Archive | January, 2010

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One year ago in American Soccer News

Posted on 31 January 2010 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced plans to submit a simultaneous bid to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups (ASN, Jan. 29, 2009).

When Major League Soccer announced it would take an unprecedented break for the World Cup this year, it was seen as an attempt to curry favor with FIFA. But U.S. hopes to host the 2018 event were dealt a blow last week when FIFA president Sepp Blatter said a deal was being negotiated with “only a European candidate.” Earlier this month USA Bid Committee chairman and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati announced the list of candidate cities. Curiously, neither Chicago or Northern California made the list.

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U-20 USWNT defeat Mexico for CONCACAF crown

Posted on 31 January 2010 by ASN Staff

Leroux got the winner three minutes from time

Sydney Leroux scored her tournament-leading sixth goal in the 87th minute to give the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team a 1-0 victory against Mexico and the title at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships.

ASN’s USWNT has more.

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U-20s defeat Mexico for CONCACAF championship

Posted on 31 January 2010 by ASN Staff

Leroux got the winner three minutes from time

Forward Sydney Leroux scored her tournament-leading sixth goal in the 87th minute to give the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team a 1-0 victory against Mexico and the title at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships.

Both teams had already qualified for the 2010 FIFA Women’s World Cup by virtue of semifinal victories two days ago, but pride and a CONCACAF regional title were more than enough motivation to spur both countries.

The U.S. finally broke through an organized and committed defense with less than three minutes to play in regulation and appropriately it was Leroux who bagged the game-winner.

Leroux, who was also the top scorer at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, tallied in four out of five matches the USA played in Guatemala, with her final goal worthy of a tournament winner.

The goal originated when Leroux, stationed in midfield with her back to the goal, first-timed a long pass back into the center circle to midfielder Kristie Mewis, and then bent her run towards the Mexico penalty area. From the bottom of the center circle, Mewis slid a perfect ball on the ground in the path of the sprinting Leroux, who out-ran a Mexican defender and took one hard touch into the left side of the box. The U.S. captain then blasted her angled, left-footed shot over Mexican goalkeeper Aurora Santiago and into the roof of the net from 12 yards out. The ball was almost past Santiago before she could react.

The victory marks just the second U-20 regional title for the United States. In the 2002 CONCACAF U-19 Women’s Championships, there were no semifinals or a final contested as the group winners qualified directly to the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup which was held in Canada. In 2004 and 2008, the USA lost in the championship game of this tournament to Canada. The USA won its first CONCACAF U-20 title in 2006, defeating Canada, 3-2.

In the third-place match, Costa Rica stunned Canada, 1-0, to qualify for its first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup at this level. The Ticas had their first-ever Women’s World Cup experience at the 2008 U-17 WWC in New Zealand. It also marked the first time Canada has failed to qualify for a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level.

Both the USA and Mexico started the championship match with confidence as the Americans showed good energy and some quick ball possession that was matched by the young Tricolores, who actually out-shot the USA 11-10.

Still, Mexico had difficulty getting behind the U.S. defense led by center backs Toni Pressley and Crystal Dunn, although it did create some very dangerous chances off shots from distance. Mexico was also excellent at quickly pulling up its back line to put the U.S. attackers into offside positions and the Americans were whistled for five offside infractions on the night.

The USA had first goal scoring opportunity in the 10th minute as Mewis went on a striding run through two Mexican defenders and slipped a pass behind the defense to Leroux in the left side of the penalty box, but she shot weakly at Santiago from 16 yards out.

Mexico, which didn’t threaten U.S. goalkeeper Bianca Henninger through the first third of the match, started to put on some pressure during the last 15 minutes of half, but several nice defensive plays by Dunn and Pressley kept the Mexicans away from the U.S. goal. One cross from the right side did skip dangerously through the U.S. penalty area and Henninger was forced to come out and smother a dangerous through ball. She also calmly snagged two whistling Mexican shots from way outside the box.

Mexico’s most dangerous chance came in the 31st minute when Sandra Mayor won a tackle from Pressley in the USA’s defensive third and raced at goal. But with Pressley on her hip, she could only fire a shot at the near post and Henninger pushed it away with a two-handed punch.

In the 35th minute, Mewis surprised Santigao with a shot from 27 yards, but the ball skipped just outside the right post past the diving ‘keeper. One minute later, a long free kick from Pressley found Leroux at the far post in the left side of the box, but her diving header hit the outside the of left post.

Just before halftime, a bending free kick from Narin almost fooled Santigao, but she was able to recover and knock the ball down.

