Friday, September 30, 2005

World Cup Opening Ceremony moved up

In order to give the pitch in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium more time to 'recover' the opening ceremony of the cup will now take place on June 7.

In addition, game 11 of the month long tournament was pushed back a day to the 13th of June.

The final match will still be played in Olympic Stadium on July 9.

So the fun spectacle that is the opening ceremony will now provide visitors with an extra day to drink some beer in Germany (do they drink beer there?).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Turkey-Brazil match (live)

Is anyone else watching the U-17 Turkey-Brazil match on FSC right now? If not, turn it on. This is one of the best matches I have seen in a long time.

Brazil was up by three at the half while Turkey was minus a player due to a double yellow, red card.

However, the Turks have come roaring back and have now tied it up at 3 with 10 minutes to go.

This is great soccer.

Update: Brazil was able to do what Brazil does so well and get a late, late goal to pull out a win. Amazing job by Turkey, but you must hand it to Brazil. Brazil 4 - Turkey 3

Sunday's matches
Third place - Netherlands v Turkey @ 3pm CST
First place - Mexico v Brazil @ 6pm CST

Mexico's U-17 Men advance to final

Mexico blew away the Netherlands today to advance to the final on Sunday. From the get go, this was Mexico's match. They out classed the Netherlands at every position and made good use of all the opportunities.

For the Netherlands, they move on to the third place match against the loser of Turkey-Brazil.

A wonderful night for our CONCACAF neighbors and one they should be extremely proud of.

Mexico 4 - Netherlands 0


Do you know someone who has worked to further the interest in soccer?

If so, maybe you should nominate him or her for the 2006 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award.

"The annual award is presented to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement."

"Future honoree(s) will have created or fostered programs that will outlast his or her own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States."

There are lots of things happening on the local level so perhaps you do know someone who deserves some recognition. Why not take a few minutes and fill out the form and see what happens. Who knows, your neighbor might be the next great thing to happen to American Soccer.

Brazilian Ref Fesses Up

The saga of Brazil’s referee problems continues. Paulo Jose Danelon has confessed to fixing three matches for about $4400 a game. However, Danelon is the lesser of the two refs being looked at since he mainly deals with non-First Division matches.

The big fish is Edilson Pereira de Carvalho who calls both First Division and International matches. He has referred 11 games in the top Brazilian league this year. Brazil's sporting tribunal will decide if all or at least some of these matches will have to be replayed.

Obviously supporters of clubs that lost in games Carvalho called are angry at the possibility that the outcome was tainted. Carvalho got a taste of this anger when a fan slapped him as he left the police station.

This is a bad spot for Brazil. If they do not replay the matches, the whole season will be spoiled in some way. If they do replay everything, it will put stress on teams who have to play an extra game or two.

Still, I think the best solution is a full replay of all matches Carvalho took part in. It is the only way to have any sort of fairness in the results.

LA Galaxy win the US Open Cup

The Galaxy got their second taste of Open Cup glory last night by defeating FC Dallas 1-0.

Although this match up was not the most thrilling 90-minutes of play, it did have its moments. Dallas almost took the lead in the 17th, but Ugo Ihemelu put what could have been a very dangerous tackle on FCD's Roberto Mina in the box to prevent the shot. Not much later, Joseph Ngwenya had a chance at LA's net but sent his shot wide.

Then came the only goal of the night. It was a thing of beauty. Chris Albright was on the left side of goal and flicked a perfect pass to Herculez Gomez (pictured) who did a partial bicycle kick to knock it past the diving keeper. It really is a fantastic goal and one that should be played over and over on the highlight reel.

The Galaxy out matched Dallas last night, but could not find a second goal. It says something about FCD that even with so many B-list players on the field, they were able to stay in it and almost tied it in the final moments of stoppage time when a volley by Mark Wilson had to be tipped over the bad by LA's Kevin Hartman. However, just staying in it doesn't get you a trophy.

Congratulations to the LA Galaxy.

Los Angeles 1 - Dallas 0

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Looks like UEFA 'home grown' rule might be Illegal

From Reuters UK:

"A UEFA rule obliging clubs to include "home-grown" players in their squads will most likely fall foul of EU laws on discrimination, a report for the European Parliament concluded on Wednesday.

The rule will affect Europe's top clubs from next season. Although the quotas refer to where a player has been trained rather than his nationality, the study argued they would indirectly discriminate against foreign nationals."

I can't say this surprises me. Seeing as the EU is all about making it easier on business to move around the continent, any law that makes that harder to do so probably would not fly.

Champions League Part 2 - Day 2

Here are the matches for today.

Anderlecht v Real Betis
FC Porto v Artmedia Bratislava
Fenerbahce v PSV
Inter Milan v Rangers
Liverpool v Chelsea
Real Madrid v Olympiacos
Rosenborg v Lyon
Schalke 04 v AC Milan

The big match of all these has got to be the Liverpool-Chelsea meeting. The Reds and the Blues striking it up again. Can Liverpool give Chelsea their first defeat of the season or will the Blues get revenge on the team that sent them out of last year's compitition?

It will also be interesting to see what Real Madrid can do against Olympiacos. They should be able to handle them, but Real should be able to do a lot of things.


Final scores
Anderlecht 0-1 Real Betis
FC Porto 2-3 Artmedia Bratislava
Fenerbahce 3-0 PSV
Inter Milan 1-0 Rangers
Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea
Real Madrid 2-1 Olympiacos
Rosenborg 0-1 Lyon
Schalke 04 2-2 AC Milan

Chelsea and Liverpool battle to a 0-0 tie. A little less then one would hope, but an unexpected result none the less.

Chelsea coach wants goal-line technology

No big surprise but Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho wants FIFA to implement goal-line technology as soon as possible. Seeing as Mourinho still believes that Liverpool did not actually score the goal that saw his side out of the Champions League last season, this is not a surprise.

The technology is being used during the U-17 World Championship currently underway in Peru. I have not heard any complaints about the system, but I am also not sure if any close goals have been decided by the system.

Still, if this technology is proven to work, then I think it should be used across the professional leagues, however the final decision should always rest with the referee. It would serve the same purpose as the linesman by being an aid to the ref.

However, I think this will be a hard sell since people seem to fear that introducing this technology might lead to instant replays or other such garbage. I can see their point, but I also hate the "but it did/didn't go in" arguments that seem to always be somewhere in the soccer world, so I say go with the tech once it has been fully tested.

US Women's Training Roster named

Earlier today, USW's head coach Greg Ryan name the 24 players that will train ahead of their 16 October match against Australia.

The players are:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jen Branam, Kristin Luckenbill, Hope Solo

DEFENDERS (7): Nancy Augustyniak, Kylie Bivens, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Cat Reddick

MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx, Lorrie Fair, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Carli Lloyd, Marci Miller, Stacey Tullock, Aly Wagner

FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney, Danielle Fotopoulos, Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh

The roster features all of the USA’s active veteran players, including 2004 Olympic gold medallists Heather Mitts, Cat Reddick, Shannon Boxx, Aly Wagner, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Kate Markgraf and Abby Wambach. In addition, forward Tiffeny Milbrett returns from a six-week stint with Swedish club Sunanna SK while the USA’s leading scorer this year, Christie Welsh (seven goals, one assist) and third-leading scorer Danielle Fotopoulos (four goals) were also named.

The 16 Oct event will be held at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton (6pm EST; TV: ESPN2).

For tickets, go here.

Hooligans in Germany getting more violent

Today, German police had their first of six seminars covering the threat of hooliganism at the World Cup. When asked about the tactics of modern hooligans, Chief Inspector Dieter Schneider said, "the time of fist fights is over. Now people are kicked even when they are lying helplessly on the ground."

With 10,000 'fans' registered as violent-prone in Germany, there is a great deal of concern. Police seem to have more fear in attacks happening in open downtown squares (where the matches will be shown on large screens) then in the stadiums.

As I've stated before, hooliganism is the worse side of this wonderful game. Anyone who goes after someone else over a sporting match is nothing short of a worthless piece of ass waste. It is also a shame that with all the other security situations the police and other officials will have to deal with, that they will have to waste so much time, energy and money are these folks.

I just hope it does not ruin what should be the second greatest sporting event in the world (the first being any monster truck rally or maybe the Summer Olympics).

The Sound of Ground Breaking

Congratulations to the Colorado Rapids and Kroenke Sports Enterprises. Just a few minutes ago they broke ground on the new Prairie Gateway Complex in Commerce City, Colo. The complex will have 24 soccer/lacrosse practice fields as well as a 20-26,000 seat soccer stadium.

The complex is set to open in April 2007.

The Rocky Mountain News has some more interesting information.

"The Prairie Gateway project, situated on the southwest corner of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, is about eight miles from downtown Denver and roughly the same distance from Denver International Airport.

The project plan also calls for a civic center for the Commerce City government, a visitors center that will serve as the entrance to the wildlife refuge, and offices for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."

It's US Open Cup Night!

Los Angles Galaxy vs FC Dallas
11pm EST

Los Angles or Dallas? One of these two will win their second US Open Cup tonight.

If you look at the two sides quickly, you'll probably come to one conclusion; the Galaxy is going to hold that cup high tonight. LA is playing at home and they don't often lose at home. They are also playing with all their key players. For Dallas, they have never beat LA at the Home Depot Center. Also, they are without Eddie Johnson, Alex Yi and Richard Mulrooney due to injury and Simo Valakari is suspended. Sure they will have Carlos Ruiz available, but this is still not their A-team. So pack it up and get ready for the picture of Donovan kissing the Cup, right?

