Archive | August, 2010

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Cody Cropper finally finds a home, signs with Ipswich

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Former IMG Academy goalkeeper Cody Cropper has finally landed a contract offer after almost two years of trials and disappointments. The 17-year old wound up with Roy Keane’s English Championship side Ipswich Town as reported at Inside Minnesota Soccer. Cropper, Minnesota born and with the added bonus of an English passport, signed a two-year deal with the first year a scholar deal and the second, when he turns 18, a professional contract. The youngster had stops along the way at Wolverhampton, Leicester City, Birmingham, Arsenal, and many other English clubs.

Cropper was recently called up to the US Under-20’s to head to Peru for a tournament as head coach Thomas Rongen continues to scour his player pool with the 2011 U-20 World Cup looming.

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 21

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Major League Soccer parity is starting to show as the Galaxy lost yet again to a hungry Kansas City squad while the Crew lost some ground to New York after tying Dallas in Columbus. In the process, the Hoops broke a relatively surprising record, a ten game road unbeaten streak. Could Dallas be an MLS Cup contender this season or will there be a late-season break of form? In other news, Jimmy Conrad had quite possibly the best game of his season while Best XI stalwarts, Stefan Frei, Fredy Montero, and Rafa Marquez all made the team yet again. The biggest surprise however? The artist of Philadelphia’s last-minute 2-1 win over New England Justin Mapp. Mapp was send packing from Chicago but just like his teammate, Sebastien Le Toux, he has firmly established himself as a new Philadelphia hero.

Head over to ASN Philly to see who made this week’s ASN MLS Best XI.

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ASN’s Best XI, Week Twenty-One

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Major League Soccer parity is starting to show as the Galaxy lost yet again to a hungry Kansas City squad while the Crew lost some ground to New York after tying Dallas in Columbus. In the process, the Hoops broke a relatively surprising record, a ten game road unbeaten streak. Could Dallas be an MLS Cup contender this season or will there be a late-season break of form? In other news, Jimmy Conrad had quite possibly the best game of his season while Best XI stalwarts, Stefan Frei, Fredy Montero, and Rafa Marquez all made the team yet again. The biggest surprise however? The artist of Philadelphia’s last-minute 2-1 win over New England Justin Mapp. Mapp was send packing from Chicago but just like his teammate, Sebastien Le Toux, he has firmly established himself as a new Philadelphia hero.

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 21

GK: Stefan Frei, Toronto FC – 8

Even though the Reds weren’t able to pull out a win once again at BMO Field, it was a back and forth affair with the defending champions. Frei was lights out once again in between the posts as RSL – through Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola – tested again and again. Frei had surefire competition this week with Goalkeeper of the Year contender, Jimmy Nielsen.

DEF: Jimmy Conrad, Kansas City – 8

It’s a bit of an odd thing not to hear Jimmy Conrad’s name in Defender of the Year talks or even in the general discussion of the league. Regardless, Conrad delivered an impressive performance vs. slumping Los Angeles, shutting down Edson Buddle and company and grabbing the insurance goal as well.

DEF: Zach Loyd, FC Dallas – 7.5

Loyd has been pushed into centreback action after initially seeing time at fullback and he has performed admirably over the past couple games. Loyd, along with second-year back George John, helped blank the Eastern Conference leading Crew. The Hoops set the away unbeaten streak in the process having gone 3-0-7 in their last ten games. Loyd’s biggest contribution was a goal-line clearance that preserved the shutout midway through the second half.

DEF: Tyson Wahl, Seattle – 7.5

It was his first start in 17 matches at left back for Wahl, filling in for the suspended Leo Gonzalez. It was the former Wizard’s touchline run and pinpoint cross that allowed for ASN Player of the Week Fredy Montero to knock home the equalizer. It was Wahl’s first Major League Soccer assist. You can add Wahl to listen of fringe players that have really stepped it up as of late. Patrick Ianni has solidified a starting spot with the surging Sounder while Nathan Sturgis has a good run of form.  

MID: Rafa Marquez, Red Bull New York – 7.5

It’s amazing what one bad outing will do for you. Marquez is now the go-to man in central midfield and if it weren’t for Dane Richards, he would have won all the praise for yet another fine display. Rafa can win possession and deliver a gorgeous ball in a matter of seconds and having that kind of engine in the midfield provides plenty of space and opportunities for the attacking triumverate of Henry, Angel, and Richards.

