Thursday, May 07, 2009

Some News for Thu May 7


Huge congrats go out to our main man SF from The Offside Rules and especially Mrs F on the birth of their new daughter Sadie. Just yesterday! WoooooooooHooooooo!

UEFA Champions League

Oh boy! What a fiasco that was! Barcelona advance to the Champions League final using the away goals tie breaker. But Chelsea completely dominated that game (in every way but possession time), and found all their appeals to the referee for help to go unanswered. Chelsea thought they deserved 4 penalties that were not called. I saw it as 2, and maybe 3. (Daniel Alves' terrible tackle of Florent Malouda in the first half, and Gerard Pique's handball in the second half. Oof. And possibly the handball very late as Ballack's shot was knocked down by Keita.) But if you believe in Karma you could argue that Chelsea got what they deserved, what with Didier Drogba's embarrassing antics all game long.

Let's not forget that Barca pulled this off with only 10 players.

On the other hand - both goals in this game were fantastic! Chelsea got theirs in the 9th minute, and hung on for dear life until Barcelona equalized in 2nd half stoppage time. Sheer intense insanity ensued.

Other high and low points included:
HIGH: The incredible play of Chelsea's fullback Boswinga. He was matched up against lethal Barca striker Samuel Eto'o and made him vanish from the match.
HIGH: Yaya Toure's play as fill-in centerback was pretty fantastic. Due to all the suspensions and injuries to Barca's back line you can fully expect to see him there again for the final.
LOW: Barca right fullback Dani Alves is known for his amazing attacking prowess, but he was simply awful. Time and again he was in the clear with time to whip dangerous crosses into the box and someone managed to channel Frankie Hejduk, spraying the ball all over the place except to where it should be going.
LOW: Another Alves lowlight was his Yellow Card for persistent fouling that will cause him to miss the final. One of the teams great weapons sent to the stands for being an idiot. Sad.
LOW: Chelsea's constant whining and bitching to the referee all game long. Give it a rest. They are the worst team I have seen in Europe for this.
HIGH: The pressure that Barca maintained even playing with 10 men for the last 23 minutes. (Abidal was sent off for tripping Anelka as he raced toward goal with the ball. The contact between their legs was very minimal, but it happened and was legit.)
LOW: 4 minutes of second half stoppage time ended up taking 7+ minutes to play.


Semifinals Second Leg Matches (with First Leg scores included):
-Tue May 5
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United - Ars goal by Robin Van Persie(PK). MU goals by Cristiano Ronaldo(2) & Park Ji Sung. MU advance 4-1 on aggregate.
-Wed May 6
Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (0-0) - Che goal by Michael Essien. Bar goal by Andres Iniesta.

-Wed May 27
Manchester United v Barcelona at Stadio Olimpico in Roma Italy


It's hard for me to admit this, but I feel really bad for Chelsea and their fans.


On Thursday afternoon both Didier Drogba and Chelsea FC released statements of apology, for such poor behavior, to the press.


I like to read this kind of thing, from the Guardian:
The Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, has praised John Terry for his behavior after last night's semi-final defeat. Despite Terry's disappointment at Andrés Iniesta's late equaliser to put the Spanish side in the final, the Chelsea captain visited the Barcelona dressing room and shook hands with each member of their playing and coaching staff.
It was an act of sportsmanship for which the Barça team and staff applauded him out of the room. "I want to thank John Terry for coming into the dressing room and congratulating us," Guardiola said. "He's a true gentleman."


Amy Lawrence of the Guardian on Barca's outrageous win.


The Guardian also reports on the Chelsea post game meltdown.


Sid Lowe of the Guardian looks ahead to what many will call "The Dream Final".


The week is off to a fast start!

MLS Week 8 Matches
-Wed May 6
Kansas City Wizards 1-1 DC United - KCW goal by Josh Wolff. DCU goal by Rodney Wallace.
Venue: Community America Ballpark, Kansas City KS
Attendance: 9,077
Real Salt Lake 2-2 Los Angeles Galaxy - RSL goals by Robbie Findley & Will Johnson(PK). LAG goals by Landon Donovan(PK) & Mike Magee.
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy UT
Attendance: 16,155
-Fri May 8
Red Bull New York v San Jose Earthquakes - 6:30pm Central on Direct Kick
Venue: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford NJ


My notes from RSL v LAG:
-That ending in Salt Lake was just nuts.
-At least the one PK call didn't ruin the game, as the two of them evened each other out.
-But 3 goals in stoppage time?!?!?!?!
-The games first goal by Robbie Findley was a peach. Off a Clint Mathis corner kick to the near post Findley dove low and hard to flick the ball to the far side netting. A gutsy play that deserved a goal.
-The LA back line is vastly improved since the beginning of the season. Gregg Berhalter over Tony Sanneh is a huge upgrade. And the 3 youngsters with him (Franklin, Gonzales & De La Garza) all have enough athleticism to make up for experience. Then you add a very good goalkeeper behind them in Donovan Ricketts and the upgrade is obvious.
-Chris Seitz gets his first start in the RSL goal in like 2 years and has a rough one. For most of the game he did just fine, but in crunch time he had a PK deflect off his arm, and the other goal punched between his legs from a severe angel.


Can you believe that Crew stadium celebrates it's 10th Anniversary this weekend. Unreal!
-Chris DeVille of Columbus Alive give us some of the greatest moments in the stadium's history.


Jack Bell of the New York Times talks to Mariano Trujillo, one of the relative unknowns making at impact for Chivas USA.


