Monday, November 16, 2009

Some News for Mon Nov 16, 2009


The 2009 du Nord MLS Best 11 was announced on Sun Nov 15. See the list here. You can also listen to this week's United Mania podcast (which was broadcast on Sunday) to hear the list announced and discussed.


It will be Los Angeles v Salt Lake for the 2009 MLS Cup - Sun Nov 22 in Seattle.


How huge was RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando on Saturday night?!?!? He stopped 3 of Chicago's 7 Penalty Kicks in the Shootout! Amazing!


In proof that David Beckman no longer has any effect on ticket sales in Los Angeles, the league semifinal game against Houston last Friday night was NOT sold out. Unreal!


The USA played a very weak looking Slovakia team in Bratislava on Saturday, and even though they dominated possession they rarely threatened the Slovakia goal, and lost 1-0 on a first half Penalty Kick. Pretty disappointing.


Egypt beat Algeria 2-0 on Saturday in African World Cup qualifying, which left the 2 teams tied with 13 points, and even on +5 goal differential. Which brings up high drama on Wednesday as they will playoff for the last spot with a game to be played in Sudan! Wow.


Cameroon & Nigeria have claimed World Cup spots 3 & 4 of the 5 from Africa. Best of luck to those teams.


New Zealand are going to the World Cup! Huge Congrats to them.


Switzerland won the U17 World Cup on Sunday, beating the host nation Nigeria 1-0 in the final. Hooray Beer, Watches and Chocolate.


Word on the street is that USL is negotiating with a 3rd Party to keep First Division soccer in Minnesota.


Inside Minnesota Soccer with all the latest details, rumors, scenarios and border-line insanity.


Ned Grabavoy was subbed into the match in the dying seconds of Added Extra Time for Salt Lake, and with his only touch of the ball converted the 7th Penalty Kick in the Shootout to seal his team's trip to the MLS Cup. Michael C Lewis of the Salt Lake Tribune on Grabavoy's role.


Very disappointing that Home Depot Center was not sold out on Friday night. 25K+ is not a bad number at all, but still......


The late start time was probably for ESPN tv space, but it was insanely late. Add in the 2 power outages at the stadium and the game ended around 2am Eastern. That's just not acceptable.


Their was very little difference in quality between those final 4 teams. The two games were obviously not the prettiest to watch, but there was no lack of drama.


Steve Davis of ESPN Soccernet reviews the two big semifinal games in his own special way.
-Davis makes the best observations on the game, besides me of course.


Jen Chang of ESPN Soccernet reviews the Semifinals. (2nd half of article)


Sam Stejskal of Chicago Now looks at what kept Chicago from taking advantage of the home field in their semifinal loss.


Michael C Lewis of the Salt Lake Tribune on RSL's near miracle run from nearly out of the playoffs on the last weekend of the regular season to a spot in the final.


James Edward of the Deseret News says Salt Lake was surprised by how conservative Chicago played at home.


Some at the Houston Chronicle feel that the lights going out twice during the game at Home Depot Center hurt the Dynamo a lot more than the Galaxy.


Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports on the high quality of LA manager Bruce Arena.


Behind the Shield - the official blog of Real Salt Lake.

The Los Angeles Galaxy - official blog.


Matches & Scores:
-Fri Nov 13
Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 Houston Dynamo - scoreless after 90 minutes and LA win in added extra time - LAG goals by Gregg Berhalter & Landon Donovan(PK).
Venue: Home Depot Center - Carson CA
Attendance: 25,373
-Sat Nov 14
Chicago Fire 0-0 Real Salt Lake - scoreless after added extra time - RSL win 4-5 in Penalty Kick Shoot Out.
Venue: Toyota Park - Bridgeview IL
Attendance: 21,723


Match & Score:
-Sun Nov 22
Los Angeles Galaxy v Real Salt Lake - 7:30pm Central on ESPN
Venue: Qwest Field - Seattle WA


My thoughts on the game:
The reward that USA soccer fans who got up early watch there team play an international friendly was a very dull game in a nearly empty stadium in Bratislava Slovakia. Hardly any USA players gave a big time effort against a team that to me looked mediocre at best. Despite dominating the possession for all 90 minutes, the USA game up one dumb foul in their own Penalty Area and watched Slovakia convert the PK for a 1-0 win. Boooooo. Slovakia's one strength was their team defense, especially their centerbacks.


Team's official blog, and official YouTube page.


