Monday, March 27, 2017

Some Soccer News for Mar 27, 2017

It's Day 86 of 2017.

I will be on the radio in Salt Lake City tonight (Mon Mar 27) talking about Minnesota United - they host Real Salt Lake on Sat Apr 1 in Minneapolis.
  • On Frame w/ Brian Dunseth and Matt Gaschk, 8-10pm CT
  • ESPN 700am
  • Looking forward to speaking with these great people!


In the EPL only 3% of all corner kicks lead to a goal!



World Cup qualifying schedule/results:
-Fri Mar 24
USA 6-0 Honduras - USA goals by Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey(3) + Christian Pulisic.
Avaya Stadium, San Jose
-Tue Mar 28
Panama v USA - 9:00pm CT on beIN + Telemundo
Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City

Unfortunately 4 players were released from the roster after Fridays game: John Brooks (illness), Sebastian Lletget (injury), Jordan Morris (injury) and Michael Orozco (injury).
  • Paul Arriola has been added to the team.
  • That gives them 20 field players and 3 goalkeepers.

My USMNT Notes:
  • Game highlights. [VIDEO]
  • Did that feel good or did that feel really good? A full blown route from start to finish for the USA.
  • Dempsey wasn't even supposed to start, and then he bags 3 goals. But injuries do that to a team.
  • And Pulisic was superb. If he wasn't making great passes and taking great shots he was drawing fouls - Honduras was very rough on him.
  • Here is a collection of all Pulisic's touches on Friday. [VIDEO] From Fox Soccer.
  • Still some issues in the defense with guys out of position and other guys under-qualified. Some just played poorly too.
  • Like Omar Gonzalez. He has no confidence back there. Its possible that Klinsmann broke him for good with the USA. Luckily Honduras wasn't nearly good enough on the night to take advantage. Panama will be a lot tougher to stop.
  • Villafana is not the answer at left fullback either, but he made no real mistakes. Good for him.
  • Geoff Cameron and Michael Bradley both struggled at times to stop the quick Honduran attackers, both committing fouls in bad spots, with Cameron getting an unnecessary yellow card.
  • Lletget suffered a very unfortunate injury just minutes after scoring the games first goal. Word is that his ankle is sprained, not broken. But we shall see how long this keeps him out.
  • For the time being I will shut up about Nagbe. He wasn't impressive, but he did add to the team. I sure wish there was a way to toughen him up though.

Up next, the USMNT are in Panama where the weather will be very hot and very humid. It will be tough to survive.

The game on Tuesday in Panama brings a flashback of a nightmare for the host country. On Oct 15, 2013 Panama was minutes away from a playoff series against New Zealand for the final World Cup spot. But the USA was having none of it. Trailing 2-1 as the game went into 2nd half stoppage time Graham Zusi scored to tie the game and drop Panama to 1 point instead of 3 for the game, lifting Mexico over Panama and into the 4th and final potential qualifying position in CONCACAF. To make it worse, another minute later Aron Johannsson scored again for the USA and give them all 3 points. Panama's entire country had their heart and soul ripped from their body, then stepped on, and ground into the dirt. Backbreaking. There will be no forgetting that on Tuesday night for the Panamaniacs.
  • The local Panama City newspapers remind the locals today:

Plenty of media coverage in the run up to Tuesday:

USA Roster:
  • G: David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
  • D: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana, Walker Zimmerman, Graham Zusi
  • M: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic
  • F: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski
Panama Roster:
  • G: Jose Calderon, Jaime Penedo
  • D: Felipe Baloy, Erick Davis, Fidel Escobar, Adolfo Machado, Amir Murillo, Luis Ovalle, Roman Torres, Jean Carlos Vargas
  • M: Edgar Barcenas, Miguel Camargo, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy, Gabriel Gomez, Amilcar Henriquez, Josiel Nunez, Alberto Quintero, Oscar Villarreal
  • F: Abdiel Arroyo, Blas Perez, Tony Taylor, Luis Tejada, Gabriel Torres



Match Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England 5-2 Minnesota - NER goals by Juan Agudelo (2), Kei Kamara, Lee Nguyen(PK) + Chris Tierney(PK). MU goals by Collen Warner + Brent Kallman.
-Sat Apr 1
Minnesota v Salt Lake - 7pm CT

