Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Arsenal give way to Brad Friedel.

Blackburn 1, Arsenal 0 (FA Cup Fifth Round replay)

An 87th minute goal by late sub Benny McCarthy sunk Arsenal. Ahem - I said B'burn would win - cough. I still don't know why McCarthy was benched in favor of young striker Matt Derbyshire, but either way he made his presence known. Arsenal dominated possession and had the most chances but that's where finishing comes in. Brad Friedel was solid, as usual. Blackburn will move on to face Damarcus Beasley and Man City (hopefully Beasley plays) on March 11th. Rovers - welcome to the FA Cup Quarterfinals.

Other news:

* The Sevilla game vs. Real Betis (the one I recommended) was stopped prematurely due to Juande Ramos, Sevilla's coach, getting hit by a unidentified object (most likely a bottle) from the crowd. I'm sorry, but what the F*** is wrong with people. Tell me. Somebody. Stupid f***s. I'll keep you updated once punishments are handed out.

* Despite my desire to see Robbie Fowler in the MLS and his rumored talks with New England Revolution, here is an article quoting his agent that Qatar is a more likely destination. Other than money, what is the appeal of Qatar?? Liverpool, however, has signed Andriy Voronin putting Fowler 4th down on the pecking order.

* Ex-RBNY young'un Gabriel Ferrari didn't get into Sampdoria's 2-1 win against Atalanta.

* U.S. Soccer Federation has backed the preparation and efforts towards a 2018 World Cup Bid. This came even before Sepp Blatter, FIFA's president, said that it is very likely that 2018 might not be going to England or Europe in general. Instead, it's gonna stay over in the New World or possibly even Asia. Here is the article.

*Olympique Lyonnais has announced plans to build a new stadium by 2010. I have been to their current stadium, Stade de Gerland, and it gets the job done but it is pretty damn old.

Team America Spotlight of the Week (#2)

Still in the PDL this week, but this squad has also (like the Des Moines Menace of last Wednesday) created a lot of talent in its 10 years of existence.
This weeks SPOTLIGHT is taken by my 'local' squad...

League: Premier Development League
Conference: Northeast Division
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Coach: Neil Holloway
Stadium: Carey Stadium (cap 2,000)
Avg Attendance: 750
Notable Wins: 1999 PDL 2nd Place
2005 US Open Cup 3rd Round
2-time Northeast Conference Champs ('98,'05)

Notable Alums:
Tony Donatelli - selected in the 3rd round of the Supplemental Draft by the Houston Dynamo, now plays for USL Division 1 Champions the Vancouver Whitecaps
Byron Carmichael - selected 60th in the 2003 MLS Superdraft by the Kansas City Wizards, back with the Barons now
Ruben Mingo - ex-Richmond Kicker, consistent scorer and PDL MVP in 2004
Michael Todd - taken 16th in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft by the KC Wizards
Ryan Carr - extremely athletic GK in the Tim Howard mold; took part in MLS Combine


The foundation of the South Jersey/Ocean City Barons is their 'youth academy' which acts as a feeder system into the first team. This is pretty rare in the world of PDL Amateur soccer as most teams just use it for a quick buck. The Barons, however put money in and, in return, they consistently churn out extremely talented and hard-nosed players like Ryan Heins, Richie Baker, Ryan Carr and Adam Sternberger. Byron Carmichael and Ruben Mingo together on the field is/was a pretty scary sight especially when the dispatched the Long Island Rough Riders 4-0 in the 2nd round of the US Open Cup. Neil Holloway and John Thompson are co-managers of sort and also run the front office from the side of Neil's house in Sicklerville, NJ. The administration is rag-tag and they are never going to compete off-the-field with the likes of the Des Moines Menace, but the Barons are proof that money doesn't buy championships. For the Barons, it is simply youth development and for that, they are easily one of the best in the country. They have several connections with strong area soccer clubs like Ocean City High School and Winslow High School. All that is needed is someone to inject some money into the program. If the MLS ever comes to Philly/South Jersey, you can bet to see some of these guys on the invitees to training camp list.

Tell me what you think about the Team America Spotlight of the Week at Have suggestions on next week's Spotlight, let me know.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So much to cover.

First comes first...

Man Utd 3, Reading 2 (FA CUP 5th Round Replay)

Hard-fought game and I was right Leroy Lita scored. Whoopdy-doo. Reading really should have actually won this game the way Man U played in the second half. Three goals in the first 6 minutes will make any team go silly though, even Man U. Leroy Lita had a pretty damn good game coming on as super-sub. The Royals made Alex Ferguson's life a living a hell. So much so that he eventually had to put Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. They essentially had been playing a 'B' squad before then. Man Utd will advance to play Middlesbrough in the 6th round.

Man U - G. Heinze (2'), L. Saha (4'), O. Solskjaer (6')
Readg - D. Kitson (23'), L. Lita (84')

Other result: Middlesbrough 1, West Bromwich Albion 1 (PK SO 5-4)

Now on to some quick news - any headlines missed can be found at Du Nord. Just visit the link on the right-hand side.

* Good young'un (19 years old) Robbie Rogers is having his contract mutually terminated by the Heerenveen Frisians. It's a shame as I think he could have done well over there given the time to progress. Regardless, he will be most likely coming back to the States to sign with an MLS team. This kid is a pacy, skilled attacking winger but no word as to who he might be signing with.

