Archive | April, 2010

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Open Cup: Union at RBNY Photo Gallery

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Breton Bonnette

More photos from the Open Cup all thanks to stand-in ASN Philly photographer Emily Pease. Let us know which one you think should be used for the next Caption Contest!!

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MLS weekend previews: A full slate awaits

Posted on 30 April 2010 by ASN Staff

A busy weekend awaits for Major League Soccer with all 16 teams in action in a span of 36 hours. Several intriguing matchups are on tap. In Seattle, Sigi Schmid’s current team faces his old one with whom he won an MLS Cup in 2008. Columbus has played fewer matches than any team in MLS but with a 2-0-1 record is the only Eastern Conference side without a loss on the young season.

Speaking of Eastern Conference, what would you think if we told you DC United and the New York Red Bulls (who face each other tomorrow) occupied first and last place in that table? That DC was first and New York last, right? Wrong. The situation is exactly reversed. Hans Backe’s men, though far from impressive when fielding their first team, have a five point lead in the East, which means they will maintain their hold on first regardless of what happens this weekend.

The only team to take points from the LA Galaxy this season, the Kansas City Wizards, are the Red Bulls’ nearest competitor in the standings. With its 2-1-1 record the team formerly known as the Wiz visit the Houston Dynamo, who are off to a better-than-usual (for them) 2-2-1 start.

Further west, the best team in MLS hosts one of the worst. The Philadelphia Union, fresh off some draconian punishment from their coach, visit the Home Depot Center late Sunday. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, the newest MLS side respond to Peter Nowak’s motivational methods. ASN Philly has a full preview of that match.

Another surprising team, the Colorado Rapids, also play on the west coast, at San Jose. The Earthquakes finally appear to be gelling into something more reminiscent of the team they became, the Houston Dynamo, than the one they were the last two seasons.

The defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake return home after a tough three game swing. They host Toronto FC on Saturday night. Read that preview here.

FC Dallas try again for their first win at New England Revolution, who face a difficult challenge without captain Shalrie Joseph.

Lastly, Chivas USA visit the Chicago Fire in a battle of teams in mid table in their respective conferences.

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The march to D.C. is on!What to expect from this weekend's sojourn?

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

After an interlude of wintry weather, spring is back in full force for this weekend’s game at RFK Stadium, where the New York Red Bulls take on archrivals DC United (sorry Philly. Maybe after you take a point from us?) A sizable contingent of New York fans will make the trip to the nation’s capital, hoping to see their team continue its hot start. Almost equally important, of course, is the task of prolonging DC’s miserable 0-4 start to the MLS regular season.

On paper, the Red Bulls should be the clear favorites–even though DC looked good defeating FC Dallas in their mid-week U.S. Open Cup match. Hans Backe’s team is off to its best-ever start and earlier this year proved it can win on the road with a 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC.

But two things speak against New York’s role as favorites. First off, this is MLS. What is a truism in nearly every other league in the world–that on any given matchday any team can win its game–is cold, hard fact in this league. Certainly home field advantage and injuries play their role but for all intents and purposes it’s a crapshoot. Flip a coin and it’s likely to be a better indicator of any prediction.

Second, while the Red Bulls’ record is indeed stellar, every one of its wins has come by a one-goal margin. In at least one or two of those (Chicago, Dallas) New York was not even the best team on the pitch. Its one impressive victory came with a side made up mainly of reserves.

Also, we’ve been here before. The Red Bulls entered their match with Chivas USA in similar circumstances; that is, New York was flying high and Chivas were still seeking their first win and frankly looking rather clueless doing it. We all know what happened. Chivas didn’t play particularly well, but New York did play particularly poorly, especially at one position (you know who you are, Bouna Condoul) before losing 2-0.

Lest we forget, the Red Bulls have never won at RFK since, well, ever. (It’s true the team’s last win at RFK came when they were the MetroStars). And Luciano Emilio will be available to come off the bench for DC United. He may even start. With him and Jaime Moreno, DC are a different foe.

From Hans Backe’s side, expect the identical starting lineup to the first Philly game, though there is a slight chance Seth Stammler or Tony Tchani could take Carl Robinson’s place as holding midfielder. Both played very well in the US Open Cup win, while Robinson was very poor in his last start. Then again, Backe has been impervious to lineup moves for reasons other than injuries so unless Robbo has reaggravated his injury, don’t count on it.

Frankly, a lot probably hangs on Juan Pablo Angel’s form and fitness. The former Aston Villa man has not been himself since the vicious tackle by Julian de Guzman in the preseason. If Angel is anything close to full strength, it could be a long day for United and their fans. If not, a hobbled JPA could seriously disrupt the flow of the team’s attack. It will also be interesting to watch Salou Ibrahim in his second regular season start. The Ghanaian played very well against Philly and there is reason to expect even better things from him against DC.

