Friday, January 23, 2009

Time For Snacking News

Landon Donovan snags 2 more goals for Bayern Munich in their last midseason break friendly. They beat Mainz 5-0. See Americans In Europe section for details.

~and~

The LOWEST paid player in Spain's La Liga was paid approx $140,000 Euros last season. That is why it is very hard to get any decent foreign players to come to MLS

~and~

Ronnie O'Brien has been cut lose by San Jose because the two sides could not agree on a new contract. Really?

~and~

The 2009 USL First Division Schedule has been released, and there is a fantastic tweak to the League Championship game too. The season kicks off in style with my team The Minnesota Thunder visiting the Cqarolina RailHawks at Sat Apr 11. Hooray Beer!


MLS Team News

CD CHIVAS USA

The Evening Times of Glasgow says that Celtic should have a decision on whether or not they will buy Sacha Kljestan within 24 hours. The price appears to be just under $3 Million US.

COLORADO RAPIDS

Forward Tam McManus appears to be done with the Rapids and is working on a deal to sign with Kilmarnock in Scotland.

COLUMBUS CREW

The team has now official hired former player Ricardo Iribarren as a new assistant coach.

FC DALLAS

Buzz Carrick of 3rd Degree gets out to see a FCD practice session and gives us his report in 2 segments - Part 1 - and - Part 2.

FCD has signed for RSL & Columbus centerback Danny Torres of Costa Rica.

DC UNITED

Steven Goff of the Washington Post talks to Ben Olsen about his damaged ankle, and his attempt to play through the pain.

John Haydon of the Washington Times on the teams first day back training.

The team has sent centerback Gonzalo Peralta to Union Sante Fe of Argentina on a loan deal. Good move.

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS

Wiz midfielder Roger Espinoza got his first cap for Honduras last night in the Central American Championship tournament. They beat Belize 2-1.

RED BULL NEW YORK

Here we go again: Ives Galarcep at ESPN Soccernet reports that the opening of Red Bull Arena will not happen this year! 2010 now. What a disaster this whole thing has been.

Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer talks to centerback Mike Petke about his return to New York.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post blog Extra Time has several possible roster rumors to spread.

B Lewis also reports on the team bringing back centerback Eric Brunner who they released last season, and then played at Miami in the First Division.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Elliot Almond of the Mercury News reports that the team has released midfielder Ronnie O'Brien because they could not reach agreement with him on a new contract. Wow. Supposedly no other MLS team was interested in a trade. How much you want to bet his is back by midseason.

Almond also has some words on the team re-signing centerback Nick Garcia.

Good to see those two article in the Mercuy News cuz I was starting to think that maybe the paper had folded, seeing as their Earthquakes page had nothing new on it for over month. I guess they took a little winter vacation. Good for them. Recharge the old batteries.

Preseason training schedule:
-Mon Jan 26 - Wed Feb 11: training at Buck Shaw Stadium
-Thu Feb 12 - Sun Feb 15: MLS Central Showcase in San Luis Obispo CA at Alex G. Spanos Stadium
-Feb 13: Match v Seattle Sounders at 7pm Pacific
-Feb 15: Match v Houston Dynamo at 1pm Pacific
-Mon Feb 16 - Fri Feb 27: training at Buck Shaw Stadium
-Feb 20: Match v Fresno Fuego - 7pm Pacific at Chukchansi Park in Fresno CA
-Feb 25: Match v ??? at Cal-Berkeley at 2:30pm Pacific
-Sun Mar 1 - Sat Mar 7: training at HDC in Carson CA
-Mar 2: Match v Colorado Rapids at Home Depot Center
-Mon Mar 9 - Fri Mar 20: training at Buck Shaw Stadium
-Mar 11: Match v ??? Cal-Berkeley, time TBD

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

They have acquired young Colombian forward/attacking midfielder Fredy Montero on loan Deporivo Cali.
-Gary Washburn of the Post Intelligencer on the signing of Montero.

Jose Romero of the Times does a Q & A with Montero. Ahhh, the beauty of being a Spanish speaker means Romero gets the interview! Coach Sigi Schmid comments on Montero too.

Washburn also writes about the leadership of Kasey Keller from the back.

Steven Goff of the Soccer Insider reports that young midfielder Quavas Kirk will get a try out with the Sounders. He was released from DC United at the end of last season.

USA Today has an AP article that shows off all the Sounders organizations bells and whistles. Coach Sigi Schmid calls it "It's definitely the best situation I have been in." I am still fired up about the half empty stadium and fake turf though. They will never be first rate until that crap is gone.

TORONTO FC

CNW Group with a report that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment who own TFC has purchased GolTV Canada. Does this mean TOR will have a permanent home on television all across their country?

DDR - Dwayne De Rosario - was rolled out for the Toronto press yesterday, a month after they acquired him. He also has a new 4 year contract in his pocket. All the local writers were there:
-Globe & Mail
-The Star
-National Post
-Sportsnet

GENERAL

Kyle McCarthy of Goal.com gives us 5 players getting tryouts right now with MLS teams to watch out for. #1 on his list has already been signed. Good call Kyle!