* Thomas Gravesen, the bald-headed midfield bull that quarterbacked Everton, Real Madrid, and Celtic in his days, could be on his way to the MLS according to Eurosport. He has been put on the backburner recently by Celtic manager Gordon Strachan. He is linked with the Los Angeles Galaxy but that would require a move for another DP slot or a completely reworked, cheap-ass contract coming from Alexi Lalas. Otherwise, we could see him negotiating with another MLS team or staying in Europe. Oh yea, and he's Danish.
TAKE: I like this move as Gravesen is only 30 and has several years left. I think however this might be too good to be true, just like Robbie Fowler who is now possibly resigning with his home team, Liverpool. I hope I'm wrong, but I think we'll see Gravesen back in the Premiership. Only time can tell.

*Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy were rightfully elected to the Soccer Hall of Fame. Joy Fawcett, however, did not and Kristine Lilly is about..hmm....53 and still playing. When she's done, however, she will most likely join Mia and Julie. There are five other women in the Hall of Fame? Who are they????
This comes on the heels of the announcement that a new women's soccer league will begin operation in April 2008. It will be loosely partnered with the MLS. Check it out here.

*By the way, the current player on Olympique Lyonnais who was actually born and raised in Lyon is: Eric Abidal, a French international left back. Strong, composed and very good. Nobody got this as nobody writes comments - come on now, do I have to completely make something up to get you people to respond?!??!

Scoring Leaders Update


1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 17
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 16
3 Ayegbeni Yakubu M'Bro 12
4 Robin Van Persie Arsenal 11
5 Obafemi Martins Newcastle 10
Thierry Henry Arsenal 10
Frank Lampard Chelsea 10
Wayne Rooney Man Utd 10
Benedict McCarthy Blackburn 10
Andrew Johnson Everton 10
Kevin Doyle Reading 10
Nwankwo Kanu Portsmouth 10
13 Brian McBride Fulham 9


1 Francesco Totti Roma 14
2 Luca Toni Fiorentina 13
3 Gionatha Spinesi Catania 12
Rolando Bianchi Reggina 12
5 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Inter 11
Adrian Mutu Fiorentina 11
7 Tommaso Rocchi Lazio 10
C. Lucarelli Livorno 10
Fabio Quagliarella Sampdoria 10
Vincenzo Iaquinta Udinese 10
Cristiano Doni Atalanta 10


1 Mario Gomez Stuttgart 13
2 Kevin Kuranyi Schalke 04 11
Roy Makaay Bayern 11
Miroslav Klose Werder 11
Marko Pantelic H. Berlin 11
6 Theofanis Gekas VfL Bochum 10
7 Sergiu Radu Cottbus 9
Ivan Saenko Nurnberg 9
Alexander Frei Dortmund 9
Diego Werder 9


1 Steve Savidan Valenciennes 13
2 Aruna Dindane Lens 10
Pauleta PSG 10
4 Frederic Piquionne Monaco 9
Aruajo Ilan St Etienne 9
6 Ismael Bangoura Le Mans 8
Fred Lyon 8
Kanga Akale Auxerre 8
Karim Ziani Sochaux 8
Juninho Lyon 8


1 Afonso Alves Heerenveen 22
2 Danny Koevermans AZ Alkmaar 18
Blaise N'Kufo Twente 18
4 Danko Lazovic Vitesse 16
5 Jefferson Farfan PSV 15
6 Klaas J. Huntelaar Ajax 12
K. Bakircioglu Twente 12
Wesley Sneijder Ajax 12


1 Frederic Kanoute FC Sevilla 18
2 Ronaldinho Barcelona 16
3 Diego Milito Zaragoza 15
4 Ruud v. Nistelrooy Real Madrid 11
5 Fernando Baiano Celta Vigo 10
David Villa Valencia 10
7 Raul Tamudo Espanyol 9
Fernando Morientes Valencia 9

The pictures are of the respective scoring leaders. You got any questions on the leaders themselves? Ask me. I will help you out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

USA to Play China

The Men's National Team will take on the Chinese Men's National Team on June 2nd in San Jose, CA. Look to see a lot of Earthquakes supporters there and in a joyful mood because I guess, with an educational twinge to it, that they will have their MLS team back by then. Anyways, this friendly will be a good test right before the CONCACAF Gold Cup which starts June 6th and goes til June 24th.

Games on TV this Week

Tuesday, February 27th

Manchester United v. Reading (FA Cup 5th Round Replay)

Reading just need to do what they've been doing all year, except even better. Man U is on a tear and not even Marcus Hahnemann, Kevin Doyle, or Mr. Leroy Lita himself is enough to scare the Red Devils.
Prediction: 2-1, the Royals fight but give in to a Nemanja Vidic header and Cristiano Ronaldo strike. Lita does get one for the Royals.

Wednesday, February 28th

Blackburn v. Arsenal (FA Cup 5th Round Replay)

Blackburn will have its hands full. Though they could have some help from the FA on this one. Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor could be out for this match due to their roles in the 90th minute brawl in the Carling Cup final this past weekend. Look for Frenchman Jeremie Aliadiere or Julio Baptista to get the start in place of Adebayor. He's decent, but containable. American GK Brad Friedel will certainly be tested in this one.
PREDICTION: Blackburn 3-2. Yes, a high score I know. It will be scrappy but both Benni McCarthy and Shabani Nonda will contribute in this one with David Bentley hitting the third. Thierry Henry will score 1, Van Persie the other.

