Thursday, September 30, 2004

News and View

The Clean Sheet: Forward thinking I like the opening sentence of the article: Reason No. 473 why Major League Soccer is better than politics: the presidential debate has a format where the two guys aren't even allowed to talk to each other, while Saturday night in MLS is going to be a 10-team battle royal for playoff positioning. Am I the only one who thinks that the presidential debates are nothing more than a chance for two people to lie and exaggerate on national television, while taking a momentary break from the "normal" mudslinging? I may be a supporter of democracy, but way that political races are conducted makes me both apathetic and angry at the same time. I have zero respect for a politician who participates in mudslinging. I digress. Maybe I need to start a political blog! Moving back to MLS news and views...The Crew winning the Supporters Shield? The team that lost like 17 games to start the season is going to finish with the best record in MLS? Yeah, right. Next you're gonna tell me Mount St. Helens is gonna blow. Yea for Columbus! I love surprises during the season. (That does include the times when Columbus starts out well and finishes badly, although I must say that I tend to view those times as more interesting than exciting.)

View from the Cheap Seats: East-West, West-East This article, too, has a good opening sentence: Originally, I was going to pull a Bruce Arena today and rip into everything and everyone in the U.S. soccer world. Ain't that the truth...now onto the rest of the column. Lalas, you heretic! How dare you call the Detroit Red Wings the best sports team ever; you're a soccer columnist! I don't care if you call them the best hockey team ever: just don't call them the best sports team ever.

Club America drops another MLS hint [Sarcastic] Yea, just what we need: more rumors! [/Sarcastic]

United Won't Be Alone Any More As a Columbus fan who used to have to watch the Crew play in Horseshoe Stadium (OSU's football stadium), I can certainly empathize with DC. Furthermore, as a soccer player who remembers playing an away game on a soccer field that doubled as a baseball field, whose dirt infield overlapped onto the pitch, I can really feel United's pain! (That said, it still wasn't as bad as the game played on the fairground/grass parking lot turned soccer field.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

News and Views

Right moves at the right time I think Connolly gets the Understatement of the Year Award for this statement: It's also no secret that Columbus has been rewarded for their patience, and is the team in the East that upgraded the most. There is a lot of good information packed into this article about the league as a whole. (The rest just does not make the Understatement of the Year category!)

Teams enter final phase of season This article is Sigi Schmid's view on the four stages of the season.

Martino: The best is yet to come Basically, the Crew has come together really well as a team. Let's hope that their team attitude takes them all the way to the Cup!

MLS CONFIDENTIAL: Bruce Arena’s options

Olsen gains sophistication with age

Adu mixes youthful energy with savvy of an older game *Rolls eyes.* Why I'm even taking the time to link to this story is beyond me! I guess I just believe in presenting all viewpoints, even ones that I don't agree with.

Colorado relying on "positive energy"

Washington Eyed By United The title refers to Washington the soccer player, not the city. (I wonder if that title was intentional.)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Standings

1. KC
2. Columbus
3. Colorado, LA, and Metrostars
4. Dallas and San Jose
5. DC
6. Chicago
7. New England

News and Views

Herron garners first MLS honor

The U.S. Coach Sounds Off This is Arena's take on MLS issues. Some of it relates to stuff I have blogged about recently.
1. For the league to play games during World Cup qualifying is insane," Arena said yesterday in a telephone interview. "It shows a lack of respect for the national team." I recall blogging on this subject very recently! It's nice to see other people who agree - especially if one of those people is Arena himself!
2. ALL-STAR GAME "A complete waste of time." Right on, Arena.
3. U.S. OPEN CUP "Debatable it makes any sense" for M.L.S. teams to participate. Uh, why not? If you can think of any good reasons either way, please add them to the comments section at the end of this post!
4. I like his comments under EXPECTATIONS OF U.S. WINNING THE WORLD CUP.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

News and Views

Wizards win and now they're in

U.S. players are better than you think This article is definitely interesting and thought-provoking. Point in case: In the USA, soccer is struggling to be the fifth most important sport in our country. Well, I've got news for you: The U.S. is not necessarily the best at any of those other sports, either. Wynalda goes on to prove his point, and I agree with him. All professional sports in the USA, and, for that matter, all professional sports in the world, have their share of problems. I like Wynalda's conclusion: This is where we should all remind ourselves the secret is steady growth, and that is something we don't have to worry about. Where they can only hope to get better or keep things where they are, soccer in USA is getting better every day. Yes, growth is the key. My one problem with the article is this: according to the current official FIFA world rankings, the US is ranked tenth in the world. That aside, 10th is an improvement over where the US has been in the past decade. (Need I mention France '98, where the US placed 32nd?)