Maybe not. FCD has had these same or at least similar troubles for a while now, but have still managed not to drop a game in four matches. Also, even when Dallas was on their long summer slide, they were still able to get results in the Open Cup. Add to all this the 4-1 thrashing that happened between these two sides last Wednesday and you have the making of something special.

Both teams are coming off good games with LA beating KC at home and FCD tying San Jose in the Bay Area (although FCD would have won if it were not for a missed offside call), so moral should be high. Also, there is a $100,000 check waiting for the winner, so that should provide just a little more motivation.

I think that if Dallas can get a lead in this game, it will be hard for the Galaxy to overcome. The Hoops backline has been looking a lot better of late and should be able to hold up to some intense action.

LA, on the other hand, needs to remind their Western Conference rivals of where they are and get a goal early. If FCD find themselves in a hole during the first 15, they will need to shine in a way that I just am not sure they can.

So whom do I think will win? Most things seem to point LA's way, but I woke up with this odd feeling today. Perhaps it was the pizza with heavy garlic I had last night or maybe it's something else, but I think FC Dallas is going to find a way to win this one. It might take penalty kicks, but I think the upset will happen.

FCD 3 - LA 2

One final note, it is a shame that GolTV is not carried by most cable providers because this should be a fun one to watch.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Today's Champions League Fixtures

The second round of the group stage gets underway today. I'm guessing a lot of eyes will be on the Man United match. With the booing of Ferguson over the weekend, this game has suddenly morphed into a 'do or die' situation. No, Ferguson will have his job no matter the outcome, but the supporters will become ever more enraged if he does not deliver.

It will also be fun to see what Arsenal can do. Their history in Europe is not so great, so every win will help them along.

Anyway, here is the full listing of fixtures (updated with scores):

Ajax 1-2 Arsenal
Barcelona 4-1 Udinese
Bayern Munich 1-0 Club Brugge
FC Thun 1-0 Sparta Prague
Juventus 3-0 Rapid Vienna
Lille 0-0 Villarreal
Man United 2-1 Benfica
Panathinaikos 2-1 Werder Bremen

So Man U walked away with a win thinks to a late van Nistelrooy goal. Will this quiet things down for their backers?

Bad Day for the U-17s

Sometimes it is just not your side’s day. The U-17 men looked alright yesterday, but luck just was not with them. Everything from defender Kevin Alston breaking his leg in the 15th to all those shots off the bar, did not work for them. They had so many good chances on goal, but things were always just a bit off. For the Netherlands, they didn't throw many punches, but they managed to connect on a lot of them. It's a shame to see this tournament come to an end in this manor for the US, but they should not be hanging their heads in shame. There was a lot of good play out of the team over the four matches and they generated a great deal of excitement back home. Good showing all around.

In other U-17 news, Brazil had a scare against the North Koreans, but were able to pull out a 3-1 win.

Final four schedule
Thursday @ 4pm CST Mexico - Netherlands
Thursday @ 7pm CST Turkey - Brazil

Monday, September 26, 2005

U-17 MNT ready to play

In just a couple minutes the U-17 USA Men's team will take on the Netherlands in their first playoff of the tournament. The winner of this match will go on to face Mexico.

As far as the US's chances, if the team the fought Italy shows up on the pitch, the night will be theirs. However, if the Ivory Coast crew walk onto the green, it might be a long 90 minutes. All and all, I think the US side is a better side and should go on to see another day.

US 2 - Netherlands 1

Brazil's Match Fixing Scandal

A referee was arrested and accused of fixing matches in Brazil's First Division today. Edilson Pereira de Carvalho is alleged to have accepted bribes in order to influence the results of games. All 11 games that he referred during this season may now need to be replayed.

Reports are that Carvalho received between $4-6,000 a game from a group of internet bettors to favor a side. Police have also questioned a second referee who was involved in lower division matches.

The Brazilian Football Confederation has promised an independent inquiry into these and other match fixing accusations.

Update: The season will go on.

The national soccer championship won't stop despite a scandal involving charges that a top referee took bribes to favor certain clubs, Brazil's top soccer official said.

Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Soccer Confederation, or CBF, said referee Edilson Pereira de Carvalho had been suspended and that the CBF was investigating whether he tampered with results in league games.

But the tournament will proceed as scheduled, he said.

MLS Week 26 Recap

Sure enough, the Revs and the MetroStars did not have a repeat of goalfest '05, but it was still fun to watch. Lots of good defense and great saves from both keepers kept this match under control. However, the Revs were better on the night and deserved the three points. Thankfully for them, Pat Noonan was able to cross a ball into the box that found Taylor Twellman's head. Twellman knocked the ball to the feet of James Riley who got the one and only goal of the night in the 85th. Great team goal for a great team. New England is now in the playoffs and eight points up on second place DC (although DC have one extra game in hand). New England 1 - MetroStars 0

The Columbus Crew did what so many MLS sides have done all season long against Real Salt Lake, they came into town, got 2 goals and left with a win. Now it does not always take 2 goals to beat Real at home, but if you get two, you will not be leaving without any points. In fact, Real has tied twice and lost four times when the opposition has scored 2 or more goals. For RSL, they have lost five straight and have not won in their lost nine. They had flashes of okay ness, but overall, most uninspiring. The Crew managed to keep their playoff hopes alive for at least another week, but it would take a total collapse of both the MetroStars and KC for that to happen. RSL 1 - Crew 2

What can I say about Chivas? They looked real good early, but then fell to pieces. They were able to get the first goal of the night in the 19th, but they surrendered it just six minutes later. Yes, the penalty kick Colorado was rewarded a few minutes after the half was not justified, but they does not explain the lack of passion felt for most of the second half. Colorado deserved a third goal and got it in extra time. All and all another bad night for Chivas. The Rapids have got to be happy with this outcome as well as the fact that 3 of their final 4 matches are against either Chivas (5 Oct) or Real Salt Lake (1 & 12 Oct). Chivas 1 - Colorado 3

Wow, did FC Dallas look good on Saturday night. It was really an amazing thing to watch. Their defense held strong and their offense was surging. The only problem they seemed to have was finding net. It took a pk by Ramon Nunez to put the visitors on top, but it was not meant to be. San Jose was able to tie it up in the 68th off a play that not one, not two, but three Quake players offside. Somehow the linesman did not notice this obvious violation and San Jose was able to get a goal. But even then, they almost didn't get it past the back charging defensive line. Dallas really should have walked out of the stadium with all three points, but what can you do. Bad calls are made. San Jose 1 - FCD 1

Although it was harder then one would have expected, LA was able to send the Wizards home with nothing. The Gal's got two goals on the night and guess who was behind both of them? Does the name Landon Donovan mean anything to you? The first LA goal came off of a quick pass from the US national star. He found Herculez Gomez alone at the top of the area. Gomez did not waste the opportunity and rocketed in a shot from about 18 yards. The second goal was off a free kick. Donovan lunch a wonderful cross deep into the box and Marcelo Saragosa headed it into the back corner. KC did get a goal in between the two by LA, but the score was only knotted for two minutes, so it was hard to notice. All and all, the Galaxy looked good on the night, but not great. For KC, they missed a chance to gain some points on the MetroStars. They still sit in fourth place, but only by three points. LA 2 - KC 1

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
New England - MetroStars (3-1) 1-0
RSL - Columbus Crew (0-1) 1-2
Chivas - Colorado (1-3) 1-3
San Jose - FCD (2-1) 1-1
LA - KC (3-1) 2-1

This week 4-1
Total so far this season 32-29
This is the first time I have been over .500 during the season. Hay!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

U-17 Face Netherlands on Monday

I was thinking the US would get Brazil in the playoff because of goal difference. Going into the matches yesterday, Brazil was at -1 GD while the Netherlands stood at +1 and Gambia had a +4. I thought it would be hard for Brazil to make up the goals, but I forgot rule number one of international soccer: don't underestimate Brazil, ever.

Sure enough, the Samba boys won by six goals in their affair with Qatar while the Netherlands got a plus 2 from their game with Gambia. I must hand it to the Brazilians, they did what they needed to do.

Here are the games for the final eight
Costa Rica vs Mexico - Sunday @ 4pm CST
Turkey vs China - Sunday @ 7pm CST

USA vs Netherlands - Monday @ 4pm CST
Brazil vs North Korea - Monday @ 7pm CST

The US match will air live on Fox Soccer Channel.

Friday, September 23, 2005

US U-17s Find Their Point

Well it was not a good game by the young national team, but they still came out with a tie and thus the top seed in Group C.

America got going early when Jeremy Hall got a goal in the fifth minute, but it was a pretty balanced match for the rest of the half. However, in the second 45, the US seemed to drop a gear while Ivory Coast picked up speed. America was able to resist, but then a second yellow card sent Amaechi Igwe off in the 85th. Almost immediately, the 'Baby Elephants' took advantage of his absent on the left side. Striker Salka Bamba took a nice corner kick and popped it into goal, right where Igwe should have been.

For the final 5 minutes of the game, the US was just trying to stop a second goal. The Ivory Coast had a great many chances, but the Red, White and Blue were able to keep the ball out of the netting. It was not a nice showing, but it still got them their point.

In other Group C news, North Korea and Italy tied at 1 each, so North Korea will advance.

Group C Final Standings
Team (GD) Pts
USA (+3) 7
N Korea (+2) 4
Italy (-1) 4
Ivory Coast (-4) 1

The US will face the number two team from Group D, while North Korea will get the first place team.

