Archive | June, 2010

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Podcast: TMR Lunch Break – Twellman shelved for season

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Hank Alexandre

Hank and Steve sit down on a noisy street corner to discuss the recent move of Taylor Twellman to the season ending injury list.

Click here to listen

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The Corner Stoehr: Somerville Blues Cured?

Posted on 29 June 2010 by sstoehrst

Recently, Revolution COO Brian Bilello volunteered to stand before the firing squad and take questions from fans in New England.  Apparently the response was pretty good and Mr. Bilello took the time to answer several of the most popular and pressing questions on the Revs’ blog.  You can read all of his responses here.

Although he addressed public transportation, attendance, SuperLiga, new crest/rebranding, and media coverage, I want to give some attention to an issue he touched on that I’ve covered before: the Somerville soccer-specific stadium. After rehashing the typical party dogma about how the stadium remains a top priority for the Revs organization (funded by an ownership group whose sole goal in life right now is to recoup money they invested in Patriot Place), Mr. Bilello looked to be patronizing Revs fans yet again.

Then Brian starts to get specific. I have to say; I appreciate how he immediately addressed the Somerville location rather than hitting us with the typical “we’re examining all options” line:

With the decision regarding the MBTA’s Green Line maintenance facility in Somerville in place, we have re-launched the process of examining that area as a stadium site. We were in a holding pattern for a bit while the city and MBTA worked out the details of the facility. During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium on that site given the footprint of the maintenance facility and other existing structures.

Finally, a reason why we stopped talking to Somerville in the first place. It would seem that the MBTA rail yard was still a problem after all – and now that it’s been dealt with, the Revs can move in and start getting the concrete details sorted. But the fabulous Mr. Bilello was far from finished. He then hit us with this gem:

In the last few months, we have also begun studying three additional sites around Boston’s metro core. These sites may not have been available to us in the past, but have recently shown potential interest in having our stadium.

Immediately I began racking my brain for metro-area locations that might be available for development, and to be honest not a lot comes to mind.  Then again, my knowledge of the Boston area is really restricted to the city itself,  so I’ll trust better Beantown minds than mine to make the educated guesses.  But the idea that there are other locations courting the Revolution is very encouraging and says a lot about the grassroots support in the region.  Honestly, I will remain skeptical until I see some kind of concrete move or result, be that a formal proposal or a shovel breaking ground. Having said that, and despite my better judgment, Mr. Bilello’s revelations have stirred an excitement in me, an expectation that I might actually see a soccer-specific stadium in New England within the next decade.

For once, he’s done what a lot of us have been calling for: answered questions directly and with specific examples.  Also, almost as if to placate us into accepting that the Krafts care about the Revolution and are investing in them fully, Brian admitted that the organization had put “more than $1 million” into exploring new options for a soccer-specific stadium.  Well, Mr. Bilello, that’s certainly commitment.  Here’s to the next million going to a construction company instead.

Excited by Mr. Bilello’s responses, or taking it all with a grain of salt? And do YOU know where else they might be looking? Leave a comment!

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Post-Match Quotes, PPL Park Opener [team-provided]

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Breton Bonnette

We will have more to come but these are the quotes that were team-provided…

Manager Peter Nowak, Philadelphia Union

On PPL Park’s opening:

“It was a historical moment. The place was just amazing. Everybody felt the tension and everyone was pretty quiet before we entered the field. If you are not motivated playing in front of these guys, with this kind of atmosphere, you should change your profession. But these guys were very focused and very disciplined.

On making adjustments after Seattle scored first:

“Unfortunately (Seattle) got the goal right before half time, that was very not encouraging. But the more we played the way we did, there were a couple moments in the first half especially that we made it difficult for ourselves trying to make plays and passes between the defenders and trying to push the game a little bit too far.”

“And I think we talked about that at half time, to stretch them out and to make sure we had the wings out, and push the game to their half with tactical discipline. All this good (stuff) comes from the outside. They did a great job bringing the balls in and there were good runs inside.”