Lazio v. Catania (Serie A)

Watch this for Goran Pandev. He's pretty damn good. Macedonian strikers often don't get a lot of press though. At 23, he's got 27 caps for the Macedonian national team with 10 goals. He's already got 7 this year for Lazio and 11 last year in the Serie A.

Real Betis v. Sevilla (La Liga)
5:30 PM, GOL TV

Sevilla is the team of the season so far. With Frederic Kanoute in crazy form and recent Russian signing (a while ago) Alexandr Kerzakhov, Sevilla has as strong a strikeforce as any. Add in young Brazilian Daniel Alves at right wingback and Italian Enzo Maresca, Danish Christian Poulsen, and the young, talented Spaniard, Antonio Puerta and you have an international mix of damn-goodness. If you don't want to watch a new team - you can watch Barcelona take on Real Zaragoza at 3 PM on Gol TV or you can see Inter take on Udinese at 9 PM same channel. All three and you're a nut.

Thursday, March 1st

D.C. United v. CD Olimpia (2nd Leg, CONCACAF Champions Leg)

With the aggregate at 4-1, United really has to screw this one up to not push through to the semis. Look for the Moose to get more time and we might even see the newbie 17 year old Bryan Arguez. That Palacios guy though is big trouble.
Prediction: 1-0, Luciano Emilio.

Houston Dynamo v. Puntarenas (2nd Leg, CONCACAF Champions Leg)

Down 1-0 on aggregate, the hole is not that deep to get out of. I can't imagine Brian Ching, Brian Mullan, or Dwayne DeRosario letting this one slip through their fingers.
However, the odds are against them. I have faith.
Prediction: 1-0, Dalglish scores - Houston wins on PKs cause they like to do that.

Saturday, March 3rd

Newcastle v. Middlesbrough (Premiership)
11 AM, FSC

Finally, Oguchi Onyewu on TV. Hopefully, they don't cough up three more points to a team they shouldn't (they lost to near bottom dwellers Wigan 1-0).
Prediction: 2-1, Lee Cattermole the young M'Boro defensive midfield scores on a 30 yard shot, but both Scott Parker and Obafemi Martins scores two second-half goals to save the win at St. James Park.

Manchester City v. Wigan (Premiership)
2:30 PM, FSC

Odds are Damarcus Beasley won't get in til the 60th minute onwards. The game will certainly be scrappy and probably going to end up a 0-0 draw. With 1 point in their last 4 games, however, Man Citeh needed this win desperately. New free transfer signing Emile Mpenza, pretty decent Belgian dude, will look to help Citeh NOT repeat their last performance against Wigan.
PREDICTION: 1-0, Man City pull a win off a controversial goal by Hatem Trabelsi. You probably thought I was gonna say Joey Barton.

Sunday, March 4th

West Ham United v. Tottenham (Premiership)
11 AM, FSC

The relegation battle continues although it seems pretty safe to say that WHU will be playing Championship ball again next year. If there is a guy capable of leading a team out of the cellar I would hope it would be Carlos Tevez. He's gaining form. Slowly but surely. Spector should be back in the line-up, back from a yellow card accumulation suspension. Dimotar Berbatov, however, has been ridiculous as of late.
PREDICTION: 3-1, Tottenham - Berbatov 1, Defoe as a sub scores 1, Lennon 1, a Calum Davenport against his old team pulls one, just one, back.

Other important televised games:

--------- Portsmouth v. Chelsea, Saturday 3/3 12 PM
Serie A ----- Lazio v. Sampdoria, Sunday 3/4 9 AM (American ex-Red Bull Gabriel Ferrari might get into this one!)
Bundesliga -- Schalke 04 v. Hamburg, Friday 3/2 2:30 PM (no Benny Feilhaber unless some injuries happen over the week)

There are others I know. These were my personal selection. Check out or to find the rest!

Hopefully, I will have a Lyon game preview before their match vs. Saint Etienne on Saturday, March 3rd.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Red Bulls and the Myth of the Second DP

There is one article here that I came across dated as February 23rd that puts Robbie Fowler as RBNY's second DP. Now, if you've been hearing what I've been hearing for the past week, their DP choice, Agustin 'Tin' Delgado was suspended worldwide for his role in an Ecuadorian league game. Therefore, no DP for RBNY til the summer. seems to think otherwise however. Fowler would be a great addition to the MLS - at 31, he should be able to produce for some years to come.

Currently playing his second stint with Liverpool in the English Premiership, he has hit for 162 goals in his club career, playing with Liverpool, Leeds United, and with Claudio Reyna at Manchester City. A Liverpool man through and through, Fowler also scored 7 goals in 26 appearances for the English national team.

In 1999, Fowler was accused of drug use, particularly cocaine, by Premiership fans and even some officials. In a funny turn events, Fowler scored a goal against Everton and proceeded to mime "snorting" the touchline chalk dust (or whatever that stuff is). In another event, Fowler taunted former England international and Southampton defensive stalwart Graeme Le Saux by wiggling his ass at him. There were rumors going around about Graeme's sexual orientation. So for those who wanted the controversy of Agustin Delgado, why not get a better player who has the same amount of controversy? He's no Paul Gascoigne or Vinnie Jones, but he will certainly get the job done. Oh yea, Fowler was fined a total $180,000 and missed 6 games for the two incidents.

Other rumors floating around is that the KC Wizards are looking at 28 year-old Argentinian Luciano De Bruno from Hapoel Tel-Aviv and that the Colorado Rapids are closing in on someone as well. As we all know, however, Conor Casey should be in Toronto very shortly apparently still awaiting league approval. All this injection of talent is making me dizzy. We shall see - I have a feeling that this week will be rather busy.

