Monday, March 20, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 20, 2017

It's Day 79 of 2017.

Hail Hail Rock N Roll - the guitar king is dead - Chuck Berry - Rest In Power my man!


A deep dive into the modern history of soccer in Minnesota. Great article. By Andrew Wiebe for MLSsoccer.


Univision and MLS have made a deal with Facebook to live stream 22 games in English that are also being broadcast on the Univision network in Spanish. Great move.
  • First game was Sat Mar 18 - Atlanta v Chicago.
  • Univision is already doing this with Liga MX



A point is a point is a point. That is what everyone is saying after Minnesota got a tie on the road at Colorado.

-Sat Mar 18
Colorado 2-2 Minnesota - CR goals by Dominique Badji and Marlon Hairston. MU goals by Kevin Molino (PK) and Christian Ramirez.

Christian Ramirez bagged his 2nd MLS goal, and it was a quality one:

Game highlights [VIDEO]

Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press:

Megan Ryan for the Star Tribune:

My MNUFC Notes:
  • Thankfully there were fairly big changes to the starting lineup - Kallman in for Demidov, Davis back in for Taylor, Ibarra for Saied.
  • The formation became a 4-2-3-1 and for the first time in 3 games Heath did not start 3 defensive midfielders! Hooray! Seriously!
  • But defensive mistakes in this game, like the previous two, cost them dearly. The first Rapids goal was the combined effort of 3 players screwing it up - Davis with a rotten pass to Schuller who had a hard time handling it, so Schuller flicked it back toward goal over the head of Calvo, making Calvo run toward his goal to try to clear a bouncing ball, but he tried to finesse it instead of walloping it and missed completely, which let Badji run right past him, scoop up the loose ball and easily slot it past Shuttleworth.
  • That first goal the Loons gave up was HORRENDOUS!
  • At half time the team made a further change to the line up, this time Ibson coming on for Schuller, who in addition to his poor back pass also picked up a yellow card.
  • The insertion of Ibson is what made the turnaround possible.
  • The Loons went right to work as Molino fed a nice pass to Warner who was fouled in the box leading to Goal #1.
  • Then Ibson flicked a ball down the line perfectly into the path of the overlapping Thiessen who crossed sharply as Ramirez made the run to the near post to put a glancing header past Howard for Goal #2.
  • Ramirez ran to the corner flag and sang: I am, I am Superman. And I can do anything!
  • Unfortunately the whole gang went to sleep immediately afterward and paid the price with Rapids tying the game 1 minute later.
  • To make things worse, another minute after that Davis got a red card for jabbing his studs into the knee of Hairston as the two battled for a 50/50 ball.
  • Heath had already made his 3 subs so the guys on the field had to buckle down and ride out 20 minutes short a man.
  • They did hold on too, and got 1 point on the road. Decent.
  • All 3 subs for Minnesota were attacking players. I love it.
  • Going back to the high point of the 2nd half for a second, when the game swung in Minnesota's favor there were no less than 5 of their NASL roster players on the field together. Familiarity can help a lot.
  • This was the 10th game since preseason began and there is still nothing in the win column. Danger Danger Warning Warning. This is not good.
  • Eric Miller, from the Twin Cities, suffered a hamstring tweak and did not play for Colorado. He is usually a starting right full back.
  • The good - Ibson makes it happen. Ramirez holds up strong. Kallman was almost perfect. Molino scores another PK. Warner keeps it simple and effective. Those guys had very good games. Need everyone to perform to that level.
  • The bad - Davis had a really bad one - poor pass led to first goal, no communication with teammates led to 2nd goal, and then a straight forward red card, not to mention his passing out of the back was almost all panic-clearance style. Schuller with awful back pass that led to 1st CR goal, and a yellow card got him pulled at half time. Calvo with a weak clearing attempt finished the mess on the 1st CR goal. Shuttleworth put several goal kicks and punts across the sideline for no apparent reason. For the 3rd game in a row Molino was 85% invisible - is he this year's Lance Laing?
  • The next - Schuller, Calvo, JVenegas and Molino gone for national team duty, and Davis Suspended. A lot more changes coming. I don't know how you make the backline worth this time.