MID: Davy Arnaud, Kansas City – 8

Arnaud can rub people the wrong way at times (much like Ben Olsen used to do at DC United) but nobody can ever question his work ethic. He scored the gamewinner against the Galaxy and provided the assist to Conrad to keep the Wizards on an unquestionable roll. True captain material, will the Wizards be able to do the same this weekend in Philadelphia?

MID: Justin Mapp, Philadelphia – 7.5

He didn’t have much time to work with but Mapp came to life in the last ten minutes and the game changed dramatically. A pinpoint over-the-top through ball assist was his first contribution as the young Jack McInerney equalized. In injury time, he provided the traveling Union supporters with something they’d remember forever – a happy bus ride home. After a Le Toux finish was broken up by the Revs’ Chris Tierney, Seb had the presence of mind to lay a perfect ball to Mapp who cooly placed his shot from 20 yards out to win the game in injury-time.

MID: Dane Richards, Red Bull New York – 8.5

If it weren’t for Fredy Montero, Richards would unquestionably be the Player of the Week this time around. He has new life on flank with Henry and Marquez around and he has stepped up in a big way for the Red Bulls. His play overshadowed Thierry Henry’s first MLS goal and that alone says enough. With big name players like Marquez and Henry comes space and less attention on the speedster. If he can deliver the goods weekly, the Red Bulls could be the team to beat come the postseason.

FWD: Conor Casey, Colorado, 7.5

Casey was all over the place for the Rapids who weren’t shy about beating down the 10-man Dynamo after an early Lovel Palmer sending off. It’s been mostly a down year for the big man, especially after that 2009 season but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Casey and Cummings duo started to gel again for a late season playoff push.  

FWD: Fredy Montero, Seattle, 8.5, ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Sounders went down to Chicago late in the first half as Freddie Ljungberg was raring to punish his old club. The younger Fredy, however, had different plans. Montero hit for two, including the gamewinner, in a solid 2-1 win for the Sounders that confirmed Seattle is one of the hottest teams in the league right now. His efforts won him Major League Soccer’s player of the week honors for only the second time in his career (surprisingly). With Ljungberg gone, something tells me this form will continue.

FWD: Justin Braun, Chivas USA, 7.5

Braun has been a real headache for all MLS defenses this season, a surprising development in my book. Early on in his career, he looked destined to become the next Alan Gordon but he has developed into an incredibly competent striker with a lot of the components Kenny Cooper had. Decent feet, great in the air, and rather quick for a big man, count Braun in for future national team camps. Braun did the damage again in a 1-0 win over DC United on Sunday night, powering an 18-yard header home from distance and ultimately assuring the Goats three points.

Archives:

Week 20, Best XI

Week 19, Best XI

Week 18, Best XI

Week 17, Best XI

Week 16, Best XI

Midseason, Best XI

Week 15, Best XI

Week 14, Best XI

Week 13, Best XI

Week 12, Best XI

Week 11, Best XI

Week 10, Best XI

Week 9, Best XI

Week 8, Best XI

Week 7, Best XI

Week 6, Best XI

Week 5, Best XI

Week 4, Best XI

Week 3, Best XI

Week 2, Best XI

 Week 1, Best XI

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Player Profile: Sheanon Williams

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Full Name: Sheanon Antoine Williams

Position: Defender

Number: 25

Born: March 17, 1990

Birthplace: Boston, Massachussetts

College: North Carolina

Height : 5’11”

Weight: 170

Previous Teams: Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)

Salary: N/A

How acquired (Union): Acquired on August 31, 2010 from USL-2 affiliate, Harrisburg City Islanders.

Stats

2010 with Philadelphia: 8 games, 8 starts

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Scouting Report: Chivas de Guadalajara

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 8:00PM
PPL Park, Chester, PA

The true Goats released their roster for Wednesday’s friendly at PPL Park and several familiar faces will be present. Aside from Rafa Marquez, if you’re a USMNT follower, everyone’s least favorite current El Tri defender is Jonny Magallon. He’ll be the strongest presence in the back while Omar Bravo, set to join Kansas City in 2011, will man the attack as Chivas tries to get as much out of him before he heads to the midwest. Other big names include vet ‘Bofo’ Bautista and the 22-year old midfielder of the future Patricio Araujo. Both have seen time with the Mexican national team.

Chivas are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Brazil’s Internacional in the Copa Libertadores Final and have failed to transfer momentum into their first fixtures of the Apertura (1-1-2 in their first four games). The Union, on the other hand, fought to a rare 2-1 away win at New England (their second of the year) thanks to the late contributions of Justin Mapp. You can expect to see a peppering of youth with regular starters as Nowak won’t want to risk too much ahead of Saturday’s battle with the rising Kansas City Wizards.

