Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some Soccer News for Thu May 24, 2012


Fantastic news from Denmark as Michael Parkhurst & Nordsjaelland overtook the big boys from Kobenhavn in the penultimate round and then got another win last night in the season finale to seal the Superliga championship! Huge congrats to them!


So much has happened since I was last able to make a proper post on Friday!

1. The Women's Professional Soccer league, WPS, has closed its doors permanently. More in the Story of the Day section below.

2. Montpellier pulled off one of the most amazing feats in modern football and won the Ligue 1 championship!

3. Santos Laguna and Herculez Gomez won the Mexican Primera Clausura championship!

4. Chelsea FC defeated FC Bayern Munchen to win the UEFA Champions League final!


Alessandro Del Piero will hold a Press conference in a Turin hotel on Friday to announce his future plans.


Pep Guardiola will coach Barcelona one last time tomorrow with they take on Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey Final.
-Sid Lowe of the Guardian on Pep's last stand.


Women's Professional Soccer has announced that their league has folded. Its another bad day for the organizers of the game for women in North America.

Here are several good articles on the topic:

-Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
-Yael Averbuch of the New York Times. (Averbuch has played in WPS.)
-Beau Dure of ESPN.
-More from Dure at ESPN.

Julie Foudy writing for ESPNW thinks that women's pro soccer and MLS go very well together.


My beloved team the Minnesota Stars went to Des Moines on Tuesday night for the US Open Cup and beat the Menace 0-2. It was a good solid win for the team and fun road trip for the supporters that made the drive. Our reward was a Third Round game hosting Real Salt Lake! But as we arrived home in the early morning hours we found out that our team had sold the hosting rights to RSL, and would be going on the road for the next round, thus robbing the fans of a glorious night of soccer in Minnesota. The reason given by Stars management was a totally understandable financial consideration. (In case you don't know the team is owned and operated by the league as the Stars have no ownership group, and the league needs 8 teams to meet minimum US Soccer requirements.) So I guess we should just shut up and be happy we have team, a team that nobody wants, but who won the NASL championship last season. The fans are in deep pain today knowing that we will not get to host a great match up against a high quality MLS opponent. And I am not exaggerating when I say I get angry when I think about the circumstances for too long. As a fan I honestly don't worry about the team’s financial state, that is for the management to figure out, I only care about great games. And this was certainly going to be one. In this case management doesn't believe they can sell enough tickets in one week to pay for the expense of hosting this game and has done what they feel is best. So be it. It doesn't mean I have to like it. I could write a lot more on this topic but I am going to drop it and do my best to move on.

Match & Score:
-Fri May 25
Tampa Bay Rowdies v Minnesota Stars FC - 6:30pm CT
Venue: Al Lang Stadium


Open Cup
Match & Score:
-Tue May 29
Real Salt Lake v Minnesota Stars FC - 8:30pm CT
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium


USA v Antigua & Barbuda - The Trailer!

Word from Florida is that Clint Dempsey is NOT ready to go and is still nursing his groin injury.

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated does a very candid Q & A with Landon Donovan. He reveals a lot. also does two Q & A's with LD - One - and - Two.

Ives Galarcep of Fox Soccer with lots of notes from training camp, including great stuff on players who got the snub.
-Eric Lichaj should be with this team that is short on high quality fullbacks! has an interview with Jozy Altidore.

STV in Scotland has an article on Maurice Edu, the USA and Rangers.

The Orlando Sentinel has photos from training this week.

Three videos from US Soccer:
-The Five-Game Tournament
-USA U17 team visit Men's National Team Training Camp in Orlando
-Fans Visit Training in Orlando as MNT Preparations Gather Steam


Matches & Scores:
-Sat May 26
USA v Scotland - Friendly - 7:00pm CT on NBC Sports Network
Venue: EverBank Field, Jacksonville FL
-Wed May 30
4 USA v Brazil - Friendly - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2
Venue: FedEx Field, Landover MD
-Sun Jun 3
Canada v USA - Friendly - 6:00pm CT on NBC Sports Network
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto ON
-Fri Jun 8
USA v Antigua & Barbuda - World Cup Qualifying - 6:00pm CT v Antigua & Barbuda on ESPN
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL
-Tue Jun 12
Guatemala v USA - World Cup Qualifying - 9:00pm CT on PPV
Venue: Estadio Mateo Flores - Guatemala City