Thrill of the chases for Revolution

Some in MLS aren't drinking up Chivas USA

Thursday, September 23, 2004

News and Views

Q&A with Thomas Rongen

The Clean Sheet: Dutch retreat

Goal of the Week: Esky ... again

RONGEN?!?!? This is from a blog and fits under the "Views" category. It is good stuff.

It happened again!

Remember a little while ago when I posted this? It happened again, this time while I was actually clicking a link! Very strange...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

News and Views

First XI: Everybody in!: All 10 teams have a shot to advance to the MLS Cup Final Bottom line: Bradley believes that we should look for a Kansas City-D.C. United final. Personally, I favor any final with Columbus in it, but, then again, I'm a little biased!

Where does the Crew's streak rank?

If the MLS Cup was played today...

it would be between KC and Columbus, which are only one point apart.

Standings

1. KC
2. Columbus (Just one point behind KC! Yea!)
3. Colorado
4. LA
5. Metrostars
6. Dallas
7. San Jose
8. DC
9. Chicago
10. New England

Sunday, September 19, 2004

News and Views: Weekend Reports

Buddle Punches Crew Ticket My favorite quote of the article is: Columbus Crew twice overcame deficits before becoming the first team to clinch a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs thanks to a 4-2 victory against the MetroStars at Crew Stadium on Saturday night. Yea!

MLS Capsules

Fire add Herron to senior roster

Pierce longs for old days

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hejduk returns to deep Crew

It's that time of the year This article made me think of a game I played several years ago. It was an away game on what had to have been one of my least favorite fields I've had to play on. (The fact that the field doubled as a grass parking lot, where it was evident that some rather large trucks had parked rather recently, should tell you something. Also, you know how a soccer ball either slows down considerably or comes to a complete stop when it hits a mud puddle during a rainy game? The same thing happens when the balls lands in some grass that literally just so happens to be tall enough to cover the ball. I'm not joking!) Anyways, this field just so happened to be right next to a football field (American football), where a game was in progress. At one point, someone kicked the soccer ball out of bounds, over the fence, and onto the football field. We cracked up and commented to each other about what a statement that was, with a real football (soccer ball) landing on an American football field! (Yeah, so maybe you had to be there, but it was funny at the time!)

View of the Crew: Healthy Crew prepare for first place battle with the MetroStars Interesting but (painfully) true statement: Columbus has always struggled with Bradley-coached teams.

AEG trying to sell United

If the MLS Cup were to be played now...

it would be between Columbus and Colorado, who have a mere two points between each other.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

News and Views

Major League Soccer Awards Tracker -- Week 24 This is the first time I have linked to the awards tracker, and now I am wondering why I never bothered to do so before!

(Un)balancing act working for Rapids

The Cheap Seats: Immodest proposal Good article...except I am not a San Jose fan, and though I am not a starving artist (yet), I am a college student. (Do you have any idea how much things like tuition and textbooks cost? I got lucky this semester - my most expensive textbook (paperback, at that!) cost a mere $70 (US). But enough of that.) Anyways, I think that putting the team "up for sale" is a good idea, provided that there are people who have big enough hearts and pocketbooks to do so.

The Clean Sheet: Who's in first? What's in second...wait a sec; that's baseball, not soccer! Anyways, Drew Carey is fond of saying "Cleveland rocks!" I'll put my own little spin on it: "Columbus rocks!" :D Yes, Tino Palace, the Crew are top in the Eastern conference. They were finally able to break out of their ugly trend of starting well and finishing poorly. Still, the season is not yet over, so of course that can change at any time. Let's just hope that Columbus does not screw up between now and the playoffs! That aside, the rest of the article is also worth reading. This article gets my recommendation!

