After Toronto failed to win its first match (CCL at Real Salt Lake) under interim head coach, Nick Dasovic, the best question of the night: “How can anyone miss [Beckerman's] dreadlocks?” Best comment: former coach Preki, who responded to comments by some former players by saying “It’s a couple of Canadian guys making those comments. That’s all I have to say about that.”
Another strong performance by Fire castoff Jon Busch led the Quakes over the Union and kept their strong streak toward the MLS playoffs.
Defender Carey Talley’s trade to the Red Bulls means he’s now been on 6 of the 16 MLS teams. Not to mention that the Red Bulls will have a little more depth at the back.
Check out Noah’s new article, “Searching for the next American striker.” Speaking of which, Gustavo Ruelas, a striker who has played for both U.S. and Mexican youth squads, was loaned to Celtic by Santos Laguna. And green-card holding, goal-scoring rookie, Danny Mwanga, says he’s unsure whether he’d play for the U.S. or Congo if that choice presents itself.
D.C. United’s president is blaming the team’s U.S. Open Cup loss on the referee, Chris Penso, who issued a straight red to Pablo Hernandez early in the second half. To be fair to United, Penso’s a fourth-official kind of ref right now (where he’s spent 9 of his past 11 professional matches) and he issued three yellows (including one YAC Red) in his only other match as a referee (also in the U.S. Open Cup). No photo of Mr. Penso is available.
Midfielder Zach Pfeffer (US U-17) became the first 15-year old since Freddy Adu to play for an MLS club, making a late appearance in the Philadelphia Union’s victory over Chivas. He’s not expected to see time in any MLS matches this season.
Whitecaps to announce their first MLS head coach today (expected to be their current coach Teitur Thordarson). Not to be outdone, the Timbers will announce their shirt sponsor today.
It’s all not English to me, but from what I can make out another European player, John Arne Riise, is looking to end his career in MLS.
Breaking with tradition, let’s start with some world news this evening:
Francisco Vallaro, former Argentine forward and the last surviving player from the inaugural World Cup (1930), died today. FIFA did an interview with him earlier this year, shortly after he celebrated his 100th birthday.
St. Lucian MNT substitute defender, Isidore Phillip Tisson, was shot and killed in Brooklyn last night. He had been out celebrating his match-winning goal that advanced his club to the Digicel Caribbean Cup final.
Whilte participation rates in baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey and soccer are down among school-age children, concussion rates are on the rise, according to a new study. The study’s authors do not opine whether youth sports are becoming more competitive or parents/coaches are more aware of concussions now.
Sepp Blatter is campaigning to continue his reign over FIFA on the issue of improving referees. If given another term, he promises full-time professional referees at the World Cup. Fine in theory, but you wonder about the implications in a profession with a mandatory retirement age of 45.
Finally, Freddy Montero was named the MLS Player of the Week. MLSsoccer.com notes that in the seven matches since Freddie Ljungberg left Seattle, Montero has five goals and three assists.
A big night for Little Lamb Chop, who scored two of his four goals in the last three minutes, in Cruz Azul’s come-from-behind victory over Real Salt Lake, 5-4. And he was named to the Mexican National Team.
Also in the CCL, Seattle loses 2-0 to Monterrey, in spite of 17-7 shot advantage.
Eddie Johnson sat unused on the bench in Fulham’s 6-0 Carling Cup rout of Port Vale, but Dempsey came on and scored the final goal.
Clarence Goodson says he’ll close out season with IK Start and then move in the winter transfer window.
The 2011 expansion MLS clubs, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, sorted out their priority among eight player allocation methods this afternoon. Vancouver won the coin toss and selected first: electing to draft first in every round of the stacked 2011 SuperDraft. Portland will get first choice in the Expansion Draft. More details here.
In US Soccer’s never-ending quest for defenders, Crystal Palace Baltimore’s 18-year-old defender Korey Veeder has been called up for the U-20 team‘s Cuadrangular Internacional Tournament in Peru. He had 21 appearances for the U-17 team. Read more about him here.