Despite all this, I optimistically predicted a 3-1 victory in the most recent Seeing Red Episode. What’s yours?

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Wizards Travel to Houston

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Nate Brinson

After a now infamous 0-0 draw against the LA Galaxy, the Kansas City Wizards travel to Robertson Stadium to face the Houston Dynamo.

Last week’s game at home against the Galaxy has drawn worldwide attention as the video of Kei Kamara’s spectacular miss has truly gone viral. Not only was the miss comical, but it also cost the Wizards a statement victory against a Galaxy team that started the season 4-0-0.

Aside from Kamara’s miss, coach Peter Vermes can take several positives from the game. Pablo Escobar filled in admirably for the injured Jimmy Conrad as he and Matt Besler helped contain Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan. With Conrad likely to miss this weekend’s game as well, Escobar and Besler will once again be tasked with defending the opposition forwards. Offensively, the Wizards had more possession and more scoring chances, forcing LA to rely on Donovan Ricketts (as well as Kei Kamara) to make several key saves.

Kansas City will play a Dynamo team that has experienced a difficult week. After a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, the Dynamo learned that they will lose midfielder Geoff Cameron for the season with a torn PCL. Coach Dominic Kinnear hoped that Cameron would fill the hole in central midfield after the departures of both Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark, and now Kinnear must again retool his central midfield.

The likely solution will be to move Brad Davis inside and start Corey Ashe in Davis’ old spot in left midfield. Adrian Serioux could also step in as a direct replacement for Cameron. Davis is the more skillful of the two players, however, he is more effective in a slower paced game. The Wizards have excelled at applying high pressure all over the field all season, and they would most likely continue this tactic to avoid giving Davis the time to use his cultured left foot.

Offensively for Kansas City, the question is a simple one: can they convert their advantage in possession into goals. Vermes’ team have dramatically improved this season based on style points, but since the 4-0 drubbing of DC United in the season opener, the Wizards have scored only one goal in league play. Kansas City does not possess a true goalscoring machine, and therefore like the stifling defense that the team has displayed this year, goalscoring for this club will have to truly be a team effort.

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Coach Nowak for a Day: Who starts in place of Seb Le Toux?

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Alright Union fans, you are Coach Nowak for the day. Evaluating players about leading scorer Seb Le  Toux’s absence for tomorrow night’s game vs. Los Angeles. Who will join (if anyone) Ale Moreno up top? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each player?  Vote below and let us know your reasoning in the Comments section!

A little bit about the choices:

Courtesy, www.philadelphiaunion.com

Danny Mwanga

Mwanga has shown his potential on occasion but it’s clear, the realization of that potential is going to take some time. He still has yet to adapt to the fast pace nature of the game but his build allows him to still get a little time on the ball. That means he really needs to know what to do with it.

Shea Salinas

The projected starters from the game notes list Shea Salinas as Ale Moreno’s partner up top. However unlikely it may be, his speed and technical ability certainly make him a candidate. He was one of the only bright spots in take two vs. the Red Bulls. His weak spot? His passing out of the back.

Jack McInerney

The Open Cup play-in was a chance for Jack Mac to shine and he truly looked lost. He was getting flicked off the ball, making intuitive but overly predictable off the ball runs, and his on the ball work was shaky. Give it time but does he deserve another look against Los Angeles?

Nick Zimmerman

Listed as a striker at times, Zimmerman has some pace and when we wants to, some real bite. He can take defenders on or he can disappear in a game. He could be a good candidate if he’s kept constantly involved in the game. Yet to score a professional goal.

Other

Do you think they’ll change the formation? Possibly take a look at a Roger Torres or Fred up front? For more information, you can check out our Game Preview.

POLL:

[polldaddy poll=3132428]

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Friday audio news update

Posted on 30 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe to ASN's Audio Soccer News Daily for free! (Just this audio feed, no other ASN items!)

For more information on your host Jason Davis check out Match Fit USA and of course be sure to listen to AmericanSoccerShow.com, home of the popular American Soccer Show weekly podcast. Be sure to listen in every Monday!

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Episode 9: Nick Zimmerman becomes first MLS player to visit show, Philly beat-down x2, looking ahead to DCU…

Posted on 30 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Seeing Red! The New York Soccer Roundup

In our ninth podcast, we welcome our first ever MLS player to the show: Philadelphia Union second-year man (and former New York Red Bull) Nick Zimmerman discusses his new team, defends coach Peter Nowak’s antics and tells us a bit about the average day of an MLS player. Of course we also award “Bull” and “Cow” of the week, discuss the two wins over Philly, answer emails and more! Check it out! Please be advised the audio quality is horrendous again. Apologies for that. The kinks have been worked out and it should be crystal clear starting next week.

