Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2007

The Mathis trade is official

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The Red Bulls just made it official. The trade with Colorado for Clint Mathis is complete. The Red Bulls have dealt Colorado a fourth round draft pick (not the partial allocation reported by me and some other media outlets).

Stay tuned for comments from Bruce Arena, coming shortly...

Arena talks about the Clint Mathis trade

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I just got off the phone with Bruce Arena and asked him about this trade, a trade that some of you love and some of you flat out hate. Here are some of Arena's choice comments:

"When I watched him play in the playoffs, in particular the last game against Houston, he played extremely well," Arena said of Mathis. "To me that says there's something there.

Clint is coming back, what do you think?

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Clint Mathis had a love-hate relationship with MetroStars fans when he was here three years ago. How much has that changed? It doesn't seem like much based on the reaction of some of you to this trade. Some love the idea of Mathis coming back to Giants Stadium while others are dreading it.

What is your take? Post your thoughts on the trade in the comments section of this post.

Some more info on the Mathis trade

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According to the Denver Post, Real Salt Lake is still paying the same amount of Clint Mathis' salary in 2007 that it paid in 2006, approximately $300,000. If Mathis is set to make the same amount in 2007 that he made last year, $410,000, that leaves just $110,000 to be paid. The story states that the Rapids will save "almost six figures in salary", which means the Rapids are paying a portion of the deal.

Red Bulls trade for Clint Mathis

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The Red Bulls have acquired former MetroStars standout Clint Mathis from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a partial allocation. More details as they become available.

Yes, Clint is coming back. Let the fun begin. You can only imagine what he has in store for all that free Red Bull he will have access to.

The trade is a bit of a shocker but considering how cheaply Colorado was willing to unload Mathis for, and the team's dire need for forward help, it makes some sense.

It's Q&A Time

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It is that time yet again. Time for you to send your questions my way regarding all things soccer (well not all things, I don't know a thing about Qatar or Japan's first division among other things).

Send your questions my way and I will post answers to them on Monday morning (hopefully) if not sooner (okay probably not, but maybe). Write your questions in the comments section of this post and I will get to them ASAP.

Thoughts on United States 0-0 tie vs. Guatemala

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I know I said I was going to do a running diary off last night's game but that game was painful enough, it didn't need a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Here's what I did like:

Frank Simek at right back

Michael Bradley in central midfield

Justin Mapp on the left flank

Here's what I didn't like:

Eddie Johnson, again

Clint Dempsey, again

Kenny Cooper not starting, again

Now while I enjoyed the way Mapp attacked Guatemala on his flank, people should be careful not to make him the new starter there.

Bradley's lineup vs. Guatemala

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well, so much for the lineups we all were hoping to see. This is the lineup facing Guatemala:

----Johnson-------Donovan-----

Mapp----------------------Dempsey

-------Bradley---Feilhaber------

Spector-------------------Simek

-------Conrad----DeMerit------

Mapp steps in for Beasley, which isn't too much of a surprise.

Toronto downs the Red Bulls, 2-1

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Dave Van Den Bergh missed a late penalty kick to force the Red Bulls to settle for a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC at the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston.

Alecko Eskandarian and Edson Buddle scored first-half goals for Toronto while John Wolyniec scored for the Red Bulls.

Somewhere in Charleston, Mo Johnston will be cracking open a bottle of champagne.

Ferrari bags late goal to lift U-20s to win

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Gabriel Ferrari gets the slightest of touches at the end of a quality sequence as the U.S. Under-20 national team scored a 2-1 victory against the Hatian national team (Senior, NOT Under-20 team).

Freddy Adu netted the US team's first goal on a penalty kick.

Clifton native Danny Szetela looked sharp in central midfield and appears healthy and ready to have a solid season for Columbus.

Watching Red Bulls-Toronto

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Major kudos to the Charleston Battery for providing the video feed and for allowing Red Bulls PR guy Eric Tosi to do the play-by-play. If Tosi sounds like he knows what he's doing it's because he's no stranger to broadcasting sports, having cut his teeth as an award-winning basketball radio commentator at Holy Cross (Okay, maybe he didn't win awards but he was apparently good.

