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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Forwards:Â Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Landon
Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City
Wizards), Jay Demerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Newcastle United), Heath Pearce (FC
NordsjÃ¦lland), 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
(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.
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.
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 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
Hopefully DC can turn it on in the second half like the Dynamo did.
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.
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?
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
Holy embarrassment Batman!
I can only imagine what Mexican fans are saying about this one.
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
Altidore's goal came courtesy of a good run down the right by Wynne, who sent a low cross into
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
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.
Were you wondering how the first year as MLS owners went for Red Bull? Things didn't go so
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
Talk about a rumor gone wild. Here is the entire deal behind the Ryan Giggs to the Red Bulls
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).
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.
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
(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
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 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.
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
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).
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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
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.