- RT @WEXP_RADIO: The 15th Person to Retweet this wins a FREE pair of #EvilDead tickets to use at your leisure. 1 month ago
- Bring on adu I guess. Need a spark or something 8 months ago
- Quote of the night so far "Duka your family is here and they are mine" #doop #crew 8 months ago
- Enjoying this #elclassico just making tonights game better! 8 months ago
- Excited for tonight. The union walking away with 3pts 8 months ago
August 8, 2012Posted by on
Jurgen hasn’t announced his rosters, and neither has de la Torre. It’s expected that much of the Mexican roster will come from the Olympic squad which is currently making a run at the Gold Medal. Unfortunately Jurgen doesn’t have that luxury and will not be able to call in new names who have shown well in a high level international competition. Instead it seems he will have to call in as many regulars as possible for a match at Azteca stadium, one of the most notoriously difficult stadiums for any team to play in. It’s well noted that the USMNT has never won a game at Azteca and it seems odd that the FMF would give them any more opportunities to do so, and shake a bit of the lore off of it, in something as unimportant as an August friendly. Then again these decisions always seem to come down to many anyway.
Any expected roster for a match of this level will surely involve every piece of the central core of the team who is available. As it is a FIFA date, that should be everyone, but I wouldn’t count on recent transfers coming in. Jurgen has shown a preference to let players settle in with clubs. That would likely mean Michael Bradley will be staying in Italy and Terrence Boyd will be staying in Vienna, along with any of the other USMNT regulars who may be looking for transfers (Dempsey, Bocanegra and Edu.) So that throws a bit of a wrench into the plan of calling in all the regulars.
GK: Howard, Guzan, (I expect Guzan to actually get substantial minutes as he’s the back-up for the rest of WCQ and could use a little just-in-case time with the team) Hamid (Many are calling for NYRB Meara, but if he’s losing his starting spot for club I don’t see why you call him in for this. Johnson and Rimando both make more sense with more sustained succcess)
D: Goodson(surprising he’s the first name in but I had CBs on the mind and he’s the only one we can really count on at all) Cherundolo, Lichaj(shocked he wasn’t called for WCQ), Johnson, Bocanegra (Because he’s about the only player who hasn’t commited to leaving Rangers yet), Parkhurst, (cause I don’t want Onyewu in camp again, he showed poorly since he came back from injury) Chandler (Yes I think he’s one of the best player’s in the pool so I will give him a call until he says no firmly. Many suggest waiting till qualifying, and I’m sure Jurgen knows the situation and will handle it in an appropriate way)
M:Jones, Beckerman, Edu, (I see these three starting with Bradley left in Rome.) Kljestan(although if he couldn’t get a call for WCQ why would he get one now that he’s not starting. He is scoring in UCL), Torres, Dempsey (unless of course he gets his transfer), D.Williams, Corona,(almost entirely because the space left by Bradley is gaping. I’m not sure Corona gets a call for a full strength game. He didn’t get any minutes in WCQ, but that’s not exactly unexpected. I think he sticks around like Jurgen has shown he likes to do with newly integrated players.)
F:Gomez, Altidore(even though Alkmaar may not be willing to give him up), Donovan, Young MLS Player To Be Named Later (Probably one of the younger players in the pool, I expect this to go to an MLS standout,not an Eddie Johnson or Kenny Cooper. Wondo is the only older MLS player whos really earned a look and I’m reluctant to even give him that.), Wondolowski (I hate giving it to him, I already feel like he’s to old to be playing for the USMNT, but his pace in MLS is so high that you have to call him in and see if you can make it work. Gomez did and has almost cemented the starting spot, so give him a bit more time. I don’t want him to take time from a younger player, but there’s not a clear player he’s taking time from.)
and for those who don’t want to read my ramblings
GK: Howard, Guzan Hamid
D: Goodson, Cherundolo, Lichaj, Johnson, Bocanegra, Parkhurst, Chandler
M: Jones, Beckerman, Edu, Kljestan, Torres, Dempsey, D. Williams, Corona,
F: Gomez, Altidore, Donovan, Young MLS PTBNL, Wondolowski
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 18, 2012Posted by on
While many have been hoping that Mo Edu and Carlos Bocanegra, not to mention Alejandro Bedoya, would stop playing in the SPL as soon as possible, it has taken quite a long time and a few interesting turns to have them released (Bedoya’s still stuck there though). Edu, Bocanegra and Dorin Goian have been given the “blessing” of the Rangers Newco owners to leave the fourth division Scottish club. Each of the players are at very different points in their career and will likely have very different options available to them.
