Archive | December, 2009

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Five for ’10: RBNY new year’s resolution

Posted on 31 December 2009 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The 2009 season was by allany account the worst season in the history of New York’s Major League Soccer franchise. It was a year with many lowlights, none of which are worth reliving at this point (the masochists among you can consult ASN’s midseason review piece if you really want to go there). Suffice it to say 2009 was bad. But 2009 is over. Here are five things the team should do to make 2010 the rousing success its fans have been waiting (and waiting) for.

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Five for '10: RBNY New Year's resolutions

Posted on 31 December 2009 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The 2009 season was by allany account the worst season in the history of New York’s Major League Soccer franchise. It was a year with many lowlights, none of which are worth reliving at this point (the masochists among you can consult ASN’s midseason review piece if you really want to go there). Suffice it to say 2009 was bad. But 2009 is over. And 2010 brings hope. Well, sort of.

In a cruel twist of irony for New York fans, MLS may pull the ultimate harakiri act just when its biggest market is finally poised to live up to this billing. Red Bull Arena, now built, stands to become the jewel of U.S. soccer specific stadia. Just by opening its doors and hosting a competitive soccer match, the stadium is sure to generate more hype and publicity than the organization has been able to muster in the last 15 years combined. Therein lies the first problem however. And also, the first new year’s resolution. The others follow, in order of importance. Here goes:

1. Red Bull AG, Red Bull New York and whatever corporate/organizational entities are associated with the Austrian energy drink company must do everything in their power to prevent an MLS work stoppage. According to at least one report, Red Bull is one of the teams pushing for changes to the collective bargaining agreement, primarily to permit an additional designated player slot. If true, this is a highly curious move from an organization that already has two DP slots and which, for whatever reason, has not been able to fill its second since the retirement of Claudio Reyna in 2008. (And frankly, the team didn’t exactly get its money worth with Reyna either). The current CBA is not perfect, in fact it leaves a lot to be desired. But with the new stadium, the Red Bulls can be a raging success despite of the CBA’s limitations. Red Bull should be doing everything in its power to work out a compromise, not push for concessions from the other owners.

2. Hire Richie Williams as head coach. This move is long overdue. Anybody who knows anything about Williams, about MLS and about the team say he’s the right man for the job. Get it done. Get it done now.

3. Draft players you know. Obviously the players you know best are the ones your organization developed. It’s not worth naming names at this point because we all know about Dilly Duka. Rather select a player you might not use anyway (see Brunner, Eric) please go with a known commodity. Yes it sucks that you have to waste a draft pick on somebody from your own youth system, but the draft is a crapshoot anyway. This is even more of a no-brainer now that it was revealed that Duka wants to sign for the Red Bulls anyway.

4. Use your second DP slot to sign a U.S. national with a realistic chance of making the World Cup roster. The reasons are obvious: you want somebody local fans, who hitherto have only paid attention to the U.S. national team, can connect with. You also want to be able to piggyback on all the publicity the World Cup is sure to generate. There are several options for this: One just had his loan deal with Belenenses terminated, for example. Whatever your feelings on Freddy Adu, there is no denying he is a recognized name that would generate buzz. He’s also still young (we think) and has plenty of upside. As a natural left-footer Adu can be a game-changer, particularly in MLS. He may even come cheap.

5. Do a better job reaching out to local media and bloggers. As an admittedly fledgling outfit, ASN was not surprised to see the team’s media relations department all but ignore us. Except then we heard identical stories from journalists with actual cachet. We aren’t asking for special (or indeed any) favors ourselves. But there are other media that can do a lot to generate buzz for the franchise and by all accounts they didn’t even get Christmas cards.

That’s it from us. Have we forgotten anything? Surely RBNY fans can tell us. Or add to the list by posting a comment below. Happy new year!

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Jared Jeffrey moves to Mainz

Posted on 30 December 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. U-20 national team midfielder Jared Jeffrey has signed with Bundesliga club FSV Mainz 05, according to German media reports. The 19-year old Richardson, Tex., native was previously with Club Brugge, but was seeing little action for the Belgian first division side.

Read about it on ASN’s ‘Over There’ page.

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Jared Jeffrey moves to Mainz

Posted on 30 December 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. U-20 national team midfielder Jared Jeffrey has signed with Bundesliga club FSV Mainz 05, according to German media reports. The 19-year old Richardson, Tex., native was previously with Club Brugge, but was seeing little action for the Belgian first division side.

Jeffrey practiced with Mainz today, Dec. 30, and has been signed through 2012 with an option for an additional year, according to Germany’s kicker.de. A transfer amount was not disclosed.

Jeffrey was part of Thomas Rongen’s selection for the U-20 World Cup in Egypt and previously wore the captain’s armband for the U-17 team. A U.S. Soccer Residency Program graduate, he signed with Brugge after a trial in 2008.

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Ricardo Clark to Burnley? Celtic?

Posted on 27 December 2009 by ASN Staff

Ricardo Clark

Houston Dynamo and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Ricardo Clark appears headed for the British isles. The 26-year old, whose Major League Soccer contract expires Dec. 31, is being sought by Burnley and Celtic, according to a report out of the U.K.

Read the full story at ASN’s ‘Over There’ page

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Ricardo Clark to Burnley? Celtic?

Posted on 27 December 2009 by ASN Staff

Ricardo Clark

The Clarets-Mad.co.uk Web site says Burnley boss Owen Coyle is keen to add Clark “on a loan deal,” while Celtic would presumably seek an outright transfer.