On believing in his club:

“3-1 is 3-1. (While) it’s just the beginning, we are very happy with the win. It’s the first game at home; this is a very special group. I never stopped believing in this group. This is a work in progress and we are trying to do the best job every day and make sure the team is in the right direction.”

On how much better this team played today compared to the previous match at Seattle:

“Well we didn’t give up two (early) goals; that was positive. I think we talked about that, we worked on it. And of course, without these guys and me believing, and without the work, the results will not come. Where we were after those games, it’s good to be home. This is our place to play with fantastic fans and you guys supporting the team.”

On the club’s overall performance:

 “I was very pleased with everything, the ball movement, the creating of chances, the shots, everything was there. The first half wasn’t perfect but the second half was almost perfect. As I said many times, you can’t play a perfect game because even Tiger Woods can’t play a perfect game, but these guys tried really hard the second half to play a perfect game and the results say it all.”

On what today’s win does for the team’s confidence:

“With (coach) John (Hackworth) we tried to find a balance between not being down, not being dismissing, not having long faces. We have been there before (with) the goal before half time. We knew what to do in the second half, how to play our game. Rhe confidence of the whole group, they make themselves better and that is a very special feeling for the coaching staff knowing that these guys are hungry for success.

“As I said, this is just the first step. We know the feeling after we won (against) D.C. United and then what happened after that. It’s the balance between having an emotional breakdown or being too high with your feelings after the win. For me, I will let them celebrate today because it was a very special moment but tomorrow we go back to work.”

Goalkeeper Chris Seitz, Philadelphia Union

On the penalty kick save and the lift it gave the club:

“I think our coaching staff does a real good job of getting us footage of past games. They had a good idea of tendencies of players and with that kind of stuff. I try and look at tendencies of players throughout the game and try to make the best guess I can. There is also a bit of luck in there.

“It felt good, but more importantly it was good for our team. We were in a tight situation; it was 1-1 at the time and for us to keep it at 1-1 and go forward at the time from there is a big part of the team. I am just happy I could get one finally.”

On feeding off the home crowd:

“It was special. For a lot of us it was our second time here playing. To get the support that we have in the city is just huge for us. We want to go out there after a break and put a good performance together for our fans most importantly. So for us to go out there and get the win that we did with a good answer in the second half is huge for our confidence and huge for us moving forward.”

Forward Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia Union

On playing in the heat and humidity:

“It was tough because of the weather. (It was) something we are not really used to since the beginning of the year. Maybe in Houston it was like that. But even I think it was worse here than Houston and we ran a lot today. I think we gave everything out there on the field and sometimes it was kind of hard. We tried to keep the ball and to breathe a little bit. After running around today I have these lights in front of me now like the sun, but it’s OK. It is still great, we won so (that makes it) much easier.”

On playing midfield today instead of forward:

“(Nowak) wanted me to play this position this week and we tried to put that in place. On Wednesday, I found it to be a bit of freedom when we played a friendly (against affiliate club Reading United). I can make deeper runs from the midfield and I can get back on defense. It was another catch-22 to do because Danny was on top. I had to adjust a little bit. Sometimes it was difficult to push up and figure out what they wanted me to do. But I am glad that we won today.”

On playing at PPL Park in front of home supporters:

“It was very nice for me, (and I was) just thinking of doing the best I can on the field. There is lots of ambition because of the new stadium and all of the people who were crazy today behind us. It’s great as a player and I will have great memories about that.”

On the win:

“Playing against Seattle, it was very special. I really wanted to win this game because it was our first game (at PPL Park). It’s great, I am very happy tonight and I am glad because everyone did a great job. Chris saved us and he gave us confidence after we tied and then he made that great save. Now we can sleep on that, but it’s just a win. We are still behind, we have to be good at home and need to now put up some points when we play on the road. We need to be strong and I am sure we are.”

