Red Bull on top of the Bundesliga? Friday November 18th, 2016 14:50

800px-rb_leipzig_2010_logo-svgWe thought we’d take a moment and reflect on the Bundesliga standings… Newly promoted side, Red Bull Leipzig just beat Bayer Leverkusen to temporarily go top of the table and remain undefeated after 11 matches. I guess it’s true that Red Bull gives you wiiiiings! Now if only Red Bull New York were still in the MLS Cup Playoffs

bundesliga-standings-11-18-2016

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MLS Cup 2010: FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids Highlights Monday November 22nd, 2010 10:25

George John fights for possession of the ball against Conor Casey during MLS Cup 2010 at BMO Field on November 21, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

I’m normally excited for MLS Cup but this year was a bit of a let down for me. Ever since the passing of Biggie and Pac we haven’t had a good East Coast West Coast beef. So I figured this was a chance for MLS to step into a void left by hip hop and deliver us a final with big media markets and aging Euro-stars (#NYvLA). This was supposed to be the post World Cup, MLS Cup that would finally get the attention of the American public… never mind that it was held north of the border in freezing cold Toronto.

And the obligatory interview video featuring our girl Jackie Pickering.
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COLORADO RAPIDS FORWARD CONOR CASEY (MLS CUP 2010 MVP)

On his feelings:

“It’s just awesome, it’s a great way to end the year. We battled all year and stuck together, it was a collective effort. It’s just awesome, it’s the first time I have ever won anything, the first time for Pablo (Mastroeni) and the fans, it’s special.”

On his goal:

“The ball just got caught up under his arm, I don’t know and my leg was closer than anybody else’s and I got a toe on it and was happy I did as we needed a goal for sure.”

On the team’s strategy in extra time:

“Not really, they were on top of us most of the game and we struggled against their pressure. We got a chance and got fortunate.”

COLORADO RAPIDS GOALKEEPER MATT PICKENS

On his feelings:

“It feels good. Like I was saying before it is a typical Rapids win, real gutty and we just laid everything out there. Sometimes it is not pretty, but we have a lot heart.”

On the final few minutes of the game:

“I was just hoping those balls would go right to Julien (Baudet) and Julien came up big. A lot of balls were coming off his head and I was real happy about that.”

COLORADO RAPIDS MIDFIELDER PABLO MASTROENI

On the final few minutes of the game:

“Hectic is putting it nice. We were down a man, momentum is going their way and it just seems like every second takes forever. I think the guys in the back did a great job clearing the ball, scrappy and that is when the game becomes more of a test of will than anything else. Pure heart, pure resolve and we have done it all year.”

On where the win ranks in his career:

“Right now this is No. 1. This is it all I have is today my friend, the past is already gone. This has been a beautiful ride, capping it off with a win. This has been the most exciting day of my professional career.”

On the team’s strategy in extra time:

“We didn’t change anything all game or all year really. We have the kind of players that can play. It just takes a moment, a second to break it up, a half-chance and we found a way to win.”

COLORADO RAPIDS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR PAUL BRAVO

On winning MLS Cup:

“This is an unbelievable night for the club. Our fans have waited 15 long years for this, through our years of mediocrity to finally get to this point. It was great to see our guys celebrate with some of our fans and we are looking forward to taking the cup back and celebrating with all of them.”

On the final few minutes:

“You try and contain yourself, you really don’t have much impact in the game itself in my position. It’s just sitting back and rooting these guys on, giving them my heart and believing in them. At the end of the night it was a great night for the Colorado Rapids.”

On roster moves during the season:

“Certainly if look at our moves throughout the year. It is not just one move that we’ve over this year you can look all the way back to us doing a draft day trade for Matt Pickens two years ago to get him into the building. To bring in great guys like Mac Kandji and Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson and at the trade deadline Brian Mullan – guys who have been through the wars certainly helped us.”

On the team’s identity:

“We are as blue collar as you get but we have a great deal of spirit and belief. The way we played tonight wasn’t always great, but the guys dug in and they truly believed in themselves from the coaching staff to the guys sitting right there on the pitch.”

