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Richter check ahead of Quakes-Toronto match

Posted on 29 May 2010 by epederson

The San Jose Earthquakes face Toronto FC Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium

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Emma Hayes walks the plank as Red Stars seek to right their ship

Posted on 25 May 2010 by mwkajdas

Life if often unfair. And nowhere is this more evident than in the world of sports where coaches often lose their jobs when players fail to do theirs. On Monday, the Chicago Red Stars announced that Emma Hayes was “relieved of her duties” as head coach following the team’s dismal start to the season that saw them lose four of their first six games, all of them by shutouts.

Red Stars owner Peter Wilt was already in a dour mood prior to the Red Stars last game against Philadelphia after his beloved Fulham team lost to Atletico Madrid in the finals of the Europa Cup. His frustration was only exacerbated by what he witnessed on the pitch at Toyota Park on May 15th. The Red Stars and Philadelphia Independence both struggled to create even the semblance of an offensive attack, although Philadelphia managed to get their act together long enough to score a single goal in the first six minutes of play. By his own admission, as documented in his blog on the Pitch Invasion website (http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/05/19/sports-results-effect-on-one-fans-psyche/), events degenerated into one of those rare occasions when he left the game early. By the time the Chicago Fire completed his trifecta of travesty by losing a two-goal lead to the Kansas City Wizards, a perfect storm of football frustration was forming in his psyche. And it seems the one person left standing in its path was Emma Hayes.

Her dismissal does not come completely out of the blue, however, as a cacophony of nattering nabobs has been forming of late. Self-styled pundits have been posting furiously onto their blogs speculating upon, if not outright demanding, Hayes’ eventual firing. The tragic irony is that at least half of these quasi-experts have probably never even watched a Red Stars game this season. If they had, they would have seen that, with the exception of the Gold Pride game when Chicago played short-handed for 70 minutes, their opponents have never outright dominated the Red Stars.

The Red Stars’ single failing this season has been in finishing their attacks. When their forwards receive the ball inside the penalty area, they either freeze, like a deer staring into headlights, or else close their eyes and fire the ball off-frame. If goals were awarded for shooting the ball just outside the goalposts instead of inside, the Red Stars would probably be in first place right now. The only thing Emma Hayes has not done for her team this year is to run onto the pitch and take the shots for them herself—something she once threatened to do after one of the team’s bitter losses. And perhaps if the WPS schedule had allowed Chicago to beat up on Atlanta at least once by now, as four other teams have already done—twice by Washington and Philadelphia—then Emma Hayes might still be at the helm of her team.

As it stands, the Red Stars are back to square one in a rudderless ship. If they can claim any success this year, it may only be in getting their coach fired. We can only wish the best of luck to Emma Hayes. Maybe she’ll return to Europe where the footballers still play with a bit of hunger. In their press release, the Red Stars’ management praised Ms. Hayes for pouring her heart and soul into their team. In her absence, Chicago fans are left now with a team that has neither.

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gjertsen-gjersey

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Match Preview: San Jose Earthquakes & Joey Gjertsen

Posted on 21 May 2010 by Kyle Alm

headshot of soccer player, Joey Gjertsen
Image via Wikipedia

The Heritage Cup, an homage to the two NASL teams with common names, is what is at stake for the Sounders and Earthquakes.

The Earthquakes does have a local tie to the Puget Sound in Joey Gjertsen. Gjertsen is in his first season with the team in what is typically called a “journeyman” career piling up goals (the alleged career record holder) and multiple honors at the Evergreen State College in Olympia 2003-2004, 2006 USL MVP with Vancouver Whitecaps, and finally two seasons in Montreal.

Resurgence seems to be a theme with the much improved San Jose Earthquakes who spent the better part of the 2009 season at the foot of the table. Convey is playing well. Again. Finally. And Gjertsen seems to have become a fixture of the team, taking corners and set-pieces. Gjertsen never had a year like 2006 again. He did the bulk of his career scoring in that one year. Gjertsen has a goal and an assist for San Jose in 557 minutes of play. Not exactly setting the league on fire, but Ljungberg has yet to score a goal for us this season. Not that he particularly needs to, but it would be great if he would score a goal at Qwest.

