Archive | January, 2009

Voyageurs call for Mitchell’s head

Posted on 31 January 2009 by ASN Staff

Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman recently joined the growing list of voices calling for a rehaul of the Canadian Soccer Association, starting with the men’s head coach position. The following is a press release from the Voyageurs:

The Voyageurs, Canada’s leading soccer supporters group, has issued a call to the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) to reconsider its decision to ratify Mr. Dale Mitchell as head coach of the senior men’s national soccer team. Their public statement declares:

Given the extremely poor results, substandard play and lack of leadership in the men’s national program, the Voyageurs believe that Mr. Mitchell should be immediately relieved of his responsibilities.

Unacceptable Results

The success of the men’s national program – and with it, the development of elite soccer players to represent Canada – depends on the CSA’s ability to respond to the flagrantly deficient situation within the men’s national team. This team has performed well below its potential ever since Mr. Mitchell was appointed coach in 2007, which we believe is linked to Mr. Mitchell’s inability to inspire top performances from his players.

Canada’s recent results in attempting to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (zero wins, two draws and four losses in our semi-final qualifying group, for a total of two points out of a possible 18) is unacceptable, especially given the calibre of elite players in the Canadian talent pool.

Mr. Mitchell’s overall record with the national men’s senior team is three wins, five draws and eight losses, with two of those wins coming against CONCACAF minnow St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the preliminary round of World Cup qualifying. These results can only be construed as failure, and the lion’s share of that failure belongs to Mr. Mitchell.

Sharing Responsibility

As the passionate voice of Canadian soccer fans across the country and around the world, the Voyageurs are not so naive as to believe that Mr. Mitchell is the only party responsible for the national team’s disappointing results. We believe that individual players need to be called to task for their performances on the pitch as well. As elite professionals, those players that pull on the Canada jersey must understand that much more should and will be expected of them. We admire their 100% effort and commitment, but cannot respect those who decide to make weak excuses for poor results.

There can be no excuses. Nor can there be any other acceptable response from the Canadian Soccer Association. We call on the CSA to make the right decision, now.

The Voyageurs also believe that the CSA needs to show stronger leadership in taking Canadian soccer to the next level. We as fans have made a concerted effort to bolster our game-day support of all Canadian soccer teams, male and female, just as we support our local Canadian clubs. We are all in this together.

A Rigorous Hiring Process

The Voyageurs ask that Mr. Mitchell’s release be immediately followed by the opening of a rigorous hiring process to identify the best professional to lead our men’s national program to future international success. The time is now.  There is no need to wait.  After the abject failure of the recent World Cup qualifying campaign, and his previous failure with the winless (and goalless) Canadian Under-20 men’s team at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup that was hosted by Canada, there can be no justification for the continuation of Mr. Mitchell in his current position.

The Voyageurs wish to make clear that Canadian fans have no personal agenda with Mr. Mitchell. We have admired his contributions and performances as a leading Canadian player and have recognized his past successes as a youth coach. Those fine moments, however, have faded. When it comes to the men’s national team, it is time to work toward a brighter future under someone else’s leading light.

We reject any other solution on the part of the CSA Board of Directors. The Voyageurs encourage the current president and his board to give first priority to the interests of Canadian national soccer, its players and its fans, and to ignore partisan interests, regional lobbies, personal agendas and extraneous motivations that have nothing to do with ensuring the long-sought success of our men’s national program.

Yet the ultimate responsibility for team performance in top-level men’s soccer has and always will belong to the head coach and his technical staff. This is true in every serious soccer nation in the world. There are sufficient precedents from around the soccer world to prove that Mr. Mitchell’s current status is an aberration. He has not done his job and needs to go.

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U.S. to bid on 2018, 2022 World Cups

Posted on 29 January 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Soccer Federation plans to submit a simultaneous bid to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. USSF president Sunil Gulati will discuss the federation’s plans on Monday, Feb. 2, at which time he will also introduce the executive director of the USA bid committee.

FIFA set Monday, Feb. 2, as the deadline for federations to submit the official paperwork expressing their interest to bid for either or both of the competitions. FIFA emphasized that at this initial stage in the bidding process, the only requirement is for countries to be able to demonstrate their ability to host a sporting event as large as the FIFA World Cup. Something the U.S., which only hosted the event 15 years ago, is clearly in a position to pull off.

ASN’s take: Not a huge surprise seeing as there has been talk the U.S. would bid for an upcoming world cup for some time. But the simultaneous bid means the U.S. means business. We fully expect to host one of the two events, perhaps with a few games played in Canada. 2022 is probably more likely seeing as FIFA will likely want to return to Europe in ’18. But one wild card is China. Will the middle kingdom bid for one of these cups? If so, they should be considered a front-runner.

