Thursday, March 01, 2012

Some Soccer News for Thu Mar 1, 2012



Yesterday was big for US Soccer even if it doesn't really count - USA wins in Italy and USA Olympic team stuffs Mexico U23s. Missions accomplished.
-And like any good USA fan the cherry on top was Mexico losing to Colombia too! (Day being referred to on Twitter as #leapdaymassacre for Mexicans).
-Tom Marhsall of Soccer 365 writes about Mexico's two defeats.
-Not to forget the USA women rolled over Denmark too in the Algarve Cup.


Bob Bradley's Egypt got a 1-0 win against Niger in a friendly yesterday.
-They have another friendly on Friday against Congo.


In other International highlights Netherlands win at England, France win at Germany, Messi hat-trick for Argentina and Spain rolls big time.
-Of the 43 friendlies yesterday the home team only won 14! Oof!


Not surprisingly FIFA will investigate Bahrain's strange 10-0 win in World Cup qualifying yesterday. They needed to make up a -8 goal differential and did so with the assistance of a 2nd minute red card and 4 penalty kicks awarded against their opponents.


A historic win for the USA beating Italy for the first time, and doing it on Italian soil none the less. Nice.

Yes Italy was without their top two strikers Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano, both have long term injuries, but the USA was without 5 potential regulars Oguchi Onyewu, Landon Dononvan, Jermaine Jones, Timmy Chandler and Jose Torres.

But I have to say, some USA fans who are rabid Klinsi-Koolaid drinkers are acting like the USA has never beat a quality opponent before. Yes I totally understand the significance of this win, but I have still yet to see 1 thing on the field that is in any way different from the Arena and Bradley eras.


International Friendly
-Wed Feb 29
Italy 0-1 USA - USA goal by Clint Dempsey
Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris - Genoa
Match report by US Soccer.
Post game quotes from USA coach and players by US Soccer.
Match report by Mike Woitalla of Soccer America.
Player Ratings by Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America.
Match report by Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.
Post game notes by Wahl of Sports Illustrated.
Player ratings by Steve Davis of Sports Illustrated.
Match report by Brian Sciaretta of the New York Times.
Player ratings by Jack Bell of the New York Times.
Match report by Ives Galarcep of Fox Soccer.
Post game analysis by Brian Straus of Sporting News.


In Italian:

Gazzetta, the pink daily sports paper of Italy, called the loss a fiasco!

La Repubblica praised Klinsmann's tactics, and talked up Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.

Il Secolo XIX with a match report that includes several videos one of which is of fans after the game voicing their displeasure including one guy calling it a "disaster."


Brian Sciaretta of the New York Times with an article on Fabian Johnson who had a good debut at left fullback.


A few thoughts from me:
-You can see how things can work with guys play in their regular positions as opposed to being played out of position. Exmaple: Johnson and Shea teamed up well on the left, whereas their replacements Spector (right full back) and Kljestan (central midfielder) did not connect and Kljestan got beat repeatedly in the defensive third.
-Danny Williams is slow. Can't wait for Landon Donovan to reclaim his place on the right side of midfield. Imagine how much better the attack will be.
-Clarence Goodson and Carlos Bocanegra are a decent pair in the center of defense, but neither has the speed to track down a forward that gets past them. This will burn them eventually.
-Everyone who claimed Michael Bradley only played because he was the coaches son can now take a hike. Please.
-Brek Shea has a log way to go to be a force at the international level.


