No Short Corners Archives for January 2008

Homey don't play that.

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Somebody accused me of telling fibs about the improvised scratch mega-pumpkin pie. Erm... check yo'self, good sir (click pic for larger version). I'll have that Top 5 I hinted at some time tomorrow, and I should have a Greg Folk update around the same vague time. It seems I'd forgotten how sleep-inducing a Thanksgiving dinner can be.

A few turkey and sage flavored things...

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back in the States. For the first time abroad, I will actually have a real Thanksgiving feast, thanks to some industrious/curious Dutch pals. I am bringing my Hall of Fame cornbread stuffing, some sweet taters and the first scratch pumpkin pie I ever tried. It's almost done.

Slowly, but slowly...

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Sometimes it takes a bike crash or two to remind us how good it feels to just... lay there. Nevertheless, the Colin Burns double update is up at Soccer365, and the World Cup '10 column will appear there in a couple of hours. For now, soothe yourself with a double dose of Lejo. Ahhhh, the Dutch... - Greg Seltzer

No things...

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I'm taking today off. Not only do I need a rare breather, but I also just "enjoyed" a hearty bike accident. Nothing broken, no concussion, just some scrapes, dizzies and bruises. I must fall well - because I only feel half-jacked up. Anyhoooo... I will have a story on Ljungskile keeper Colin Burns and a World Cup 2010 USMNT as-of-now depth chart column over at Soccer365 tomorrow.

Who likes goals?

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Case of the Mondays? We have the cure. Let's start with Brøndby man Peter Madsen, who possesses some happy feet. PSV's Mexico defender Francisco Rodríguez rings the bell against Heracles. AC Milan's Ronaldinho with a nasty free kick against Torino (pity it didn't stand as the winner). Real Betis defender Luciano Monzón with a heavy boot from distance.

Crew opens MLS Cup account

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The Columbus Crew have been duly crowned champions of MLS! If their Supporter's Shield margin wasn't enough evidence for the case, they went ahead and knocked out the formality of symbolically running away from their Sunday competition, the tamed New York Red Bulls. Apparently, "Olé!" also means "3-1".

Let's get ready to ruuuumble!!!

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We are about 90 minutes away from MLS Cup kicks off, so I may as well re-prove my foolishness by making a prediction. Before I go there, however, let's take a quick look a last look at some match-up notes. 2008 Head-to-Head: New York 2-1 All-Time Head-to-Head: New York 21-20-5 Leading scorers: Ángel 14 (NYRB), Moreno 9 (CLB) The Crew have surrendered the first goal 18 times this year, but

JayD is in the house

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Watford skipper Jay DeMerit is a guest on this week's Football League podcast. Give it a spin here. FYI: it was recorded before they beat QPR yesterday. - Greg Seltzer

Dude...

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I love Kirk Herbstreit. But dude... Columbus are the favorites. At least Lee Corso didn't chug a Red Bull. Nobody needs that. - Greg Seltzer

MLS Best XI unveiled

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MLS has announced the 2008 Best XI, naturally headed by league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto of Columbus and Golden Boot winner Landon Donovan of Los Angeles. Get the full lowdown here. 2008 MLS Best XI GK: Jon Busch (Chicago Fire) D: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Bakary Soumare (Chicago Fire), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew) MF: Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Guillermo Barros

Zimmerman opens Superfund account

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Kapfenberg striker Preston Zimmerman has bagged his first Austrian T-Mobile Bundesliga goal. The young American raced from midfield on a breakaway to round the keeper, capping a stunning 5-2 triumph at tabletop Red Bull Salzburg. With the upset win, the team rise to eighth, but remain just two points above the trap door.

A few things...

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As promised, a very special MLS Cup episode of AFT... #1 - Daily News All-Star Michael Lewis lets us know that Juan Pablo Ángel's training knocks won't keep him out of the game. One can almost hear Red Bulls supporters collectively wiping their brow. #2 - Even as he leads the Crew to the final on Sunday, Columbus boss Sigi Schmid still has a 2009 status that reads "TBD".

USMNT opens Hex against El Tri

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Yep, it's just about time for Gooch to get his glare on. The schedule for the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying has been drawn, with the Red, White & Blue slated to host arch rivals Mexico on Matchday One, which is February 11th. The full USMNT dance card: Wednesday 11 February - USA v Mexico Saturday 28 March - El Salvador v USA Wednesday 1 April - USA v Trinidad & Tobago

USMNT to host Sweden at HDC

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As was the case this year, the U.S. Men's National Team will open their 2009 slate with a Home Depot Center visit from Sweden on January 24th. Although the visitors will almost certainly arrive again with a less then full strength roster, coach Bob Bradley will be using this match to prepare for the start of final round CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, which begins February 11th.