MLS Rumor City - Don't Tease Me Bro!

The South American striker that TFC is chasing is striker Pablo Vitti a young Argentine who last played for Odessa in Ukraine, and appears to be owned by Independiente.

MLS Expansion News

Ives Galarcep at ESPN Soccernet gives us an update on the 5 candidates for the next 2 MLS teams.

The Oregonian says political scandal in Portland may effect that cities bid for a team.

USL First Division News

Here is the 2009 schedule. The first games of the new season are on April 11.

The big news is that the league final will be played as a two leg total goal series just like the other rounds of the playoffs! This is absolutely fantastic news.

And here is the TV schedule for the whole season.

Portugeuse powerhouse team Sporting were supposedly in attendance at the USL General Assembly last month in Tampa. Interesting. I am going to have to check around on this one.

Minnesota Thunder

My team, the Minnesota Thunder kicks off the leauge this year on Sat Apr 11 at Carolina.

We also kick off the whole league schedule at Carolina on Apr 11! Then we have to play 3 more read games before heading home to start that portion of the season.

Our first home game is Sat May 2 v Vancouver, the defending league champs.

Here is the teams full schedule.

The Thunder will also be on Fox Soccer Channel four times this season:
-Fri Jun 19 at Portland
-Fri Jul 24 v Miami
-Fri Aug 14 at Miami
-Fri Sep 4 v Vancouver

Team USA

So the team has been training in Los Angeles for nearly 3 weeks now, and what have we heard about the team in this important year of World Cup qualifying from the esteemed senior writer and soccer authority of the Los Angeles Times, Grahame L Jones? Not a god damn thing. The papers coverage of the team is a joke. They barely cover the Galaxy, let alone Chivas USA either. I know I am supposed to respect Mr Jones' experience, but all he ever writes anymore is three days old and totally cliched. Come on man!

Match & Score:
-Sat Jan 24
USA v Sweden - Live at 7:30pm Central on Fox Soccer Channel.

Official team blog
-Defenders in this training camp are obviously cursed - add Jonathan Bornstein to the injured list, "suffering a bruised foot Tuesday afternoon. He will undergo an MRI evaluation later today to determine the extent of the injury."
-Video interview with both Kenny Cooper and Jonathan Bornstein talking about scoring a goal for the USA.

US Soccer with a page full of notes leading up to Saturday's game.

Andrea Canales of Goal.com says the USA is ready for Sweden.

Here is the current US roster after injuries, departures and additions:
G:
Jon Busch
William Hesmer
Troy Perkins
Matt Pickens
D:
Jonathan Bornstein - questionable
Dan Califf
Ugo Ihemelu
Michael Parkhurst
Chris Wingert
Marvell Wynne
M:
Brian Carroll
Ricardo Clark
Eddie Gaven
Stuart Holden
Jack Jewsbury
Sacha Kljestan - back from his try out at Celtic, and is ready for the game
Robbie Rogers
John Thorrington
F:
Brian Ching
Kenny Cooper
Charlie Davies
Chris Rolfe

Soccer In America

Look out America - Luis Bueno has become a referee. God help us! Hahahahahahaha!

Mark Stokes of the Boston Globe, on their soccer blog, has an a piece called Can pro soccer ever work in the United States? I have no idea what the analogy he uses is getting at. I don't disagree with the general premise, but it's kind of baffling.

Americans In Europe

Troy Perkins tells us more about his Team Building Experience with his club in Norway - Valernga. It sounds insane - if they ever did this to me at my job I would be out of there in a minute. (see earlier this week for the first part.)

Attention Clint Dempsey & Fulham fans - your team has lost their most exciting player Jimmy Bullard who was sold to Hull. Not good.

Allen Ramsey at Goal.com have a short list of American players who he thinks should leave Europe and come play in MLS. But we all know the money is not even close to the same.

Landon Donovan at Bayern Munich

Here is what is on the docket for Landon Donovan and Bayern Munich over the next 2 weeks:
-Friendlies:
Bayern Munich 3-0 Bamberg -Sat Jan 17 - the game was played on a snow covered pitch with an orange ball. LD came on at half time already up 2-0 and did not figure in the last goal.
Kaiserslautern 0-2 Bayern Munich - Mon Jan 19 - LD came on as a sub in the 62nd minute and scored on a great glancing header to seal the win.
Bayern Munich 5-0 Mainz - Thu Jan 22 - Came on in the 60th minute and this time Landon bags 2!
Video of all 5 Bayern goals - the clip is a little hokey, but its the best I could find.
-DFB Pokal Round of 16:
Stuttgart v Bayern Munich - Tue Jan 27
-Bundesliga:
Hamburger v Bayern Munich - Fri Jan 30

ESPN Soccernet quotes Donovan from an article in German tabloid Bild talking about his relationship with David Beckham, which has given him confidence.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying News

As the big date of Feb 11 gets closer and closer....
Luis Bueno at Sports Illustrated compares where the USA & Mexico sit right now.