Webcasts galore

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If you've been able to watch both the U.S. under-20 national team's match vs. Haiti as well as the Red Bulls vs. Toronto then you are truly a hardcore fan. I'm trying to pull that off now and my head is spinning.

Red Bulls could surely use Altidore right now. Then again they could also use Ferrari but we won't go there.

Credit goes to USSoccer.

Addressing the Juan Pablo Angel to Red Bulls reports

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As most of you know by now a handful reports have linked the Red Bulls to a move for Aston Villa forward and Colombian international Juan Pablo Angel . As it stands nothing has changed from Soccer America's initial report that Villa and the Red Bulls have agreed on a small transfer fee.

What's my take? I'm still trying to figure out why Angel would agree to sign with the Red Bulls when he could wait until June and leave Villa on a free transfer, which would let him go anywhere he wants (including the Red Bulls after testing out other options).

Watch Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC online

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Those of you wishing you could see the Red Bulls play Toronto FC are in luck. The Charleston Battery media folks will be providing video coverage of the game on its website. There won't be play by play coverage, just straight video, which I suppose is better than nothing (and do you really want some Southern folks trying to pronounce Sinisa Ubiparipovic?

Pearce out vs. Guatemala

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Yanks Abroad is reporting that U.S. national team left back Heath Pearce is out for tonight's match vs. Guatemala.

What does this mean? It means that U.S. coach Bob Bradley will likely give Jonathan Spector a look at left back and start Jay DeMerit, who has apparently made a speedy recovery from the injury that kept him out of Sunday's match vs.

My US national team roster vs. Guatemala

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Without further ado, here is the lineup I would like to see Bob Bradley put on the field Wednesday night against Guatemala:

---------Cooper------Donovan---------

Beasley----------------------------Dempsey

----------Feilhaber----Bradley-----------

Pearce-----------------------------Simek

----------Conrad-----Spector----------

------------------Keller-----------------

Here's why I chose the following:

Cooper over Twellman: I have stated before that Donovan plays better running off a target forward who can hold possession and pass well.

What lineup would YOU like to see vs. Guatemala

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With the friendly against Guatemala just a day away I figured I would let you, the readers, voice your opinions on what lineup you would like to see take the field.

Go ahead and give me your starting 11 at the bottom of this post. Please only include players who are actually with the team at the moment. I will post the lineup I would like to see later on tonight.

Ferrari lights it up for the U.S. Under-20 team

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Sampdoria forward and New Jersey native Gabriel Ferrari netted a pair of goals for the U.S. Under-20 national team in a 3-2 exhibition win against SMU on Sunday. I know, it's two days late but I wasn't even aware of this until last night and figured you might be interested to read this. The U-20 team faces Haiti's senior national team on Wednesday.

Rapids owner nixes rumored bid for Arsenal

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For those of you who didn't read this story on Monday, Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke denied the reports out of England that he was interested in buying a stake in Arsenal. I posted the original story but the Rapids put the whammy on this. Does that mean it's not true? Come on, you know how pro sports goes. It could very well be in the works and will become a 'false rumor' if it falls apart.

My ESPN piece on the Ecuador match

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For those of you who haven't seen it, here is my piece on ESPN.com about the Ecuador match. It talks about where Donovan is best suited to play as well as what players showed that they work well playing around Donovan.

Another piece that merits a look is Steve Davis' take on the Top 10 individual performances in US national team history.

Running Diary from the US-Ecuador match

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Here's my running diary from the US-Ecuador match. I wasn't going to post it but figured some of you would enjoy it:

Pregame- It's the new striped US jersey and I have a feeling these things won't be flying off the shelf.

1st minute- Hey, Eddie Johnson is starting again. He certainly looks like a player, at least until the whistle blows.

Monday Morning Center Back

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Good morning folks. It was an interesting weekend of soccer and I am going to begin the new week with one simple word. Why?

Why does Eddie Johnson keep getting chances to start for the U.S. national team? Why can't someone else get a chance after all the chances Johnson has been given and failed to capitalize on? I'm not saying Johnson is finished and should never be on the national team again.