On the penalty kick:

I’ve known (Kasey Keller) a long time and we use to practice PKs. I knew he knew my favorite side.  I just wait until the last moment and I knew he would dive early and I put the ball in past him.”

Forward Danny Mwanga, Philadelphia Union

On playing first game at PPL Park:

“I knew it was going to be a very good game, especially because we were going to be in front of our fans. So it was like extra motivation for all of us just being able to do that for them, to win that game for them for the first time in our new stadium. It was just the best feeling ever.”

On his goal today:

“I hit it the first time and (Keller) did a good job. He had his foot left behind him and just like I do at practice I didn’t stop following the ball. I knew that I had a second chance and I just had to tap it in.”

On Alejandro Moreno and Le Toux:

“Both guys are doing a good job at helping me keep my head in the game and helping me to work on some areas of the game. Both of them are doing a very good job and have such a big impact on our team.”

On facing Seattle again:

“Home field is definitely a big advantage for us. We all knew that during the first game we had a couple mistakes, and we watched the video from the first game and we learned from our mistakes and went out there and tried to correct them and come out strong.”

On the club’s strategy against Seattle:

“They have a bunch of dangerous players. We knew we were just going to play them physical. We knew they were going to fall as much as possible, but we didn’t care about that. We played them tight, we played them physical. They got one break on us from a little counter attack but besides that I don’t think they were very dangerous.”

On how the team has come together since the last meeting with Seattle:

“We’ve had more time together as a team, we’ve had experience. Also we had a home crowd.  Playing in Seattle last time was tough but we are definitely a lot smarter defensively. We know when to attack and we don’t force it too much. We take our time a little better and our coach has done well preparing us and fixing our mistakes. Hopefully we can carry it through the next  19 games.”

On coming out in PPL Park for the first time:

“When we first came out it was an unreal feeling. It was a little emotional during the National Anthem with everybody singing, and just thinking about how fortunate I was to be there. I just started to choke up, held back some tears, but it was an unreal feeling and I just felt so blessed to be in this atmosphere.”

Midfielder Roger Torres, Philadelphia Union

On importance of playing at home:

“It was something really beautiful and we needed it.  We were coming to this game from a bunch of results that were not favorable and playing at home, we always get something good out of it, so it is important for us to keep being home.”

On the team’s progress since last playing Seattle

“It has changed a lot, because our first game it was something new to us. It was our first game and we came out there and we were new to the league. Now the team is more solid and we know the formula to play the game and we showed it today and we won.”

 Head Coach Sigi Schmid, Seattle Sounders

On playing in Philadelphia:

“When you don’t train in the humidity, it’s a little bit tougher to play in it. We were where we wanted to be. The penalty kick, for them, I haven’t seen before, so I can’t really comment on it. Then we got a penalty kick back. We haven’t scored a penalty kick in MLS play, and that killed us at the end. If we score that penalty kick and make it 2-1, I think the game’s a different game.”

On the atmosphere for the game:

“It was good, it was good. Obviously the fans are excited. They’re behind their club. It’s going to help them, and once they got on the scoreboard, the fans got a little bit louder and were a lot more involved.”

On playing Philadelphia:

We had seen them play, so it was more unknown when we played them the first time because they hadn’t played a game. We were here yesterday, we had a feel for what the stadium looked like, we knew that the atmosphere was going to be great, and we’re used to playing in front of a great atmosphere.”

On the flow of the game:

“Goals change games. In the opening night for us we scored a couple of goals, and they took a red card, which hurt them in that game. Tonight was the same thing. We had the goal, and we should have scored a second goal off the PK, and we didn’t. Then the game changes. They ended up winning and scoring the goals they needed to win the game. More so than anything, they are more comfortable playing in the heat and humidity. It was our first time we had to play in it and it made a big difference. It takes a period of adjustment. It’s a lot easier for a team to train in heat and go play in cold weather then to train in cold weather and go play in heat.”

