Monday, December 12, 2016

Some Soccer News for Dec 12, 2016

SPECIAL NOTE: Minnesota United will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium in St Paul today at 2pm CT.


It's Day 347 of 2016.


MLS Season 21 is over. Seattle is the champion. Huge congrats to the Sounders.

MLS Cup - Final:
-Sat Dec 10
Toronto FC 0-0 Seattle Sounders FC - SS wins it 5-4 in Penalty Kick Shootout.

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Game highlights [VIDEO]

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My MLS Cup Notes:
  • I don't know how Seattle pulled this off.
  • Toronto sure didn't deserve to lose the championship game, but that they did. They dominated the game at several points, and limited Seattle's attack to almost nothing, yet Penalty Kicks killed them.
  • Both teams smothered the others creative players: Altidore, Giovinco, Morris and Lodeiro all had little impact on the game at all.
  • There was no real midfield play to speak of. A lot of the game was just one team roaring from one end to the other and then not being able to do anything, so the other team took the ball and raced back the other direction. Oof.
  • Seattle keeper Stefan Frei was the Man Of The Match. He made several key saves, but one stood out as the key play in the entire game:
A video posted by Major League Soccer (@mls) on

  • The giant Sounders centerback Roman Torres scored the championship winning Penalty Kick. His hair reminds me of Godzilla's spine and tail.
  • Michael Bradley had the worst Penalty Kick attempt of anyone. It was soft, slow and only slightly to the left of the keeper. He is going to have many sleepless nights after that one.
  • On the other hand Bradley controlled large parts of the game, breaking up Seattle and pinging long passes all over the field.
  • Toronto's defense was really good. How good? Seattle registered ZERO shots on goal.
  • How in the world did Toronto not win? I think a lot of people will be pondering that for a long time to come.

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Sounders fans greeted the team at the airport when they arrived home on Sunday. By Seattle Times.

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Heartbreak in Toronto. By Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun.

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A long Q + A with MLS commissioner Don Garber. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.

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Minnesota sent a supplemental round draft pick to Colorado Rapids for centerback Joseph Greenspan. He has made very few pro appearances for the Rapids or on loan spells to USL teams.

The building process of the team and organization is a long slow one. By David LaVaque of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Next season Minnesota United will play at the University of Minnesota's football field TCF Bank Stadium Here is one persons pros and cons of that facility. By E Pluribus Loonum.

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Atlanta made several moves to add players to their roster including a shrewd move to sign centerback Michael Parkhurst from Columbus Crew.

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Sean Johnson from Chicago to Atlanta to NYC in one day.

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The expansion draft will be held on Tue Dec 13 at 1pm CT.
  • A list of available players should be posted on Monday afternoon.

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LA Galaxy will name their new head coach on Tuesday. Strong suggestion is that its LAGII head coach Curt Onalfo. He has coached in DC before this.
  • An unnamed supporters group once sang:
Curt Onalfo
Rhymes with Awful
Curt Onalfo
Old Falafel

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A sit down interview with Alexi Lalas, one of the lightning rods of American soccer, and a TV personality with an opinion on most everything. By Andrew Das of the New York Times.

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ESPN has stolen soccer reporter/host Julie Stewart-Binks away from FS1.

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2016 du Nord Futbol MLS Best 11:
G: Luis Robles
RFB: Harrison Afful
CB: Walker Zimmerman
CB: Jelle Van Damme
LFB: Justin Morrow
DM: Dax McCarty
CM: Mauro Diaz
RM: Sacha Kljestan
LM: Ignacio Piatti
F: Bradley Wright Phillips
F: Sebastian Giovinco

Look, I understand if you have different players who you think should be on this list. I would love to know who they are, why you think they should be on this list, and MOST IMPORTANTLY who they would replace from my 11.

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New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese has no team to coach any more, but he is still under contract from the still not finished club, so he is out trying to find homes for all of his players. Still a leader! By Dave Martinez of Empire of Soccer.

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"Ottawa Fury FC and the Montreal Impact today announced a partnership that will see the Fury become the official USL partner of the Impact."

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"...Wired868.com reported that (Trinidad + Tobago FA president) David John-Williams supposedly spoke to Jurgen Klinsmann [about the T+T head coaching position), who wasn't available... because he had already agreed terms to coach in China."

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Coming up this weekend in Europe:
-Sun Dec 11
Torino 1-3 Juventus - the Turin derby was won in the usual manner.
Man United 1-0 Tottenham- both are still stranded in 6th and 5th place though.
PSG 2-2 Nice - #3 could only tie the surprise #1 team and still trail them by 4 pts.
-Mon Dec 12
Roma v Milan - #2 v #3
Villarreal v Atletico Madrid - #5 v #4

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Leipzig lost for the first time this season, 1-0 at Ingolstadt, and Bayern goes back to the top of the Bundesliga via goal differential. Cliched normalcy is restored for now.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action. By the Guardian.

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The draw was made this morning for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16:
PSG v Barcelona
Bayern v Arsenal
Real Madrid v Napoli
Porto v Juventus
Leverkusen v Atletico
Man City v Monaco
Benfica v Dortmund
Sevilla v Leicester

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The Bob Bradley + Swansea City Tracker:
  • Note: first time with a clean sheet and big home win, albeit over the new last place team in the league
  • Results - Sat Dec 12 W 3-0 v Sunderland
  • Standings - 18th Place, 1 Point and +2 GD into Relegation
  • Up Next - Wed Dec 14 at West Brom

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Timmy Chandler was the only American in Europe to make a mark last weekend - He got sent off for his 2nd yellow card in the 82nd min of a 0-0 tie for Frankfurt v Hoffenheim.

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NCAA Soccer Championships:
Women's
USC 3-1 West Virginia
Men's
Stanford 0-0 Wake Forest - Stan wins 5-4 in Penalty Kick Shootout.



The Bird Is The Word

3 Comments:

Blogger Rich said...

Thanks for the Alexi Lalas inteview, missed that before and it was a great read, always love his thoughts!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Richard Allen said...

That 'save of a lifetime' - if it had gone in a lot of questions would've had to be asked, no?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yer welcome Rich.

Richard - i thought that phrase was a bit overwrought. but factually its probably correct in that Irwin will most likely never play in another MLS Cup Final!


-Bruce

2:19 PM  

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