USA roster
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Tim Howard - Everton
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Carlos Bocanegra - Rangers
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover
Clarence Goodson - Brondby
Michael Parkhurst - Nordsjaelland
Jonathan Spector - Birmingham
Michael Bradley - Chievo
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Fabian Johnson - Hoffenheim
Sacha Kljestan - Anderlecht
Brek Shea - Dallas
Danny Williams - Hoffenheim
Jozy Altidore - AZ
Terrence Boyd - Dortmund
Edson Buddle - LA Galaxy
Clint Dempsey - Fulham


Italy Roster
Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus
Morgan De Sanctis - Napoli
Salvatore Sirigu - Paris St Germain
Emiliano Viviano - Palermo
Ignazio Abate - Milan
Davide Astori - Cagliari
Federico Balzaretti - Palermo
Andrea Barzagli - Juventus
Leonardo Bonucci - Juventus
Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus
Domenico Criscito - Zenit St. Petersburg
Christian Maggio - Naples
Angelo Ogbonna - Torino
Daniele De Rossi - Roma
Claudio Marchisio - Juventus
Riccardo Montolivo - Fiorentina
Thiago Motta - Paris St Germain
Antonio Nocerino - Milan
Andrea Pirlo - Juventus
Fabio Borini - Roma
Sebastian Giovinco - Parma
Alessandro Matri - Juventus
Giampaolo Pazzini - Inter


du Nord at the Controls - Tue Feb 28 - new music mix at Spotify.


Graham Parker, no not that one, of the Guardian calls the USA win in Italy one of the top 5 USA wins of all time.

He has 4 really good ones on that list but I don't see the Italy win as a top 5. How about USA 2-0 Mexico at WC 02? Or The Shot Heard Round The World game at T&T in 98? Or USA 1-0 Brazil in Gold Cup 98? Or USA 1-0 Algeria at WC 10?


"congratulations for having learned Italian so well, in such a short time. better than half the population speak Italian!"
-An anonymous commenter on a Chievo Verona message board praising Michael Bradley.


Matches & Scores:
-Fri Mar 2
Benfica v Porto - a big big Portuguese rivalry
-Sat Mar 3
Liverpool v Arsenal - two teams who desperately want a spot in the Champions League next season
-Sun Mar 4
Roma v Lazio - the Rome derby
Newcastle v Sunderland - the Tyne–Wear derby
Tottenham v Manchester United - #3 hosts #2
Real Madrid v Espnayol - a much lesser Madrid v Barcelona derby
PSV v Twente - #1 v #3


ESPN has hired Kasey Keller as an analyst for MLS, USA & Euro 2012!


Jonah Freedman of sees a giant task ahead for New England rookie head coach Jay Heaps.


MLS commissioner Don Garber at a town hall meeting in Orlando today stated that Seattle would open up their stadium to full 66,000 capacity for games against Portland and Vancouver this season! Wow.


Juan Agudelo sporting a Neymar Jr mohawk!


General News

Graham Parker, no not him, again, from the Guardian previews the Eastern Conference.
-Here is his prediction: (He basically sees minimal shifting in the middle of the pack, otherwise exactly the same as last season, but with Montreal somehow being better than New England)
1 Kansas City
2 Houston
3 New York
4 Chicago
5 Philadelphia
6 Columbus
7 DC
8 Toronto
9 Montreal
10 New England

Player Transactions

LA has signed 30 year old American goalkeeper Bill Gaudette from the Montreal Impact second division team.


Montreal has signed 32-year-old Italian centerback Matteo Ferrari from Besiktas in Turkey.
-This will the 10th time he has changed teams in his career.


Real Salt Lake signed eight: academy player Lalo Fernandez, Super Draft picks Diogo de Almeida, Sebastian Velasquez and Enzo Martinez, Supplement Draft pick Emiliano Bonfigli from Ecuador, Jonny Steele from the Carolina Railhawks, Terukazu Tanaka from Sagan Tosu, and Leone Cruz in trade from Seattle.


Columbus has signed Super Draft pick Aubrey Perry, Supplemental Draft pick Kirk Urso, and officially made Super Draft pick Ethan Finlay a part of their roster (he had already signed with MLS.)


