Monday, May 23, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 23, 2016

It's Day 144 of 2016.

Two of the 3 items Minnesota United had asked for from the Minnesota State Legislature have been passed and now await the Governor's signature in the next day or two. By Brian Quarstad of Northern Pitch.
  • Tax Exemption on property was passed.
  • Liquor License was passed.
  • Tax Exemption on stadium building materials was dropped from consideration, thus not passed.
  • Once the Gov signs the bills we should hear from the MU on what the next step is.


CONCACAF has filed a law suit for fraud against Jack Warner. They say he stole more than $50M. By Tariq Panja of Bloomberg.


Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Semifinals:
  • The #1 and #2 seeded teams have advanced to the Final!
  • The whole tournament has gone according to seed. That very rarely happens.
  • Omar Gonzalez went the whole 90 minutes for Pachua in the victory.
  • Edgar Castillo played the full 90 for Monterrey in the win.
  • William Yarborough was in goal for Leon on the losing end.
  • Ventura Alvarado was on the bench for America in the loss.
2nd Leg
-Sat May 21
Monterrey 4-3 America - Mon advances 4-3 on aggregate.
-Sun May 22
Pachuca 2-1 Leon - Pac advances 3-2 on aggregate.

1st Leg
-Thu May 26
Pachuca v Monterrey - 8pm CT on NBC Universo
2nd Leg
-Sun May 29
Monterrey v Pachuca - TV TBA


USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Sun May 22
Puerto Rico 1-3 USA - PR goal by Luis Betancur. USA goals by Tim Ream, Bobby Wood and Paul Arriola.
-Wed May 25
USA v Ecuador - 7:00pm CT on ESPN2, UniMas, UDN
-Sat May 28
USA v Bolivia - 7:00pm CT on FS1, UniMas, UDN

My USA notes:
  • Hmmm. A win as expected. But a weak performance.
  • Paul Arriola did a very good job in this game, setting up Wood with a great pass for a goal and then streaking toward goal to get on the end of a cross Bedoya to finish the game off.
  • Great run and chip over the keeper by Bobby Wood for goal #2 of the game.
  • Tim Ream with his first ever USA goal. Great shot off a rebound of a very good shot by Alfredo Morales. Other then that Ream was sub-par.
  • And Morales was solid all game.
  • Man, that DeAndre Yedlin can run. All day long. Too bad he is only 50% of a soccer player. Imagine how good he could be if he could cross the ball with some quality. The new Frankie Hejduk.
  • Other good performances off the bench: Lichaj, Hyndman, Green.
  • How Matt Miazga didn't start this game is beyond me. He was good when he was in there.
  • Miazga is 5 times the player Michael Orozco is.
  • Three defensive midfielders started the game for the USA. THREE! Kitchen, Williams and Morales. Against minnows. Insanity. They only needed 1.
  • 4 Guys played out of position: Arriola, Kitchen, Morales and Ream.
  • For a guy with an athletic trainer for a wife Bedoya sure limps off the field early a lot.
  • How does this team give up a goal and 3 more great chances to Puerto Rico? Many of these guys are still in college and the rest can barely be considered professional.
  • Klinsmann and apparently Eric Wynalda are the only two people on earth who think the USA is ready to do big things in the Copa America. Did they watch the Gold Cup?


Its doubtful that the USA could field a stronger roster for Copa America then this one (maybe 1 or 2 spots different, but those were probably 50/50 calls):
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Chandler, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