< spoiler>at 2:18 he hits the post against the Seahawks Soccer team from 25 yards.< /spoiler>

The forecasted gray skies and 100% chance of ambient moisture are forecast, but I expect that Mr. Gjertsen will get a warm response from the crowd. I know there is going to be a large contingent heading up from the south Puget Sound that will be showing their support for Mr. Gjertsen, and by association the Earthquakes. And then the match will begin, and by the time the match is over the fans will go back to being nice to Joey again. So if you see someone in a Gjertsen jersey they are probably just as local as you are. They don’t sell Gjertsen’s San Jose jersey, if you see one it’s handmade or custom, I know a few people will have them, if you see one send a pic to @soundersasn on twitter.
San Jose Earthquakes #17 Joey Gjertsen
So, let me be clear. The guys in the Gjertsen gjerseys get a pass today, they all live around here and root for Sounders.

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RSL visit Chivas hoping to keep momentum

Posted on 21 May 2010 by kali

Real Salt Lake travels to Chivas USA this weekend hoping to wrap up a successful month with its second road win of the season.

Kyle Beckerman in the Dynamo match ©Julie Harper/ASN

After an outstanding home stand which saw RSL defeat Toronto, Philadelphia, and Houston, Jason Kreis’ squad will be looking to keep the momentum going against the Goats.  However, it was last week’s result — a 3-1 win over the Dynamo — that gave Real a surge of confidence.  “It was huge – biggest game of the season for us so far,” said captain Kyle Beckerman.  “You’ve got to beat everybody, and you’ve got to win three in a row. And you can’t have missteps when you shouldn’t so it was great to get a win, especially before we go on the road.”

Both teams will have some notable absences with which to contend.  RSL’s Robbie Findley is at the US national team camp, while Will Johnson was called up to the Canadian team for its friendly against Argentina.  Real’s injury situation has cleared up considerably, however, as Fabian Espindola (ankle) and Nelson Gonzalez (hamstring) are listed as probable for Saturday’s match.   Ned Grabavoy’s recovery has come along quickly, as he played 28 minutes in last weekend’s reserve match against the Mexican U-21 squad and should be available for selection.

RSL will have Alvaro Saborio — last week’s MLS Player of the Week — in good form, however.  Not only did the Costa Rican striker score twice against Houston, but showed that he can play defense with tenacity as well.  Kreis said of Saborio last week, “He’s sort of the prototypical goal scorer. He finds himself in some great positions in front of the goal. We’ve seen now in the past several weeks that he’s had a lot of excellent opportunities and he should probably have a couple more goals.  We will look for continued form from him.”

Kreis also noted last week that he doesn’t plan to make many tactical changes against the Goats, but the national team callups will have an impact on the starting lineup.  With Findley away and Espindola still trying to regain his fitness, Kreis is likely to start with Saborio and Pablo Campos up front.  In the midfield, Johnson’s absence may present Collen Warner with another starting opportunity as Grabavoy continues to recover.

Meanwhile, the Goats will be without US national team callups Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan and US U-20 Cesar Zamora.  Ante Jazic (knee) and Dan Kennedy (hip) remain out through injury, while Justin Braun (knee) is questionable and Yamith Cuesta (oral surgery) and Maykel Galindo (ankle) are probable.

Those absences, combined with a huge off-season roster overhaul, mean that RSL will be facing a somewhat unfamiliar Chivas side, particularly with rookies Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski likely to start in the midfield.

The match will kick off at 7:30 PT (8:30 MT) and can be seen in Utah on KUSG 2.2/Comcast 111/Dish 12).

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Without GBS, Rogers or Marshall, Crew invade Red Bull Arena

Posted on 20 May 2010 by jzidar

The Columbus Crew travel to Harrison, N.J., tonight in an attempt to claim first place in the Eastern Conference from the New York Red Bulls.  After spending two seasons at the bottom of the league, New York, under the guidance of new coach Hans Backe, have had a hot start in 2010 going 5-3-0 in the first eight games.