On the play of Kasey Keller:

“Keller came up big on some big saves. The header off Arrieta was probably his best save. He had another good save going to his right, but that’s what a goalkeeper is supposed to do, that’s his job.”

On changes made a halftime:

“We wanted to drop back a little bit, and we had trouble holding onto the ball in the first half, so it wasn’t just Ljungberg. I think we got him the ball a little bit more in the second half. Today we just didn’t have a good day of possession.”

On outlook for the rest of the season:

“I’m never a guy who’s going to say it’s desperate, you have to believe you’re going to win. That’s what we talked about. We have an Open Cup game midweek and then we play on the weekend against LA. We still believe in ourselves as a unit. The games all about when you dominate, you have to score goals, and you have to make sure they don’t score. They worked hard, and in the second half, they raised their level of play and did well.”

 Forward Pat Noonan, Seattle Sounders

On how the game unfolded:

“We came into halftime with a 1-0 lead; we had done some good things. We were sluggish at times. I know we had some good opportunities. We had a chance to tie the score with a PK, and it’s got to be put in. We can’t keep thinking about it. We’re disappointed.”

On his goal:

“Steve (Zakuani) got the ball and he took it inside and put it across nicely, and I was able to get a touch on it. I was able to scoot it past (Seitz) and score.”

On how Philadelphia was able to win:

“We lacked energy, and we let them back into the game. I had to get that PK in, but I didn’t. They came back and scored and put it away. It’s frustrating. We need to go win in Portland to bounce back. That’s about it.”

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Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders: Player Ratings

Posted on 28 June 2010 by stoma

Player ratings from ASN’s Sam Toma…based on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest):

Chris Seitz – Goalkeeper 7.5

Only really called into action once in the first 40 minutes, but responded to that chance well. Beaten on a ball he could do nothing about in the 45th, as his defense let him down a bit on a deflection right onto the foot of Pat Noonan.  Got his revenge against Noonan in the 59th when he out-waited the striker before saving the penalty kick that preserved the tie at the time.  Solid and confident all day long; decision-seeming to improve by the minute.

Shea Salinas- Defense 7

The pacy option to prevent Montero from running wild like he did in the opener and to especially guard against rising star Steve Zakuani, becoming more and more confident at the back with every passing appearance.   For the first time, really seemed to take on primary defensive responsibilities and showed himself to be the aggressor.  Started to push forward in the 2nd half, with Jordan Harvey staying back.  The highlight of his forays forward was the clipped ball towards Moreno that drew the foul call in the box that resulted in the penalty kick and the Union’s first goal.

Jordan Harvey – Defense 6.5

As has been the case throughout the season, pushing up from his right back spot and serving the attackers.   As noted above, switched responsibilities with Salinas in the 2nd half and hung back a bit more. Both Salinas and Harvey shut down the wings for Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Zakuani. Very little was heard from Seattle’s most dangerous attackers.

Danny Califf – Defense 6.5

Almost pitched a perfect game in the 1st half only to allow Pat Noonan behind him on the deflect for Seattle’s goal in the 45th minute.   For the first time this season, didn’t let a mistake rattle him and held firm in front of Seitz for the remainder.  Of course, improved goal-keeping makes a defense look better and vice versa.  Tonight, it was a beneficial co-dependent relationship.

Cristian Arrieta – Defense 6

Solid for the most part, but certainly deserves his fair share of blame for the deflection leading to the goal.  And, of course, did commit the foul that led to Seattle’s penalty kick.  But he also got into the air well on both sides of the ball, forcing Keller to make one of his better saves of the night off of header from a Le Toux corner in the 78th minute.

Stefani Miglioranzi – Midfield 5.5

Steady at the back, not a lot of action/touches through the 1st half.  Almost like a referee, it seems as though if we don’t mention Migs’ name, he and the Union had a good game.  So, maybe I’m contradicting myself by only giving him a rating of 5, but I’ll let you all ponder that one.

