Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Kyle Martino posted his thoughts on the MLS site. It's nothing profound, but it is interesting to read. (I'm not saying this just as a Crew fan, but as a soccer fan. OK, so I'm a little biased when it comes to the Crew, but I think I've linked to other similar postings by non-Crew players.)
Here is a good article by a writer who starts the article with, Freddy Fever? I don't have it. I like her rational: I'm not so interested in seeing what Freddy Adu does when he comes to town Saturday. I'm really interested in seeing what Adu does against the Earthquakes in two or three years....What American soccer needs is more of what it has had for the past decade: steady, sustained improvement. Her statement, In American sports, it's all about novelty and the new event is very true. Go read.
FOX News has jumped on the Freddy Adu Bandwagon. I like the last few sentences: "He's compared to a lot of legendary athletes of the 20th century, but we're saying hold up a bit, he's only played in a few games, he still has to prove himself," said Fitz-Gerald. "Labels have been put on him like 'the next Pele,' but a lot of teenagers have been dubbed that and no one remembers their names anymore." It's a decent article, and, if nothing else, it's giving MLS some more exposure (the article is, at the moment, on the FOX News main page.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I was not planning on blogging on the First XI this week until I came to numbers 4 and 3. Why I liked #4: The home teams in this weekend's games, San Jose, Columbus, New England, Chicago and Kansas City are all going to be playing at playoff intensity. All five home teams stand in a position where they are dissatisfied with their point totals, especially the pointless Crew. All five will be taking a "must take three" attitude into the matches. Yes, I'm a shameless Crew fan who is desperately hoping for a win (or at least for a goal), but I also look forward to seeing some high intensity matches. There is nothing better in the world of soccer, than watching a high intensity match. Why I like #3: Just a quick memo to San Jose sports fans. If you're buying tickets to this weekend's game because you want to see Freddy Adu, you might want to watch this guy on your hometown team, Landon Donovan. He wears No. 10 and he's pretty good. *laughs* Jeff Bradley's First XI (well, it's more like the First X this week) deserves a link for this, if for nothing else! Yes, I think it is great that a 14-year-old is in MLS. However, I do not think that he is the best player in the league, at least not yet. He's a young teen! Give him time to work on his game and get used to the whole pro thing! Landon's good; there's no doubt about that. In fact, there are plenty of other great players in the league; watch them, too!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Today's MLS news roundup

The BBC has a good article on Africans in MLS.
This isn't directly MLS news, but Tim Howard has been named best goalkeeper in England. I'm posting this here because he is a former MLS keeper and, besides, I'm a Man U fan. Soccer365 and Sports Network also have articles on Howard's honor.
If can have Goal of the Week, why can't they have Save of the Week? Seriously, great saves can be just as exciting as great goals (or is this just the goalie in me speaking?).
Kevin Hartman has an interesting article on his desired destinations.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Links of the Day
MLS star recently became US citizen Basically, does Freddy Adu have dual citizenship (with the US and Ghana)?
Rochester may be MLS-ready soon My first thought when I read Wynalda's quote: We are expanding to two more markets next year! Anybody have a clue where yet?, was that Rochester would be one of them, and then I saw this article. Am I good, or what?
Talking shop with Tony Meola Interesting article.
Greg Lalas has a hilarious column on Rob Stone and Eric Wynalda's broadcasts. (Or has too much time spent in my economics textbook gotten to me?) Anyways, the article is an amusing look at what goes on "behind the scenes" during an MLS broadcast.
Wynalda: Questionable decisions. It, as always, is a good read.
As you may have noticed, I did not blog on the Crew match yesterday. That was due to the fact that I was unable to watch it, though hopefully I will be able to watch it online later. Anyways, here is a basic recap of this weekend's matches:

Chicago 1, DC 0
KC 0, Dallas 1
San Jose 0, Colorado 1
Columbus 0, LA 2
New England 1, Metrostars 1


1. LA
2. Dallas
2. Metrostars (I put these two in alphabetical order)
3. Chicago
3. Colorado (again, in alphabetical order)
4. DC
4. KC
4. San Jose (ditto about alphabetical order)
5. New England
6. Columbus

Sadly, Columbus is on the "bottom of the heap," so to speak.

