Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some News for Tue May 31, 2011


From the Twitter feed of Tariq Panja of Bloomberg, @tariqpanja: Statement, Acting President of CONCACAF Lisle Austin has terminated the services of General Secretary Chuck Blazer with immediate effect.

And then CONCACAF finally releases their first press statement on the whole affair to say that Austin does not have the authority to dismiss Blazer.

I think there is only one proper response to all this FIFA/CONCACAF madness - right here.


Huge congrats to Barcelona on winning the the UEFA Champions League! Hooray, and don't drop the trophy.


The High and Low of international soccer all in one day - George Vecsey of the New York Times on the intersection of a glorious Champions League victory for Barcelona and wild FIFA executive committee corruption accusations.


After Saturday's game Sergio Koke told the Houston Dynamo he wanted out of the team, and they granted his wish by terminating his contract immediately.

No firm reasons have been given for his departure.

Koke only signed with the team a little over a month ago, has started 2 games, made 5 other appearances, scoring 1 goal.

The big Spanish sports daily Marca is where I first saw the story. (in Spanish)
-This is the Marca headline:
Koke leaves the Dynamo on request
"Koke came into the locker room and said he wanted to end his contract with the team and go home," said club president.
-The key line from their article: "Apparently Koke was angry for not playing enough and took that decision."

Here is the story from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, which does not contain the line about his being angry over lack of playing time.
-Ortiz shares his opinion of Koke on the papers blog, and he does not mince words. I think this is a pretty damning opinion.


The Telegraph of London now is reporting that FIFA executive member Chuck Blazer has filed ANOTHER charge against his long time ally Jack Warner, stating that Warner has continued to conduct CONCACAF business, including meeting with federation members, even though he is suspended from all soccer related activities.

One item that has not really been addressed beyond the amazing account of Chuck Blazer turning on his decade of over two decades Jack Warner, is that the man who led the secret investigation against Warner is a Chicago lawyer John Collins, who is said to have been at Warner's side through many other questionable actions in CONCACAF in FIFA.
-What exactly caused these two to turn on Slappy Jack?

Jere Longman of the New York times has quotes from Chuck Blazer.
-Blazer: “It was clear to me that rules were broken and were very serious. The idea that money would be paid for votes would have been a change I couldn’t bear. I’m hopeful this will set a reasonable standard for others and people will be encouraged when faced with this sort of corruption, they will deal with it.”

Esteban Pagan Rivera of Primera Hora talks to the President of the Puerto Rican federation who received some of the money that was supposedly provided by Mohamed Bin Hammam in exchange for votes. This is another piece of the weird puzzle. Via IMSoccer. Thanks to Brian.

FIFA reports on Herr Blatter's opening comments to the annual Congress of federations that began today in Zurich.
-And then Grace Jones entertained the troops (supposedly yelling "Wake Up" at one of the old duffers in the front row):

A full run down on the FIFA circus from the past few days can be found here at du Nord.


Lisle Austin of Barbados has been named interim President of CONCACAF.

Simon Evans of Reuters reports that Austin's first act as new President was to order an inquiry into Chuck Blazer and his investigation into Warner. And then to direct all federation members that they are not to use the law firm that conducted the investigation into Warner, even though that law firm has been used by Warner for many years to do all his behind the scenes work.

And in all of this, the Gold Cup kicks off this Saturday. Nice timing guys.


Barcelona is the 2010-11 Champion. What can you say. They played a nearly perfect 2nd half in the final to clinch their 4th European championship.


I think we saw the next logical step in the move toward the 4-6-0 formation. Maybe you can call David Villa the lone forward in a 4-5-1, but he plays so much wide right that he almost becomes a winger. Same goes for Pedro on the right side. And there there is Messi. And like the other two he plays an awful lot like a forward. But how many forwards are in the middle of their team taking passes and spraying them in all directions as others ebb and flow toward the opposition goal. He plays like a midfielder a lot too. Then there is the triangle of Sergio Crybaby Busquets, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. The first two are definitely midfielders. But what is Iniesta? He is a forward at times too. No wonder no one can stop them with 6 guys that all handle the ball like Curly Neal.


Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune with a review of the big game.


Match & Score:
Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United - Bar goals by Pedro, Lionel Messi & David Villa. MU goal by Wayne Rooney.
Venue: Wembley Stadium - London


Pre-Gold Cup

The team is training in Cary NC.


Ticket sales for Saturday's game against Spain has passed the previous Boston attendance record for a USA game of 57,407. Will they sell all 67,000 tickets?


Benny Feilhaber rolled his ankle in New England's game on Saturday, so Alejandro Bedoya has been brought in to train with the team in case Feilhaber cannot go.
-No word yet on the severity of the injury, but it did not look good when it happened.
-Teams have until 24 hours before their first game to make a roster change for injury.


Brian Straus of the Sporting News talks to both Michael Bradley and Freddy Adu about long and trying club seasons, and being in camp with the USA.
-I feel like we have heard Freddy Adu say at least a half dozen times the he has learned from his mistakes, put them behind him, and is finally ready for the real challenge. Is this time any different?


Steve Davis of Sports Illustrated ponders Adu's inclusion on this team.


US Soccer has an interview with Carlos Bocanegra.


Brian Sciaretta of Yanks Abroad talks to Steve Cherundolo.


The official team blog.


Matches & Scores:
-Sat Jun 4
USA v Spain
Venue: Gillette Stadium - Foxborough MA


Shalrie Joseph has decided not to go play for Grenada in this tournament, and would rather suit up for his club team New England Revolution who he says really needs him right now.


Former Galaxy midfielder Pando Ramirez picked up an injury and is out of the Guatemala team.


Both Tyrone Marshall (injuries to others in CO) & Omar Cummings (injured ankle) of the Colorado Rapids will miss some or all of the Gold Cup for Jamaica.
-Jamaica will need to decide 24 hours before the first game whether or not to keep them on the roster.


All team rosters.


Hypothetically, is there be any chance that we could see a break away from CONCACAF with maybe the North and Central America teams leaving, and taking a couple others with them? Mexico, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and Belize. Why not bring in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and a few others too.

Then they could let Jack & The Jackasses twist in the wind.


Lionel Messi of Barcelona finished the 2010-11 season with 56 goals scored in 62 games played in all competitions. Stunning.


Two go out in one day!

Carlos de los Cobos has been fired from his job as head coach of the Chicago Fire. Sad. But not unexpected.
-The team's record is 1 win, 4 losses and 6 ties, for 9 points from 11 games.
-Len Zeihm of the Chicago Sun Times with the story.
-Technical director Frank Klopas will take over as interim head coach.

Teitur Thordarson has been fired from his job as head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
-The team's record is 1 win, 5 losses and 6 ties, for 9 points from 12 games.
-Marc Weber of the Vancouver Province with the story.
-Director of soccer operations Tom Soehn will take over as interim head coach.


A near-surreal scene in Portland as not 1 but 2 Penalty Kick saves were nullified by the referee due to goalkeeper encroachment, and finally the third attempt from a different taker hits the back of the net.
PK #1


Brian Mullan played for the Colorado Rapids reserve team on Sunday. Why is it that he can play while he is serving a 10 game suspension? I'm sure something is in the rules that allows it, but I think its wrong.