Rapids owner looking to buy piece of Arsenal

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Stan Kroenke, owner of the Colorado Rapids, is in talks to buy a stake in English power Arsenal. If successful, Kroenke would join the growing list of American millionaires and billionaires to own stakes in English Premier League clubs. Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa are all owned by Americans.

Hey, that lineup looks familiar

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The US national team is thrashing Ecuador 3-1 and if that lineup looks familar it is because it was the lineup I suggested last night. What can I say, great minds think alike.

Landon Donovan is on FIRE these days. A hat trick against a solid Ecuador team has me thinking that he is in for a big year.

My observations on this game will be up on Monday so stay tuned.

My US lineup vs. Ecuador

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The US-Ecuador game is little more than 12 hours away and it just dawned on me that I hadn't put out a projected starting lineup. This one should be easy and I was all set with a lineup when it occured to me that I could be completely wrong.

Here's why. The normal thinking had been that the US would start its best possible 11 against Ecuador, a solid South American squad that enjoyed a good World Cup.

Watching England U-21 vs. Italy U-21

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So it's late at night and I'm watching a replay of this Italy-England U-21 game and I figured I would make some observations because, well, because I'm bored.

Pazzini is my guy- For those of you who recall I had started to play Worldwide Soccer Manager a few months ago but the busy soccer news of the last two months have erased my free time.

A closer look at the Red Bulls recent announcements

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Wednesday's Red Bull media day was chock full of promising statements and announcements, from TV and radio deals to word of new corporate sponsorships. There was a little more smoke than fire behind some of the announcements though.

Here is some interesting information on some of the announcements:

The new MSG TV deal: The club announced this one as if it ws good news when the reality is that it was a worse deal than the club just finished out in 2006.

Red Bulls trade for Hunter Freeman

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The Red Bulls have completed the trade for Hunter Freeman. They have acquired Freeman for a regular 3rd draft pick in 2008 and a 4th Round Supplemental Draft pick in 2009 (The MLS version of a bag of balls). Freeman will be with the team for the upcoming Carolina Challenge Cup.

What does it mean? Freeman's stock has fallen a bit after starting strongly for Rapids.

Soccer on TV this weekend

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With this weekend being an international fixture weekend there won't be the usual European club soccer menu. Here is the best of the soccer you will be able to find, a pretty good selection actually:

SATURDAY

8:30am- FSC- England U-21 vs. Italy U-21 (Could Giuseppi Rossi play in this game? Worth a TIVO)

11am- FSC- Brazil vs.

A closer look at the US roster for the upcoming friendlies (forwards)

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If you notice, I dropped the "recently" from the headline on this one. Yes, it took me a while to get to the forwards. What can I say, I was busy (actually, talking about the forwards wasn't as exciting, don't you agree?). Thanks to readers for reminding me that I had to get to this so here goes:

Forwards:Â Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution).

The new US national team jersey

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In case you haven't seen it yet, this is the U.S. National team's new jersey, which it will wear against Ecuador on Sunday AND against Guatemala on Wednesday:


















The team will wear it with royal blue shorts and socks. I need to see it in action to give an opinion but I have to say that I liked the last two uniforms better.

Some notes

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This is my last weekday of having to do non-soccer stuff and I'm almost done with it (thank goodness). Here are some tidbits I may have failed to post before:

The Hunter Freeman trade is the real deal. I don't have particulars, just know that it appears that the Rapids defender is on his way here. He's a fullback more than center back though so I'm not sure people should think this means Jeff Parke is out the door.

My Red Bulls preview on ESPN.com

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For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is my MLS team preview for the Red Bulls on ESPN.com. I have the team finishing third in the Eastern Conference and having a decent season. Whether the season goes from decent to good depends on who steps up at forward and if the team actually goes and signs a quality forward.

I will also be doing D.

Red Bulls close in on new practice facility

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The club is close to finalizing a deal to build a state of the art facility in Hanover Park, New Jersey. The RB had been in talks to potentially build a new practice facility in Florham Park but are now working out the final details on a land lease with the Morris County town.

Red bulls announcements made

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So what was so important about today's Red Bull announcements? Here is a summary of what the club revealed today at it's Media Day:

Club has signed a new deal with MSG. Marc deGrandpre would not reveal details of the agreement, such as whether the club was able to secure rights fees. I have been told by one source that the club will not receive rights fees.