On the other hand the roster is still weird, as is the Klinsi standard. Here are my issues, several of them:
  • Guzan named the starter in goal over Howard.
  • No left fullbacks on the roster. (BTW, there are 3 American left fullbacks playing regularly in Mexico: Bornstein, Castillo and Villafana.)
  • Consensus is that Fab Johnson, currently injured, is going to be the left fullback, which means taking one of your best weapons out of the attack.
  • And if you ask Johnson to attack from fullback he will be out of gas by the 65th minute in game 1, by halftime in game 2, and nothing left to give for game 3. IF he is healthy.
  • When you need to replace Johnson, and you will, there is no one on the roster to do that.
  • Except Timmy Chandler. Yes, that guy.
  • Why is Chandler on this roster at all? I guess cover at right back for Yedlin. Cuz there is no one else?
  • No Jordan Morris. One of the few guys who can make a play all on his own.
  • Geoff Cameron arrives injured too, so beyond John Brooks the other centerbacks are Besler, Birnmbaum and Orozco.
  • No less than 4 defensive midfielders on the roster. Who needs four? Beckerman, Bradley, Jones and Kitchen.
  • Orozco - the only guy brought in from Mexico is a guy who never players for his club in Mexico (Tijuana - a bad team.)


A breakdown of the USA roster. By Avi Creditor of Sports Illustrated.


USA has added Dallas' Kellyn Acosta to the roster for the Wed game v Ecuador. That makes it 5 defensive midfielders for that 1 game. Most likely he will be played out of position at fullback cuz...
  • Chandler is out for this one warm up game, still in Germany trying to avoid relegation with Eintract.


Other young American players are chasing the same dream as Christian Pulisic is living at Dortmund. DC area native Jacob Labovitz is one of them. Good story of self drive. By Nick Eilerson of the Washington Post.


All 16 Copa America rosters, via Sports Illustrated.
  • 28 players from MLS in this tournament. Plus some from Liga MX, NASL and USL:
Arg: 0 (1 LMX)
Bol: 0 (1 NASL)
Chi: 0 (2 LMX)
Col: 0 (4 LMX)
CR: 5
Ecu: 1 (3 LMX)
Hai: 1 (5 NASL)
Jam: 6 (1 USL)
Mex: 0 (14 LMX)
Pan: 3 (2 LMX)
Par: 1 (5 LMX)
Per: 0 (1 LMX)
USA: 11 (1 LMX)
Uru: 0 (3 LMX)


Steward Ceus of Minnesota United is on the Haiti Copa America roster.


NASL Week 8 Scoreboard
-Sat May 21
Indy Eleven 4-2 Minnesota United
Rayo OKC 1-2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
-Sun May 22
Ottawa Fury 1-0 Jacksonville Armada
Edmonton 1-0 Carolina RailHawks
New York Cosmos 2-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies

My NASL Notes:
  • The Carolina drop continues! After 4 weeks they had 4 wins, 12 points, and were in first place. After 8 weeks they still have those same 4 wins, but now 1 tie and 3 losses to go along, and just 1 more point then after Week 4. And they are in 5th place.
  • Minnesota laid an egg in Indy, saw their #1 spot vanish, and drop to 3rd.
  • That leaves New York #1 again, and shockingly the Montons are the new #2.
  • This has to be the highest the Montons have EVER been in the standings at this point in the season.
  • And Indy is STILL unbeaten. Great for them. They are in 4th place. And along with Minnesota have a game in hand on the 2 league leaders.
  • The unlikely Marcel De Jong with yet another goal for Ottawa. This latest one from a tight angle right over the Jax keepers head. Nicely done by de Jong.