Yanks Premiership Games

Sunday, February 25th 2007

Blackburn 3, Portsmouth 0 (Premiership)

Internationally-retired Yank Brad Friedel was tested in this game and proved up to the challenge as he pretty much always is. Shabani Nonda had his way with the Portsmouth defense and barely missing a hat-trick by missing a PK near the end of the game. This is a good result to preserve the Premiership form after suffering a heart-breaking exit from the UEFA cup. Next up for the Rovers is Arsenal on Wednesday 2/28 in the FA cup. Rovers win is my guess.

Wigan 1, Newcastle 0 (Premiership)

A really physical game which is right up Oguchi Onyewu's alley. However, a missed penalty from Nolberto Solano and a foul committed by the Gooch led to a 1-0 Wigan win off of Ryan Taylor's free kick strike. MVP of the game however was the Latics reserve GK John Filan. He was a brick wall. Next up for the Magpies is Middlesbrough at the end of the week and then AZ in the UEFA Cup.

Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1
(Carling Cup Final)

Chelsea gets their first piece of hardware this season with a tough-played 2-1 victory over the Gunners. Drogba was unstoppable scoring two goals even after a Theo Walcott goal put the Gunners ahead in the first 20 minutes. All of this was nothing compared to the drama that ended up with 3 people being sent off. John Terry, injured and miraculously healthy again, proceeded to keep his string of bad luck running. Poor guy. He received a vicious kick to the head from Abou Diaby (albeit unintentional) which knocked him unconscious. According to, Terry swallowed his tongue and had to be stretchered off with an oxygen mask to support his breathing. The landscape of the game changed dramatically and near the end, a mass brawl ensued. Jon Obi Mikel, Kolo Toure, and Emmanuel Adebayor were all sent off. 7 others received yellows. This game will surely looked into, but the biggest thing is that we all hope John Terry is okay and can return quickly again.

Saturday, February 24th 2007

Manchester United 2, Fulham 1, Premiership

McBride loves to score against big teams. He did, putting Fulham up 1-0. Manchester United, however, with the form they're in would definitely find a way back in. In all honesty, though, Fulham should have won but they couldn't find the net again. Giggs equalized about 10 minutes later and Cristiano Ronaldo put the winner away in the 87th minute. Fulham has Aston Villa next Saturday.

Watford 0, Everton 3
, Premiership

There were plenty of shots in this one, but none of them really bothered Timmy Howard. Watford's shots were either went awry, were blocked, shanked, or dribbled to a stop. Howard made a couple reflex saves but not too much of an effort to grab yet another clean sheet. Demerit's "bad tackle" led to an Andy Johnson penalty conversion. All in all, it seemed Demerit was always just a step behind. In that sense, we all have to remember how far he has come. The Championship however is definitely calling Watford's name. Johnson, Fernandes, and Leon Osman did the damage for the Toffees. MVP to Manuel Fernandes, agile, skilled, and fun to watch. Everton has an away match at Sheffield United next weekend. Could be another Howard shutout.

Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1, Premiership

In a relatively boring game, Reading broke their stretch of good form by dropping one to M'Bro. Hahnemann was tested and responded well, but the onslaught of shots was relentless. Reading had several attempts that should have finished, but as they're outperforming to date, I will not complain too much. Yakubu and Viduka scored the two for Boro and John Oster for Reading. Reading next has Man Utd in their FA Cup 5th replay this Tuesday.


Lyon 3, Sochaux 3, Ligue 1

All in all, Sochaux should have won this. Spirit and determination always seems to prevail though. Lyon in the 90th minute onwards was down 3-1. Wiltord scored on the 90th minute mark to make it 3-2 and then Juninho slotted home the penalty to tie it up one minute before time. That is pretty damn impressive. And you wonder why they have 5 Ligue 1 championships in their trophy case. Lyon will have rivals Saint Etienne next Saturday.

Injured Cory Gibbs' Charlton squad manhandled Jonathan Spector's troubled West Ham United, 4-0. Neither Americans played - Spector due to yellow-card accumulation. West Ham seems to be on their way down with that loss. In fact, it seems that 3 Americans will be relegated barring an amazing string of victories. In 2007-08, it very well maybe Gibbs, Spector, and Demerit in the Championship. Who knows where the hell Carlos Tevez will be though.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

David Moyes is Lucius Vorenus.

Sooo.....I was watchin Timmy Howard and the Everton boys take on Jay Demerit and his Watford squad. They kept cutting to the managers of each respective team - David Moyes and Aidy Boothroyd. All soccer matters aside, when Moyes comes on screen I thought I was watching the HBO series ROME.....tell me they do not look a lot alike. If you read into things way too much as I do pretty much all the time, then that means Moyes is a conflicted badass Roman soldier and right-hand man to Julius Caesar. My verdict: they will qualify for Europe this year.

I will come back with a recap of some Premiership games and a couple more news bits.

Bornstein down. Out about 6 Weeks.

Jonathan Bornstein, USMNT and Chivas USA rising star, is most likely going to miss the next month and a half with a partially torn MCL (medial collateral ligament). I always thought the 'C' in MCL stood for cruciate, but okay - either way the guy who I and most people were excited to watch progress with the national team and Chivas USA is slightly deterred a bit. I have no doubt there will be a speedy recovery and a speedy return to action.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lille vs Man United - a giant headache.