FC DALLAS DEFENDER UGO IHEMELU

On the game:

“We limited their chances but we gave away some unfortunate opportunities. … I think it was a little unfortunate to give up the two goals we gave up – they fought the whole time, and they weren’t willing to back down.”

On how the game played out:

“The refs make calls, and the way the game goes, we can’t fault them. We need to capitalize on opportunities and react better to the goals that they got.”

FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN

On the season:

“I certainly think we have the people in this room to be successful. … I thought we did a majority of the things we needed to do to fulfill our goal.”

On the way the year ended:

“It’s really an opportunity to reflect on what I thought was a pretty phenomenal year. … We certainly gave our fans some great moments. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to lift the cup at the end of the year.”

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Arsene Wenger on the Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup 2010 Friday November 19th, 2010 09:00


I think it’s funny how much MLS has had Arsene Wenger comment on the happenings in North America. First it was a shout out to his homeboy, Teitur Thordarsen for being named head coach of the expansion side Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Now he has to give his thoughts on Arsenal’s step-sister club the Colorado Rapids playing in MLS Cup 2010. He’s probably thinking, “I don’t care! Omar Cummings couldn’t even make the bench here.”

* Editor’s note: Omar Cummings is my favorite Rapids player, so I’m not knocking the guy.

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MLS: LA Galaxy vs FC Dallas Western Conference Final Highlights Monday November 15th, 2010 06:25

Mike Magee tugs on Jair Benitez (Photo: Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS)

David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the rest of the LA Galaxy host FC Dallas in the Western Conference final as they look to book their second consecutive trip to MLS Cup.

I have to admit that I was a bit stunned at the end of Sunday night. I simply assumed that the Galaxy would walk into MLS Cup on their mission to finally win silverware with David Beckham. After seeing LA completely dominate the Seattle Sounders in the opening round of the playoffs, Becks & Co. were my favorite to hoist the trophy in Toronto next weekend.

FC Dallas Head Coach, Shellas Hyndman stated in his pre-game interview that they would sit back and defend and counterattack. I thought it would lead to some ugly soccer but I was wrong. Riding on the shoulders of goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, the FC Dallas defense kept a potent LA attack of the scoreboard and then counter attacked with precision. Where the Sounders tried  attacking through the air with crosses and long balls, Dallas attacked with quick passing to the feet of their skilled players. The huge Omar Gonzalez wasn’t able to stay with David Ferreira on the first Dallas goal and it was a sign of things to come. I remember on Steve Zakuani’s goal against LA that he took a quick turn in the box on Gonzalez and was able to beat him with speed. The FC Dallas coaching staff must have noticed it too. Moving the ball quickly and keeping possession kept LA frustrated and allowed Dallas became the name of the game  You didn’t see looping crosses or long balls against the Galaxy on Sunday, just an effective, entertaining counter attack that I haven’t seen since the days of Shevchenko and Rebrov at Dynamo Kiev.

“We started the game well, in soccer, I guess in hockey, too, a goalie can always be a great equalizer.” Landon Donovan on Kevin Hartman's play on Sunday Night (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Stating that Kevin Hartman was the equalizing factor on Sunday night gives you a glimpse into the psyche of Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy. Landon Donovan and presumably the rest of the team believe they’re a better team than FC Dallas and the fact that LA won the Supporters Shield would support that claim. But that belief seemed to have been a detriment on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center. Just like me, the Galaxy also believed that they would walk right into to Toronto to lift the cup and maybe they looked past FC Dallas. After all, they beat them in both of their league matches, they had home field advantage  and the Galaxy roster is full of stars. Now they’re left wondering where it all went wrong.

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Dema Kovalenko tackles David Ferreira (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

And a shout out to Seattle and UW product George John (who played midfield for the Huskies)

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Scoring Summary:

DAL — David Ferreira 1 (Marvin Chavez 1, Atiba Harris 1) 26

DAL — George John 1 (Brek Shea 2, Ugo Ihemelu 1) 54

DAL — Marvin Chavez 1 (David Ferreira 3) 73

Misconduct Summary:

LA — Dema Kovalenko (caution; Reckless Tackle) 31

LA — David Beckham (caution; Dissent) 73

LA — Chris Birchall (caution; Reckless Foul) 82

LA — Alex Cazumba (caution; Reckless Foul) 84

DAL — Zach Loyd (caution; Tactical Foul) 85

Lineups:

FC Dallas — Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Marvin Chavez (Zach Loyd 74), Dax McCarty (Eric Alexander 87), David Ferreira, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Atiba Harris.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Jeff Cunningham, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Dario Sala.

