Friday, April 21, 2006

OK! Let's Play A Game Already!

With the massive musical chairs game that’s been played for the last two months around the Red Bulls, it’s a treat that Mo will be running the on-field show, at least for this week. As I said to my ticket rep this week, “the only constant is change.”

We’ve yet to hear from Marc De Grandpre, the team’s new managing director, but the word that there’ll be a separate “director of soccer operations” is promising. I wish I could say the same against the Bulls’ prospects of coming out of Saturday’s match with DC with three points. Here’s the line-by-line matchup as I see it from my gleaming midtown office tower this morning:

The DC forwards vs. the Red Bull’s defense:
Jaime Moreno and Lucio Filomeno vs. Marvell Wynne, Jeff Parke, Taylor Graham, and Carlos Mendes (and Tony Meola). Twenty goals. That’s how many goals Moreno has scored on New York in thirty matches he’s played against his former (hah) team. He didn’t get on the scoreboard in the teams’ 2-2 draw at RFK on opening day, which means he’s due. Meola had some terrific saves on RSL’s carpet last week. With a wet rug on the ground at the Swamp this week, he’ll have step up again, as he’s done all season long. The Red Bulls have given up only a goal a game in three matches. Slight Advantage: DC

The Red Bulls’ strikers vs. the DC back line:
Youri Djorkaeff and Edson Buddle vs. Facundo Erpen, Bobby Boswell, and Brandon Prideaux (and Troy Perkins). The United defense (thanks to some favorable calls) hasn’t been scored upon since Perkins’ howler gave Edison Buddle a gift goal on April 2nd, a 252-minute streak. Boswell, who had a terrific rookie season in 2005, had a strong outing last week holding down a potent Houston attack. Djorkaeff and Buddle haven’t hit the net since the season opener in DC, but perhaps a second-straight match on turf will help them regain their scoring touch. No? Ah well, it was worth a try. Advantage: DC

The Midfielders:
Danny O’Rourke, Seth Stammler, Amado Guevara, and Chris Henderson vs. Joshua Gros, Ben Olsen, Christian Gomez, Brian Carroll, and Freddy Adu. There’s really no contest here. Olsen has stepped up his game big time this season, and Gros, who scored last week, is maturing into a real threat on the wing. Gomez is extremely dangerous, and Adu will want to do something special in Sierra Mist’s corporate home market. On the NY side of the ball, O’Rourke and Guevara have yet to truly find a rhythm, and Stammler fits the wing like a square peg in a round hole. Advantage: DC

The Coaches:
Peter Nowak has his team in great shape, with a 2-0-1 record. He’s got hometown boy Alecko Eskandarian to pull off the bench, who’s scored three against NY in eight matches. It’s got to be a strange feeling to be Mo Johnston, who reportedly was prepared to be let go today. He’s got to try to get the most of the players he’s got, but his team was unable to get three points at the league’s weakest team last time out. Advantage: DC

Mother Nature is rarely kind to the NY side, and tomorrow is no exception, with showers expected all match long. The crowd, even with Freddy Adu in town, should be sparse, though there should be a good percentage of DC fandom at the stadium. For those watching on espn2, all the fans will be hiding under the overhangs. The downpour and wet carpet will surely put a premium on attractive play. Advantage: Push

There’s little, other than the play of Meola, that offers an ounce of confidence that the Red Bulls will come away with a point tomorrow. DC is too strong a squad, and NY too disjointed. Score: 2-0 DC

UPDATE: As of later Friday afternoon, BigAppleSoccer is reporting that Tony Meola, Youri Djorkaeff, and Jeff Parke are all questionable (hat tip: Mr. Bee) for tomorrow's match, leaving a possible lineup as: Conway,Wynne-Jolley-Graham-Mendes, Stammler-O'Rourke-Guevara-Henderson-Magee (upgraded to probable)-Buddle. Heaven help us.

For Your Viewing Pleasure
Here’s what’ll be on the tube over the weekend (times EDT). Enjoy!