On Paper

Number one verse number two is always an exciting match up. Especially when it involves one of the leagues most successful teams as of late and a big market team on the rise.  The rosters are both a mix of league veterans, highly skilled internationals and young guns with everything to prove.  The match is taking place in the brand spanking new Red Bull Arena, the newest gem in in MLS’ collection of stadiums.  Unfortunately due to a laundry list of reasons this will be more of a game between two underpowered squads rather than the high profile game everyone expected.

The Red Bulls’ injury list is longer, and more talented, than their bench. Macoumba Kanji has been out with a broken foot and will remain as such. Kevin Goldthwaite and Giorgi Chirgadze will both be out due to surgeries.  Austin da Luz, Salou Ibrahim and Carl Robinson are all on the injury list for various knocks.  Estonian midfielder Joel Lindpere and Brian Nielsen are both listed as questionable.  Not only will New York be without all those players but they will also be without Andrew Boyens and Juan Agueldo who will be with the New Zealand national team and U.S U-20s, respectively.

The Crew won’t be missing nearly as many players but they will be without the services of several important starters.  Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall will be in Princeton, NJ with the US Mens National Team.  A couple days ago it was announced that William Hesmer had strained his lower back and would probably miss the game.   Thankfully he seems to have recovered quickly enough and Warzycha has stated that Hesmer will indeed be fit and take his normal starting position between the pipes.  The biggest story however is the suspension of Boca Juniors’ and Crew legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto.  The league announced yesterday that Schelotto was being fined $250 and suspended for one match due to an incident during the last game when Schelotto elbowed Chivas defender Michael Umana in the face.  The referee for the match, Jeff Gontarek, missed the incident during the match but the Chivas coaching staff submitted a complaint afterward and the league ruled in their favor.

Squad Prediction

——————–Hesmer—————–

–Hejduk—Brunner–Iro—O’rourke–

——————-Carroll——————-

—–Gaven——-Moffat——–Ekpo—–

————-Lenhart—-Garey————-

Bench: Gruenebaum, Zayner, Herrera, Renteria, Griffit, Oughton, Duka

Despite the missing pieces don’t expect the formula to change. Warzycha will most likely stick with the 4-4-2 formation and just plug in replacements.  He specifically stated that O’Rourke would be returning to the lineup. With him having to replace Padula in the last match due to Gino’s knee bothering him expect Danny to get the nod on the left leaving Iro to take Marshall’s position in the center.  Rogers’ position will be occupied by either Ekpo or Renteria but considering that Emmanuel has made more appearances lately than Emilio he will probably get the start.  Garey seems to be third in line at the forward position lately so a reunion of the Bash Brothers is most likely imminent.

Regardless of who ends up in the middle and up top the Crew shouldn’t have any trouble producing without GBS.  There was a stretch of games in 2009 that Schelotto missed due to a hamstring injury. During the 5 week stretch that Schelotto was out the Crew scored 12 goals over the course of five matches, all of which they won.

The bench is a going to be a bit of a mystery. Zayner, Herrera, Renteria and Gruenebaum are pretty much assured. If Padula isn’t fresh enough to start then there isn’t much point in wasting a bench spot on him especially with Zayner able to come in on either side.  If new comer Leandre Griffit is available, and there has been no news suggesting otherwise, then odds are he will occupy a spot.  With limited players the final two spots will probably be granted to Oughton and Duka.

Hesmer’s injury is also a bit of a concern. Despite being cleared to play will Robert still give him the starting spot?  Or will he give Andy G the start despite only being cleared for play earlier this week after recovering from offseason hip surgery. The Crew’s third goalkeeper, Kenny Schoeni, retired from professional soccer after the final whistle of the Chivas match so he is no longer an option.