In Group D, Gambia plays Netherlands and Qatar plays Brazil. Both matches start at 6:15pm CST. Here are the standings
Group D Standings
Team (GD) Pts
Gambia (+4) 6
Netherlands (+1) 3
Brazil (-1) 3
Qatar (-4) 0

MLS Week 26 Predictions

New England vs MetroStars
Saturday - 7:30pm EST
TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Direct Kick

These two had the shoot out of the season last week, but I do not see it happening again. New England stumbled mid-week on the road against Columbus, but they were still able to get a late equalizer. Matt Reis has looked a bit off in goal over the last few games, but he is still a force. The Metros have an advantage in rest since they have not played during the past six days and if this does become a run and gun game that might come in handy. However, the Revs do well at home and Taylor Twellman has been on fire of late, so I have got to go with the top of the East.

New England 3 - MetroStars 1


Real Salt Lake vs Columbus Crew
Saturday - 9:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick, HDNet

Both of these teams must win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. With that kind of pressure, that first 20-25 minutes should be very interesting to watch. Cautious yet attacking, always interesting to see a team do that. Real find themselves without Jason Kreis and maybe without Eddie Pope (L ankle sprain) and forward Dante Washington (R ankle sprain). This should allow the Crew a big advantage. However, the Crew don't always play to their advantage. Still, Columbus is a better team, so I must go with them.

RSL 0 - Crew 1


Chivas USA vs Colorado Rapids
Saturday - 10pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

Poor Real Salt Lake, even if they win their game against the Crew, they still need Chivas to pull out a miracle and beat the Rapids. Otherwise, Salt Lake will officially join the goats in the 'next year' category. What can one say about Chivas other then they are a bad team with occasional flashes of promise (I think that might even be a little too nice)? For the Rapids, Jeff Cunningham and Jean-Philippe Peguero have really moved this team forward, but they still have trouble winning on the road. In fact, their last road win was way back on 18 June. However, that win came against Chivas. Like so many other Chivas matches, expect to see a confused defense and an offense that misses good chances at goal (they have not scored a goal during the run of play in 3 matches). Got to go with the Rapids for the win and the fourth playoff spot.

Chivas 1 - Colorado 3


San Jose Earthquakes vs FC Dallas
Saturday - 10pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

Dallas is on a roll. They have won their last two with a combined score of 6 to 2. They also did this without their starting strikers. This looks impressive, but just like a Hummer, it is not as great as advertised. The 4-1 whipped FCD handed LA on Wednesday had a lot to do with the absolute failure of the Galaxy to play the game of soccer. I'm not trying to take anything away from Dallas because they looked better then they had in awhile, but they were not that good. San Jose is not going to pull a LA. They have not lost at home this year and need a win to clinch the top spot in the West (something Dallas held on to for more then half the season). Dwayne De Rosario is sure to make trouble for the still confused FCD defense (however GK Scott Garlick has helped out a lot) and I don't think FCD has the frontline to respond.

San Jose 2 - FCD 1


LA Galaxy vs KC Wizards
Sunday - 8pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

As mentioned above, LA fell to crap, or something that goes on crap, on Wednesday. If they play more like they did last Saturday (oddly enough in KC) then they should be able to create openings. It will be interesting to see if Coach Steve Sampson gives any of his starters some additional rest ahead of Wednesday US Open Cup final. I really doubt it since LA needs some points to stay in the third spot. For KC, they need the points to keep the MetroStars away from fourth. However, I think their winless streak will stand at five by the end of the match.

LA 3 - KC 1


There is no ESPN 2 game this weekend, which is a shame. The East is so wild that, with just 3 or 4 games remaining, there is a chance (small) that five teams could be within nine points of each other come Monday morning.

In the West it is really about second and third. No one wants to start the playoffs against San Jose, but it is possible for FCD, LA and the Rapids to end up in the spot. LA is five points ahead of Colorado, but the Rapids have two games in hand. This should be causing some concerns in the land of the Galaxy.

See In Limbo's predictions and his take on Goalkeepers of the West.

US U-17 Looking for a Point or More

US vs Ivory Coast
4:30pm EST
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (live), Galavision (taped - 7pm EST)

The US U-17 already have their spot in the round of eight, but I think they will still want to put their best foot forward against the 'Baby Elephants' of the Ivory Coast. If the US win or tie, they will clinch first place in Group C. As first in C, they would play second in D. At this point that could be Gambia, Netherlands or Brazil (my money is on Brazil). This will be the team’s first match in Lima, site of the final and third place games.

DC United out of the Copa Sudamericana

What a hard game to lose. DC United got it going in the 13th minute with a good goal by Christian Gomez off a smooth pass by Jaime Moreno. Ten minutes later DC had the chance to go up by 2 when they got a penalty kick. However, Jaime Moreno did not fool the keeper who pushed the ball out of play. But it did not take United long to get their second. Christian Gomez put a solid curling shot into the netting just moments later.

So up by two and the end of the half coming on fast; not bad. Too bad it would not last. Just a few minutes before halftime Catolica started making their move. Eduardo Rubio fought through the defense and somehow managed to find an unguarded Jorge Quinteros. He quickly scored his first on the night.

When the second half started, DC was still pressing forward and almost got a third. Christian Gomez tried to chip a shot over the charging keeper, but it was saved. United then subbed out Gomez for the more defensive John Wilson. It was time to play defense.

Catolica started wave after wave of attack. DC keeper Nick Rimando made some good saves, but there was just too much pressure. In the 78th, Rubio got his second of the night off a great free kick. Now DC's job was to hold the tie for 22 minutes. They did it for about 18, but then Jorge Quinteros got to a loose ball in the box and sent the Black and Red right out of the Copa.

DC should be proud of most of their play, but one must wonder why coach Peter Nowak went defensive so early in the second half. United was showing some strength on attack, so why not play it for 5 or 10 more minutes? Giving a side like Catolica all that time to come at you again and again on their own field seems a bit foolish to me.

Catolica 3 - DC 2


Thursday, September 22, 2005

DC United and Universidad Catolica - Part 2

Universidad Catolica vs DC United
8pm EST
TV: Fox Soccer Channel

So tonight is the night for DC United. Will they be able to go into
Chile and come out with a win (or a tie of 2 goals or more)? If so,
they move on.

The bad news for DC, it looks like they will be without strikers Jamil
Walker or Santino Quaranta (although Quaranta might end up playing).
The good news, they looked strong during the past weekends victory
against Colorado.

So what about Catolica? They love their home pitch. It can hold
around 12,000 and it will be near capacity tonight. I'm guessing very
few of the folks there with be United fans. So DC will have to deal
with a rocking crowd. However, Catolica has an important league game
against Colo Colo this weekend, so they might rest a few starters. If
this is the case, DC will need to strike in the first 20 minutes.
This will calm the crowd and force Catolica to open up. Since they
have the one goal advantage Catolica will be looking for the shutout,
so they will be playing even more defensively then they were in DC.
They looked very good in DC, so it will be a tough nut to crack.

I think the way United should do it is playing an extra defensive
player, but playing all their midfielders forward. They need to get
more then one or two guys in the box. With the strength of their
backline, one person will not be sneaking by them.

If DC get a goal, then this match will open up. Failing that, it will
be a long hard slog.


Germany is putting the finishing touches on everything

A month or so ago, we learned that the various stadiums were not yet ready for play, but that they will be soon. Now this article lets us know about a stadium of a different sort that is nearing completion.

"Organizers of what they claim will be Germany's largest brothel on Thursday unveiled the building, which is set to open in time for the 2006 World Cup soccer tournament.

The Artemis brothel near the Olympic Stadium is a four-story building with a pool, sauna and movie theater will accommodate up to 650 men and 100 women at any one time, said Norman Jacob, the lawyer representing its backers.

Germany legalized prostitution in 2003."

I guess if there is money to be made, it will be made. Actually, I guess this is similar to the increase in prostitutes that cities in America see before big political conventions and other such affairs.

Fewer fans means less money

Tell me that this not the most obvious title I have ever given a post?

Anyway, sports agent Jon Holmes (his firm's clinets include Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen) has warned the EPL that, "...if fans fall out of love with the game then television companies will not be willing to pay as much for broadcast rights."

He continues:

"There's no doubt there are a number of problems emerging in the game," he said. "We knew when the Premier League was formed that one of the things that would happen is that the strong would get stronger, but it was hoped that more than one club would emerge at the top.

"It would now seem to be a complete monopoly and everyone knows not only who the 'one, two, three' are, but who the 'one' is. The other clubs are just fighting for the mini-prizes. Look at all that sweat Everton put in last season to finish fourth and now they are already out of Europe."

I guess this is the next part of the 'boring' EPL mantra. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this.

Are you ready for some DC United Copa excitement?

Up until this morning, the answer to the above question would have been 'no' for the MLS website. Yes, if you go to the website right now, it is the lead story (or whatever you would call the first image that appears in their ever changing 'news' field), but this is a new thing. It was not until about 10:30am EST that the MLS main page even mentioned this game.

How about DC United's homepage? Again, if you look at it today, it is the lead story, however it was not as late as 11pm EST last night. What was their lead story last night? 'Looking Back: Jaime Moreno'. Don't get me wrong, it is great for a team to give a history lesson on one of their star players, but let's put it into perspective.

DC United has a chance of advancing in the Copa Sudamerica. This is a big deal, but they don't start talking about it till game day? Is it really more important to talk about one player, no matter how interesting his career is, when your side is literally making history as the first MLS team invited to the Copa?

