Archive | October, 2009

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Drew Moor (not soccer related)

Posted on 31 October 2009 by pwoodruff

Moor (right) in Colorado's recent visit to Frisco

In the second annual installment of an interview with three Major League Soccer players, ASN’s Dallas beat writer (with the help of his two kids) came up with 20 questions not really related to soccer to get to know them a little better.

First up, Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor.

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Twenty questions with Drew Moor

Posted on 31 October 2009 by pwoodruff

Moor (right) in Colorado's recent visit to Frisco

In the second annual installment of an interview with three FC Dallas players, I (with the help of my 2 kids) came up with 20 questions not really related to soccer to get to know them a little better. It seems to be fun for them and is certainly a blast for me. This version was done back on July 3rd of this year but I decided to wait until the off season started for FCD to keep the north Texas boys in the news a little longer. I picked three of more popular ones at the time in Dax McCarty, Dave van den Bergh and Drew Moor. Drew has since been traded but when I talked to him at the last Dallas home game he stated a desire to do this again next year. He was one of my three choices last year along with Brek Shea and Kenny Cooper, whom I have gotten in contact with and will be doing a story on shortly regarding his new team, 1860 Munich. So, on to interview number one:

Drew Moor who has represented the United States National Team previously and is now with the Colorado Rapids.

ASN: What is must see tv for you?

Lost, 24, anytime Tiger’s playing or anytime LeBron’s playing.

Your favorite non-sports video game?
I’m a fan of Call of Duty.

A chick flick you hate to admit you actually like?

There’s more than one. Just recently I watched Bride Wars and got pretty into it.

Hollywood makes a movie about you, who stars as you?

Johnny Depp.

Hollywood picks you to star in a romantic comedy, who do you pick as your leading lady?

Megan Fox.

Dogs or cats and why?

Dogs love you no matter what. No matter how many times you come home there always going to be excited to see you.

What’s you hidden talent?

Absolutely nothing.

You get a free dinner and four guests anywhere you want, where do you pick and who do you pick?

Where is Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse downtown here in Dallas, who is LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Andy Roddick and I will bring my buddy Kenny Cooper.

You have to get a real job, in the real world and can not be sports related, what kind of job is it?

SWAT team member.

One question you’ve never been asked but always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?

Maybe this one. And the answer to that is maybe this one.

Of the following four magazines, which one are you most likely to be on the cover of, GQ, Men’s Health, Time or The National Enquirer?

I would love to be on Men’s Health but I know there is no way. Maybe if they fixed me up little bit I could be on on GQ but it would be a lotta fixing.

If you could pick any soccer team overseas to play for, who would it be?

Manchester United.

If you were a pro wrestler what would your name be?

Skinny.

An ex-teammate at any level you miss the most?

Greg Vanney and Danny O’Rourke, my college teammate.

The weirdest autograph request you’ve ever had?

Little kids asking their arm, their faces, back of the neck, stuff like that. Can’t sign skin.

Twenty years from now you would make a better ref, coach or general manager?

Not a good coach, can’t see myself being a good general manager so I’ll have to go with ref, even though I have to put up with a lot of BS.

Before a big game you have to choose one of the following, a Mohawk or dye your hair pink?

Dye my hair pink.

Your favorite non-soccer team of all-time?

Dallas Cowboys.

When did you know you were going to be a pro athlete?

When I got drafted. No, as I was going through college I had a choice my junior year to have a look, to go Generation adidas.

Five minutes before the game, an alien spaceship kidnaps all the keepers, coach makes you the keeper, how good do you do?

Who are we playing? I think I could get a shutout.

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Twenty questions with Drew Moor

Posted on 31 October 2009 by ASN Staff

Moor (right) in Colorado's recent visit to Frisco

In the second annual installment of an interview with three Major League Soccer players, ASN’s Dallas beat writer (with the help of his two kids) came up with 20 questions not really related to soccer to get to know them a little better.

First up, Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor.

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Posted on 31 October 2009 by ASN Staff

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2009 FC Dallas season in review

Posted on 31 October 2009 by mstern

There are so many clichés that commentators, pundits, coaches and players use, whether intentionally or inadvertently, when talking about the Beautiful Game (that’s one). One way or another, pretty much all applied to FC Dallas in 2009.

ASN’s Marc Stern provides a thorough season review over at our FCD page.

