then there is DC. I don't know if it got it wrong, so much as they were just really disappointing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Again this year MLS is sending a squad of young players who are all signed to a Generation Adidas contract to London to play 3 games. The dates are in mid-December. No other details available.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Andrea Canales at writes about when sticking up for your teammates goes too far.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS Post Season Awards

Here is how I voted for the official MLS awards:
-Best XI (must be in a 3-5-2) - slightly different than the du Nord Best 11 because of formation.
G-Pat Onstad - Houston Dynamo
D-Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
D-Chad Marshall - Columbus Crew
D-Gonzalo Seagares - Chicago Fire
M-Sasha Kljestan - chivas USA
M-Javier Morales - Real Salt Lake
M-Steve Ralston - New England Revolution
M-Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Columbus Crew
M-Dave Van Den Bergh - New York Red Bulls
F-Kenny Cooper - FC Dallas
F-Landon Donovan - Los Angeles Galaxy
Other awards:
-Coach of the Year: Sigi Schmid
-Comeback Player of the Year: Conor Casey
-Visa Defender of the Year: Chad Marshall
-Fair Play Award: Cuauhtemoc Blanco
-Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year: Pat Onstad
-Volkswagen Most Valuable Player: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
-Newcomer of the Year: Darren Huckerby
-Public Relations Award: Kansas Cit Wizards
-adidas Referee of the Year: Jair Marufo
-Gatorade Rookie of the Year: Geoff Cameron
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Steven Goff of the Washington Post on his blog Soccer Insider reveals his picks for MLS official postseason awards.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beau Dure of USA Today on his blog The Netminder tells us who he voted for in the MLS official postseason awards, and makes up a few of his own.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MLS Seattle Expansion News

Lars Lifrak of Soccer 365 does a Q & A with goalkeeper Kasey Keller who grew up in Washington state.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccer In America

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports tells us more about Ethan Zohn and his Grassroot Soccer organizations drive to help fight AIDS in Africa.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(only players who made the field are listed)

Wed Oct 29
-Jozy Altidore - Villarreal - got his first ever start at Villa, but they were wiped out 5-0 at Polideportivo Ejido in the Copa Del Rey.
-Gregg Berhalter - 1860 Munich - went the full match and won 1-0 at home against Koblenz.
-Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes - played the whole match and drew 0-0 at Valenciennes.
-Steve Cherundolo - Hannover - played all 90 but lost 3-0 at Hertha.
-Charlie Davies - Hammarby - came on as a sub in the 61st minute and sparked his team to a 2-1 win at home over Halmstad.
-Clint Dempsey - Fulham - came on as a sub in the 73rd minute as they beat Wigan 2-0 at home.
-Brad Friedel - Aston Villa - went the distance as usual and shut out his old club Blackburn 3-0 at home.
-Tim Howard - Everton - went the full 90 and won 0-1 at Bolton.
-Lee Nguyen - Randers - started and went 75 minutes as they lost 3-2 at Horsens in the Danish Landspokal (League Cup).
-Neven Subotic - Borussia Dortmund - played the full game and won 1-0 at Koln.
-Matt Taylor - Koblenz - came on as a sub in the 72nd minute but lost 1-0 at 1860 Munich.
-Jeremiah White - Aarhus - came on as a sub in the 63rd minute but lost 1-0 at Odense in the Danish Landspokal (League Cup).
-David Yelldell - Koblenz - went the distance but lost 1-0 at 1860 Munich.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The Guardian reports that the Jamaican FA owes the English FA around $200,000. The deubt is over 2 years old.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CONCACAF Champions League

Official CCL website
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Matchday 6
Matches & Scores:
-Tue Oct 28
Firpo 1-1 Houston - LAF goal by Fernando Leguizamon. HD goal by Stuart Holden.
Olimpia 4-0 Joe Public - Oli goals by Allan Kardeck Dos Santos(2), Oscar Boniek Garcia & Nestor Fabian Silva.
Atlante 2-1 Montreal - Atl goals by Gabriel Pereyra & Clemente Ovalle. MI goal by Joey Gjertsen.
-Wed Oct 29
Pumas 6-0 San Francisco - UNAM goals by Paco Palencia(2), Bravo, David Toledo, Javier Cortes & Fernando Santana.
DC 2-4 Marathon - DCU goals by Francis Doe & Greg Janicki. Mara goals by Saul Martinez, Mario Berrios, Milton Nunez & Marvin Chavez.
Match report by Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
Match report by John Haydon of the Washinton Times.
Post game notes and DCU player ratings by Goff on his blog Soccer Insider.
Saprissa 1-0 Cruz Azul - Sap goal by Alejandro Alpizar.
Tauro 2-2 Puerto Rico - Tau goals both by Brunette Hay(one via PK). PRI goals by Osei Telesford & Fabrice Noel.
-Thu Oct 30
Municipal v Santos Laguna
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Make Up Games:
-Wed Nov 5
Marathon v Saprissa
-Wed Nov 26
Houston v Firpo
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Standings (games played):
Group A
10 Cruz Azul (6)
10 Saprissa (5)
10 Marathon (5)
% 1 DC (6)
Group B
*12 UNAM Pumas (6)
8 Firpo (5)
6 Houston (5)
% 2 San Francisco (6)
Group C
* 11 Montreal (6)
* 11 Atlante (6)
% 8 Olimpia (6)
% 3 Joe Public (6)
Group D
*9 Santos Laguna (5)
*8 Puerto Rico (6)
%8 Tauro (6)
%5 Municipal (5)