Interesting piece in the Star-Ledger today blaming lack of home-grown candidates to replace Bob Bradley (if he leaves) on former US MNT players who pursue non-coaching careers.
After an accidental one-week layoff and just in time for tonight’s top pick, it’s your weekly MLS game guide Three To See. After all, if you’re going to waste time watching a second-rate retirement league, might as well do it selectively!
If you only catch one game…
Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution
Toyota Park | Bridgeview, IL
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET | Direct Kick
Somebody should write a bill of rights for Major League Soccer. Ok, maybe not a bill of rights per se, but maybe a bill of “right”s. As in a bill of things that are right and will always be right for as long as our quaint little league is around. Right as in correct.
Yeah, I know I’m stretching a bit here. Just roll with me.
My point is: If such a thing were to exist, “Steve Nicol is a really, really good coach” would need to one of the first five tenets on the board. Put it right next to “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” and “Seriously, Brian Ching is from Hawaii!”
Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman
ALEXANDER ABNOS - The match loomed large already. On ESPN2, Major League Soccer would have two hours of national television airtime. In New York vs. Chicago, it would feature two of the nation’s top three media markets. In Toyota Park, it would show off a trophy soccer-specific stadium with a legion of ardent supporters. Then, in a two-week whirlwind of signings and trades, it could add a record five Designated Players to the mix.
What the league didn’t have, though, was the most in-form team in Major League Soccer. The defending champions Real Salt Lake have put together a monster campaign in 2010, scoring more goals and earning more points than New York, Chicago, and anyone else in the league except for Los Angeles. Real has gone undefeated in all but one of their last sixteen matches, a League run that stretches all the way back to the first day of May. And they’ve done it all without a single Designated Player on their roster.
In the MLS . . .
40 Seconds in New Jersey: the Red Bulls retain the all-important second spot in the Eastern Conference standings after a “questionably refereed minute.” And though it’s a little early, Tim Howard could see himself returning to New York.
20 Minutes in Philadelphia: two goals and a yellow card in the first quarter of the match left the Union and Real Salt Lake tied. Five yellow cards and 70 minutes later, Philly emerges with an important point from RSL.
Seeking more power, Kansas City signs Khari Stephenson, a Jamaican midfielder who spent time with the Fire and Wizards before moving to clubs in Sweden and Norway.
John Rooney, 19-year-old brother of English international Wayne, is on trial with Seattle. After his trial, he will train with the Portland Timbers.
MNT . . . Gomez and Bedoya take time between training at Gatorade’s performance testing lab and returning to their clubs to explain that the US wasn’t apathetic against Brazil, just tired because they hadn’t practiced in a while. Because if you know you’re about to play Brazil in front of almost 80,000 people at home, you can cram the night before, right? (more…)
Californian Anton Peterlin’s first match with the Plymouth Argyle Pilgrims overshadowed by comic drawings.
Speaking of atypical ways to render soccer highlights, Tim Howard is still not completely recovered from the cleating he took in this match.
Sticking with Americans in England, Brad Friedel’s request to leave Aston Villa may have opened the door for Bob Bradley to join the squad.
Across the channel, Jozy enjoys life in a yellow submarine.
Finally, the Chewbacca defense applied to international friendlies: Bob Bradley explained that Jermaine Jones was selected for the Brazil match because it “seemed to make sense” but hours later that did not make sense.
MICHAEL BLAUVELT — Ever wondered whether winning teams committed fewer fouls than their opponents? Or whether draws really were as boring as they appear? I did. So I compiled a variety of statistics FIFA provides about the 2010 World Cup, put them together into a spreadsheet, and crunched the numbers. Today, an overview of the stats for shooting, actual playing time, and fouls committed.
It should come as no surprise that winning teams put a higher percentage of their total shots on goal (45%) than their opponents (32%). And when you put a higher percentage of shots onto goal, you increase your percentage of shots that score (winners scored on 13% of their shots and losers on 3%). (more…)