At the beginning of the second half, the USA had Mexico on its heels, but the Mexicans refused to back down and early on Liliana Godoy severely tested Henninger with a dipping free kick from at least 35 yards. The U.S. goalkeeper made a great leaping save to push the ball over the top and keep the game scoreless.

Soon after, forward Zakiya Bywaters went on a slaloming dribbling run into the left side of the penalty box, but her well struck shot slammed the outside of the net.

In the 64th minute, substitute Vicki DiMartino tried to chip Santiago from deep in the left side of the penalty box, but the ball landed on top of the net.

Mexico’s two chances to win the game came back-to-back in the 81st and 82nd minutes and both were created by star forward Verónica Corral. First, she timed her run perfectly to latch onto a well-weighted through ball that slipped between two U.S. defenders into the right side of the penalty area, but with Pressley charging hard, she rolled her shot from a steep angle past a yard outside the left post. Just second later, Corral fired a laser over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Partially in an effort to dole out minutes to her entire roster, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis gave outside back Kendall Johnson her first start and first action of the tournament, while also giving Casey Short the nod at right midfield, starting Amber Brooks at defensive midfielder and Bywaters up top with Leroux. Brooks was a monster winning balls in the air and on the ground while Bywaters created danger with her speed throughout the match. The USA’s three subs – DiMartino, Teresa Noyola and Samantha Mewis (who came on in the 86th minute) all contributed off the bench.

The USA finished the tournament with 15 goals scored, by seven different players, and two allowed.

The USA will now set it sights on Germany where the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be contested in four cities from July 13 to Aug. 1. Ellis’ squad will have a competitive preparation schedule of both domestic and international events to prepare for the tournament, which will also serve as an excellent aperitif to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Germany the following summer.

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report

U.S. U-20 WNT vs. Mexico, Jan. 30, 2010
2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship; Final. Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CT (5:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: 75 degrees, muggy

Scoring Summary:

USA – Sydney Leroux (Kristie Mewis) 87th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Bianca Henniger; 6-Rachel Quon (8-Samantha Mewis, 83), 4-Crystal Dunn, 11-Toni Pressley, 20-Kendall Johnson (3-Vicki DiMartino, 56); 10-Casey Short (9-Teresa Noyola, 44), 5-Amber Brooks, 17-Christine Nairn, 15-Kristie Mewis; 12-Zakiya Bywaters, 19-Sydney Leroux (capt.)
Subs not used: 24-Taylor Vancil, 7-Tiffany McCarty, 13-Jenna Richmond, 16-Maya Hayes
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Aurora Santiago; 2-Bianca Sierra, 3-Alina Garciamendez, 4-Marylin Díaz, 5-Valeria Miranda; 7-Lydia Rangel, 11-Liliana Godoy, 14-Monica Alvarado, 16-Ashley Kotero (15-Angélica Figueroa, 70); 9-Sandra Mayor, 10-Verónica Corral
Subs not used: 12-Brissa Rangel, 13-Olivia Jimenez, 8-Mirelle Arciniega, 17-Natalia Gomez-Junco, 18-Inglis Hernández, 19-Natalie Lagunas
Head Coach: Roberto Medina

Stats Summary:
USA / MEX
Shots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 5 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
MEX – Alina Garciamendez (caution) 42nd minute
USA – Amber Brooks (caution) 52

Officials:
Referee: Yesli Sarai Rivas (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Patricia Pacheco (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Jacqueline Saez (PAN)
Fourth Official: Maria Cecibel Ortega (SLV)

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What a difference two weeks make for the Chicago Red Stars

Posted on 30 January 2010 by mwkajdas

Lindsay Tarpley is no longer a Red Star, to the great dismay of the team's fans

Two weeks ago last Thursday, on the eve of the Women’s Professional Soccer draft, Chicago Red Stars’ front office staff were running around like their hair was on fire in a desperate attempt to acquire a replacement for starting goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson. The resulting trade of team captain Lindsay Tarpley to St. Louis Athletica in exchange for their backup goalkeeper, Jillian Loyden, stunned the WPS world and left Red Stars fans aged eight to 80 crying into their pillows that evening. In keeping with the WPS’ Corleone rules for dealing with the press (“Never let anyone outside the family know what you’re thinking!”), the Red Stars remained tight-lipped about the trade at the time.

Further details have been shed on the situation, however. Read on here.