Week 11

Matches & Scores:
-Sat May 28
Toronto FC 2-6 Philadelphia Union - TFC goals both by Maicon Santos. PU goals by Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp(2), Kyle Nakazawa & Danny Mwanga(2).
Venue: BMO Field
Attendance: 20,122
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-1 New York Red Bulls - VW goal by Eric Hassli(PK). NYRB goal by Luke Rodgers.
Venue: Empire Field
Attendance: 21,000
Columbus Crew 3-3 CD Chivas USA - CC goals by Andres Mendoza(2) & Emmanuel Ekpo. CU goals by Nick LaBrocca, Andrew Boyens & Jorge Flores.
Venue: Crew Stadium
Attendance: 9,431
New England Revolution 0-1 LA Galaxy - LAG goal by Miguel Lopez.
Venue: Gillette Stadium
Attendance: 21,793
Chicago Fire SC 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes - CF goals by Dominic Oduro & Cory Gibbs. SJE goals by Ramiro Corales & Chris Wondolowski.
Venue: Toyota Park
Attendance: 11,926
Houston Dynamo 2-2 FC Dallas - HD goals by Cam Weaver & Colin Clark. FCD goals by Andrew Jacobson & Ugo Ihemelu.
Venue: Robertson Stadium
Attendance: 16,709
Colorado Rapids 1-1 Sporting Kansas City - CR goal by Conor Casey. SKC goal by Ryan Smith.
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Attendance: 16,439
Real Salt Lake 1-2 Seattle Sounders FC - RSL goal by Nelson Gonzalez. SS goals by Patrick Ianni & Lamar Neagle.
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium
Attendance: 14,674
-Sun May 29
Portland Timbers 2-3 DC United - PT goals by Jack Jewsbury(PK) & Jorge Perlaza. DCU goals by Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius(PK) & Josh Wolff.
Venue: JELD-WEN Field
Attendance: 18,627


-Jorge Flores - Chivas - 2 yellow cards
-Kofi Sarkodie - Houston - 2 yellow cards
-Jamison Olave - Salt Lake - red card


20 Philadelphia Union (+5 GD) (11 GP)
18 New York Red Bulls (+7 GD) (12 GP)
15 DC United (-4 GD) (11 GP)
15 Houston Dynamo (+2 GD) (13 GP)
14 Columbus Crew (-2 GD) (11 GP)
13 New England Revolution (-5 GD) (12 GP)
12 Toronto FC (-10 GD) (13 GP)
9 Chicago Fire SC (-4 GD) (11 GP)
5 Sporting Kansas City (-7 GD) (9 GP)

29 LA Galaxy (+8 GD) (15 GP)
22 FC Dallas (+4 GD) (13 GP)
20 Seattle Sounders FC (+3 GD) (14 GP)
18 Colorado Rapids (+2 GD) (13 GP)
17 Real Salt Lake (+6 GD) (9 GP)
17 Portland Timbers (-2 GD) (11 GP)
13 CD Chivas USA (+1 GD) (11 GP)
13 San Jose Earthquakes (0 GD) (11 GP)
9 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (-4 GD) (12 GP)


Early Week 12

-Wed Jun 1
CD Chivas USA v Vancouver Whitecaps - FC 9:30PM CT on Direct TV
Venue: The Home Depot Center
-Fri Jun 3
LA Galaxy v DC United - 10:00PM CT on FOX Soccer
Venue: The Home Depot Center


General News

Steve Davis of Sports Illustrated with his regular five things you should know about Week 11.

Justin Mapp of the Philadelphia Union has been named the MLS Player Of The Week.

-Mapp scored a nice goal. But when no defenders step up to stop you, this is not difficult. See it here.
-Commentator Bobby Rhine calls Ugo Ihemelu's number on this goal. See it here.
-Great teamwork from Houston leads to a great goal by Colin Clark. See it here.
-And here is my fave goal of the weekend by Andrew Jacobson, who is in the right place at the right time to drill this header home off a ferocious rebound. See it here.
-Almost as impressive is this far corner pin pointer from Lamar Neagle. See it here.
-Not to be outdone, Ryan Smith has a far post lazer beam shot of his own. See it here.
-Emmanuel Ekpo has my second fave of the week, making a great run into the box to get things started then corraling a loose ball, turning fast and slamming it home. See it here.

On the flip side, this performance for TFC might be some of the worst defending I have seen in a long time. See the full match highlights against Philadelphia here.


Sean Johnson became the starting goalkeeper for the Fire this weekend, beating out Jon Conway who had replaced him after a series of mediocre performances early in the season.


I have to say that the attendance numbers in Colorado are much better than the past bunch of seasons, and the fans really take great joy when their team scores goals. Just listen to their roar when Conor Casey scores this one off a KC mistake. See & Hear it here.
-Bonus: Watch KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen flinch when the fireworks go off behind him.