USA Roster (So Far)
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Tim Howard - Everton
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Carlos Bocanegra - Rangers
Geoff Cameron - Houston Dynamo
Edgar Castillo - Tijuana
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover
Clarence Goodson - Brondy
Alfredo Morales - Hertha Berlin
Oguchi Onyewu - Sporting CP
Michael Parkhurst - Nordsjaelland
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Michael Bradley - Chievo
Joe Corona - Tijuana
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Fabian Johnson - Hoffenheim
Jermaine Jones - Schalke
Jose Torres - Pachuca
Danny Williams - Hoffenheim
Graham Zusi - Sporting Kansas City
Juan Agudelo - Chivas USA
Jozy Altidore - AZ
Terrence Boyd - Dortmund
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
Herculez Gomez - Santos Laguna
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes


Scotland roster:
Matt Gilks - Blackpool
Craig Gordon - Sunderland
Alan McGregor - Rangers
Phil Bardsley - Sunderland
Christophe Berra - Wolverhampton
Gary Caldwell - Wigan
Russell Martin - Norwich
Charlie Mulgrew - Celtic
Lee Wallace - Rangers
Steven Whittaker - Rangers
Barry Bannan - Aston Villa
Scott Brown - Celtic
Craig Bryson - Derby
Don Cowie - Cardiff City
James McArthur - Wigan
Shaun Maloney - Wigan
Matt Phillips - Blackpool
David Goodwillie - Blackburn
Craig Mackail-Smith - Brighton
Kenny Miller - Cardiff City
Johnny Wilson - Dundee United


CONCACAF officially named Jeffrey Webb as the new President of the region today.
-He ran uncontested for the office.

Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press reports on the unveiling of tons of illegality that has been perpetrated by Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer over the years.
-Yes those two became adversaries last year, but for two decades they were partners in crime.

Anyone who is surprised to find out that the "CONCACAF center of excellence in Trinidad & Tobago" is actually legally owned outright by Jack Warner is a blind fool. He bilked this organization out of millions upon millions of dollars. These little things are just a drop in what is to come.

CONCACAF is also set to make a big push to host the World Cup in 2026. Does that mean the USA will be their choice as host? Who knows.

The AP also reports that CONCACAF has failed in its attempt to have a proposal to remove Chuck Blazer from the FIFA executive committee added to the FIFA meetings tomorrow because they asked too late for the it to be included in the agenda. FIFA says it needs 2 months notice - what a bunch of horseshit.


Rick Reilly of ESPN talks to Colorado Rapids coach Oscar Pareja about the time he played a private football match in a prison with Pablo Escobar!


Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer on Juan Pablo Angel, class act. Rafa Marquez & Thierry Henry, not so much.


The long awaited documentary film on the rivalry between the USA and Mexico Gringos At The Gate will see its debut at this years Kicking & Screening Soccer Film Festival in NYC on Jun 27.


It will be a busy soccer weekend on NBC as they give us three games!

-Sat May 26
Houston Dynamo v LA Galaxy - 1:30pm CT - Announcers JP Dellacamera and Brian Dunseth.
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston TX
USA v Scotland - 7pm CT - Announcers Arlo White and Kyle Martino.
Venue: EverBank Field - Jacksonville FL
-Sun May 27
Sporting Kansas City v San Jose Earthquakes - 3:30pm CT - Announcers JP Dellacamera and Brian Dunseth.
Venue: Livestrong Sporting Park - Kansas City KS


The Daily Mail has all the quotes as Didier Drogba says farewell to Chelsea.


QPR's Joey Barton has been handed a 12 game suspension after his brutal display on the last day of the Premier League season.


The Chicago Fire invade the grocery aisles!

Dominic Oduro Does Everything Fast!

