Friday, July 21, 2006
The Kansas City forwards vs. The Red Bulls' back line:
Eddie Johnson and Josh Wolff vs. Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Marvell Wynne and Seth Stammler (and Jon Conway). KC's two national-team forwards should be melding together, though the two each have only two goals in their nine MLS games to date this season. Even with the World Cup assignment, defender Jose Burciaga should be the leading scorer on this club. The Red Bulls have posted back to back shutouts for the first time in three years, albeit against the league's bottom feeders. It's hard to imagine a shutout against such talented strikers, but NY has the hot hand here, even moreso if Todd Dunivant gets on the field. Advantage: New York
New York's attackers vs. The Wizards defense:
Jean Philippe Peguero and Edson Buddle vs. Tyson Wahl, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Conrad, and Jose Burciaga (and Bo Oshoniyi). The JPP scoring drought is now seven games long. Perhaps opposing defenses are keying on him. Buddle had a beautiful diagonal pass to set up NY's first goal on Wednesday in Columbus, but neither NY striker is in stellar form right now. The Wizards have a veteran defense anchored by World Cup vet Jimmy Conrad, though KC has let in 26 goals in 18 games, 2nd worst in the league. Advantage: Push
New York's Danny O'Rourke, Chris Henderson, Amado Guevara, and Mike Magee vs. Kansas City's Alex Zotinca, Sasha Victorine, Kerry Zavagnin, and Lance Watson. Yes, Chris Henderson is old. Yes, he did score a fantastic goal from a crazy angle in Columbus on Wednesday. No, he can't seem to serve crosses of any quality whatsoever. Amado continues to heat up like Vinny(The Microwave) Johnson. For KC's veteran midfield, the coaching change may be wake-up call to get them going. I don't think so. Advantage: New York
Richie Williams vs. Brian Bliss. ABMOD has his side believing they can win. Bliss will be trying to ignite a moribund team that has only one win in its last seven games... in the Open Cup vs. the not-so-terrifying Des Moines Menace of the PDL. Advantage: New York
NY is gunning for its first three-game winning streak this season. Will the new optimism around the team translate to fans in the stands? KC should get a boost from its new head coach, but Red Bulls may just be for real. Advantage: New York.
The Prediction: A blissful night in the swamp eludes KC. New York wins 2-1.
Here's the best soccah on the tube this weekend (all times et)...
Saturday, July 22
4:00pm: MLS: Colorado-Los Angeles, ESPN2
5:00pm: BRA: Fluminense-Sao Caetano, GOL
7:30pm: MLS: New York-Kansas City, FSNY, HDNet, DK
8:00pm: COL: Independiente Santa Fe-Chico, GOL
8:30pm: MLS: Chicago-DC United, CSN, DK
8:30pm: MLS: Houston-New England, FSH, WLVI, DK
10:00pm: MLS: Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas, FSSW, DK
Sunday, July 23
1:00pm: ECU: Deportivo Quito-LDU, GOL
3:00pm: BRA: Ponte Preta, Sao Paulo, GOL
7:00pm: COL: America-Bucaramanga, GOL
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Kei Kamara, Jacob Thomas, and Eddie Gaven vs. Jeff Parke, Carlos Mendes, Marvell Wynne and Seth Stammler (and Jon Conway). Kamara, the Crew’s scoring leader with three goals, has had a strong rookie season. Thomas is spending his first season in MLS after eight years in the lower German leagues. Gaven (I’d imagine) wants to play well vs. his former club. The NY defense posted a shutout last time out against a poor
Jean Philippe Peguero and Edson Buddle vs.
Sigi Schmid vs. Richie Williams. It’s got to be a little strange for ABMOD tonight, but he certainly wants to build a little momentum ahead of the future Arena era. Sigi is building for the future, and should have his young charges ready to go. Experience points push the ad into his column. Advantage:
The Red Bulls will all be putting their best foot forward for their future coach, watching from 800 miles away. For the first time in months, they won’t be wondering if their head coach will be sticking around. He will be. He’ll just be demoted. Advantage:
USOC Third Round Results on July 12th:
Michigan Bucks (IV) 1:4 Columbus Crew (I)
Wilmington Hammerheads (III) 2:1 Atlanta Silverbacks (II)
Chivas USA (I) 0:0 (4-2 pks) Dallas Roma FC (Amateur)
Carolina Dynamo (IV) 3:2 Seattle Sounders (II)
Kansas City Wizards (I) 2:1 Des Moines Menace (IV)
Rochester Rhinos (II) 5:1 New Hampshire Phantoms (III)
Real Salt Lake (I) 2:1 Virginia Beach Mariners (II)
Charleston Battery (I) 3:1 Portland Timbers (I)
USOC Fourth Round Matches on August 1st-2nd:
DC United –
LA Galaxy-Roma FC (Amateur)
Houston-Carolina Dynamo (IV)… Go, um, Dynamo!
Real Salt Lake-Colorado
Portland (II)-FC Dallas
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Bruce Arena showed up 45 minutes late to his own party, allowing the city’s soccer media (including Michael Lewis, Jack Bell, Brian Lewis, Ives Galarcep, Jane Havsy, Steve Cangelosi, and Paul Gardner) and a few hard-core fans the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of steamy
Finally, Arena the Bruce was there along with Red Bull Managing Director Marc deGrandpre, who looked like he wasn’t super comfortable in the relative glare of the media.
Nuggets we learned:
Arena was “fairly certain” he didn’t want to come back to MLS after his US tenure, but Red Bulls advances, which started about 30 days ago (which would be during the US’ World Cup run) were “very intriguing.” The team and the coach came to terms about 2 weeks ago.
Arena didn’t think a team the likes that Red Bull is planning “could be built” within MLS, but the Austrian drink makers have been able to convince him of their "vision."
Red Bull fans shouldn’t expect many on-field changes this season. “There’s only so much we can do this year," said Arena. “We’re not in a position to acquire [players] through the transfer window,” he added, and said that changes would “most likely will be made in the offseason.” Arena noted that the club plans to have a strong team in place for the 2008 Harrison Stadium opening.
Arena did mention a number of current Red Bulls that he was impressed with, including Guevara (“one of the top midfielders in the league”), Dunivant, Wynne, Mendes, O’Rourke (“a ton of potential”), Peguero, Buddle, and Stammler. As for missing midfielder Youri Djorkaeff, Arena noted that “the old regime” had the relationship with the French World Cup champion, so Djorkaeff’s future with the club may be in doubt.
Arena knows better than anyone just how good an MLS side can be, though he noted that “this isn’t the Cosmos. This is the league where Americans play.” He was optimistic about the future, however. “Ten years down the road," he added, "this league looks different.”
Current assistant coach Richie Williams and goalkeeping coach Des McAleenan will be staying on with the Red Bulls, and Arena will be bringing on another assistant coach, a fitness director, a “technical director,” and possibly another coach.
Arena’s first game behind the bench will be the August 12th tilt vs. European champion Barcelona, and he’ll be relaxing & moving his team from Virginia to the NY area before getting with the team on the practice field by August 7th.
deGrandpre noted that Arena will have input on the locker rooms and training facilities at the widely rumored (and delayed) Harrison Stadium project. deGrandpre said that final designs were “a few weeks away," which caused some audible eye-rolls in the crowd, and added that 100% of the seats in the stadium designs would be covered. A heated field, which would allow the club to play through the winter, was also a possibility. The Managing Director told the crowd that the stadium, when built, would be the premier [soccer] training facility in the
While it was a positive start for Arena is
And away we go. Again.