SATURDAY, April 22
7:30am: EPL: Arsenal-Tottenham, FSC
9:00am: ITA: Juventus-Lazio, GOL
10:00am: GER: Hamburg-Bayer Leverkusen, FSC
11:00am: ITA: Messina-AC Milan, GOL
12noon: EPL: Everton-Birmingham, FSC
1:00pm: ECU: Dep. Quito-Barcelona, GOL
3:00pm: EPL: Portsmouth-Sunderland, FSC
3:00pm: BRA: Corinthians-Sao Caetano, GOL
4:00pm: MLS: New York-DC United, ESPN2
5:00pm: ITA: Lecce-Treviso, FSC
5:00pm: ESP: Celta Vigo-Real Zaragoza, GOL
6:00pm; MEX: Atlante-Club America, TELEF
8:00pm: MEX: Monterrey-Cruz Azul, GALA
8:00pm: COL: Dep. Pereira-Atl. Nacional, GOL
8:30pm: MLS: Houston-Salt Lake, DK
10:00pm: MEX: Atlas-Necaxa, GALA
10:30pm: MLS: Los Angeles-Columbus, DK, HDNet

SUNDAY, April 23
11:00am: FA Cup: Middlebrough-West Ham, FSC
11:00am: ESP: Atl. Bilbao-Valencia, GOL
1:00pm: ESP: Real Madrid-Malaga, GOL
1:00pm: MEX: UNAM-Tigres, UNI
3:00pm: ARG: Velez Sarsfield-Boca Juniors, FSC
3:00pm: BRA: Santos-Atl. Paranaense, GOL
3:00pm: MEX: Toluca-Santos, GALA
5:00pm: MLS: FC Dallas-Kansas City, ESPN2
5:00pm: ELS: Firpo-Aguila, GOL
7:00pm: COL: America de Cali-Once Caldas, GOL

Nice to see: BusinessWeek gives props to MLS to the business leaders of the world here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Numb and Number

Jack Bell’s column in today’s NY Times notes that the New York Red Bulls’ Austrian overlords are “re-evaluating” the Harrison, NJ stadium project that former Metro GM Nick Sakewicz has been working on since 2000. Bell’s piece notes that Red Bull is convinced that Giants Stadium is “recognized around the world as the soccer destination” in the metro area.

As a fan that has followed the soap opera that is Harrison since the turn of the century with great interest, and as a fan that has watched from afar as Columbus, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Colorado and even Toronto has started, and in some cases moved into their soccer-specific stadiums, I’m dumbstruck by this latest news.

People become “fans” because of an emotional connection they feel with their teams. If the promise of escaping the high parking fees, surly security guards and low-forehead concessionaires at Giants Stadium is removed, I’ll feel as if my emotional capital will have been spent on... nothing. As our commander-if chief so eloquently put it... “Fool me twice… um… you can’t fool me again.” As the Mo Johnston death watch has begun, this club needs some good news around it. Now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Uncomfortably Numb

I was away for the weekend, and grimaced when I saw the NY-RSL scoreline pop up on ESPNews on Saturday night. I erased the game from my TiVo without watching it upon my return home. Then I grimaced some more when I read the news yesterday morning that Alexi Lalas was indeed heading to LA to helm the Galaxy. Lalas left NY after telling fans and the media repeatedly that he wasn’t leaving. Did he lie? Well, he was looking out for his own “business interests,” but the whole thing leaves me feeling like I’ve been taken for a ride. It’s been a long ten years already with the Metros/Red Bulls, but it seems like the last two months have tested club fandom to the limit. Lalas did a lot of things right while he was in NY. He was a presence in the local & national sports media and drew attention to the club. He listened to adult fans’ concerns & responded in kind. He got rid of those awful horns.

Now he’s gone, and while the RB nation waits for who’s next, an unsettled air hangs over the club. Who’ll be running the team? Will Mo coach past Saturday’s game vs. DC? Will there be a mass dumping of players? There probably should be, because off-season adds Canero, O’Rourke, and Henderson apparently sucked it up big time at Salt Lake.

After generating some serious buzz for the home opener on April 8th, there’s no marketing whatsoever ahead of this week’s DC match (forecast is for rain, of course). Will attendance break 20K? 15K? 10K?