You know, I think I may make the standings a weekly feature.

Friday, April 23, 2004 has a new look and it's nice! Go check it out. Also, I found that you can watch not only live matches, but previous matches on the site. Go see. The new site format is much improved!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Go read The First XI for this week. It's on Art Appreciation (the qualifications for great goals). Good stuff.
Arena Names MLS-Based Squad to Face Mexico. Only one player on the team does not play in MLS (Conor Casey).

Saturday, April 17, 2004

NNNNNNooooooooo!!!! Columbus lost 1-0. :( Well, there's always next week. The season isn't over yet.
For the record, I don't always root against KC. I only root against them when they play Columbus. Actually, the other year when KC had a long losing streak, I was rooting for them (except when they played the Crew, of course!). But, for the meantime, go Crew!
So close, and Columbus missed yet another great scoring opportunity!
*laughs* On the "play of the week" they defined a save! OK, so maybe that's good for new or casual fans, but it's still hilarious!!!!!!!!!
Well, that was certainly an interesting first half, albeit a sad one for Crew fans. Columbus is down a goal and a man. I know that Hejduk didn't start the pushing, but he took it too far. *glares*
OK, so I was wrong. Columbus still gets the kick, but they're a man down.
Way for Hejduk to potentially ruin the Crew's chances of a goal! Seriously, if you hit an opposing player while your own team is preparing to take a free kick just outside the box, even if you're not ejected, you will not get the free kick! The other team will!
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNooooooooooooooooooo! KC scored. :(
So far, both teams (Columbus and KC) have had a lot of good chances, but have failed to capitalize on all of them.
Another totally random thought: I wonder if Frankie Hejduk still does his special victory dance. *grins* Maybe he can score, so we can see (and so Columbus can win, of course!).
Columbus seems to be playing sloppily. Ergh!!!! I know it's only game two of the season, and things can easily change anytime between now and the Cup, but I know they can do better than that!
Totally random thought: I wonder why MLS didn't have a team in Chicago when the league began. I would think that it would have been a lucrative enough market for the league to have had from the beginning. But that's just me.
From what I can see, the stands aren't very full. Truly sad.
Once again, I'm watching this week's Crew match online, and, one again, I want to send a big shout-out to whoever thought of it, and those who are making it possible. Thank you!
Crew (current record 0-1-0) v. Wizards (current record 0-0-1). That record is hardly any indication of the quality of play of both teams this season. Still, regardless of how both teams start the season, keep in mind that although the Crew started at the top last year, they ended at the bottom. Hopefully they won't repeat their finish this year! Actually, that has been their problem all along: not finishing the season well. Oh, they've come close to finishing on top. Really close. Really really close. Just not close enough. Maybe this well be the year for the Crew to break that trend.
Freddy Adu scored his first goal earlier today, though DC ended up losing. You can watch his goal on Frankly, I don't think he's the best player in the league, although he is probably one of the best players in the world his age.
Columbus is playing in KC in 5 and a half hours. Too bad I'm unable to drive up to KC to see the match. (KC is the MLS team that is closest to where I live at the moment.) Go Crew! Defeat those Wizards!
The Washington Post has an interesting article entitled Soccer Doesn't Need a Savior. Good stuff. Soccer has been the world game long before Adu came along. Hey, it was the world game before Pele came on the scene! If you need an MLS example, the league started - what - 8 or so years ago, and still has a dedicated fan base. (Sorry, but the article requires registration!)