Roger Torres – Midfield 5.5

Not providing much by way of service, but was able to get forward himself more and offer options for his teammates.  Subbed off for Jacobsen in the 63rd minute before really making his mark on the game.

Fred – Midfield 7

Played at his consistently solid level, providing useful touches around the box.  A bit more aggressive in the last third this match than in those previous, getting 2 shots on frame, both quality scoring chances (the second of which was the 79th minute goal off of Sebastien Le Toux’s corner kick).  Came off to a standing ovation and several “we are not worthy” salutes in the 81st minute.

Sebastien Le Toux ©ASN/Terry McLaughlin

ASN's Man of the Match Seb Le Toux ©ASN/Terry Mc Laughlin

Sebastien Le Toux – Midfield 8.5 *ASN’s MAN OF THE MATCH

As always, led the attack, but 3 shots on goal in the 1st half did not seem to overly worry Keller.  This all changed in the 2nd half, first putting away the equalizing penalty kick in the 54th minute, then becoming the point guard on the break.  Playing at midfield to accommodate Danny Mwanga’s recent addition to the first 11, Seba’s work rate really produced results in the final 45 minutes.  In addition to taking 6 corner kicks of the 8 Philadelphia created,  he was able to be the link between the midfield and the attack that this team has been looking for.  Direct involvement in all 3 goals and really should have had 2 assists, but for the fact that Mwanga’s was technically unassisted due to the fact that it was off the rebound.

Danny Mwanga – Forward 7.5

The phenom’s confidence is clearly beginning to rise, showing willingness to take on defenders.   Put 4 shots on frame and had his hard work pay off in the 84th minute off a pretty pass from Seba, although he had to put in the rebound after having his initial effort stopped.  Physical ability is blatantly apparent; the kid is the real deal.    Subbed off for Nick Zimmerman in the 87th minute to a standing ovation.  Proved that he can, in fact, score in normal time.

Alejandro Moreno – Forward 7

Looked a step slow early.  Had a couple of good opportunities to score, but could not convert.  However, still managed to influence the game greatly by drawing the foul that resulted in the penalty kick and the Union’s pivotal 1st goal.  Ultimately, a bit concerning that he was not winning as many balls and holding up the defenders as well as we and his teammates have become accustomed to.  All the same, Ale himself said after the FC Dallas game that he does a lot of things that go unnoticed, and tonight was the perfect example.  It may not show up in the score sheet, but Moreno’s hand touched all three goals: obviously, he directly set up the penalty kick by drawing the foul; he seemed to screen and/or fake Keller out on the ball from Le Toux that eventually found Fred’s foot; and the gorgeous through-ball to Seba that sprung him and Mwanga on the break.  Still the engine that drives the Union bus.

Andrew Jacobson – Midfield 5.5

Came on for Roger Torres in 63rd minute.  Showed good energy in the immediate aftermath of the penalty kick exchange. A strong move for Coach Nowak, sending a message that he would not be playing for a tie, which the team followed, helped by the injection of energy from Jacobson.

Amobi Okugo – Midfield N/A

Came on for goal-scorer Fred in 81st minute

Nick Zimmerman – Midfield N/A

Came on for goal-scorer Danny Mwanga in 87th minute.

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FC Gold Pride stumbles in 2-0 loss to Sky Blue

Posted on 28 June 2010 by asu

The FC Gold Pride suffered their third loss of the season tonight against NJ Sky Blue. Playing in triple-digit weather seemed to have a different and opposite effect on each team, with the Pride limping into the game with heavy legs and only beginning to heat up too late into the second half while Sky Blue consistently sizzled with offensive aplomb and a composed and cool defense. Alice Hsu reports.