The more important question is, why should anyone continue to care? Underachieving malaise on the field vs. constant turmoil off the field has left this 11-yr Metro/Red Bull fan uncomfortably numb.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Must-Have Points

After two straight draws against MLS Cup contenders, the Red Bulls have no excuses heading into tomorrow’s visit to the Wasatch mountains against Real Salt Lake (9pm, DK, MSG). Last season, the MetroStars underachieved big-time against the two MLS expansion clubs, drawing RSL twice and going 1-0-1 vs. Chivas USA. While the HDC co-tenants had a big upgrade in the off-season, RSL continues to be a work in progress. The stormin’ mormons dropped malcontent Clint Mathis and picked up part-time national-teamer Chris Klein, but the team hasn’t won since a 2-1 home victory vs. Chivas on August 6th (0-13-1 since). Tomorrow night’s the home opener at Rice-Eccles, though, and the artificial turf there may play havoc (Hat tip: Ty Keough) on Youri’s knees. Here’s a side-by-side breakdown, based on last week’s starting lineups…

The RSL frontline vs. the Red Bulls’ defense:
Jeff Cunningham and Andy Willams vs. Marvell Wynne, Carlos Mendes, Jeff Parke, and Taylor Graham (and Tony Meola). Cunningham and Williams are proven but aging strikers, and the fast turf will benefit Cunningham’s game. The NY defense had a terrific outing last week against a tougher side (New England). If the Red Bulls can avoid slipping and sliding on the Rice-Eccles carpet, another shutout is a strong possibility. Meola was let down by the US backline in Cary, NC on Tuesday. The same won’t happen tomorrow. Advantage: New York

The Red Bulls’ strikers vs. the RSL backline:
Youri Djorkaeff and Edson Buddle vs. Chris Brown, Eddie Pope, Carey Talley, and Daniel Torres (and Scott Garlick). The RSL vets have let in five goals in two games vs. Chivas and Dallas, and Pope’s 90 minutes for the US Tuesday vs. Jamaica may have taken a little out his tank. The speedy Buddle could feast on RSL’s older legs, especially if he’s given the opportunity to run into the box rather than getting the ball up top. Garlick’s porn-star ‘stache won’t save him. Slight Advantage: New York

The Midfielders:
Amado Guevara, Danny O’Rourke, Chris Henderson, and Seth Stammler (NY) vs. Chris Klein, Kenny Cutler, Douglas Sequeira, Mehdi Ballouchy (RSL). It’s clear that El Lobo hasn’t shown well in NY’s first two matches, but Cutler and Ballouchy are still green with only twenty-five MLS appearances between them. Klein is a natural goal-scorer who gets points for his free-kick goal of the week vs. Dallas last time out. Henderson’s strong play out wide will help the NY cause. Slight Advantage: New York

The Coaches:
Mo Johnston should get credit for the Red Bulls’ two decent results to date. He’s got to convince his club to go for the kill this week. John Ellinger has to show improvement now if he wants to keep his job. Advantage: New York

The Intangibles:
RSL should get a boost from a big, loud crowd in its home opener on a clear and chilly night. New York has traditionally underachieved against poorer competition, but the pressure is all on Ellinger and RSL. Advantage: New York

The Red Bulls don't stampede, but have a strong outing and get the result against a team they should beat. The undefeated season continues. Score: 2-0 New York

Give Him a Break
Ok, Alexi says he’s not leaving. If the Red Bulls don’t deliver, he’ll be shown the door, just like any GM in any league. Can we stop talking about this now? Thanks.

The Tube of Boob
Happy Passover, Easter, or happy weekend to all. Here’s a sampling of the matches on TV this weekend (All times EDT):

SATURDAY, April 15
7:30am: EPL: Bolton-Chelsea, FSC
10:00am: GER: Hertha Berlin-Borussia Dortmund, FSC
11:00am: ITA: Palermo-Roma, GOL
12 noon: EPL: Newcastle-Wigan, FSC
1:00pm: ECU-Dep. Quito-Aucas, GOL
3:00pm: EPL: Everton-Tottenham, FSC
4:00pm: MLS: Columbus-Chicago, ESPN2
4:00pm: ESP: Dep. Coruna-Sevilla, GOL
5:00pm: ITA: Cagliari-Juventus, FSC
6:00pm: MEX: Atlante-Unam, GALA
6:00pm: MEX: Tigres-Chiapas, TELEF
6:00pm: BRA: Vasco Da Gama-Internacional-RS, GOL
7:30pm: MLS: DC United-Houston, HDNet
8:00pm: COL: Once Caldas-Ind. Medellin, GOL
8:30pm: MLS: Kansas City-New England, DK
9:00pm: MLS: Colorado-FC Dallas, DK
9:00pm: MLS: Real Salt Lake-New York, DK, MSG