Top 10 things the Red Bulls could be announcing on Wednesday

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I know you're all excited to hear about what the Red Bulls have planned for today's media day. The team's press release promising important (not major) announcements has fans buzzing. I incorrectly wrote that the team promised major announcements. I have been told that the announcements are "important", not major. Who knew there was a difference?

News and Notes from the week

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Sorry for the lack of posts on Tuesday. I'm in the process of finishing off the last of my non-soccer responsibilities for the Herald News this week. Here are some of the bits of news that have taken place recently:

Richard Mulrooney traded by FC Dallas to Toronto FC. Mo Johnston deals away a first-round pick next year as well as a partial allocation for Mulrooney, a solid defensive midfielder who should give the newcomers some punch in the middle.

A look at the recently named US Roster (Midfielders)

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Here is the pool:

DaMarcus Beasley (Manchester City), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Brian Carroll (D.C. United), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Brian Mullan (Houston Dynamo)

Ricardo Clark's injury and Pablo Mastroeni's omission make this an intriguing group with Bradley and Feilhaber having the chance to show how much they have developed since moving to Europe.

Red Bulls address $14 million in losses

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It took a while but Red Bull managing director Marc deGrandpre finally spoke publicly about last week's column that revealed the club lost $14 million in 2007.

To the surprise of nobody deGrandpre called the figure incorrect and insisted that all is well on the business front in Red Bulls land.

Here is the thing folks need to realize.

Monday Morning Center Back

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We are a week away from the US national team's two friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala and it is going to be very interesting to see how all these U.S. national team newcomers fit in to the national team landscape.

I will post my breakdowns of the midfielders and forwards later today.

One interesting development last week came out of LA, where Landon Donovan has stated repeatedly that he does not want to play in both of this summer's tournaments (Gold Cup and Copa America).

Shalrie Joseph to Revs: Trade Me

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A troubling situation in the New England Revolution camp has finally come to a boil. Midfielder Shalrie Joseph, one of the best players in MLS, has demanded a trade.

The situation is a product of the Revs not reaching an agreement with Joseph over a new contract after the team twice turned down offers from Scottish giants Celtic for Joseph.

A look at the recently named US Roster (Defenders)

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Here is the pool:

Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay Demerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Newcastle United), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

The lack of quality MLS defenders is pretty evident by this group, which has only Conrad among MLS defenders.

This weekend's European Soccer on TV

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Here is the schedule of European matches on everybody's favorite channels, FSC and GolTV (Games of the Day in Bold

SATURDAY

10:30am- GolTV- SCHALKE 04 vs. STUTTGART

11am- FSC- Reading vs. Portsmouth

12:30pm- GolTV- Valencia vs. Racing Santander

1pm- FSC- Blackburn vs.

A look at the recently named US roster (goalkeepers)

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(I will offer up posts on goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards on the U.S. national team roster called up by Bob Bradley for the team's upcoming friendlies vs. Ecuador and Guatemala. First up are the goalkeepers).

It is Kasey Keller vs. Tim Howard, Part One. Keller was Bruce Arena's unquestioned top choice but it is clear that Bradley sees Howard being ready to take the No.

DC 1, Chivas 1 (FINAL)

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Brazilian forward Luciano Emilio scores an equalizer at the death to help DC salvage a 1-1 draw in the first leg of this Champions Cup semifinals.

Omar "I can't finish against the U.S. national team" Bravo scored the go-ahead goal courtesy of a deflection off a defender to give Chivas de Guadalajara a 1-0 lead but a good free kick situation led to a nice cross by Gomez and easy header by Emilio.

Houston Dynamo pays light bill then beats Pachuca 2-0

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Goals from Brian Ching and Chris Wondalowski send Houston to a 2-0 first-leg victory against Mexican club Pachuca in Champions Cup action. It won't be easy winning in Mexico in the return leg but the 2-0 cushion should help.

By the way, could Pachuca's players be more crybabies and have less class? It's amazing the amount of whining that bunch did.

DC and Chivas tied 0-0 at halftime

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DC is holding its own in a sloppy but entertaining game against Chivas. Can somebody please tell Christian Miles to cut down on the Brilliants and Dazzlings. This isn't a Guinness commercial. Heaven forbid that something actually brilliant or dazzling happened this game. His head might explode.