- So remember when I was talking about Juninho yesterday? Headlines in Europe (welll...maybe just France) again! This time, however, he is accusing UEFA and all non-French soccer teams of conspiratorial collusion. Yes, that's right. A conspiracy theory against all French clubs in European competition. Who knows - maybe he's right. The story is right here. Olympique Lyonnais must have believed him though and liked what he had to say (or how he plays) because he extended his contract til 2009 when he will be 34! Philly MLS should be in line to sign him right up after his OL days are over.

UPDATE: Apparently all Man U winger Ryan Giggs had to say about the mash-up between Lille and Man United was "I suppose that's typical of the French"...I'm French and that is amazing. Louis Saha, French Man Utd striker, also was in disbelief at Lille's griping for a replay.


**No go on Rimando. Due to their shortage of GKs, Real Salt Lake needs him back. No word on RBNY's compensation. Why can't we just let Rimando decide who he likes best?
It comes down to this, a quality GK like Nick Rimando shouldn't be thrown around. This is good news for UPENN Quaker Danny Cepero as his chances of beating out John Conway are much healthier than having to beat out Rimando. Wow, three teams in an off-season, it's not THAT impressive, I'm sure there have been others. Have there????????

**Good article on a very probable US World Cup bid in 2018. The main focus, however, is how 2014 is actually more likely to happen.


To come:

Player Spotlight
Yank Premiership Recap
South Jersey FC update (for those care, for those who don't look in the blog archive!)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Friday MLS Update

- Chris Seitz the number one at Real Salt Lake due to Scott Garlick's retirement. Look for RSL and Toronto FC to fight it out for RBNY's Jon Conway as they are both low on GKs. Seitz will also be gone significantly on US U-23 duty. Let the races begin.

- CitiBank is apparently the leading contender to win the LA Galaxy jersey sponsorship. An offer of $49 million for 5 years will do that. The other contender is possibly Herbalife according to the San Diego Tribune. This is the second (unless you count Red Bull) jersey sponsorship deal since the inception of the rule. Xango, a healthy juice maker, paid roughly $1.5 million/yr for 4 years to sponsor Real Salt Lake.

- It seems that Red Bull NY is eyeing the filling of their second Designated Player slot. 1. Claudio Reyna 2. Agustin Delgado, Robbie Fowler, Patrik Berger, orrrrr.....the head-butting Zizou (Zinedine Zidane). I think Fowler would give us the most years, but Zidane would change the landscape of New York soccer and rumble the MLS once again. We will see...decision expected in the next week or two. Ives Galarcep has his take on it.

- reports that Honduran and former CD Olimpian David Suazo is moving on. Sign him up for MLS!!! Ummmmmm yea...fat chance. Ajax, Man Utd, Milan, Inter, and Real Madrid have all been looking into locking up his services. Could he be the Bull's DP? No.

- Combing over the Fulham FC website like I do, must, have to. Brian McBride is in the spotlight. He's old and still amazing. Easily the most feared striker in American men's soccer history. Here's the story! That is MLS because in about a year or so, he will be back.

- The Portland Timbers, a USL Division One squad, picked up New Zealander Cameron Knowles from Real Salt Lake. It's terrible game of "who is left?" over in Salt Lake. You would think that a new stadium deal would keep people not kick'em out. Are they making room?????

- UPenn(my alma mater) GK Danny Cepero is STILL in the NY Red Bulls camp after being taken in the Supplemental Draft. This is good stuff. With Waterreus, Rimando firmly stuck and Conway on the way out, he could stay. It's unfortunate, but I guarantee an injury to Waterreus and Rimando will step up therefore making Cepero back-up.

Insider's View: AS Roma vs. Olympique Lyonnais

E-Mail from Lyon, France:

Re: Roma vs Lyon, a 0-0 tie

First off, about the Lille vs Man United game, Man U’s goal was ridiculous because [Wayne]Rooney took the ball from the ref and the ref hadn't even signaled/whistled yet when the free kick was taken. The headline for L'Equipe [French soccer/sports magazine] today was "un coup pas tres franc" (coup franc= free kick... franc meaning clear-cut definite). Lille played a decent game against a big team and it's a shame they got screwed over like that. The keeper had come up big before that.

In regards to the Lyon game this evening, we watched it out of the smoke in Mom and Dad's room, eating kebabs. What was incredible was that the broadcast, amidst god knows how many AS Roma fans, you could consistently hear the Lyon fans chanting, screw any potential crazy Italian hooligan uprising, "Qui ne saute pas n'est pas Lyonnais" blasted throw the stadium.

All in all good hard fought 0-0 tie, except for the fact the ref blew, a British goofball with terrible teeth, high shorts, odd bulges and an affinity for yellow cards. So OL (Lyon) doesn't have [Jeremy] Toulalan for the next match but [Francesco] Totti got what was coming to him which always makes a French fan happy.

The action was aggressive and forward for most the play, not very fluid because of the ref, with the Romans making outside runs and the Lyonnais taking players head on. It was tough terrain because the grass was wet, so both keepers were playing all out disaster control, no beautiful saves, just great reflexes and reaction times, on both sides of the cage. There weren’t very many direct shots, but a hard-fought game for both sides, so it was at least interesting to watch. Fred [Lyon striker] got taken out and I almost flipped when I saw [Sylvain] Wiltord warming up, because I don't like him and what he does for the team. But [Milan] Baros got put in and was basically ineffective, which sucks. Juninho [Pernambucano] was spot-on for free kicks and ball control but off for deliverance... Dad compared him to a Claudio Reyna in his composure in the middle of the field (haha, shouldn’t we be comparing Reyna to Juninho!) Pissed I am going to be in Copenhagen (god forbid…) for the match at home, but I'll drag Lizzie to watch it in some obscure bar.