Bayern aims to borrow Donovan

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Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have begun making a loan offer to MLS for Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who scored both first team goals in a win over the reserves on Wednesday. The base idea is to bring him over for a two months (a la Beckham-to-Milan), but with a view towards extending his stay until the end of the season - and if all goes well, presumably beyond.

Cooper, Adu goals lift young 'Nats

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A largely green USMNT topped Guatemala 2-0 on Wednesday night. They got fine second half goals from Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu, who bagged his first senior tally with a sneaky free kick. My U.S. Player Ratings will go up later today at Soccer365. I did catch it live, but having not taken my customary 'Nats stateside evening start time matchday nap, I was just too knackered to do a LIVE - in

USMNT jr. v Guatemala

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We are less than five hours from kickoff as Guatemala invades Colorado for the final World Cup qualifier of the semifinal round. With the Red, White & Blue already through to final jeopardy, Bob Bradley has called a squad heavy on youngsters (and, of course, free of MLS finalists from Columbus and New York) The visitors arrived sans Carlos Ruiz, but with slim hopes of advancement.

A few things...

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I was going to post this last night, then my interwebs went buhbye and (true to form) I said "*&%$ it" and went to bed. In any event, away we go... #1 - Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is going to bat for the St. Louis MLS expansion team. And if you are wondering how such a scenario might end, please see photo.

Seriously... what the hell are they thinking?

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[Photo: Section 8 Chicago] I can't even imagine I'd need to say much about this one. I'd probably just fail to live up to the dignity displayed by Ben Burton and his Section 8 minions over at Toyota Park. But if it sells the drama, I'll go with a "What in the name of St. Peter Wilt are the Fire doing?

Who likes goals?

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No ceremony, let's just head off to the goal carnival... And what better way to kick off the show than with a double-shot of 180 proof Zlatan? Hoffenheim's Carlos Eduardo knows I love a nice swerving free kick. Chelsea's Jose Boswinga shows West Brom he's got a sneaky left foot. ManU youngster Danny Welbeck sows some oats in a Stoke beating.

Bradley names 20 for Wednesday

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Michael Kammerman killed the radio star... in the alley... with cue cards. - Greg Seltzer

MLS Playoffs - Matchday Three

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Sorry for the Sunday absence - pressing matters, pressing matters. And Ajax mudstomped PSV. And the video was late in going up. As you probably know by now, sad-luck Real Salt Lake saw their Rio Tinto dream go up in smoke against Cinderella MLS Cup entrant New York. The hosts were busy playing ring the post all night, leaving Dave van den Bergh's rebound clean-up job to stand as the winner.

Goal, goal... Serbia? (and Mikey scores!)

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Getting a lot of sleep for once, I was totally oblivious to domestic new outlet Agencije's report that Borussia Dortmund phenom and former U.S. youth international Neven Subotić had opted to play for Serbia until good pal Chris Courtney shot me a text message. As the story goes, the youngster will be in uniform for a March World Cup qualifier against Romania, provided FIFA approve the

Falkirk deny Pickens deal

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You may come across a Scottish Sun story claiming that Falkirk are planning to lock down out-of-contract American keeper Matt Pickens. However, a club exec just told me that this is not the case. He informed that Pickens had been on trial for 'just less than a week' and had already left. When asked if that was the end of their interest in the former Fire man, he replied with a stern 'Yes'.

MLS Playoffs - Matchday Three

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Well, my prediction looked tenuously on track until the break... and, as you probably know by now, I added the adverb for a reason. Columbus rallied from a halftime deficit handed down by former star Brian McBride to top Chicago 2-1. If you haven't already, please enjoy the highlights... And while we're celebrating the Crew's first trip to MLS Cup, why not an interview with Coach of the Year

Final four picks!

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Oh, one of these days... I'm gonna have a party where everybody gets to smash this computer. I may even invite Samir to thunderkick it. In any event, I can now finally put my relatively meager MLS money where my mouth is again in order to call the semifinal clashes (home team listed first). And just in time, with the Crew & Fire set to kick off tonight.

Win a hybrid, visit FC Hollywood... full day!

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It's only Wednesday, but it's already been a big week for Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who started by netting his fifth Honda USMNT Player of the Year prize (for his sixth, maybe they should give him a new. larger garage?). The 26-year old finished with 297 voting points, while Tim Howard (who got my vote) garnered 249 points and Clint Dempsey ended up third with 176 points.

Bradley calls green 19 for Guatemala

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As expected, U.S. boss Bob Bradley has announced his squad for the final World Cup qualifier of the semifinal round. Unsurprisingly, the team list is quite heavy on MLS players not among the four remaining playoff teams. The coach has picked a largely inexperienced roster to face Guatemala next Wednesday just outside Denver, including six uncapped players (noted by italics in the listing below.

A few things...