Yesterday, I was reading a discussion about the lack of interest in Cups in US Soccer (I can't remember where this was, so if you were the author, please let me know). They mentioned that DC United really didn't advertise the home match very much as a reason for the low turnout. I don't really think that was the case. If you look at last Tuesday's attendance, it was 10,200. Past mid-week (mainly Wednesday night) home matches have seen crowds of 11,455 (8/31), 11,833 (8/10) and 14,198 (6/15). Yes, it is the lowest number of the bunch, but it continues the trend of lower attendance later in the season.

So if I don't think the problem is exactly related to advertising, why am I complaining about the lack of information on the MLS website? Because cups are something completely foreign to most American sports fans. None of the big four sports have anything like it, so it is up to the MLS to explain why these cups matter. To do this, you need to build it up more then 12 hours before kickoff. Yes, they did give it an extra day of coverage last week (the first article went up on Monday for a Tuesday game), but again, that is not enough. You have to build interest and provide information, especially if you want to get media coverage.

So why does the MLS not do this? Part of me wonders if it is out of fear. They want the MLS Cup to be seen as the big prize, thus any attention given to the US Open or Copa Cups is less time spent talking about their own tournament. Also, if they build up these other competitions and the MLS club or clubs do not perform well, what does that say about the league as a whole?

I can understand both of these arguments, but I don't agree with them. Cup play is different from league play and it should be advertised as such. The US Open allows teams from all over the country to dream of beating the big guns. This builds interest in local communities for soccer. This interest might just lead them to watching a MLS game or maybe even seeing one in person.

The Copa gives the MLS a chance to improve its image both inside and outside the US borders. The main complaint about MLS play is that it doesn't measure up to other countries. If a team does well in an international situation, it counters that argument. However, if no one knows why this game is important, then the gain is little.

The Copa also exposes more South American players to the league. If they come to play a match as a visitor and play in front of an empty stadium or marvel at the lack of interest by the home fans, they will be less likely to ever want to join the league.

So I ask again, why did the MLS wait till game day to talk about tonight's match?

I just hope DC pulls out a surprise win so the folks at MLS web central will have another chance to get it right.


Emergency! Emergency! I need to watch a soccer match.

A jet carrying 289 Gambian soccer fans faked an emergency so they could land early enough to see their team play. I'm all for dedication to your nation's team, but this is taking it a bit far.

"The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday in Peru's northern coast city of Piura, where Gambia played Qatar in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships later that night.

Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star's unscheduled landing. It was to have landed in the capital, Lima.

The fans were allowed to watch the soccer game in Piura, which Gambia won 3-1. The fans apparently would have been late or missed the game if the flight had first gone to its scheduled destination of Lima, 550 miles to the south.

"It truly was a scam," said Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, CORPAC. "They tricked the control tower, saying they were low on fuel."

MLS Mid-Week 25 recap

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Taylor Twellman gets a late goal to give his side a share of the points. New England was the better team during the match, but they could not find net. Columbus had some good luck when Knox Cameron made good on a in the 66th, but it was just not enough. Twellman scored two minutes into stoppage time to kill the Crews dreams of crushing the giants. So why doesn't Twellman look this good in international play. Crew 1 - Revolution 1

Oh my did Dallas ever spank LA last night. So what does it say about a team when they do better without three of their main starters, including their two strikers? Yes, LA is not a road team, but they have looked marvelous over the last couple weeks. The fact that FCD just demolished them is very telling. In a 15-minute span, Dallas went from no goals to three. They got an own goal in the 34th thanks to really dumb play by LA's keeper Kevin Hartman (this goal has been award to LA's Troy Roberts, but it was a very easy pass that Hartman failed to get in front of, so I think it is more Hartman's fault). Then they just turned it on and made their own success in the 37th and 45th thanks to goals by Roberto Mina. After the half, it was still Dallas's game. If it weren’t for a foolish header into his own goal by the Hoops Bobby Rhine in the 86th, LA would not have scored. But Dallas got the goal back in extra time thanks to Abe Thompson. Next week these two meet in LA for the US Open Cup. It will be interesting to see what lessons the Galaxy took from this match. It will also be interesting to see if this is the start of something big in big D. FCD 4 - LA 1

Colorado got the three points they needed in Salt Lake. Now they just need to get one more point or Salt Lake need to lose in order for the Rapids to clinch the last playoff spot in the West. The Rapids looked good in this outing while RSL seemed flat. Clint Mathis did have a couple nice attempts on goal, but there really was not much else happening in the frontline. Jean Philippe Peguero continued his scoring ways at the start of the second half and new signing Dedi Ben Dayan got his first goal in the 87th. Colorado 2 - RSL 0

San Jose loves to play at home. It has been 16 matches since they dropped a game at home. Dwayne De Rosario got the scoring going in the 14th thanks to a nice flick by Brian Ching. Chicago keeper Zach Thornton came charging out at De Rosario, but he pumped it over the keeper and in bounced into goal. That was a bad moment for Tornton, but he showed his better side right before the half when he blocked a dead on shot and then, from the ground, blocked the rebound shot. His defense was able to clear it. It was a fine example of fantastic goalkeeping. Too bad the good times for Thornton would be short lived as he tackled a charging Alejandro Moreno 5 minutes after the half, giving the Quakes a penalty kick. De Rosario took the kick and lifted it above the arms of Tornton for the other goal. Chicago had their moments, but it was San Jose's night. San Jose 2 - Chicago 0

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
Columbus - New England (0-3) 1-1
FCD - LA (1-2) 4-1
Colorado - RSL (2-0) 2-0
San Jose - Chicago (3-2) 2-0

This mid-week 2-2
Total so far this season 28-28

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Congratulations to the Top 11 US Soccer Blogs

Over at, Grant Wahl has put forth his list of the top 11 US soccer blogs.

They are:
Du Nord

Climbing the Ladder

We Call It Soccer

Hexagonal Blog

Off the Ball

U.S. Soccer Players Daily Blog

In Limbo

The Kin of Fish

Ramblings of a Soccer Junky

The Global Game


Oddly enough this blog was not listed. I'm guessing this has to do with the fact that My Soccer Blog is not as good as the above-mentioned 11. It is great to see soccer getting a strong foothold in the blogsphere.

Keep up the great work.

MLS Mid-Week 25 Predictions

Oh boy, time for some Wednesday night soccer.

Columbus Crew vs New England
7:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

I think tonight is the night the Crew are official out of the playoffs. Both sides are coming off of defeats from late goals and will be looking for a bounce. However, the Crew is still shaky on defense and lack serious offense even with Edson Buddle back in the line up. The Revs have loved their games against Columbus. They are on a seven game unbeaten streak against the Black and Yellow going back to last year's playoffs. Taylor Twellman really enjoys these games, having scored three goals in their last two meetings. The main spot on the Revs to watch is keeper Matt Reis. He looked lost on Saturday. If he can come out and recover nicely, this should be an easy night for his side.

Columbus 0 - New England 3


FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy
8:30pm EST

Next Wednesday these two will battle it out for the US Open Cup, but this week they are only battling for second place. FCD come into this match on a bit of a high after finally winning a MLS game in their new home. Sure it was against Salt Lake, but they did it without forwards Carlos Ruiz and Eddie Johnson and with a new-ish goalkeeper. However, it is this lack of striking force that will doom Dallas tonight. LA is not a road team, but as of late, they have been looking better as visitors. Donovan is key to this team as is Herculez Gomez. Gomez is their goal scorer of late and I don't think the iffy backline of Dallas will be able to put a stop to him tonight. Combine that with a weak offense and you have the recipe for another notch in the lose column.

FCD 1 - LA 2


Colorado vs Salt Lake
9:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

These two sides better get use to one another since they play three matches before the end of the season. If Salt Lake want to make the playoffs, they have to pretty much win all three of these meetings as well as their three other games. For the Rapids, a win tonight means they only need one point during their final 5 games to make the playoffs. Salt Lake has plenty of injuries, but Clint Mathis will be there so who knows, maybe he will actually show his talent and help out. For the Rapids, they are still trying to sort out their team after all their additions during the transfer window. They should be able to pull things together enough to overtake the weaker Salt Lake side.

Colorado 2 - RSL 0


San Jose vs Chicago
10:30pm EST

This will be an entertaining affair. San Jose is back home were they have yet to lose this season while Chicago are on the tail end of (including US Cup meetings) a 7 game road trip (this being game 6). During their time away from home the Fire have gone 3-2, but are on a two game streak in MLS competitions. For this outing, they will be without forward Chris Rolfe. This will mean another shift in the Fire's offensive tactics. For San Jose, the big question is will the play all their starters or give them a night off? Kelly Gray, Brad Davis, and Danny Califf all are listed as questionable. If the get the bench tonight, it will be a major blow to the Quakes defense. This will be an opening, but will the Fire be able to sail through it?

San Jose 3 - Chicago 2

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

U-17 US Men continue to roll

Italy looked to be the better team during the first few minutes, but soon enough the U-17 men gained their composure and dominated the Italians. This was a much better outing then their game on Saturday against North Korea, but the red, white and blue still need some help in goal. Just like in their first match, young goaltender Bryant Rueckner let an easy free kick get passed him. This allowed the Italians, who were down by two, to sneak back into it with 15 minutes left. However, the US would not let all their hard work slip away and Ryan Soroka got a third for his side in the 90th.