Sky Sports previously reported “a host of Premiership clubs” would try to sign Clark, though the article’s authenticity might be doubted seeing as they literally weren’t able to spell Clark’s name and didn’t quote primary sources.

Last summer there were numerous reports out of Italy that Clark would sign with Livorno, with at least one saying the deal was already done. But nothing has been heard of that since.

Whatever his destination, re-signing with the Houston Dynamo is apparently not an option. Clark told the team he had no intentions to re-sign with MLS last month, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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ASN Twitter account standings, round two

Posted on 23 December 2009 by ASN Staff

It’s been three weeks since our first look at the number of followers each Major League Soccer team has through its ASN Twitter account. With the onset of the Christmas to New Year’s week, and its corresponding dearth of real news activity, we figured now would be a good a time as any to revisit the standings. Here they are:

1. (1). LA Galaxy: 771 followers (41 more than on Dec. 2)
2. (2). Seattle Sounders FC: 525 (+17)
3. (3). New York Red Bulls: 398 (+45)
4. (4). Chicago Fire: 321 (+8)
5. (5). Houston Dynamo : 317 (+24)
6. (6). Chivas USA: 288 (+25)
7. (7). Toronto FC: 282 (+20)
8. (8). New England Revolution: 258 (+12)
9. (9). DC United: 257 (+20)
10 (10). Real Salt Lake: 238 (+8)
11. (13). Columbus Crew: 213 (+22)
12. (11). San Jose Earthquakes: 204 (+1)
12. (12). FC Dallas:204 (+5)
14. (14). Kansas City Wizards: 142 (+13)
15. (16). Philadelphia Union: 129 (+35)
16. (15). Colorado Rapids: 126 (+3)

The rich get richer, as the first-placed LA Galaxy increased their follower count by 41, to expand their lead over second-placed Seattle Sounders. The Galaxy’s 41 new followers were second only to the New York Red Bulls’ 45, who put some distance between themselves and fourth-placed Chicago (just eight new followers).

At the bottom of the table, the expansion Philadelphia Union escaped the cellar with 35 new followers. They are now within sight of the 14th-placed Kansas City Wizards. The Colorado Rapids are the new last-placed team, which makes sense only because there has been less news coverage–from local, national and Web outlets alike–about the Rapids than anybody else (the San Jose Earthquakes are not far behind). But of course many other factors also play a role.

Do you like this table? Should we keep publishing it? Post your thoughts via comments below.

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Got a view? Union unveils to season ticket holders Virtual Seat Viewer

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Breton Bonnette

No talk here. It’s top-notch. Day/night views. Survey data on seat recommendations. It’s got everything.

Check it out for yourself.

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Twenty questions with Dave van den Bergh

Posted on 23 December 2009 by pwoodruff

Dave van den Bergh

In the second annual installment of an interview with three FC Dallas players, I (with the help of my two 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 3 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. The Drew Moor interview was posted Oct. 31, the McCarty piece last week. Third up is Dave van den Bergh, who joined the team from the New York Red Bulls last offseason.

Read the interview at ASN’s FC Dallas page.

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Twenty questions with Dave van den Bergh

Posted on 23 December 2009 by pwoodruff

Dave van den Bergh

In the second annual installment of an interview with three FC Dallas players, I (with the help of my two 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 3 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. The Drew Moor interview was posted Oct. 31, the McCarty piece last week. Third up is Dave van den Bergh, who joined the team from the New York Red Bulls in the offseason.

1. What is must see tv for you?
“The Mentalist”.

2. Your favorite non-sports video game?
“I don’t play video games, too old”.

3. A chick flick you hate to admit you actually like?
“The Proposal”.

4. Hollywood makes a movie about you, who stars as you?
“It would have to be a funny guy, Will Ferrell”.

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

“Ashley Judd”.

6. Dogs or cats and why?

“We’re gonna have both ‘cause the kids love both”.

7. What’s you hidden talent?
“I cook”.

8. You get a free dinner and four guests anywhere you want, where do you pick and who do you pick?
“A steakhouse and my best bud, my dad, I’m going for live people here, plus I don’t want to have to go thru dinner having to get to know someone. I’ll take people that I know, so I’ll take my oldest son ‘cause he can talk and my youngest can’t”.

9. You have to get a real job, in the real world and can not be sports related, what kind of job is it?
“Something in finance”.

10. One question you’ve never been asked but always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?
“Believe me, I’ve been asked a lot of questions, like my favorite chick flick. I can’t think of any”.

11. 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?
“Time”.

12. If you could pick any soccer team overseas to play for that you haven’t played for, who would it be?
“Barcelona”.

13. If you were a pro wrestler what would your name be?
“The Flying Dutchman”.

14. An ex-teammate at any level you miss the most?
“It would be a Dutch guy, you guys do not know him. Kasper Neelis (sp?), my former goalie”.

15. The weirdest autograph request you’ve ever had?
“Boob”.

16. Twenty years from now you would make a better ref, coach or general manager?
“Twenty years: coach. Thirty years: general manager”.

17. Before a big game you have to choose one of the following, a Mohawk or dye your hair pink?
“Dye it pink. Support Breast Cancer”.

18. Your favorite non-soccer team of all-time?
“Boston Celtics”.

19. When did you know you were going to be a pro athlete?
“About 17”.

20. Five minutes before the game, an alien spaceship kidnaps all the keepers, coach makes you the keeper, how good do you do?
“Oh we would lose the game”.

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