Archive | August, 2008

Rapids, RSL in Friday night fight for Rocky Mountain Cup

Posted on 29 August 2008 by pshea

What they’re fighting for ©ASN/Mike Murphy

Tonight Real Salt Lake host the Colorado Rapids for the second game of the Rocky Mountain Cup at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Rapids won the first of three games between the two rivals by 2-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 15. With a win tonight, the Cup returns to Colorado and the Rapids move level with RSL at 27 points. A Colorado loss or tie pushes the Cup competition for a decisive game at DSGP on Oct. 25. Previews of tonight’s game are up from both Colorado and Salt Lake correspondents.

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Wizards visit San Jose

Posted on 29 August 2008 by khowell

As Major League Soccer slips definitively into the final third of its season, it’s hard to tell if the Kansas City Wizards are coming or going. With nine games remaining, there seems to be plenty of time for the Blues to power their way back into the playoff picture but are they getting closer? Are they getting left behind? Regardless of their past performance, one thing becomes increasingly clear the closer the Wizards get to their season’s autumn finale. Kansas City needs wins. What better time to start winning than with a visit to Buck Shaw Stadium for a match with the expansion San Jose Earthquakes?

Then again, the Earthquakes stopped playing like an expansion team a long time ago. After winning only three of their first sixteen games, the Quakes are undefeated in their last seven. Their last home game ended in a rollicking 4-0 victory over the New England Revolution, a team diametrically opposed to last place Kansas City in the Eastern Conference standings. Meanwhile, San Jose’s suddenly stingy defense has allowed multiple goals in a game only once in the last two months. All of which is to say, the Wizards will need to bring their ‘A’ game to California on Saturday if they hope to score many goals or bring home any points.

The question remains, however, whether the Wizards will be up to the task. A certain body of evidence seems to suggest they will be. The Wizards have only lost twice in their last nine games. Twice over that period, the Wizards scored three goals in a match. Perhaps most importantly, Kansas City’s offense seems to have found some stability with Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud at forward and Claudio Lopez in midfield, all of whom have scored goals recently while feeding off each other’s service and movement.

On the other hand, despite the occasional burst of good form, Kansas City remains mired at the bottom of the East, five points out of playoff contention and unable to make up any ground. They’ve lost two of their last four games, losses that allowed New York Red Bulls to gain ground on KC in the playoff hunt. Furthermore, with only two months left in the regular season, their leading goal scorer is still a center defender and, most ominously for the Wizards, they haven’t won a road game since April 20th. If KC hopes to reverse that trend, they’ll have to do so against a formidable home squad in San Jose.

When the Wizards take the field on Saturday, they’ll find the Earthquakes little changed since their 4-0 romping over New England but considerably reinforced since the beginning of the season. The most notable recent additions to the Earthquakes are all on offense with Darren Huckerby, Arturo Alvarez and former Wizard Scott Sealy all joining the team in the last five weeks and contributing four goals and five assists collectively. Over that span, the Earthquakes have outscored their opponents 8-3 without losing once and garnering three shutouts in the process. With this kind of buzz saw awaiting them in San Jose, it’s entirely possible the Wizards could find themselves another vanquished foe on the Earthquakes’ meteoric rise out of the Western Conference basement.

The Wizards have faced postseason oblivion before, however, and still managed to salvage themselves in time for the playoffs. Last year, Kansas City determined its playoff fate on the last day of the regular season after a string of mediocre results and went on to play in the Western Conference championship. Whether the Wizards are capable of that sort of resurgence this year remains to be seen, as they’ve enjoyed moments of brilliance and collapse in equal measure. One thing seems certain, however, as the playoff field begins to shrink into the distance. The Wizards need to start winning and they really ought to start winning now.

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Bradley likely to remain at Heerenveen

Posted on 29 August 2008 by ASN Staff


A move to the English Premiership or elsewhere is looking increasingly unlikely by Michael Bradley, according to At issue is the high price tag placed on Bradley by his club, Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen.

Premiership clubs Blackburn, Middlesbrough, West Ham United and Sunderland have all emerged as clubs interested in the 21-year old Bradley. German Bundesliga side Hamburg SV are also said to have expressed interest.

On the matter of HSV, the Yank currently in their ranks, Preston Zimmerman, is said to be in search of a move elsewhere due to a desire to play first team soccer. So reports soccer365, citing Zimmerman’s agent.

