Monday, February 29, 2016

Some Soccer News for Feb 29, 2016

It's Day 60 of 2016.

US Soccer unveiled a new crest today:

Behind the new badge and the launch of its release. By the New York Times.


Minnesota United competed in the Portland Timbers Simple Invitational last week. And I made the trip out to see all 3 games:
  • Games: Portland Timbers, Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps were the opponents, and it did not go well. 4-0, 4-0, and 3-1 were the scores.
  • Players - Good: Justin Davis looked like a Best 11 player that will continue to dominate. Lance Lang had moments of power and high quality. Sammy Ndjock made several big players and no glaring mistakes despite giving up 7 goals. Greg Jordan picked up right where he left off and I think we can expect even more. Juliano Vicentini and Bernardo Anor displayed excellent touch on the ball.
  • Players - Bad: Kevin Venegas could be alone on this list and it would feel finished - two red cards in 2 games - what the fuck is going on in that head? Tiago Calvano also got a terrible red card. (The team only had 1 all last season.) Christian Ramirez barely contributed but it was not really his fault as he got no service in the box at all - I mean NONE. Aaron Pitchkolan is slower then last season.
  • Players - Try outs: Centerback Damion Lowe (Seattle Sounders) looked good and has obvious skills but made some huge errors too. Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake) did not show anything that would make me take a look for even 1 minute longer. Ismaila Jome (UCSB) a forward from Minneapolis needs to put on some serious muscle and gain some urgency/aggression - when you come on as a sub you gotta kill it. Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire) played both centerback and fullback and didn't look bad doing it - solid. Tony Walls (Rochester Rhinos) saw the field a fair amount but bored me to tears - no going forward with the ball at all, just backwards and sideways over and over. Anthony Wallace (New York Red Bulls) was fine, playing left fullback where the team needs depth, but nothing screamed "sign this guy now!"
  • Injuries: In the 1st game against Portland Ibson made a turn and pass at midfield then went down holding his left leg - non contact injuries are always scary. No word from the team on severity, but he did sit out practice and the other 2 games. At the Vancouver game I saw him limping around. Stefano Pinho did not take part in any games or practices due to a foot injury that occurred before the team went West.
  • Coaching: The coaches watched games and practice from multiple spots around the stadium. Very little of the sideline action you would expect to see and hear during a regular match. The guy who warms up players during games had the most action. By the way that guy had the initials EW on his jacket. Ew.
  • Fans: Lots of different Minnesota fans were spotted at all 3 games. Obviously the midweek game had the smallest contingent. But the 3rd game had the largest. I met a lot of great fellow fans during the trip. Excellent to see. I wish the event organizers had figured out a way to put us all together in the stadium for the matches, that was the only downfall.
  • Overall: I am glad I went. A week off work. Great weather. Shopped at the best bookstore I have ever been to (and hadn't been to in 20 years) - Powell's. Did some high quality record shopping. Got up to Seattle for a day. Spent excellent time with a lot of old friends and acquaintances - that makes any trip worthwhile. Watched the team play and train up close. Got an idea of what we might expect this season. Confirmed in my mind that the team has a lot of preseason prep ahead. My first trip to Providence Park was a success even though our team lost 11-1 on aggregate.

I have heard rumor of a Minn United preseason trip to Mexico coming up, but there are no details at all floating around.


How is Christian Pulisic progressing at Dortmund? He joined the first team during the winter break and has made several appearances since then. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.


Scotsman Owen Coyle is the Houston Dynamo head coach. He talks about what a unique job it is, in comparison to his coaching days in England. By Tom Dart of the Guardian.


Andrea Pirlo roams the streets of New York City looking fabulous but undisturbed. By Jeff Oloizia of the New York Times. One thing about this article though - Its been years since I have heard of any MLS player having a second job.


Atletico Madrid landed a hard overhead right to the jaw of city rivals Real Madrid and all but knocked the superstars out of the 2016 race for the Spanish title. By Sid Lowe of the Guardian.

Current La Liga Standings:
66 Barcelona
58 Atletico Madrid
54 Real Madrid
52 Villarreal


The USA has produced its first Lionel Messi. And his name is Stephen Curry. The Daily Mail in England is jumping on the "Steph Curry is un-frickin-believable" bandwagon.
-Yeah, there is this from just the other night!


In an upset Gianni Infantino of Switzerland was elected the new president of FIFA. Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain had been the favorite.


And the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup is expected to be defined and get underway shortly. By Brian Homewood of Reuters.


MLS season 21 kicks off in just 6 days with all 20 teams playing on Sunday.

The Bird Is The Word


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had known you were at providence park for the Minnesota games I would have skipped that funeral on Sunday and driven up.
Marc in Salem

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry that did not happen

2:06 PM  
Blogger No Worries said...

Visited there last weekend with a group of friends, and had all the fun we could handle. I really like the ambiance at venues in Chicago. There's a decent draft beer selection at a reasonable price and the bartenders are good at what they do.

6:11 AM  

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