Archive | February, 2009

Chicago Fire roster still a work in progress

Posted on 28 February 2009 by jtobin

Chicago head coach Denis Hamlett has some tough decisions to make as the Fire look to finalize their roster in the final weeks of preseason.


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Match Log

Posted on 25 February 2009 by ASN Staff

05/03 Dynamo 0, Chivas USA 0
05/10 Dynamo 2, Colorado Rapids 1
05/17 Dynamo 2, Chicago Fire 1
05/22 SJ Earthquakes 2, Dynamo 1
05/28 Dynamo 2, FC Dallas 2
05/31 Dynamo 1, NY Red Bulls 0
06/08 Dynamo 3, TFC 1
06/12 New England Revolution 2, Dynamo 0
06/21 Dynamo 0, Colorado 0
06/26 Dynamo 1, FC Dallas 1
07/03 Dynamo 0, Real Salt Lake 0
07/12 Dynamo 4, Atlante 0 (SuperLiga)
07/15 Chivas de Guadalajara 1, Dynamo 0 (SuperLiga)
07/20 Dynamo 3, DC United 1 (SuperLiga)
07/23 Dynamo 2, DC United 0
07/29 Dynamo 2, Pachuca 0 (SuperLiga)
08/02 Dynamo 2, Columbus Crew 0
08/05 New England 2, Dynamo 2, penalties (SuperLiga)
08/16 Dynamo 4, Real Salt Lake 3
08/20 Dynamo 4, Chivas USA 0
08/24 New York Red Bulls 3, Dynamo 0
08/31 Dynamo 2, Chicago Fire 1
09/07 Dynamo 3, KC Wizards 1
09/13 Dynamo 1, SJ Quakes 1
10/04 Dynamo 3, Colorado Rapids 1
10/07 Dynamo 2, San Francisco FC 1 (CCL)
10/12 Dynamo 0, DC United 0
10/15 Dynamo 2, SJ Earthquakes 1
10/18 Dynamo 3, LA Galaxy 0

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Dynamo face uphill battle after 1-1 draw with Atlante

Posted on 25 February 2009 by dbuckholt

The Houston Dynamo face an uphill struggle to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Atlante FC of Mexico in the first leg of their quarterfinal series Tuesday evening at Robertson Stadium. Houston took the lead in the 34th minute on Bobby Boswell’s header, and should have gone to halftime at least another goal up. But they instead conceded a devastating away goal to Atlante’s Gabriel Pereyra in the 82nd minute.

“For our first competitive game, I thought we played well. Obviously, the 1-1 makes it more difficult as we head down to Cancun. It’s a good result for them, it’s not a terrible result for us. We just need to win a game away from home, which we’ve done before,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said.

“We started well the first 30 minutes. When the goal hit, we lost our concentration. They had two chances to put the game away,” Atlante coach Jose Guadalupe Cruz said. Cruz had to watch the game from a stadium box, as he was suspended for a red card in the last match of group play. Assistant coach Jose Luis Gonzalez was in charge on the sidelines for this game.

Houston posted a 2-1-2 record in their early exhibition matches. Atlante has been struggling as they near the midpoint of the Mexican Clausura season, only gathering seven points in seven matches.

As the Dynamo enter a new era without Dwayne DeRosario at attacking midfield, Stuart Holden got the start in the middle. Holden was playing in his first match since losing his father Brian to pancreatic cancer last week. There was a moment of silence in honor of Brian Holden before the match, and the Dynamo players also wore black armbands in his memory.

“It was emotional leading up to the game, and it was nice that my dad was honored with a moment of silence. But the second you step over that line, it’s all about the game, it’s all about beating Atlante, and that’s what my focus was. It’s not easy losing your dad, but he’s in a better place now,” Holden said.

Julius James, who was acquired from Toronto in the DeRosario trade, got the start in central defense with Eddie Robinson suspended for a red card in the Dynamo’s final game of group stage play last November. Atlante also had a starter suspended, as keeper Federico Vilar was out for yellow card accumulation in the group stage and was replaced by Omar Ortiz.

The Dynamo jumped on the Potros in the early minutes, but Atlante did settle down after being pinned back in their own end of the field. Houston then found another gear during the last 15 minutes of the half. Kei Kamara forced a good save from Ortiz at the right post in the 31st minute with a flick header off a Richard Mulrooney cross.

Brad Davis won a corner in the 34th minute when his shot was deflected out. Davis took the corner himself from the right, and Boswell got away from his mark to drive home a header from 10 yards out.

“We all know that in dead ball situations, Brad is one of the best. But it’s important that not only the service is there, but you’ve got guys attacking the ball,” Kinnear said.