Nothing Gets Past Sean Johnson


It always interesting to see how they lay out a soccer field at a non-soccer stadium. This is how it will look for the Jul 22 friendly game at Yankee Stadium between Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain:


Week 12

-Wed May 23 New York Red Bulls 1-1 CD Chivas USA - NYRB goal by Kenny Cooper. CUSA goal by Juan Pablo Angel.
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Atten: 13,919
Chicago Fire SC 2-1 FC Dallas - CF goals by Sebastien Grazzini & Marco Pappa. FCD goal by Matt Hedges.
Venue: Toyota Park
Atten: 11,947
Seattle Sounders FC 0-2 Columbus Crew - CC goals by Justin Meram & Emilio Renteria.
Venue: CenturyLink Field
Atten: 38,311
LA Galaxy 2-3 San Jose Earthquakes - LAG goals by Hector Jimenez & Mike Magee. SJE goals by Steven Lenhart, Khari Stephenson(PK) & Alan Gordon.
Venue: The Home Depot Center
Atten: 16,512
-Sat May 26 Houston Dynamo v LA Galaxy - 1:30pm CT on NBCSN
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium
Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union - 3:30pm CT
Venue: BMO Field
Columbus Crew v Chicago Fire SC - 6:00pm CT on Univision Dep
Venue: Crew Stadium
DC United v New England Revolution - 6:30pm CT
Venue: RFK Stadium
Real Salt Lake v FC Dallas - 8:00pm CT
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium
Colorado Rapids v Montreal Impact - 8:00pm CT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 9:00pm CT
Venue: Jeld-Wen Field
CD Chivas USA v Seattle Sounders FC - 9:30pm CT
Venue: The Home Depot Center
-Sun May 27 Sporting Kansas City v San Jose Earthquakes - 3:30pm CT on NBCSN
Venue: Livestrong Sporting Park


Hector Jimenez - LA Galaxy - red card

NOTES: Thierry Henry made his return to the starting line up after a hamstring injury a few weeks ago took him out of action. He played the full 90 minutes too.

A stunning comeback for San Jose and a huge road victory for Columbus highlight a big Wednesday of games.

Since returning from injury for San Jose Alan Gordon has been nothing short of a miracle man! In the three games he has come on as a substitute and scored very late to tie two and win the third. Amazing stuff!
-Gordon - 4th minute of second half stoppage time to win in LA.
-Gordon - 90th min to tie v Columbus.
-Gordon - 88th min to tie v Chivas.

Highly touted Dallas centerback Matt Hedges scored his first professional goal.

The Chicago-Dallas game featured TWO saved penalty kicks, one by each team.
-But Chicago followed up their saved PK with a rebound goal by Marco Pappa that should not have counted because he was well inside the penalty area when the kick was taken. The referee however was looking at the goal instead of the players like he is supposed to. Its the assistant referees job to watch the goalkeeper to make sure he doesn't come off his line early, so its not his fault for missing it.

Columbus had two shots on goal against Seattle and they both went in!

GOALS: Beautiful goal by Mike Magee who coasts in on the SJ defense and glides past everyone including the keeper, then lofts his shot over another defender to score!

Another goal for my friend Neal - Diving header by Steven Lenhart - Superman!

Oh wow! Grazzini for Chicago hits a monster curling left footer to the upper 90!

A spinning volley in heavy traffic gives another goal to Juan Pablo Angel, this time against his former team New York.

Emilio Renteria of Columbus chips the Seattle keeper to seal the deal.


26 New York Red Bulls (+8)
24 DC United (+8)
22 Sporting Kansas City (+6)
18 Chicago Fire SC (+1)
15 Columbus Crew (-1)
13 New England Revolution (-1)
13 Houston Dynamo (-1)
12 Montreal Impact (-5)
8 Philadelphia Union (-5)
0 Toronto FC (-14)
27 San Jose Earthquakes (+11)
26 Real Salt Lake (+7)
23 Seattle Sounders FC (+7)
18 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (-1)
16 Colorado Rapids (+1)
14 CD Chivas USA (-5)
13 FC Dallas (-8)
12 Portland Timbers (-3)
11 LA Galaxy (-5)


Player Transactions

Montreal announced the signing of 35 year old Italian striker Marco Di Vaio from Bologna. He has signed a Designated Player contract.
-He will join the team when the transfer window opens on June 27.
-Since he became a regular starter in 1996 he has scored 191 goals in 483 games mostly in Serie A, with some in La Liga and Ligue 1.