Carlos Bocanegra is largely expected to come home to MLS this summer, most likely joining former USMNT CB Jay Demerit in Vancouver.(Edit: As Pat mentioned in the comments I somehow forgot that Vancouver lost their allocation spot in the Union’s Soumare deal. Therefore it would be New England at the top of the allocation order instead of Vancouver with first dibs on him. I’d say its more likely New England trades the spot, than takes him, but of course that’s assuming Bocanegra wants to come back to MLS already anyway.) The odds of this happening seem fairly high, but maybe I’ve just heard too much of it recently. Other teams have also expressed interest in Bocanegra’s services in the defensive third. Greek club Olympiakos, which has a decent shot at Champions League has expressed interest and it has been assumed that clubs in France and England would have a look at him too. Bocanegra confirmed his interest in retunring to MLS at some vague time in the future, about a week and a half ago while playing softball in Kansas City.
Maurice Edu also has an expected club, although these rumors are a bit more recent and a bit more haughty. The latest rumors have Edu moving to Valencia C.F. where he would likely have to replace David Albelda who is a local boy and has been the captain of Valencia for nearly a decade to earn a starting spot. While it’d be great to see Edu move to one of the top mid-table teams in La Liga, if he’s rotting on the bench he may as well be better of playing in Scottish lower divisions. This transfer makes sense both for Edu, to move to a club which will likely be playing Champions League soccer, and for Valencia, who are a bit cash-strapped themselves and will likely get Edu on a free transfer. It would also mean another step forward for U.S. players in general. With Michael Bradley joining A.S. Roma, Americans are being welcomed into the more prestigious clubs. Again if neither of them starts this year neither deal even merits a mention, but if they do these could be two of the most substantial transfer in USMNT history.
To bring things back into perspective Edu also has sparked interest from Turkey, Bursaspor and Trazbonspor have both expressed interest. Even if not Valencia, and not Champions League quality, the Turkish league is substantially ahead of the SPL. While Bocanegra could potentially bring fans out in MLS and Edu could have a great Champions League run with Valencia, pretty much wherever they end up is better than them playing another season in Scotland.
July 18, 2012Posted by on
Apparently even for a rivalry game where the Sons of Ben are buying busloads of tickets, Red Bull still has big promotions. According to their website and mailing list, the first 5,000 fans 16 and under will receive free flat-brim Red Bull hats. Again caps, not cups. If you do bring kids they’ll be able to shoot on the Red Bull net after the game, like everyone else*.
The Son’s of Ben bus-trip closed Monday, but there may or may not still be seats available in the section. If not I’m sure all kinds of seats are still available for the rest of the stadium saturday. Bring your kids and whoever else you want, I’d assume that half of their fans left RBA for Hofstra already, so there will definitely be room.
Saturday July 21, 2:30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
*Ryan Meara is tied for third in MLS in shots against.
July 14, 2012Posted by on
and I can’t say its a bad idea. While it’s always awesome to be able to attend Gold Cup matches which are invariably played somewhere within driving distance, it doesn’t really make sense to always have them in the states. Every Gold Cup has been played in the US, including two they shared with Mexico. The next Gold Cup will be in the US, but after that CONCACAF has not decided.
Obviously there are factors that keep it here, namely money and the relatively broad audience in the US. It’s not like we’ve had a drastic home-field advantage in all of these Gold Cup games. They are regularly better attended by fans of nations less than a tenth of our size. It does make sense to have the tournament in the US regularly, but permanently is a different thing.