FCD's starters at Real Salt Lake, July 25, 2009

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Posted on 31 October 2009 by ASN Staff

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2009 FC Dallas season in review

Posted on 31 October 2009 by mstern

There are so many clichés that commentators, pundits, coaches and players use, whether intentionally or inadvertently, when talking about the Beautiful Game (that’s one). “The defense were at sixes and sevens”, “I’m/They’re over the moon/sick as a parrot with that result”, “He didn’t deserve to be on the losing side tonight”, “The team are really rising to the occasion”, “He literally covered every blade of grass”, “A 2-0 lead is the most dangerous score in soccer”, and of course “It was a game of two halves” amongst others.

One way or another, pretty much all applied to FC Dallas in 2009. A season that started off with Dax McCarty being told to stay home by head coach Schellas Hyndman for the first two weeks of pre-season camp, Kenny Cooper’s 60 yard bomb that was Seattle ballot-stuffed out of a deserved Goal of the Week, and just four points from the first 8 games always promised to be an odd one, but who could have predicted the weirdness and excitement that was to come? On the face of it, the preseason should have given us a clue to what was going to happen, at least early on. New signing Steve Purdy was deemed the best defender of the preseason though Dallas managed to let in roughly 3 goals per game, while McCarty, who was only still a Dallas player because San Jose didn’t want to meet Hyndman’s asking price, outstripped the rest of the midfield to the point that the coach had to admit that he’d worked his way into the first team plans. Much like last season, Cooper was doing the majority of the scoring while, besides the opening minute goal against partner club CAP, Jeff Cunningham struggled to get his name on the score sheet.

FCD's starters at Real Salt Lake, July 25, 2009

Finally opening day (and Inferno’s 24 hour tailgate) was here, expectations were high as it was against Chicago, a team who had failed to live up to the Brimstone Cup rivalry for 7 years running. Cooper blasted the opener past Busch from beyond the halfway line but for the first of many games, Dallas had a lead that they would fail to hold on to. Even this early on in the season, it was clear that Cooper felt he had to do a lot of the work himself – he was often to be spotted trying to help out the defense and the wings, covering, if not all, most of the blades of grass on the pitch.

With injuries to Purdy, Dario Sala, and rookie George John, and inconsistent performances from Daniel Torres, Blake Wagner, Anthony Wallace and Marcelo Saragosa, the square peg who was shoved into the round hole left open at the right-back position, Dallas seemed to field a different back line in almost every game. The defense truly were “at sixes and sevens”. Forcing captain Pablo Ricchetti into a center-back position he hated at least provided some level of experience and stability, but FCD and Ray Burse failed to keep a clean sheet for 3 whole months – right up until the second match up with Chicago. With the US Open Cup over before it had ever really begun, and El Capitan halfway out the door to Houston after a performance in Robertson Stadium that saw only 1 shot on target, coming in the 91st minute, fans would have been forgiven for thinking they’d have to wait until next year to be able to have a beer out of the Brimstone Cup. Chicago were unbeaten, while Dallas were very much so. However, Section 8 would be the ones forced to wait for their Brimstone beer, as Cunningham finally notched his first of the season, CJ Brown put a beautiful looping header past his own keeper and Cooper blasted a free-kick over the wall and in off the crossbar for the second win of the season and only the second multi-goal game. Finally Dallas had their season underway, scoring more points in this 6 game stretch than they had in the previous 10. Unfortunately, that did include a home loss to Houston, so El Capitan will have to spend 2010 unfired in Hellhole Stadium. Just as soon as it had begun though, it looked like it was going to come to a grinding halt once more, as star striker Kenny Cooper headed off to the Gold Cup and from there on to the Bundesliga with 1860 Munich. With youngsters Brek Shea and Peri Marosevic not ready for prime-time, the goalscoring burden fell on the shoulders of Cunningham. With just the one goal against Chicago to his name, it looked like 2009 Dallas were going to join 2003 Dallas in the MLS Hall of Shame. An unconvincing win over fellow strugglers New York followed in which Cunningham scored both Dallas goals, but the early results, the loss of Cooper and the next game loss to Colorado had fans calling for Hyndman to step down or be fired.