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Continental Divide Derby: Game Two

Posted on 27 August 2008 by pshea

What they’re fighting for ©ASN/Mike Murphy

The Colorado Rapids travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium to face Real Salt Lake for the second game of the Rocky Mountain Cup on Friday night. The Rapids won the first of three games against RSL, a 2-0 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 15. With a win on Friday, the Cup returns to Colorado and the Rapids move level with RSL at 27 points. A Colorado loss or tie pushes the Cup competition for a decisive game at DSGP on October 25.

The 2007 Rocky Mountain Cup competition included four games. In the final contest with the Cup on the line (the final game of the season), RSL was out of the playoffs but the Rapids had a chance to advance with a win. With the 1-0 victory, RSL killed two birds with one stone by moving the Cup over the Continental Divide and spoiling Colorado’s postseason dreams.

Traditionally, players around the world only trade jerseys after special games. But because of circumstance, personnel maneuvers, and sheer chance over the years, the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry has a complicated subtext because five players have been on the rosters of both teams. After a spell in Europe, Clint Mathis played for RSL in 2005, played for the Rapids in 2006, and now he’s back at RSL.

RSL defenders Chris Wingert and Nat Borchers played for Colorado before moving to Utah, and Mehdi Ballouchy and Kyle Beckerman traded places in a trade last season. Ballouchy came on in the 88th minute for the Colorado victory in May, and Beckerman has played substantial minutes for RSL this year. Although Ballouchy has seen more time in recent weeks, he took a ball in the face during Colorado’s loss to D.C. United last Saturday and won’t be playing on Friday.

For Colorado, the 3-0 shutout last weekend turned out to be more painful than the scoreline indicates. Ballouchy suffered a concussion that forced new head coach Gary Smith to put in Greg Dalby at the break. But Dalby hurt his right ankle while sliding into a tackle only 13 minutes after taking the field, forcing Smith to use his third and final substitution early and insert Christian Gomez with more than 30 minutes to go. When Pablo Mastroeni’s right hamstring forced him to the sideline in the 80th minute, the Rapids had to finish the game a man down. D.C. United scored the second and third goals during the final 10 minutes of play.

In total, the Rapids have six players on the definitive “out” list. Ugo Ihemelu is still recovering from a concussion from two weeks ago. Justin Hughes has a nagging left groin injury, and Terry Cooke’s left hamstring has him on the sideline too.

Jordan Harvey, Jose Burciaga, Jr. and Jacob Peterson are listed as probable.

RSL also lost 3-0 last week, a convincing win from the Columbus Crew. But RSL has a larger pool of players for Friday night. Only midfielder Nathan Sturgis is definitely out (left hamstring strain), and Dema Kovalenko is doubtful (left calf strain). Tony Beltran and Ian Joy have adductor troubles.

The Rapids trained on their artificial turf field at the DSGP complex this week to prepare for the fake turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Unbeaten at home (6-0-5), RSL is quite familiar with the surface. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Remote fans can catch the contest live on Altitude Sports and Entertainment.

FYI: Members of the Utah delegation in Denver for the Democratic National Convention said they are “trembling with excitement” in anticipation of the new stadium in Salt Lake City.

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ASN's RBNY Twitter feed

Posted on 27 August 2008 by ASN Staff

ASN’s Red Bulls news feed is now available on Get it and follow New York Red Bull news in real time. A general ASN news feed is available as well.

What is Twitter and what are its benefits?
Think of Twitter as Facebook updates without Facebook. Twitter allows you to follow individuals (or whomever) in real time both on its Web site and through your mobile phone. ASN’s Twitter feeds are not only about real-time alerts on new stories, however. We are planning to exploit this new technology by having beat reporters post tweets from the press box during games and post-game press conference afterwards. This will enable fans to receive in-game commentary as well as post game reaction quotes almost in real time. The full match reports will of course still follow in their entirety, but the service gives ASN readers something they can’t get elsewhere. Best of all, it’s completely free (not including regular text message charges, if applicable, of course).

This program is being rolled out in Beta right now and for a few select team sites. More will follow as we work out the kinks.