International Friendly
Match & Score:
-Sat Nov 14
Slovakia 1-0 USA - Slo goal by Marik Hamsek(PK).
Match report from US Soccer.
Match report by Paul Kennedy of Soccer America.
Player ratings by Kennedy.
Match report and player ratings by Ives Galarcep at ESPN Soccernet.
Post game analysis by Luke Cyphers of ESPN Soccernet.
Post game analysis from the Huffington Post. Yes, really. Who saw that coming? Next game expect an analysis from William Krystal at The Nation.
Player ratings by Greg Seltzer at Soccer365.
Post game analysis by Jen Chang of ESPN Soccernet.
Video of game highlights from US Soccer.
Video of post game press conference & player interviews from US Soccer.


du Nord 3 Stars Of The Game
3. Steve Cherundolo - was consistent throughout the game, and made excellent runs upfield as a fullback to put in some potentially dangerous crosses.
2. Brad Guzan - made key saves for the USA to keep them in the game.
1. Vladimir Weiss - the most active, entertaining and dangerous player on the field.
-Special mention goes out to Dax McCarty on his USA debut and giving a very good effort as a sub for 18 minutes.
-US Soccer named Jonathan Spector as their Man of the Match.


International Friendly
Match & Score:
-Wed Nov 18
Denmark v USA - 1:30pm Central - ESPN Classic/ESPN2 (following conclusion of Greece v Ukraine World Cup qualifier)


Jeff Carlisle of ESPN Soccernet previews the game in Denmark.


Stuart Holden & Ricardo Clark of the Houston Dynamo, and Edgar Castillo of UANL Tigres in Mexico have been added to the team roster for the upcoming second game.


Clint Dempsey, Steve Cherundolo and Chad Marshall have all been released from the team. Marshall due to an ankle injury, the other 2 just for rest.


Here is an updated roster for the Denmark game:
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Marcus Hahnemann - Wolverhampton
Troy Perkins - Valerenga
Carlos Bocanegra - Rennes
Jonathan Bornstein - Chivas USA
Edgar Castillo - UANL Tigres
Jimmy Conrad - Kansas City Wizards
Clarence Goodson - Start
Frankie Hejduk - Columbus Crew
Heath Pearce - FC Dallas
Jonathan Spector - West Ham
Michael Bradley - Monchengladbach
Ricaro Clark - Houston Dynamo
Benny Feilhaber - AGF Aarhus
Stuart Holden - Houston Dynamo
Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA
Dax McCarty - FC Dallas
Robbie Rogers - Columbus Crew
Jozy Altidore - Hull City
Conor Casey - Colorado Rapids
Jeff Cunningham - FC Dallas
Eddie Johnson - Fulham


This 2 legged playoff will determine a spot in the World Cup.

1st Leg
-Sat Nov 14
Costa Rica 0-1 Uruguay - Uru goal by Diego Lugano.
2nd Leg - with 1st Leg scores included
-Wed Nov 18
Uruguay v Costa Rica - (1-0)


Cameroon & Nigeria join Ghana & Core d'Ivoire as winners of 4 of the 5 African World Cup spots. South Africa qualified as a 6th team from Africa as hosts.


The final place will go to the winner of the playoff between Egypt v Algeria on Wednesday in neutral site Sudan.


The last round of qualifiers:
-Sat Nov 14
Group A
Togo 1-0 Gabon - Tog goal by Floyd Ayite.
Morocco 0-2 Cameroon - Cam goals by Pierre Webo & Samuel Eto'o.
Group B
Mozambique 1-0 Tunisia - Moz goal by Dario Monteiro.
Kenya 2-3 Nigeria - Ken goals by Dennis Oliech & Allan Wanga. Nig goals by Obafemi Martins(2) & Ayegbeni Yakubu.
Group C
Egypt 2-0 Algeria - Egy goals by Amr Zaki & Emad Moteab.


African Playoff for final WC spot
-Wed Nov 18
Egypt v Algeria in Sudan.


Al Jazeera reports on split loyalties in Sudan over this big game.


Matches & Scores:
1st Leg
-Sat Nov 14
Ireland 0-1 France - Fra goal by Nicolas Anelka.
Portugal 1-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina - Por goal by Bruno alves.
Greece 0-0 Ukraine
Russia 2-1 Slovenia - Rus goals both by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Slo goal by Nejc Pecnik.
2nd Leg - with 1st Leg scores included
-Wed Nov 18
France v Ireland - (1-0)
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Portugal - (0-1)
Ukraine v Greece - (0-0)
Slovenia v Russia - (1-2)

Away goals is the first tie breaker.

dN has a Q & A with France fullback Patrice Evra.


New Zealand are going to the World Cup!

2nd Leg - with 1st Leg score included
Matches & Scores:
-Sat Nov 14
New Zealand 1-0 Bahrain - New Zealand advance on 1-0 aggregate - NZ goal by Rory Fallon.


The Washington Post has an initial overview of Commissioner Don Garber's press conference today discussing many aspects of MLS as we head to the final this weekend.
-I am sure there will be a lot more on this topic tomorrow as all the journalists take the evening to digest and dissect it all.


The league has launched their own blog - MLS Insider.
-And it's run by none other than our good friend SF.


We hear more talk today on the need for a New England Revolution stadium. Again, the key word here is talk. Would love love love to see some action on that front.


Soccer 365 looks at the offseason plans for the Colorado Rapids.