My Denver Notes:
  • On the first night I went to "The Bar With No Name" - its really really old and has no name. Greasy bar food! Nice.
  • Saturday breakfast at Cozy Cottage after a poor nights sleep was at - OK food, and sad service. Saw Minnesota United ticket sales maestro Sean Sitnick eating there too. A good sign.
  • The day was 80 degrees and gorgeous in the city so we were off to Red Rocks and a hike up to the amphitheater. What a spectacular setting.
  • We continued west into the mountain all the way out to Lake Dillon where it was still winter! Snow, frozen lakes, skiing and snowboarding everywhere.
  • Drove out to the game and it was an easy drive.
  • At the designated time and gate I met up with my fellow Dark Clouds. Such great people.
  • Security was cool and friendly in our section and we sang for 90 minutes.
  • One young woman walked past in the first half and wondered out loud if we were every going to stop singing and sit down. I had to tell her that there was no chance of that happening again.
  • The game ended in a deserved tie and the Loons first MLS point.
  • Good defense for long stretches. Nice.
  • The players and staff acknowledged the fans and showed their respect.
  • After the game we met up with the DC's at Falling Rock bar. I had been there before. Late night Ceasar Salad - perfect.
  • The Sunday breakfast happened at Javier's diner - simple and satisfying, and cheap.
  • Then I hit the airport to the train to the bus and home sweet home.
  • An unexpected and quick trip was nearly perfect.


I have to briefly return us to the scene of the crime on Sun Mar 12 when Atlanta came to Minnesota and put a royal beat down on the home team, winning 1-6 in a snow storm. And the game wasn't even that close. Luckily for all of us fans the snow storm made us forget the game and enjoy a truly great day outdoors. We had a blast despite the misery on the field.
  • Here's what I want to point out: Josef Martinez of AU is the real deal. I haven't seen a new player in the league be this explosive since Carlos Ruiz showed up. Maybe the heyday of Jaime Moreno. And he is probably better than both of them. He is 24 years old and from Venezuela. He came to Atlanta from Torino in Italy. Don't take your eyes off this player.



Thought of the week: Atlanta's slogan should be Burn Baby Burn!

Week 3 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 18
New York City 1-1 Montreal - I have nothing for this one.
Atlanta 4-0 Chicago - damn, AU is goooooooood.
Vancouver 0-2 Toronto - how can Vancouver be this bad? I am confused. What am I not seeing when I look at this roster? Well, there is Brek Shea with a brutal tackle followed by mouthing off to the ref which earned him 2 yellow cards on 1 play.
DC 0-2 Columbus - has DC scored yet?
Orlando 2-1 Philadelphia - the Purple might be mighty!
Dallas 2-1 New England - FCD continues the roll and are the league's best.
Kansas City 2-1 San Jose - ick. Did you see that goalkeeper own-goal? Tough to watch.
Colorado 2-2 Minnesota - no one has scored 2 on Colorado in Denver in several years.
Salt Lake 1-2 LA - RSL is a Real mess.
Portland 4-2 Houston - Timbers are the only team with 3 wins. And they look good.
-Sun Mar 19
Seattle 3-1 New York Red Bulls - Sounders unveiled their championship banner, toasted the crowd and got the strong win.

A recap - Bend It Like Bretos. [VIDEO] By Max Bretos for ESPN:

And the top notch analytical recap. By Matthew Doyle for MLS.

Sadly 6 teams chose to play during the upcoming International break. The league gives all teams the choice and most choose not to play without all those starters. Not these dummies, for Week 4:
-Sat Mar 25
New England v Minnesota
RBNY v Salt Lake
Columbus v Portland



Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood were removed from the squad due to injury.

Brad Guzan was removed from the roster as his wife is about to have a child. ADDITION: had a girl on Sunday! Huge congrats to them.

Jordan Morris comes into training today with a dinged up ankle. Oof.

These are going to be 2 very tough games to get points from. A perfect scenario sees them get 6 points, but with all the injuries they might be lucky to get a win and a draw. And DO NOT BE SHOCKED if our team only gets 1 point. Which would be a disaster.

  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris

World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA v Honduras - Avaya Stadium in San Jose - late game, 9:50pm CT on FS1
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City - 9:00pm CT on BeIN.


Since 1999 US Soccer has housed a boys development academy in Bradenton Florida, but when the current season ends this summer the program will be closed down.



I hear that John Brooks got himself a goal for Hertha, but they gave up 4 goals in a loss at Koln. His first goal in over a year.

And Emerson Hyndman continues as the best player on a bad Rangers team. He got the first goal as they won 4-0 v Hamilton Accies.
  • And last week at Celtic he set up the game tie-er very late in the match.


The Terrence Boyd + Darmstadt Tracker:
  • Results - Sat Mar 11 Lost 1-0 at Mainz
  • Note - TB was not on the bench for this one.
  • Standings - Last place, 12 points below relegation playoff and 14 points from safety.
  • Up Next - Sat Apr 1 at Leipzig


The Miguel Herrera + Tijuana Tracker:
  • Results - Fri Mar 17 Tied 1-1 v Santos Laguna
  • Note - only have 1 win in the past 5 games, and now falling down the table.
  • Standings - 4th Place, now 3 points behind 1st after 10 of 17 games.
  • Up Next - Sat Apr 1 at Atlas

The Bird Is The Word


Blogger Rich said...

And a 3rd yellow on one play by the ref, stating, "Really, a double ponytail?"

8:00 AM  

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