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Pride Stumbles in 2-0 Loss to Sky Blue

Posted on 28 June 2010 by asu

The FC Gold Pride suffered their third loss of the season tonight against NJ Sky Blue. Playing in triple-digit weather seemed to have a different and opposite effect on each team, with the Pride limping into the game with heavy legs and only beginning to heat up too late into the second half while Sky Blue consistently sizzled with offensive aplomb and a composed and cool defense.

The first five minutes of the game seemed like any other Pride home game. There were several offensive chances with a main play in the 4th minute on a Pride forward Kelley O’Hara cross from the left side of the field to a rushing Shannon Boxx. Unfortunately, Sky Blue goalkeeper and All-Star team pick, Karen Bardsley, shut down the duo by palm-punching the ball away from the mouth of the goal. Sky Blue defender and team captain, Christie Rampone, then cleared it from the penalty area. The rest of the first half was slow, with few other offensive attacks and with more passing by both teams than pressure by either. After the first 10 minutes, Sky Blue maintained clear possession, with several runs where their players got past the Pride backline. However, Sky Blue then held the ball far too long when in striking distance, which allowed Pride players to track back and regain possession.

As the first half wore down, Sky Blue seemed to pick up their pace while the Pride continued to hold the ball. The Pride back line consisting of Candace Chapman, Rachel Buehler, Kandace Wilson, and Ali Riley started being tested with frequency and ferocity. Sky Blue’s defensive trio made up of Heather O’Reilly, Laura Kalmari, and Rosana kept chipping away at the centerbacks with an endless flurry of crosses and give-and-gos. At the whistle, the score remained 0-0.

Seeming to sense the team’s lethargy, Pride coach Albertin Montoya made all three substitutions within the first 3 minutes of the second half. As a result, the second half saw more chances on goal by the Pride, but the runs were still a little slower and the reactions to set plays were still a little sluggish. Sky Blue took advantage of the Pride’s stupor in the 58th minute with a O’Reilly cross from the right side of the field onto the head of a speeding Rosana who tapped it over Pride goalkeeper Nicoe Barnhart’s head. The Pride finally reacted with a flurry of offensive activity, with a majority of activity coming from halftime substitute, Tiffany Millbrett, who had several shots on goal that were just wide of the target.

Unfortunately, even with the fresh legs of Millbrett and Montoya’s other substitutes, Kristen Graczyk and Camille Abily, the Pride’s offensive opportunities continued to be limited by Rampone’s organized back.

Sky Blue sealed the deal with second half substitute Natasha Kai’s goal in the 88th minute. Kai received a through ball from Jessica Landstrom and was able to put on the afterburners and beat Graczyk and Buehler for a one-on-one with Barnhart. While facing Barnhart, Kai stepped to the left and then slotted a driven ball to the outside post, just past Barnhart’s outstretched fingers and into the back of the net. The Pride was not able to launch a successful attack in the remaining minutes of the game. During stoppage time, Marta vocally expressed the displeasure and frustration that all the Pride players must have been feeling on the inside; she received a yellow card for her troubles. The game ended with a definitive 2-0 Sky Blue victory.

The highlight of the Pride’s latter half was Millbrett’s ability to tap into seemingly endless reserves of energy and make run after run, despite the heat and the physical play. But, the talk of the game was the ability of Sky Blue’s defensive line to shut down the offensive trio of Christine Sinclair, Marta, and Kelley O’Hara. Bardsley controlled the backline and cleared balls from her area with seemingly no feelings of pressure, even with Pride players running onto the backs of her defenders. When asked about key to shutting down the Pride offense, Bardsley cited the “constant communication between me and my back four and our midfield” and “trying to get them to stay proactive in finding marks.”

Sky Blue coach Pauliina Miettinen praised her team for being “being disciplined” and praised especially the defense, stating that, “defense is the most key to any game,” regardless of possession. Rampone acknowledged that shutting down Marta, Sinclair, and O’Hara was crucial, and “they definitely made us work,” so they had be “locked on [them] at all times.”

