Archive | August, 2008

Revs to debut Costa Rican defender against Galaxy

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

Tomorrow night, the New England Revolution host the LA Galaxy and debut Gabriel Badilla, their new Costa Rican defender who just arrived Thursday night. Badilla launches his Major League Soccer career in one of the Revolution’s highest profile games of the year, but coach Steve Nicol thinks it appropriate. “I think if he had choice to play in a first game, it would be in a big game,” the former Liverpool man said of his newest signing.

The Revolution have already sold over 35,000 tickets for the Galaxy show that spotlights strikers David Beckham and Landon Donovan, and now former U.S. national and Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena. “I never liked Steve [Nicol] as a kid, because he played for Liverpool,” said Becks, who nevertheless managed some kind words for the Revs head coach. “It’s going to be nice to see him again tomorrow. He’s a very good coach, he’s done great here.”

Read the full match preview.

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McClaren, Twente to move for Kljestan?

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

Dutch club FC Twente, which is led by former England national team coach Steve McLaren, is strongly considering a bid for U.S. national team and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan., according to Soccer by Ives.

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Badilla to debut against Galaxy

Posted on 29 August 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

Saturday night, the New England Revolution host the LA Galaxy and debut Gabriel Badilla, their new Costa Rican defender who just arrived Thursday night. Badilla launches his Major League Soccer career in one of the Revolution’s highest profile games of the year, but coach Steve Nicol thinks it appropriate. “I think if he had choice to play in a first game, it would be in a big game,” the former Liverpool man said of his newest signing.

Nicol noted that the entrance of a new player on the squad has wider benefits. “Whenever a new face comes in, everybody perks up,” said Nicol. “Everyone wants to look good … It keeps everybody on their toes, but the players are just happy to get good players amongst them.”

The Revolution have already sold over 35,000 tickets for the Galaxy show that spotlights strikers David Beckham and Landon Donovan, and now former U.S. national and Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena. The Galaxy have earned a 6-9-6 record by scoring 40 goals, the most in the league, but allowing 43, also the record. New England, which recently slid to second in the Eastern Conference has scored 29 goals from a variety of strikers (Steve Ralston and Adam Cristman leading with six each), but allowed 27. New England has the more complete team, with a backbone of Shalrie Joseph and Jeff Larentowicz, and defenders Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, and Chris Albright, who the Galaxy traded last winter for cash.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Jay Heaps, on shutting down the Galaxy’s notorious strikers. “The two of them [Donovan and Beckham] are the two best players in the league right now, in terms of what they can add. At any time they strike from all angles, and they’ve got Eddie Lewis, so it’s important for us to contain them, keep them in their half, and if they spring on us we have to have guys in position to cover all over the place.”

New England is coming off a 2-1 loss to Joe Public FC in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. After enduring connecting international flights, travel fatigue is the team’s biggest handicap, but they’ll also likely sideline Matt Reis, Chris Albright, Kheli Dube, and Adam Cristman with injuries.

“Obviously, we’ll have a big crowd and that motivates players, whatever team you’re on,” noted Nicol. “[The Galaxy will] certainly be motivated to do well against us. They obviously think they’ll have an advantage with the fact that we played mid-week and we did travel, but it’s up to us to combat that by passing the ball well, being ready to start when the whistle blows and concentrate on getting the job done.”

“I never liked Steve [Nicol] as a kid,” said a smiling David Beckham, “because he played for Liverpool. So it was nice, obviously, to be coached by him [in the All-Stars.] I’ve heard really good things about him, but when he was a player, like I said, I didn’t like him because I was a Man United fan. It’s going to be nice to see him again tomorrow. He’s a very good coach, he’s done great here.”

Having lost his first game heading the Galaxy, this match is important to Bruce Arena. “We’re going to do the best we can to try and make the playoffs,” said Arena. “Certainly, if you’re any kind of mathematician, it would look like our best chance is to finish third in the West as opposed to earning one of the last two spots. At the moment we’re two points out.”

Beckham acknowledged that with the losing streak and staffing turnover, the Galaxy is going through a bad time. “You have to stay confident and you have to keep the players up for the fight and up for playing games because when you do go through a tough time, it’s all about sticking together as a team.”

TV38, Saturday, August 30, 7:30 PM: LA Galaxy @ New England Revolution

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McCLaren to move for Kljestan?

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

Dutch club FC Twente is strongly considering a bid for U.S. national team and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan., according to Soccer by Ives. Former England manager Steve McClaren is in charge of the Dutch club and is mulling a $3 million to $4 million offer to Major League Soccer, Ives reports.

