Friday, February 10, 2017

Some Soccer News for Feb 10, 2017

It's Day 41 of 2017.


The third 1-1 tie of the preseason, last night in Portland against the Whitecaps.

Portland Invitational
-Thu Feb 9
MNUFC 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps - 7:00pm CT - MU goal by VW Own Goal.
-Sun Feb 12
MNUFC v Portland Timbers - 7:00pm CT - Webstream at
-Wed Feb 15
MNUFC v Real Salt Lake - 7:00pm CT - Webstream at

Game highlights. [VIDEO]

My Notes:
  • Vancouver actually scored the Minn goal, heading past their own keeper on a corner kick. Oof.
  • Vanc got their goal late in the game (82nd min) after a penalty box scramble and a free ball rolled to the top of the box where Russell Tiebart, unmarked, fired to the bottom right side of the goal.
  • MU starters played 70 minutes: Alvbage G, Taylor RFB, Demidov RCB, Calvo LCB, Davis LFB, Saeid DM, Warner DM, Schuller CM, Molino RM, Ibarra LM, Danladi F.
  • The best part of the game for Minnesota was how hard and together the team looked. Its only been a couple of weeks, and a few days for some of them, and the effort was there. Nice.
  • Who looked impressive: Calvo + Demidov were solid. Warner kept it simple, same with Schuller. Ibarra had a ferocious shot that was the Loons best chance. (Ibarra's shot led to Molino corner kick that became the own goal.) KVenegas had 2 good runs at goal that should have come to something more.
  • Who looked out of sorts: Molino didn't connect with teammates and held the ball too long. Saeid provided little cover and passed inconsistently. Taylor was slow getting back which caused lots of problems in defense, and at one point made a horrible pass back to the keeper that was intercepted by Vanc who blew a great chance. Danladi didn't see the ball a lot and had a very poor first touch. Alvbage on two crosses chose to punch the ball rather than catch it, which left the defense scrambling rather than settling.
  • Minnesota had some nice tight control passing at times, working out of jams.
  • Vancouver had several scoring opportunities in the 1st half but couldn't put anything on net.
  • In case you were wondering about that Own Goal (49th min,) the official MN score sheet gave credit to Molino, but he said after the game that he was not shooting on goal and the defender headed it in. It was an own goal. Its good that Vanc failed so badly defending that corner because no one from Minn even made a near post run which is where Molino said he was aiming. Clearly not on the same page yet in preseason.
  • Minn was very comfortable passing the ball out of the back and moving it around to try to shift the defense.
  • Loons also found it very hard to get into the final third with any consistency. When they did get forward it was short lived.
  • I have said it a million times, playing 3 players in the center of midfield (Warner, Saeid, Schuller) is a complete waste of time as you only need two for those jobs. This essentially leaves you with 10 men on the field, making the attack very weak and nearly impossible to sustain forward pressure.
  • Not a bad outing overall. And much better than last year in Portland for game 1.
  • The funniest part of the game was the announcer who kept mistaking everyone for Ibarra. In one sequence "Ibarra" had the ball in two different areas of the field, all the while the real Ibarra was across on the opposite touchline. I counted 4 different players who were called "Ibarra" who were not Ibarra.
  • Neither back up keeper played.
  • Also Did Not Play: Calvano, Jones, Anor, Jome, Thompson, JVenegas, Hollinger-Janzen.
Game reports:

Training camp roster (30):
  • G: John Alvbage, Marco Carducci (trialist), Patrick McLain
  • D: Francisco Calvo, Tiago Calvano (trialist), Justin Davis, Vadim Demidov, Joe Greenspan, Alvin Jones (trialist), Brent Kallman, Jermaine Taylor, Kevin Venegas, Thomas de Villardi (unsigned draft pick)
  • M: Bernardo Anor, Raul Gonzalez (trialist), Ibson, Miguel Ibarra, Ismaila Jome, Bashkim Kadrii, Collin Martin, Kevin Molino, Mohammed Saeid, Rasmus Schuller, Eugene Starikov (trialist), Tanner Thompson (unsigned draft pick), Johan Venegas, Collen Warner
  • F: Abu Danladi, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Christian Ramirez


International Clash Day: du Nord Music Mix Vol 111 (download + extract)


One of America's most influential black people throughout history - Jean Michel Basquiat - Painter extraordinaire! From The Undefeated.


Jonathan Spector has spent his entire pro career in England. Now he is coming home to the USA to play for Orlando. By Jeff Carlisle of ESPNFC.


How does Bruce Arena put together his USMNT roster for the 2 late March qualifiers? By Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.


American Emerson Hyndman at Rangers has seen head coach Mark Warburton fired today. No permanent replacement named.


The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Standings - Dead last in 18th place, 7 points below relegation
  • Up Next - Sat Feb 11 v Dortmund


The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Standings - 1st Place with 2 point lead
  • Up Next - Fri Feb 10 v Necaxa

Big games in Mexico this weekend:
-Sat Feb 11
Atlas v Guadalajara - the fiercest derby in Mexico
Monterrey v Pumas UNAM - #9 v #3
Pachuca v Tigres UANL - two of the best over the past couple of years
-Sun Feb 12
Toluca v Veracruz - #2 v #5 and both are a big surprise


What is life like for an Englishman coaching in the booming Chinese league? By Matt Stanger of the Guardian.


Biggest European matches:
-Sat Feb 11
Liverpool v Tottenham - #5 v #2


One of England's oldest teams Leyton Orient is nearing full ownership meltdown, with a possible lunatic in charge. By Tom Davies of the Guardian.
  • NOTE: this article is written by a member of the Leyton Orient Fans Trust, aka someone with an axe to grind. Unfortunately this isn't mentioned until the 3rd to last paragraph. Posting that upfront would make a big difference to the reader.
  • Still interesting reading though.

The Bird Is The Word


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