Key Matchups

Despite all of New York’s personnel loses Juan Pablo Angel will still be on the field which means the New York attack still has its most important piece.  the speedy Dane Richards will probably be starting up top with Angel and will give the slower Crew defense a run for their money. Columbus’ defense will have to rely on superior positioning to negate the speed of Richards and shut down Angel. If they can do that then it will all depend on whether or not the Schelotto-less offense can produce as well as it has in the past.

Kickoff is tonight at 8:00 pm EST at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ

The weather calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70’s

For everyone watching in Ohio the game is being broadcast on ESPN 2 and is available in HD

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Red Bull New York statement re: PATH station (updated)

Posted on 15 May 2010 by ASN Staff

“There was a suspicious package found at the Harrison PATH train station which has caused delays to PATH service. The Port Authority Police Department and the Harrison Police Department are working together to resolve the matter.”

The team provided an updated statement after the match:
“Due to the presence of a suspicious package under the Harrison PATH station the PATH train service was suspended in both directions. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic were also restricted from accessing Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard. Approximately 7000 fans were delayed about one hour from entering Red Bull Arena.”

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Black & Gold take on Goats

Posted on 15 May 2010 by jzidar

Chivas USA is the perfect example of MLS mediocrity.  They have consistently finished as one of the top teams in the Western Conference, while only winning the conference one time (2007). With the exception of its inaugural season Chivas has managed to earn a spot in the playoffs, however it has never been able to advance beyond the first round.  The team is never one of the leagues bottom feeders but have never managed to claim a trophy let alone get themselves into the final round of any competition.

On Paper

Given the Crew’s performance in the past couple seasons and the fact that they remain undefeated thus far in 2010 you’d think they would be the overwhelming favorites in this match but the stats tell a little different story…

Since Chivas USA’s inception their series with Columbus has been fairly balanced.  Out of a total of 10 meetings the teams have split the points right down the middle with four wins a piece and two draws.  They’ve both tallied 14 goals against each other in all competitions.

Squad Predictions

—————–Hesmer——————

-Hejduk–Brunner-Marshall–Padula-

—————–Carroll——————-

—-Gaven——Moffat——Rogers—-

———Lenhart——Schelotto——–

Bench: Schoeni, Herrera, Renteria, Ekpo, Iro, Zayner, Garey

It will be interesting to see what role, if any, Danny O’Rourke plays in this match.  After having gotten two red cards in consecutive appearances it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t start.  The back line looked stronger last week against New England with Padula assuming his normal starting position at left back anyways.

Key Matchups

Like most football matches the battle here will be in the midfield.  Chivas doesn’t have a whole lot going for it offensive wise. Jesus Padilla and Justin Braun have been the spark of creation for the team with 5 goals and 2 assists between them.  Sacha Kljestan has been real hit or miss lately not only for the club but for the US Mens National team as well so who knows whether or not he’ll be a major factor or not.  With most of Chivas’ goals coming from the midfield all Carroll and Moffat need to do is bog down the middle of the pitch and it should prevent the Goats from getting on the scoreboard.

If the Columbus offense plays like they did in the second half against New England this should be a blow out.  Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gaven were especially dangerous last weekend with them notching a goal apiece and Rogers providing the cross that led to the Revolution own goal. Chivas has utilized a 4-5-1 formation the past couple games and aren’t expected to deviate from that strategy against Columbus.  The four man back line made of Hejduk, Marshall, Brunner and Padula should have no problems dealing with a lone Chivas striker while stalling the midfield runs with the assistance of Carroll.

Kickoff  is tonight at 7:30 pm EST at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH

The weather calls for it to be overcast, but no chance of rain, and temperatures in the high 60’s

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Bornstein, Kljestan called into World Cup camp

Posted on 13 May 2010 by tbruce

Chivas USA co-captains Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan have been included on the United States’ 30-man preliminary roster for the FIFA World Cup announced by head coach Bob Bradley on Tuesday. Bornstein, from Los Alamitos, and Kljestan, from Huntington Beach, will arrive for the start of the training camp after Chivas USA’s match at Columbus this Saturday. From the group of 30 players, a squad of 23 will be chosen by June 1 for the final roster that will travel to South Africa.