The Farfan Twins are starting at fullbacks and now in just a few weeks they have both scored. Michael has played 3 games, and Gabriel has played 5.


Stephen Alexander of the Portland Trib reports on a heated verbal discussion between head coach John Spencer (does he have one of these every week now?), captain Jack Jewsbury and forward Kenny Cooper during their loss to DC on Sunday.
But everything seems to be hunky dory now. Great stuff.

Geoffrey Arnold of the Oregonian tells us about Portland's first home loss in league play.


Like some kind of perverted scene from a horror movie, TFC centerback Adrian Cann suffered a season ending torn ACL at training today. Wow. How much bad luck can one team have. Or do you create your own luck. Any way you slice it, its terrible news for Cann.


Matches & Scores:
-Sun May 29
Colorado Rapids 1-1 Sporting Kansas City - CR goal by Brian Mullan. SKC goal by Korede Aiyegbusi.
Houston Dynamo 2-3 FC Dallas - HD goals by Chance Bergen & Jason Garey. FCD goals by Eric Avila & Ruben Luna(2).
Toronto FC 0-0 Philadelphia Union
-Mon May 30
New York Red Bulls 1-6 Columbus Crew - NYT goal by Marcos Paullo. CC goals by Cole Grossman, Justin Meram, Bernardo Anor, Mike Jones & Chris Davis(2).
NOTE: New York scored the first goal of the game before Columbus destroyed them.
NOTE 2: Hip-hop star Mike Jones suited up for Columbus on Saturday, he is a Crew fan, and scored a goal against New York! Oh yes he did!
Portland Timbers 0-2 Seattle Sounders - SS goals by Servando Carrasco & David Estrada.

-Sun Jun 5
Chivas USA v Portland Timbers
-Mon Jun 6
San Jose Earthquakes v LA Galaxy
-Tue Jun 7
Houston Dynamo v Colorado Rapids
DC United v New England Revolution
Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps


Standings Etc.


29 LA Galaxy
22 FC Dallas
20 Philadelphia Union
20 Seattle Sounders FC
18 New York Red Bulls
18 Colorado Rapids
17 Real Salt Lake
17 Portland Timbers
15 DC United
15 Houston Dynamo
14 Columbus Crew
13 CD Chivas USA
13 San Jose Earthquakes
13 New England Revolution
12 Toronto FC
09 Chicago Fire SC
09 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
05 Sporting Kansas City


As of Tue May 31

8 Landon Donovan
6 Charlie Davies
6 Thierry Henry
6 Chris Wondolowski
5 Luke Rodgers
5 Maicon Santos
4 Will Bruin
4 Diego Chaves
4 Brad Evans
4 Eric Hassli
4 Shalrie Joseph
4 Marco Pappa
4 Chris Pontius
4 Emilio Renteria
4 Brek Shea
4 Cam Weaver

8 Brad Davis
7 David Beckham
5 Kalif Alhassan
5 Davide Chiumiento
5 Jack Jewsbury
4 Marvin Chavez
4 Fredy Montero
4 Jan Gunnar Solli


The team debuted their second kit last Saturday night. And to say it is tribute would be very accurate.

NSC Minnesota Stars 2011

Minnesota Kicks 1976


Matches & Scores:
-Sat May 28
Carolina RailHawks 2-0 Atlanta Silverbacks
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0-0 Montreal Impact
NSC Minnesota Stars 0-0 FC Tampa Bay
-Tue May 31
FC Edmonton v FC Tampa Bay
-Wed Jun 1
Puerto Rico Islanders v NSC Minnesota Stars


Standings (as of Sat May 29):
22 Carolina RailHawks (+12 GD) (9 GP) 2.44 PPG
13 FC Edmonton (-2 GD) (7 GP) 1.86 PPG
13 NSC Minnesota Stars (+3 GD) (9 GP) 1.44 PPG
10 Puerto Rico Islanders (0 GD) (6 GP) 1.67 PPG
10 FC Tampa Bay (0 GD) (8 GP) 1.25 PPG
8 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (-2 GD) (8 GP) 1.00 PPG
5 Montreal Impact (-1 GD) (7 GP) 0.71 PPG
2 Atlanta Silverbacks (-8 GD) (8 GP) 0.25 PPG


USA U18 team was in Portugal for the Lisbon International tournament.

