Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blogroll update

I've made it a point from the beginning for my blogroll to accurately reflect those soccer blogs that I read on a daily (ok, almost daily) basis. It just occurred to me that it hasn't been updated in a while (read: Crew Fan has a ton of studying and "real writing" - you know, the kind that my grades hinge upon - to do). Please welcome Are You Loyal? and DF in Deutschland to the blogroll.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

If the Cup were to be played today...

Yes, it is once again time for my MLS predictions, based upon the current standings:

If the Cup were to be played today, it would be between DCU and FCD, and though it would be a close match (like someone once said: football, baseball, and basketball merely have games; soccer has matches), DCU would probably win.

My statisitical predictions aside (if you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know how accurate that is; if you're a new reader, the answer is "not very"), I do see Columbus as a serious contender this year. After a rough start, they seem to be getting their act together. And besides, after last year, they're the underdog, and the underdog always has the advantage of the element of surprise.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

At least no one was sent to the hospital...

This is attempt #3 in publishing this post. Attempt #1 was accidentally published prematurely and subsequently removed (after being saved to my harddrive), and I was forced to save attempt #2 to go deal with some personal stuff. So here goes:

Well, if RBNY and DCU have been been aiming for lots of press, they certainly have succeeded over the past few weeks. I just doubt that it's the kind they were looking for:
Here's what the Washington Post has to say: Eskandarian's Celebration: Question of Taste, and you read read D's take here. If you missed that match (like I did), but have a high-speed Internet connection, you can see his "celebration" here. As for the Official Response, well, MLS Might Have a Beef With Ridicule of Red Bull.

Then you see this:
Eskandarian named Player of the Week
Say what? The guy whose celebrations have earned him potential disciplinary action has been named Player of the Week? Now I'm not saying that his actions were necessarily right or wrong. I did find his celebration sort of amusing, though in a childish, immature sort of way. His teammate tossed him a Red Bull - not a water bottle or whatever it is they drink out of in games - but a Red Bull, which he promptly opened, drank, and spit out. A spur of the moment decision? You're kidding, right? Premeditated? Most likely. Funny? Sort of. Unsportsmanlike? Maybe, though I highly doubt that very many people trust MLS to make a good, smart decision on this incident. But for crying out loud, if you're going to punish him, don't turn around and name him player of the week for his actions in the very same game! (Though at least no one ended up in the hospital.)

And if that wasn't enough, then you see this: Assistant GM of MLS' Red Bull Team Quits. The beginnings of a mass exodus?

Drama, drama, drama. Whoever said soccer was boring, has obviously never been exposed to MLS.
'Pitch' proves a good catch for FCD

Roundup for MLS action in Week 4

Donovan has a point to prove to the Germans

Sunday, April 23, 2006

News and Views

Schmid's Crew steals points from L.A. Wow, all that time buried in the books must be getting to me. Only when I read the second sentence of this article: Facing former coach Sigi Schmid for the first time, did I realize the irony and beauty in Columbus beating LA yesterday. Sigi beat his former team, who's probably wishing they still had him. (Then again, if I were a Galaxy fan who got stuck with Sampson, I'd probably be saying that, regardless of who won.)

'Family' man Lalas happy to be home Does anybody else see the irony (and, depending on your opinions, the incredible justice) in Alexi being on the same team as Sampson? His former coach? Two highly controversial (and often hated) people leading the same team? Come now, I can't be the only person who sees this as an ironic twist of fate!

MLS All-Stars to face Chelsea in Chicago Um, since when is this news?

Late drama as Hoops top Wizards

Weekend recap

Sorry for my lack of regular posting lately. Life has succeeded in getting in the way of my soccer-viewing habits quite a bit lately, and will probably continue to do so for the next couple of weeks. (Now all grad and college students repeat after me: I love the end of the semester. I love writing massive final papers and studying for finals. I love practically living in the library and single-handedly keeping the coffee industry booming. See? It works! You're starting to feel better already!)

Columbus 1 : LA 0

Yes, you read that right. Columbus won a game! Whoohoo! And, as always seems to happen when something big happens, I managed to miss this game.

I did, however, manage to catch the FC Dallas 2 : KC 1 match. 2 goals scored in stoppage, within the space of about two minutes. Melikes. I am an unbelievable sucker for stoppage goals, especially when they either create or break a tie. This is what exciting matches are made of. Despite my Columbus loyalties, I was thrilled when Pitchkolan scored right at the end. Cooper also played a pretty solid game, scoring early on. I wasn't thrilled with KC's play, though their tie-breaking goal was pretty exciting.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

All-American XI

OK, so this borders on shameless self-promotion (yep, there I am - they must have been getting desperate), but you really ought to go check out and regularly read The All-American XI. It's good stuff.

News and Views

Red Bulls lament free kick chances OK, so I'm linking to this article only because of the picture of Pele. I think it's pretty wicked awesome when the likes of Pele support MLS, even if it's just a publicity stunt, and even though his support of the NASL didn't exactly help save the league.
Shades of the glory days From the mouth of Pele himself: "I worked hard several years ago to show the American people what is futbol, soccer,'' said Pele, now 65. "I want to see Giants Stadium with 65,000 or 70,000 people. I want to see an average of 30,000 people. We can get them to come back and see what kind of show there is for soccer here now." Well said, though I think he really meant to say that he wants to see Crew stadium full.

D.C. gets first win on Moreno double DCU beat Chivas USA. Not surprising. What is surprising is Chivas USA's win last week against Real Salt Lake. After last year's horrible performance and this year's addition of Bradley, I expect a much improved team this year.

RED BULLS: Beckenbauer interested in rekindling his relationship here

What's in a Name? So Far, Just Two Ties

Colorado-Columbus musings

Colorado 3 : Columbus 1

After months of counting down the days until the '06 season, my job-related and academic obligations sadly forced me to miss opening day. Though, from what I've read, I didn't miss much from Columbus.

I did, however, have the opportunity to watch Colorado stomp on Columbus yesterday. After Columbus's exhilirating goal in the first half, their defense and offense completely fell apart. As a Columbus fan, the game was rather painful to watch. I kept having flashbacks to the USMNT's performance in France '98, with a defense that you could pour water through, and an offense that can't seem to set up good shots. Still, it seems terribly disrespectful to Sigi to compare him to Sampson. I had (have) to keep reminding myself that Sigi probably needs at least a few more weeks to get the Crew's act together, figure out works, and patch up those holes in the defense. Hopefully that will happen sometime before, say, the playoffs.

As for Colorado, they had some pretty good shots, and, moreover, they finished them well (Columbus should take some lessons here). Other than the Columbus goal in the first half, Cannon and his defense did a pretty good job shutting down the Crew's chances. It will be interesting to see how Cannon will hold up this year; I was relatively impressed with his performance (I just wish he would have screwed up at least a couple times last night).

Note: edited to fix a broken link.