Seattle has signed Super Draft picks Andrew Duran & Babayele Sodade. Season Previews

Houston Dynamo

Colorado Rapids

Philadelphia Union

Columbus Crew

New York Red Bulls
Portland Timbers
Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes
DC United
Club Deportivo Chivas USA
Toronto Football Club
Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club
New England Revolution


Good and bad news for Dominic Oduro and Ghana - He made his debut for the national team yesterday in the starting 11. But he came off after just 17 minutes with an injury. No word yet on severity.
-Ghana national team veteran Sulley Muntari had high praise for Oduro.

Patrick Nyarko also made his debut coming on at half time as a sub.
-Jonathan Tannenwald of talks to Nyarko about his big night, and the Fire season ahead.


Conor Casey is aiming for a late March/early April return from his achilles re-attachment surgery.


Adam Jardy of the Dispatch introduces us to rookie Ethan Finley.


Guadeloupe and former Kansas City defensive midfielder Stephane Auvray is getting a look in Crew preseason camp.


The team's new captain Ugo Ihemelu models the new 2012 shirt!
-Daniel Hernandez has been replaced as captain? Wow.


Steven Goff of the Post with the days team notes, including Danny Cruz dodging a bad injury.


New England gives us a transcript of a press conference today by head coach Jay Heaps, did you know he played basketball at Duke?, and general manager Mike Burns.
-They fully expect forward Jose Moreno from Colombia to report in the next few days.


It looks like the Diego Fagundez is without his signature mohawk in preseason.


Wilman Conde spends months rehabbing yet another injury, signs with New York, finally steps on the field and injures his hamstring. They expect him to be about for up to 3 weeks.


Brian Lewis of the Post writes that Thierry Henry is back from Arsenal in top form and ready to roll.


Lewis also talks to coach Hans Backe who raves about left fullback Connor Lade who came up through the team's academy.


The Union's "friendly" with Belen in Costa Rica was called off in the first half to after things got rough between the teams.
-Video showing things getting ugly.
-Thanks to Jim J. for the link.


Three players got Green Cards and will no longer be counted as International players on the roster: Diego Charra, Jorge Perlaza and Futty Danso!


Joshua Mayers of the Times speculates that Mauro Rosales will be named the team's captain.


Matches & Scores:

-Wed Feb 29
Community Shield: Sounders Sounders 2-0 Chiapas Jaguares(Mexico) - SS goals both by Fredy Montero.
Venue: CenturyLink Field - Seattle WA

-Thu Mar 1
Belen - Philadelphia Union - game called off in first have due to on field fight.
Venue: Costa Rica


Coming up:

-Sun Mar 4
Carolina RailHawks(NASL) v Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Wake Med Park - Cary NC


Preaseson Tournaments

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic - Feb 24-Mar 3
Venue: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex - Orlando FL

2 of 4 rounds have been played.

Vancouver will play for the Championship, and Houston for 3rd place. Their opponents will be determined by tonight's games.

Group 1
9 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (+7)
2 Houston Dynamo (-1)
2 Sporting Kansas City (-3)
2 Montreal Impact (-3)
Group 2
4 FC Dallas (+4)
4 Toronto FC (+2)
1 BK Hacken (Sweden) (-2)
1 Orlando City SC (USL Pro) (-4)

Matches & Scores:
-Fri Feb 24
Sporting Kansas City 0-0 Houston Dynamo
Montreal Impact 0-3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC - VW goals by Eric Hassli, Darren Mattocks & Sebastien Le Toux(PK).
-Sat Feb 25
Orlando City SC 2-2 Toronto FC - OC goals by John Rooney(PK) & Kevin Molino. TFC goals by Miguel Aceval & Torsten Frings.
BK Hacken 1-1 FC Dallas - BKH goal by Mattias Ostberg. FCD goal by Fabian Castillo.
-Sun Feb 26
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 Houston Dynamo - VW goal by Sebastien Le Toux(PK).
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Montreal Impact - SKC goal by Soony Saad. MI goal by Mike Fucito.
-Tue Feb 28
Toronto FC 3-1 BK Hacken - TFC goals by Ryan Johnson, Moises Ororzco & Joao Plata. BKH goal by Andreas Drugge(PK).
Orlando City SC 0-4 FC Dallas - FCD goals by David Ferreira(PK), Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez & Andrew Wiedeman.
-Wed Feb 29
Sporting Kansas City 0-3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC - VW goals by Sebastien Le Toux, Russell Teibert & Carlyle Mitchell.
Houston Dynamo 1-1 Montreal Impact - HD goal by Will Bruin. MI goal by Patrice Bernier.
-Thu Mar 1
Toronto FC v FC Dallas
Orlando City SC v BK Hacken
-Sat Mar 3
Vancouver Whitecaps v G2-1
Houston Dynamo v G2-2