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What a Difference Two Weeks Make for the Red Stars

Posted on 30 January 2010 by mwkajdas

Two weeks ago last Thursday, on the eve of the WPS draft, the Red Stars’ front office staff were running around like their hair was on fire in a desperate attempt to acquire a replacement for their starting goalkeeper, Caroline Jönsson. The resulting trade of team captain Lindsay Tarpley to St. Louis Athletica in exchange for their backup goalkeeper, Jillian Loyden, stunned the WPS world and left Red Stars fans aged eight to eighty crying into their pillows that evening. In keeping with the WPS’ Corleone rules for dealing with the press (“Never let anyone outside the family know what you’re thinking!”), the Red Stars remained tight-lipped about the trade at the time.

Lindsay Tarpley is no longer a Red Star, to the great dismay of the team's fans

It has since been revealed on the team’s official website that the league’s extended 24-game schedule for 2010, necessitated by the addition of two expansion teams, might have prolonged Jönsson’s commitment to the Red Stars well into September and interfered with her plans for college enrollment. At Jönsson’s request, the Red Stars released her from her contract at which point the smoldering began in coach Emma Hayes’ dishwater blonde locks.

The sudden loss of Jönsson’s services may also have sent Hayes into defensive mode at the WPS draft the following morning when she underwhelmed some Chicago fans by using her much-anticipated fourth overall pick to select UNC’s star defender, Whitney Engen, over her showstopping teammate, Casey “Noogie” Nogueira. Noogie was later selected with the eighth overall pick by the Los Angeles Sol.

Now, two weeks after being stunned by the Chicago trade, WPS fans were once again sent into apoplectic fits by the announcement last Thursday that the Los Angeles Sol had folded up their tent. Their players will be made available to the rest of the teams in the league through a special “dispersal” draft to be held this following Thursday, February 4th. This is a particularly disturbing turn of events for Red Stars fans as one of those players being dispersed is WPS All-Star goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

As in the regular draft, the Red Stars once again will have the fourth overall pick. LeBlanc is a Canadian international and two of the three teams choosing ahead of Chicago—Atlanta and Philadelphia—still have an international slot open on their rosters. Like Chicago, both Atlanta and Philadelphia have already made deals to secure starting goalkeepers for their teams, so it remains doubtful that they would hold LeBlanc foremost in their sights. If they don’t and LeBlanc is still available when Chicago is on the clock, the Red Stars may be kicking themselves that they didn’t wait to make the Tarpley deal. Even without LeBlanc dangling in their faces next Thursday, the Red Stars may still end up with sore shins. With LA now out of the rotation, the 2010 season may be reduced from 24 games back to just 21—assuming teams will all play each other three times. And then perhaps Jönsson could have stayed with the team after all.

It’s just something for Red Stars fans to think about when they take their seats at Toyota Park for the home opener on April 17th and watch Lindsay Tarpley warming up on the pitch wearing a green jersey instead of blue. Maybe, with a second bite of the apple, the Red Stars can still snag Casey Nogueira for their fans. That would certainly go a long way to help ease some of their pain.

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RUMOR [UPDATE]: Philadelphia Power & Light [PPL] to sponsor Union stadium

Posted on 30 January 2010 by Breton Bonnette

UPDATE [2/1/2010] – According to Sports Business Journal, it will be a 10 year, $20 million deal. Nice to see that the Union will get the upper end of the naming deals and you can fully expect this place to be called PPL Park. The deal is being finalized but it’s almost a sure lock to be done by the end of the week. If anyone has a subscription and can send the substance of the article to us at ASN Philly – bbonnette@americansoccernews.net, we’d be forever grateful.

Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News has heard from a source that PP&L is close to multi-year agreement to sponsor the Chester Waterfront stadium set to open early this summer. Most stadium deals last longer than 5-10 years so you can expect a big one at $1-2 million a year. Although, with the current buzz and season ticket sales (approaching 10,000), you could see the Union squeeze a little more for a shorter term deal.

Time will only tell but take into account fellow soccer-specific stadiums with similar deals:

In 2007, mining company Rio Tinto bought the rights to the RSL’s Sandy, Utah stadium at $1.5 to 2mm a year for a 10  year deal.

In 2006, it is estimated that Dick’s Sporting Goods paid around $2mm/year to sponsor the huge Commerce City complex that now houses the Colorado Rapids.

In 2005, Pizza Hut signed on in Frisco, Texas (FC Dallas) for roughly $1.5mm/year. That again, however, was a sprawling soccer complex, complete with over 15 soccer fields and numerous marketing opportunities.

The only outlier is the Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park. The Bridgeview park received half of the amounts above in 2005, roughly $750,000 a year for 10 years to sponsor the Fire’s home.