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Red Bulls unveil 2009 regular season MLS schedule

Posted on 28 January 2009 by ASN Staff

After kicking off the season with three of their first four games on the road, the Red Bulls return to Giants Stadium on April 18 at 7:30 PM to face Real Salt Lake in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final. Eight days later, the Red Bulls take on Luciano Emilio and D.C. United in the first of two meetings between the Atlantic Cup rivals at 3:00 PM at Giants Stadium.

New York will have a four-game homestand in the month of May, highlighted by visits from American forward Brian Ching and the Houston Dynamo (May 16, 7:30 PM) and Mexican star Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire (May 24, 3:00 PM). In their only home match in the month of June, the Red Bulls welcome Designated Player Freddie Ljungberg and Seattle Sounders FC for the first time to the Meadowlands (June 20, 7:30 PM). Less than a month later, former Red Bulls Sporting Director and head coach Bruce Arena makes his return against his old club when the Los Angeles Galaxy visits Giants Stadium on July 18 at 6:00 PM.

The Red Bulls will appear four times on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, six times on Fox Soccer Channel and five times on TeleFutura.

2009 NEW YORK RED BULLS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

1 Thursday, March 19 (ESPN2 ESPN Dep.) Seattle Sounders FC Away 9:00
2 Saturday, March 28 (FSC) New England Revolution Home 7:30
3 Sunday, April 5 (TeleFutura) Chicago Fire Away 3:00
4 Saturday, April 11 (FSC) Houston Dynamo Away 8:30
5 Saturday, April 18 (MLS, Weekend) Real Salt Lake Home 7:30
6 Thursday, April 23 (ESPN2, ESPN Dep.) Kansas City Wizards Away 8:00
7 Sunday, April 26 (TeleFutura) D.C. United Home 3:00
8 Saturday, May 2 (MLS, Weekend) Los Angeles Galaxy Away 10:30
9 Friday, May 8 (MLS, Weekend) San Jose Earthquakes Home 7:30
10 Saturday, May 16 (MLS, Weekend) Houston Dynamo Home 7:30
11 Sunday, May 24 (TeleFutura) Chicago Fire Home 3:00
12 Saturday, May 30 (MLS, Weekend) Colorado Rapids Home 7:30
13 Thursday, June 4 (ESPN2 ESPN Dep.) D.C. United Away 7:30
14 Sunday, June 7 (MLS, Weekend) New England Revolution Away 6:00
15 Saturday, June 20 (MLS, Weekend) Seattle Sounders FC Home 7:30
16 Wednesday, June 24 (MLS) Toronto FC Away 7:30
17 Saturday, June 27 (FSC) Columbus Crew Away 7:30
18 Saturday, July 4 (MLS, Weekend) FC Dallas Away 9:00
19 Saturday, July 18 (FSC) Los Angeles Galaxy Home 6:00
20 Saturday, July 25 (MLS, Weekend) Colorado Rapids Away 9:30
21 Sunday, Aug. 9 (TeleFutura) Toronto FC Away 3:00
22 Saturday, Aug. 15 (MLS, Weekend) CD Chivas USA Home 7:00
23 Sunday, Aug 23 (TeleFutura) FC Dallas Home 3:00
24 Sunday, Aug. 30 (MLS, Weekend) Columbus Crew Home 6:00
25 Saturday, Sept. 12 (MLS, Weekend) Kansas City Wizards Home 7:30
26 Friday, Sept. 18 (MLS, Weekend) New England Revolution Home 7:30
27 Saturday, Sept. 26 (FSC) CD Chivas USA Away 10:30
28 Saturday, Oct. 3 (FSC) San Jose Earthquakes Away 11:00
29 Wednesday, Oct. 14 (ESPN2, ESPN Dep.) Real Salt Lake Away 10:00
30 Saturday, Oct. 24 (MLS, Weekend) Toronto FC Home 7:30

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Ready for La Manga tourney

Posted on 27 January 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will travel to Europe from Jan. 31-Feb. 7 for two matches as part of a three-team competition in La Manga, Spain. The USA will face Norway on Feb. 4 and England on Feb. 6. U.S. head coach Bill Irwin chose the 18-player roster after a January training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Kelsey Davis (Portland), Val Henderson (Los Angeles Sol)
DEFENDERS (6): Nikki Krzysik (Chicago Red Stars), Stephanie Logterman (St. Louis Athletica), Kia McNeil (St. Louis Athletica), Kasey Moore (Boston Breakers), Kat Reynolds (Santa Clara), Jessica Tsao (Portland)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Parrissa Eyorokon (Washington Freedom); Brittany Klein (Chicago Red Stars), Lorraine Quinn (Duke), Amy Smerdzinski (Wake Forest)
FORWARDS (4): Amanda Cinalli (St. Louis Athletica), Katie Larkin (Los Angeles Sol), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Christen Press (Stanford)

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Kick off HDC camp

Posted on 27 January 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage called in 25 players for a 17-day training camp that kicked off the team’s 2009 activity on Jan. 20. The U.S. team convened at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and will train until Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal. After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China PR fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S.

