Soccer By Ives Archives for January 2008

England 2, USA 0: A look back

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It was ugly.

There is really no other way to describe the U.S. team's 2-0 loss to England. The Americans were thoroughly dominated and had few players really step up to the challenge presented by the star-studded English lineup.

Fire 5, Red Bulls 1: A Supporter's View

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Total Domination.

That's the only way to describe the Chicago Fire's 5-1 dismantling of the New York Red Bulls. Take a very good team and put it up against a short-handed team that has its defense play its worst game of the season and you get a game like we saw on Sunday.

USA vs. England: Running Commentary

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Good afternoon folks. The moment has arrived. USA vs. England. Can England exact revenge for the 1950 World Cup and the Revolutionary War? Can the Americans finally get payback for England subjecting us to Simon Cowell?

I'm kidding.

Today's friendly will be a good test for both sides (despite what more cynical American fans and egotistical English fans might think).

Revolution 1, Crew 0: A Supporter's View

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Let's talk about the soccer.

While other incidents at the Revs-Crew match have garnered more attention, let's take this moment to look back at the actual soccer match that took place. New England traveled to Columbus and put on a display of physical soccer that would have made the old Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia Flyers proud.

Chivas USA 2, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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Just when you thought Chivas USA was looking like it might go from first to worst in the Western Conference in just one year, the Goats have awakened and rattled off two straight wins. Just when you thought the Colorado Rapids were going to establish themselves as the best in the West, they go and deliver a flat performance at home.

You Write the Caption: The Best of the Sven/Nery and Galaxy photos

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Good afternoon folks. The results of the most recent You Write the Caption are finally here.

In case you missed it, I posted two photos in the last YWTC, one of Nery Castillo and Sven Goran Erikkson sharing a moment, and another photo of David Beckham and teammates staring high into the air.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Nine

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Call the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer's Road Warriors. It is one thing to win games on the road, which isn't exactly easy in MLS, but winning in dominating fashion the way Chicago has been winning is something altogether different.

Chicago's 5-1 dismantling of the Red Bulls on Sunday upped the Fire's road winning streak to three games, with Chicago outscoring New England, D.

Beasley stars in Rangers Scottish Cup triumph

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Photo by ISI Photos

U.S. national team midfielder DaMarcus Beasley made the most of his first start since recovering from knee surgery by scoring a goal and delivering the game-winning assist in Glasgow Rangers' 3-2 Scottish Cup final victory against Queen of the South on Saturday.

My Bruce Arena story on ESPN.com

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good morning folks. If you haven't seen it yet, here is my ESPN.com story on Bruce Arena and the very real chance that he will be returning to MLS very soon.

Bocanegra released by Fulham

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Photo by ISI Photos

U.S. national team defender Carlos Bocanegra is looking for a new team.

To the surprise of nobody, Fulham manager released Bocanegra, making him one of eight players let go by the Cottagers on Friday.

Revolution 2, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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There are homecomings, and there are homecomings.

James Riley only spent three seasons in New England, but his homecoming last Saturday was a special one. No, it wasn't special for him, but for the Revolution, which saw Riley deliver the own-goal of the season to help San Jose continue its recent slide.

Chivas USA 3, D.C. United 1: Supporter's View

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(Apologies to D.C. fans for not posting this Supporter's View from the weekend sooner. Although it's a bit late, the D.C. perspective offered by Joel Sanderson still pretty much applies even after last night's loss to Toronto FC.)

D.C. looked like it would find a victory out west, a precious three points to stem the tide and offer the club some sorely-needed relief from a disappointing early season.

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner

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Here's a message for the select few fantasy MLS owners who had Edson Buddle in their lineups last week. Why are you wasting your time with fantasy soccer and why aren'y spending that time playing the lottery?

Buddle's hat-trick was like fantasy gold for the fortunate few to take the chance on the streaky striker.

Revs continue youth movement, sign Manzonelli

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Good afternoon all.

So I'm sitting here, looking for stories to post and taking care of some SBI housekeeping when an email pops up from the New England Revolution. The subject line said "New England Revolution Transactions." Seemed harmless enough. Then it dawned on me that these are the Revs we are talking about and there isn't a more shrewd front office in the league, so I opened the email to see about these transactions.

Edu replaces Feilhaber on USA roster vs. England

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Photo by ISI Photos

Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu will replace Derby County midfielder Benny Feilhaber on the U.S. national team roster that will face England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, sources told SBI on Thursday.