Jeld-Wen Field Tournament - Feb 27-Mar4
Venue: Jeld-Wen Field - Portland OR

3 Allmanna IdrottsKlubben (Sweden) (+2)
1 Portland Timbers (0)
1 San Jose Earthquakes (0)
0 CD Chivas USA (-2)

-Mon Feb 27
CD Chivas USA 0-2 AIK - AIK goals by Viktor Lundberg & Lalawele Atakora.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Portland Timbers - SJE goal by Hayner Mosquera(OG). PT goal by Khalif Alhassan.
-Thu Mar 1
AIK v San Jose Earthquakes
CD Chivas USA v Portland Timbers
-Sun Mar 4
San Jose Earthquakes v CD Chivas USA
AIK v Portland Timbers


The Desert Diamond Cup - Feb 22-Mar 3
Venue: Kino Stadium - Tuscon AZ

3 of 4 rounds played.

9 New England Revolution (+4)
3 LA Galaxy (0)
3 New York Red Bulls (-2)
3 Real Salt Lake (-2)

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 22
LA Galaxy 2-3 New England Revolution - LAG goals by Edson Buddle & Mike Magee. NER goals by Benny Feilhaber, John Lozano & Jeremiah White.
Real Salt Lake 1-0 New York Red Bulls - RESL goal by Paulo Junior.
-Sat Feb 25
LA Galaxy 2-0 Real Salt Lake - LAG goals by Paolo Cardozo & Mike Magee.
New England Revolution 2-0 New York Red Bulls - NER goals both by Kelyn Rowe.
-Wed Feb 29
Real Salt Lake 1-2 New England Revolution - RSL goal by Nico Muniz. NER goals by Diego Fagundez & Bjorn Runstrom.
LA Galaxy 1-2 New York Red Bulls - LAG goal by Marcelo Sarvas. NYRB goals by Kenny Cooper & Thierry Henry.
-Sat Mar 3
New England Revolution v LA Galaxy
New York Red Bulls v Real Salt Lake


Carolina Challenge Cup - Feb 25-Mar 3
Venue: Blackbaud Stadium - Charleston SC

2 of 3 rounds are complete.

6 DC United (+3)
3 Chicago Fire (0)
1 Columbus Crew (-1)
1 Charleston Battery (-2)

Matches & Scores:
-Sat Feb 25
DC United 1-0 Chicago Fire - DCU goal by Hamdi Salihi.
Charleston Battery 2-2 Columbus Crew - CB goals by Dane Kelly & Jose Cuevas(PK). CC goals by Eddie Gaven & Mirovan Mirosevic(PK).
-Wed Feb 29
Columbus Crew 0-1 Chicago Fire - CF goal by Federico Puppo.
Charleston Battery 1-3 DC United - CB goal by Jose Cuevas. DCU goals by Maicon Santos, Ryan Richter & Hamdi Salihi.
-Sat Mar 3
DC United v Columbus Crew
Charleston Battery v Chicago Fire


It looks like Chelsea will spend part of their preseason in the USA and play games in New York, DC and Seattle.


Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune talks to MLS exec Dan Courtemanche about possible expansion to the Twin Cities.


Big win for the USA.