OK, time to hit the rack, we're heading out to Perouges tomorrow but have to get back in time for me to play Jorkyball and then head to a friend's sister's show/she's a singer song writer, should be good.

But much love,


LYON glossary:

Juninho Pernambucano - easily rivals Ronaldinho and David Beckham for best spot kick in the world; often over-looked for the Brazilian National Team mainly because their midfield is so strong and his age. One of my favorite players to watch. Fast, agile, easily knocked, but incredibly skilled.

Milan Baros - Middle-aged Czech striker who made a name for himself in Euro 2004 tearing up defenders one by one; formation by formation. Made blockbuster move to Liverpool only to be shipped off to Aston Villa less than 2 years later. Then to Lyon, less than 2 years after that. Hoping to find his groove again with Lyon. Played his youth ball at Banik Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

Fred - Young Brazilian striker with a good combination of pace and size. Actually quite scrappy for a Brazilian but scored in the World Cup and looks to continue his form for the national team. Also gave my sister, my girlfriend Emily, and I tickets for free so we could see the Lyon - Le Mans League Cup somewhere other than the nosebleeds. I'm serious. It was fun.

OTHERS: Sylvain Wiltord, Jeremy Toulalan, Florent Malouda , Sidney Govou, Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema


1. Who is the current Olympique Lyonnais player that was born and raised IN Lyon??

2. Who is the former MLS star born and raised IN Lyon?

Your answers will come this weekend...for now, drop any comments/questions you might have to!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

There it is...a small curse broken?

DCU 4, CD Olimpia 1

*Two insanely pretty goals from Christian like.
*Another nice backheel flick from newcomer (and former CD Olimpian) Luciano Emilio
*A Facundo Erpen header. I still think he is a cancer to that backline. Too shaky. Yes, he makes good runs and good plays occasionally, but as you saw for 20-30 minutes of that game he played like US vs the Czech Republic.
*Did anyone else see how nervous Jamil Walker was?
*THE FIELD. It was a basketball court. That was ridiculous.

The clincher is that DC should be through to the next round, breaking the 5-6 year curse of terrible performances against Americas opponents. The funny thing is though that despite the nice DC goals, the result really could have flip-flopped. It looked shaky there for a while.

I will have a recap of Lyon vs. Roma from a Lyon citizen's perspective. My sister, Brittany, has been following them (cultishly (?) I might add. So much so that her and her friends have been to Fred Chaves' apartment on the outskirts of town. She has given us insight into what the game was like, the fans, the thoughts on the 0-0 draw, and some Lyonnais chants to make us all happy. Thank you Brittany.

Team America Spotlight of the Week (Wednesdays)

We will get to the MLS teams.
We will get to the USL D1/D2 teams.
But what about the PDL?
This weeks SPOTLIGHT is taken by the...

League: Premier Development League
Conference: Heartland Division (known as 'the HD' to some)
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Coach: Casey Mann
Website: Menace Soccer
Stadium: Waukee Stadium (cap 6,200)
Avg Attendance: 4,000 (remember, this is amateur PDL soccer)
Notable Wins: 1998 PDL 3rd Place
2005 US Open Cup 4th Round
2005 PDL Champions

Notable Alums:
Michael Kraus - selected 48th by the KC Wizards in the 2007 MLS Superdraft
Andy Greunebaum - selected 3rd by the Columbus Crew in the 2006 Supp Draft
Ezra Hendrickson - 35 year old Mr. Versatility, now with the Columbus Crew
Stephen Shirley - selected 29th by the KC Wizards in the 2006 MLS Superdraft
Tomas Boltnar - long time leading goalscorer; a Czech senior


It seems that every year the Menace are a contender for the PDL crown. If it's not actual results, it is potential. A lot of that has to do with their youth initiative with an already established Academy and a "Jr" team. They also have a relatively healthy fan club in the "Red Army", but the downright mystery is how in the hell do they get so many people to their games?? One guess could be the ownership and financial clout behind Kyle Krause and the wealthy Krause family which own most of the semi-pro teams in that area. He made his money in what was the brilliant idea called, Kum & Go, LLC. However, an e-mail into them didn't discover much, but it also has to do with location is my guess. To generalize, the Heartland has produced it's fair share of goodies. If people from there know the mystery behind the Des Moines Menace and are willing to share, please post a comment or send an email to

Also, tell me what you think about the Team America Spotlight of the Week at

Puntarenas beats Houston...still the home leg to go.

Mid-day Updates

Puntarenas 1, Houston 0 (CONCACAF Champions Cup)

*Apparently even with a Zach Wells PK save, the boys in Orange still lost 1-0. Don't get me wrong, that is a lot easier to overcome than 2-0. Where was Ching though? I hope two weeks gives them time to prepare.

Everton 1, Tottenham 2 (PREMIERSHIP)

*A last minute Jermaine Jenas goal saw Timmy Howard and the Toffees beaten. Mikel Arteta scored like I said he would, but no Leon Osman goal and NO Toffees 2-1 win like I predicted. Arteta and Berbatov score for their respective teams.