* Advanced
% Elimidated
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Puerto Rico held the tie breaker over Tauro by beating them 2-1 in their first meeting of the stage.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UNAM Pumas, Montreal Impact, Atlante, Santos Laguna & Puerto Rico Islanders have advanced to the knock out stage next spring, with 3 more teams left to join them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

South American News

Boca Juniors president Pedro Pompilio died of a heart attack on Thursday at the age of 55. Very sad.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Independent with a big story on the roller coaster life of Maradona, who just started yet another chapter.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune on Argentina's unabashed love affair with little Diego.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

England News

Tottenham are looking to follow their north London neighbors Arsenal and build a new stadium.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho will be out of action for 1-2 weeks with a thigh injury.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Telegraph tells us about their picks for the 5 best all time matches in the North London derby. The game ended in a wild 4-4 draw last night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

European News


Ben Lyttleton of the Guardian with a midweek round up of Ligue Un. Are Bordeaux really title challengers? They are in first place! No one beyond Lyon has seen that spot in a very long time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The AP with an article on the surprising first place team in the Bundesliga - Hoffenheim. Via The Rocky Mountain News.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Gazzetta rates the Serie A team performances for Round 9.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Football Italia has a review of Round 9 matches from this midweek.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Guardian on Jose Mourinho's inability to make his mark so far at Inter.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Real Madrid's potential star midfielder Ruben de la Red collapsed on the field today during a Copa del Rey match against Real Union. He was conscious when they transported him to the hospital.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Big Club Matches Around The World This Mid-Week

England Premiership
-Wed Oct 29
Hull 0-3 Chelsea - the new boys got taken down a peg but the masters. Chelsea stay at #2 while Hull drop from 3 to 5.
Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham - a barn burner in the biggest London derby, with last place Spurs getting 2 in the last minute of play to grab a point.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Italy Serie A
-Wed Oct 29
Fiorentina 0-0 Inter Milan - one team would like to get close to the league title, and the other demands it, but neither are earning it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Netherlands Eredivisie
-Wed Oct 29
Sparta 2-1 Feyenoord - the perrenial underdogs win at home in the Rotterdam derby.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Brazil Brasileiro
-Wed Oct 29
Cruzeiro 3-0 Gremio - the rout brought Cruz up to within a point of Gremio, but both were leapfrogged by Sao Paulo who are the new #1.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

World News

Jonah Freedman of Sports Illstrated gives us the newest World Club Power Rankings.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rob Smyth of the Guardian looks back to the 19994 World Cup in the USA.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

23 players have been nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year:
Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)
Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
Andrei Arshavin (Russia)
Michael Ballack (Germany)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Iker Casillas (Spain)
Deco (Portugal)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Samuel Eto`o (Cameroon)
Cesc Fabregas (Spain)
Steven Gerrard (England)
Xavi Hernandez (Spain)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Andres Iniesta (Spain)
Ricardo Kaka (Brazil)
Frank Lampard (England)
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Franck Ribery (France)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
John Terry (England)
Fernando Torres (Spain)
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Holland)
David Villa (Spain)


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I just can't get over an announced attendance of 5,221 for last night's MLS playoff game. Something is wrong with this setup.

I know this is stupid, but if you look at each team's average attendances on Wikipedia, a lot of teams have smaller crowds for playoffs then regular season games. That totally defeats the novelty of the playoffs.

I know last night's game was in Foxboro, which will easily be the worst place for soccer once Red Bull Arena opens next year, but if they can seriously only got 5,000 people out for a playoff game then something needs to be fixed. It's nice to have MLS on ESPN and all, but when the fan apathy for Thursday night games carries into the playoffs it hardly gives fans a reason to be excited about a team.

In every other sport, the prize for doing well in a season is that you get a really important game/series that all of the casual fans show up to and it is way more intense and fun then the regular season game a few months ago. There is absolutely nothing enticing New England fans to go to the playoffs.

We all know the usual excuses, Thursday night game probably being the biggest one, but last night just goes to show that New England absolutely needs that new stadium in Boston. Apparently the fans that do drive all the way out to Foxboro are usually pretty good, but they need to have a proper place to watch one of the consistently good teams in MLS. It is killing the league to have such a terrible following for what should be a cornerstone franchise.

That's what I think about New England. Go Fire.

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