During the 90 minutes, the US kept their cool and frustrated the Italians. This resulted in some foolish play. Salvatore Foti was sent off at the hour make for an off the ball incident involving the US goalie. His coach got to see the showers early too when he was ejected in the 83rd. All and all, the Italians racked up eight cards (two being red) to the US's one.

This is sort of pay back for the U-20s who were tossed from their tournament in the Netherlands by Italy.

Here is the current Group C Standings

Team (GD) Points
USA (+3) 6
North Korea (+2) 3
Italy (-1) 3
Ivory Coast (-4) 0

Friday's matches see the US take on the Ivory Coast and North Korea battle Italy for the second playoff position. Both matches start at 4:30pm EST. The US match will air live on Fox Soccer Channel.

Another article about 'boring' EPL soccer

An analysis of early-season attendances indicates that fewer people are coming out to watch Premiership games.

"Nine of the 17 top-flight sides that were in the division last year have suffered falling numbers through the turnstiles, with only the European champions Liverpool and Everton, back in Europe for the first time in a decade, recording significant increases."

And the main reason for all this? The games are 'boring.'

"A report released in July investigating the competitiveness of the Premier League warned that the dominance of the Champions League clubs would make the game predictable, having a detrimental effect on incomes. For the past three seasons four of the Premiership's top five finishers have been Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool; in the previous two seasons Chelsea finished sixth. This is not how it used to be."

With the same teams always winning, why would someone pay $50-$80 or more a ticket to watch? If you know the outcome before hand, why bother. This feeling is only amplified when 'lesser' clubs don't place their best team on the field for the big games. They figure they are going to lose, so why not rest you best for the next match.

One interesting note that this article points to is the decline of 'blue collar' supporters at matches.

"It's hard for it to be the working man's game when you look at what it costs to go to Chelsea, for instance," said Mick McGuire, deputy chief executive at the PFA. "We can't alienate the spectator because that's what drives our success."

If they lose the locals, will they be able to continue on? It will be interesting to see. Will TV and merchandising deals be enough to carry a team even if they are playing in a half-empty stadium? We might get to find out the answers to these questions soon.

The game in England is at an interesting point. It is considered to be one of the best leagues (if not the best) in the world, but it is loosing fans. Without some way of balancing teams out a bit, I think the EPL will continue to see numbers and interest decline. Few people (outside of die-hards) like watching a team win again and again unless it is the Harlem Globetrotters. And people only put up with that because it is fun to watch.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Liberia-Zambia WCQ moved forward

FIFA has announced that the WCQ between Liberia and Zambia will now be played on October 2nd instead of the 7th. The move was made due to Liberia having their first national election since former leader Charles Taylor fled two years ago.

This match will mean very little since both teams are out of the running for the World Cup. I wonder if this has anything to do with former Player of the Year George Weah being favored to win the election? Even if it does, and I don't think is does, it is a smart move by FIFA.

MLS Week 25 Recap

MLS games do not come much better then the New England-MetroStars match. The best team in the league facing a side that must win to keep any hope of the post season alive. The MetroStars showed both sides of their team on the night. When they were firing, they will miles in front of the Revs, however when they feel back, they fell apart. It is hard for me to pick a best moment of the game, because there are more then a few good ones, but I must go with the final goal of the night. Youri Djorkaeff fired an odd angle shot that caught Rev's keeper Matt Reis cheating off the post. Reis dive at the ball ended up taking him and the ball into the net. Wonder fight outing by the Stars. If next week's match between these two is at least half as good as this one, it will probably be the best match of week 26. MetroStars 5 - NE 4

Just when I think I start to doubt DC United, they put together an fine 90 minutes of soccer. Their defense was very impressive. It never seemed like Colorado even threaten. Their offense was still a little sluggish, but once the Rapids goalie Joe Cannon went out with a groin or hip injury, DC was able to make things happen. Christian Gomez caught the backup keeper off his line when he took a free kick. Instead of putting it into the center of the box, he went for goal. The keeper was not ready for that and missed the block. The second goal was just a beautiful display of body control. When the shot did not present itself on the right side of Jaime Moreno, he just took it with his left, in traffic, to the far post. Great goal, wonderful win. DC 2 - Colorado 0

I think Columbus can now stop worrying about this year. It really was an awful way to lose the game. After being behind for 75 minutes, the Crew got an equalizer in the 80th by Knox Cameron. It got the crowd back into it, and seemed to revive the team, but it was not long lasting. Just a couple minutes later the Crew's defense fell apart again allowing Chris Rolfe to sneak into the middle of the box unmarked. Sure enough, Andy Herron, in traffic, was able to push the ball to Rolfe who easily tapped it in. Sad end to the Crew's hopes. Columbus 1 - Chicago 2

LA tore into KC during the first half. Landon Donovan provided excellent service from the corner leading to both of LA's goals. But then the second half came around and the Galaxy do what they do most of the time on the road, they became mush. Granted, that might have something to do with missing five of their starters, but it still is a shame. Still, the Wizards, who looked to be reinvented at the start of the second 45 could not finish things. The dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half, but had nothing to show for it. However, all that pressure did finally lead to something when, just 10 minutes before time, they finally got a goal. I guess that one let them know how to do it because they soon got a second, allowing them to not drop three straight at home. LA 2 - KC 2

Oh Chivas, what can I say. They got a fantastic goal off a free kick by Ramon Ramirez and managed to hold the lead through a number of San Jose attacks, but then fell apart during the last 10 minutes. I'm sure San Jose got more of a battle then they expected, but the good news for them is that they raised to the challenge. It took almost every moment of the injury time, but Alejandro Moreno was able to find the winner off a Brian Mullan pass that just floated into the box. Amazing come back. Chivas 1 - San Jose 2

Dallas won at home! FC Dallas finally won a MLS match at home! Not only that, but they did it without their two main offensive stars and their starting goal tender. The first goal by Roberto Mina was a great strike that pinged off the top bar and fell in. Their second came off a smart shoulder challenge by Bobby Rhine who found Mina in front of the goal all alone. Mina easily tapped it in for his second of the night. However, Real Salt Lake would not just die. A couple minutes later they had a corner kick that flew towards Melvin Tarley who headed towards Jamie Watson who flicked the ball past the outreached arms of FCD's Scott Garlick. Real had some more chances late, but nothing that great. Mina almost got the hat trick, but his bicycle kick went high. With this win, Dallas clinches a spot in the post season and pulls into a tie with LA for second place. FCD 2 - RSL 1

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
MetroStars - New England (0-3) 5-4
DC - Colorado (1-2) 2-0
Columbus - Chicago (1-3) 1-2
KC - LA (1-2) 2-2
Chivas - San Jose (0-2) 1-2
FCD - Salt Lake (3-2) 2-1

This week 3-3
Total so far this season 26-26

Soccer player dies after scoring goal

This is a story that sucks the air out of me. Daniel Young scored a "cracking goal" from 25 yards out and then collapsed in the center circle. He was taken to the hospital suffering cardiac arrest. He died later in the day.

The worse part of the story is Daniel was only 16 years old. Sixteen and dead from a heart attack, doesn't seem real.

I'm sure most of us can relate to playing the great game at that age. I worried about any number of things (like why that certain halfback seems to keep missing the ball and kicking me in the shin), but never that my heart was about to give out.

His parents have asked "for anyone who attends his funeral to wear a football shirt, as a celebration of his life." I plan on wearing a soccer shirt on Wednesday, or whenever the funeral is held, in his honor.

My heart goes out to them.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

U-17 US Men beat North Korea

In their opening match the US beat a tough North Korean side 3-2. The US got a deserved win, but looked shaky at the goal line. The Koreans proved to be strong attackers and were able to control the ball as much as the American side.

A good start for the US. Next up is Italy who beat Ivory Coast 4-3 today. This match will be live on FSC at 3:30pm CST on Tuesday.

Current Group C Standings
Team (GD) Points
Italy (+1) 3
USA (+1) 3
Ivory Coast (-1) 0
North Korea (-1) 0

More news on 2018

England's FA has confirmed that it might enter a bid for the 2018 World Cup. They also said that they would not try for the 2014 Cup. Since 2014 will, more then likely, be held in South America and England is still in Europe, I think that is a wise decision.

U-17 Men's Championship starts today

At 12:45pm CST, the US U-17 Men start their run for glory in Peru with a match against North Korea. It will be carried live on Galavision and showed later on Fox Soccer Channel. Are you ready to watch the future of American soccer?

MLS Week 25 Predictions

I'm getting this out a little later then I like to, but here are my quick picks for this weekend's MLS excitement.

MetroStars vs New England
Saturday - 7:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

These next two matches for the MetroStars are must wins if they want to make the playoffs. Bad news for them, both games are against the best team in the MLS. The Revs are in great form and seem ready for any challengers. The MetroStars are coming off a big win against KC where they earned their first shutout win of the season. However, I think they will have a much harder time with Pat Noonan and Taylor Twellman. Noonan hasn't been shining that much of late, but he often finds his best against the Stars. Twellman has five goals in the last five games (with three of them coming last week), so he is always a threat. New England is also firing on defense, making this game theirs for the taking.

MetroStars 0 - New England 3


DC vs Colorado
Saturday - 7:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

DC United is suffering from a total lack of offense. When they went on that great five game winning streak a month ago, they were getting three goals a match. Since then, they have only managed about one an outing (with the exception of the five they got against Salt Lake). They have a good backline, but it's hard to win when your team is not scoring. Colorado added some offense beyond Jeff Cunningham with the addition of Jovan Kirovski and Diego Serna. Along with their solid defense, this should make the Rapids a bit of a threat in the West. Looking at playoff hopes, DC needs this game while Colorado are in due more to the bad expansion teams then their great play. Still, I think DC is going to be caught a bit flat-footed at the start of the match, allowing Colorado some good opportunities.

