Monday, April 11, 2016

Some Soccer News for Apr 11, 2016

It's Day 102 of 2016.

The topic of the day is Nigel De Jong, many people's hatred of him, and this brutal tackle on Darlington Nagbe from Sunday night (and many other people on many other days.)

But I want to address referee Allen Chapman. He has no right being on the field. We saw him referee many Minnesota games over the years and he was always terrible. His two worst traits were his wild inconsistency and his leniency on nasty tackles (which always lead to angry players and more nasty tackles and cheapshots.) I gave him the nickname Dr Evil and on two occasions when I yelled it at him from the stands he stopped in his tracks and turned around to give me the stink eye. He is not fit for service. End of story.
  • Back to De Jong for a minute. I don't need to say much. The foul on Nagbe was awful. He just crushed the guys ankle. It would have been a great MMA move. Maybe De Jong should go on The Ultimate Fighter if he wants to bust ankles.
  • De Jong will get a multiple game suspension outta this. He shouldn't be on the Galaxy or in MLS to begin with!
  • Chapman should get that too. And he shouldn't be refereeing at any level.

How did local media of the two teams react?


Lets cleanse our palate with something great:
Emerson Hyndman got a goal for Fulham. His first professional goal. On his 20th birthday! The game winner! 3 minutes into 2nd half stoppage time! OH YEAH! Post-game interview from the Fulham website. [VIDEO]
  • What is it with American players and Fulham???
  • With 5 games left Fulham has bailed out their sinking ship and are now 11 points from relegation. A month ago it looked like they were doomed.
  • Brian Sciaretta dug up this wild post-game quote from Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic: “[Hyndman] is probably one of our most talented players. I am a little bit disappointed in myself for not finding more minutes for him this year. I believe in front of him he has a brilliant future and he is a very talented player. He is quality on the ball. I believe in the future he can be a very important player for us.”


NASL Week 2:
-Sat Apr 9
Indy 1-1 Ottawa
OKC 2-3 Carolina
Miami 1-1 Tampa
-Sun Apr 10
Edmonton 0-2 Minnesota
New York 2-0 Jacksonville
-Bye: Ft Lauderdale
-13 goals in 5 games = 2.6 goals per game.


Minnesota United did what they were supposed to do, wipe Edmonton off the field. A 0-2 win was a good feeling. And both goals scored by Ben Speas! Ben Speas! I did not expect to be typing that at any point this season. Here are the game highlights. [VIDEO]
  • MU goals in the 16th and 55th, the first off a pass from Kevin Venegas that was deflected right into Speas path, and the 2nd off a throw in also by Venegas in which Speas pulled off a brilliant flick of the ball over his own head and then spun past the defender on this back to create a clear path to goal for himself. Both were very good shots.
  • And a shutout for the MU defense. That doesn't happen often enough over the years.
  • Match report by Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Journal. (To demystify one misconception in that match report: MU does not a have a large squad, they have 24 players on the roster. MLS teams typically have 28-30.)


My NASL Notes:
  • Miami had a big crowd of over 10,000 for their first home game and got their 2nd tie in a row against a fellow Florida team. They continue next week with a 3rd straight Florida derby at Jacksonville.
  • Cosmos rolled again. They are going to be almost impossible to beat!
  • But its really sad that so few people go to Cosmos games. They are a great team and deserve to be seen. What they need is a real place to play.
  • Carolina pulled out some magic to get their 2nd win in a row. Austin da Luz scored the winner in stoppage time. His 2nd of the game.

Austin Da Luz of Carolina RailHawks has been named NASL Player Of The Week.


A little feature on one of the world's great record shops: Rockers International of Kingston Jamaica. Opened by the legendary Augustus Pablo. From Vinyl Factory. Thanks to Steve for the link.


Don't! Go! Down!


UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals:
2nd Leg
-Tue Apr 12
Man City v PSG (2-2)
Real v Wolfsburg (0-2)
-Wed Apr 13
Benfica v Bayern (0-1)
Atleti v Barca (1-2)


After last weeks glory for Matt Miazga at Chelsea, this week was gloom. He started the game against Swansea but was pulled off at half time after getting beat for what turned out to be the games only goal. Ouch. Growing pains on international TV can be ugly.


Brad Guzan and Aston Villa are all but dead and buried. With 5 games left they are just 1 pt dropped or 1 earned by Norwich away from relegation. They lost their 8th league game in a row and have been outscored 23-3 in those games.


17 year old Christian Pulisic got another start for Dortmund and played 73 strong minutes.


Ho! Ho! Ho! The Chuck Blazer book is out! American Huckster! Thanks to Steven Goff for the link.


MLS Week 6:

22 goals in 10 games = 2.2 goals per game.

My MLS Notes:
  • No doubt about it, right now Kansas City is the best team in the league. End of story.
  • Columbus still winless! 2 draws and 3 losses so far. Outscored 7-3.
  • Salt Lake still unbeaten. Unreal.
  • People said Red Bulls defense was a big question mark that they didn't really address in the offseason. Results so far say its a disaster. Most goals allowed - 11.
  • Galaxy still haven't scored a first half goal through 5 games.
  • Some big favorites are struggling early: Seattle, Portland, Vancouver (Cascadia! In the West), and Columbus, New York and Toronto in the East. 6 total wins between these 6 teams in a total of 31 games played. Oof. Who had DC scoring 4 goals in any game this season? Not me. Great job.
  • If Fanendo Adi is not one of your favorite MLS players you might want to call your physician cuz there might be something wrong with you.
  • Every Portland v LA game is more intense then the previous. Ratchet up the pressure!
  • Kelyn Rowe of New England had a fantastic header goal too. Patience by the team, moving the ball around, then the cross comes in and... Power! And! Placement!
  • Not sure who should be Player Of The Week.
  • Oh, by the way, Chris Wondolowski, without taking any Penalty Kicks like others at 4 goals have.
  • And Houston have 12 goals! Most in the league. Dallas 2nd with 10.
  • Embarrassing: FC Dallas attendance - 13,386. They join Colorado on the We-need-real-ownership pile.


3 good looking midweek games start Week 7 off early:
-Wed Apr 13
Sporting Kansas City v Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers v Dallas
San Jose Earthquakes v New York Red Bulls
-A full 10 game slate coming up on the weekend too.


Check out the plans for Real Salt Lakes new $50Million training complex. Damn! The team "decided against taking baby steps." By Brennan Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune.


Europe Big 4:
-Leicester has a 7 pt lead with 5 games to play. Next: Sun Apr 17 v West Ham.
-Bayern has a 7 pt lead with 5 games to play. Next: Sat Apr 16 v Schalke.
-Juventus has a 6 pt lead with 6 games to play. Next: Sun Apr 17 v Palermo.
-Barcelona has a 3 pt lead with 6 games to play. Next: Sun Apr 17 v Valencia.


One consequence of Leicester's unlikely race for the title is serious scrutiny of how they got to this place. Financial oddities unearthed. They might be nothing.... By David Conn of the Guardian.


Others are looking for comparisons to Leicester'a amazing season - there are NONE! So lets make due with a good story then: Hellas Verona winning Serie A in 84-85. By Richard Hough of the Guardian.

The Bird Is The Word


Anonymous Rich said...

I was annoyed when DeJong was signed, and everyone knew this was coming. I hope he gets a decent enough suspension, but we will see. I part wish someone would give him a taste of his own medicine, and might be the only way to keep other players safe...

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I see that right this week? Two own goal headers, that if those players were forwards, would have been beautiful finishes.


10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am posting video on Tuesday of Alejandro Moreno's MLS Weekly Awards and he has a lot of fun with the own goals!!!


10:23 AM  

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