Archive | February, 2008

De La Hoya new Dynamo equity partner

Posted on 29 February 2008 by ASN Staff

Oscar De La Hoya is presented with a Dynamo jersey by GM Oliver Luck.

Oscar De La Hoya is presented with a Dynamo jersey by GM Oliver Luck. (Thomas Shea)

Boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya vowed to fight for a new stadium for Houston Dynamo when he and the Brener International Group were announced as equity partners with owner Anschutz Entertainment Group at a rally Friday afternoon in Jones Plaza in Houston. “If I have to put on these gloves, we will fight for a brand-new stadium,” the 10-time world champion said to several hundred fans who gathered for the rally. “I can’t wait to be at home games and beat the drums along with El Batallón and the Texian Army.”

De La Hoya, an Olympic gold medalist in 1992, also praised Dynamo’s fan base for being such a crucial part of the team’s success.

“Fans, to me, always come first, and here in Houston, the Dynamo have a tremendous fan base,” De La Hoya said. “The fans have put the Dynamo on the map, and we deserve a brand-new stadium.”

Tim Leiweke, CEO of AEG, which retains operating control of the team, was on hand to introduce De La Hoya, and he praised the club and its fans while reiterating the need for a new stadium.

“We could not be more proud of the whole team and the fact that you, the fans, have made this the best franchise in MLS,” Leiweke said. “I am meeting with the mayor today, and I’m bringing my heavy hitter. With a new soccer stadium, this is going to be the crown jewel of MLS.”

Clive Fleissig represented the Brener International Group, while seven Dynamo players, including captain Wade Barrett and head coach Dominic Kinnear, were also in attendance. Oliver Luck, Dynamo president and general manager, termed the new partnership a “tremendous bit of news.”

To close the ceremony, Barrett presented De La Hoya with a cowboy hat, and the boxing champion began throwing autographed boxing gloves into the crowd. The players threw autographed soccer balls to the fans.

Dynamo will take on D.C. United, Toronto FC and Chivas USA at the Texas Pro Soccer Challenge near San Antonio next week before beginning competitive matches with the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup quarterfinals against Guatemala’s CSD Municipal, March 12 in Guatemala City and March 19 at Robertson Stadium.

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RSL acquires Dema Kovalenko from RBNY

Posted on 29 February 2008 by ASN Staff

Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls today announced a trade between the MLS clubs, with RSL receiving veteran midfielder Dema Kovalenko in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Kovalenko will accompany his new Real Salt Lake teammates on the squad’s final 2008 preseason camp to Rosario, Argentina, which begins this Friday. The Ukraine-born Kovalenko possesses a green card and therefore will not occupy one of Real Salt Lake’s international player spots.”The acquisition of Dema Kovalenko continues our trend of bringing in veteran American players that have experience playing overseas, in the vein of Ian Joy and Nat Borchers,” said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “Any American player that is tough enough to survive that overseas experience and comes back to our league is going to be better for it; they will be more determined and, we believe, a credit to our organization. Dema’s a different type of a player than we currently have in our midfield – he’s a hard player, more of a piano carrier than a piano player – and we felt that’s an attribute that would add to the group.”

Real Salt Lake will mark the fourth MLS stop for the 30-year-old Kovalenko, who began his career in 1999 with four seasons with the Chicago Fire before stints at D.C. United (2003-05) and the Red Bulls (2006-07). Kovalenko has started 178 of his 198 career MLS regular season contests, in which he has contributed 36 goals and 36 assists in over 16,000 minutes of play. The hard-nosed midfielder also brings plenty of postseason pedigree to the Wasatch Front, as Kovalenko has notched five goals and three assists in 29 MLS Cup Playoff contests.

Kovalenko has been a part of two domestic championship winning sides, having collected an MLS Cup title with United in 2004 in addition to a U.S. Open Cup ring with the Fire in 2000. In addition to his nine years of MLS service, Kovalenko has had stints overseas with FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya in his native Ukraine (2005/06) and with FC St. Pauli (2001/02), the former club of new teammate Ian Joy.