Friday, April 16, 2004

Eric Wynalda has a new article out, and, as always, it's a good one. Actually, this one is a great one. I know I may sound like a broken record, but this year, for the first time, we have put out the product and the product is soccer. Very true. Took you long enough, MLS!!!!!!!!! Now, the game is simpler and more recognizable to the rest of the world. He has that right! Now, the important stuff: The thing is - and I know I am in the minority here - our core fans are the only ones who matter. Wynalda, you rock! :) It's refreshing to know that someone affiliated with MLS cares about those of us who have been dedicated fans since the league's inception, sticking it out through thick and thin, supporting our teams no matter how well or how badly they played, all the while cursing those accursed inventions like the regular-season shootouts. (See? They've abolished that practice, and I'm still ranting about it!) Someone not only knows we exist, but also cares about us! (Now do you see why I like his article so much?) This is a message to all of the general managers: As much as you think you've done for those core people, those are the fans who have stuck it out and they're still coming to games, and we've got to figure out a way to give something back. :) Wow, a former player rooting for the fans! That is something you don't see often! I don't agree with Wynalda's idea of buying beers for the fans (what about those of us who don't drink?), but I think it's great that he is appreciative of us. Like I said, great article! If you haven't read it yet, go read it now!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Days until next Crew match: 4
Jeff Bradley has a new First XI list out this week. This week's is about great MLS players who have come so close to winning the MLS cup, but have not. Good stuff. Go read.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Yesterday's scores:
Chicago 0, San Jose 0
DC 1, LA 1
Although I didn't have a chance to view either of those matches, there is nothing better than a game between two evenly matched teams!
Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Friday, April 09, 2004

MLS news:
D.C., L.A. meet in HDC showdown
Wynalda: Building Traditions
Good article by Eric Wynalda, whose opinions, for the record, I respect. It was pretty funny to read his side of the story, so to speak. He mentions the things that soccer fans have had to complain about in past years in MLS: bad stadiums, bad weather, broadcasting issues, the shootout, overtime, overpaid underachieving players. You name it - we've had it in the first nine years of MLS. Ok, ok, I'll 'fess up! I've complained about all of these things, and, now with this blog, I have a (potentially) bigger audience to "listen" to my complaints. :) These fans want our game in the U.S. to resemble what is happening across the pond, and you know what, that’s OK.... What they have is hundreds of years of tradition and culture, years of hating neighboring towns just because of the soccer club they support. Our clubs happen to be hundreds of miles apart, not four blocks away. Personally, although I would love to see some of those rivalries (soccer fans outside of the US rock!), that is not the reason behind any of my complaints! My only complaint, if you want to call it that, is the quality of play (as well as everything in Wynalda's list that I quoted above) in MLS. As dedicated a fan of MLS as I am, I think that the quality of play is still not at the top of the sport. It is certainly good, and it has certainly improved. However, it is not where it could be.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Upcoming matches:
Saturday, April 10
4:00 PM (EST) Chicago @ San Jose
10:00 PM (EST) D.C. United @ Los Angeles
Here are some more MLS-related articles:

MLS: Too Much Adu About Freddy. Basically, the writer of this article thinks that Adu has been hyped up too much, and that Nowak did well with not putting him in for the entire match this past Saturday. Good thoughts.
Moreno Named Player of Week
Adu Might Get the Nod, or He Might Not. Basically, Nowak is unsure of whether to have Adu start in DC's next match. He's young and relatively inexperienced. While there is only one way to gain experience (that is, to actually play), I think that he shouldn't be just thrown in right off. (Sorry, but this article is in the Washington Post and requires registration.)
Adu Ready to ‘Think About Playing Soccer’. With his MLS debut behind him, Freddy Adu is eager to get past all the commotion surrounding his first professional match and work to improve his game and earn his way into D.C. United’s starting XI. Good stuff.
Crew to Hold Open Tryout May 8 at Obetz. The title is pretty self-explanatory.
Jeff Bradley has his new Top 11 list out. Interesting list. I especially agree with #3.

Monday, April 05, 2004 has a recap of this past weekend's action.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Recaps of the day's matches:

Sports Illustrated Columbus v. Metrostars recap
Washington Times DC v. San Jose recap
Fire 0, Wizards 0 recap
Eric Wynalda (former pro and national team player) has an interesting list of 10 reasons to watch MLS this season. I tend to agree with the list, and respect his opinions, as he is a former MLS player. And, I'll admit it: reason #5 rocks! :)
Reporters often ask the funniest questions.