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Revolution fall 2-1 to Joe Public FC in CONCACAF preliminary

Posted on 27 August 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

Tuesday night the New England Revolution flew to Trinidad; they flew home with a 2-1 loss in the first of a home and away aggregate goal preliminary series with Joe Public FC in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Due to the host of first team injuries (Matt Reis, Chris Albright, Kenny Mansally, Kheli Dube, Adam Cristman) and international duty (Khano Smith), the Revolution utilized back-up keeper Doug Warren and rookies Chris Tierney, Joe Germanese, Amaechi Igwe, and Pat Phelan in a defensive 4-4-1-1 formation. To complicate matters, Steve Ralston suffered back spasms early in the match and was replaced by Wells Thompson, who earned a yellow card in his first minute, and Mauricio Castro shifted to an central attacking role.

Joe Public outshot New England 11-2 in the first half and stymied the MLS players with their short passing game and speed. Even Sainey Nyassi’s notable pace was matched effortlessly and his forays on the right wing quickly smothered. But after the first 30 minutes, the Revolution succeeded in spreading the field and forcing Joe Public to counter New England’s wide crossing game. But as the lone striker, Taylor Twellman was heavily marked by central defenders who needed to be distracted by a complementary scoring threat.

Gregory Richardson and Jamal Gay scored for Joe Public in the 51st and 70th minutes.

Castro, the Revolution’s most confident player throughout the game, scored on a penalty in the 76th minute for a foul on Shalrie Joseph. Castro’s goal is critical if the Revs even up aggregate goals in this Tuesday’s home game because the first tiebreaker in this tournament is away goals.

The surprise of the evening was Germanese’s attacking contribution in the final minutes as he twice ripped down the right side and rocketed hairline crosses in front of the net for New England’s best chances of the night.

The Revolution’s cluttered tournament schedule is taking a physical toll on its players. “The big problem we were always going to have was what was left in our legs,” said former Liverpool defender coach Steve Nicol, no stranger to international play. “We saw today that when Joe Public got out ahead of us, with the schedule we’ve had and the travel we’ve had, it’s been taken out of us. Certainly, we’re pleased to only lose 2-1. Joe Public had a couple of chances, but we had a couple of chances as well. So, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”

When Joe Public (owned by FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner) visit Gillette Stadium next Tuesday for the second leg, the Revolution will need to begin the match with an intensity missing in their defeat.

New England Revolution at Joe Public FC August 26, 2008 – Macoya, Trinidad (Marvin Lee Stadium)

Scoring Summary: JPF – Gregory Richardson (Kerry Baptiste) 51 JPF – Jamal Gay (Kerry Baptiste) 70 NE – Mauricio Castro (penalty kick) 76

New England Revolution (4-4-1-1): Doug Warren (GK), Chris Tierney, Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst, Jay Heaps, Mauricio Castro (Joe Germanese 80), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Amaechi Igwe 65), Steve Ralston © (Wells Thompson 25), Taylor Twellman

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton (GK), Matt Reis (GK), Rob Valentino

STATS: Shots 5; Shots on Goal 2; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 2; Fouls Committed 7

Joe Public FC (4-4-2): Alejandro Figueroa (GK), Jason Springer, Keyeno Thomas, Christopher Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Wolry Wolfe (Kerry Noray 81), Dale Saunders ©, Arnold Dwarika (Lyndon Andrews 83), Kerry Baptiste, Reon Nelson (Jamal Gay 69), Gregory Richardson

Substitutes Not Used: Andre Foster (GK), Peterson Desrivieres, Gary Glasgow, Elusma Pierre

STATS: Shots 15; Shots on Goal 6; Saves 1; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 4; Fouls Committed 11

Misconduct Summary: NE – Wells Thompson (caution) 26 JPF – Wolry Wolfe (caution) 55 JPF – Carlyle Mitchell (caution) 74 JPF – Jamal Gay (caution) 78 NE – Michael Parkhurst (caution) 88

Referee: Courtney Campbell

Attendance: 2,100

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Chivas go down 2-0 in CONCACAF Champions League opener

Posted on 27 August 2008 by ASN Staff

Panama City’s Tauro FC bested visiting Chivas USA 2-0 in Tuesday night’s first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League qualifier on a brace by 23-year old Panama international Edwin Aguilar. The MLS side will face the tough task of winning the home leg by three goals to advance by virtue of the away goals rule that was adopted for this tournament.

