Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some News for Tue Nov 24, 2009


Huge congrats to Real Salt Lake and all their fans on a fantastic end to the season. MLS Cup Champions for 2009! Wow!


Word from Chicago this evening is that Denis Hamlet has been relieved of his duties as Fire head coach.


Huge thanks go out to Graham Fox for 2 fantastic days of coverage at du Nord while I was off frolicing at MLS Cup weekend! I have another incredible weekend. Thank again Graham!


One of many rumors floating around MLS Cup weekend was that the USA will play at the Netherlands a friendly on Wed Mar 3 next year.


Philadelphia Union will begin stocking their roster on Wednesday as the MLS Expansion draft takes place. See special section below for details.
-Contrary to all the info we have seen so far, Columbus has Robbie Rogers on their "protected" list. I am very surprised.


For the third year running du Nord has been honored by you the fans, and included as a finalist for US Soccer's Best of 2009 - Best Soccer Blog. I am very humbled by this. Thank you so so much.


The team rolled into town (with snow on the ground) in a whole fleet of SUV's to a rock star welcome!


I am hearing that the celebration at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight was a monster.


You can go to both of that cities daily newspapers for all the best coverage - Deseret News - and - Salt Lake Tribune.


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


The postseason drew an average of 23,559 per game. The best ever!


Greg Lalas at Sports Illustrated describes the great weekend in Seattle.


Simon Evans of Reuters Soccer Blog gives a great overview of Cup weekend, the season past, and the seasons ahead.
-Big tip of the hat to Simon who we met in Seattle, and was a great guy!


Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal has a good wrap up on the entire weekend.


Our friends Prairie and Mike made the scene all weekend long representing New England fans everywhere, and tell there story here!


From my perspective the city of Seattle blew the doors off anywhere that has ever hosted the Cup final before. They were up for it, and showed us a great time. Everywhere you went it was MLS Cup mania. So so cool to be a soccer fan in a town that loves you! Wow!


And our Designated Players party on Friday night was a full on blow out! It started at a good pace early, then proceed into full sprint mode until we closed the place down and they threw us out into the streets at 2am. The list of Soccer Celeb's who made the scene just knocked me out. And every one was so cool. I am sorry if I didn't get nearly enough time to sit and talk to everyone I would have loved to talk with. It was just that out of control. Huge thanks to everyone who was in attendance, and I sure hope we get to do it again!


My Thoughts on the game:
-A lasting memory of the final game will right after Landon Donovan skied his Penalty Kick attempt, and as my jaw hit the ground I did a 360 degree turn looking at everyone around me and they all had the same look on their faces. Unreal!
-Yes, Donovan missing that PK was the 2nd most dramatic moment of the game, with Robbie Russell of Salt Lake converting the final PK to take the top honor. Other turning points in the game:
-Javier Morales of Salt Lake leaving the field in tears after injuring his knee in the first half.
-Clint Mathis came on for Morales and didn't miss a beat.
-Then Ned Grabavoy replaced a sick Will Johnson at half time and also filled the role completely.
-Personally I would have left Yura Movsysian in the game longer to see if he could hit one of his bombs.
-His replacement Fabian Espindola was the only negative move Salt Lake made all game.
-Donovan's pin point pass to Mike Magee for LA's goal. A thing of typical beauty for LD.
-But where did Donovan disappear to after that? I was amazed at home little he did down the stretch. Amazed!
-And as the game wore on RSL centerback Nat Borchers looked very hobbled yet LA left the completely worn out Mike Magee and the useless Edson Buddle to battle him, instead of putting LD up there to go at the slow defender. Just plain weird.
-LA keeper Donovan Ricketts injuring his hand right at the beginning of the 2nd half, causing a long delay.
-His replacement Josh Saunders did a very good job for having played very few top flight minutes, much less no playoff minutes ever.
-LA's Chris Klein looked completely gassed after just 15 minutes on the field. What happened to him?
-Beckman did little or nothing all game long. Yes he had a few good passes, and helped his team control the ball at times. But he needed to be a larger than life presence and he was merely mortal.
-And worst of all it was Beckman standing there ball watching as Robbie Findley stormed the back post and scored the game tying and changing goal for RSL.
-Gregg Berhalter had as good a game as any Galaxy player. He made several huge plays.
-In the end all the credit goes to RSL, as they were simply the better team!


If you ask me, both of these leagues are in serious trouble, and if the ball stopped moving today they would both be dead in the water. What a bunch of idiots these people are. Get it together, sit down, and sort it out!