Hopefully DC can turn it on in the second half like the Dynamo did.

Bradley announces roster for US-Ecuador

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US national team coach Bob Bradley has named his 24-man roster for the team's upcoming friendlies against Ecuador (March 25th) and Guatemala (March 28th).

Veterans such as Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo and DaMarcus Beasley are included, as are rather interesting inclusions such as Michael Bradley, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Benny Feilhaber and Frank Simek.

Your Questions Answered

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Here they are folks, all the answers to all your questions (Okay, so maybe not ALL the answers, but most):

THE OLD GRAY MULLET-- First question has to be: What about Gio leaving the FO don't we know, and why? Was it incompetence on his part? Did he not get along with Bruce? Did Bruce essentially use that job as a way to get Harkes to come to NY, and had to give it to him regardless of how well Gio was doing?

Houston-Pachuca Champions Cup match cancelled

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The Champions Cup semifinal first-leg match between Houston and Pachuca was cancelled earlier tonight due to a lack of electricity to Houston's Robertson Stadium. Here's the story from the Houston Chronicle.

Holy embarrassment Batman!

I can only imagine what Mexican fans are saying about this one.

Houston has no choice now but to win this series.

Red Bulls 2, Chivas USA 2 (updated)

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A 71st minute goal from Jozy Altidore helped the Red Bulls salvage a 2-2 tie against Chivas USA on Wednesday. Todd Dunivant scored the team's first goal in the 53rd minute off a Claudio Reyna corner. A Chivas trialist scored their first goal and Matt Taylor scored the second in the 68th minute.

Altidore's goal came courtesy of a good run down the right by Wynne, who sent a low cross into the box.

Amado vs. Red Bulls Part 1 today

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Okay, so it's just a preseason match but today will mark Amado Guevara's first match against the Red Bulls since being traded away in the off-season. The game kicks off at 1pm Eastern and I will look to update you guys on how the game goes.

One player who may not see action today is free agent defender Chris Leitch, who has picked up a knee injury.

Ronaldinho to AC Milan?

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The European transfer window is months away but that hasn't stopped the juicy rumor linking Ronaldino to AC Milan.

Ronaldinho to Milan, Kaka to Madrid, Lampard to the Chicago Fire (OK, I'm kidding). You've got to love the rumor mill.

Q&A coming on Thursday

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The busy Monday and Tuesday forced me to push back the Q&A. I will try to finish it some time today but I can assure that it will be done for you guys by Thursday morning.

What does the $14 million mean? (a deeper look at today's column)

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For those who are still having trouble understanding the point of today's soccer column in the Herald News, and are unclear about the numbers in it, let me make it simple. The Red Bulls operating costs ran at a $14 million deficit. It means the team spent $14 million more than it made through the 2006 season. This figure has nothing to do with stadium costs at all, it is strictly the money the team spent on running the team.

Red Bull's first season in MLS (a business disaster)

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Were you wondering how the first year as MLS owners went for Red Bull? Things didn't go so well.

The club lost a league-record $14 million in 2006, a number that may not even do justice to the disarray the club is in from a business standpoint. I touched on the subject in today's Herald News soccer column.

So what exactly has the club done wrong?

Ryan Giggs and the Red Bulls

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Talk about a rumor gone wild. Here is the entire deal behind the Ryan Giggs to the Red Bulls rumor.

I was at the Red Bulls practice bubble watching a training session with some other media types a few weeks back when I mentioned how I would like to have seen Ronaldinho and Ryan Giggs in a soccer freestyle battle (for those if you who don't know, Giggs was a trick master in his younger days and probably still can do anything with a ball).

Red Bull Park Webcam is up

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For those of you who have been dying to see the Red Bulls new stadium built you can actually watch it being built via webcam on the stadium's website.

I can't imagine anyone will spend tons of time watching that, although I'm sure there are some construction-related drinking games that some of you can come up with.

No Sanneh for Red Bulls

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The Red Bulls apparent pursuit of former US World Cup star Tony Sanneh is weak at best, sources told SBI on Monday.

