Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Week In Soccer

What a match yesterday in the European Champions Cup Final in Istanbul, as Liverpool came back from three-nil down at the half to beat AC Milan in penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw and a scoreless overtime. It’s Liverpool’s fifth European crown, and its first since 1984. Sadly, by finishing fifth in the English Premier League this season, the Scousers will miss next year’s continental competition.

Actual Soccer Press
It’s been a great week for soccer in the national sports media, as Sports Illustrated has a three-page article on Dallas and US scoring sensation Eddie Johnson and rise of African-Americans on the national team. Pick it up on the newsstand. Also, Thursday's USA Today has an “in focus” piece on page C3 regarding the upcoming US National team schedule (see below).

US Team News
A mostly European-based US squad will play an England B-team in a friendly this Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago, though injuries have forced the additions of MLS players Kerry Zavagnin, Eddie Pope, and Josh Wolff. England will be without David Beckham, Steve Gerrard, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney. Then the US heads to Salt Lake for a major World Cup Quallie on June 4th vs. Costa Rica. Four days later, the Nats head to Panama City for a Quallie date with the canaleros, who were a Cobi Jones 92nd minute goal away from beating the US in the semifinal round on 9/8/04.

New England, Dallas, and LA continue to be the class of the league at the quarter pole. The Revs (6-0-2) kept up their season-opening undefeated run after Taylor Twellman scored in the 89th minute to draw the MetroStars 2-2 at Giants Stadium last Saturday. FC Dallas (5-1-3) got goals from five different players in a 5-2 pasting of Chivas USA at the HDC last Sunday. Last night, the Galaxy (5-2-1) played Columbus to a scoreless draw to stay in 2nd place in the West.

The Soccer Calendar
The next two weeks will see a lot of action between the US National Team and MLS…

Saturday, May 28th
US vs. England at Chicago, 2pm ESPN
Six matches, including Columbus vs. MetroStars, 7:30pm, MSG

Tuesday, May 31st
England vs. Colombia at Giants Stadium, 4pm
MetroStars vs. Chicago, 6:30pm, FSC

Saturday, June 4th
US vs. Costa Rica, World Cup Qualifier at Salt Lake City, 7:30pm ESPN2
LA Galaxy vs. MetroStars, 10pm, MSG

Wednesday, June 8th
Panama vs. US, World Cup Qualifier at Panama City, 11:30pm Delay, Telemundo

Last and this Week’s MLS Results
Saturday, May 21st
MetroStars 2-2 New England
DC United 3-2 Kansas City
Columbus 2-0 Salt Lake
Chicago 2-1 Colorado
LA Galaxy 2-1 San Jose

Sunday, May 22nd
Chivas USA 2-5 FC Dallas

Wednesday, May 25th
Kansas City 1-0 MetroStars
Colorado 0-1 San Jose
LA Galaxy 0-0 Columbus

MLS Standings as of 5/26/05 (Points, GD)
Eastern Conference
New England 20, +11
Chicago 13, -4
Kansas City 12, +4
DC United 11, +2
Columbus 10, -7
MetroStars 9, +2

Western Conference
FC Dallas 18, +8
LA Galaxy 16, +4
San Jose 13, +1
Salt Lake 11, +4
Colorado 7, -5
Chivas USA 4, -12

This Week’s MLS Matches
Saturday, May 28th
New England vs. Colorado, 7:30pm
DC United vs. FC Dallas, 7:30pm
Columbus vs. MetroStars, 7:30pm
Kansas City vs. San Jose, 8pm
Salt Lake vs. Chicago, 9:30pm
Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 10pm, FSC, HDNet

Tuesday, May 31st
MetroStars vs. Chicago, 6:30pm FSC

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Week In Soccer

Road Sweet Road
Youri Djorkaeff had his best performance as a MetroStar in the team’s 3-0 pasting of Chicago last Saturday at Solider Field. Djorkaeff put a picture-perfect pass on the foot of a charging Eddie Gaven, who nutmegged Fire keeper Zach Thornton for the first of his two goals on the night. With the win, the Metro stepped out of the East cellar and hopefully gained some confidence for this Saturday’s home match with unbeaten New England. (4pm, ESPN2)

Prepping for England
Bruce Arena named a Euro-heavy 19-man squad for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend friendly with England in Chicago. Brian McBride (Fulham) and Kasey Keller (Moenchengladbach) are the most seasoned on the US Roster, which includes MLS stars Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Eddie Johnson. The roster for the June 4th and 8th World Cup Qualifying matches vs. Costa Rica and Guatemala will be named after the England match.

Public House Enemy Number One
Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer took control of Manchester United this week after acquiring shares of team stock. Glazer now owns 75% of all Man U shares. Fans of the team are calling for boycotts of season tickets and merchandise to express their displeasure of a yank running the world's richest soccer club. Glazer and his son Joel have been threatened by hard-core groups of Man U fans. Stay tuned.

Last Week's MLS Matches (home team first):
Saturday, May 14th
New England 1-0 DC United
Salt Lake 2-1 LA Galaxy
Columbus 0-4 Kansas City
Chicago 0-3 MetroStars (see above for link)
Colorado 2-1 Chivas USA
San Jose 0-0 FC Dallas

MLS Standings after Week 7 (Club PTS, GD):
Eastern Conf.
New England 19, +11
Chicago 10, -5
Kansas City 9, +4
MetroStars 8, +3
DC United 8, +1
Columbus 6, -9

Western Conf.
FC Dallas 12, +4
LA Galaxy 12, +3
San Jose 10, +1
Salt Lake 8, -4
Colorado 7, -2
Chivas USA 4, -7

This Week's Matches:
Wednesday, May 18th
FC Dallas v Colorado, 8:30pm
Salt Lake v Chivas USA, 9:30pm

Saturday, May 21st
MetroStars v New England, 4pm, ESPN2
DC United v Kansas City, 7:30pm, FSC
Columbus v Salt Lake, 7:30pm
Chicago v Colorado, 8:30pm, HDNet
LA Galaxy v San Jose, 10pm

Sunday, May 22nd
Chivas USA v FC Dallas, 9:30pm

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

America: Knowledge Leader No More?