Dema Kovalenko
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 177 lbs.
Born: August 28, 1977 in Kiev, Ukraine
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Citizenship: Ukraine
College: Indiana University
MLS Experience: Nine Seasons (1999-2007)
Last Club: New York Red Bulls (2008)
Acquired: Via trade with the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a conditional 2010 MLS SuperDraft selection on 2/27/08

MLS/International Career Notes
2007: Added two goals and one assist … Missed time due to a strained groin and was involved in a car accident, suffering facial injuries … 2006: After brief stint in Ukraine with FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya, he joined NYRB on Aug. 12 in an exhibition match against FC Barcelona … Made Red Bulls regular season debut on Aug. 16 against D.C. United and started all 12 games to finish the season, notching one assist (at D.C. on Sept. 23) … 2005: In all, the Ukraine native started 23 of the 26 games he saw time in, scored four goals and dealt four assists … Three of his goals came in consecutive games on 8/06, 8/10 and 8/13 … 2004: Kovalenko proved to be a vital part of D.C. United’s offense, quietly tallying 10 assists, tied for second most in the league … 2003: Kovalenko was traded from Chicago to United in exchange for Justin Mapp … Scored six goals on the campaign … 2002: Kovalenko finished his fourth season with the Chicago Fire, starting 23 games … Started in the Pepsi MLS All-Star Game (8/3) at RFK Stadium in the MLS team’s win over the U.S. Men’s National Team, 3-2 … Spent the early part of the season on loan to FC St. Pauli of the German Bundesliga … 2001: Kovalenko finished the season as Chicago’s second-leading goal scorer (8) for the second year in a row … Played all six MLS playoff games, logging 571 minutes, scoring one goal and tallying one assist … 2000: Kovalenko was the Fire’s second-leading scorer with 10 goals and 5 assists in 31 appearances (28 starts) … 1999: Originally a Nike Project-40 midfielder allocated to Dallas, Kovalenko was dealt to Chicago on Feb. 7.

Transaction: Real Salt Lake acquires MF Dema Kovalenko via trade with the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a conditional MLS 2010 SuperDraft selection.

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Galaxy finish third at PPC

Posted on 25 February 2008 by ASN Staff

David Beckham had a pair of assists as the Galaxy avenged an earlier exhibition loss to Sydney FC.

David Beckham had a pair of assists as the Galaxy avenged an earlier exhibition loss to Sydney FC. (AP)

The Los Angeles Galaxy secured a third-place finish in the Pan-Pacific Championship, beating Sydney FC 2-1 at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night. Spurred on by two assists from England midfielder David Beckham, the MLS side ensured their trip to Hawaii ended on a high note.

Rookie Ely Allen put the Galaxy ahead after just three minutes, firing in an excellent volley from Beckham’s perfect cross-field pass.

Brendan Renaud pulled Sydney FC back level after 42 minutes, unleashing a superb left-foot drive from 30 yards out that flew into the top corner.

But the Galaxy was able to re-establish control almost immediately — and Beckham was involved in the action once again.

Goalkeeper Ivan Necevski could not hold on to Beckham’s low cross from the right, and Josh Tudela slid the ball home.

“This is a good start to our preseason,” said Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit. “We are making good progress and I am pleased with how things have gone in Hawaii.”

Said his Sydney counterpart John Kosmina: “It has been very tough for us out here but we have gained from the experience. It has been a long year for us and the boys will be pleased to get a bit of rest in.”

Sydney FC’s offseason now officially begins, while the Galaxy will fly on to Asia to continue their preseason tour.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Sydney FC
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Scoring Summary:
LA — Ely Allen 3
SYD — Brendan Renaud 42
LA — Josh Tudela 45

Los Angeles Galaxy: 1-Steve Cronin (31-Josh Wicks 46), 3-Greg Vanney, 7-Chris Klein, 12-Troy Roberts, 29-Michael Gavin, 15-Alvaro (28-Sean Franklin 67), 19-Josh Tudela (32-Brandon McDonald 50), 23-David Beckham, 27-Bryan Jordan, 4-Edson Buddle, 26-Ely Allen. Substitutes not used: 24-Julian Valentin, 22-Kelly Gray

Sydney FC: 20-Ivan Necevski, 2-Iain Fyfe, 5-Ryan Walsh, 6-Tony Popovic, 26-Brendan Renaud, 10-Steve Corica (21-Adam Biddle 65), 14-Alex Brosque, 15-Terry McFlynn, 29-Mark Robertson (17-Jacob Timpano 57), 11-Brendon Santalab, 13-Benjamin Vidaic (7-Robbie Middleby 57 / 3-Nikolas Tsattalios 81). Substitutes not used: 1-Clint Bolton, 12-Patrick, 9-David Zdrilic

Misconduct Summary
LA — Michael Gavin (caution) 49
SYD — Terry McFlynn (caution) 49
SYD — Mark Robertson (caution) 50

Referee: Brian Hall
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland, Frank Anderson
Fourth official: Alex Prus

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Becks, Galaxy To Visit Swamp Saturday, July 19

Posted on 07 February 2008 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls announced their schedule along with the rest of Major League Soccer today. Of paramount interest (at least to casual fans or the general public) is of course the July 19 visit of David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy. That game will once again take place on a mid-summer Saturday night (last year was Aug. 14, if memory serves).