UNCAF Championship

Central American Championship website

This 7 team tournament, being hosted by Honduras, will qualify 4 teams for next summers CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Semifinalists are the ones who will advance.

Group A
3 Honduras +1
1 Nicaragua 0
1 El Salvador 0
0 Belize -1
Group B
Costa Rica
Guatemala
Panama

Group Stage Matches & Scores:
-Thu Jan 22
El Salvador 1-1 Nicaragua
Honduras 2-1 Belize
-Fri Jan 23
Costa Rica v Panama
-Sat Jan 24
Belize v El Salvador
Honduras v Nicaragua
-Sun Jan 25
Guatemala v Costa Rica
-Mon Jan 26
Nicaragua v Belize
Honduras v El Salvador
-Tue Jan 27
Panama v Guatemala

Mexico & FMF News

Reuters has an article on national team coach Sven Goren Erickson responding to some players complaints about fielding naturalized citizens into the national team instead of natural born Mexicans. He doesn't understand the hub-bub. If they lost to the USA is Sven done?

England News

Rumors swirl about Chelsea and Liverpool being sold again. Chelsea to an Arab-German group, and the Liverpeople to a Kuwaiti family.

James Montague of the Guardian has an article on the possible Liverpool sale.

Aston Villa has signed English forward Emile Heskey from Wigan.

Liverpeople Captain Steven Gerrard has pleaded NOT guilty to assault charges, stemming from an alleged bar fight a few weeks ago.

European News

ITALY

Copa Italia
Quarterfinal Matches & Scores:
-Wed Jan 21
Inter 2-1 Roma - Inter adv to Semi
Sampdoria 1-1 Udinese - Samp adv to Semi 4-1 on Penalties after the extra times ended tied.
-Thu Jan 22
Lazio 3-1 Torino - Laz adv to Semi.
-Wed Feb 4
Napoli v Juventus

NETHERLANDS

KNVB Beker
Round of 16 Matches & Scores:
-Tue Jan 20
Dordrecht 0-1 De Graafschap
Feyenoord Rotterdam 0-3 Heerenveen
-Wed Jan 21
AZ Alkmaar 3-0 Achilles 29
NEC Nijmegen 2-1 Sparta Rotterdam
Roda JC Kerkrade 2-0 Lienden
Volendam 3-0 SBV Excelsior
NAC Breda 2-2 Groningen - NAC adv 7-6 on Penalty Kicks after Extra Time ended tied.
-Thu Jan 22
ADO Den Haag v Twente Enschede - postponed

SCOTLAND

Ewan Murray of the Guardian says he has had enough of this mid-winter football in Scotland. Something has to change.

Copa Del Rey
Quarterfinal 1st leg Matches & Scores:
-Wed Jan 21
Valencia 3-2 Sevilla
Espanyol 0-0 Barcelona - the Barcelona derby in a cup match-up!
-Thu Jan 22
Mallorca 1-0 Real Betis
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Sporting Gijon
Quarterfinal 2nd leg Matches & Scores (with 1st leg scores included):
-Wed Jan 28
Sporting Gijon v Athletic Bilbao (0-0)
Barcelona v Espanyol (0-0)
Real Betis v Mallorca (0-1)
Sevilla v Valencia (2-3)

The Weekends Biggest Club Matches From Around The World

English FA Cup
-Sat Jan 24
Manchester United v Tottenham - its not often too big teams play each other in the 4th Round, one will be out
-Sun Jan 25
Liverpool v Everton - another Liverpool derby, and in cup play no less

Italy Serie A
-Sat Jan 24
Juventus v Fiorentina - an old and bitter rivalry, and Fiore are desperate to turn it around
-Sun Jan 25
Napoli v Roma - imagine the hatred between these fans!

World News

Jonah Freedman of Sports Illustrated with the World Soccer Club Power Rankings.

FIFA News

Russia has announced that they will bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Dan said...

Thunder action 4 times on FSC? Fantastic. Should i buy season tix or not?

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Jerky said...

Sad of me I know, but when I read about Red Bull Park one thing comes to mind: The Sopranos.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

goodbye Sacha, as I can't imagine Celtic not wanting you after your showing on Saturday v Sweden...

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Where is this list of american's who should return to MLS. There is no link and i cant find anything on Goal.com

9:34 PM  
Blogger vic10 said...

Out of the subject, WHAT DO YOU THINK MR. DU IT GOOD -NIKE should buy out ADIDAS just for one team, that is PORTLAND TIMBERS. MLS should let the teams decide their own unique uniform design, its about time, its almost 5 years into the deal. Well, like a said before, NIKE should buy out ADIDAS and even the rich guy from the MIAMI should join powers and buy out ADIDAS for NIKE uniforms, and then more teams will come out of ............ ADIDAS sucky uniforms, but PORTLAND first must make it to the MLS, and they should.

9:43 PM  

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