Monday, January 30, 2017

Some Soccer News for Jan 30, 2017

It's Day 30 of 2017.

Be strong my friends. Be positive my friends. Be bold my friends. Help lift each other. We need each other more than ever.


USMNT Friendlies:
-Sun Jan 29
USA 0-0 Serbia
San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium
Attendance: 20,079
-Fri Feb 3
USA v Jamaica - 6:00pm CT on FS1
Chattanooga, Finley Stadium

My notes:
  • Good: Did anyone have a good game? A few were decent, but no one was great. Some raved about Darlington Nagbe, while I thought he showed his great skill but was not effective enough to make any difference. Nick Rimando had the play of the game making a big save late in the game. Graham Zusi was not a mistake at right fullback, and in a game like this that is a positive. Bradley + Jones had much more defined roles and were solid.
  • Bad: Greg Garza was shaky, getting beat more than anyone else and looked like he's barely played a game in 18 months (only 4 times due to a serious hip injury.) Garza also should have been called for a penalty, but the referee moved the ball outside the box. Alejandro Bedoya had no such excuse, he was just invisible or ineffective. Sacha Kljestan was also mostly invisible, and he also floated in some soft fluffy set pieces that Serbia cleared easily.
  • The team goal was a win. They did not get that. So I know this sounds ridiculous, but they must win on Friday.
  • The USA had only 1 shot on goal and never threatened the goalkeeper with anything serious.
  • A clean sheet is always good, but a better offense would have punished the USA defense. The back 4 was simple and solid but did make a couple bad mistakes - 1 each from Birnbaum and Marshall and a couple by Garza. Plus the defense gave up a lot of set pieces and corner kicks, but managed to defend them well enough.

A review of Bruce Arena's return to the USMNT bench. By Brian Straus.

Here is the 21 player roster for the Jamaica game:
  • G: David Bingham, Nick Rimando, Luis Robles
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Birnbaum, Brad Evans, Greg Garza, Chad Marshall, Jorge Villafaña, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Chris Pontius
  • F: Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Jordan Morris

Released from training camp roster:
Jermaine Jones
Sacha Kljestan

The USA World Cup qualifier v Honduras on Fri Mar 24 will be played in San Jose CA at Avaya Stadium.


Michael Bradley made a personal statement about the immigration choas that happened over the weekend:

  • His teammates and US Soccer backed him up. By Scott French of Four Four Two.


Today the MLS Players Union followed with their own message to our countries leadership:


Yesterday the Dark Clouds, the soccer supporters group that I belong to released a statement condemning the Presidents new immigration policy. You can read that powerful statement here: Our Friends + Neighbors Need Us

On a different supporters note, you can now become a member of the Dark Clouds for the 2017 season for just $35:


Oguchi Onyewu has signed with Philadelphia Union. I can't wait to see if he has anything left. Lets hope so.


This is an intriguing list of 10 newcomers to the league that you should probably get to know. By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.


Julian de Guzman who was Toronto FC's first ever designated player has announced his retirement from Ottawa Fury.


Minnesota United Preseason

My Notes:
  • On the current roster the Loons have 4 regular international players - Rasmus Schuller (Finland), Kevin Molino (Trinidad & Tobago), Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica) and Johann Venegas (Costa Rica). This means that if Minnesota plays a game during an official FIFA international calendar date those 4 will not be available.
  • The first international dates of the year are Mar 24 + 28, and sure enough Minnesota plays at New England on the 25th - Boooooo!
  • MLS gives teams the option of scheduling dates during those international weeks or not. More and more teams are choosing to sit out those weeks.
  • The league will take the first two weeks off during the group stage of next July's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • Here are all the official 2017 FIFA dates for national team matches and friendlies:
Mar 20 - Mar 28 WCQ (25 at NER)
Jun 5 - Jun 13 WCQ
Jul 7 - Jul 26 Gold Cup (19 v HD, 22 v NYRB, 29 v DCU)
Aug 28 - Sep 5 WCQ (26 at CF)
Oct 2 - Oct 10 WCQ (7 v SKC)
Nov 6 - Nov 14 WCQ

The first preseason game happens tomorrow in Casa Grande AZ:
-Tue Jan 31
Minnesota United v New England Revolution - no start time has been given

Added another player officially on Sunday - 34 year old Swedish goalkeeper John Alvbage from IFK Goteborg was signed on a 6 month loan.

Interviews with 2 new MNUFC players - goalkeeper Alvbage - and - centerback Vadim Demidov. Both by Megan Ryan of the Star Tribune. -Ryan also answers lots of viewer mail, and attempts to aussage some fears.

The Loons still have 3 open roster spots. These are MY priorities, in order: 1. Defensive Midfielder, 2. Left Fullback, 3. Right Fullback

The story behind Minnesota's big money signing of Kevin Molino. By Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two.


Americans playing in foreign leagues - highlights:

The Terrence Boyd, Coach Torsten Frings + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - Boyd started and went 74 minutes, but they got destroyed 1-6 at home by Koln.
  • Note - They are the worst team in the league by far. It will take a miracle to save them from relegation.
  • Bundesliga Standings - 18th Place, 7 points from safety
  • Up Next - Sun Feb 5 at Eintracht Frankfurt

Emerson Hyndman got his first start at Rangers and made it count - setting up the first goal and scoring the 2nd in a 2-0 win over Motherwell.

Paul Arriola went the full 90 and set up the games only goal as Tijuana beat Cruz Azul 1-0.
  • Tijuana is in 1st place after 4 rounds.

Julian Green got his debut at Stuttgart, starting the game but coming off at half time. They won 0-1 at St Pauli.


Africa Cup of Nations

-Sat Jan 28
Burkina Faso 2-0 Tunisia
Senegal 0-0 Cameroon - Cam advances 4-5 in Penalty Kick Shootout.
-Sun Jan 29
DR Congo 1-2 Ghana
Egypt 1-0 Morocco

-Wed Feb 1
Burkina Faso v Cameroon - 1pm CT on beIN
-Thu Feb 2
Ghana v Egypt - 1pm CT on beIN

-Sun Feb 5 - 1pm CT on beIN


Southern California has a very popular local soccer team, and that team is Los Xolos de Tijuana. By Michael Snyder of the New York Times.

The Bird Is The Word


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