Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Some Soccer News for May 31, 2016

It's Day 152 of 2016.

Watching NBA Game 7 of the Golden State v Oklahoma City game last night reminded me why I loved basketball growing up. Great shooters and clutch defense.

Watching NBA Game 7 of the Golden State v Oklahoma City game last night reminded me why I stopped watching basketball. TV has caused constant interruptions that takes all the tension and fire, not to mention my concentration, out of the game.


Liga MX Clausura Laguilla Finals:
  • Huge congrats to the Liga MX 2016 Clausura champions Los Tuzos of Pachuca!
2nd Leg
-Sun May 29
Monterrey 1-1 Pachuca (0-1) - Pac wins the title 2-1 on aggregate.

My Liga MX Finals Notes:
  • Holy Rollers that was an ending.
  • With the series tied at 1-1 in the 74th min Aquivaldo Mosquera of Pachuca (who I raved about on Friday) got a Red Card. [VIDEO] With Monterrey being at home in the 2nd Leg it seemed inevitable that they were going to win the thing! Right?
  • Wrong 'em boyo! Guzman + Pachuca pulled off the miracle.
  • This was Pachuca's first Mexican championship since Clausura 2007.
  • American Omar Gonalez went the full 90, and helped his team hang on after his centerback partner was ejected.
  • American Edgar Castillo played the whole game for the #1 seed who could not pull it off at home. At the end of that game I bet he wanted to dig a tunnel in the stadium floor, El Chapo style, and escape.


A good article about women struggling to gain respect as soccer supports gets slagged by misogynistic trolls. By Nicole Hack of CF97 Sirens.


UEFA Champions League Final:
  • Huge congrats to Real Madrid on winning their 11th European title.
-Sat May 28
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol 1-1 Club Atlético de Madrid - RM wins it 5-4 in a Penalty Kick Shootout.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo with the championship winning PK.


USMNT pre-Copa America friendlies:
-Sat May 28
USA 4-0 Bolivia - USA goals by Gyasi Zardes (2), John Brooks and Christian Pulisic.

My USA Notes:
  • Easy win against a weak opponent. Told us almost nothing ahead of Copa America.
  • Hm, so instead of using the best 11 that will play together next week, when it counts, and giving them time on the field together to work out kinks, The Genius started with 4 centerbacks across the defense.
  • Yes the starting fullbacks, Yedlin and Johnson came on at half time, but why not give them the first 45 when the pressure is at its highest. There is no big picture structure within this team, yet we were told that this is The Genius's strength.
  • Its a weird quid pro quo we get from Gyasi Zardes - for every 3 horrible touches, passes or runs he makes there is 1 brilliant moment that gives us reason to believe. Or a goal. Or two. As was the case on Saturday.
  • Is this 4-3-3 that got trotted out the past two games the way to get the best players on the field? I have no idea.
  • People really have some serious boners for Pulisic. H became the youngest goalscorer in the modern USA era. He is the 3rd American to get this hype treatment. We are at 1 win and 1 loss in that category so far: Landon Donovan win and Freddy Adu loss.


USA Copa America roster:
G: Guzan, Horvath, Howard
D: Besler, Birnbaum, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Johnson, Orozco, Yedlin
M: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Kitchen, Nagbe, Pulisic, Zusi
F: Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Zardes

Jumping into the wayback machine to tell the story of the USA 1995 Copa America team, from mess to glory. By Jeff Carlisle and Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC.

Landon Donovan gives his opinions on USA in Copa America possibilities/expectations. [VIDEO] By Bernado Osuna.

By the way, Landon Donovan was 18 when he first made his presence felt at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After sitting on the bench in games 1 + 2 he came on in the 30th minute of game 3 for an injured Conor Casey and lit the field up, scoring a goal in the 88th minute of a 3-1 win over Kuwait. He then came on at half time for Ben Olsen in the next game, the Quarterfinals, a 2-2 tie with Japan that saw the USA advance 5-4 in a Penalty Kick Shootout with Donovan making PK #3. Donovan then subbed on for Chris Albright in the 39th minute of the Semifinal against Spain (ft. Xavi, Puyol, Capdevila, Albelda and Jose Mari,) but the USA lost 3-1 to the eventual Silver medalists. Finally, Donovan played the last 8 minutes of the Bronze medal game that was lost 2-0 to Chile (ft. Pizzaro, Zamorano, and Herrera.) FYI: Cameroon featuring Samuel Eto'o won the Gold.

The youthful path to the current level of success for Pulisic. By Nick Ames of The Guardian.