MLS should pay more heed to international dates The U.S. is of course unlike any other soccer market in the world, and sometimes things have to be done in this country that are a bit different so as to attract the biggest possible audience; both in stadium and on television. What a way to state the obvious! This article is the kind that I like - i.e., it is written by a soccer purist, who does a fine job of critiquing MLS! Regarding playing MLS matches at the same time as US FIFA matches, I like this statement: As hard-core soccer fans, we are all global thinkers, and follow the world game as passionately as the domestic one. Why then make people choose between one soccer match over another? Why pit MLS versus the World Cup? Excellent point! I am still trying to figure out why MLS does not pause for the World Cup! After all, the World Cup is the pinnacle of world soccer and happens only once every four years!

Chicago Fire shifting soccer stadium plans

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

MLS News and Views

Welcome back: Fire acquire Thornton Yea! I've been a Thornton fan for quite a few years, and am therefore glad to see him back - even if he is playing for the Fire!

First XI: Barroom Brawl I love articles like this one! Here are some of my comments (you knew they were coming!):
8. I agree.
7. Bottom line here on the target: Go after soccer people, be they grown up or adolescent. Ignore the haters. Good statement. I think that MLS should target everyone, although they should concentrate most of their efforts after those who play and otherwise enjoy soccer. However, a small bit of effort should go towards those who don't like the game. You never know; they just might be "converted!" As for the statement about kids needing to see "real" soccer, I totally agree. Personally, being able to watch and study professional and international soccer really boosted both my skills and my love of the game. I grew to respect good, skillful playing; good, dedicated fans (if you don't know what I mean, watch the European leagues!); and finally, I was able to see how the soccer, at its highest level, is played, and incorporate that knowledge into my playing. Bottom line: I wholeheartedly agree that MLS should target those who play and otherwise already enjoy soccer. As for those who hate soccer, I think that those who are dedicated soccer fans are the best candidates for making soccer lovers (or, at the very least, soccer appreciators) out of those who hate the game.
2. I think that the quality of play has definitely improved over the years. Part of that is due to the abolition of those dreadful rules (e.g. the tie-breaking shootouts). However, the improved quality of play is, in my opinion, due mostly to the fact that MLS has given players a chance to play on a top level - a chance that was not as widely available in the past. If you don't believe me, look at how well the US has done in the World Cup over the decades. You would have to be pretty dense to not see the improvements.

Hartman Sets All-Time Win Mark Congrats, Hartman!

Ruiz returns, clears up confusion Sampson's policy is: Every player has to rejoin his team 24 hours after playing with their respective national team. Interesting article if you're a Galaxy fan, a Sampson doubter/hater, or a Sampson fan.

Late wins having a big impact for Fire

Could Detroit join MLS in 2006?

Monday, September 13, 2004

News and Views

Heron Reports To Fire: Costa Rican still waiting for clearance to make league debut Saturday

Editorial: Much Adu About Something Is it just me, or are sportswriters overdoing the ado/Adu play on words? To switch subjects, I am linking to this article for those who wish to have a wide perspective of things in the news.

Standings

1. Colorado
2. KC and LA
3. Columbus
4. Metrostars
5. San Jose
6. Dallas
7. DC
8. Chicago
9. New England

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Galaxy Earn First Victory of the Steve Sampson Era In Front of Sellout Crowd Although I have never coached on the professional level, which hardly puts me in the position to criticize - it took Sampson long enough! I still think they shouldn't have yanked Sigi. At the very least, Galaxy management would have been wise to keep him until the end of the season. Granted, I don't know what went on behind the scenes, so this is only the opinion of a soccer fan.

Revolution lose grip: They blow two-goal lead vs. MetroStars

With Ruiz injured, Galaxy sign Gordon Time will tell just how well he will play. I know what you're thinking: "Deep thoughts, Crew Fan." However, as obvious as that statment may seem, the overhyping of Adu should tell you that it is not such an obvious statement after all!

Coaches try to instill love of game: Area mentors provide positives at an early age Good stuff!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

MLS News and Views

Llamosa on track for return That's a name I haven't heard in a while!

MetroStars Overcome Two-Goal Deficit to Beat Revolution

Rapids Wrest Perch From K.C.

Strange...