U.S. WNT Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica)
FORWARDS (7): Tina Ellertson (St. Louis Athletica), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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World Cup qualifying schedule announced

Posted on 27 January 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Under-20 MNT will open their 2009 World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday, March 6, taking on Jamaica at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago at 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET). Thomas Rongen’s squad will face the winner of a playoff game between Honduras and St. Vincent & the Grenadines on March 8 at 6 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET) and round out Group A play on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET). Should the U.S. advance out of Group A, they will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup as one of the region’s top four teams. They will also travel to Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad, for the semifinals on March 13 and either the third-place game or final on March 15.

U.S. U-20 MNT 2009 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule

March 6, Jamaica Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago 7 p.m. / 6 p.m.
March 8, Honduras / St. Vincent & The Grenadines Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago 6 p.m. / 5 p.m.
March 10, El Salvador Dwight Yorke Stadium; Bacolet, Tobago 7 p.m. / 6 p.m.
March 13, Semifinal Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad TBD
March 15, Final / Third Place Marvin Lee Stadium; Macoya, Trinidad TBD

Group A
United States
El Salvador
Jamaica
Honduras/St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Group B
Canada
Costa Rica
Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago

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RSL announces preseason schedule

Posted on 26 January 2009 by kali

Real Salt Lake released its preseason schedule on Monday, confirming the team’s participation in the Carolina Challenge Cup in March.

Players are expected to be in Salt Lake City for physicals and fitness testing later this week and remain in Utah until Feb. 2, when the team will travel to Southern California for a series of scrimmages.  RSL will then travel to Florida Feb. 18 before moving on to Charleston, S.C.,for the Carolina Challenge Cup on March 4. Preseason training will conclude with a final exhibition match on March 21, although the opponent and location have yet to be determined.

SuperDraft acquisitions Jean Alexandre,  Raphael Cox, and Futhi Bhembe are all on RSL’s preseason roster, while several additional players have also been invited to train with the team.  David Hertel (Michigan State), Kennedy Owusu-Ansah (Canada), and Alexander Viveros (Colombia) will be hoping to make the final roster.

RSL’s preseason schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Jan. 29: Players report to Utah for entrance physicals / fitness testing

Jan. 30-31: Training in Utah

Feb. 2-14: Preseason Trip to Oxnard and Ventura, California:

  • Sun., Feb. 8 – RSL vs. Ventura County Fusion – 8:00 p.m. MT
  • Fri., Feb. 13 – RSL vs. Shandong Luneng Taishan (China) – 5:00 p.m. MT
  • Sat., Feb. 14 – RSL vs. UCSB or CSU-SLO – 11:00 a.m. MT

Feb. 15-17: Training in Utah

Feb. 18-28: Preseason Trip to Tampa, Florida:

  • Sat., Feb. 21 – RSL vs. opp. TBD @ Univ. of South Florida – 5:00 p.m. MT
  • Tues., Feb. 24 – RSL vs. opp. TBD @ Univ. of Tampa – 5:00 p.m. MT

March 1-3: Training in Utah

March 4-15: Preseason Trip to Charleston, So. Car. – Carolina Challenge Cup:

  • Sat., March 7 – RSL vs. D.C. United – 3:00 p.m. MT
  • Wed., March 11 – RSL vs. Charleston – 5:15 p.m. MT
  • Sat., March 14 – RSL vs. Toronto FC – 3:00 p.m. MT

Saturday, March 21: Exhibition contest – Opponent/Site TBD

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Kljestan hatter leads U.S. over Sweden, 3-2

Posted on 26 January 2009 by ASN Staff

Sacha Kljestan scored the 11th hat trick ever for the U.S. Men’s National Team Saturday evening to earn a 3-2 victory against Sweden to open their 2009 campaign at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

In a fairly tepid first 45 minutes, Kljestan provided the U.S. with a 2-0 lead going into the locker room. His first goal was a stunning 35-yard free kick that he placed perfectly into the upper left corner, before following up that effort by burying a penalty kick with five minutes remaining in the half.