Ale Moreno makes the case for why Omar Gonzalez is NOT in the USA Copa America team, and why that is the CORRECT choice. Solid argument. [VIDEP] From ESPNFC.

What the 3 friendlies the USA just finished can tell us about the first game against Colombia. By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

Notes on the USA final prep for the tournament. By Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now.


USMNT in Copa America Centenario Group Stage games:
-Fri Jun 3
USA v Colombia - Santa Clara - 8:30pm CT on FS1
-Tue Jun 7
USA v Costa Rica - Chicago - 7pm CT on FS1
-Sat Jun 11
USA v Paraguay - Philadelphia - 6pm CT on FS1


Costa Rica's star goalkeeper Keylor Navas has withdrawn from the team due to a long suffering achilles injury.


An examination of the Mexican star player Chicharito Hernandez. By Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.


SunnO))) will play a concert in world's largest hedge maze! (It's in Italy) From Fact magazine.


Prophets of Rage, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Chuck D, B-Real, and DJ Lord, make their live debut tonight at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles.


Silicon Valley dialog
Bachman: Aloha
Bighead: Uh, th-that means Hello. Oh, AND Goodbye.


US Open Cup returns this week, on Wed Jun 1, with Round 3. Several very interesting looking matches.


Saint Louis v Minnesota United - 7:00pm CT, stream it live right here via YouTube

I had a lot of fun talking Saint Louis v Minnesota in US Open Cup with Phill Grooms of STL Soccer Report. [AUDIO]

If Minnesota United goes to St Louis and puts in another embarrassing performance like last season in the Open Cup I am going to be very pissed off.

This Saint Louis FC goal by Irvin Herrera looks a lot like the Kevin Venegas goal from 3 weeks ago. Great stuff. Minn United better be ready for this guy:


NASL Week 9
-Fri May 27
Ottawa 1-2 Fort Lauderdale
-Sat May 28
Jacksonville 1-1 Indy
New York 1-0 OKC
Minnesota 0-2 Tampa Bay
Miami 1-0 Edmonton
-Bye: Carolina

9 goal in 5 games = 1.8 gpg.

My NASL Notes:
  • About the only thing that made sense this round is that New York won. And they are now in control and all but assured the Spring title.
  • Besides New York, Indy, Minnesota and Carolina are the only teams left in the chase for the Spring Championship.
  • Tampa looked great against Minnesota.
  • Indy remained unbeaten. (But 5 draws in 8 games does not make a great team.)
  • Miami got their first EVER win.
  • The Montons LOST to Miami right when they were on the verge of joining the upper echelon.
  • Jacksonville and their confused owner hit the bottom of the barrel. I am sure he thinks its time to make another change, and none of it is his fault.
  • Oh yeah, and Ottawa stinks too. That great run last season is looking even more impressive right now. Some will tell you that they play nice soccer, but the other thing that matters is results.
  • I expect Joe Cole of TBR to be named player of the week.
  • Freddy Adu made the bench for Tampa! First time all season! Wow. Accomplishment City.

My Minnesota United Notes:
  • The stinkbomb of all unearthly stinkbombs.
  • Game highlights [VIDEO] (will be interesting to see if they can dress up this pig)
  • Losing at home to an average team is way out of line.
  • Jeb Brovsky came out of the game with what he calls a "Separated shoulder/clavicle." Oof.
  • Down goes another d-mid. Adding to the Jordan injury. That leaves: Juliano, Ibson, Pitch and new guy Blake.
  • Kalif Alhassan of Tampa made Minnesota pay for letting him go after last season by getting a great assist on the game winning goal by Joe Cole.
  • How in the world Kevin Venegas got beat by Alhassan's ONLY move is baffling. Venegas only saw it in training every single day last year. My parents know that Alhassan is going left to the end line after a step over. WTF?
  • Not signing any backup fullbacks in the off season had disaster written all over it.
  • Staring Brent Kallman at left fullback was sure to bite them in the ass. And it did with the 2nd goal on the counter attack.
  • Add that to no offense produced on the left side of the field - Kallman and Bernardo Anor were particularly ineffective together.
  • And why was Jamie Watson used on the right?
  • And why didn't Lance Laing start?
  • And why doesn't Lance Laing take every free kick?
  • Back to Alhassan, a big reason he was jettisoned is his poor defense and Minnesota did not go at him hardly at all. My game plan would have been to go right at him over and over and over again.
  • Who knew Ben Speas had the keys to the Minn United car. He has been out 2 games due to injury and the team has been have been poor in both.
  • I would prefer if Tiago Calvano didn't play any more.