Chivas de Guadalajara

GOALKEEPERS: Luis Michel, Sergio Arias

DEFENDERS: Hector Reynoso, Mario De Luna, Edgar Mejia, Miguel Ponce, Jonny Magallon, Christian Perez, Patricio Araujo, Christian Moran

MIDFIELDERS: Xavier Baez, Dionicio Escalante, Jorge Enriquez, Marco Fabian, Ulises Davila, Sergio Avila, Mitchel Oviedo

FORWARDS: Omar Arellano, Omar Bravo, Adolfo Bautista, Michel Vazquez, Jesus Sanchez, Alberto Medina

If the Goats were to treat this like a league match, one can expect a team like this to show:

———————————–Michel————————————-

Magallon————–De Luna———–Reynoso—————-Ponce

—————–Fabian———-Araujo———–Baez——————–

————————–Arellano———Bautista————————-

———————————-O. Bravo————————————

Heading to the game? Which Union players do you really want to see more from?

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TMR Episode 24 – The Midnight Ride vs The Lost Season

Posted on 29 August 2010 by Hank Alexandre

Hank, Sean and Brian are back to discuss the Revs sudden lapse of form at this crucial stage in the season.

Click here to download

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Bulls rout Quakes on Henry's first MLS goal

Posted on 29 August 2010 by cwilliams

The New York Red Bulls routed the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday in a thrilling match before a near-capacity crowd of 21, 859. Midfielder Dane Richards scored first, just before half time (45th minute). And redoubtable forward Thierry Henry added an insurance goal in the 63rd minute. It was his first as a Red Bull and his fourth in the MLS since he started playing in the US last month.

The final score doesn’t reveal how lopsided the game was, with the Red Bulls taking about six shots on goal for every one made by the Earthquakes.

“I’m happy with the game we played tonight,” Backe said in the press conference afterwards. “Just as I’m happy with the training program we’ve got going to prepare the team for matches.” Chuckling, he added, “Our prep is sometimes so fierce that the players almost come to blows. But as it’s working, we’ll be holding many more of the same type.”

Going into tonight’s game, the Red Bulls’ second place standing in the conference was based on a 10-7-4 record so far this season. The team’s winning ways continued last week when they beat Toronto FC 4-1.

But the San Jose Earthquakes also had a winning record (8-6-5) coming into the match, and with a surprising win last week over top-ranked LA Galaxy.

The night was cool and clear as the San Jose Earthquakes started out seeking to slow the Red Bulls’ fast attacks. The tactic worked for most of the first half, that is, until Richards broke through. He continues to improve as a player, going from strength to strength in the past few months, using his extreme speed to bring the ball to the last third from midfield, or taking a forward pass up the right side for a cross. But his goal tonight resulted from a straight run up the middle. The Red Bull midfielder literally “bulled” his way through three San Jose defenders. Although the more experienced Henry was at his side, Richards did not pass the ball. Instead, he kept control of the ball through the finish, wrong-footing goalkeeper Alex Howarth, and dumping it into the net from four yards out.

Henry’s goal in the 63rd was equally exciting. Standing at the goal mouth in his trademark predatory posture, he took a cross from Richards and deftly slipped the ball past a diving Howarth. The goal redeemed several of the storied striker’s failed attempts at scoring tonight: Two of his shots hit the post. A third—a marvelously ingenious heel kick of a volleyed pass—was lifted over the bar by a leaping Howarth.

Henry’s performance was praised afterwards by Backe, who backtracked on his prior statement that Henry would be so important to the Red Bulls that it would make no difference whether he ever scored a goal or not.

“It’s important for Henry to score, despite what I said six month ago about him,” Backe explained. “Our game gets going with his movement and his passing. Other teams try to close him down—good players going after him—which opens up opportunities for other members of the team.”

Backe was forced to take his star striker out of the game in the 88th minute after Henry’s leg cramped up. Backe replaced him with Salou Ibrahim. Other substitutions he made were Macoumba Kendji for team captain Juan Pablo Angel in the 72nd minute and Seth Stammler for Tony Tchani in the 84th minute.

San Jose’s strikers were not a factor at all in the game tonight, except for Cornell Glen, who took several shots and paying the price on the last one by getting decked at the goalmouth by Red Bull goalkeeper Bouna Condoul who’d come out charging.. Like the Red Bulls, the San Jose Earthquakes used all three allowable substitutes also: Jasseh came in for Wondolowski, and Johnson for Cronin, and Geovanni for Gjertsen.

