Friday, August 11, 2006

9/19/06: When the Shovels Hit the Ground

Since 2000, the team formerly known as the MetroStars have been trying to build a home of their own. Six years after stating their intentions, AEG and Red Bull say they will begin construction of Red Bull Park in Harrison, NJ, on September 19th which, I must note, is only 38 days (not 60, not 90) from today. Given the delays that the Harrison project have endured since the turn of the century, fans of the team have learned to take such proclamations from former Metro GM Nick Sakiewicz as... well... untruths. However, the involvement of Red Bull seems to have pushed the project into the land of reality. The latest stadium rendering is nothing short of beautiful. The timing of the release, late on the day before the Red Bulls take on Barcelona, should provide some powerful press for the Saturday newspapers. Have a nice weekend, indeed.

Eurosnobs and MLS Fans: Happy Together?

Ives Galarcep has a terrific piece on Soccernet today about the need to unite American soccer fans of both the Euro and domestic game. It's a must read. So read it, please.

What a Week We're Having

Massive crowds in LA, Seattle, and Houston. A sellout in Chicago. MLS squads standing toe-to-toe with the top teams of Europe. The past week has been a nice transition from the World Cup back into the European season, while at the same time letting the public know that MLS clubs still have a few months left to play.

Huge props to Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanuer for driving 60,000+ fans to Qwest field for the DC-Real Madrid match in with only two weeks advance notice. Shame there isn't more support for the hometown Sounders, but it seems that savvy Seattle soccer fans will come out for a quality product, and they don't perceive the USL1 as providing that quality.

More than 70,000 tickets have been sold for New York-Barca tomorrow night at Giants Stadium, and walk-up sales could make the match a sell-0ut. Here's hoping that NY doesn't completely stink up the joint, as they're so prone to doing in front of large crowds.

Nice photo op yesterday when NBA MVP Steve Nash took part in the Red Bulls practice. You'd think it'd be just as easy for Nash to practice with Barcelona instead.

Down the Stretch
With two months to go in the MLS regular season, the five Eastern clubs behind DC United will be fighting for three playoff spots. Here's how the standings look, including remaining games:

Team, Pts, GD, (matches to play)
1. DC United, 45, +19 (6h/5a)
2. New England, 28, +0 (7h/3a)
3. New York, 24, -3 (6h/6a)
4. Chicago, 22, -2 (8h/5a)
5. Kansas City, 22, -6 (6h/5a)
6. Columbus, 20, -12 (7h/4a)

Who's hot: NY, 3-0-1 in last 4 matches
Who's um, lukewarm: NE, 0-0-4 in last 4 matches (NE now has 10 draws, tops in MLS)

Due to the lightning storm which cancelled the Fire/Wizards Open Cup match on Aug. 2nd, the two clubs will play the 4th Round match Monday, August 14th in Bridgeview, then play a league match Wednesday, August 16th... in Bridgeview. Hmm...

Your Weekend Television Schedule (ET):

Saturday, August 12th

9:30am: GER: Schalke 04-Eintracht Frankfurt, GOL

11:30am: GER: Hamburg-Armenia Bielefeld, GOL

5:00pm: BRA: Corinthians-Figueirense, GOL

6:00pm: MEX: Monterrey-Pachuca, GALA

7:30pm: EXH: New York-Barcelona, FSC, DK

8:00pm: COL: Nacional-Tolima, GOL

8:00pm: MEX: Chivas-Santos, TELEF

8:30pm: MLS: Chicago-Chivas USA, DK

8:30pm: MLS: Kansas City-Columbus, DK

9:00pm: MLS: Colorado-Los Angeles, HDNet, DK

9:30pm: EXH: Salt Lake-Real Madrid, FSC

10:00pm: HON: Marathon-Hispano, GOL

10:00pm: MEX: Necaxa-Toluca, GALA

11:30pm: PDL: Final: Laredo-Michigan (delay), FSC

12mid: MLS: Houston-FC Dallas (delay), ESPN2

Sunday, August 13th

10:00am: ENG: Chelsea-Liverpool, FA Community Shield, FSC

11:00am: GER: Hannover-Werder Bremen, GOL

1:00pm: ECU: Aucas-El Nacional, GOL

1:00pm: MEX: UNAM-Veracruz, UNI

3:00pm: ARG: Velez Sarsfield-Racing, FSC

3:00pm: BRA: Cruzeiro-Fluminense, GOL

5:00pm: MEX: Club America-Tigres, TELEF

5:30pm: ELS: L.A.Firpo-Vista Hermosa, GOL

7:30pm: COL: Millonarios-America, GOL