Porto 1, Chelsea 1
Roma 0, Lyon 0
Inter Milan 2, Valencia 2 (UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)

Good on Valencia and Lyon, holding out away. These scores mean a lot more than you think. The ever interesting "away goal rule" mixed with a home-field advantage at Stade de Gerland and the Mestalla Stadium seems to do well for well....just Valencia it seems. But at least Lyon is at home. For Inter, Cambiasso and Maicon scored and for Valencia, it was 'Dahhveeed' Villa and "last gasp" Silva (as Soccernet so humbly puts it). Despite Chelsea's advantage, I still say Porto will come out on top. Jose's old team wouldn't have it any other way.

Barca 1, Liverpool 2!!!

*Phenomonal. Enough said. I hate Bellamy with a passion but damn, do I love upsets. It is funny and ironic that the other person who scored for Liverpool was none other than John Arne Riise, Craig Bellamy's sparring partner. Maybe Rafa Benitez should fine them every week!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

World Cup USA 2014? 2018?

The big headline, other than Man Utd's controversial 1-0 win over Lille and Rafa Benitez's fining/penalizing of 15, yes 1-5, of his Liverpool players, was that the US of A will DEFINITELY (almost, there's always complications) be submitting a bid to host the World Cup in 2018. According to, the whole of the CONCACAF region is in accordance with this bid.

But what about the 2014, you say? It simply is stated that the US will be there to clean up the mess of a World Cup bid that Brazil or Colombia is supposed to muster up. There is just too much work to be done there. So why not bring it here!?


UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round

Lille 0, Man Utd 1
*Apparently a very controversial Giggsy goal on a restart in which the Lille keeper was still setting up his wall.

Real Madrid 3, Bayern Munich 2

*I predict Real loses on away goals in their away leg, but at least Beckham is playing

Celtic 0, AC Milan 0

*Not bad for the Hoops, but wait til they go to San Siro.

PSV 1, Arsenal 0
*The Ecuadorian Edison Mendez comes through. Can PSV push through to the next round again, even without Mr. DMB? My prediction sucked. I forgot Arsenal was not at the Emirates.


1. Lee Nguyen is injured for the rest of the year according to Yanks Abroad
2. Champions Cup tomorrow!

Houston v. Puntarenas at 2:30pm on FSC


DC United v CD Olimpia at 9pm! Watch.


3. My sister is angry with me for forgetting the Lyon game and what not, but unfortunately Brittany...we all don't have the luxury of being IN LYON!! Instead, we must watch our FSC (not showing Lyon) and Gol TV and for those who are lucky, Setanta. I will try to preview Lyon games as the come up though. Happy belated 21st birthday! I hope they win tomorrow for you.
4. The US Under-23s are set to take Japan by storm with a tour this week. First, they'll play the Japanese U-22s and then a Japanese club squad NOT called South Jersey FC.

Monday, February 19, 2007

What the week holds in store.

Games to Watch this week (that CAN be watched in the states):

Everton vs. Tottenham (Premiership, Wednesday, 2/21/07)
*Timmy Howard's first game as a true Toffee will be marked by a reeling Tottenham Hotspur who just came off of a thrashing of the all-American team Fulham. Howard just signed a deal to join Everton permanently, as he has been on loan since the beginning of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson was quoted as wanting Tim back, but his over-abundance of GKs has kept him from acting on that. I like Tim at Everton better, same reason I like Onyewu at Newcastle. They will play everyday.
PREDICTION: 2-1 (Toffees stop the momentum of Robbie Keane with one goal by Mikel Arteta and another by Osman)

Houston Dynamo vs. Puntarenas FC
DC United vs. CD Olimpia
(Champions Cup, Wednesday, 2/21/07)
*On FSC, two MLS teams will start the 2007-08 season. It looks to be interesting as DC hasn't been too convincing in their friendlies as of late. Houston has been so-so as well. It will be nice to see the MLS back in gear for the most part. Whats funny is that Luciano Emilio (the new DC United Brazilian forward) will be playing against his old team CD Olimpia.
PREDICTION: DC wins the first leg, 1-0, with Emilio scoring the lone goal and Houston ties Puntarenas

First Knockout Round, UEFA Champions League

PSV Eindhoven vs. Arsenal
(Tuesday, 2/20/2007)
*It's a shame DaMarcus Beasley isn't here for this one, but oh well. Look for PSV to give Arsenal lots of trouble, especially on the wings. The Arsenal young'uns have proven very useful. The deciding factor, however, is that Thierry Henry is back. He's back, which means Arsenal wins the first leg.
PREDICTION: 2-0, Henry 1, Adebayor 1

FC Porto vs. Chelsea (Wednesday, 2/21/2007)
*I would like to see Chelsea lose, but the odds are firmly against that. Unless teen prodigy Anderson can muster up some magic to keep Chelski quiet.
PREDICTION: Chelsea 2-0, goals by yes...Drogba and Robben

Well, it looks like the matches to watch are ALL in the middle of the week. Happy watching.

In other news:

- Bob Bradley is NOT confirmed yet. I still want him to be though.
- Zinedine Zidane will probably not come here but it looks like there are talks taking place.
- Newly minted draft pick for DC United, Bryan Arguez, made the CONCACAF Champions Cup roster. Which you can check out here...For Houston, first round pick John Michael Hayden made it. Good to see the young'uns already out there.

Champions Cup Rosters

Je retournerai.

Well well well...

Seems very likely, based on various rumors and chatter on other blogs, that Bob Bradley will be our new American coach. It's been longer than a Jet Blue flight waiting for Gulati's decision.