San Jose defenders had a tough time containing the Red Bulls’ Joel Lindpere who dominated the right side but came close to having to leave the game after a vicious foul took him down and required him to leave the field temporarily. Also outstanding was Tim Ream who made numerous smart moves, literally using his head to halt dangerous advances. Ream remains one of only a handful of Red Bulls who’ve played every minute of every game so far this year.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0
August 28, 2010 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ
Attendance: 21,859

Scoring Summary:
NY: Dane Richards 1 (unassisted) 46’+
NY: Thierry Henry 1 (Dane Richards 3) 63’

Disciplinary Summary:
SJ: Bobby Burling (caution) 6’
NY: Dane Richards (caution) 38’
SJ: Bobby Convey (caution) 56’
NY: Joel Lindpere (caution) 75’
NY: Tony Tchani (caution) 83’

Lineups:

New York Red Bulls (11-7-4, 37 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Chris Albright, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Rafa Márquez, Joel Lindpere, Tony Tchani (Seth Stammler 84’), Thierry Henry (Salou Ibrahim 88’), Juan Pablo Angel (Macoumba Kandji 72’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Mike Petke, Danleigh Borman, Sinisa Ubiparipovic,

San Jose Earthquakes (8-7-5, 29 pts.) – Jon Busch (GK), Tim Ward, Bobby Burling, Brandon McDonald, Arturo Alvarez, Sam Cronin (Ryan Johnson 78’), Khari Stephenson, Bobby Convey, Joey Gjertsen (Geovanni 55’), Chris Wondolowski (Omar Jasseh 63’), Cornell Glen
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Horwath, Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring, Scott Sealy

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Phillippe Briere, Jason Cullum
4th Referee: Jorge Gonzalez

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 20

Posted on 29 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

DC United puts two players on this week’s Best XI since who knows when after beating up on a listless Philadephia Union squad at RFK Stadium. Danny Allsopp’s brace was overshadowed this week by high octane performances from Kansas City, Columbus, Red Bull New York, Houston, and even Chicago who lost the 4-3 goalfest at the head and feet of one Brian Ching. Ching hit for a hattrick, Marquez displayed his DP quality, and Kevin Hartman made sure that Dallas didn’t throw one away vs. Chivas USA as things start to heat up with only one third of the season left. Head here for ASN’s MLS Best XI for Week 20.

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TKO after 23 minutes

Posted on 29 August 2010 by pshea

The Colorado Rapids got behind the Houston defense three times in the first 23 minutes on Saturday night, and the Dynamo found themselves behind by three goals and one player with more than an hour remaining at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, ultimately losing 0-3.

Imagine a boxing match decided with a TKO in the first round, but instead of heading to the showers, the victor has to stay on his feet for another hour. The vanquished foe gets up off the mat to take a few periodic swings, but the contest is essentially over.

“The first 10 minutes is the story,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear explained. “You can talk about the next 80, but after the first 10, the game’s already done.”

Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith opened the scoring in the second minute when Conor Casey carried the ball through midfield and threaded a pass to the left wing. Smith cut to the goal and Omar Cummings streaked up the middle stride-for-stride. Pat Onstadt had to consider both players before digging the ball out of the net.

“It was a fantastic pass,” Smith said. “I really didn’t have to do too much. As soon as he played it past, my first thought was to go for goal.”

Five minutes later, captain Pablo Mastroeni jumped to flick a ball forward in midfield, and Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer jumped into the play. Both players tangled on the ground and kicked at each other. After consulting with referee assistants on the sideline, Abiodun Okulaja showed Palmer a red card and flashed a yellow for Mastroeni.

Down a man, Houston was down by two goals six minutes later when Mastroeni pushed the ball forward to Casey on the right wing. Again, Cummings streaked in front of the goal and tucked away Casey’s square ball for the 2-0 lead (and his sixth goal of the season).

For the next few minutes, the Rapids maintained one of the longest possessions ever seen at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. With the ball at their feet and only 10 dispirited opponents, they probed forward, retreated, switched sides, and patiently worked the ball.

In the 23rd minute, the long possession period concluded with the final goal of the game. Houston had the ball briefly but lost it, a first-time touch to Cummings in the Rapids’ defensive half. Cummings weaved past Anthony Obodai’s attempt to foul him and put the ball on Mehdi Ballouchy’s foot inside the box. The creator from Casablanca cleverly cut around a sliding Geoff Cameron and fired a shot on-goal. Onstadt deflected the blast, but Casey was in position to nod the ball in the net (his eighth goal of the season).

