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Daily Archives: July 25, 2012
July 25, 2012Posted by on
The MLS All-star Game takes place here in Philadelphia at PPL Park on Wednesday night at 7:30 against the champions of Europe Chelsea FC. The match against CFC marks the 10th consecutive year that a team of MLS players will take on a foreign club. This format is a neat take on the All-star game which traditionally is East vs. West in the rest of the major American sporting leagues. I have many qualms with the MLS setup.
Before I get into modifying and sharing my version of what the MLS All-star game could be I want to commemorate both MLS and CFC. Chelsea brought a fully stacked squad filled with their top talent. Roberto Di Matteo has an arsenal of options and from what it appears will give everyone a shot. Personally I am excited to see Chelsea’s big new signing Eden Hazard. On the other side MLS has brought the league’s best. I simply can’t find fault with this roster, very talented and dangerous. This team isn’t a squad of DP’s although the ones on the squad have earned it.
Football/Soccer is the world’s game, it is a beautiful game, and no country knows how to put on a show like America. The two should be a match made in heaven. The MLS All-star game should be a giant festival and just a crazy party. This is an opportunity to display the great starts of both the global game and the league. A chance to grow the game the game and MLS brand.
I would love to see the MLS implement a competition night a lot like NBA. The NBA has the slam dunk competition, three point competition along with other fun fan friendly activities. I know the NBA is on the decline mainly because the players lost interest. But the MLS has a chance at having a night of festive activites. Some suggestions I have are:
******I know my ideas are half baked and will never happen, but it would be fun to see stuff like this happen.
A. A 5 v 5 match: Featuring a youth player, a retired player, a female player, current player and a celebrity. The World Football Challenge brings many of the world’s best teams to the states, if they were to offer up a few players this 5 v 5 match could be an amazing hit. Just imagine a team of Javier Pastore, Freddy Adu, Will Smith, Tasha Kai and a youth player taking on Kasey Keller, Sydney Leroux, Mario Rosales, Drew Carey and a youth player. It would be a great event to say the least.
B. A freestyle contest: Everyone has seen the freestyle videos of street ballers doing absurd tricks. It would be cool see how creative MLS players can get. A trick could be anything from freestyle juggling or long distance shots off the crossbar.
C. PK contest: A contest having goalies take and save PK’s to declare who is the best PK stopper in the league. Or could bring in a few MLS goalies and they could go up against Chelsea goalies.
D: Steve Nash Celebrity Match: Every summer in Chinatown, NY, Steve Nash hosts a celebrity soccer pickup game. The game features players like Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordaba, Baron Davis even stars like Demba Ba show out. The MLS should strike a deal with Steve to make this event a part of the All Star game.
E. Supporters group games would be epic! THe MLS flys in 7 people from every supporters group in the league. They compete in a worldcup stlye tournament to decide who is the best supporters group. The games would be short and played on a smaller pitch but would be so much fun for the fans. Just a side thought it would be cool if a player representative was coach of the supporters teams. Forinstance Chris Albright would coach the Sons Of Ben team against Kris Boyd and Timbers Army.
Apart from the competition night I believe the MLS Allstar game is great, I do like the idea of playing a giant European team. I would like to see the MLS switch back to the old format in a few years as long as the league continues to grow at a steady pace. Once the league grows a little more I would love to see the MLS go back to the East v West Format.
Just for Kicks I put together a team of East v West all stars.
GK: Dan Kennedy (CHV), John Busch (SJ), Nick Rimando (RSL), DEF: Steven Beitashour (SJ), Jay Demerit (Van), Justin Marrow (SJ), Marc Busch (Sea), Sean Franklin (LA), MID: Mario Rosales (SEA), David Beckham (LA), Osvaldo Olanso (SEA), Landon Donovan (LA), Kyle Beckerman (RSL), Jamie Castrillion (COL), Camilo (Van), FW: Chris Wondolowski (SJ), Eddie Johnson (SEA), Sabiro (RSL).
