Friday, June 09, 2006

Reason Alone to Watch

Nothing like a big, international sporting event to get the heart wrenching stories of athletes’ perseverance out in the open. As if US Soccer fandom needs another reason to watch the Nats on Monday, check out this story on the Deuce himself, Clint Dempsey. ESPN’s Wayne Drehs does an amazing job telling the story of the kid from Nacogdoches, TX. I dare you not well up while reading about Clint and his mom, Debbie. Good stuff.

Ja, It’s On

Congrats to the Germans for opening the World Cup in style. Torsten Frings has few fans in the US after Japan/Korea, but his 40-yard bomb to close out the Krauts’ 4-2 win over Costa Rica was a thing of beauty.

Oh, What A Feeling!

Chicago Fire broadcaster and sports attendance junkie Kenn Tomasch has some great photos of the new and newly-named Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, two days ahead of the $98million soccer-specific stadium's “soft opening” match between the Fire vs. New England. When’s that Red Bull Park groundbreaking, again? Hmm?

The League, The League

New York (1-2-6) hosts the Houston Dynamo (5-3-2) at the Swamp on Saturday night. The over/under on attendance is 7,000 fans. The silence has been deafening from the Red Bull marketing machine since the April 8th home opener. It’s truly embarrassing.

Here are my thoughts on what to expect:

The Houston forwards vs. The Red Bulls’ back line:
Ronald Cerritos and Alejandro Moreno vs. Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes and Steve Jolley (and Tony Meola). The absence of US Nat Brian Ching is massive here. The Houston forwards have scored one (1) goal in over twelve hundred minutes of play. The New York defense has allowed two (2) goals in the last one hundred and eighty minutes of play (and one pk), or one per game. That’s Houston: 1 goal scored per 13 games; New York, 1 goal allowed per 1 game. Advantage: New York

New York’s attackers vs. Houston’s defense:
Jean Philippe Peguero and Youri Djorkaeff vs. Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett (and Pat Onstad). NY is down with JPP, but Houston’s allowed only a goal per game over its last three contests, a loss and two ties. Advantage: Push

The Midfielders:
New York’s Danny O’Rourke, Chris Henderson, Amado Guevara, and Mark Lisi vs. Houston’s Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, and Dwayne DeRosario. It’s old home night in NJ as former Metros Clark and Davis aim to do a number over their old, um, former club. DeRosario will give O’Rourke fits, and Mullan has seen limited US duty. Once again we wonder which Guevara will show up for the Bulls. Advantage: Houston

The Coaches:
Dominick Kinnear vs. Mo Johnston. Mo is only working with what he has, but he’s got to feel the pressure. I mean six ties in nine games? Kinnear gets a free pass with Chingy in Deutschland. Advantage: Houston

The Red Bulls should be playing to remain on the roster when the transfer window opens after the World Cup. Houston should be loose and ready to run all night: Advantage Houston.

The Prediction:
I wish I was more bullish on NY (sorry). Houston wins 2-1.

A TV Party (times EDT):


9:00am: World Cup: England-Paraguary, ABC, UNI

Noon: World Cup: Trinidad & Tobago-Sweden, ABC, UNI

3:00pm: World Cup: Argentina-Ivory Coast, ESPN2, UNI

7:30pm: MLS: New York-Houston, DK, FSNY

SUNDAY, June 11

9:00am: World Cup: Serbia & Montenegro-Netherlands, ESPN2, UNI

Noon: World Cup: Mexico-Iran, ABC, UNI

3:00pm: World Cup: Angola-Portugal, ESPN2, UNI

6:00pm: MLS: FC Dallas-Chivas USA, HDNet

6:30pm: COL: Deportivo Cali-Once Caldas, GOL

7:00pm: MLS: Chicago-New England, DK, FSNE

8:00pm; MLS: Los Angeles-DC United, DK, CSN, FSW

9:30pm: GUA: Municipal-Marquense, GOL

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