Kinnear replaced Dominic Oduro with Mike Chabala, and then he removed Obodai and fortified his defense with Eddie Robinson. Brian Ching created an opportunity at the close of the half, but he tweaked his calf. So Kinnear used his third substitute to put Cam Weaver up top for the second half, a 45-minute formality.

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Game #21 Preview: Union at New England

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union are set for atonement after a dismal 2-0 loss at the hands of the worst team in Major League Soccer. Danny Allsopp’s brace and Philadelphia’s showing tested a lot of Union fans with ten games to play. Will the Zolos reward their faithful with a spirited second away win? Or will the suffering continue?

Happier times...

Philadelphia Union at New England Revolution
Saturday, August 28, 2010, 7:30PM, 6abc
Gillette Stadium, Boston, MA

Philadelphia Union Projected Starters (4-11-5)

———————————-Seitz————————————–

Orozco F.————Califf————-Gonzalez—————Harvey

———————-Miglioranzi——-Coudet————————–

Mapp—————————————————————–Fred

————————Mwanga———Le Toux————————

OUT: MF Shea Salinas (L fibula fracture); QUESTIONABLE: FW Alejandro Moreno (R hamstring strain)

New England Revolution Projected Starters (6-11-3)

——————————Shuttleworth——————————-

————-Barnes————-Osei—————Gibbs—————

Nyassi—————Joseph————-Phelan————–K. Smith

——————————–Perovic————————————

————————Stolica———–Mansally———————-

OUT: GK Preston Burpo (R leg fracture); FW Taylor Twellman (concussion); DOUBTFUL: MF Jason Griffiths (L hamstring strain); FW Edgaras Jankauskas (L adductor strain); GK Matt Reis (lower back pain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain); FW Zak Boggs (concussion); MF Nico Colaluca (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: FW Kheli Dube (R knee MCL sprain); DF Cory Gibbs (L ankle sprain); MF Marko Perovic (L foot plantar fascitis)

Did you know?

The Revs continue to face an onslaught of injuries. Most importantly for the Union, it’s netminder and former MLS All-Star Matt Reis who will not be in net for New England. Reis is sidelined with back pain and youngster Bobby Shuttleworth will get his second start for the Revs, his first start ending in a 3-0 defeat to the Sounders. MLS All-Star defender Kevin Alston will also miss due hamstring issues.

The Revs come into this game now 8-2-4 vs. expansion squads.

Food for thought, who would you protect come expansion draft time? Better yet – who wouldn’t you mind heading to Portland or Vancouver?

It’s not a fun statistic but the Union haven’t won since July 17th – more than a full month since Philadelphia outlast Toronto FC at PPL Park. Their only road win? Against the Houston Dynamo on May 29th.

Did anyone else almost forget? The Union will take on Mexican powerhouse Chivas Guadalajara on Wednesday, September 1st. Not sure about you but I’d take a win over New England before winning bragging rights vs. Chivas.

Keys to the Win

You have to think that the Union starters were embarrassed after last weekend’s performance vs. cellar-dwellers DC United and are looking to get firmly back on track. Setting the tone early on with relentless attack is great and all if you can finish the chances you do get. Too many times vs. DC there was hesitation after hesitation on the attacking end and somebody with a little urgency has to take hold of things. Let’s also not forget the absence of Marko Perovic who Union fans know all too well for the dipping free kick from 35-40 yards out that left Chris Seitz helpless and flabbergasted.

The answer to this is relatively clear – assuming nobody would have made Califf captain if he couldn’t bounce back after adversity – but will Califf follow his match vs. DC with a solid one against New England? One of the last things the Union wants heading into next season is the sad realization that they hold the Major League Soccer record for fewest shutouts in a season. A good start would be Califf leading the Zolos to one at Gillette tonight.

New England has not been shy about their intentions for tonight especially coming off a winless road trip. They need to win to keep any hopes – though slim – for the postseason alive. The Revs have won their last four at home so a reversion back to early season form has to be in the cards if the Union want to leave Gillette with points. For Philadelphia, it’s more for the late season momentum as making the playoffs looks unattainable this season.

With ten games remaining and the playoffs a distant possibility, expect the young guys to get significant time. Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, and Toni Stahl should all see more time than usual as Nowak balances the rest of this expansion season with preparations for 2011.

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