The return leg at the Home Depot Center is Sept. 2. The winner advances to a group that includes Santos Laguna of Mexico, CSD Municipal of Guatemala and the winner of the preliminary round matchup between LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica and the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Match Facts

CONCACAF Champions League qualifier, first leg
Tauro F.C. 2:0 Chivas USA
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008- Estadio Rod Carew, Panama City, Panama

Scoring Summary:
TAU – Edwin Aguilar 7′
TAU – Edwin Aguilar 67′


Chivas USA – Zach Thornton, Jonathan Bornstein, Claudio Suárez (Jim Curtin, 45′), Shavar Thomas, Francisco Mendoza, Kraig Chiles (Lawson Vaugh, 62′), Paulo Nagamura, Daniel Paladini (Alecko Eskandarian, 45′), Jorge Flores, Sacha Kljestan, Atiba Harris.

Tauro F.C. – Willington Dominguez, Luis Moreno, Silvio Morelos, Leonel Parris (Eduardo Dasent, 79′), Christian Vega, Edwin Aguilar, Alberto Manotas, Rolando Palma, Luis Escobar, Jean Alberto Maclean, Anel Canales, Rolando Rojas.

Referee: Elmar Rodas (GUA)

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Revs, Chivas stumble in CONCACAF Champions League openers

Posted on 27 August 2008 by ASN Staff

The CONCACAF Champions League got off to an auspicious start for Major League Soccer clubs, with Chivas USA and the New England Revolution losing their first leg games against upstart opponents from Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively. Chivas, which succumbed to Panama City’s Tauro FC 2-0, will face the tougher task in the return leg, needing to win by three goals to advance. New England, which lost 2-1 to Trinidad champions Joe Public, can advance with a 1-0 win in the return leg thanks to the away goal rule that has been adopted for this tournament.

Does the CONCACAF Champions League hold your interest?

There was one other preliminary round game last night, featuring Mexico City’s Cruz Azul and Hankook Verdes of Belize. The Mexican side breezed to a 6-0 victory and is all but assured a spot in the group stage. MLS clubs DC United and Houston Dynamo qualified automatically for the group stage by virtue of winning the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup, respectively.

Eight clubs (two from Mexico and MLS and one from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama) are seeded directly to the group stage, with the preliminary round winners joining to comprise four groups of four teams each. Each team will play two matches (one home, one away) against each of the other teams in its group, in a round-robin system, from Sept. 16 to Oct. 30. The top two clubs from each of the four groups will be drawn into four quarterfinal pairings to play home-and-zxccaway match-ups in February 2009. The four quarterfinal winners will then play in two Semifinal home-and-away match-ups in March and April 2009 with the two semifinal winners squaring-off in the home-and-away CONCACAF Champions League Final in late April 2009.

The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as the CONCACAF representative to the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.

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First Place Crew Heads To Dallas

Posted on 27 August 2008 by Jim Baird

After two straight home victories the Columbus Crew hit the road to tussle in Texas.

The first place Crew square off against F.C. Dallas this Saturday at Pizza Hut Park. The two clubs recently locked horns August 16 in Columbus. The Black-and-Gold won that contest 2-1 in large part to Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who notched two assists, bringing his league-leading total to 14.

Both clubs are in tight conference races, and with 9 games left before the playoffs start, the margin of error razor-thin. In the East, Columbus is tied for first place with New England on 37 points; F.C. Dallas currently sits at third place in the West with 26 points.

For visitors, earning a victory at Pizza Hut Park hasn’t been easy this season. F.C. Dallas has a 4-2-4 record this year defending their home turf. The Crew enters the match straddling .500 on the road with a 4-4-2 record.

Columbus will bring to town the third highest scoring office in the league lead by the creative midfield work of Schelotto as well as play up front from Alejandro Moreno and Robbie Rogers. F.C. Dallas counters with forward Kenny Cooper, the league’s second leading scorer this season with 13 goals.

Game Info:

Kickoff: 9:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 30
Radio: 610 AM WTVN

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MacDonald back with Red Bulls

Posted on 27 August 2008 by ASN Staff

Kearny, N.J. native Hugh MacDonald has returned to the Red Bulls, playing 21 minutes as a substitute “guest player” in the Reserve team’s 5-2 win over DC United on Tuesday, Aug. 26. MacDonald, originally signed by the team as an undrafted free agent in March 2007, was cut last June, according to Metrofanatic.

The team’s lineup featured a few other new faces, all listed as “guest players”:

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