Los Angeles Galaxy — Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Lewis (Jovan Kirovski 82), David Beckham, Juninho, Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 65), Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Mike Magee (Alex Cazumba 55).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Josh Saunders.

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Michael Kennedy
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
Attendance: 27,000

FC Dallas - 2010 Western Conference Champions (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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MLS Cup 2010 will be in Toronto Tuesday March 30th, 2010 11:45

I alluded to it the other week when I was on Commissioner Don Garber’s conference call and now it’s official. MLS Cup 2010 will be held in Toronto on Sunday, November 21, 2010. The game will kick off at 8:30 PM Eastern and will be aired on ESPN and Telefutura. BMO Field will have new natural grass for this season complete with an underground heating system. TFC season ticket holders will have priority on MLS Cup tickets.

More shots of BMO Field:

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Notes from the Conference Call with MLS Commissioner with Don Garber Tuesday March 23rd, 2010 12:31

I just spent the last hour on the media conference call with MLS commissioner Don Garber. I learned a few things in addition to hearing some things that I’ve been hearing for a long time. So here are a few highlights:

– In regards to the CBA negotiations the league said the following items were off the table: Free agency and the single entity structure of  Major League Soccer. According to Garber, “everything else was on the table.” That gives us a glimpse at what the players were dealing with in their negotiations. I’m surprised it took them so long to reach an agreement knowing that information.

– The league has three main objectives in regards to growth. 1) Reduce losses and increase profitability 2) grow attendance 3) grow TV ratings.

– League rosters still have some tweaking to go through. Currently if a player makes the 24 man roster, he’ll earn the new league minimum of $40,000. Garber said that there is still work to be done in regards to an additional 4 player slots designed for Generation Adidas and Homegrown Players.  It sounds like we will soon hear that new MLS rules will allow clubs to sign two Homegrown players from their academies without affecting the current 24 man senior roster.

– The new Re-entry draft will be for players whose contracts are terminated, not exercised or expired. There will not be one before this season to address Jon Busch but will likely happen in December following the season. The league and the players union are still working out the details for the re-entry draft.

– During CBA negotiations the players stressed player development. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the return of the reserve league since Garber mentioned it a few times and it’s included in the league’s announcement on the CBA.

– The new MLS official website will launch tomorrow at www. MLSsoccer.com. Yeah, I know…Major League Soccer soccer. I guess all the good domain names are taken.

– Expect to hear news next week in regards to the Designated Player rule. I’m expecting them to add a DP slot to each team…or at least that’s what I’m hoping for. A few reporters tried to get more info out of Garber but he stated that they will be reviewing the DP rule next week.

– Garber stated that Red Bull Arena will most likely not be the site of MLS Cup 2010. He cited logistics and staff inexperience at hosting big events as reasons but also mentioned lacking other amenitites. My guess is that MLS would like to see more of the area surrounding the stadium to be developed before hosting a major event there. Garber  went on to talk about Toronto as a potential site for MLS Cup using the city’s passionate fan base and recently installed natural grass field as major attractions. After hearing the commissioner speak,  my money is on Toronto hosting M LS Cup 2010.

– It also sounds like the league is very close to announcing Montreal as the next expansion team to join the league in 2012.

– Commissioner Garber is fed up with the politics involved in DC and getting DC United a stadium deal done. He feels that MLS is committed to the region but that the District offers no commitment in return. He’s tired of fake press conferences and getting his back slapped with mayors and city officials they can’t get out of their own way.

Those are the major points to bring up. Some smaller issues were discussed but nothing of real intrigue or significance. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments section and I will try to answer them for you. I was also updating our Twitter and Facebook page during the call so be sure to follow us and become a fan.

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