The USA tied in their first game, lost their second, and tied again in their finale.

Matches & Scores:
-Wed May 25
USA 1-1 Netherlands - USA goal by Victor Pineda.
-Thu May 26
USA 0-1 Portugal
-Sat May 28
USA 0-0 Finland

Jeff Gal - Sockers FC
Jon Kempin - Sporting Kansas City
Michael Ambrose - FC Dallas Academy
Jack Coleman - FC Dallas Academy
Bryan Gallego - New York Red Bulls Academy
Jordan McCrary - U North Carolina
Juan Pablo Ocegueda - UANL Tigres
Boyd Okwuonu - FC Dallas Academy
Walker Zimmerman - Furman U
Luis Gil - Real Salt Lake
Daniel Metzger - New York Red Bulls Academy
William Packwood - Birmingham City
Victor Pineda - Chicago Fire
Alex Shinksy - U Maryland
Christopher Somerville - Baltimore Bays Chelsea
Wil Trapp - Crew Soccer Academy
Villyan Bijev - Cal Odyssey
Luis Rendon - FC Richmond Magic
Khiry Shelton - Lonestar SC
Jonathan Top - FC Dallas Academy


Game Action:

FRANCE - Ligue 1
Carlos Bocanegra - Saint Etienne - played the full 90 as they drew 1-1 v PSG. They finished the season in 10th place.

DENMARK - Superliga - (final game of the season)
Clarence Goodson - Brondy - Sun May 29 - went the distance as they won 0-2 at SonderjyskE. They finished the season in 3rd place.
Michael Parkhurst - Nordsjaelland - Sun May 29 - played the full game as they drew 0-0 v Midtjylland. They finished the season in 6th place.
Chris Rolfe - AaB - Sun May 29 - on the bench as they lost 2-0 at Kobenhavn. They finished the season in 10th place.

NETHERLANDS - Eerste Divisie - Promotion Playoff
Charles Kazlauskas - Helmond Sport - 2nd Leg Sun May 29 - started but came out at half time and they lost 1-5 v Excelsior. They also lost out on promotion 9-3 on aggregate.

NORWAY - Eliteserien
Mikkel Diskerud - Stabaek - went the full 90 and won 2-4 at Start.
Josh Gatt - Molde - subbed on at half time already down by 3 and lost 5-0 at Haugesund.

RUSSIA - Premier Division
Yevgeni Starikov - Tom' Tomsk - started but came off in the 58th as they lost 4-1 at Rubin Kazan.

SWEDEN - Allsvenskan Liga
Gale Agbossoumonde - Djurgarden - played the whole game but lost 0-1 v Elfsborg.
Ryan Miller - Halmstad - went the full 90 but lost 1-2 v IFK Goteborg.


International Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Thu May 26
Cuba 1-1 Nicaragua
-Fri May 27
Grenada 2-2 Antigua & Barbuda
Barbados 0-0 St. Vincent & Grenadines
-Sat May 28
Mexico 1-1 Ecuador
Cuba 2-1 Nicaragua
-Sun May 29
El Salvador 2-2 Honduras
Barbados 1-1 Guyana
Panama 2-0 Grenada


International Friendly
Match & Score:
-Wed Jun 1
Canada v Ecuador - in Toronto


Long time Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has announced his retirement from football. He will always be remembered for playing with a fierce attitude, scoring some huge goals, and delivering some awful tackles.


Championship Division - Promotion Playoff to Premier League - Final

Swansea becomes the 3rd and final team promoted to the Premier League next season. They join QPR & Norwich, replacing West Ham, Blackpool and Birmingham.