In the end there was a lot to cheer about, though the playoffs would remain elusive

One game later and those voices were even louder, as Dallas proved that a 2-0 lead can certainly be dangerous. For 45 minutes, FCD dominated in Salt Lake City taking a 2-0 lead into halftime that could have been more. Suddenly everything seemed to be starting to come together. David Ferreira looked to have got the league figured out, perhaps earlier than anyone was expecting. Dax McCarty was evolving into one of the best playmakers in the league, his tackling and distribution from the middle starting off a lot of the attacking play. New addition, Colombian left-back Jair Benitez appeared to have solved some of the defensive problems as well as providing attacking width, Andre Rocha had finally been dropped from significant playing (or strolling) time, and Saragosa had finally been traded away, to be replaced on the right by Atiba Harris. Of course then it all went wrong, as George John succumbed to his second hamstring injury of the season and had to be replaced by Daniel Torres. Salt Lake brought on Movsisyan, who exploited the slow pace of Torres and RSL scored 4 unanswered goals in the second half. It was time for protest, as many fans brought signs, banners and anti-Hyndman chants to the Kansas City game. Especially concerning was the sight of Torres starting in the backline – had he not learned from the second half in Utah? And then the strangest thing happened – FC Dallas broke their record for a winning margin as Cunningham blasted 4 out of his 5 shots past Kevin Hartman and Ferreira added two of his own, with no reply from the men in blue. The protests were shelved as finally the Inferno had something to celebrate.

A 1-0 win over arch-rivals Houston the following week in a game that Dallas dominated from start to finish, and suddenly it looked like the team might be turning things around, before a return to form in New York brought the team back to reality. A 2-1 lead and a man advantage was squandered against the worst team in the league; New York scoring only their 4th win of the season, 3-2 late on. Following that, fans were blindsided as local boy and fan favorite Drew Moor was traded to Colorado for another Dallasite, Ugo Ihemelu, and then two refereeing blunders gave DC United an undeserved draw at Pizza Hut Park. Dallas fans were left trying to figure out what they’d do with themselves during November – playoffs clearly, if not yet mathematically, being out of reach.

Hyndman and the Dallas players didn’t see it that way (well, except for Ricchetti who decided he’d had enough and didn’t want to play for Hyndman anymore). History at the Home Depot Center was forgotten as Dallas rolled out their second 6-goal game of the season, thrashing the Galaxy 6-3, the first of a stretch that saw Dallas take 5 wins in 6 games and Jeff Cunningham suddenly become a surprise contender for the Golden Boot, having scored 17 goals, 16 of them in the last 14 games.

The stars were aligned – with Toronto laying down and dying in Giants Stadium’s final MLS game, Kansas City getting a late tying penalty against DC and Salt Lake taking the Rocky Mountain Cup over Colorado, it was a case of win and you’re in for Dallas. Unfortunately we all know what happened next. Fairy tales are just that, and this one didn’t come true for FCD.
Sure it’s disappointing to not make the playoffs, and frankly I hope that all the players are as pissed off that they didn’t make it as Dave van den Bergh is (apparently there were some choice expletives hurled at the locker room wall by the Dutchman immediately following the Seattle game), but you have to look at it this way: Dallas were 1-6-1 over the first 8 games, they lost their number 1 goal threat, had huge roster and first team turnover, and for one reason or another, could not play the same back four twice in a row for the majority of this season’s games. Much like New York, they should have been out of playoff contention before September rolled around. Instead, they worked hard to put themselves just 30 minutes away from the post-season, played some great soccer, scored a hatful of goals and had fans from all around the league (even Houston) hoping they’d do the impossible and make the playoffs, because it just wasn’t right that the current most exciting team in the league didn’t make the post-season. The results over the final stretch have earned Hyndman and FC Dallas the right to a clean slate for 2010. Keep the core of the team together, jettison the small amount of dead weight and bring in a few capable backups and this team has the makings of being at the very least a repeat of the 2009 LA Galaxy – from zeros to heroes in one season. It’ll be make or break for Hyndman, at least as far as fans are concerned – this is his team now.

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A photographic journey through the Sounders first home playoff match

Posted on 30 October 2009 by dlindsay

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RSL have work cut out for them in playoff match-up with Crew

Posted on 30 October 2009 by kali

The old adage says:  To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

That’s exactly what Real Salt Lake will be trying to do as it hosts the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first leg of the MLS playoffs on Saturday night.  After pushing its way into the playoffs during the last weekend of the regular season, RSL is looking to play spoiler again when it faces the Crew, the 2009 Supporters Shield winners.