10:00pm: MEX: Necaxa-Morelia, GALA
11:00pm: MLS: Chivas USA-Los Angeles, ESPN2

SUNDAY, April 16
11:00am: ESP: Valencia-Espanyol, GOL
1:00pm: EPL: Blackburn-Liverpool, FSC
1:00pm: ECU: Olmedo-Dep. Cuenca, GOL
1:00pm; MEX: San Luis-Pachuca, UNI
3:00pm: FRA: Paris SG-Lyon, FSC
3:00pm; ESP: Atl. Madrid, Atl. Bilbao, GOL
5:00pm: BRA: Gremio-Corinthians, GOL
6:00pm: MEX: Chivas-Atlas, GALA
7:00pm: COL: Atl. Junior-America Cali, GOL
11:00pm: ARG: San Lorenzo-River Plate, FSC

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Curtain Went Up

The stadium looked great. The sky was finally clear. The crowd was excited. The luminaries of the Cosmos and MetroStars were on the field. The eagle, and the skydivers, landed. And then… the match started. A defensive, bone-crushing, knock down match in which yellow cards were plenty and opportunities went unfulfilled. The Red Bulls' scoreless draw with New England was yet another unsatisfying on-field performance by the home side in front of a large crowd. On Saturday night, the sizzle was more appealing than the steak. Once the match started, the thirty-five thousand fans had little to cheer about, other than Shakira’s midriff. Which is lovely, by the way.

Still, there were bright spots. Jeff Parke did a great job in the center of the defense handling the Revs’ three National-team forwards. Chris Henderson got up and down the field like a man half his age, and created a couple of chances with dangerous, diagonal runs into the box. Tony Meola made a few key saves, and wound up with his first clean sheet of the season ahead of his 100th USMNT appearance tonight vs. Jamaica (7pm et, espn2).

The question is: without the opening day circus, will NY fans return to the swamp all season long? DC and Mr. Adu will be in town next Saturday, but will fans pay to see the Bulls take on Columbus? RSL? Colorado? The club did little on the field Saturday to endear itself to its fan base.

What NY Watched

The Newark Star-Ledger print edition has a nifty little feature on Tuesdays called “What We Watched,” a breakdown of the New York metro area sports TV ratings for the previous weekend. Here’s where MLS fit in on Saturday 4/8 (One ratings point = 74,000 households).

-Yanks-Angels on YES: 4.1
-Masters Golf on CBS: 3.9
-Rangers-Bruins on NBC: 1.3
-Nets-Cavs on YES: 1.3
-CHIVAS USA-DC UNITED on ESPN2: 0.4 (or 29,600 HHs)
-Devils-Canadiens on MSG: 0.2
-RED BULLS-REVOLUTION on MSG (TD at 10pm): 0.2 (or 14,800 HHs)
-Islanders-Capitals on FSNY: 0.1
(The Mets were rained out)

-As many folks tuned in the match on tape delay as did the Devils game live.
-The Red Bulls pulled in twice the Islanders’ rating
-Chivas-DCU pulled in twice the Red Bulls’ rating
-There are lots of viewing choices for the NY-area sports fan (and I didn’t include ratings for NASCAR, the WTA, Horse Racing, the Men’s NCAA Hockey final or NCAA Softball)
-I wonder what percentage of the Red Bulls’ rating were folks who rushed home from the game to watch the replay

Go West Red-Haired Man?

The rumors surrounding NYRB Pres./GM Alexi Lalas’ departure to take the same spot at the LA Galaxy are growing louder, as Michael Lewis picks up the trail. If Giorgio Chinaglia is about to take over the reins, get ready for lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing from the front office. Bleh.