My Loons Notes:
  • Game highlights. [VIDEO]
  • 2nd very good game in a row for Brent Kallman. 4 years ago when he joined the team I did not see this coming. Great for him.
  • Rough game. Rough to watch. Rough to stomach.
  • Giving up a goal in the 4th minute is a soul killer.
  • Lining up with just 3 attacking players is a sin. But after you tried out that system in Weeks 1 + 2 to disastrous results and then do it again in Week 4 is mind boggling - possibly brain dead.
  • MNUFC ended the game with just 2 attacking players on the field.
  • Now, some will quibble with me and say they lined up in a 4-2-3-1. Fine, but plugging defensive minded players into attacking positions does not make them attacking players.
  • To make it worse, two of the attacking players who started the game, Kadrii + Ibarra, were all but invisible.
  • The international call-ups excuse is weak beyond qualification. The leagues does not mandate teams play any game during international breaks, teams make that choice on their own.
  • And we will see this thin roster during international breaks 4 more times this season because the team has chosen to play games during 5 of the 6 breaks this year.
  • New England sure got their previously anemic attack off the starting line! By the way, they started with 5 attacking players on the field.
  • Minnesota came out in a different system after half time, a 5-3-2, to slow down the Revs - Way Too Late! It was already 4-1 on the scoreboard.
  • So why didn't the Loons start the game in this conservative system? I have no idea. But frankly it might not have helped, cause when they did stop the Revs attack they had so few players up the field that they couldn't clear their lines and hold possession anyway.
  • That makes it 18 goals allowed in 4 games.
  • Good - Ibson, Kallman.
  • So-So - Thiessen, Ramirez, Warner, Shuttleworth
  • Bad - Roster, Coach, Demidov, KVenegas, Kadrii, Saeid, Ibarra.
  • Actually besides the "Good" and "So-So" players I wouldn't mind if everyone else missed the flight home.
  • I am looking for a way to clear my mind of this mess of a team, but I have a horrible feeling that this winless streak could go on for a long long time. Like months. I sure as hell hope I am wrong.
  • Only 11.5k in attendance in Foxborough. Come on.

Media reports:

Loons In World Cup Qualifying:
  • Kevin Molino scored the games only goal for Trinidad + Tobago as they upset Panama 1-0 at home. He was subbed out in the 80th minute for what the team said was "exhaustion."
  • T+T hosts Mexico on Tuesday.
  • Francisco Calvo and Johann Venegas both started for Costa Rica at Mexico, where they lost 2-0. Venegas was subbed out in the 80th min.
  • CR travels to Honduras on Tuesday.
  • Rasmus Schuller didn't get off the bench for Finland who lost 2-0 at Turkey in World Cup qualifying.
  • The Finns play a Friendly on Tue at Austria.



Week 4 Schedule/Results:
-Sat Mar 25
New England 5-2 Minnesota
RBNY 0-0 Salt Lake
Columbus 3-2 Portland

MY MLS Notes:
  • I expect Juan Agudelo to be named MLS Player Of The Week, giving 3 Minnesota opponents that award in 4 weeks.
  • Those 3 games had average attendance of just 12,800. Absolutely terrible.
  • Big big win for Columbus, which somehow puts them in first place in the East.
  • Portland became the last team in the league to lose. All it took was 4 weeks for every team to have an imperfect record.

Of the 6 teams that played last weekend New England was the team that really looked good. By Scott French of Four Four Two.

Coming up in Week 5:
-Fri Mar 31
Toronto v Kansas City
Seattle v Atlanta
-Sat Apr 1
New York City v San Jose
Chicago v Montreal
Columbus v Orlando
DC v Philadelphia
Minnesota v Salt Lake
Houston v New York Red Bulls
Vancouver v LA
-Sun Apr 2
Portland v New England

ONE HELLUVA FACT: Emmanuel Boateng of LA Galaxy has played in 31 MLS games (regular season and playoffs.) He has scored 5 goals. ALL OF THEM against Real Salt Lake!


THE HEX - CONCACAF World Cup qualifying

Standings: (3 of 10 games played)
6 Costa Rica (+4)
7 Mexico (+3)
4 Panama (0)
3 USA (+1)
3 T+T (-3)
3 Honduras (-5)

-Matchday 3 + 4 Schedule/Results:
-Fri Mar 24
T+T 1-0 Panama
Mexico 2-0 Costa Rica
USA 6-0 Honduras
-Tue Mar 28
Honduras v Costa Rica - 4pm CT on Telemundo
T+T v Mexico - 6pm CT on beIN
Panama v USA - 9pm CT on beIN



(13 of 18 games played)
30 Brazil (+22)
23 Uruguay (+10)
22 Argentina (+3)
21 Colombia (+1)
20 Ecuador (+5)
20 Chile (+3)
18 Paraguay (-5)
15 Peru (-2)
7 Bolivia (-22)
6 Venezuela (-15)

Matchday 14 Schedule/Results:
-Tue Mar 28
Ecuador v Colombia
Brazil v Paraguay
Bolivia v Argentina
Peru v Uruguay
Chile v Venezuela


A round up of the most recent interesting World Cup qualifying stories from around the world. By Iain MacIntosh of ESPNFC.


The Netherlands World Cup qualifying campaign has gone from Blind to Grim. That's because head coach Danny Blind was fired and Fred Grim was hired. The Dutch have lost 2 of their first 5 qualifiers. The most recent loss was on Saturday 2-0 at Bulgaria.


A very loud minority of fans at games in Serbia are proving to be some of the worst kinds of fans, hurling racist diatribes with few repercussions. The whole situation is pretty horrible, but no one is totally sure where it comes from and how to stop it. By Nick Ames for The Observer.

The Bird Is The Word


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