-Mon May 30
Swansea City 4-2 Reading


The behind the scenes battle that took place all season long at Real Madrid between technical director Jorge Valdano and head coach Jose Mourinho has ended with Valdona being relieved of his duties.
-The rumor is that Zinedine Zidane will take over as the new TD.


Recap du Nord: With Lille winning the title last week that race was over. We saw Marseille, Lyon and PSG stay at 2, 3 & 4, but Rennes lost and fell down while a winning Sochaux stole their spot at #5 to end the season.

Ligue 1 Top of the Table - 0 games to play
**76 Lille - Sun May 29 W 3-2 v Rennes
68 Marseille - Sun May 29 D 2-2 at Caen
64 Lyon - Sun May 29 W 0-2 at Monaco
60 PSG - Sun May 29 D 1-1 at St Etienne
58 Sochaux - Sun May 29 W 1-3 at Arles
**2010-11 Champions


Monaco joins the ranks of the relegated.

Ligue 1 Relegation Battle - 0 games to play (three lowest placed teams relegated)
47 Montpellier (-11)
46 Caen (-5)
46 Brest (-7)
46 Nice (-15)
- - - - -
REL-44 Monaco (-4)
REL-35 Lens (-23)
REL-17 Arles (-49)



Inter Milan claims the Italian League Cup for 2010-11.

-Sun May 29
Palermo 1-3 Inter


Paolo Bandini of the Guardian hands out season ending Serie A awards.
-If there was any doubt that he has no time for Inter, this outta clear that up.


Recap du Nord: #1 Velez lost all but guaranteeing a crazy finish to the season. Lanus jumped up to 2nd with a win and just 1 point from the top, while Godoy dropped to third with a tie. Olimpio remained in 4th after their tie with River Plate who were not nearly as lucky and fell from 5th all the way down to 8th. Oof. Independiente got a win and moved up to the #5 spot for now.

Primera Division Clausura - Standings - 3 games to go
30 Velez Sarsfield (+14) - Sun May 29 L 2-1 at Tigre
29 Lanus (+12) - Mon May 30 W 3-0 v Huracan
28 Godoy Cruz (+5) - Mon May 30 D 2-2 v Gimnasia La Plata
26 Olimpio (+6) - Sun May 29 D 0-0 v River Plate
25 Independiente (+7) - Sun May 29 W 0-2 at Estudiantes
- - - - -
24 River Plate (+1) - Sun May 29 D 0-0 at Olimpio



Matches & Scores:
2nd Leg (with 1st Leg scores included)
-Wed Jun 1
Club Cerro Porteno v Santos Futebol Clube (0-1)
-Thu Jun 2
Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield v Club Atletico Penarol (0-1)


Matches & Scores:
-Thu May 26
Cuba 1-1 Nicaragua
-Fri May 27
Grenada 2-2 Antigua & Barbuda
Barbados 0-0 St. Vincent & Grenadines
Wales 2-0 N Ireland
-Sat May 28
Ethiopia 1-2 Sudan
Mexico 1-1 Ecuador
Cuba 2-1 Nicaragua
-Sun May 29
El Salvador 2-2 Honduras
Swaziland 1-1 Malawi
Barbados 1-1 Guyana
Tunisia 3-0 Central African Republic
Panama 2-0 Grenada
Ireland 1-0 Scotland
Germany 2-1 Uruguay

-Wed Jun 1
Nigeria v Argentina
Canada v Ecuador
Mexico v New Zealand
Japan v Peru
Guatemala v Venezuela
Ukraine v Uzbekistan


Anonymous Joe the Curmudgeon said...

Heh, he said Curly Neal.

The Revs ought to give every one of those 67,000 USA-ESP fans a free ticket to come see the Revs.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

It's weird to see Chuck Blazer being the only one to do the right thing in this instance. If the attempt by Lisle Austin to kick him out is anything but spiteful retribution, I'll eat Blazer's shorts.

The fact that CONCACAF is lorded over by a kleptocracy of small pond types, whose whimsy windsock follows wherever Flappy Jack's "contribution" bluster blows.... ugh. It just sickens me.

2:02 PM  

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