The News Tribune with an article on the resurrection of Seattle centerback Tyrone Marshall, who was seemingly left out in the cold by Toronto at the end of last season, and has turned it on for his new team.


Jose Miguel Romero of the Seattle Times with an article on Sounders defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso of Cuba. He has been one of the teams biggest surprises.
-The biggest reason he is such a surprise is because of the very poor job MLS does of scouting the 3 USL divisions.


Rapids Class VI has audio of an interview with Colorado full back Kosuke Kimura. Download or listen here.


The Movie Reporter has an interview with the stars and director of the football-centric new film Rudo y Cursi, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna & Carlos Cuaron. They even talk a little MLS.


First Division Team of the Week
Chris Seitz - Portland (on loan) - 15 saves in two shutouts
Kenney Bertz - Rochester - Led team in 3-0 win at Cleveland
John Gilkerson - Carolina - Led team in 0-0 draw at Portland
Matt Bobo - Charleston - Led team in 1-0 win at Miami
Brian Farber - Portland - Goal in 2-0 win against Carolina
Ryan Pore - Portland - Goal, assist in 2-0 win versus Carolina
Ricardo Sanchez - Minnesota - Two goals in 3-2 loss to Vancouver
Sandy Gbandi - Puerto Rico - Goal, assist in 3-2 win over Montreal
Kendall Jagdeosingh - Puerto Rico - Goal in 3-2 win over Montreal
Marlon James - Vancouver - Three goals in 3-2 win over Minnesota
Tai Atieno - Rochester - Goal in 3-0 win at Cleveland

Marlon James was named Player of the Week.


The Glasgow Evening Times talks to Maurice Edu of Rangers as he gets ready for his first Old Firm derby.


Canadian Championship match:
-Wed May 6
Toronto FC 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps - TFC goal by Kevin Harmse.

Standings (4 game home & away round robin):
3 Toronto (1 played)
-Montreal (0 played)
0 Vancouver (1 played)


Other Cup competitions around Europe:

Coupe de France
-Sat May 9
Rennes v En Avant Guingamp

Puchar Polski Semifinals
2nd Leg (1st Leg scores included)
-Wed May 6
Polonia Warszawa 1-1 Lech Poznan - series ends tied 2-2 and goes to PKs. Lech win it 3-0.
-Thu May 7
Ruch Chorzow 1-0 Legia Warszawa - Ruch advance 2-0 on aggregate.
-Both Warsaw teams got knocked out!
-Date TBD
Lech Poznan v Ruch Chorzow


UEFA Cup Semifinals
2nd Leg (1st Leg scores included)
-Thu May 7
Hamburg 2-3 Werder Bremen - series ends tied 3-3, with WB advancing on the Away Goals tie breaker - Ham goals both by Ivica Olic. WB goals by Diego, Claudio Pizarro & Frank Baumann.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Dynamo Kyiv -SD advance 3-2 on aggregate. SD goals by Jadson & Ilsinho. DK goal by Ismael Bangoura.

-Wed May 20
Shakhtar Donetsk v Werder Bremen at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul Turkey


Adriano has now officially signed a contract to play for Flamengo back in Brazil. Let's hope this massively talented player can fix his life.


Round of 16 1st Leg Matches:
-Tue May 5
SE Palmeiras (Braz) 1-0 SC Recife (aka Sport) (Braz) - Palm goal by Jose Maria Ortigoza.
-Wed May 6
Universidad San Martin de Porres (Peru) 1-3 Gremio Porto Alegrense (Braz) - SM goal by Martin Arzuaga. Grem goals by Maxi Lopez(2) & Souza.
-Thu May 7
CD Cuenca (Ecua) v Caracas FC (Ven)
Estudiantes de La Plata (Arg) v Club Libertad (Para)
CF Universidad de Chile (Chil) v Cruzeiro EC (Braz)

-Thu May 14
Defensor SC (Para) v CA Boca Juniors (Arg)

Matches Postponed due to Swine Flu scare
-Dates TBD
San Luis FC (Mex) v Club Nacional (Uru)
Guadalajara Chivas (Mex) v Sao Paulo FC (Braz)


New Zealand and the hosts have both announced their tournament rosters. Via USAMNT blog.


People have been asking all day what the snake is doing on the new Philadelphia badge. In doing some scouring it appears as though it has its roots in Ben Franklin and his days as a political cartoonist. Here is the original. Nice!


Anonymous Nordy said...

Am I the only guy who thinks it's ridiculous that players have to sit out tournament finals because of yellow card accumulation? I think that rule is terrible. Fans want to see both teams compete with the best players on the field.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

About Robbie Findley...don't forget that the Galaxy traded him and Nathan Sturgis to RSL for Chris Klein. As a Gs fan, I'm happy to have Klein, but Findley looks like he's going to become a special player.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Greg Seltzer said...

Gotta strongly disagree on Toure, Brucio. He was constantly letting people behind, misjudging high balls, rightfully should have conceded a penalty and could have been card fouled out of the game by the hour. He was a total mess.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Greg Seltzer said...

As for the stoppage time, there was a goal, a long celebration and two slow walk off subs in stoppage time.

3:33 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

what i love about this game is that two reasonable people like greg and myself can watch the same thing and see two different stories

i thought the worst dive of the game was taken by drogba when toure supposedly fouled him in the box

in my mind if drogba had better possession he would have fought off the defender to shoot, instead he lost control, got a little tug and went down like he weighed 75 lbs instead of the powerhouse he really is, just trying to get a call

4:37 PM  

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