My boy Luis Arroyave at the Chicago Tribune spoke to Sanneh last week and Sanneh identified the Red Bulls and LA Galaxy as the teams he was in talks with. Unless he was ready to take a serious paycut Sanneh wasn't going to go to the Red Bulls.

Checketts buying GolTV (What does this mean?)

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Okay, so I'm only a week late with this news but I still found it very interesting that Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts is buying GolTV.

Say what you want with how he's let Real Salt Lake be a league laughing stock on the field but this move is genius. GolTV is a must-watch, as evidenced by last weekend's menu of games (Barcelona-Real Madrid, Inter-Milan, Bayern-Bremen), though Fox Soccer Channel is still right there with it.

Monday Morning Centerback (A weekend to remember)

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(Warning: This post contains a considerable amount of praise and admiration for European Soccer. If you are an MLS fan who dreads any talk of European Soccer then don't read any further. Now, if you're a reasonable MLS fan who can appreciate the sport at its highest level, read on.)

Talk about a weekend to be a soccer fan. Inter Milan-AC Milan, Bayern Munich-Werder Bremen and the best match of the weekend, Barcelona-Real Madrid, were all on TV, making this the most entertaining weekend of soccer since the World Cup.

It's Q&A Time

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It has been three weeks since the last question and answer session so it is time to have another one. Send your questions to the commentary section of this post and I will look to answer them by Wednesday morning. Fire away.

LA Galaxy to face Chelsea (and yes, they're calling it that)

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The Los Angeles Galaxy will play Chelsea this summer, on July 21st to be exact, and the match is part of a series of matches that organizers are calling, "The World Series of Soccer". Are they serious?

It is bad enough that we now have things like the World Series of Blackjack and the World Series of Darts, but at least those events are something close to world championships in their respective games (for whatever that is worth).

This weekend's Soccer TV Schedule

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A pair of blockbuster match-ups highlight this weekend's soccer TV action. Barcelona-Madrid and Inter-Milan are about as good as it gets so enjoy:

SATURDAY

9:30am- GolTV- Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund

11:30am- GolTV- Stuttgart vs. Wolfsburg

2pm- GolTV- Levante vs. Villareal

4pm- GolTV- REAL MADRID vs.

Champions League Quarterfinals Draw

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Here are the match-ups for the Champions League quarterfinals:

  • AC Milan vs. Bayern Munich
  • PSV Eindhoven vs. Liverpool
  • AS Roma vs. Manchester United
  • Chelsea vs. Valencia

The Manchester United-Roma match-up is the most compelling, though Valencia-Chelsea should offer up some beautiful soccer.

When MLS fans attack

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So I checked my voice mail at work yesterday and received what can best described as an entertaining and unintentionally humorous message from a disgruntled soccer fan. The fan, who I won't name, called me everything from a bigot to a Eurosnob to anti-MLS for a column I wrote recently for the Herald News a few weeks ago.

The call alone wouldn't have meant much to me since this caller has left messages through the years with some of the most mindless and clueless rants about American soccer that I have ever heard, but the fact that there were two or three other MLS fans who sent emails accusing me of being anti-MLS got me thinking.

Some news from Thursday

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It has been a light week on the blog so I will try to catch you all up on news from the past few days that you may or may not have heard about:

Crew land Robbie Rogers. You can call me Nostradamus for calling this one. Let's face it, if there is a weighted lottery involving a youth national team midfielder, Columbus is your team so that shouldn't have been hard to figure out (any other weighted lottery and the Red Bulls are all over it).

Red Bulls bring in Chris Leitch, part ways with Craig Capano

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The Red Bulls have added a familiar face to the fold in California, bringing in former MetroStar Chris Leitch and saying farewell to oft-injured midfielder Craig Capano.

Leitch, who was recently waived by the Columbus Crew, should give the Red Bulls a good option as a reserve fullback, which could spell bad news for either Tim Regan or Eric Denton.

Some observations from Red Bulls camp

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Here are some observations from Red Bulls camp in California courtesy of some of my sources:

Dema Kovalenko has continued his impressive form. His fitness and skill have been among the team's best and he has established himself as one of the squad's true leaders.