GK: Jimmy Nielsen (SKC), Tally Hall (HOU) DEF: Austin Collins (SKC), Heath Pearce (NYRB), Carlos Valdes (PHI), Chris Tierney (REV), Sheanon Williams (PHI),Andre Hainnault (HOU) MID: DeRosario (DC), Graham Zusi (SKC), Michale Farfan (PHI), Joel Lindpere (NYRB), Sanna Nyassi (MON) FW: Saer Sene (NE), Theirry Henry (NYRB), Kie Kamara (SKC), Chris Pontius (DC).
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic soccer tournaments begin today, two days before the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately the US only qualified one team for this tournament, but the Women’s team will start their run at a medal today so here’s a bit of a preview of that tournament. The US Women’s team includes a few local names, including Heather O’Reilly of East Brunswick, NJ, former Independence GK Nicole Barnhart, Christie Rampone, from Monmouth University and Point Pleasant, NJ, and Villanova’s Jill Loyden, from Vineland, NJ who will be the alternate GK.
12 teams are entered in to this summers tournament, 11 made it through qualifying including 2 from every confederation and one from Oceania along with Great Britain. Unlike the men’s games is a full senior competition so there is no age limit.
The twelve teams which will be competing are Great Britain, Japan, North Korea, South Africa, Cameroon, United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, New Zealand, France, and Sweden.
The favorites in the tournament have to be the US and Japan. Both are currently ranked in the top 3 (second ranked Germany missed qualifying), and were the finalists in the most recent World Cup. Sweden, Brazil, France,Canada, and North Korea (along with England who is a large part of the Great Britain team) are ranked in the top 10, leaving Cameroon, South Africa, New Zealand and Colombia as the most prominent underdogs.
While many expect a rematch of the World Cup Final, between Homare Sawa led Japan and the American squad, this is a deep tournament which will surely see strong competition.
Players to watch:
Alex Morgan, USA Age 23, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year 2012 ESPY Awards
Hope Solo, USA Age 30, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2009, Golden Glove 2011 World Cup
Abby Wambach, USA Age 32, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2011, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2010, 2011
Homare Sawa, Japan Age 33 2012 World Player Of The Year
Marta, Brazil Age 26 2005-2010 World Player Of The Year
Cristiane, Brazil Age 27 Leading Scorer Olympics, 2004, 2008
Christine Sinclair, Canada Age 29, Canadian Player of the Year 2005-2010
Marie-Laure Delie, France Age 24, 41 Appearances 36 Goals since 2009 with France
Ellen White, Great Britain Age 23, 19 Apparences 21 Goals from 2008-2010 with Leeds Carnegie Ladies
Lotta Schelin, Sweden Age 28, Diamond Ball Winner (Swedish Female Footballer of the Year) 2011
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Amazing news for Union fans came out of the MLS headquarters yesterday as it was announced that Michael Farfan would be joining teammate Carlos Valdes and the rest of the MLS All Stars as they battle European giant Chelsea FC tonight. Despite only scoring one goal so far this season, Farfan has been a force in the midfield by pushing forward and opening up defenders to create scoring opportunities. Michael Farfan, or Marfan as he is know by the Union loyal to distinguish him from his twin brother Gabe, was added to the game day roster after Chelsea requested the number of subs allowed in the All Star game to be increased from 6 to 10. Although already being located in Philadelphia may have helped the choice to include him in the roster, this is not the only reason he was picked for the squad. In spite of him only being a second year pro, Marfan has been consistently one of the best players on the field for the Union this season especially as of late. It is extremely unlikely that Michael will get a start but with 10 subs it is very likely he will come on as a second half sub. Marfan is no beginner when it comes to scoring on experienced foreign teams. Last summer he scored the only Union goal in a 2-1 lost against Spanish side Real Madrid. Farfan’s beautiful chip shows the potential he has and backs up Ben Olsen’s and John Hackworth’s decision to bring him onto the All Star squad.
Check out the Michael Farfans goal against Real Madrid here.
The MLS All Star game kicks off at 8:30 PM from PPL Park in Chester, PA. The game will also be broadcasted live on ESPN 2.