DC 1 - Colorado 2


Columbus vs Chicago
Saturday - 7:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick, HDNet

A few weeks ago, this match looked like it was going to be huge with the Crew firing up for a last minute run at the fourth playoff spot, but then they fell apart against New England and pretty much dropped out of consideration. Chicago has been up and down all season, but they still have Justin Mapp who creates chances for Chris Rolfe, Andy Herron and striker Nate Jaqua who is back from a long injury related rest. The Fire should be able to open up the Crew's defense, thus allowing them to get the 3 points.

Columbus 1 - Chicago 3


KC vs LA
Saturday - 8pm EST

This should be a fun one; too bad it is not on TV. LA is at tope form as of late, but still have trouble on the road. KC has not been so lucky. They have not won in their last four outings and have only scored three goals. With Donovan coming into his own for LA, I just don't think KC can stop them. So even through they are on the road, I'm going to go with LA. What and odd thought to have. If I'm wrong, I will get to try again next weekend when the sides meet in LA.

KC 1 - LA 2


Chivas vs San Jose
Saturday - 10pm EST
TV: Direct Kick, Fox Soccer Channel

Chivas's calvary has not been as impressive as one would have hoped. They looked good in their first couple matches but have done nothing since. San Jose has a great way of finding the weakness in clubs and pushing through it. It will not be hard for them to find the weakness in Chivas.

Chivas 0 - San Jose 2


FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake
Sunday - 2pm EST

How bad has it been for FCD during the last ten MLS matches? So bad that Real Salt Lake has actually got more points in their last ten then Dallas has (7-5). Never a good sign. However, Dallas proved that they could win in their new home with their US Open Cup victory on Wednesday. Dallas will still be hurting on defense and losing Eddie Johnson again is not the best thing, but I think they will be able to do the impossible and get a MLS victory in the oven (is that really the nickname for Pizza Hut Park?).

FCD 3 - RSL 2


The interesting thing about this weekend is that any match, with the possible exception of Chivas-San Jose, really could go either way. I would not be surprised if I was wrong on five of these.

Checkout In Limbo's picks here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Eddie Johnson out for four to six weeks

In yet another devastating blow to FC Dallas, Eddie Johnson has suffered a second stress fracture in his right foot.

His first injury to the foot came on May 22nd against Chivas and caused him to miss two months of action. In returned to the pitch on August 3rd, but never really got back to full form. This latest injury will bench him for the rest of the regular season. He should be able to play again come playoff time, however with all the injury time he has had this season, I'm sure he will not be in game shape.

Could this be the event that sinks FCD's season once and for all or will they find another way to survive?

This is also bad news for the US National Team. They are going to need Eddie in top shape next year and all these injuries will cut into his training time.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

MLS Roster Freeze Day

So the teams are all but set (there is still some paperwork and a possible pickup of let goes during the next 24 hours) for the final stretch of the season. With the transfer window now closed, we can see where teams felt they needed help.

Chivas brought in the forwards of Francisco Palencia and Juan Pablo Garcia who have given the goats some offensive, plus they got keeper Sergio Garcia who was injured after only two games.

Colorado added defender Dedi Ben-Dayan and two more forwards with Diego Serna and Jovan Kirovski.

FC Dallas must feel they have a decent backline because they only added a keeper. Argentinean Dario Sala will bring some needed discipline to the defense, but one still must wonder why they didn't look for another back.

LA will get to see Marcelo Saragosa again. The Brazilian played 26 games last year for the Galaxy and should help the team in the middle.

Real Salt Lake are looking at Gustavo Cabrera for more defensive help while Adolfo Gregorio and Jamaican Robert need to keep things organized in the midfield.

San Jose didn't really do much except sign Aaron Lanes as a development player. I guess they figure whatever they are doing now is working, so why change.

In the East, the Fire also did very little. They added Andy Rosenband to development and, well that is it.

Columbus did even less by doing nothing. It is a little odd that a team that has looked better of late and still could try for a run at the playoffs would bring no one else onboard, but I guess they have some plan (and I think it's "next year").

DC United picked up defender Facundo Erpen who has been some help during his first four matches plus they have signed a foreign player whose name will be released at a later date. That seems strange to me.

KC is trying to toughen up their midline with Jamaican Jermaine Hue. They also want some additional striking power so they welcomed Finnish striker Antti Sumiala. Khari Stephenson was let go in order to make room for Sumiala.

The MetroStars brought in one defender with Daniel Garipe.

And how about the best team in MLS, the Revolution? They brought in three new players. Tony Lochhead was signed during the final hours of the transfer window making him a newbie along with Daniel Hernandez and Panama national team member Ricardo Phillips. The Revs also placed keeper Kyle Singer on waivers. Will this be enough to get the Revs their first MLS Cup?

US Open Cup Semifinals recap

Oh my, I finally got a US Open pick right. The only bigger surprise I have is FC Dallas's defense. Where did that come from? And what a performance by keeper Scott Garlick(pictured). When Chicago Fire's John Thorrington got him alone in the first half, I thought it was over, but Garlick took the challenge and beat him. The only goal of the night was Ronnie O'Brien's net finder in the 20th. It was a nice rebound shot.

But back to their defense. When Simo Valakari was sent off for FCD in the 55th, I thought, "now Dallas will fall apart." I mean FC has had a hard enough time playing with 11 people of late, so I can only imagine what would happen when they lose one. Well it turns out that they can be okay. Chicago out shot FC 16 to 9, but they could not get it between the posts. What an impressive victory for Dallas. Maybe Pizza Hut Park isn't haunted after all.

FCD 1 - Chicago 0

I thought LA would win but not this big. Minnesota is a good team but they were just not ready for the surging Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The Thunder did have an early chance when they got a penalty kick in the fourth minute, but Melvin Tarley (who was recently acquired by Real Salt Lake) sent it over the frame. Kind of explains the night right there. Landon Donovan got the scoring started in the 29th and Herculez Gomez got his first goal of the night in the 44th to double the lead. The Thunder came back in the second when John Menyonger put one in a few minutes after halftime. But then it all fell apart. In just five minutes, the score went from 2-1 to 5-1. Tyrone Marshall put one in the 77th; Gomez got his second of the night in the 81st; and Joseph Ngwenya pushed the dagger even further in just one minute later. Chad Dombrowski got one back for Minnesota in the 85th but it was too late to hope for anything amazing.

LA 5 - Minnesota 2

So the final has been set. On the 28th of September either FC Dallas or LA Galaxy will walk away with a nice piece of hardware.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

US Open Cup Semifinals

The Open Cup is coming to a close with two matches tonight to decide the finalists.

The first match finds Chicago on the road at Dallas. This is a reigniting of the Brimstone Cup, which finds Chicago doing well while Dallas has been in the dumps. With the exception of Cup games, Dallas has not won since June 25th. However, this is a Cup game so that means little. Since FCD's defense has been absent (being nice here) for a while now, they will need a big night from Eddie Johnson if they want to win. Failing that, it is going to be all Chicago.

FCD 1 - Chicago 3

The other match finds the Minnesota Thunder in LA to take on the Galaxy. The Thunder has been MLS killers. They have put down both Kansas City and Colorado. However, LA looked great on Saturday. If they get that kind of performance out of the team, it will bring an end to the boom of the Thunder. Still, the Thunder could catch LA looking.

LA 2 - Minnesota 1


Roster Freeze Date

September 15th is the day MLS clubs have to freeze their 28-man roster for the rest of the season. Teams have till 5pm tomorrow to finalize any contracts with players playing outside the United States. It is also the MLS trade deadline and discovery player signing deadline.

If a team lets go of a MLS player due to any of the above actions, other MLS teams will have a one-time 24-hour waiver claiming period ending at 5pm on Friday. A club can pick up one player provided they have the room on their roster and the money in their account.

For the 2005 MLS season, team rosters consist of 28-players, 18 of which are on the Senior Roster and 10 on the Developmental Roster. Teams can have a maximum of four Senior International players (non-domestic players who do not hold green cards). If a player is placed on the Season-Ending Injury list, teams may replace that player provided they have the necessary budget space to make a new acquisition. A team may place a player of the Season-Ending Injury list when they are ready to fill the slot with a new signing. What follows are pertinent team roster details as of Monday, September 12, 2005:

Chivas USA
Senior Roster - 18 players, 4 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 9 players
Season Ending Injury list - 1 (Martin Zuniga)

Chicago Fire
Senior Roster - 18 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 9 players.
Season Ending Injury list - 1 (Scott Buete)

Colorado Rapids
Senior Roster - 17 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

Columbus Crew
Senior Roster - 18 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list -2 (Jon Busch, Duncan Oughton)

D.C. United
Senior Roster - 17 players, 1 Senior International
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

FC Dallas
Senior Roster - 18 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

Kansas City Wizards
Senior Roster - 18 players, 1 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 9 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

Los Angeles Galaxy
Senior Roster - 17 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - none
Unavailable Player - 1 (Quavas Kirk)

Senior Roster - 17 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 8 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

New England Revolution
Senior Roster - 18 players, 3 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - none

Real Salt Lake
Senior Roster - 18 players, 2 Senior Internationals
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - 1 (Jeff Stewart)

San Jose Earthquakes
Senior Roster - 17 players, 1 Senior International
Developmental Roster - 10 players
Season Ending Injury list - 2 (Craig Waibel, Troy Dayak)

Interesting note, Real Salt Lake does not list Jason Kreis on their season ending list. Perhaps rumors of his injury are wrong or maybe they just are not ready to let people know.