Craig Capano has been sidelined by injury and hasn't had a chance to prove himself.

Man U-Lille on ESPN2

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For those of you who were unaware, ESPN2 will be showing Manchester United-Lille today as part of its Champions League coverage starting at 2:30pm. Bayern Munich-Real Madrid will be shown on ESPN classic at 5pm on tape delay.

Gold Cup Groups Announced: US to face T&T, Guatemala and El Salvador

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CONCACAF announced its groups for this summer's Gold Cup:

GROUP A: COSTA RICA, HAITI, CANADA, GUADELOUPE
GROUP B: USA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, GUATEMALA, El SALVADOR
GROUP C: MEXICO, PANAMA, HONDURAS, CUBA

The U.S. national team's schedule looks like this:

  • June 7th- USA vs.

Red Bulls tie Houston, 1-1 at Home Depot Center

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John Wolyniec finished off a quality sequence involving Dave Van Den Bergh and Todd Dunivant and goalkeeper Ronald Waterrreus saved a penalty kick to help the Red Bulls record a 1-1 tie against the Houston Dynamo in exhibition action at Home Depot Center.

Waterreus saved a penalty kick attempt by Kenny Daiglish and had an overall solid game in goal.

Watching Barcelona-Liverpool

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It's halftime of the Barca-Liverpool game and there is no reason to believe Barcelona will score the two goals it needs to advance. Liverpool has it the crossbar twice and have been solid defensively. to say the first half was disappointing would be an understatement.

What's wrong with Barca? Having a defense with Lilian Thuram and Rafa Marquez doesn't help.

Regarding Giovanni Savarese's departure from the Red Bulls

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For those of you who have yet to hear, Giovanni Savarese is leaving his post as head of the Red Bulls Youth Soccer and Player Development. What has not been made public is the reason why. Savarese hasn't made a public comment and you shouldn't expect him to. Sources are telling me that he was asked to resign. Red Bull couldn't really just fire someone who is so highly regarded in the club's history as well as someone who has established strong ties to the local soccer community so they gave him the Alexi Lalas treatment (resign and we'll make your departure painless).

A busy Tuesday in the soccer world

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Good morning folks. I'm back from my last weekend of non-soccer responsibilities and I'm just in time for a busy week in the soccer world.

Today is headlined by two events, the Champions League and the announcement of groups and schedules for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. Leave it to CONCACAF to schedule the Gold Cup announcement for the same time when most people will be glued to the TV to watch Barcelona vs.

Sorry for the lack of posts this weekend

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Apologies for the lack of news and posts the past few days. My winter beat for the Herald News, high school wrestling, wraps up this weekend with the New Jersey state championships in Atlantic City. Yes, I'm in Atlantic City for four days and no, it's not going well. Not at the poker tables anyway. The good news is that after this weekend I can focus strictly on soccer.

This weekend's soccer TV Schedule

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Saturday

9:30am- GolTV- Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich. With the big Champions League match against Real Madrid looming later this week will Bayern be focused against Hertha?

10am- FSC- Middlesbrough at Newcastle United. Oguchi Onyewu gets tested by a Middlesbrough squad that has played well in recent weeks.

Jon Busch speaks his mind

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Long-time Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch didn't mince words about Crew coach Sigi Schmid after being waived by Schmid on Thursday. Here's the story from the Columbus Dispatch.

Here's the thing about Busch. He was on top of the world in 2005, even earning a place on the national team bench but the knee injury that sidelined him is still affecting him and as a player who relies on his explosiveness, you wonder how good his it at this point.

The Red Bulls didn't waive anybody

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The Red Bulls did not waive anybody on Thursday, a source within the league confirmed on Thursday. I'm still not sure how they fit all those players into 18 senior slots but it appears that they are now cap and roster compliant without having to cut anybody. That doesn't mean someone won't be cut before the start of the season, particularly if Ansu Toure continues to impress.

MSG closing in on TV deal with Red Bulls

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The race to score the Red Bulls TV deal appears to be down to one candidate, MSG. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, SNY has pulled out or has fallen out of the race, leaving MSG as the only game in town. The sides are still negotiating and the little amount of time before the start of the season can't bode well for the Red Bulls getting a good deal with MSG.