Gareth Wheeler of the Toronto Sun reports that TFC is chasing after former Chivas USA coach Preki to be their next head coach.
-What does that mean for Amado Guevara who Sheriff Preki ran out of Goattown with a cattle prod two years ago.


The Scotsman Sunday edition has a nice profile piece on Houston's Stuart Holden, who was born in Scotland.


The league's official best 11 was not supposed to be announced until Saturday, but it slipped out today. (Obviously to counter all the publicity of the du Nord best 11, which is generally preferred to the league's own list!)

Official MLS Best XI:
Zach Thornton
Chad Marshall - Geoff Cameron - Wilman Conde
Shalrie Joseph - Landon Donovan - Stuart Holden - Freddie Ljungberg - Dwayne DeRosario
Conor Casey - Jeff Cunningham


Hello Philadelphia Union:

Let me introduce you to UNAM Pumas:


The Houston Chronicle with an article on the cities Mayoral race and how it could impact the building of a new soccer stadium.


New York's soon to open Red Bull Arena has its first major event planned for next summer when they become part of the Football World Series. This has been happening around the world for the past few years now, and usually pits a couple of big European teams in their pre-season against a local host. No dates or teams have been announced yet.


Game Action: (only those that played are listed)

ENGLAND - League One
Jemal Johnson - Milton Keynes - came on as a sub in the 69th minute, but they were crushed 5-1 at Charlton Athletic.
Jon-Paul Pittman - Wycombe - came on as a sub in the 38th minute, but they got completely waxed 6-0 at Huddersfield Town. Oof.

NETHERLANDS - Eerste Divisie
Charles Kazlauskas - Helmond Sport - went the full 90 but they lost at RBC Roosendaal 2-1.


The final round of this season.

Edgar Castillo - UANL Tigres - went the full 90 and got a Yellow Card as they drew 1-1 at Pachuca.
Jose Francisco Torres - Pachuca - started and played the first half, getting a Yellow Card but they drew 1-1 at home to UANL Tigres.
Marco Vidal - Indios Juarez - played the full match and drew 1-1 at UNAM Pumas.


Despite only bagging 21 points, San Luis made the playoffs as the #2 team in Group 1. Hooray Cerveza. Hooray Michael Orozco.

UANL & Pachuca were all knocked out of the playoffs after accumulating too few points.

Indios de Juarez finished as the worst team in the league with only 6 points, 11 behind their nearest competitor.


In very sad news, Mexican forward Antonio de Nigris has died early Monday morning after suffering a heart attack. He was playing in Greece for Larissa, and was 31 Years old. RIP Antonio.


Primera Division Liguilla

The top 2 teams from the 3 groups advance to the playoffs, along with the 2 next highest points getters.

The Appretura playoff rounds are all 2 Legs.

Here are the matchups, with exact schedules coming ASAP:
Toluca (1) v San Luis (8)
Cruz Azul (2) v Puebla (7)
Morelia (3) v Santos Laguna (6)
America (4) v Monterrey (5)


Emmanuel Villa of Cruz Azul won the golden boot with 17 goals.


The Guardian with 10 things England coach Fabio Capello learned from a 1-0 loss to Brazil in a friendly on Saturday.


Paul Doyle of the Guardian tells the unreal story of the French national team captain who was found to be an agent for Hitler, and then executed for it.


With 3 rounds left to play in the Campeanato Brasileiro we are down to 7 teams who technically have a chance for the title.


If you want to dwell on who realistically has a chance to win, its more like a 3 team race with Sao Paulo in the top spot as Palmeiras has faltered a bit lately open the door for Flamengo to also join the chase.


Standings - after 35 of 38 games played:
62 Sao Paulo - Last: W 2-0 v EC Vitoria - Next: Sun Nov 22 at Botafogo
60 Flamengo - Last: W 0-2 at Nautico - Next: Sun Nov 22 v Goias
59 Palmeiras - Last: D 2-2 v Sport - Next: Sun Nov 22 at Gremio
56 Atletico MG - Last: L 2-1 at Cortiba - Next: Sun Nov 22 v Internacional
55 Cruzeiro - Last: D 1-1 v Gremio - Next: Sun Nov 22 at Atletico Paranaense
56 Internacional - Last: W 3-1 v Santos - Next: Sun Nov 22 at Atletico MG
53 Avai - Last: W 3-1 v Corinthians - Next: Sun Nov 22 at Esporte Clube Santo Andre


Corinthians, Gremio & Goias were officially eliminated from the title race this round.


FIFA has given Argentine national team coach Diego Maradona a 1 game suspension for saying mean and filthy words reporters after his team qualified for the World Cup last month. He also got fined $25K. (NOTE: The suspension was actually for 2 months, but how effective is that when there are no international dates in the next 2 months? Argentina does have a game on Dec 16 when a cast of 2nd teamers will play.)


Switzerland are the U17 World Cup Champions!

Official web site


Match & Score:
-Sun Nov 15
Switzerland 1-0 Nigeria - Swi goal by Haris Seferovic.


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