John Henerson of the Post reports that Conor Casey is back out injured this time with a hamstring strain, and their other top striker Omar Cummings is still on the sidelines with an ankle injury. When will these two ever see the field together again?


Former Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala became a US citizen today.


Goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who is still in the league's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program, is back in training with the team and could be cleared to play sometime next week. As for the program he is involved in he did not give out details except to say that "no drugs or alcohol were involved." Which is a bit a of a surprise. We wish Josh all the best of luck.


-Wed May 23
Portland Timbers 0-1 Valencia(Spain) - Val goal by Aritz Aduriz.
Venue: Jeld-Wen Field - Portland OR


Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning is expected to be out injured another 3 weeks.
-They could have used him last night as backup Brian Meredith got burned pretty badly in the 2nd goal.


Football Italia is reporting that Chicago has offered Pippo Inzaghi a deal to become a player/academy coach.
-The Fire say this is not true. But that is kind of a complex deal to be completely made up.


Matches & Scores:
-Wed May 23
Colorado Rapids 2-2 Houston Dynamo - CR goals by Edu & Kevin Garcia. HD goals by Je-Vaughn Watson & Colin Rolfe.
-Sat May 26
Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union
-Sun May 27
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps

-This league is often changing schedules with no warning.


Here is the complete schedule of all the big club matches going on this summer pitting MLS teams against European teams.


Matches & Scores:
-Fri May 25
Tampa Bay Rowdies v Minnesota Stars FC
-Sat May 26
Fort Lauderdale Strikers v Atlanta Silverbacks
-Sun May 27
FC Edmonton v San Antonio Scorpions

Watch online

17 Puerto Rico (+11)
15 Minnesota (+6)
14 San Antonio (+2)
11 Tampa Bay (0)
9 Fort Lauderdale (-4)
7 Edmonton (0)
5 Carolina (-7)
4 Atlanta (-8)


In Portugal for the Lisbon Tournament.

The team got a tie in their first proper game of the tournament, following another draw in a warm up friendly.


Matches & Scores:
-Sun May 20
Sporting CP 1-1 USA U18 - USA goal by Alejandro Guido(PK).
-Wed May 23
USA U18 1-1 Poland U19 - USA goal by Ben Spender.
-Thu May 24
USA U18 v Slovakia U19
-Sat May 26
Portugal U19 v USA U18


Ethan Horvath - Real Colorado
Zackary Steffen - FC Delco
Jordan Allen - RSL AZ
Robert Michael Amick - De Anza Force
Mobi Fehr - FC Basel
Trevor Haberkorn - Solar Chelsea
Malcolm Harris - Baltimore Bays Chelsea
Jalen Markey - Seattle Sounders FC Academy
Kellyn Acosta - FC Dallas Academy
Russell Canouse - Hoffenheim
Marky Delgado - Chivas USA
Matthew Dunn - OFK Belgrade
Alejandro Guido - Tijuana
Dillon Serna - Colorado Rapids Academy
Jack McBean - LA Galaxy
Andrew Oliver - Chicago Fire Academy
Zach Pfeffer - Philadelphia Union
Stevie Rodriguez - Tijuana
Ben Spencer - Chivas USA Academy
Stefanos Stamoulacatos - Empire


Paul Kennedy of Soccer America names his 2011-12 Americans Abroad Best 11.

Brian Span scored his first professional goal for Djurgarden yesterday.

Justin Moose got the games only goal for SJK in the Finnish 2nd division today.


Game Action:

FINLAND - Veikkausliiga
Daniel Antunez - Inter Turku - played the full 90 as they won 4-1 v Haka.
Mike Banner - Jaro - went the distance as they tied 1-1 at JJK.
Etchu Tabe - KuPS - on the bench as they lost 1-0 at Honka.