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


And here are the latest articles from IMS (listed in counter-chronilogical order):
-TOA and USL, is Everything Exploding or Imploding?
-TOA Confirms, New Proposed League Name Will be North American Soccer League
-Team Owners Association/USL Update – 11/21/09
-USL Statement Regarding Tampa & Baltimore Moving to the TOA League
-Team Owners Association Adds Two More Teams – 9 Total
-Executive Director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission Explains New Pro Soccer Team Proposed for Minnesota
-Minnesota Becomes Hub of TOA/USL Debate


Jeff DiVeronica of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, who has also done a good job of trying to keep up with this flaming snowball of a story, gives us some updates and thoughts today.


The craziest news in all these latest twists and turns is that the Charleston Battery have announced that they too are leaving USL-1, but not for the NSAL, rather USL-2! Here is the official press release.


The Triangle Business Journal on the new NASL name.


The St Petersburg Times on the plans for the Tampa Bay Rowdies to play in the NASL.


And check this out, this new league doesn't have the rights to NASL.com. (thanks to BQ for the heads up on this one)


The Observer (England) with an article on the mysterious billionaire Philip Anschutz who has almost single handedly kept soccer in America alive over the past decade, and is also involved in many businesses all over the world.


On Wednesday a very MLS event will take place, and that is the Expansion draft. Some of you may wonder what in the name of Sam Hell that might be. Well, next season the Philadelphia Union will join MLS, and in another of the ways the league seeks parity is by letting the new teams select players from the rosters of current teams. Every club gets to "protect" a certain number of players from being chosen, but leaving all the others fair game. It's a pretty bizarre concept I know, but that is what makes MLS so "special".


Each team can only lose 1 player maximum, as the new team, Philadelphia, selects 10 total, meaning some clubs will not lose anyone in this draft.


Here are each of the teams lists of the 11 players they are protecting.


Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated reports that FIFA says it will not get involved in the MLS league and players new collective bargaining agreement negotiations, even if things get ugly.


Chicago's Denis Hamlett is the fourth coach since the season ended to be shown the door.
-Remember a few months ago when I called this one and people told me I was nuts. At least I got something right.


The tournament continues with the 3rd (of 6) Round on Sun Nov 29.


#4 seed Ohio was the highest rated team beaten in the 2nd Round. UC Irvine, Butler, St John's, Michigan St, San Diego, Penn St and North Carolina St were also upset in the 2nd Round.


Here is the full official bracket for the tournament.


Jamie Jackson of the Observer (England) looks at the state of soccer in America.


Both the Toronto Star and the Toronto Globe & Mail have articles on the business developer who bought the Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit and what the plans are for the property. Soccer has been mentioned in every article written on the topic so far.


PRIMERA Division Liguilla
Michael Orozco - San Luis - came on in the dying seconds of the 1st Leg playoff game as they stunned the champions Toluca 1-0 at home.


Primera Division Liguilla
The Appretura playoff rounds are all 2 Legs.

Matches & Scores:
1st Leg
-Sat Nov 21
Monterrey (5) 1-0 America (4)
Puebla (7) 4-4 Cruz Azul (2)
-Sun Nov 22
San Luis (8) 1-0 Toluca (1)
Santos Laguna (6) 2-1 Morelia (3)
2nd Leg (wiht 1st leg scores included)
-Sat Nov 28
America (4) v Monterrey (5) - (0-1)
Cruz Azul (2) v Puebla (7) - (4-4)
-Sun Nov 29
Toluca (1) v San Luis (8) - (0-1)
Morelia (3) v Santos Laguna (6) - (1-2)


The Times on London reports that after Wigan went to Tottenham and lost by an astonishing 9-1 score, their players have offered to reimburse all traveling fans expenses. A nice gesture for a pathetic performance.


The Big Swap - in the summer Barcelona sent Samuel Eto'o to Inter Milan in exchange for Zalatan Ibrahimovic. How has that worked out for both teams so far?
-Eto'o - 12 games - 6 goals
-Ibra - 13 games - 8 goals
But for Inter the move also opened up a starting spot to sign Diego Milito who has played in 16 games and scored 11 goals.
-That kinda gives the overall net advantage to Inter. But then again, I am biased.


Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune gives us the first look at a possibly huge new gambling and match fixing scandal.
-So far the investigation is looking at games in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia and Austria. WOW!