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • Oof.
  • 4 trips to Indy now, and this is the third complete stink bomb they dropped. If it was a truck stop mens room it would need to be fumigated.
  • Yes, Stefano Pinho scored a great goal.
  • And yes, Damian Lowe did a terrific job converting on a corner kick.
  • And sure there were a couple other gorgeous attacks that came close.
  • But the rest was a nightmare.
  • And where was the leadership on the field? This team melted down at the end. Seriously?
  • Jason Davis earned himself a red card. And I mean earned it. He whined and hacked for the entire game, and finally in the 3rd minute of stoppage the referee had had enough and booked him (what took so long?) But that wasn't enough for Davis as in the 6th minute of stoppage time he hacked down another Indy player and get sent off. That is not how captains act. Ever. Maybe after playing every game last year and this year he decided he just wanted a game off next week.
  • Now one of the biggest defensive issues shows up... This team does not have any back up fullbacks on the roster. None. So who starts in Davis's place against Tampa? Lance Laing I suppose.
  • Davis was also caught napping on 2 Indy goals, the 1st when they got torched on the counter attack, and the 2nd when his man beat him to a rebound and chipped it over Ndjock to break they tie.
  • That 3rd goal for Indy was the Minnesota killer. After going down 2-0 MU had fought back to tie the game and seemed to have all the momentum. Then they go to sleep again and Indy capitalizes.
  • Actually Indy capitalized almost the entire game. They got to almost every 50/50 ball first. They pounced on every MU mistake. They won just about every ball in the air. They were faster. They were simpler. They were tighter. They played like a team.
  • Sammy Ndjock made another horrible mistake too - the 3rd goal saw him misjudge a ball and take a very weird angle on the play.
  • The centerbacks got caught a few times too, especially Brent  Kallman.
  • That team that had given up 4 goals and was tops in the league defense has now allowed 8 and is down closer to the worst teams in that department.
  • We have seen this weird elitism from MU for 4 years now. They think they are better, and yet they never prove it. When the chips are down they fail.
  • Sure they are near the top of the table for the 4th straight season, but they are NOT the best team in the league. The Cosmos are. And the Cosmos have earned it. But I have never seen the Cosmos come out and shit the bed like MU does at times. It hurts me deep inside.
  • The 3 subs, Laing, Banks and Mendes, contributed a grand total of nothing to the game. How is that possible? They know they only have a few minutes to make a difference.
  • I begrudgingly salute Indy. Only begrudgingly because I am just a dick like that.


Philadelphia Union has recalled Michael Lahoud who was on loan to New York Cosmos, and then sold him to Miami FC.
  • Will be interesting to hear how much Philly got for him. He is in the same talent range as Richie Ryan who Miami bought (insanely) for $750K.


Delta flight #15 left Atlanta on the morning of September 11 2001 bound for Frankfurt and went on a scary but ultimately incredible journey. Humans, including Americans, can go great things. From The Coast, New Zealand. (I have been on Delta flight #15 before. Kinda cool.)


The story of the Xpressway record label of Dunedin, New Zealand. I took huge inspiration from these brilliant people in the early 90s. By Gavin Bertram of Audio Culture.


MLS Week 12 Scoreboard:
-Wed May 18
Toronto 1-1 New York City
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire
-Fri May 20
Philadelphia Union 1-0 DC United
-Sat May 21
New York City 0-7 New York Red Bulls
Chicago Fire 1-0 Houston Dynamo
Toronto 0-0 Columbus Crew - rivals
New England Revolution 2-4 Dallas
Orlando City 2-1 Montreal Impact
Sporting Kansas City 1-3 Real Salt Lake
Seattle Sounders 0-1 Colorado Rapids
-Sun May 22
Portland Timbers 4-2 Vancouver Whitecaps
LA Galaxy 1-1 SJ Earthquakes