Montoya was understandably frustrated, yet focused on the positives, acknowledging that as a “team we were creating our chances,” and “didn’t give up” while “created some very good chances inside the 18 and it just goes back to having to finish your chances.” Buehler conceded that it was a “tough game” with the team struggling with the heat and ultimately not “capitalizing on our opportunities,” but that the frustration was “also part of the game.”

The Pride needed this win to solidify their first place ranking as the Philadelphia Independence were nipping at their heels with their June 26, 2010 win over the Washington Freedom. With this loss, however, there is a mere one point difference between these high-flying acts. The Pride travels to Atlanta this coming weekend to battle the Beat.

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Monday audio update

Posted on 28 June 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe via iTunes here or if you prefer get the Audio Soccer News Daily via email or RSS.

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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Should Bob Bradley stay or go?

Posted on 27 June 2010 by ASN Staff

We’ve all had a night to sleep on it. And a day to reflect. The U.S. national soccer team’s round of 16 defeat to Ghana is now more than 24 hours old. Whatever irrational thoughts U.S. soccer fans might have had immediately following the final whistle have now (hopefully) made way for more rational discourse. Vote here.

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Toronto and LA dire in 0-0 borefest

Posted on 27 June 2010 by Scott Ferguson

With world leaders and protesters descending on the city during Saturday’s G20 summit, Toronto FC played out a 0-0 draw with visitors LA Galaxy as riots broke out just blocks away. Fans struggled to arrive in time for the 19:30 kick-off with public transit suspended and traffic at a stand-still.

Toronto boss Preki started with Julian de Guzman on the substitutes bench as he recovers from a hamstring strain, and with Sam Cronin having recently left for San Jose, Gambian youngster Amadou Sanyang started alongside Martin Saric in central midfield. It was the Galaxy’s Chris Birchall who had the best chance of the first half, however, firing high and wide from outside the area. The former Port Vale man was born in England but starred in Trinidad & Tobago’s World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign.

CONCACAF internationals such as Birchall have proved stars in MLS time after time, and Toronto’s own local lad-turned captain Dwayne De Rosario offered the Reds’ only real threat going forward as the game wore on. He had a number of long range drives, including one in each half that fizzed just past Jamaican international goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts’ far post.

De Guzman was joined by Gabe Gala as a second half substitute, but neither designated player nor Canadian youngster were able to make a serious impact on the game. Gala had a long range effort curl wide late on as LA seemed to settle for a point with Toronto offering little serious objection. For their part, the Galaxy were missing their own brand of Galacticos in David Beckham, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan, with the latter two a part of the United States’ World Cup squad that fell to Ghana just hours earlier in South Africa.

Scattered attendance meant that Toronto’s vocal home support was noticeably subdued, while humidity in the first half gave way to rain in the second. The result ensures that both teams are still in with a shout at playoff contention, and while Toronto’s unbeaten home record stands, three consecutive 0-0 draws in all competitions at BMO Field have hardly inspired confidence from Toronto’s attack. The Reds will play the third of a four game home stand on Canada Day against Houston, with three points vital for Toronto to make the most of home comforts and stay in a playoff position.

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Should Bob Bradley stay or go?

Posted on 27 June 2010 by ASN Staff

We’ve all had a night to sleep on it. And a day to reflect. The U.S. national soccer team’s round of 16 defeat to Ghana is now more than 24 hours old. Whatever irrational thoughts U.S. soccer fans might have had immediately following the final whistle have now (hopefully) made way for more rational discourse.

The facts: Bob Bradley has been the head coach for more than three years. The U.S. went further in 2010 than they did in 2006 and additionally met its goal of advancing out of the first round of the World Cup. The U.S. won its group. The U.S. nearly defeated Ghana to advance to the quarterfinals.

Other than that it mostly comes down to opinions. But that’s why we do this stuff. So have at it. Cast your vote in the poll and defend your choice in the comment area below it.

[polldaddy poll=3397466]

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