Houston kept up the pressure, and Holden blew a golden chance in the 37th minute when the Potros defense let the ball squirt through to him unmarked on the left side of the box. Instead of shooting, Holden tried to slip the ball across the box to Brian Ching, but the pass was well ahead of the target and ran out of play.

“It was just one of those where you’re caught in two minds. You don’t know whether it’s an easier opportunity for someone else, and it was on my left foot. In hindsight, I have to be a little more ruthless, a little more selfish, and take the shot,” Holden said.

Kamara gave a fantastic effort to get his head to a Brian Mullan cross two minutes later, only for his shot to hit the crossbar, and Atlante cleared for a corner. Boswell got open again for a header on that corner, but nodded down weakly and Ortiz saved.

Ortiz nearly gifted Ching with a chance at an empty net when he missed a clearing punch in his box in the 44th minute, but his defense cleared the ball.

“We were unfortunate not to come out at halftime with more goals than just the one,” Kinnear said.

Atlante brought on Clemente Ovalle for an ineffective Giancarlo Maldonado at halftime, and moved an extra man into midfield to try to clog up the Dynamo attack.

The momentum Houston had at the end of the first half dissipated quickly as the second half began, though Kinnear felt it was due to the choppiness of the flow of the game, as referee Neal Brizan of Trinidad and Tobago whistled a total of 42 fouls in the match.

“It was 42 fouls called, and I don’t think it was a rough game. I think (Brizan) called way too many fouls. Our positive momentum going forward was still evident (in the second half). I really think it was that the game was stopped so many times that it was hard to get a rhythm for both teams,” Kinnear said.

Luis Gabriel Rey spurned a golden chance to tie the game in the 58th minute, heading over the bar from a Fernando Navarro cross. Atlante began to gain the initiative in the second half, although they were getting few chances. By the 75th minute, they seemed content to go back home only down a goal, and fatigue was certainly setting in as well, as they were playing their fourth match in 11 days.

The tying goal came after a questionable decision by Brizan to award a corner when it appeared the ball had deflected off Atlante from a free kick. Luis Venegas played Navarro’s corner from the far post to Pereyra at the goalmouth, where he beat Ricardo Clark to the ball and headed in from close range.

“Even though it wasn’t a call that went our way, you still have to defend the corner kick, and we didn’t defend it well, because they scored. We got caught napping, they had a guy curl around, and they were more aggressive to the second ball,” Kinnear said.

“In the second half, we adjusted. We did what we like to do, which is keep possession of the ball. We think we deserved the tie,” Cruz said.

Houston had to throw bodies forward now, but only a header from substitute Geoff Cameron in the 90th minute gave Ortiz any trouble, and he easily tipped the shot over the crossbar.

While the Dynamo can advance with a tie of 2-2 or greater in the second leg next Tuesday in Cancun, they can also go through by doing something no MLS team has ever done – win a competitive match in Mexico.

“History doesn’t play games. We still need to go back and do what we need to do,” Cruz said.

“We have to score a goal, that’s the one thing. We knew it was going to come down to the second game anyway, most of these (series) do. It’s something that’s not out of reach. It’s not over,” Kinnear said.

Match Facts

Scoring Summary:
HOU — Bobby Boswell (Brad Davis) 34
ATN — Gabriel Pereyra (Luis Venegas, Fernando Navarro) 82

Misconduct Summary:
ATN — Gabriel Pereyra (caution; Reckless Foul) 9
ATN — Daniel Arreola (caution; Reckless Tackle) 44
HOU — Kei Kamara (caution; Reckless Foul) 56
HOU — Brad Davis (caution; Tactical Foul) 63
HOU — Richard Mulrooney (caution; Delaying a Restart) 68
HOU — Geoff Cameron (caution; Reckless Tackle) 81
ATN — Gerardo Espinoza (caution; Tactical Foul) 83
ATN — Luis Venegas (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89

Shots: Houston 9, Atlante 6. Shots on goal: Houston 4, Atlante 3. Fouls: Houston 20, Atlante 22. Offsides: Houston 2, Atlante 3. Corners: Houston 12, Atlante 3. Saves: Houston 2, Atlante 3.

Lineups:
Houston
G – Pat Onstad
D – Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Julius James, Wade Barrett (c)
M – Brian Mullan (Geoff Cameron 77), Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis
F – Kei Kamara, Brian Ching

Substitutes not used – Tally Hall, Corey Ashe, Mike Chabala, John Michael Hayden, Craig Waibel, Chris Wondolowski

Atlante
G – Omar Ortiz
D – Miguel Angel Martinez, Gerardo Espinoza, Luis Venegas
M – Fernando Navarro, Jose Guerrero, Gabriel Pereyra (c), Daniel Arreola (Luis David Velazquez 89)
F – Giancarlo Maldonado (Clemente Ovalle 46), Luis Gabriel Rey, Rafael Marquez Lugo (Andres Carevic 85)

Substitutes not used – Gerardo Ruiz, Gerardo Castillo, Diego Garcia, Ismael Valadez

Att. – 10,203

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Dynamo face uphill battle after 1-1 draw with Atlante

Posted on 25 February 2009 by dbuckholt

The Houston Dynamo face an uphill struggle to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Atlante FC of Mexico in the first leg of their quarterfinal series Tuesday evening at Robertson Stadium. Houston took the lead in the 34th minute on Bobby Boswell’s header, and should have gone to halftime at least another goal up. But they instead conceded a devastating away goal to Atlante’s Gabriel Pereyra in the 82nd minute.