Edu replaces Feilhaber on USA roster vs. England

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Photo by ISI Photos

Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu will replace Derby County midfielder Benny Feilhaber on the U.S. national team roster that will face England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, sources told SBI on Thursday.

Revolution 2, Earthquakes 0: A Supporter's View

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There are homecomings, and there are homecomings.

James Riley only spent three seasons in New England, but his homecoming last Saturday was a special one. No, it wasn't special for him, but for the Revolution, which saw Riley deliver the own-goal of the season to help San Jose continue its recent slide.

Chivas USA 3, D.C. United 1: Supporter's View

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(Apologies to D.C. fans for not posting this Supporter's View from the weekend sooner. Although it's a bit late, the D.C. perspective offered by Joel Sanderson still pretty much applies even after last night's loss to Toronto FC.)

D.C. looked like it would find a victory out west, a precious three points to stem the tide and offer the club some sorely-needed relief from a disappointing early season.

Miami FC signs Brunner

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United Soccer League club Miami FC announced the signing of former New York Red Bull defender Eric Brunner on Tuesday morning.

The signing ends a surprising turn of events that saw Brunner, the 16th player chosen in January's MLS Draft, waived and offered a Developmental Contract by the Red Bulls in order for the Red Bulls to make room for Andrew Boyens.

Arsenal set to sign Samir Nasri

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Arsenal didn't waste much time bolstering its squad. With Mathieu Flamini already gone, and Aleksandr Hleb poised for a move, Arsene Wenger snatched up one of the best young players in the game in Olympic Marseille starlet Samir Nasri for a reported $25 million.

July isn't even here and the summer transfer fun is in full swing.

Toulon Tournament: Ivory Coast vs. Italy (Your Running Commentary

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Good afternoon folks. If you are watching today's Toulon Tournament match between Italy and Ivory Coast, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play by play in the comments section below. This match features two teams in the United States' group and given the loss today by the Americans, the U.

UEFA Champions League Final: Running Commentary

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The time has finally come. Manchester United faces Chelsea in the Champions League final. Man U will be looking for a second Champions League title under Alex Ferguson while Chelsea is looking for its first Champions League trophy.

What will be the key today? Will Cristiano Ronaldo find room to work his magic?

What not to do before the Big Game

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There are some rules you generally go by two days before a big championship game.

You don't go out drinking. You get good sleep. You study your opponent.

Oh, and you don't two-foot your teammates in practice.

Claude Makelele didn't get the memo on that last once, as Ashley Cole painfully discovered:

What do you think of that tackle?

Manchester United wins Champions League

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What. A. Game.

After 120 minutes of fighting, scrapping, brilliance and bumbling, the Manchester United-Chelsea match came down to penalty kicks. Each team's best player missed before Edwin Van Der Sar stretched out his 6-foot-6 frame to spare Cristiano Ronaldo some embarrassment and give Manchester United its second Champions League title.

D.C. United at Toronto FC: Your Running Commentary

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The heat is officially on.

D.C. United head to BMO Field in Toronto tonight desparately needing a victory to stop a terrible losing skid, and possibly to keep their manager from being fired.

Tom Soehn insists that his team is is ready to turn things around and will try to do what no team has done all year, win at BMO Field.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Good morning folks (or late night for you night owls). It took WAY longer than I would have liked but I finally finished off the most recent Q&A session.

Here are the answers to the remaining questions asked by the SBI Mafia more than two weeks ago.

Thanks to all of you who took part.

Let the European Transfer Window fun begin

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Good afternoon all. Apologies for the lack of posting today but it's been a busy morning at the SBI compound. And no, I'm not hung over after yesterday's thrilling Champions League final.

As we head toward the European off-season it is time to start enjoying the craziness and fantasy that comes with the summer transfer window.

The D.C. United debacle continues

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Normally, a hard-fought and closely-contested 1-0 loss on the road would be seen as a disappointment but not a disastrous result.

Normally.

When your team is in the midst of a stretch of five losses in six matches then another loss becomes far more significant.

Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Toronto FC drops D.

(The rest of) Your Questions Answered

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Good morning folks (or late night for you night owls). It took WAY longer than I would have liked but I finally finished off the most recent Q&A session.

Here are the answers to the remaining questions asked by the SBI Mafia more than two weeks ago.

Thanks to all of you who took part.

Rapids 2, Real Salt Lake 0: A Supporter's View

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When Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids rekindled their heated rivalry last week, you had two teams coming in with very different moods. Real Salt Lake was fresh off a victory while the Rapids were smarting after a tough loss to Houston. It seemed like a good opportunity for Real Salt Lake to send Colorado tumbling down the West standings while moving themselves up.