Seeing Red! is a collaboration of ASN’s Nathaniel E. Baker, Mark Fishkin of TheKinOfFish and Dave Martinez of RedBulls.TheOffside. For more information visit SeeingRedNY.com.

You can now subscribe to the show on itunes as well.

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United blends vintage with new wine for a fine harvest in US Open Cup win

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Steve Long

For a cobbled together side, DC United showed remarkable maturity in withstanding a strong comeback bid by FC Dallas and seeing the game out with a poise and patience not seen too often in the 2009 version of the team.

Tino Quaranta, who entered in the second half explained how it worked out, “Guys understood we had to get that win. I’m another year older. Clyde’s another year older. ….It’s a good mixture of guys (young and older) and we just try to come in and slow the game down and do what we have to do to win.”

Carey Talley, who played the entire 90 minutes, elaborated, “It’s gotta be addressed as a group. It’s gotta be the older guys with the balls that they give, in the right spots that enable us to get the ball and just make it easier on the young guys.”

The younger players picked right up on the idea. “We were helping set each other out. It wasn’t, ‘I’m just gonna play it into a guy and wherever it lands, I hope he does well with it.’ We were actually thinking about things.”

The play of two particular youngsters set up and then helped hold together United’s well-executed game plan. Coach Curt Onalfo wanted his players to come out hard and seek the early goal. Sure enough, it came in the 4th minute through the aggressive play of 17 year old Andy Najar topped off by a clever chip of the solid veteran Adam Cristman.

Najar earned his first goal for DC United in the 51st minute when he positioned himself perfectly to finish a fine cross from Cristman who displayed similar energy and initiative all night. Each used his own particular talent to unbalance and surprise the Dallas defense all night.

Najar gave them no rest, demonstrating that he is learning fast how to handle the physical challenge of older players. His own strength with the ball and also in challenging for it continue to improve at a phenomenal rate.

Cristman used his own physicality and guile to alternately pressure or slip into good locations as the flow of the game presented him opportunities.

Meanwhile, Jordan Graye made his first start for DC and it went about as one would expect for a rookie. Quaranta described the feelings from his own now long past experience, “You get very nervous your first game, especially at RFK. It’s not easy, but he’s done well. He’s young and he’ll have a lot of years here.”

Talley pointed out how Graye quickly adapted after being beaten several times by the fast and athletic Brek Shea, “A couple of us said something to him, ‘Hey, you’ve got to be closer to us. Don’t stand out there on the sideline because then he’ll get in behind you. If you’re closer to us, he’s going to the corner. I think he figured that out and put it to use.”

The rookie agreed and explained, “With long balls over the top, he kinda caught me on my blind side a little bit. I’m a pretty fast player, so I like to gauge how people are. He kinda caught me by surprise that first time. But I adjusted well to that.”

Graye grew increasingly confident as the game went on and he moved more often into attack, “As I get more comfortable I start to play more of my game.” To his credit, he joined his teammates in the judicious control of the ball in the final fifteen minutes as they saw the game out.

Clyde Simms entered the game in the 56th minute as Kurt Morsink took a knock. His 34 minutes were a perfect reintroduction to competitive play as he comes off a hamstring strain. He played effectively, but feels that he is not quite where he wants to be.

He is not yet at full speed because, “I did my knee in pre season and only had a week and a half until I did my hamstring. So, it’s been a while since I played.” It is common to get an injury to another limb coming off surgery as the body compensates with unexpected imbalance. He is focusing on taking this rehab at a good pace and expects to see action in the following 10 days as United has three more closely spaced games.

Like his predecessor, Brian Carroll, he believes in preparing his mental game as well, by reviewing game tapes. “I’ve always been good at remembering every play in my head, but it’s different on film. I’m good at that, learning from my mistakes.”

He went on to echo Curt Onalfo’s idea that players should not overanalyze, “Every team is different, every game is different, so when you watch the film, you don’t want to put too much into that. You can psych yourself out a bit.” He observed that learning the general principal was where the value is found.

DC United will take on the Red Bulls on Saturday at 4:00 PM as part of a doubleheader with the Washington Freedom. With important members of the already stretched roster playing just enough minutes to stay sharp, United has cause to hope for continued solid team play and good results.