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I'm still kinda catching up on everything after my bout with a four-day headache (yeah, I know!), so a couple of these items are a couple days old... #1 - Another casualty of delay was my Luis Robles feature, but that is now up over at Soccer365. In case you aren't aware, the American keeper has been suddenly thrust into the starting role at Kaiserslautern, a club that seems on the way back to

Who likes goals?

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And a one, and a two... Let's begin with a media player link to Hammarby closing day highlights to view Charlie Davies scoring a double to finish the season tied for fourth in the Swedish top flight (with Henrik Larsson, no less) on 14 goals. From Thursday's UEFA Cup action, Ronaldinho lifts Milan with a nasty swat.

MLS Playoffs - Matchday Two

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Holy flippin' gobsmack, Batman! New York - who looked dead in the water only a few weeks back - just drilled the repeat champs in their own house to advance to the final four. And just like that, only one club with an MLS Cup on the mantle remains. I will be back later with some comments and the other two highlight reels.

A few things...

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Sorry for flaking out for a couple of days, but I've been dominated by an exquisite neck/headache since Thursday night. Now that I can look at a computer screen for longer than seven seconds at a time, it's time for a rally... #1 - US Soccer has opened up fan nominations for five Best of 2008 categories, including (ahem) Best Soccer Blog.

Yanks in England today

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EPL West Ham 1:3 Everton (Tim Howard went the 90) CHAMPIONSHIP QPR 1:0 Cardiff City (Eddie Johnson played 71 mins) Reading 3:0 Derby (Marcus Hahnemann went the 90) Sun - EPL - Aston Villa (Brad Friedel/Brad Guzan) v Middlesbrough; CHAMPIONSHIP- Swansea City v Watford (Jay DeMerit) Did not play: Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Bobby Convey (Reading), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Zak

A Tale of Three Leaders

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Brad Guy's the Hero Brad Guzan's value has surely soared after a show-stopping 90 minutes in Aston Villa's goal in their 1-0 UEFA Cup win at Slavia Prague tonight. One of six changes made by coach Martin O'Neill, the former Chivas USA goalkeeper pulled off a string of saves to deny the Czech champions, who were rampant in the second half, chasing John Carew's 26th minute lead.

Who likes goals?

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On this very special midweek episode of Blossom... A fine compilation of the best goals in MLS this season. Do not miss Lindsay Tarpley's sublime capper from the USWNT's weekend win over South Korea. And from the Champions League... Celtic's Scott McDonald v. ManU. Villarreal's Guillermo Franco v.

Top 5 Early Season Euro-Surprises

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[Photo: Bongarts] We're now far enough into the season to start reveling in instant nostalgia, so let's take a quick look at the most stunning headline grabbers thus far - for both good and bad reasons. For this Top 5 List, I will mention each club with a corresponding player I find emblematic of their surprise factor.

A few things...

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Go vote! That is all. #1 - All together now... "Charlie Davies can't stop scoring." Yup, CD made it a dirty dozen for the season, good enough for fifth best in the Swedish top flight, with a hustle header on Monday night. See it here (media player link). #2 - I still have a Top 5 List ready to go, and you have my solemn word it will be up later today.

Afternoon tea with a kick

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I think the skill of being a soccer hack is in accurately predicting the future, instead of just reacting to past events. But it's so damn hard. Just think of Jamie Trecker confidently announcing Jurgen Klinsmann had bagged the Nats job the day it was announced he wouldn't. He made an educated prediction, and it was the view shared by most of us, but he still got it wrong.

Who likes goals?

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Surprise, surprise! I can't sleep - which means you get your wanton blood lust for sick goals sated early this week. Shut up, I'm sleep deprived. And now, on with the show... Bremen's Diego with your average, basic, run of the mill half-volley lob job. PSV's Danny Koevermans channels Lord Dennis, so sayeth the announcer.

Jozy is on the board!

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Despite only coming on in the 90th minute, Villarreal rookie forward Josmer Altidore was able to cap a 4-1 win at Athletic Bilbao Saturday night by opening his La Liga account. The U.S. international smoothly collected a terrific Santi Cazorla pass to lash home without a doubt. Enjoy... - Greg Seltzer

MLS Playoffs - Matchday One

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I shall return in a while with some comments on each game/tie, plus the final highlight video. New England 0 - Chicago 0 New York 1 - Houston 1 Real Salt Lake 1 - Chivas USA 0 Kansas City 1 - Columbus 1 (waiting for video to drop) - Greg Seltzer

Coming soon!

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I rarely get a day off, but yesterday would essentially count as one for me. Oh, I did some work and watched a couple of matches, but mostly I was a lazy bum. I will shortly post an MLS playoff video roundup (a ka the Yura Movsisyan Show). You can also expect a new TOP 5 List, but that likely will have to wait 'til tomorrow.
NSC