Other home dates of interest: New England visits Saturday, April 19, which is the third weekend of the season. D.C. United comes to town Saturday, Aug. 9, defending champion Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 24.

Ten of the team’s home games take place on Saturday night, four on Sunday afternoon and the obligatory one on Thursday night, which is exactly the same as last year. But the team’s three home dates in April are one more than last year, which could crimp attendance figures. So could the pair of October home games (last season Red Bull had only one).

The away schedule is somewhat more conducive to road trips (for passionate fans in the area) than last year’s, which featured midweek trips to D.C. and Toronto. In 2008, both D.C. trips are for Saturday night games, though Toronto is once again on Thursday night. The team also makes one trip to New England, Saturday Aug. 2.

The complete Red Bulls schedule is on its MLS team page, where you can also order tickets to the home opener. Not sure when Beckham game tickets go on sale.

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Posted on 06 February 2008 by ASN Staff

Chivas USA of Major League Soccer signed Switzerland international midfielder Raphaël Wicky, a World Cup veteran with over decade’s professional experience in Germany, Spain and Switzerland, as well as the UEFA Champions League. The 30-year-old Wicky, who has amassed over 70 international appearances for the Swiss National Team, including as a starter at the 2004 European Championships and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, joins Chivas USA as an International Player, pending receipt of his work visa and International Transfer Certificate. “We are happy to add a player of Raphaël Wicky’s credentials to our midfield,” said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki. “Raphaël is a talented guy who can play in central midfield or on the left wing, and who has also played in defense. Not only does he bring valuable experience to our locker room, he helps provide important depth to Chivas USA as we look forward to a busy MLS and international calendar in 2008.”

Wicky, whose résumé includes stints with German powerhouses Hamburg SV and Werder Bremen, as well as Spain’s Atlético Madrid (2000-2001), joins Chivas USA from FC Sion in his native Switzerland, where he first started his professional career. Prior to rejoining Sion, Wicky spent six seasons in the German Bundesliga with Hamburg SV (2001-2007), where he accumulated 126 appearances, including in the UEFA Champions League. He spent the 2000-2001 season with Atlético Madrid, then of Spain’s second division, following three years with his first Bundesliga club, Werder Bremen (1997-2000), where he won the German Cup in 1999. Wicky made his first division professional debut at FC Sion of Switzerland, where he played from 1993-1997, winning the Swiss league championship in 1997, as well as Swiss Cup titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997.

On the international level, Wicky has represented Switzerland in major international tournaments since 1996, including the European championships in 1996, at age 19, and Euro 2004, where he started all three games for his country. In 2006, at the FIFA World Cup in Germany, Wicky started all four games before Switzerland was eliminated on penalty kicks against the Ukraine in the second round, finishing the tournament as the only team not to give up a goal during regulation time. In all, Wicky has accumulated 75 international matches for Switzerland, which co-hosts the 2008 European Championships this summer.

Born April 26, 1977 in Leuggern, Switzerland, Wicky is fluent in Spanish, English, French and German.

TRANSACTION: Chivas USA acquires Switzerland international MF Raphaël Wicky as an International Player.

Nombre/Name: Raphaël Wicky
Posición/Position: Mediocampista/Midfielder
Fecha de nacimiento/Date of birth: 1977-04-26, Leuggern, Switzerland
Residencia/Hometown: Leuggern, Switzerland
Nacionalidad/Citizenship: Switzerland
Peso/Weight: 75 kg / 165 lbs
Estatura/Height: 1.78 m / 5’10”
Último equipo/Last team: FC Sion (Switzerland)
Adquisición/Acquired: Signed as an International Player, Feb. 1, 2008.

FC Sion (SUI) — 1993-1997
Werder Bremen (GER) — 1997-2000
Atlético Madrid (ESP) — 2000-2001
Hamburg (GER) — 2001-2007
FC Sion (SUI) — 2007
Chivas USA (MLS) — 2008-

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Johnston makes move to TFC front office

Posted on 04 February 2008 by ASN Staff

Mo Johnston has moved to the executive offices at BMO Field and brought in a veteran of the English football scene to handle the coaching duties.

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