Match Facts

FC Dallas vs. D.C. United, April 28, 2010 — RFK Stadium
U.S. Open Cup play-in game

Scoring Summary:
DC — Adam Cristman (Andy Najar) 4
DC — Christian Castillo (unassisted) 39
DC — Andy Najar (Adam Cristman) 51
DAL — Bruno Guarda (unassisted) 52
DAL — Dax McCarty (penalty kick) 57
DC — Adam Cristman (Clyde Simms) 59

FC Dallas — Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu (George John 46), Anthony Wallace, Edson Edward, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander (Dax McCarty 46), Bruno Guarda, Brek Shea, Atiba Harris (Heath Pearce 65), Eric Avila (Andrew Wiedeman 76), Jason Yeisley. Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cunningham, David Ferreira, Dario Sala.

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Brek Shea 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Dax McCarty 2); FOULS: 13 (Eric Avila 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Heath Pearce 1); SAVES: 1 (Kevin Hartman 1)

D.C. United — Troy Perkins, Jordan Graye, Devon McTavish, Carey Talley, Rodney Wallace, Andy Najar, Kurt Morsink (Clyde Simms 56), Brandon Barklage (Santino Quaranta 63), Christian Castillo (Jaime Moreno 75), Adam Cristman (Tiyi Shipalene 86), Thabiso Khumalo. Substitutes Not Used: Lyle Adams, Barry Rice, Bill Hamid.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Adam Cristman 3, Andy Najar 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Adam Cristman 2, Andy Najar 2); FOULS: 15 (6 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Adam Cristman 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Christian Castillo 3); SAVES: 5 (Troy Perkins 5)

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Kurt Morsink (caution; Reckless Tackle) 21
DC — Rodney Wallace (caution; Reckless Foul) 28
DAL — Anthony Wallace (caution; Reckless Foul) 67
DAL — Edson Edward (caution; Reckless Foul) 72

Referee: Chris Penso
Referee’s Assistants: -Adam Wienckowski; Corey Parker
4th Official: Bryan Roslund
Attendance: 2,804
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-57-degrees

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The RSL.ASN forum: For you, by you

Posted on 30 April 2010 by ASN Staff

For some time we have been looking for a way to implement forum functionality into this site. It appears we finally have a winner. The brand new RBNY.ASN forum does not require separate registration. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or Yahoo! username (and seriously who doesn’t nowadays) you are IN and can start posting! This doesn’t mean the forum isn’t moderated however (spammers beware). Obviously hate speech and threats of violence or other intimidation are not tolerated either.

The forum does not integrate comments posted to the site. Those remain a separate entity. Which is fine because it creates a church/state separation between the site’s proprietary content (and responses thereto) and topics that readers and fans are interested in discussing among themselves.

So go ahead and check it out!

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A home stand, at an opportune time

Posted on 30 April 2010 by kali

May couldn’t come much sooner for Real Salt Lake.

After a grueling road stretch in April, including losses at Houston, Los Angeles, and Columbus, RSL returns home for a three-game home stand on Saturday when the team plays host to Toronto FC.  Real will be trying to get back on track at Rio Tinto Stadium as it seeks to regroup from the road swing and move up in the Western Conference standings.

However, Toronto will be looking to play the spoiler.  After a tough start to the season, O’Brian White and Dwayne DeRosario have spearheaded a TFC resurgence in the last few matches.  Toronto brings a two-game winning streak into Salt Lake City, having defeated Seattle 2-0 in Canada last weekend.  However, fatigue could be a factor for the Reds, as they played on Sunday and then again on Wednesday in a tough Canadian Championship match.

With snow falling in the Salt Lake Valley, RSL was forced to practice indoors on Thursday, where the team worked in positional groups.  Fabian Espindola did not practice Thursday because of an ankle injury sustained earlier in the week, while Javier Morales was out sick.  Robbie Findley, who had been working through a groin injury, practiced with the team and is likely to start alongside Alvaro Saborio on Saturday.  Although Chris Wingert and Ned Grabavoy have also resumed training, Wingert is considered doubtful for Saturday’s match, while Grabavoy remains officially listed as out this week.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s injuries are relatively few, with only defender Emmanuel Gomez (out) and midfielder Amadou Sanyang (probable) officially listed with the league.  Ty Harden and Nick Garcia both left Wednesday’s Canadian Championship match early, although their status for Saturday is not yet known.

The match will kick off at 7 pm MT on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In other RSL news:

  • The RSL reserves will host the Mexican national U-21 team on May 15 as part of a Utah tour which will see the Mexicans also play the BYU and Weber State club teams
  • Though the date has yet to be determined, RSL will face DC United in the next phase of U.S. Open Cup qualifying.  The match will be held in Washington DC, either in mid-May or early June.

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