“For our first competitive game, I thought we played well. Obviously, the 1-1 makes it more difficult as we head down to Cancun. It’s a good result for them, it’s not a terrible result for us. We just need to win a game away from home, which we’ve done before,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said.

Read the full story from ASN’s Houston correspondent.

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Toronto Gets Serioux

Posted on 25 February 2009 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC acquired Canadian international defender Adrian Serioux on Tuesday for the club’s 2010 natural first round draft pick and allocation money, bringing the versatile hardman to BMO Field for the second time after he was first acquired by the club in the 2007 expansion draft.

After initially joining the club ahead of their expansion season, Serioux had been traded to FC Dallas for Ronnie O’Brien, allowing then-coach Mo Johnston to address a more pressing need at right midfield. One season and only 13 games later, O’Brien has since left for San Jose.

Serioux is a regular at central defense for the Canadian national team but can play anywhere in midfield or defense. At former club Milwall in England, Serioux was renowned for his long throws, a strategy that Stoke City have used to famous effect with Rory Delap in the English Premier League this season.

Toronto FC have been criticized for a lack of commitment to Canadian soccer, but 2009 has so far looked bright for fans of both TFC and the Red and White. The Canadian Championship will go ahead for another year, with TFC desperate to take home the Voyageurs Cup and emulate rivals Montreal Impact in challenging the continent’s elite at the CONCACAF Champions League.

Toronto FC’s Academy is in full swing for their second CSL season, while Serioux represents another Canadian addition to Carver’s roster. It’s a far cry from the scene of several Canadians leaving the club at the end of 2007, arguably not good enough for the rigours of MLS.

Serioux joins fellow Scarborough native and former Houston Dynamo teammate Dwayne De Rosario in signing for his hometown club ahead of the 2009 campaign. Several Canadians remain scattered throughout MLS.

Will Johnson scored the 2008 MLS Goal of the Year for Real Salt Lake, while leftback Ante Jazic joined Chivas USA from LA Galaxy this offseason. 41-year-old goalkeeper Pat Onstad remains the lone Canadian at Houston.

In other transfer news, defender Tyrone Marshall joined expansion side Seattle Sounders for allocation money this month, while Argentine forward Pablo Vitti has joined TFC on loan from Ukrainian club Chornomorets Odessa.

Serioux will get his chance to impress when Toronto kick off theircampaign in Kansas City on March 21st. A large continent of travelling fans are likely to land in Columbus on March 28th for the second match of the season, while April 4th will see TFC welcome Seattle for the Canadian side’s home opener.

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ASN goes ad free (for now)

Posted on 25 February 2009 by ASN Staff

We are in the process of removing all ads on this site. Several factors contributed to this decision, not least of which the fact that it simply was not worth it, from a financial perspective. The (very) small income from pay-per-click services such as Google AdWords were simply not worth cluttering up the site with banners and text links. Ultimately, these services end up being nothing more than free advertising for Google. If Google (or anybody else) wants to advertise in this space, they are free to contact us to discuss it. But it won’t come free.

Instead, we are putting up “donate now” buttons that allow readers and others to give us money, should they feel so inclined. The default rate has been set at $4.95–the cost of a magazine (remember those?) Benefactors can contribute through paypal or a major credit card and, if they so choose, be listed on a recognition wall (link to be published shortly). ASN reserves the right to decline donations from any or all organizations or individuals without notice or explanation. These sums will be refunded immediately.

Proceeds will be used to cover costs such as hosting. Anything left over will be shared with writers, editors and photographers, who have historically contributed their considerable talents for free. Eventually we will configure the site so donations can be made to a specific team’s beat coverage. We are currently having internal discussions for how to structure a profit-sharing agreement between contributors. Once these details are worked out they will likely be made available in the interests of transparency.

The “donate now” fields look like this.
[donateplus]
[donatetotal] has been raised to date through this method (this should be in real time).