Reporter: You just scored the *insert game winning or first* goal. How do you feel?

Player: I feel great!

Seriously now, how on earth do you expect a player who has scored the game winning goal or the first goal of the match? Seriously! Way to ask the obvious!
Bad news, good news. Bad news: the Metrostars beat the Crew 3-1. Good news: I got to see the Crew play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll try to post links to match summaries later, as they come out. Just think, you saw the results here first! :)
Oy...the times keep getting screwed up. Yippee skippee.
NNNNNNoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! Crew, what is wrong with you????????? You can do better than this! So many chances, and still the Crew hasn't scored since the first half!
*rants* People, play hard. Play your hearts out! Just play nice! Stop the fouling and diving, please! Adu, as far as I could see, didn't dive earlier today, and, for that, he gets my respect, Crew and Metrostars, play your guts out. Fight to win. Just play nice! *end of rant*
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Metrostars scored. :(
If anyone who someone is involved in broadcasting MLS matches on the Internet is reading this, thank you so very much! :)
Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can watch MLS matches on the Internet! Technology is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm watching the Crew now, as they are currently tying the Metrostars. Maybe that's not a big deal to you, but it is to me. I don't have any of the major cable sports networks (ESPN, FSN, etc.), and, believe me, it's awesome to be able to see those matches. It's been a while since I've been able to root for someone in a MLS match I'm watching, as ABC doesn't broadcast many MLS matches, and the proportion of Crew matches they broadcast is even smaller. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see I could watch via the Internet. Then the Crew scored, and I was even more thrilled. Of course, then Magee scored for the Metrostars, and I quite literally had to keep reminding myself that it was only tied, that the Crew isn't losing! Anyways, now that I've figured out how to post and watch simultaneously on my monitor, I'll post match news and views throughout the second half of the match. Go Crew! For anyone who may be interested, I can guarantee neutrality in my views on non-Crew matches, and I can strive for objectivity on Crew matches. However, I'm still a fan of the best team in MLS - the Crew!
DC won 2-1. Adu played pretty well, although he didn't do anything spectacular. Overall, it was a good, hard-fought match.
2 red cards in one match! Wow! Personally, I think both of them should have been yellow cards, not red, but the ref apparently thought they were red.
Interesting...Adu is number 9, same as Pele. If my memory serves me correctly, number 9 is usualy reserved for the team's best goalscorer.
Adu is on the pitch!
I can't believe that Convey just missed that shot! The goal was wide open! He was behind the goalie, and he missed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
San Jose v. DC halftime report: Good match so far, although both teams aren't at their best. Although I don't think that Adu is DC's only hope (likewise I feel the same about San Jose's Donovan), I do look forward to seeing him in action in this match. On an advertisitng note, the MLS commercial was cool (the one saying that not all the best players are overseas, etc.), although it is certainly advertising. Dedicated MLS fan that I am, I don't think that MLS is quite up to par with, say, the Premiership.
As I was starting to type when DC scored, the mistakes are probably due to opening day jitters. I remember those. Man, I miss being able to play!
Beautiful goal!
Score for DC. 2-1
San Jose v. DC: Will Adu play? He didn't start, but maybe he'll be subbed in later.
San Jose v. DC match report: Good match so far, but both teams really need to make less mistakes. The PK that was caused by DC's goalkeeper should never have happened. It was sloppy work by the keeper. As a keeper myself, I am known to go all out for the ball (just like he did), however, he needs to be more careful not to foul, especially in the box!
Great article on opening day:

What you need to know as MLS kicks off today (Daily Herald)
Best quote of the article: MLS has eliminated all overtime from regular-season competition. It's 90 minutes, plus stoppage time, and game over. Four words: took them long enough!

So much for my hopes of blogging every day! Well, today is opening day. Go Crew!