Also there aren’t many other countries in CONCACAF that could handle a tournament of this size. The best thing CONCACAF and Jeff Webb could do to fix this is to circulate the tournament between regions rather than individuals countries. Antigua nor Barbuda could handle hosting the Gold Cup, but the entire Carribean could surely figure out a way to do it. The same goes (likely even better) for Central America. Games split throughout these regions and cycled through top stadiums in each of these countries is a totally viable solution. Mexico and the US would each be able to host entirely unaided of course, and Canada could likely do the same. The Gold Cup shouldn’t be here every year. As much as I love being able to attend, and despite how much more money the US will generally bring in, it really shouldn’t. Maybe this is a sign that the Sepp Blatter appointed Webb has more on his mind than money, unlike Jack Warner.
In the same interview Webb suggested moving the HQ of CONCACAF to Miami, a good idea which he has suggested before (its much more centrally located for everyone involved exscept Canada), although there are a few issues with getting it done. Primarily the number of votes that countries other than the US have.
The Head Quarters is, by rule, to be in the hometown of the General Secretary. As Chuck Blazer resigned as the GenSec in January and Ted Howard has been filling the role on an interim basis, the HQ stayed in Blazers hometown of New York. New Gen Sec Enrique Sanz is Colombian born but has lived in Miami for 13 years. According to CONCACAF rules I believe this means that the HQ will moved to Miami. Sanz was unanimously voted into his new position.
Webb also suggested holding a Women’s Gold Cup, again the right thing to do and a great way to take better advantage of the off year in the women’s calendar, but its unclear how practical this might be. It’s great to see that Webb is not running to the quick money, but to what is inherently good for the game, but Women’s tournaments around the world are notorious cash-holes. I would love to see a Women’s Gold Cup, don’t get me wrong. It would be great for the game in the US and likely an easy trophy to add, but it’ll be interesting to see where the money comes from.
July 14, 2012Posted by on
Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union
Saturday, July 14, 2012 – 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park | Chester, Pennsylvania
The Union take on the Montreal Impact tonight in Chester. Many expected this to be the first MLS game for Italian Centerback Allesandro Nesta but he has not traveled with the team and will not be playing. The only recently signed international defender who will likely play tonight is Swiss Dennis Iapichino. M Felipe and captain M Davy Arnaud will both return from one game suspensions for Yellow Card Accumulation, although F Sanna Nyassi will miss the game for the same reason. They also just traded Justin Braun to RSL and Tyson Wahl to Colorado.
Unavailable (Montreal) : Out: D Matteo Ferrari, D Nelson Rivas, D Alessandro Nesta, F Bernardo Corradi, F Andrew Wenger, F Sanna Nyassi (Yellow Card Susp.).
Unavailable (Union): F Hoffman, M Michael Farfan (right groin strain), M Cristhian Hernandez (left ankle sprain), Doubtful: D Bakary Soumare, Probable: GK Z MacMath
Ray Gaddis & Carlos Valdes were on previous injury lists for this game, but have been removed. Soumare has also been slowly moving towards becoming available. While it is unlikely he makes today’s roster, he looks to be coming in soon.
This game is not unlike the last the Union played. Toronto has gotten much press for the changes that new coach Aron Winter has made to turn around the team since midseason. Montreal hasn’t yet seen the “impact” on the field from many of the changes they have made, losing three of their last four games, but the changes have been much more recent. There are high expectations on many of the names that Montreal has already brought in during the current transfer window. They’ve got a record that is far below their current talent level and have changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 and began to reap the results with a win at home against Columbus.
Also of note…
-Zarek Valentin and Andrew Wenger are both players with experience for US youth international teams and were both born and raised in Lancaster, PA.
-Former Zolos Shavar Thomas and Justin Mapp are also a part of the team. Thomas may be forced into substantial playing time due to injury and Mapp has been a regular for the team.
-Carlos Valdes and Collen Warner are both one yellow card from receiving a one-match suspension.
-The Impact lead the league in PK’s, both offensively and defensively. They have also committed the most fouls, been called offsides the most times and received the most yellow cards.