U.S. roster vs. England announced

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Photo by ISI Photos

Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard highlight the 22-man roster chosen by U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley for the United States' upcoming friendly against England on May 28 at Wembley Stadium (3pm, ESPN Classic).

Toronto FC 0, Columbus Crew 0: A Supporter's View

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It was supposed to be a great showdown between two of the hotter teams in MLS. The first-place Columbus Crew against a surging Toronto FC in front of a sold-out crowd at BMO Field.

Wind, rough tackling, diving, bad officiating and worse finishing turned the highly-anticipated encounter into an ugly one.

Argentina names squad for USA friendly

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Photo by ISI Photos

Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Julio Cruz headline the 21-man roster chosen by Argentina head coach Alfio Basile to take part in Argentina's upcoming friendlies against Mexico (June 4) and USA (June 8).

My ESPN piece on the U.S. player pool

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Photo by ISI Photos

Good afternoon folks. In case you haven't seen it, here is my piece on ESPN.com on the U.S. national team player pool for the upcoming friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina.

Red Bulls 1, Wizards 1: A Supporter's View

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The Kansas City Wizards must hate coming to Giants Stadium. There isn't a player on the current Wizards who has experienced winning at Giants Stadium while with Kansas City. The streak goes back to 2000, a stretch of 11 matches at Giants Stadium without a win.

That streak was pushed to 12 courtesy of a stunning late equalizer from rookie Danleigh Borman, whose stumbling goal tumble is looking less absurd and more like the dance of a kid with real potential.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Eight

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Call week eight in Major League Soccer the week of making statements.

Whether it was Houston knocking off Chicago to show that it isn't dead yet, or the Los Angeles Galaxy taking FC Dallas behind the woodshed, a handful of teams enjoyed strong performances that will help them climb this week's SBI MLS power rankings.

Inter Milan holds on for Serie A title

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic came back just in time. The Swedish striker returned from injury to score a pair of goals to help Inter Milan score a 2-0 victory against Parma on Sunday that clinched the Serie A title for the third straight season.

The final weekend of the Italian season provided its share of drama, with Roma falling short in its bid to catch Inter as Catania scored a dramatic equalizer to tie Roma and avoid relegation.

Borman's equalizer helps Red Bulls salvage 1-1 tie vs. Wizards

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Howard C. Smith/ISI PHOTOS

Danleigh Borman scored a stunning 81st minute goal to help a short-handed Red Bulls squad salvage a 1-1 draw against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night at Giants Stadium.

Arena open to returning to coach in MLS

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Howard C. Smith/ISI PHOTOS

Bruce Arena is enjoying life these days. Between spending most of his time playing golf, and some of his time working as a TV color analyst for the Kansas City Wizards, Arena is enjoying life away from the stress of being a soccer coach.

Revolution 2, Chivas USA 1: A Supporter's View

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Things are getting ugly for Chivas USA. The same team that showed so much skill and creativity and potential last season has returned in 2008 looking like a disjointed mess.

New England could have fallen into a similar hole early on this season due to injuries, but strong performances from the Revolution's reserves have kept the Revs afloat in the mighty Eastern Conference.

SBI Fantasy MLS Corner

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Week six was a week Fantasy MLS players probably thought would come at least a month earlier. Juan Pablo Angel and Taylor Twellman, two of the best forwards in MLS, both scored their first goals of the season.

The Evening Roundup: German interest in Altidore, Twellman doubtful and Messi cleared for Olympics

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Good evening folks. There was a bunch of soccer news that I didn't get around to posting or discussing earlier today so here's a roundup of soccer stories that made the rounds:

German club inquired about Altidore

The Washington Post's Steve Goff reported earlier today that a German club inquired about Jozy Altidore and that MLS is looking for $10 million for the 18-year-old striker.

Crew 3, Earthquakes 2: A Supporter's View

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Fans in San Jose must have thought they were dreaming when their Earthquakes not only scored a goal, but scored to take a lead against the hottest team in Major League Soccer, the Columbus Crew. The lead was enjoyable, though short-lived, as the Crew showed why they are the best team in the league through seven weeks.

Japanese club eyes Owen, should MLS teams consider him?

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Photo by ISI Photos

Call it one of the more shocking soccer stories to emerge today. Japanese club JEF United Chiba is reportedly lining up a bid to lure English national team striker Michael Owen to the J-League.