FINLAND - Ykkonen
Justin Moose - SJK - went the distance scoring a goal and getting a yellow card as they won 0-1 at KooTeePee.
Aaron Wheeler - KooTeePee - went the whole game getting a yellow card but lost 0-1 v SJK.

NORWAY - Eliteserien
Erik Benjaminsen - Stabaek - Wed May 23 - came on as a sub in the 58th min but they lost 1-0 at Viking.
Ricardo Clark - Stabaek - Wed May 23 - went the distance but lost 1-0 at Viking.
Steve Clark - Honefoss - Thu May 24 - went the full 90 as they tied 1-1 at Haugesund.
Sean Cunningham - Stabaek - Wed May 23 - played the whole game getting a yellow card and losing 1-0 at Viking.
Josh Gatt - Molde - Thu May 24 - started and played 77 min as they won 3-2 v Tromso.
Kenneth Di Vita Jensen - Honefoss - Thu May 24 - started and went 62 min as they tied 1-1 at Haugesund.

NORWAY - 1 Divisjon
Rhett Bernstein - Mjondalen - Wed May 23 - started and went 45 min getting a yellow card as they won 2-1 v Baerum.
Kyle Helton - Mjondalen - Wed May 23 - played the entire match as they won 2-1 v Baerum.

SWEDEN - Allsvenskan Liga
Brian Span - Djurgarden - Wed May 23 - started and played 80 min scoring a goal as they tied 1-1 at Helsingborg.

SWEDEN - Superettan
Ryan Miller - Halmstad - Thu May 24 - went the full 90 as they won 2-0 v Brommapojkarna.

Canadian Championship - Finals

Toronto FC has won the Canadian Championship for the 4th consecutive year. Congrats to them.

Nigel Reed of the CBC writes about TFC's dominance in this tournament.

Matches & Scores:
2nd Leg
-Wed May 23
Toronto FC 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC - TFC wins series 2-1 - TFC goal by Reggie Lambe.


Copa Del Rey - Final
-Fri May 25
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona



Boca Juniors got a last minute goal to advance, while Corinthians got one goal to final put a score on the board late in the second leg.

Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian writes about the return to the top for Juan Roman Riquelme and Boca Juniors.


Matches & Scores:
2nd Leg
-Wed May 23
Corinthians 1-0 Vasco da Gama Cor advances 1-0 on aggregate - Cor goal by Paulinho.
Fluminense 1-1 Boca Juniors - BJ advances 2-1 on aggregate - Flu goal by Thiago Carleto. BJ goal by Santiago Silva.
-Thu May 24
Universidad Chile v Libertad (1-1)
Santos v Velez Sarsfield (0-1)



Boca Juniors
Universidad Chile v Libertad
Santos v Velez Sarsfield


Asian Champions League - Round of 16

Half of the Quarterfinals are set. The other 4 games will be played next week.

Matches & Scores:
-Tue May 22
Al Jazira(UAE) 3-3 Al Ahli(Saudi Arabia) AA advances 4-2 in Penalty Kick Shootout.
Sepahan(Iran) 2-0 Esteghlal(Iran)
-Wed May 23
Al Ittihad(Saudi Arabia) 3-0 Persepolis(Iran)
Al Hilal(Saudi Arabia) 7-1 Bani Yas(UAE)
-Mon May 28
Adelaide United(Australia) v Nagoya Grampus(Japan)
-Tue May 29
Seongnam(S Korea) v Bunyodkor(Uzbekistan)
-Wed May 30
Ulsan(S Korea) v Kashiwa Reysol(Japan)
Guangzhou Evergrande(China) v Tokyo(Japan)


The ESPN program Outside The Lines will have a story on Brazil's World Cup preparations this Sun May 26 at 8:00am CT.


What were world leaders doing last Saturday afternoon while you and I were watching the UEFA Champions League Final?

The same thing:


Liverpool FC has named former Sports Illustrated editor Jen Chang as their news Communications Director! Fantastic news. Chang is definitely one of the good ones in the soccer media world!


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