Match & Score:
-Wed Feb 29
USA U23 2-0 Mexico - USA goals by Juan Agudelo and Mix Diskerud.
Venue: FC Dallas Stadium - Frisco TX
Video highlights by Univsion.
Game photos by the Dallas Morning News.
Match report by US Soccer.
Player rankings by Travis Clark & JR Eskilson of Top Drawer.


Olympic qualifying begins Mar 22.


Bill Hamid - DC United
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire
Greg Garza - Tijuana
Perry Kitchen - DC United
Alfredo Morales - Hertha Berlin
Ike Opara - San Jose Earthquakes
Kofi Sarkodie - Houston Dynamo
Zarek Valentin - Montreal Impact
Jorge Villafana - Chivas USA
Joe Corona - Tijuana
Mix Diskerud - Gent
Dilly Duka - Columbus Crew
Jared Jeffrey - Mainz
Sebastian Lletget - West Ham
Amobi Okugo - Philadelphia Union
Michael Stephens - LA Galaxy
Freddy Adu - Philadelphia Union
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
Teal Bunbury - Sporting Kansas City
Joe Gyau - Hoffenheim
Jack McInerney - Philadelphia Union
Tony Taylor - Estoril Praia


Mexico Roster
Antonio Rodriguez - Veracruz
Liborio Sanchez - Queretaro
Nestor Araujo - Cruz Azul
Darvin Chavez - Monterrey
Israel Jimenez - Tigres
Hiram Mier - Monterrey
Miguel Ponce - Guadalajara
Hugo Rodriguez - Atlas
Javier Aquino - Cruz Azul
Jahir Barraza - Atlas
Ricardo Bocanegra - Atlas
David Cabrera - UNAM
Jorge Enriquez - Guadalajara
Marco Fabian - Guadalajara
Hector Herrera - Pachuca
Diego Reyes - America
Jeronimo Amione - Atlante
Javier Cortes - UNAM
Alan Pulido - Tigres


13 teams were in Friendly match action on Wednesday.

Mexico lost to Colombia in convincing fashion, while the USA beat Italy for the first time ever.

Costa Rica got a good win in Wales.

John Molinaro of Sportsnet breaks down Canada's loss to Armenia.

International Friendlies

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 29
Italy 0-1 USA
Mexico 0-2 Colombia
Bolivia 1-0 Cuba
Guyana 0-2 Guatemala
Armenia 3-1 Canada
Antigua & Barbuda 0-4 Trinidad & Tobago
Ecuador 2-0 Honduras
New Zealand 2-3 Jamaica
El Salvador 0-2 Estonia
Wales 0-1 Costa Rica
Paraguay 1-0 Panama


African Cup of Nations 2013 Qualifying - 1st Leg

Matches & Scores:
Seychelles 0-4 Congo DR
Gambia 1-2 Algeria
Ethiopia 0-0 Benin
Guinea-Bissau 0-1 Cameroon
Madagascar 0-4 Cape Verde Islands
Chad 3-2 Malawi
Tanzania 1-1 Mozambique
Liberia 1-0 Namibia
Kenya 2-1 Togo
Rwanda 0-0 Nigeria
Sao Tome e Principe 2-1 Sierra Leone
Congo 3-1 Uganda
Burundi 2-1 Zimbabwe

Egypt v Central Africa Republic - Postponed to Jun 24


2nd Leg games will be played Jun 15–17.