So there you have it, if a deal goes through – it’s a possibility we’ll be getting $1.5-2 million a year for 5-10 years. Purely conjecture but it certainly gives you an idea of what to expect.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the new Stadium Construction photos – go here.

How do you like the ring of it? PPL Park? PPL Stadium? Would you have rather seen somebody else snap up the naming rights?

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Michael Orozco confirmed!

Posted on 29 January 2010 by Breton Bonnette

We had heard about this almost two weeks ago but it’s now confirmed…The 23-year old Olympian (no, we’re not going to bring up that game vs. Nigeria again…) joins on loan from Mexican Primera side San Luis. All MLS loan deals include an option to buy (thanks to Major League Soccer loving to control everything) so I would expect to see Orozco in Philly permanently if all goes well. 

This is a huge pick-up as Orozco has the potential to become an international-caliber defender with the proper coaching and with over 50 caps under his belt for San Luis, he’s already well on his way. In order to get him, the Union had to part with a chunk of its’ allocation money coffers sent to the Red Bulls in exchange for the number one spot on the allocation list. 

His play for the U-20s in the CONCACAF qualifying campaign for the Olympics and in Beijing as well led to Orozco earning his first cap for the national team at the end of 2008’s summer. As far as left-backs go, Orozco is certainly in the running for a spot in the 2010 World Cup squad as that position is seen as one of the weakest. Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein is the current favorite there with Oguchi Onyewu recovering from injury and Carlos Bocanegra in the middle. If his season with the Union goes well, we could see Orozco have a shot at heading to South Africa despite not having been on Bob Bradley’s radar much over the past six-months.

The California native can also play in the center leaving us still, seemingly, with a glaring right-back problem. Dave Myrie can play there but he’s still an unknown to Union fans. Both Thomas and Orozco have played right-back before but only in “dire” situations. Could another defensive option be coming soon? Or will Orozco move to the right side to keep Harvey on the left? With what we have right now, ASN Philly has to go with the backline looking like…

Harvey—–Califf——Thomas——-Orozco

Not bad I must say as this gives the Union one of the best defenses – on paper – in the league. Another great move from the Union’s front office.

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Philadelphia Union buy allocation rights from Red Bull, sign Michael Orozco

Posted on 29 January 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls announced today, Jan. 29, that it had sold its top spot in the allocation order to the Philadelphia Union. The newest Major League Soccer franchise used the spot on U-23 U.S. National Team defender Michael Orozco, who will join the Union on a loan deal Mexican First Division team San Luis FC. The Red Bulls get Philadelphia’s spot, the sixth in the allocation order.

New York fans should head over to ASN’s Red Bulls site to complain discuss.

Union fans can gloat over at the ASN Philly page.

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Union buy allocation rights to Michael Orozco

Posted on 29 January 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls announced today, Jan. 29, that it had sold its top spot in the allocation order to the Philadelphia Union. The newest Major League Soccer franchise used the spot on U-23 U.S. National Team defender Michael Orozco, who will join the Union on a loan deal Mexican First Division team San Luis FC. The Red Bulls get Philadelphia’s spot, the sixth in the allocation order.

Signed by San Luis in 2006, Orozco found a spot in the club’s starting line-up during the 2007 season and made 16 appearances on the team’s run to the quarterfinals of the Clausura Tournament. Last season, Orozco started in 28 games and scored four goals, including one in the Copa Libertadores.

He is perhaps best known for a straight red card in the third minute of the U.S. Olympic team’s final group stage game against Nigeria. The U.S. went on to lose the match and miss out on the elimination round as a result.

Terms of the Philadelphia-New York agreement were not disclosed so it’s impossible to gauge who got the better of the deal. Moving from first to sixth in the allocation order does not sound like much, but it isn’t every day that you get to sign a U-23 defender in MLS–even if it’s “just” on a loan. Orozco is a player who appears to have all the tools necessary to succeed–if not star–in the league. One can only hope the Red Bulls made Philadelphia pay through the nose.

Post your thoughts on the trade and sign up for our commenter contest to make them count!

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The sun sets on the Los Angeles Sol

Posted on 28 January 2010 by ASN Staff

After several weeks of negotiations with a potential new ownership group fell through at the last minute, Women’s Professional Soccer discontinued operations of the Los Angeles Sol on Thursday. The rights to the 19 players currently held by the Sol will be dispersed during a special draft for the league’s eight franchises on Thursday, February 4 and will be announced later that day.

Details on the dispersal draft and more on our WPS page.

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