In a viewpoint piece at BusinessWeek Online, EMC Chairman Mike Ruettgers says what many, including NY Times Columnist Thomas Friedman, have been saying for over a year now: America is losing the battle to remain the world's "knowledge leader." With India and China turning out a multiple number of engineering grads than the US, it's only a matter of time before we'll look to those nations for innovations and new product development. That'll mean redistribution of global wealth, and that my friends, is a scary proposition.

The Week in Soccer

Nick Sakiewicz
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.
Nick Speaks
This week, Nick Sakiewicz, the embattled GM of the MetroStars, sat down with MetroEmpire's Kristian Dyer for an interview on the state of the team. Faced with a 1-2-2 record to start the season, including an 0-2-2 record at home, dwindling attendance, and a disaffected fan base, Nick deflected criticism, offered nothing concrete on the Harrison stadium situation, and offered the dreaded "vote of confidence" in his coach, Bob Bradley.

Last Week's MLS Matches (home team first):
Saturday, May 7th
MetroStars 0-1 San Jose
New England 2-0 Chicago
DC United 3-1 Columbus
Kansas City 3-3 FC Dallas
Chivas USA 1-0 Real Salt Lake

Sunday, May 8th
LA Galaxy 3-2 Colorado

MLS Standings after Week 6 (Club PTS, GD):
Eastern Conf.
New England 16, +10
Chicago 10, -2
DC United 8, 2
Kansas City 6, 0
Columbus 6, -5
MetroStars 5, 0

Western Conf.
LA Galaxy 12, 4
FC Dallas 11, +4
San Jose 9, 1
Salt Lake 5, -5
Colorado 4, -3
Chivas USA 4, -6

This Week's Matches:
Saturday, May 14th
New England v. DC United, 4pm, ESPN2
Columbus v. Kansas City, 7:30pm
Chicago v. MetroStars, 8:30pm, HDNet
Colorado v. Chivas USA, 9pm
Salt Lake v. LA Galaxy, 9:30pm, FSC
San Jose v. FC Dallas, 10pm

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Next MLS Owner?

Andrew Murstein
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.
Andrew Murstein, President of New York-based Medallion Financial Group, is bidding to become the next owner in MLS. In Tuesday's New York Times, Murstein was profiled as the leading candidate to own a club in San Antonio for 2006. In a bit of a surprise, Murstein noted his desire to bring a 2nd team to the NY area, acquire the Cosmos trademark, and build a soccer-specifc stadium adjacent to Shea Stadium in Queens.

According to today's Kansas City Star, Murstein has offered KC Wizards owner Lamar Hunt $15 million for the club, possibly to move the Wizards to San Antonio. Hunt has been trying to find a Kansas City-based buyer that would keep the 2000 MLS Cup champs and build a stadium in KC.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Week in Soccer

Amado Guevara (Wireimage)
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.
It was a week of good, bad, and ugly in the world of soccer.

The Good
The MetroStars finally got in the win column at a snow-whipped Invesco Field in Denver, as 2004 MLS MVP Amado Guevara notched a hat trick in the Metros' 3-1 win over the Rapids on Saturday. Also, more than 50,000 fans turned out to a double-header in Chicago on Wednesday for the Fire-Revolution and Poland-Mexico.

The Bad
Not only did DaMarcus Beasley's PSV Eindhoven squad drop the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie to AC Milan (2-0), but the American midfielder was injured in a meaniningless Eredivisie match over the weekend, keeping him out of this week's return UEFA match, and sidelining him for the next 3-5 weeks. He should miss the US' June 4th World Cup Quallie with Costa Rica.

The Ugly
New England is surprisingly sitting on top of the league with a 4-0-1 record, but Revolution fans have yet to show up at the stadium. A season-low 7,813 came out to Foxboro for the Revs' 1-0 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday.

Last Week's MLS Matches (home team first):
Wednesday, April 27th
Chicago 0-3 New England

Saturday, April 30th
Kansas City 0-0 DC United
New England 1-0 Chivas USA
Columbus 0-2 Chicago
Colorado 1-3 MetroStars
Salt Lake 2-2 San Jose
LA Galaxy 2-0 FC Dallas

MLS Standings after Week 5 (Club PTS, GD):
Eastern Conf.
New England 13, +8
Chicago 10, 0
Columbus 6, -3
MetroStars 5, +1
Kansas City 5, 0
DC United 5, 0

Western Conf.
FC Dallas 10, +4
LA Galaxy 9, +3
San Jose 6, 0
Salt Lake 5, -4
Colorado 4, -2
Chivas USA 1, -7

This Week's Matches:
Saturday, May 7th
MetroStars v. San Jose, 4pm, ESPN2
New England v. Chicago, 7:30pm
DC United v. Columbus, 7:30pm
Kansas City v. FC Dallas, 8pm
Chivas USA v. Salt Lake, 10pm, FSC & HDNet

Sunday, May 8th
LA Galaxy v. Colorado, 8pm