Matches & Scores:
-Wed Feb 29
Spain 5-0 Venezuela
England 2-3 Netherlands
Germany 1-2 France
Italy 0-1 USA
Switzerland 1-3 Argentina
Poland 0-0 Portugal
Mexico 0-2 Colombia
Denmark 0-2 Russia
Antigua & Barbuda 0-4 Trinidad & Tobago
Armenia 3-1 Canada
Austria 3-1 Finland
Bolivia 1-0 Cuba
Chile 1-1 Ghana
Cote d'Ivoire 0-0 Guinea
Croatia 1-3 Sweden
Cyprus 0-0 Serbia
Ecuador 2-0 Honduras
Egypt 1-0 Niger
El Salvador 0-2 Estonia
Georgia 2-1 Albania
Greece 1-1 Belgium
Guyana 0-2 Guatemala
Hong Kong 5-1 Chinese Taipei
Hungary 1-1 Bulgaria
Ireland 1-1 Czech Republic
Israel 2-3 Ukraine
Latvia 0-0 Kazakhstan
Luxembourg 2-1 Macedonia
Malta 2-1 Liechtenstein
Moldova 0-0 Belarus
Montenegro 2-1 Iceland
Morocco 2-0 Burkina Faso
New Zealand 2-3 Jamaica
Northern Ireland 0-3 Norway
Palestine 2-0 Azerbaijan
Paraguay 1-0 Panama
Philippines 1-1 Malaysia
Romania 1-1 Uruguay
Slovenia 1-1 Scotland
South Africa 0-0 Senegal
Tunisia 1-1 Peru
Turkey 1-2 Slovakia
Wales 0-1 Costa Rica


Gorillaz ft James Murphy & Andre 3000 - Do Ya Thing


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bruce, There are many writers and fans acting like we have never beaten a world class opponent before. Sampson beat Brasil in the gold cup. Areana beat Portugal and Mexico in the WC. Plus in 06 we were the only team to get a point off of Italy. Bradley beat Spain in the confed. cup.

This US side looked just as well played as those other teams and beat a strong italian team in a friendly

I hope Klinnsan help the US, i know he will, but he is not the US soccer messiah as many claim he is

11:06 PM  
Anonymous whb said...

"I have yet to see 1 thing different" under Klinnsman...
1. Chandler
2. Johnson
3. Shea
4. No Ricardo Clark
5. I know you and I talked about this, but the play on the field (the segments of real passing along the left) was far different than the way we won against Spain.

I'm not worshiping the smiling German, but let's not completely ignore him.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Kenobi said...

I'd add one more thing to whb's list: the attitude of the US players. Playing in Italy, in the same "defensive" formation they would have used under Bradley, the US never looked intimidated, and even played with a bit of swagger at times. An attitude adjustment may seem like a small thing, but in the long run, I think it will be one of the biggest things Klinsmann does for this team: not just beating great teams, but making the US players believe that should be the norm.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous leper said...

Definitely a nice win for the US. But top 5 of all time? That's ridiculous. Maybe it could make the top 20. If you want to say top 5 FRIENDLY wins for the US, then sure. While it's great to get a win against a perennial power, on the road, I would rank it well below the tie against Italy in the 2006 World Cup on the list of US achievements.

As for Klinsi, definitely his best moment so far. But yeah, so far - nothing to say he's made any great strides past what Bradley or Arena, or even Steve Sampson had done with the US by this point in their tenure. Hopefully there is some kind of master plan underway and we're just starting to see the beginnings of the vast improvments that are coming. But I'm not sold yet. We'll see once qualifying starts I guess.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brek Shea and Timothy Chandler both made their senior team debuts under Bradley, so I don't see how Klinsmann gets credit for them.

I like Klinsmann. I think he's smart and he's not trapped by conventional thinking. He knows, I suspect, that the U.S. team is a long-term project and anyone expecting massive improvement by 2014 (or even 2018) is bound to be disappointed.

No manager can make up for a talent deficiency, and the U.S. has a terrible record of developing players with high levels of technical skill. This is a structural problem that begins in youth soccer. Coaching is poor and emphasis is placed on winning more than developing skills. One reason Klinsmann is bringing in German-American players is he knows they were taught properly. But that's just a stopgap. Until there's a sea change in U.S. youth soccer, with better academies and more emphasis on technique, little will change, and the results will not be immediate if they do.


12:18 PM  

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