-Fri Nov 20
Marseille 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain - this round of the grudge match goes to Marseille.
-Sat Nov 21
Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City - the draw leaves them both flopping around in limbo, aka 7th & 6th place respectively.
Besiktas 3-0 Fenerbahce - Fener chokes on a chance to open up a big lead at the top of the league.
-Sun Nov 22
Bayern Munich 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen - Leverkusen stays at #1 while Bayern burn at #7. If they get knocked out of the Champions League this week you could see their coach take the fall.


8 teams (of 16) are guaranteed advancement at this time: Bordeaux, Manchester United, Chelsea, Porto, Lyon, Fiorentina, Sevilla & Arsenal.


Matchday 5
-Tue Nov 24
Debreceni 0-1 Liverpool - Liv goal by David Ngog.
Fiorentina 1-0 Lyon - Fio goal by Juan Vargas(PK).
Rubin Kazan 0-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Barcelona 2-0 Inter - Bar goals by Gerard Pique & Pedro.
Rangers 0-2 Stuttgart - Stu goals by Sebastian Rudy & Zdravko Kuzmanovic.
Unirea Urziceni 1-0 Sevilla - UU goal by Ivica Dragutinovic(OG).
AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Olympiacos
Arsenal 2-0 Standard Liege - Ars goals by Samir Nasri & Denilson.
-Wed Nov 25
Bordeaux v Juventus
Bayern Munchen v Maccabi Haifa
CSKA Moskva v Wolfsburg
Manchester United v Besiktas
Real Madrid v Zurich
Milan v Marseille
Porto v Chelsea
APOEL v Atletico Madrid


Group Stage Standings:
Group A (after 4 of 6 rounds played)
+10 Bordeaux
8 Juventus
4 Bayern Munich
0 Maccabi Haifa
Group B (after 4 of 6 rounds played)
+10 Manchester United
7 Wolfsburg
1 Besiktas
Group C (after 4 of 6 rounds played)
7 AC Milan
7 Real Madrid
6 Marseille
3 Zurich
Group D (after 4 of 6 rounds played)
+10 Chelsea
+9 Porto
2 Atletico Madrid
Group E (after 5 of 6 rounds played)
+12 Fiorentina
+10 Lyon
7 Liverpool
0 Debrecen
Group F (after 5 of 6 rounds played)
8 Barcelona
6 Inter Milan
6 Rubin Kazan
5 Dynamo Kyiv
Group G (after 5 of 6 rounds played)
+10 Sevilla
8 Unirea Urziceni
6 Stuttgart
2 Rangers
Group H (after 5 of 6 rounds played)
+13 Arsenal
7 Olympiacos
4 Standard Liege
3 AZ Alkmaar
+Has secured their spot in the knock out rounds.


The top 2 teams from each group will advance. While the 3rd place teams move down to the Europa League.


Matchday 5 will be played on Thu Nov 26.


With 2 rounds left to play in the Campeanato Brasileiro we are down to 6 teams who technically have a chance for the title.


Standings - after 36 of 38 games played:
62 Sao Paulo - Last: L 3-2 at Botafogo - Next: Sun Nov 29 at Goias - Finale: Sun Dec 6 v Sport
61 Flamengo - Last: D 0-0 v Goias - Next: Sun Nov 29 at Corinthians - Finale: Sun Dec 6 v Gremio
59 Palmeiras - Last: L 2-0 at Gremio - Next: Sun Nov 29 v Atletico MG - Finale: Sun Dec 6 at Botafogo
59 Internacional - Last: W 0-1 at Atletico MG - Next: Sun Nov 29 at Sport - Finale: Sun Dec 6 v Santo Andre
56 Atletico MG - Last: L 0-1 v Internacional - Next: Sun Nov 29 at Palmeiras - Finale: Sun Dec 6 v Corinthians
56 Cruzeiro - Last: D 1-1 at Atletico Paranaense - Next: Sun Nov 29 v Coritiba FBC - Finale: Sun Dec 6 at Santos


Avai was officially eliminated from the championship.


Our pal Jack Warner - President of CONCACAF & Vice President of FIFA: "The United States can count on the full support of CONCACAF (in their bid for the World Cup in 2018/22), including Chuck Blazer, Rafael Salgueiro and myself."
-I guess that means that the checks have cleared the bank!?!? Hahahahahahahahaha. I keeeeed, I keeeeeeeeeeed. Don't kill me Jack. I will promise to buy all my tickets from you in the future!


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