Trying to make sense of this Minnesota United mess. By Bill Stenross of Fifty Five One.


NASL Week 10 - coming up:
-Sat Jun 4
Fort Lauderdale v New York
Carolina v Jacksonville
Tampa Bay v Ottawa
Miami v Indy
OKC v Minnesota
-Bye: Edmonton


MLS Week 13
-Wed May 25
Orlando 2-2 Philadelphia
-Fri May 27
Kansas City 0-1 DC
-Sat May 28
Vancouver 1-1 Houston
Red Bulls 3-0 Toronto
Columbus 4-3 Salt Lake
New England 2-1 Seattle
Montreal 3-2 LA
Chicago 1-1 Portland
Colorado 1-1 Philadelphia
San Jose 0-0 Dallas
-Sun May 29
New York 2-2 Orlando
-33 goals in 11 games = 3 gpg.

My MLS Notes:
  • There were lots of players missing from games this weekend due to Copa America and Euro 2016 national team call ups, but MLS teams did NOT have to release their players for the friendlies. They did it anyway.
  • Both the Montreal and LA goalkeepers made giant-ugly mistakes! The worse of the two came on the last kick of the game as LA keeper Brian Perk puked all over himself with a horrific BLUNDER in goal. Didier Drogba fired a free kick right at Perk who watched it go through his hands, and 1 point became THREE for Montreal. [VIDEO]
  • Montreal had not won in 5 prior games and it took a fluke to win this one.
  • New York Red Bulls kept the clobbering stick they used last week on NYC in hand and used it on Toronto this week.
  • Kansas City seems to have lost control of their bowels. They have lost 7 of the past 10. The latest at home to DC on Friday night after a long lightning delay.
  • Some will try to tell you that Chicago and Houston are the worst teams in the league, but both are better than SKC over the past 10 games. That leaves KC at the bottom of the trash heap.
  • I sense an end is coming soon to te remarkable home game sell out streak for SKC. (Unless they can turn this around quickly I suppose.)
  • The teams with the top records in the East and West (Philly and Colorado) played a forgettable game.
  • Yes Philadelphia has now gone 7 games without a loss, but 5 of those have been ties. That is far from a strong team.
  • Oh Sigi, not so fine. Seattle lost again. I bet club ownership are already talking to people about taking over the head coaching job.


The weekly MLS awards show from ESPNFC hosted by Alejandro Moreno. [VIDEO]


Sadly we have several more MLS games (all mid-week) without many star players in Week 14:
-Wed Jun 1
Philadelphia v Columbus
DC v Seattle
Portland v San Jose
-Thu Jun 2
New York City v Salt Lake
Dallas v Houston
LA v Kansas City
  • The league is then off until Jun 18.


2016 Canadian Championship Semifinals:
1st Leg
-Wed Jun 1
Ottawa v Vancouver
Toronto v Montreal
2nd Leg
-Wed Jun 8
Vancouver v Ottawa
Montreal v Toronto


The draw for the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League group stage:
Group A: W Connection (TRI), Honduras Progreso (HON), Pumas (MEX)
Group B: CD Dragon (SLV), Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), Portland Timbers (USA)
Group C: Central FC (TRI), Vancouver Whitecaps (CAN), Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Group D: Don Bosco FC (HAI), Arabe Unido (PAN), Monterrey (MEX)
Group E: Police United (BLZ), Olimpia (HON), Pachuca (MEX)
Group F: Alianza CF (SLV), Antigua GFC (GUA), New York Red Bulls (USA)
Group G: Plaza Amador (PAN), CS Herediano (CRC), Tigres (MEX)
Group H: Real Esteli (NIC), CD Suchitepequez (GUA), FC Dallas (USA)
  • Games begin in August. I think.


The odds are stacked against Jose Mourinho having big success at Manchester United. By Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian.


The most loathed team in German football these days is RB Leipzig. Newly promoted to the Bundesliga for next season. And owned by Red Bull. From the Economist.

The Bird Is The Word


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purchasing Aurelien Collin and immediately starting him has completely changed the Red Bulls. It seems like they may have a firm grip on that beat-down stick all summer long.


9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aurelien Collin"
its amazing that a guy like this can he a key link. good for him .


10:06 AM  
Anonymous Rich said...

I think we're doing an ok job handling Pulisic at the moment. He's played well, and really has shined in the games he's been in. And, we haven't started to inflate his ego like the US did with Adu, which I think was a key to how things shook out for him...

10:42 AM  

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