He has been operating under an Interim tag. His track record, however, has seen him defeat Denmark 3-1 and Mexico 2-0. Wins against Mexico are things you can't take likely. He did it without several players, too. No Onyewu, no Cherundolo, etc. In accordance with what several have said to me recently, it is about time. New Jersey man getting what he deserves.

In other news:

Jemal Johnson will join up with Eddie Lewis at Leeds United. In my opinion, we will never hear from either of them again. Leeds has turned into the black hole of the Championship. Seems only a couple years ago there was... Jamie McMaster, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Paul Robinson. The list is seemingly endless. Oh well...

USA Men's Nat'l Team Copa America Schedule
June 28 vs Argentina (in Maracaibo)
July 2 vs. Paraguay (in Barinas)
July 5 vs. Colombia (in Barquisimeto)

Great competition! This will be interesting as the first game takes place only 4 days after the Gold Cup final. Coach Bradley is gonna have to put his head to work on this one. That's a lot of games in short period of time. Poor MLS, yet again missing most of their stars.

Then again, the absence of stars normally hastens the development of those waiting for their chance.


1. Those MLS Predictions (by early-mid March)
2. Spotlights on MLS Players (first one by early March)
3. shoot me any ideas or things you would like me to cover.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

South Jersey FC

CASA Soccer will start up again March 17th. South Jersey FC will then have to defend its title which it won posting a record of 10-0-1 and winning it the semi-final and final on nail-biting penalty kicks. I will analyze the roster of yes, my club soccer team, as the season gets closer and also keep up-to-date on the happenings of the newly appointed CASA Select which takes 9 from both the CASA Champions South Jersey FC and the runner-ups Cannons FC. We will be playing various teams from Vermont and New Hampshire for the "La Tezlataca" Trophy in Bridgetown, DE. It is USASA level. For us out of shape, club players this is a big deal. Don't rain on my parade. So far the SJFC schedule looks like this...

MARCH 3 Scrimmage vs. Tenzing FC
MARCH 4-11 Spring CASA Schedule should be announced
MARCH 17 Spring CASA Season Opens vs TBA
MARCH 18 CASA Select in Bridgetown, DE.

Pretty soon, there should also be a logo forthcoming as we're only in our second season of existence...meaning less than 6 months old.

In other news, the Bermuda Hogges look like a real interesting team to support in the upcoming USL2 season. Check them out.

Fulham's Thrashing

A 4-0 loss to the Tottenham Hotspur just makes me angry. How does a team with such decent momentum get slaughtered like that (and it was a slaughtering). There was no real sign of life from any one, even McBride really. My question is, Bocanegra and Dempsey both sat on the bench. Why? They are coming off a well-deserved high of beating the Tricolores, why keep them on the bench? Helguson is doody. Give someone else a chance. Play the Americans. That goes for you Stuart Pearce leaving Damarcus Beasley on the bench while Hatem Trabelsi playing rather pisspoor for Citeh.

In other news:

- Kamani Hill has a nice showing for Wolfsburg. Setting up the restart that led to Klimowicz's game-tying header is not too shabby.

- Doesn't look like Gabriel Ferrari got in the line-up for Serie A side Sampdoria. Not too worried, he'll get his time soon enough. I've seen this kid play, he's good. No Johnny Exantus though.

- Check out Goran Pandev of Lazio. This big Macedonian can play. He single-handedly trounced Torino today with two goals and a boatload of troublesome shots. Maybe that was because he was against Torino.

- The Red Bulls look strong this offseason. I actually like what their line-up is shaping up to be. The midfield looks as strong as any. Van Den Bergh, Reyna, Schopp, possibly Kovalenko (if he sticks around). Only problem is not enough pace on the wings but when you have a right-fullback like Marvell Wynne you don't need any. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this shapes up.

Very shortly, I will be posting my MLS predictions for the year, based on past performance and off-season action. Not to mention probable lineups. Should be interesting. Hopefully Fulham rebounds, that would make me happier.

Tidbit of the Week:

Read the book "Castel di Sangro". A great insight into the nature of the Italian game and its fight between off-field and on-field passions/goals. An American journalist travels to this small town Castel di Sangro, a Serie B team at the time (after a long line of fortunate and somewhat controversial wins). He meets, greets, assimilates, gets attached, and then proceeds to try and influence what has already taken control of a city that obsesses over its' soccer. I would love to say more, but I am no book critic. Just read it, as a soccer fan, you will like it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

First Post

As a soccer junkie, it is hard to find an outlet where I can lose all the knowledge I pick up. First off, real quick introduction.

Favorite teams: Fulham ever since Barry Hayles was striker but when McBride came it stuck. I think McBride is easily one of the toughest SOBs to come through the US ranks. Don't get me started on how amazing it is that we have three Americans on that team now. Reading, Bobby Convey, Marcus Hahnemann, Nicky can see that I am American-biased. MLS Philly will be my favorite team as soon as they get their act together and give me a team. For now, in America, I support the DC United - NY Red Bulls rivalry. Most of the time, I don't care who wins.

Introduction is done. Regarding my posts, they will cover an assortment of world soccer, MLS, American soccer, and club soccer stories. At times and when necessary, I will try and zero on certain events so as not to spread my coverage too thin, I look forward to it. I will return shortly.

Ongoing events,

U-23s playing in Japan
CASA ( Soccer starts Mar. 19
MLS Off-Season
EPL/Ligue 1/La Liga/Bundesliga/Eredivisie, etc,
whatever I can get my hands on/want to talk about.