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Who will be the next Yank to play abroad?

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

So far this season Jozy Altidore, Brad Guzan and Maurice Edu have left for the greener pastures pitches of the European leagues. Hunter Freeman will soon follow. Kenny Cooper would if FC Dallas would let him and may yet anyway. That leaves several young Yanks in MLS ranks who have the skills to catch on with a continental power. In some cases there are already rumblings that this will happen. But what do you, the fan think? Vote in the poll below and defend your choice by posting a comment.

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McClaren to move for Kljestan?

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

kljestanlead2.jpg

Dutch club FC Twente, which is led by former England national team coach Steve McClaren, is strongly considering a bid for U.S. national team and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan., according to Soccer by Ives.

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Clark, Orozco, Wynne in, Jozy, Fredy out for Cuba, T&T

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has recalled Ricardo Clark, Michael Orozco and Marvell Wynne in favor of Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore in his 20 man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. Orozco, who plies his trade for San Luis in the Mexican league, is probably best known for being sent off in third minute of the U.S.’ final game at the Beijing Olympics, when the Yanks succumbed to Nigeria 2-1.

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USMNT roster for Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago World Cup qualifiers

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 2/2 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 4/3 SO)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 14/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 2/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96: 16/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 12/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 9/0), Michael Orozco (San Luis: 0/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 3/0), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 17/4), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen: 3/1), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 1/0), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 2/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 1/0), Eddie Lewis (Los Angeles Galaxy: 20/3)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 8/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 22/8), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 9/2), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 8/8)
*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

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Improved Red Bulls visit RFK on a hot streak

Posted on 29 August 2008 by Chris Snear

When DC United pasted the New York Red Bulls at home 4-1 in mid-June, it would have been inconceivable to anyone that the two teams would stand tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 31 points heading into their match Saturday night.

The stretch run starts now for DC United where every game could be a season swinger. They will play 16 matches over the next two months including the U.S. Open Cup final against the Charleston Battery (USL1) at home next Wednesday.

On top of the nine remaining league matches, they will travel to Costa Rica and most likely Mexico and either Honduras or El Salvador for CONCACAF Champions League matches.

“I guess every game is important from here on out,” said a subdued Santino Quaranta. “We gotta figure out a way to juggle all of this stuff. When you keep telling yourself it’s a lot (of games) and we are going to be a little tired here and there, you go into games sometimes thinking that you are not going to do as well, so we are trying to stay away from that whole ‘did you see how many games we have coming up in this amount of days’ type of thing.”

United has been riddled with injuries through most of the season forcing head coach Tom Soehn to play several players more minutes than he anticipated. Clyde Simms has played nearly every minute of the team’s 21 league matches this season, while Bryan Namoff has done the same for the 20 in which he was on the roster. Namoff missed one game due to a red card suspension.

“This is our job. We just have to show up and do our job, very simple,” said veteran midfielder Jaime Moreno, who has not gotten the rest during the season that he and Soehn had hoped. “That’s what we train for and a game is a game but Saturday’s game is totally different than Wednesday’s game-they are both important but if we take care of both games, we’ll be fine.”

“We have had many people injured so the same faces have been playing most games so that’s one thing unfortunately we haven’t been too lucky about,” Moreno continued. “If we can have everybody healthy, then some people could have a break and rest a little bit but unfortunately that’s not the case so we just have to stick with it.”

Consequently, United has not found the consistency that has kept them out of this late season predicament for several years.

“The consistency is the biggest thing that we are preaching around here; keeping every performance at least on some type of consistent level,” Quaranta said. “It’s been so up and down-we have had games where we look like the best team in the league and then we’ve had games where we looked like a team that belongs in the reserve division…the points from now, from here on out, are important because if you lose a couple of games, you are not going to make the playoffs.”

The Red Bulls have quickly become the hottest team in the league, winning their last three matches by a combined score of 9-1. They reciprocated the 4-1 score against United at the Meadowlands three weeks ago for the first win in that stretch that also included a sound thumping of the defending MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo 3-0 last Sunday.

“Sure, we got embarrassed up there,” said Quaranta referring to the loss at New York. “They are in form right now and it’s going to be difficult. When a team starts winning in this league it seems like they keep going.”

The Red Bulls win against United was preceded by a 6-2 loss in an exhibition match against Barcelona and a 6-game winless streak, including a quiet exit from the U.S. Open Cup, 2-0, to Crystal Palace-Baltimore (USL2).

