No Short Corners Archives for January 2011

The Sacha Show

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Instead of just showing Sacha Kljetsan's goal (and assist) from their 4-0 win over Lierse, let's show the full highlight package. He's earned it.- Greg Seltzer

Deuce Math

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Fulham ace Clint Dempsey applied the fatal touch to a counterattack just before halftime in a 2-0 Saturday win at Wigan. The U.S. star now has three goals on the EPL term, five across all competitions and six in the last nine against ther Latics, including two winners and two equalizers. I'm guessing they will not be missing him until the next time these two clubs square off.

The moral of the story: Champions never say die.

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And neither do their fans.- Greg Seltzer

This wild card business is a crapshoot and its stupid

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I had to tend to a drunk, crying man last night. Baseball does strange things to people. So MLS' first wild card round is in the books, and it was every bit as randomized and arbitrary as we thought. FCD's impressive 34-game bandage job was torn asunder in the span of 98 minutes (yes, eight minutes of stoppage time) by the 10th-best team in MLS.

NEWSFLASH: The inmates don't "run" this asylum - they own it lock, stock and barrel.

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As promised, MLSS Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle is along to (incorrectly) tell you unopposed all the things I got wrong in my USMNT Clipboard depth charts - which are all available for obsessive review through this post. And wouldn't you know it? I ask dude for a Top 5, but he apparently would have had too much great trouble paring it down so much.

Dancing with Hope - Round Six

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Alright, it's getting down to serious time now. Even before the USWNT #1 faced the tricky rumba, various corners of the interwebs were proclaiming sureness (with varying degrees of argumentative aptitude) that our girl was being cheated by the judges or the producers. They always show her fighting with Maks, she gets crap songs for the dance assigned, the judges favor others, whatever.

Save your Eric Hassli votes

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It's MLS goal of the year time, and MLSS is handing the reins to the fans this year. You'll pick between four goals in four pods from groups A-P. First-round voting ends Oct. 29, when we move on to the second round and on and on we go until Eric Hassli wins by a LBJ-esque landslide. Hassli's thunderbolt isn't included in the first four groups, but you can be sure he'll be in there eventually.

ATTN: Anyone who will be in L.A. on December 6th

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This is not our normal programming, but I had to spread the word on this. This is wild.Long story short: This summer, legendary b-boy Steelo had a ruptured brain aneurysm, so he had surgery. Then it ruptured again. More surgery, another following rupture. Four times. He's got a one-year-old son that he currently cannot walk or talk better than.

It's that time again.

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As NSC regulars know, I always reveal my US Player of the Year ballot once it's in. Well... it's in:#1 - Clint Dempsey#2 - Tim Howard#3 - Landon DonovanThat is all.- Greg Seltzer

Who likes goals?

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FYI: Hope Solo will do the Rumba tonight. This could be the style that either puts her near the top or has her back in trouble with the voters...First off, courtesy of Clint Dempsey's assist, Bryan Ruiz makes a stylish Fulham account opener.Fb.com/1Goals - Fulham 1-1 Everton, Bryan Ruiz... door XpressGOAL365All along I was thinking, man, this is gonna be a tough MLS Goal of the Week to call.

The MLS Grinder: Handicapping the playoffs

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The very definition of "strange alchemy" We've arrived at the doorstep. After weeks of conjecture and jockeying, we're banging on the door. So consider this your MLS playoff primer, where the Grinder will launch you into the postseason stratosphere with an explosive quality that DeRo's boot can't even match.

There is... another.

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One more weekend scorer to salute: Ironi Kiryat Shmona midfielder Bryan Gerzicich scored his first goal in 42 games with the club to cap a 3-0 road shocker at champs Maccabi Haifa. The play starts at about the 3:13 mark.- Greg Seltzer

Rolfe! Rolfe! (updated)

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After Odense BK knotted the match, Chris Rolfe struck again six minutes from time to give Aalborg a big 2-1 win. The former Fire man doubled his season tally to four, putting him tops on the team, as AaB snapped a five-game victory drought. The highlights are here, amid the Danish chatter.Still waiting on the Buddle clip, which I'll put in a separate post when it surfaces.

Rolfe! Rolfe!

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After Odense BK knotted the match, Chris Rolfe struck again six minutes from time to give Aalborg a big 2-1 win. The former Fire man doubled his season tally to four, putting him tops on the team, as AaB snapped a five-game victory drought.When I get these two and the Buddle clip, I will do the re-post trick so they come up in your RSS feeds (and such).

Who likes weekend Americans Abroad goals?

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Starting with last night in Mexico, we have a double from Tecos striker Herculez Gomez. He started for once and they won sparked by his opening strikes - imagine that. He's now two off the top of the league goal chart, with five in the last five games, while his team remain alive for the postseason by a thread.

Your friendly neighborhood UEFA NextGen report

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The four groups of the NextGen Series are getting serious. Everybody's still alive just past the midway point of the competition. Well, almost everybody. Manchester City and Celtic met knowing their match was a do-or-die affair unless they played to a draw. They did not.Celtic hadn't played in the competition since August 31st and looked rather rusty as a miscommunication between Jorge

The CONCACAF Champions League group stage and you

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TFC is in the knockout phase? TFC is in the knockout phase. Our odyssey into the Champions League group phase this year started hot, ran arctic chill cold and ended us somewhere in purgatory. As a reference point, here are your final group standings. MLS pushed through Seattle, Toronto (wha?!) and the Galaxy, none of which were group winners.

It's about time!