My MLS Notes:
  • A touchdown, and the extra point, in a baseball stadium! NYC just got frickin CRUSHED by Red Bulls. CRUSHED!!!
  • Frank Lampard returned the field for NYC. And he got welcomed the way many before him have been welcomed to Yankee Stadium - with the ol' Bronx Cheer! After the game Frank talked about the fans being uninformed about how bad his injury was, and that's why they booed him. No dude, its cuz you get paid a TON of money and have given the team exactly nothing yet!
  • The two New York teams have played 4 times now and Red Bulls have won all 4 by a combined score of 14-2.
  • And the miracle of Colorado is the 5th item on this weeks list somehow. They won again! In Seattle too. And while being dominated for a majority of the match. They find a way to win. And their defense has been solid - with Bobby Burling and Marc Burch starting on the back line. There has to be voodoo involved.
  • SJE v LA wasn't a very pretty game, but San Jose pulled another Goonies out of their ass and snagged a point with an 87th minute tying goal that was set up by "the Reverse Vasectomy" himself Chad Barrett. (Balls used to go there to die, now they live and swim upstream again!)
  • Oh SKC, the flounder continues after a 1 game reprieve.
  • Dallas and Portland both put 4 on the scoreboard, with Dallas doing it on the road in New England. Impressive from both.
  • Yura Movsisyan had his first big game since returning to RSL. Took 1 shot that deflected into the goal (Brad Davis Own Goal) and scored another when he turned on the jets and then lifted his shot over the onrushing keeper. Great game for him and the whole team.
  • I expect Movsisyan to be named Player of the week.
  • New England's 2nd goal against Dallas came on a PK after Lee Nguyen took a complete dive in the box! He is one of the worst divers in the league. How does a referee fall for that crap? Refs are supposed to know who the notorious divers are, right? The ensuing goal briefly gave the Revs a lead, but like they have sooooooo many times over the past couple years they choked away. Anyway you slice it New England was a little embarrassing.
  • Toronto started the season with 8 games on the road, and did OK, now they've had 4 in a row at home but managed just 1 win, 1 loss and 2 ties. 5 goals scored and 5 conceded. Not good enough. A scoreless tie with Columbus this round.


Chris Wondolowski has signed a new long term contract with San Jose Earthquakes. He is worth every penny they pay him, and a whole lot more.


Robbie Keane got trapped and interviewed on the streets of LA by TMZ. This shit is always awkward, but I have to admit I kinda love it. [VIDEO]


There were no surprise winners in the 5 big League Cup Finals around Europe last weekend:
- - -
FA Cup Final
-Sat May 21
Crystal Palace 1-2 Man United - in Added Extra Time
- - -
Copa Del Ray Final
-Sun May 22
Barcelona 2-0 Sevilla - in Added Extra Time
- - -
DFB Pokal Final
-Sat May 21
Dortmund 0-0 Bayern - 3-4 in Penalty Kick Shootout
- - -
Coppa Italia Final
-Sat May 21
Milan 0-1 Juventus - in Added Extra Time
- - -
Coupe De France Final
-Sat May 21
Marseille 2-4 Paris Saint-Germain

Coming Soon: UEFA Champions League Final
-Sat May 28
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - 1:45pm CT on FOX
-San Siro Stadium, Milan Italy


Do we really need to spend any time on who got fired/hired as coach of some floundering big European club next season?


The FIFA finance director Marcus Kattner has been fired after it was found out that for 6 years he was getting secret payments totaling Millions of dollars for unknown reasons. (In total he was involved in FIFA finances for 12 years, that leaves 6 more years unaccounted for.) By Graham Dunbar of the AP. Thanks to Joe for yet another new FIFA lowlight.
  •  A few months ago Kattner was one of the people busy laying out some of the new "FIFA reforms." Hahahahahahahaha.
  • I am gonna put a hypothesis out there: the payments to him were to keep him silent as much larger sums of money were going under the table to many other people in the soccer world. Just a hunch.

The Bird Is The Word


Blogger geoffersen said...

Nice day on du Nord

5:04 PM  
Blogger Nordy said...

Re: Kattner, I think Blatter's resignation was about the worst thing that could have happened for those of us hoping for real reform in soccer's governing body. When Blatter resigned, it gave people the false hope that FIFA could be reformed from within. But really we need to scrap the whole thing and replace it with something new. They're all crooks. Gulati needs to go, too. If not a crook, he was complicit.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Geofferson.

Nordy: "But really we need to scrap the whole thing and replace it with something new. They're all crooks. Gulati needs to go, too. If not a crook, he was complicit."

I think you summed it up pretty damn well right there. Direct and to the point.


9:53 AM  

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