Monday, February 26, 2007

US Soccer Update 2/24/07

CONCACAF Champions Cup Leg 1
The MLS sides Houston Dynamo and DC United met with mixed results in their opening matches in this years installment of the Champions Cup. Playing a grueling midday game in Costa Rica versus Puntarenas the Dynamo kicked off 2007 competition playing for fitness and a tie. Despite Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad went down with a leg injury midway through the first half, the wheels didn’t start falling off until US National Teamer Eddie Robinson was sent off for yellow card accumulation early in the second frame. The game also saw a Dynamo assistant coach shown the door. The officiating in the match was what many of us have come to expect from CONCACAF officials: spotty, inconsistent and questionable game changing refereeing. Fighting heat, the officials and a racous, but not sold-out, crowd, the Dynamo held their ground until the home team’s Kurt Bernard, a rumored MLS transfer target, slotted home the game winner in extra time.

The polar opposite of the mid day tilt was DC Uniteds triumphant and emphatic opening of the season blasting CD Olympia 4-1 on their home turf. 2006 MLS MVP, Christian Gomez fired the opening shot in the 29th minute with a spectucular postage stamp goal. The scoring sequence was indicative of the differences between MLS and Latin American football, with Gomez too much time to pick out his spot from the corner of the sixteen yard box. DC’s celebration was cut short only three minutes later as Olympia striker Juan Carcamo headed a cross past Troy Perkins to equalize. Not willing to end the half behind, former Olympia striker and new United man Luciano Emilio backheeled a Josh Gros cross past his former teammate to put United ahead for good. Gomez added a second after halftime. Rescuing his reputation following an atrocious first half, Facundo Erpen rose high and headed home a corner to cap the scoring for the Americans and likely sending the Black and Red through to the Cup Semi-finals.

Shearer on MLS
Responding to questions about Beckham’s chances of playing with the England national side again, Shearer stated to the Sun newspaper "He (Beckham) has hardly played any football (for Real) this season. Not only that but he is about to fly off to America to play in a league which is probably on a parallel with our second division, with respect." Shearer failed to explain why Premiership champs Chelsea lost to a second division all-star team last summer.

Response to The Boss in The Guardian
The Boss stated this week that all rumors related to Zidane coming out of retirement should be put to rest when he signs with the Fire this week, eliciting this response from me:
I love all your potshots at MLS! It is so great to know that the English papers a so threatened by our growing league to make snide remarks about it at every opportunity.

In case you didn’t know Americas’ three point plan for overtaking football here it is:

Step 1: Infiltrate EPL and lower divisions with Americans. This portion is working out beautifully with 14 Americans in the EPL? A number of these even came from MLS! Since Brian McBride transferred to Fulham at the same age as when Becks trasferred to MLS, doesn’t that make the EPL a retirement league for MLS? I’m just trying to follow your logic.

Step 2: Purchase EPL Teams. Three EPL teams and counting are under American ownership. How do you say?.....”Brilliant!”

Step 3: Steal World Cup from England. I hear we are on board to challenge Jolly Ol’ for the World Cup. Well, given that the most successful World Cup in history was held in the USA why not? If England held it the stadiums wouldn’t be ready until two years after kickoff was scheduled.

Bruce Arena of The Soccer Hour
Glenn grilled Il Bruce on the program this week. It was very entertaining listening to Bruce squirm and deflect questions on topics such as the state of the national team and Red Bull. Il Bruce did a tremendous Bill Clinton impersonation by repeatedly asking Glenn what his definition of terms were. It isn’t that odd that Bruce needed definitions for success and entertainmenton the soccer pitch. Check the link at the bottom of the page for the complete interview.

The Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis:

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