The past several times I've visited MLSnet.com, the page has reloaded and updated on me when I was reading it. Do you think it's a sign? *Cue Twilight Zone music.* (Not that I know what that music sounds like; believe it or not, I've never seen the show!) Well, let's get onto some more serious subjects.

MLS News and Views

United at a crossroads

Better to be lucky than good

Fire Keep Thornton

Galaxy sign forward Alan Gordon from Portland

Slow, Slower, Slowest... And An Interview With Matt Reis.

Nelsen: It felt great to be back On a personal note, this article reminds me of how much I sometimes miss playing!

Wizards' Zotinca fined, suspended

Thursday, September 09, 2004

NavBar

If you have not yet tried the NavBar at the top of the page, you really ought to do so. In my opinion, clicking from blog to blog is highly addictive. Furthermore, I have found some blogs that I really enjoy reading! Click Next Blog at the top right corner of the page to start your blog surfing journey!

Site update

If you've visited this site before, you may have noticed that I, once again, have made some changes! This blog was in dire need of a facelift. My philosophy is that variety is the spice of life. Personally, I like the new site much better. Also, the links in the sidebar are working. Happy reading! :)

News and Views

The Clean Sheet: Got the point

View from the Cheap Seats: Back in the saddle Gotta love this quote: Furthermore, the Crew's success means I have to eat a little crow, an experience I don't mind now and then. If you'll remember, I lambasted Columbus and coach Greg Andrulis back in May. Let's just hope that the Crew can keep it all together and win the Cup!

First XI: First Year XI

Loss to national duty overrated

Q&A with Nowak, Moreno, Lawson

No time to waste for Quakes

Revs try to sort out lineup, earn points

Group in Detroit pushing for MLS team

Wolff Wins Goal Of The Week

Ankle Trouble Again For Preki

Monday, September 06, 2004

News and Views

It's been a long week and weekend, so I'll make this short.

Crew's rise a taste of what's to come

Burn's Johnson opening eyes

Inside Soccer: Balance of power shifting in Europe. You're going to have to scroll down to "GET A CLUE," roughly halfway down the page, for the MLS news, but the workout on your mouse, arrow keys, or Page Down button is worth it.

If the MLS Cup would be played right now...

We're going by my criteria, not MLS criteria. :) My criteria is that the top team from each conference will play each other, though that will never happen in real life. Let's just say that these two teams are the best bet for right now, although anything can still happen over the next several weeks.

Columbus v. KC

Standings

1. KC
2. Colorado
3. LA
4. Columbus and San Jose
5. Metrostars
6. Dallas
7. Chicago
8. DC
9. New England

Thursday, September 02, 2004

MLS News

Q&A with L.A.'s Steve Sampson

The Clean Sheet: Cannon fodder

Interview: Eddie Gaven

Martino: We're getting good results

D.C. United wary of shorthanded Fire

Fire midfielder Armas has knee surgery

MLS Fines MetroStars' Guevara $2,000 I didn't see the match, so I can't say for sure what happened, but, seriously, grow up! Refs do make mistakes, but you can at least be mature about it!

Convey makes change for the better

MLS plans for expansion and reserve league

San Antonio mulls building soccer stadium

On a totally random note, am I the only one who hates laugh tracks on TV shows? They are annoying and insulting! Seriously, I know when to laugh; I do not need a laugh track to tell me that!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

MLS News

Time is right to make a deal Interesting.

Sham: Quakes a part of San Jose Very interesting! I like it when athletes, and, really, people in any profession, are in it because they love it - not just for the money!

Lack of domestic players makes it tough for national soccer team, says coach This article isn't strictly about MLS, but I feel it belongs here anyways. The article contains an interesting statement: "We need to look ahead and get the most out of players playing in Canada or the U.S., whether it means A-League or MLS. We could get together more and play a lot more games." Read the rest of the article; it proves that having a good, pro league in one's country is very beneficial to the country's national program.

Conrad's Corner: Point/Counterpoint on the key issues facing Major League Soccer This article deserves some applause, if for no other reason than its format. Format aside, the content is pretty good, too. Go read.

MLS CONFIDENTIAL: What Sigi would have done

Wizards Look to Extend Lead in West

Galaxy sends Lewis to Rapids