Expected Starting Lineups
Ricketts; Brovsky, Thomas, Camara, Valentin; Warner, Bernier, Mapp, Felipe, Arnaud; Di Vaio
MacMath; G. Farfan, Valdes, Okugo, Williams; Daniel, Carroll, Gomez; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
The game will be shown on CSN.
July 14, 2012Posted by on
A lot of fans in the greater Philadelphia area were hoping to root for Bolton as a second team and many kept tabs on Seba’s season thus far up north, supporting him all the way. That kind of support got a lot more complicated today as the NYRB officially announced a trade which will send Sebastian Le Toux to Harrison New Jersey and Jamaican winger Dane Richards to Vancouver. The move allows the Red Bull to fill a gap as Richards had been replaced by Jan Gunar Soli on the wing of late due to solid RB play from Brandon Barklage. Richards will be able to play alongside Jamaican countryman Darren Mattocks and add much speed to a hole at right wing for Vancouver. It seems to be a very good trade for both teams, but for the Union and their supporters its hard to imagine. The best player in the first three years of our clubs existence now plays for our only real rival. Is it possible to still root for a player you respect as much as Philly has grown to respect Le Toux when they play for one of the top teams in the league and your biggest rival? The Union play NYRB at Red Bull Arena one week from today, Saturday July 21st, and that question will surely come up more than a few times between then and now.
July 11, 2012Posted by on
Sporting Kansas City at Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 – 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park | Chester, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Union are one step closer to having a bigger trophy case than NYRB. Two rounds from their first trophy they have a rematch against a team they absolutely dominated the last time they played. Despite the big difference on the score-sheet the Union can’t, and surely won’t, take Kansas City lightly. Kansas City hasn’t gone this far in the Open Cup since 2004 when the Kansas City Wizards took home the trophy.
Of course despite the Union’s recent success and arguably the best week of soccer in the clubs history, Sporting Kansas City is still one of the top five teams in the league (along with RSL, DC, San Jose and NYRB in my book). While we may have had a few players on many people’s “Team of The Week”, Kansas City has 3 on the team of the season, the most of any club this season. Those three players are Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen. Of course Antoine Hoppenot beat both Collin and Nielsen in spectacular fashion in the last match-up, so who knows how things will go this time around. Surely SKC will be more prepared for the Union team.
Also of note…
-Sporting KC has never won a game at PPL Park. They’ve had a single trip in the Union’s first three years.
-SKC has only scored six goals in the run-of-play in their last five matches. The Union have scored 12, from a wide range of players over the same stretch (Pajoy, Gomez, McInerney, Adu, and Hoppenot each have multiple goals. Michael Farfan and Daniel have the other two).
Expected Starting Lineups
Both teams have been pretty consistent line-up–wise, so while there could be a change or two this game because its midweek, both teams are in the midst of a tought scheduling stretch, both 11′s are pretty much a lock.
Nielsen; Myers, Besler, Sinovic, Collin; Nagamura, Espinoza, Peterson; Zusi, Sapong, Kamara
MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Valdes, G. Farfan; Gomez, Carroll, M. Farfan; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
The game will be shown online-only, either streamed on the Union’s website (not yet posted) or Sporting’s Youtube Channel. Tickets are also still available on the Union site. Be there if you can. A game like this is always more fun live.
July 10, 2012Posted by on
So after a bit of a hiatus, due to being one person and not being able to do this site and all its interests justice, we’re back. And it is actually we this time. BSH has a few new writers, some of which are planning on posting their first articles as soon as today. We’re trying to get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible and hoping it lasts a little longer then the first time around. Here’s welcoming our newest contributors and re-founding members!
April 16, 2012Posted by on
Morrosini, Muamba, Garcia, Jarque. Maybe I haven’t been following the game long enough. Maybe I’m too young to remember that this isn’t really that bad. The number of professional soccer players in the world means that a few are bound to have devastating injuries such as cardiac arrest. I just don’t remember it being such a big issue 5 years ago. I just don’t understand it. Has this always been an issue? I want to say it only has to do with the increased number of leagues and countries offering the game at a top level around the world but all of these examples are from Europe. Are they being pushed too hard at the top? Should Europe consider a shorter schedule rather than us considering a longer one? What is going on here?