No Short Corners Archives for January 2008
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.
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
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
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
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.
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".
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
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
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 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
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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 -
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.
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.
[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?
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.
Michael Kammerman killed the radio star... in the alley... with cue cards. - Greg Seltzer
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.