Bornstein and Kljestan spoke about their response to being named to the 30- man squad. “Everybody will be exited and ready to go. The coaches have picked who they think can do the job and of coarse bringing the group down to 23 will be difficult but I hope to be there and do my part,” said Bornstein.

Kljestan’s view was a little different. “I was a little relieved and of coarse excited to hear that I was included. I realize I am one of the bubble players. I know I have a couple of tough weeks in front of me .I am one of the few players competing for the last midfield spot so I have to go into camp and try to convince the coaching staff that I can help the team on the field in South Africa.”
“We all were very excited, happy and proud of them. The call from Bob (Bradley) was very exciting for all of us.” commented Chivas USA Head Coach Martin Vasquez.

Bornstein talked a little about the competition in the World Cup. “I would expect Algeria to be similar to Egypt, who we played in the Confederations Cup and Slovenia to be similar to Slovakia who we played in November.”
When asked about playing at altitude Bornstein had this to say. “I don’t think the altitude will be a major factor. We went to one place to train after one of the games and I remember that it was difficult to breath but at most of the stadiums we played I did not have a problem,” said Bornstein. “Usually you prepare for altitude by training in that environment. I don’t know if we will be doing that I don’t know what the altitude is at Princeton University, but seriously we have trained before at places like Park city and I’m sure Bob (Bradley) will have all that planned out.”

“Training camp for the United States will take place at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., and the team will play a pair of friendly matches prior to the June 1 deadline for the final, 23-player roster. On May 25 in East Hartford, Conn., the United States will face the Czech Republic, and on May 29, the squad will play against Turkey in Philadelphia. The U.S. team will depart for South Africa on May 30, arriving the following day, and will then play Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort, South Africa, one week before playing its first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.
Bornstein has scored two goals in his 29 appearances with the United States, and has played more for the U.S. National Team in 2010 than any other player, starting all three of the U.S.’ matches. Sacha Kljestan has made 23 appearances and scored four goals for the U.S., most recently the game-winner on February 24 against El Salvador. The pair joined Chivas USA in 2006, and since the start of that season, Kljestan has made 112 regular season appearances for the team (a club record), and Bornstein has played in 110 matches. Vásquez named them co-captains prior to the 2010 MLS season.

Also included on the preliminary roster is former Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who played with the Red-and-White from 2005-2008 before moving to Aston Villa of the English Premier League. The head coach of the United States is Bob Bradley, who served as Chivas USA’s head coach in 2006 before joining the National Team. Another former Chivas USA player, Jesse Marsch, is an assistant coach with the United States. Marsch made 106 appearances for the Red-and-White from 2006-2009.

“We are very proud as an organization to have Bob (Bradley), Jesse, (Marsch) and Brad, (Guzan) as well as Jonny and Sacha involved. It is a testament to the work that this club has done in its short history,’ commented Vasquez.

Training camp for the United States will take place at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., and the team will play a pair of friendly matches prior to the June 1 deadline for the final, 23-player roster. On May 25 in East Hartford, Conn., the United States will face the Czech Republic, and on May 29, the squad will play against Turkey in Philadelphia. The U.S. team will depart for South Africa on May 30, arriving the following day, and will then play Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort, South Africa, one week before playing its first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

U.S. TRAINING CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (12): DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

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The Quakes.ASN forum

Posted on 10 May 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 Quakes.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.

This forum is not meant to compete with other boards dedicated to the team (not that it would have a chance anyway). Each of these are excellent resources. We just felt there was/is room for something perhaps intended for the more casual fan of the team that could integrate with the various social media platforms of the day. (Or, if you’re stuck in 2005, MySpace yes you can post with your Myspace username).

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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Chivas chats forum new and for you!

Posted on 09 May 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 Chivas.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.

This forum is not meant to compete with other boards dedicated to the team (not that it would have a chance anyway). Each of these are excellent resources. We just felt there was/is room for something perhaps intended for the more casual fan of the team that could integrate with the various social media platforms of the day. (Or, if you’re stuck in 2005, MySpace yes you can post with your Myspace username).

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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