“They have been the most consistent team over the last month I would say so we just have to find a way to compete and match their intensity like they’ve been doing; they have been coming out faster than every team,” Quaranta continued. “They came out against Houston and they were better, stronger, faster, you name it, and that’s what they did and we have to match that intensity.”

The result was United’s worst loss in their history against the New York franchise with a miserable performance and missed opportunities for some young players to make an impact on the team.

“It was a game where there were some players that had an opportunity to show well in the team and unfortunately it didn’t work for us. We didn’t show up, it’s very simple. We have to show up for those type of games,” said Moreno .

The team that United will face has no resemblance to the team they handled in June. The addition of three South Americans; defender Gabriel Cichero and midfielders Juan Pietravallo and Jorge Rojas, have given the team more bite.

Their presence has upgraded the team’s soccer quality, giving the Red Bulls the opportunity to play at a higher tempo, with better skill which in turn has allowed Juan Pablo Angel to make a bigger impact.

Cichero will be serving the second of a two game red card suspension this Saturday after hitting Toronto’s Danny Dichio in the head in just his second match as a Red Bull. The burly Englishman did not return to that August 17 match, a 2-0 Red Bull win.

Regardless, United still has some lingering emotions from that pasting in New York .

“Yeah. As far as getting paybacks and taking it to them at home definitely,” said Namoff. “The only thing we are not going to repeat is that performance. It’s been forgotten about, swept under the rug but at the same time we are going to keep it in the back of our heads exactly what they did to us. It was one of the worst losses we have ever had.

“It always seems as we get down to the end of the season at some point, somehow we are playing New York whether we are tied for points or in a playoff game. We are really happy we are playing at home on grass instead of their place on the turf.

Quaranta put it in perspective, “I do expect this is in this league. It doesn’t surprise me at all. This league is a lot better. People are so used to DC being superior to everybody all of the time.

“Teams are getting better; the coaching is getting better; a lot of the players are better now. It’s not going to be teams running away with this anymore”.

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Rocky Mountain Rivalry Continues

Posted on 29 August 2008 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake (7-8-6, 27 pts.) and the Colorado Rapids (7-11-3, 24 pts.) reignite their rivalry in a rare Friday night clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium. This will be the second of three matches between both teams in this year’s Rocky Mountain Cup series and is the only match that RSL will host this season.

Both teams are crawling into this match with a string of recent poor performances. RSL has been on the other side of two lopsided losses on the road to the Columbus Crew and the Houston Dynamo, leaving their once-heralded defense in question. Many attributed the first loss to Houston, a 4-3 shootout, to the yellow card suspension of outstanding Colombian defender Jamison Olave. Little could have predicted that upon his return the following week, RSL would fall 3-0 to the Crew in resounding defeat. RSL never seemed to work their way into the match and found themselves down by two goals heading into half time. One thing that seems apparent is just how damaging RSL’s lack of a healthy midfield and wing defense was in both matches. Typical starters Dema Kovalenko and Ian Joy as well as standout rookie Tony Beltran have all been battling injuries that have kept them out of the past two matches.

Colorado, on the other hand, is also suffering from a glut of injuries in midfield. In fact, four midfielders are listed as out for Friday’s match, notably Pablo Mastroeni and Terry Cooke. This won’t bode well for a Colorado squad that is in desperate need for a win as they try to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference. Colorado lost last Saturday for the third time in four games as they fell 3-0 to D.C. United. After stunning the Kansas City Wizards the week before in new manager Gary Smith’s first match, Colorado also appeared uninspired and lacked a creative edge. One would have to think that their control and activity on the offensive end might be missing again this week in large part due to their lack of depth in midfield.

RSL captured the Rocky Mountain Cup for the first time last season, defeating Colorado 1-0 on the road in the regular season finale due to a stunning late match goal by Robbie Findley. If RSL’s supporters want to keep the trophy in Utah for another season, this match is a must-win due to the series only including three matches this season. Look for both teams to continue their heated rivalry with each squad containing former members of both teams, notably RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, and recent addition Clint Mathis.

The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. MT and will be shown on Altitude as well as MLS Direct Kick

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Clark, Orozco, Wynne in, Fredy, Jozy out for Cuba, T&T qualifiers

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has recalled Ricardo Clark, Michael Orozco and Marvell Wynne in favor of Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore in his 20 man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. Orozco, who plies his trade for San Luis in the Mexican league, is probably best known for being sent off in third minute of the U.S.’ final game at the Beijing Olympics, when the Yanks succumbed to Nigeria 2-1.

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