They will be placed in select locations, as unobtrusively as possible. There will be no other campaigns to cajole or guilt-trip readers into donating. Just this: In a day and age when the general public has come to expect (if not demand) free content, many news organizations have accepted that profits will eventually dwindle, if not disappear altogether. ASN is no different in this regard, except that we never expected to get rich off this site to begin with. And we still don’t. And that’s fine. But not booking profits–even marginal ones–from an operation and breaking even is different from having said enterprise cost you money. That’s where we’re at now (hosting costs, travel to and from games, not to mention the opportunity costs involved, etc.). Anything to help us mitigate this is greatly appreciated. And that’s it. We’re done. No more sob stories. Enjoy the (soon to be ad free) site!

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Rongen names 20 to CONCACAF tourney

Posted on 23 February 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 20 players who will compete for the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, from March 6-15 in Trinidad & Tobago. The tournament will qualify four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place from Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt.

The U.S. will come together in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 24 for five days of training before traveling on March 2 to Bacolet, Tobago, site of the USA’s three group games. The U-20s will have four days of final preparation leading into the opening game of the tournament.

Of the 20 players on the qualifying roster, nine are currently professionals, with six in Major League Soccer and three overseas. The roster also features three players who were part of the U.S. team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in midfielder Bryan Arguez, goalkeeper Brian Perk and defender Anthony Wallace.

A total of eight teams will compete in the CONCACAF event, which is being held in a championship format for the first time since 1996. The U.S. was drawn into Group A for the tournament along with El Salvador, Jamaica and either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Group B includes Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the U-20 World Cup. The top two teams will also move on to the semifinals of the regional championship, which will be played on March 13 at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad. The third-place match and final will be played on March 15 at the same location.

The U.S. will open its 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). Rongen’s squad will face either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines on March 8 at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) and round out group play against El Salvador on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. ET). The U.S. will learn its second opponent when Honduras and St. Vincent & the Grenadines square off in a playoff game on March 2.

U.S. Under-20 MNT Roster by Position

2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Feb. 24-March 15

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (Unattached; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (Southampton; Danville, Calif.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Aaron Maund* (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Amobi Okugo (San Juan Lightning; Sacramento, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin; Miami), Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.); Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Billy Schuler (North Carolina; Allentown, N.J.), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)
*Pending FIFA approval

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Rongen names U-20 roster for CONCACAF tourney

Posted on 23 February 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 20 players who will compete for the 2009 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, from March 6-15 in Trinidad & Tobago. The tournament will qualify four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which will take place from Sept. 24-Oct. 16 in Egypt.


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Richards signed to new contract

Posted on 18 February 2009 by ASN Staff

Red Bull New York announced today that it had signed midfielder Dane Richards to a new, multi-year contract. Per club and MLS regulations, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Richards will be starting his third season with the Red Bulls after a strong sophomore season, when he recorded a career-high three goals to go along with a team-high six assists in 23 appearances and 18 starts. The 25-year-old played in all four playoff games in the Red Bulls’ run to their first MLS Cup Final. The Montego Bay, Jamaica native was instrumental in the team’s success in its Western Conference Semifinal second leg match against the Houston Dynamo on Nov. 9, when he had a hand in each of the New York’s three goals in a 3-0 win. Richards won MLS Player of the Week for that performance. He also tallied an assist against the Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup Final.

In 2007, Richards was a MLS Rookie of the Year finalist after recording two goals and six assists in 28 games. On the international level, Richards has earned 12 caps for the Jamaican National Team. Richards was acquired by the Red Bulls via the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, when he was picked in the second round (19th overall).

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2008 Trade ledger

Posted on 18 February 2009 by ASN Staff

A look back at the Red Bulls’ personnel moves in 2008.

Before the season even started, the new head coach said he was “working very hard to finalize three acquisitions.” Those acquisitions would remain in flux for more than half the season. Not until June did reports about Jorge Rojas begin to surface in the Venezuelan press. By that time help was badly needed. Jozy Altidore had left for Villareal, Claudio Reyna was in his perpetual state of injured-ness,

Finally, in July, Diego Jimenez was signed to a developmental contract and Rojas and Juan Pietravallo came onboard (though Red Bulls fans would soon wish they hadn’t, particularly Pietravallo, who soon picked up the nickname Pietrafoulo). That same month, Claudio Reyna finally put Red Bulls fans out of their misery by retiring.

In the interim, Andrew Boyens was signed (to replace Hunter Freeman, though Freeman would not officially depart the team until September) and Danny Cepero was loaned to USL second division side Harrisburg City Islanders. Hard to believe that Cepero was barely a footnote for the team’s fans at that time. It would not remain that way.

In September, Osorio and Jeff Agoos sought to round out the roster with young players while cutting loose some dead weight. Matthew Mbuta, who as a member of Crystal Palace Baltimore had previously impressed the team by scoring against them in a U.S. Open Cup tie, was brought on in exchange for Chris Megaloudis. Finally, Macoumba Kandji, was brought in on loan in September, before his transfer was made permanent this off season.

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