Red Bulls 2, Galaxy 1: A Supporter's View

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When the Red Bulls showed up at Home Depot Center without Claudio Reyna and Seth Stammler, they looked destined to be dominated by the Los Angeles Galaxy. What LA didn't realize is that this is just what Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio had in mind.

The Red Bulls were content to led the Galaxy's lesser players knock the ball around while they focused on containing the two LA players who could truly do something on offense, David Beckham and Alan Gordon.

Dynamo 2, Rapids 1: A Supporter's View

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It sure looked like the Dynamo would have to wait another week for that first win, another week to cease the talk about a champion falling apart. It looked like Houston was destined for another non-win when Ugo Ihemelu was whistled for a controversial handball that gave the Dynamo a penalty kick and Dwayne DeRosario the chance to play her again.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Seven

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As if the Eastern Conference wasn't already strong enough, Juan Pablo Angel and Taylor Twellman finally opened their goal-scoring accounts to give yet another boost to the stronger of the two MLS conferences.

Yes, the domination of West by East continued last weekend, with East teams going 3-0, all on the road, against the West.

This weekend's soccer on TV

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Good morning folks. Apologies for getting this weekend's TV schedule out late but I had the ride home from hell yesterday making the trip back from D.C. to Jersey.

This is the last weekend of the English Premier League season, which means the title, European places and relegation spots will be determined on Sunday.

Earthquakes 0, FC Dallas 0: A Supporter's View

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San Jose unveiled its new home on Saturday, but Buck Shaw Stadium did little to jumpstart an Earthquakes offense that has been sputtering for most of the season.

FC Dallas played the role of defensive spoiler, but it was tough to celebrated a road point too much considering the Hoops' own attacking woes.

Rapids 2, D.C. United 0: A Supporter's View

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When the MLS schedule was released you just know Christian Gomez circled the first meeting against D.C. United. After being dealt away by D.C., the former MLS MVP had every reason to want to show that his former club made a mistake in letting him go.

Gomez certainly left D.

SBI Fantasy MLS Corner

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The MLS fantasy season is in full swing and whether you are off to a good start thanks to all those Crew and Fire players you grabbed, or you're in the tank thanks to the Chivas USA and Houston player you banked your seasons on, you can always use some advice.

SBI Correspondent Stephen Zaffuto has you covered in that department.

Fire 3, Revolution 0: A Supporter's View

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When the Chicago Fire thrashed the New England Revolution last month, the lopsided scoreline was blamed on Revs midfielder Jeff Larentowicz drawing an early red card. There was no such excuse this week.

Chicago thoroughly outplayed New England on its home turf, putting three unanswered goals past a once-stingy Revs defense in a 3-0 victory.

Crew 2, Wizards 1: A Supporter's View

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Who can stop the Columbus Crew? The Kansas City Wizards couldn't, becoming the latest victim of Sigi Schmid's Crew express, which has rattled off four straight wins and established Columbus as the top team in MLS.

Yes, that still sounds strange to say but few signs point to it being a fluke.

Red Bulls sign Andrew Boyens

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BREAKING NEWS

Photo by ISI Photos

The New York Red Bulls have signed New Zealand international defender Andrew Boyens, multiple sources confirmed for SBI on Monday.

LA Galaxy 2, Real Salt Lake 2: A Supporter's View

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The Los Angeles Galaxy looked well on their way to another ugly loss. Two early goals gave Real Salt Lake a nice lead and more than 22,000 in attendance at Rice-Eccles Stadium must have figured they were going to see another home blowout like the 4-0 drubbing of D.C. United.

That was before David Beckham put on his Superman cape and began blasting away from distance.

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 6

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And then there were two.

The Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire have pulled away from the field after six weeks of the 2008 MLS season and both teams are doing it with disciplined defending and dynamic midfield play.

The Crew downed the Kansas City Wizards for their fourth straight win while the Fire dominated the New England Revolution for the second time this young season, doing so at Gillette Stadium to the delight of many a Fire fan.

BMO Field: An experience to remember

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The best thing I can tell you about BMO Field in Toronto is that if you are an MLS fan you need to go there ASAP.

Go grab an MLS schedule, find out when your team is playing, book a flight (or fill your gas tank) and head north. It is an experience to remember and one that is deservedly the envy of the rest of the league.

Morning Ticker: Liverpool bids on Barry, UEFA Cup finalists set and Flamini set for Milan move

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Good morning everybody. Here are some news and notes from the soccer world that you may or may not have heard about.

Liverpool makes Barry bid

The race to sign Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry has begun and Liverpool is the first team to step up, making a $19.