Champions League Day 2 Underway

All matches have started.

Group A:
Club Brugge 1-2 Juventus
Rapid Vienna 0-1 Bayern Munich

Group B:
Arsenal 2-1 FC Thun
Sparta Prague 1-1 Ajax

Group C:
Udinese 3-0 Panathinaikos
Werder Bremen 0-2 Barcelona

Group D:
Benfica 1-0 Lille
Villarreal 0-0 Man Utd

Will the giants continue to have trouble like most of them did yesterday or will the second and third level teams fall by the wayside?

Update: No sooner had I typed in Arsenal's one goal lead only to have FC Thun come back and tie it up two minutes later. All games are done with the first half of play. Robin van Persie has been sent off for Arsenal.

Update 2: Wayne Rooney has been send off for Man U with two yellows.

Update 3: Dennis Bergkamp gets a last minute goal to secure a victory for Arsenal.

Update 4: Well all the games are done. Ajax pulled out a tie with a late equaliser by Wesley Sneijder. Fabrizio Miccoli headed in a winner two minutes into injury time for Benfica. Patrick Vieira was sent off late with a second yellow, so he will miss Juventus's next match against Rapid Vienna.

DC United looks good in Copa Sudamerica premiere

DC United came out a little sluggish, but got things going to make last night's match a fun event to watch. Catolica was playing as a team should during an opening away match. They bottled up DC's offense and had a wonderful streaking counter attack. DC was unstable in the midfield and missed many opportunities to flood the box. How many times were Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno the only two in front of the goal on offensive breaks?

Still, DC looked good for a team that has limited experience in such competitions. The goal Catolica got was really a lapse in judgment by keeper Nick Rimando. Had he stayed on his line, the defense could have got to Jorge Quinteros forcing a much harder shot. Catolica's only other great chance was late when Eduardo Rubio snapped a shot off the crossbar.

DC missed more then a few chances, but Jamil Walker's goal in the 81st was inspiring. He was busy trying to find empty space when Santino Quaranta dropped the ball his way. The ball actually went past him and bumped off a defensive player's leg. Walker stuck with it and got past the defender to put a low ball right past the diving goaltender. This gave life to his team but was the last goal of the night.

DC United 1 - U Catolica 1

So United looked all right, but now they have a difficult task. They need to go to Chile and get at least one goal. It can be done, but DC will need to do something about their play. I think it is safe to assume that Catolica will play a very similar game. They know that all they need to do is keep DC from scoring and they are moving on. So DC will need to create more opportunities along the sides while guarding against a goal. Perhaps they should have four backs during the match while playing the midfielders up.

Overall, it was good to see a MLS team do well in the Copa. I hope that this is a sign of things to come. Perhaps next year one or two MLS sides could gain entrance at the start of the tournament along with a pass for the MLS champion. This will help the image of the league as well as improve the style of play.


Scots' not giving up on the Cup

Scotland is currently in fourth place in UEFA's Group 5, but they still have high hopes of making it to Germany.

The former Scotland international Archie Gemmill feels good about his side’s chances.

"I think Scotland have an excellent chance of qualifying," he said. "There is a lot of confidence in the squad, they played superbly in the last two games and I can only see one winner against Belarus.

"It's a case of asking, are Norway going to drop any points? I would say the chances are favourable. They have got Moldova to play, which is never easy."

To get to the finals, Scotland will need to beat Belarus and Slovenia. The Scots tied with both these sides in their first meetings 0-0. If they can get the results, then it is all up to Norway who faces the bottom two teams in the group in their final matches (Belarus and Moldova).

Current Group 5 table
Team - Points
Italy - 17
Norway - 12
Slovenia - 12
Scotland - 10
Belrus - 7
Moldova - 5

US Men drop a spot in the FIFA rankings

Another month, another set of FIFA rankings.

Even with a win over number 5 Mexico, the US still fell a spot to seventh place. This is not too surprising since their rise to sixth place was, at least in part, due to most European sides not playing many matches during the last couple months. Now that Europe is playing again, their teams are increasing their point total.

Just look at France who moved up three spots into sixth. They added 33 points during the last month. Sweden and Denmark both added 32 but the big prize for points goes to Northern Ireland who gained 54 and moved up 15 spots (to 101st).

N Ireland's results came as a cost to England who lost five points and fell four spots. I'm sure the big story out of all this will be that England is no longer in the top 10. This is sure to spark even more anger in the hearts of English fans.

Other interesting news is that Germany fell four spots and the Republic of Ireland dropped seven places to 21st. CONCACAF got a third team into the top 20 thanks to Costa Rica.

Here is the top 20

Rank Team (+/-Rank) Pts: Sept 05
1 Brazil (0) 839
2 Netherlands (1) 785
3 Argentina (-1) 778
4 Czech Republic (0) 777
5 Mexico (0) 771
6 France (3) 770
7 USA (-1) 768
8 Spain (0) 750
9 Portugal (0) 743
10 Sweden (5) 740

11 England (-4) 738
12 Turkey (0) 731
13 Italy (0) 725
14 Denmark (4) 721
15 Germany (-4) 718
16 Japan (1) 716
17 Poland (5) 705
18 Iran (-3) 702
19 Costa Rica (2) 700
20 Greece (-2) 699


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Here comes the Champions League

The first matches of the group stage are about to begin. Here is the full list of matches (update: and results).

AC Milan 3 - Fenerbahce 1
PSV Eindhoven 1 - Schalke 0
Lyon 3 - Real Madrid 0
Olympiakos 1 - Rosenborg 3
Chelsea 1 - Anderlecht 0
Real Betis 1 - Liverpool 2
Artmedia Bratislava 0 - Inter Milan 1
Rangers 3 - FC Porto 2

Something interesting, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is not in the starting line-up. They will depend on Peter Crouch and Florent Sinama Pongolle for offense.

Liverpool came on strong with a good road win against Teal Betis. Florent Sinama Pongolle showed why he was starting by scoring just 87 seconds into the match.

Real Madrid got a surprise. Lyon owned the match and kept the bigger side off balance all night.

Chelsea against won with just a goal, however fans might be turning a little sour on their team. Fewer than 30,000 people showed up for the game, leaving 12,000 empty seats. Great by MLS numbers, but not so wonderful when you are one of the top teams in the world.

DC United ready for the Copa Sudamericana

DC United will make history as the first MLS team to play in the Copa Sudamericana. Tonight is the home match in their series against Chilean club Universidad Catolica.

Catolica easily won the Chilean Primera Division's Apertura (spring season) in May and are in first place again with six wins and two draws during the current season. Oh, they also have not conceded a single goal during those eight games.

United are coming off a six match slump that ended on Saturday in Dallas.

If DC wants to advance in this tourament, they will need to raise to the level of play they had in early August. Failing that, it might just be a long night at RFK.

The match will be carried live on Fox Soccer Channel at 8pm EST. One interesting piece of trivia, tournament regulations from CONMEBOL, the South American confederation running the tournament, allow only for numbers 1 through 25, so for example Jaime Moreno will not be his now-familiar 99, but rather in jersey number 7.



US Women set for two games in October

Next month the US Women's team will play two big matches. The first is against 2004 Olympic for Australia in Fullerton, Calif. on the 16th. One week later they will take on the highflying Mexican side in Charleston, SC.

Both games will be carried live on ESPN2.

It will be exciting to watch the rematch against Australia. They lest met during the Olympics and tied 1-1. Mexico also surprised many during the 2004 games when they beat Canada to get out of the group round but then lost to Brazil.

The US has won all seven games this year and has an eight game shutout streak on their hands.


Jason Kreis might be done for the season

There were rumors over the weekend that Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis suffered a MCL tear in practice last week, but the team would not confirm nor deny such talk.

Now those rumors seem to be true with the Salt Lake Tribune publishing a story about Kreis possibly undergoing surgery before the season is over.

Kreis is MLS's all time goal scorer and a very important part of Real's offense. With him out of the lineup, they will be forced to depend on Clint Mathis (never the best idea), Chris Brown (a solid player, but not much of a goal scorer) and rookie Jamie Watson (who has only started four matches). Not a good spot for the men in Red.

Salt Lake had no chance at the playoffs with Kreis in the lineup, so this doesn't really hurt their post-season hopes, but it could hurt them development for next season. You need experience on the field to teach the youngsters how to play the game on a professional level. Kreis provided that as well as highlight reel footage for an otherwise not so ready for prime time team.

South Korea loves the Dutchmen

South Korea has a new manager and guess what, he is Dutch.

Dick Advocaat will take over the coaching duties in preparation for the World Cup. Advocaat is the third Dutchman to lead the team in the last five years.

Guus Hiddink was at the helm during the 2002 Cup. Humberto Coelho (not Dutch) took over after Guus but left last year after a poor performance. Jo Bonfrere took over and got South Korea into their sixth straight finals, but they still didn't feel he was doing good enough.

"Reaction in South Korea to Advocaat's appointment was generally positive, though there were conflicting views about his likely tactics.

The Munwha Ilbo newspaper described Advocaat as a 'bullheaded believer in attacking football,' pointing to his development under his compatriot Rinus Michels, the architect of 'total football.'