With Sweden pulling a goal back in the 73rd minute, it was Kljestan once again who answered for the U.S., taking a feed from Brian Ching to bury a left-footed shot just one minute later. In the 89th minute, Sweden struck again to make things interesting, but the U.S. was able to kill off any last minute attacks for an equalizer.

The three goals by Kljestan were the first of his career with the full team, and put him in unique company as only the second player ever to open his national team scoring account with a hat trick. The only other player to pull off the feat was Aldo “Buff” Donelli, who tallied four goals in a 4-2 victory against Mexico on May 24, 1934, in the lone qualifying match for the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy.

“Getting a hat trick is pretty exciting for me,” said Kljestan. “I’ve never scored more than one goal in a game as a professional, so it’s definitely exciting. I’m just as happy about the win and I’m glad we held on in the end. It was great to do it [score a hat trick] here at the Home Depot Center. I have a lot of friends and family that come and support me every game, so that was pretty cool to have them here.”

The victory kept the U.S. undefeated in eight matches at The HDC (7-0-1) and was the eleventh straight time the U.S. has either tied or won their opening game of the year, with the U.S. also defeating Sweden 1-0 to start the streak in 1998. Overall against Sweden, the U.S. now holds a winning record with four victories and three losses in seven games.

“It’s important to start the year off with a win,” said Bradley, who opened the calendar year with a victory for the third straight time since taking over in late 2006. “When you’re in a long camp, with three weeks and a lot of work, it’s nice at the end to have the reward of winning. From a coaching standpoint there’s always going to be things, at this time of year, that you feel good about, and there’s always going to be things that need improvement.”

Chris Wingert was the third player to earn his first cap with the MNT on the evening, coming on as a 79th-minute substitute for Bornstein.

U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report

United States Men’s National Team vs. Sweden, Jan. 24, 2009.
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. PT
Attendance: 9,918
Weather: 59 degrees, mostly cloudy

Scoring Summary:
USA – Sacha Kljestan 17th minute
USA – Kljestan (PK) 40
SWE – Daniel Nannskog (Alexander Farnerud) 73
USA – Kljestan (Brian Ching) 74
USA – Mikael Dahlberg (Farnerud) 89

Lineups:
USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Marvell Wynne, 2-Danny Califf (capt.), 4-Michael Parkhurst (3-Ugo Ihemelu, 82), 6-Jonathan Bornstein (15-Chris Wingert, 79); 17-John Thorrington (20-Chris Rolfe, 61), 13-Ricardo Clark, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 30-Robbie Rogers (22-Brian Carroll, 69); 10-Charlie Davies (27-Kenny Cooper, 46), 11-Brian Ching (29-Eddie Gaven, 77)
Subs not used: 18-Jon Busch
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

SWE: 12-Johan Dahlin, 7-Markus Jonsson, 8-Marcus Lindberg, 9-Max von Schlebrügge, 5-Adam Johansson; 10-Andreas Dahl (14-Rasmus Elm, 62), 6-Daniel Andersson (capt.) (13-Martin Ericsson, 71), 20-Gustav Svensson, 16-Samuel Holmén (15-Alexander Farnerud, 62); 11-Mikael Dahlberg, 19-Daniel Nannskog
Subs not used: 1-John Alvbåge, 2-Patrik Anttonen, 3-Rasmus Bengtsson, 4-Mattias Bjärsmyr, , 17-Andreas Johannson, 18-Andreas Landgren, 21-Denni Avdic
Head Coach: Lars Lagerbäck

Stats Summary:
USA / SWE
Shots: 13 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 15 / 15
Offside: 2 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
SWE – Daniel Andersson (caution) 27th minute
USA – Danny Califf (caution) 59

Officials:

Referee: Silviu Petrescu (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Hector Vergara (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Clark (CAN)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

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Kljestan hatter leads U.S. over Sweden, 3-2

Posted on 26 January 2009 by ASN Staff

Sacha Kljestan scored the 11th hat trick ever for the U.S. Men’s National Team Saturday evening to earn a 3-2 victory against Sweden to open their 2009 campaign at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The result is sure to leave the U.S. heavily favored for its Feb. 11 grudge match with Mexico.

Read on at ASN’s USMNT page.

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Gordon Kljestan at Koblenz

Posted on 22 January 2009 by ASN Staff

Gordon Kljestan, the older (and less famous) brother of Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan is currently on trial at German 2. Bundesliga club TuS Koblenz, according to a (German language) blurb on transfermarkt.de. Kljestan spent part of last season with the New York Red Bulls, signing with the club on June 25. He played the previous winter season with the New Jersey Ironmen of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Both Kljestans played their college ball at Seton Hall University, though Gordon played his freshman year at Cal. State-Fullerton.

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