Making Their Case

Though the final result isn’t important, tonight is huge for those taking the field for the Nats this evening in Cary, NC vs. Jamaica. Those on tonight’s roster fall into three groups:

Those securely on Il Bruce’s 23: Donovan, Mastroeni, Pope, Twellman, Wolff
Those with a serious chance of getting a spot: Dempsey, Hejduk, Johnson, Noonan, O’Brien, Ralston
Roster-fillers who (barring an injury to the first team) will be watching from home in June: Albright, Ching, Garcia, Meola, Olsen, Reis, Zavagnin

Big ups to NY local legend Tony the Tiger for hitting the century mark. Shame this testimonial opportunity couldn’t be played at The Swamp in front of the home-town fans, but SAS Soccer Park should be loud and proud tonight.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Finally Here

A month after the Red Bulls were born, the team finally gets a chance to strut their stuff in front of the hometown fans. Pres/GM Alexi Lalas has promised to “blow our minds,” and tomorrow’s home opener at Giants Stadium should do just that. With music, motocross, appearances by Pele and other former Cosmo and Metro greats, parachuters, bald eagles, a dry weather forecast (thank goodness) and at least 30,000 fans, it should be a great night. After the circus, though, there’ll still be a game to be played.

Here’s a preview of the key matchups, assuming the same formations as last weekend:

The Revs’ forwards vs. the Red Bulls defense:
It’ll be the USMNT’s Dempsey, Noonan, and Twellman vs. a young back line of Wynne, Graham, Parke, and Mendes. Last week, Wynne and Parke made crucial mistakes that let DC back in the match. Even with a superlative effort by the D and Tony Meola, it’d be hard to give New York the nod here. The only hope is that the Revs’ talented forwards are looking ahead to Tuesday’s US match vs. Jamaica & tone down the intensity a notch. Advantage: NE

The Red Bulls’ forwards vs. the Revs’ defense:
Djorkaeff and Buddle vs. Jay Heaps, Daniel Hernandez, and James Riley. Yes, NE will still be without 2005 Rookie of the Year Michael Parkhurst, and keeper Matt Reis is nursing a tender hamstring. However, the Revs kept a high-powered Galaxy off the board on Saturday in LA. Word on BAS this morning is that Youri’s a little teed off that the league has put the kibosh on his “interference” style goals moving forward. Buddle looked dangerous in DC, but he won’t get another gift like the one Perkins dropped at his feet this week. The NY attack is still a work in progress. Slight Advantage: NE

The Midfielders:
For New England, Steve Ralston, Andy Dorman, Shalrie Joseph, and Joe Franchino. For New York: Seth Stammler, Amado Guevara, Danny O’Rourke, and Chris Henderson. If there’s a weak link in on the Revs’ side, it’s young Dorman, though the Boston University product did serve up the ball that led to NE’s winning goal last week. Franchino will do his usual heel-nipping job all over the field. Joseph was a serious MVP candidate last season, and Ralston is still hoping to snag a spot on Bruce’s squad for Germany. On the Red Bulls' side is Stammler, who did such a masterful job controlling Ralston during the Metro’s 2-0 home playoff win last season. Guevara should have had an easier time this week after his challenges in Honduras before the DC match. Still, NY is facing a good group that has more experience playing as a unit: Advantage: NE

Steve Nicol did a masterful job last week in LA, exacting revenge for the MLS Cup loss last season. Mo is still finding his way. Advantage: NE

Much was said about the lift that Red Bulls felt from their away fan contingent last week in DC. There’ll be 500 Rev fans in attendance tomorrow, and they'll be sure to lift the NE squad. Though the crowd at Giants Stadium may top 35,000, many will be folks who will be attracted by the sideshow and aren’t really fans of the Red Bulls, at least not yet. An organized, loud NE group could quiet the NY fans, especially if the Revs get an early lead. That said, a pre-game pep-talk by Pele and Franz Beckenbauer (or Shakira) may but an extra zip in the step of the Red Bulls. Advantage: Push

Final Prediction: The NY fans will want a show, but would have been better served playing Columbus, Colorado or RSL as the home opener opponent. NE has more talent, and that’ll be obvious on the field. Score: 3-1 Revolution

TV Time

Here’s what you can find on the tube this weekend (all times ET):


7:30am: EPL: Tottenham-Man City, FSC
10:00am: GER: Borussia Dortmund-Bayer Leverkusen, FSC
12noon: EPL: Wigan-Birmingham, FSC
12noon: ESP: Cadiz-Real Betis, GOL
2:30pm: ITA: Ascoli-Inter Milan, GOL
3:00pm: EPL: Charlton-Everton, FSC
4:00pm: MLS: DC United-Chivas USA, ESPN2
4:00pm: MEX: Toluca-Tigres, GALA
4:30pm: ESP: Celta Vigo-Valencia, GOL
6:00pm: MEX: Monterrey-San Luis, GALA
6:30pm: URU: Central Espanol-Penarol, GOL
7:30pm: MLS: New York-New England, DK (10pm on MSG TD)
8:30pm: MLS: Houston-Kansas City, DK
8:30pm: MLS: FC Dallas-Real Salt Lake, DK
8:30pm: COL: Millonarios-Tolima, GOL
9:30pm: MLS: Colorado-Columbus, DK
10:00pm: MEX: Atlas-Santos, TELEF
11:00pm: MLS: Los Angeles-Chicago, DK, HDNet