However, Han Jung-woo, a member of South Korea's Red Devils fan club, said Advocaat was likely to be more defensive in his approach.

'I think he puts too much emphasis on defending, but it's time to give our full support to the new coach.' Han said."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Soccer hooligans in action

It seems there was some trouble over the weekend in Poland.

"Hundreds of soccer hooligans clashed with police overnight after a fourth-division match, leaving six officers injured and damaging police cars in the southern town of Mielec, a news agency reported Monday."

The clash began after the crash of a fan on his motorcycle. The police were chasing him at the time. The hooligans blamed the police and decided to attack.

This is the ugly side of the great game.

For the Good of the Game

The FIFA World Congress met today in their fortress of solitude and decided to form a task force. This task force will take on "match-fixing, doping, racism and other 'menaces' threatening the game" and will be available to get stuck kittens out of trees.

All joking aside, the creation of this task force was approved 198-1 and has been given the name "For the Good of the Game." In addition to the issues mentioned above, this task force will also deal with issues such as "the decreasing number of homegrown players, political interference, autonomous leagues and multi-ownership of clubs."

The homegrown players issue will be an interesting one for them to tackle. On one side, you don't want to see all the best players go to just a few "super leagues", but how can you tell a great player that he needs forgo a big paycheck in order to grow the game on his home turf. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

As far as doping is concerned, the World Anti-Doping Agency has urged FIFA to accept two-year bans for serious offenses, but FIFA boss Sepp Blatter disagreed. He said ""We are leaders in sports medicine research. We were front-runners in the fight against doping. We are fighting against doping. But we are accused (by WADA) with every name."

It is good that these issues are being raised, I just hope this task force tries to deal with them seriously.

Full Group listings for U-17 Wold Championship

Group A
Costa Rica

Group B

Group C
Ivory Coast
North Korea

Group D

Just like in the World Cup, the top two teams in each group advance. The top teams in Groups A & B will play the second teams in Groups B & A. Same goes for Groups C & D. The final match will be Sunday, 2 October.

U.S. Under-17 Men's Roster named for World Championship

United States Under-17 Men’s National Soccer Team coach John Hackworth named the 20-man roster for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championship (16 September-2 October) in Peru. Here is the lineup:

Goalkeepers (3): 20-Brian Perk (Pateadores), 18-Diego Restrepo (HC United), 1-Bryant Rueckner (PSG)

Defenders (5): 5-Ofori Sarkodie (Chicago Magic), 14-Neven Subotic (Manatee Magic), 13-Blake Wagner (HC United), 3-Kevin Alston (Potomac Cougars), 2-Amaechi Igwe (Santa Clara Sporting)

Midfielders (7): 16-Nikolas Besagno (Real Salt Lake), 12-Gabriel Farfan (Nomads), 19-Michael Farman (Nomads), 17-Jeremy Hall (HC United), 15-Daniel Kelly (TNFC), 8-Kyle Nakazawa (ISC Strikers), 11-Ryan Soroka (FC Delco)

Forwards (5): 4-Josmer Altidore (Boca Juniors), 10-David Arvizu (Pateadores), 7-Omar Gonzalez (Dallas Texans), 6-Quavas Kirk (LA Galaxy), 9-Preston Zimmerman (Crossfire Premier)

The team arrived in Peru yesterday to start a five-day training session. Their first match is Saturday (17 Sept. @ 12:45 pm CT) against North Korea. They will also face Italy on Tuesday (20 Sept @ 3:30 pm CT) and concluding group play against Ivory Coast on Friday (23 Sept @ 3:30 pm CT).

Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision will be televising all three of the USA’s first round games, however not all of them will be covered live on both channels. Galavision will broadcast the opener against North Korea live, while FSC will carry the final two live.

This tournament has been played 10 times and America is the only team to have played in all of them. The best the red, white and blue have ever done is fourth place in 1999. That side was led by Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and Oguchi Onyewu. Wonder what happened to all those folks?

Should be fun to watch.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

MLS Week 24 Recap

It was a great deal of fun watching the Taylor Twellman show last night. I guess he was not feeling tired from the US game on Wednesday. Twellman got the hat trick but could have had one or two more. I don't know where the Crew's defense was last night. I have not seen them make that many mistakes in a couple months. I mean how many times did they just pass the ball to the Revs in midfield? But back to Tellman. All three of his goals were nice, but his second one was my favorite. He stumbled over the ball and almost fell on his face, but he retains possession. He then spun around and catapulted one past Crew keeper Jonny Walker. Wonderful show. So do you think New England has a chance at taking the cup this year? NE 3 - Crew 1

It just was not Kansas City's night. They were the better team, but the MetroStars walk away with three points and a chance to make the playoffs. How bad was it for KC? In the 26th minute, Scott Sealy beat the Metro's Jeff Agoos, got past the keeper, put a shot on goal only to have Agoos somehow catch-up to the ball and clear it off the line. The lone goal came right before the half when a free-kicked was not cleared and ended up at Eddie Gaven's feet. He fired it off and it took an odd deflection and found the net. The second half got real interesting in the 65th minute when the Star's Tim Regan got his second yellow in two minutes. With his side down to 10, KC took to banging the ball at the posts. However, most of their shots seemed to take on reflections or were just out of reach of other players. No goal could be found. KC 0 - MetroStars 1

Poor Dallas. Ten games ago they looked like a force and seemed ready to finish the season at home in the MLS Cup. Now, they are thankful they are in a conference with Salt Lake and Chivas because that might just be the only reason they'll be seeing the playoffs this year. DC United has got to be happy with their signing of Argentinean Facundo Erpen. In the 15th minute he set the tone by wildly connecting with a corner kick and sending it past a standing FCD defense. The sad thing is looking at the face of the FCD players. With that goal, they just fell flat. This is a team in deep, deep trouble. They just don't think they can win. Enough psychobabble. Anyway, DC controlled the rest of the half and most of the second. Santino Quaranta got a goal off a pass to the far post by Jamil Walker. It was a great team goal. Late in the match, Ramon Nunez got a smooth streak to cut the lead in half and Dallas had a few more chances in the final moments, but nothing came of it. FCD 1 - DC 2

San Jose and Chivas gave us the best slugfest of the night. It seemed like players were spending more time rolling on the pitch then actually playing on it. Chivas managed to earn 5 yellow cards during the 90 minutes with two of them being against Quakes' Brian Mullan who was not cautioned for a take down he made in the 24th. But beyond all the ultra violence of the match, both teams played they way you would expect. Chivas's defense was absent and keeper Sergio Garcia, who went out due to injury in the 81st, looked spooked between the posts. San Jose's offense was a thing to behold and could have got a few more goals. My favorite of the night was in the 74th when Quakes San Jose's midfielder Ricardo Clark took a feed from De Rosario and made a great run to the Chivas box. Clark took a shot that was reflected right back to him. He then smashed the rebound into the net. San Jose's Brian Ching added a third in the 87th. Chivas is no officially eliminated from the playoffs while San Jose has all but solidified their first place position. San Jose 3 - Chivas 0

This is the way LA is always suppose to play. Herculez Gomez got things started in the seventh minute and then the Rapids' Nat Borchers shot his team in the foot. He got two yellows early (5th and 21st) to earn himself a trip to the locker room. The second foul was just foolish. It didn't take long for LA to take advantage of their advantage when Landon Donovan connected in the 24th to double their lead. Colorado got a goal back a few minutes after the half when Kyle Beckerman nailed a long distance shot into the netting. But that was the best it would be for the Rapids. Herculez Gomez got his second goal of the night in the 66th and Guillermo Ramirez got the final goal of the night off a penalty kick in the 87th. This win put LA in second place in the West.

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
New England - Columbus (2-1) 3-1
KC - MetroStars (2-0) 0-1
FC Dallas - DC United (1-2) 1-2
San Jose - Chivas (2-0) 3-0
LA - Colorado (2-1) 4-1

This week 4-1
Total so far this season 23-23

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Brain McBride overshadows Michael Owen

Michael Owen played his first game back in the EPL, but it was USA's own Brain McBride that shined. He scored in the 13th minute and kept Fulham's offense alive all day.

As far as Owen, "Given the rich tradition of scoring debuts in the colours of Newcastle United, there was even more impetus on Michael Owen to emerge as an instant messiah. 'Please welcome,' urged the PA announcer as the striker emerged last out of the tunnel, 'YOUR Michael Owen!'"

Owen was not much of a factor in the game. That will change in the next few weeks as he gets use to the club, but even with all his talent, Newcastle are missing something. As the article points out, "In the space of four days Owen moved from one team with a midfield crisis to another."

Without people feeding him balls, he can't do much.

The MLS and Milwaukee

If Milwaukee Professional Soccer wants a team, they need to get working. Commissioner Don Garber says that the group has to November to acquire land for its mixed-use project and identify a lead investor.

Martin J. Greenberg, the leader of the Milwaukee project has indicated six things that need to happen to get a club.

- a downtown site
- tax-incremental financing or creation of a TIF district
- new market tax credits from the real estate development
- a capital infusion from investors
- a high visibility location and stadium naming rights that could bring in $1 million to $2 million per year
- building a mixed-use development with the soccer stadium as a centerpiece and surrounded by restaurants, retail outlets and commercial and housing space.

It is going to be a very busy two months for Mr. Greenberg.

Greensberg has a great reason for wanting a downtown stadium. "Downtown (in Milwaukee) would be great. You love that feeling of being able to go from the pub to a game or from restaurants to a game."

So true.

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