Jason Kreis

“It’s nice to have the comfort of our own home in the first game,” Real head coach Jason Kreis said. “Hopefully, we’ll get out there and put a marker out there to show Columbus what it’s going to take when we go back to their place.”

Certainly, Columbus won’t forget what happened earlier this season at Rio Tinto.  In RSL’s 2009 home opener on April 2, Real defeated the Crew 4-1 behind a Robbie Findley hat trick. Although they would later go on to beat Real 3-1 in Columbus on July 18, the Crew will be seeking revenge for that April loss.

And with 2008 league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto and U.S. internationals Robbie Rogers, Frankie Hejduk, and Chad Marshall on the Crew roster, coach Robert Warzycha has plenty of depth upon which to call.  While Marshall has missed several matches with a knee sprain, he is listed as probable for Saturday’s match.

Meanwhile, RSL has a number of players considered probable:  Kyle Beckerman (knee), Robbie Findley (shoulder), Nelson González (ankle), and Ned Grabavoy (illness).  Fortunately, Kreis has had success changing his starting lineup in the last few matches, with Andy Williams and Findley playing well enough in recent matches to earn starting spots last week in Real’s 3-0 drubbing of Colorado.

That match, which vaulted RSL into the playoffs, exemplifies the kind of effort that Kreis will be expecting his players to replicate.  Real will be looking to win by several goals at home before traveling to Columbus for the second leg of the series.  Javier Morales’ success at playmaking from the midfield will be critical to that effort, while the defense will need to contain Schelotto and Rogers.

Kreis stated simply, “Our guys have to truly believe right now.”

The match will kick off at 4 pm MT and can be seen locally on KUTV 2.2/Comcast 111.

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Atrocious officiating cost the Sounders dearly

Posted on 30 October 2009 by Kyle Alm

The Referee:
? enforces the Laws of the Game
? controls the match in cooperation with the assistant referees and, where applicable, with the fourth official
? ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped
? allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
etc. etc…..

Ljungberg has some words with the referee after the match

Three out of four isn’t all that bad. But we aren’t talking baseball here. Soccer is a game of absolutes. A game governed by “laws” (a few more than listed here) as opposed to mere “rules” that regulate common games.

Ever compare the baseball rulebook to the FIFA rules? One is elegant, simple, and even has pictures. The other looks like it was written by Congress.

There isn’t another game where perfection is more necessary than soccer. You can be successful one out of three times in baseball and be a Hall of Famer on the first ballot. In soccer a moment’s lapse can cost you precious points or knock you out of the competition. A moment of brilliance can make you a legend. I can remember an own goal for the Colombian National Team against the USA in World Cup ‘94 that eventually ended with murder. Sure Bill Buckner received death threats, but he is still alive.

Nate Jacqua had his moment of legend tonight. A moment that will live on in the memory of Sounders fans for all of the wrong reasons. The referee blew the call. Blew it. Mt. St. Helens blew it. Monica Lewinsky blew it. Hurricane Katrina blew it. Any referee, at any level, anywhere should realize that free kick is not advantage compared to ten yards ahead of the foul, let alone a chance to score. Not to mention that Jacqua buried the ball. For someone who has been criticized for his lack of a finishing touch Jacqua was certainly in form against Houston. He was beaten up by Dynamo defenders (again) and robbed by the referee.

I hate harping on the referee. But he was atrocious tonight. You could tell that he was losing control when there was a scuffle. It looked like the entire Houston team was standing over Fredy Montero before the referee booked Onstad and Montero. AND MONTERO?! Why?

If the MLS wants to be a top league it needs to have quality top to bottom: players, officials, and management. The league knows the only thing that will draw fans is top talent. How many big name talents want to come to MLS and be the foul magnet that Ljungberg has been (most fouls suffered in MLS this season and he missed several matches due to injury) for half the pay they are used to? It doesn’t add up.

There were numerous scoring opportunities that could/should have been finished and the onus is clearly on the paid professional players to fulfill their roles, but when the rules don’t apply equally it is never much of a game. Referees are supposed to be professionals too.

The return leg in Houston should provide plenty of entertainment. Expect a physical game, the over/under on yellow cards is six (the number issued in Seattle). Keller and Onstad were both sharp, they will both be difficult to score on, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends in another 0-0 draw with a shootout to decide the winner.

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