SUNDAY, April 9

9:00am: ITA: Cagliari-Palermo, FSC
9:00am: ITA: AC Milan-Chievo, GOL
11:00am: ESP: Ath. Bilbao-Mallorca, GOL
1:00pm: ENG: Chelsea-West Ham, FSC
1:00pm: ESP: Racing Santander-Barcelona, GOL
3:00pm: FRA: Rennes-Sochaux, FSC
3:00pm: BRA: Santos-Portuguesa, GOL
5:00pm: EXH: UVA Women-Washington Freedom, FSC
5:00pm: MEX: America-UNAM, GALA
6:30pm: COL: Quindio-Once Caldas, GOL
7:00pm: EXH: UVA Men-DC United Reserves, FSC
9:30pm: ITA: Juventus-Fiorentina, GOL
11:00pm: ARG: River Plate-Instituto, FSC

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

2-2 the Hard Way

If you had told me before Saturday’s RBNY season opener at DC that the results would be a 2-2 draw, I’d be pretty satisfied. After all, the club was starting only a handful of players that started the ’05 monsoon game vs. RSL. However, after watching the Bulls blow a 2-0 halftime lead to settle for one point, I’m a little disappointed, but hopeful. The NY goals in the first half were a mix of incredible skill and incredible luck, but even with a two goal lead after 20 minutes, I wasn’t filled with a feeling of confidence. 70 minutes is a long time to hold a lead, and traditionally the NY club does everything possible to keep matches interesting. Alecko Eskandarian is going to be a major factor up front for DC this season, and he absolutely punished the ball for the year the NJ-native spent on the shelf. United’s second goal came at the expense of my Goat of the Week: Jeff Parke. Not only did Parke stick out his leg to knock Facundo Erpen’s shot past Tony Meola, but the defender from Drexel whiffed on a potential game-winner in front of an open net with ten minutes to spare. Steve Jolley, anyone?

Next up: the Revs, who looked real good in laying some MLS Cup revenge on the Gals in Carson. Hopefully, Twellman, Dempsey, Noonan, and Ralston will be taking it easy on RB ahead of their Tuesday USA date in N. Carolina vs. Jamaica, where Tony the Tiger will hit the century mark in appearances before calling it (finally) a USMNT career.

Quick Kicks:

No MLS on FSC this season? I understand that the league doesn’t want to give away rights to Murdoch if Disney & Univision will be paying cash, but more matches on TV=good. Fewer matches=bad.

The renamed New York Soccer Report debuts tomorrow night late on MSG. No other regional carrier devotes so much time to soccer, and MSG does a great job mixing team news, local soccer history, and great personalities. Even if you’re not in the NY area, it’s worth a look.

Rumor on BigSoccer is that the new Canadian Club will be named Inter Toronto FC. Some folks are up in arms, but I see no problem with this paean to the legendary team in Milan. If folks are really going to stay away because of the club name, we’re better off without them.

My bets on 2006 Hall-of-Fame invitees: Rocket Roy Lassiter, who’s MLS single-season goal record set in 1996 still stands today, and the formerly goateed President of RBNY, Alexi Lalas. The announcement is set for the April 22nd Red Bull-DC rematch at Giants Stadium.

On the fracas between some DC morons and Red Bull fans at and around RFK on Sunday, I hope the larger media doesn’t get wind of the incident, because events like this can very quickly deflate the momentum that the league has built in the season’s first week. I appreciate the steps that RBNY and the league seem to be taking to attract more adult soccer fans, but unruly fans have got to be squashed immediately.

Chivas USA is introducing USMNT Midfielder John O'Brien as the latest member of their roster today. And NY gets all the allocations?

I’m taking part in the new, blog-ified All-American XI this season, along with a who’s who of the BS and blog cognoscenti. Week 1’s report should be up soon. Take a quick click on over there, won’t you?