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The USMNT system now has a new Under-23 (read: Olympic) manager in Akron's Caleb Porter and U-20 boss in Tab Ramos. Other than the delay in actually naming coaches, I am rather pleased with the choices.Now, Mix and I can stop tapping the watch. Heh.- Greg Seltzer

Running The Numbers

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We're gonna be running some old school NSC game this week. Today, we drop some statistics you will never have any use for - and never wished to know. Will did grouping one, we split the keepers and I handled the final tally.That all said, let's digitize...THE BIG DANCEEvery fall, we look at the UEFA cup fields, picking out the Americans and wondering what barriers they can break next.

Every time I hear the name "Jerome" I think of The Time.

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I'm not ashamed to admit it. But for now, the more important topic is Sigma Olomouc forward Stefan Jerome opening his first team account with the 1-0 winner in a Czech Republic Football Cup round of 16 decider against Seziomovo Ústí (his side having taken the first leg 4-1).I thiiiiink he scored on a header, but I'm not 100% certain.

Dancing with Hope - Round Five

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This week, the USWNT #1 gets the tango. Unlike most Latin dance styles, this one does not get re-mastered in breakdancing. In several ways, this dance is akin to the Viennese waltz we saw in week one - only with a different "persona" to the show of it and different things going on with upper body positions.

Who likes goals?

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We'll never come whack on an old school track...Let's begin with the MLS Goal of the Week nominees. I gotta go Cruz control on this one, folks.Real Zaragoza's Helder Postiga builds one bitchingly fast bicycle.Look for how high above frame this looong free kick from Slovenia's Dare Vršič is as it passes the spot and how quickly it falls off the table.

#$&%!

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Yeesh, Frank Simek is seriously unlucky. And I was preparing to file a report today about how he'd gotten back to training.Now starting over, we both are...- Greg Seltzer

Gatt Gab

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[Photo: Trygve Strand Joakimsen/Tidens Krav]As you may know, Molde's Josh Gatt was lifted with a knock during this weekend's scoreless draw with Odd Grenland. At first, the Tippeligaen leaders seemed confident that it was nothing major - but when I spoke to them today, they came off a bit more finger-crossy.

Alright... enough waiting. (updated)

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Sometimes things are so unwieldly and certain responses take so long because not everyone appreciates what I do quite so much as NSC devotees. So here's the deal: it's Brek Shea spill time and everyone else can just catch up to us.The following is a list of 15 clubs I have fully confirmed (through a seeming source cast-of-thousands) that were in the house to watch Shea either in Belgium last

The MLS Grinder: The End of Days

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We're almost, almost there. Until the playoffs come bounding back out of the closet to barrel us over with the kind of dramatic flair only the postseason can mete out, we're entered in the silly season. A week of conjecture, endlessly drab if-then scenarios and all the coach speak you can stomach. (You wanna hear "It is what it is?

How does one say "Hmmm" in Spanish?

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So let me get this straight: Tecos are down 5-1 past the hour, set to lose for the third time in four as they slowly drop away from the playoff zone, and THEN they call on Herculez Gomez. Oh, did I not mention that he deftly capped the scoring against Chivas with his team-high sixth goal in 575 minutes of play this season (good for 13th among the team's field players)?

ChazKaz

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Helmond Sport handyman Charles Kazlauskas got a wild one started early with a raiding header as the visitors played out a 3-3 draw at MVV Maastricht. The score site I usually check actually had this goal credited to someone else last night, so I initially missed it.Full highlights are here.- Greg Seltzer

The Others

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As promised, here is the list of USMNT players (or those hoping to be) that either narrowly missed a position's depth chart or could conceivably climb onto it before the first World Cup qualifier next June.These are listed in alphabetical order and do remember the strength of the Top 5's above can affect how many/who is named here - it's not a straight "these are the best other players overall"

Who likes classic goals?

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As we wait for the international break to turn back into club play, let's draw from both to stroll down memory lane with iTV.- Greg Seltzer

On Jurgen Klinsmann

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Permit me to be a bit abstract for a moment to describe why so much of the Internet clatter re: Herr Klinsmann's 1-3-1 start as the Nats' big wig is frustrating me. I know, I know... don't feed the trolls. Well here's a chum bucket you ugly buggers. I need to get this off my chest. Imagine for a moment that I, Will Parchman, am a business mogul who's made his career as an up-and-coming

Mini-On Tap

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Here is your somewhat frustrating USMNT line-up:Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Chandler; Beckerman; Williams, Edu, Shea; Dempsey, AltidoreHere is my Top 5 Debunked 4-3-3 Misconceptions list (even if ol' boy has momentarily sailed off in a slightly different direction).And here is the preview reel.

Your friendly neighborhood UEFA NextGen report

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The best keep getting better, or so the saying goes. Unilaterally applying that logic to Europe's premier youth club competition tells us that the worst, in theory, keep getting worse. Nothing supports such a conviction more than the latest events in the world of NextGen.In 1702 a tasteful farmhouse was built in the Catalan countryside.

Dancing with Hope - Round Four

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A couple things of note happened last week just after the last post about Hope Solo's adventure on this show, and I'd like to quickly comment on them before we get to Monday's dance.- The fan voting results show happens every Tuesday, and of course one star is eliminated each round. Last week, Hope landed in the bottom two of voting for some odd reason) and had to stand up for the moment when we

Who likes goals?

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Some good ones in MLS this week. My vote goes to Nizar Khalfan's laser-guided effort. Iran outfit Sepahan's Emad Mohammed's insanity here comes after he megged his defender. There seemed to be some gravity defiance in this shot. Slask Wroclaw's Sebastian Mila imitates the Earth's curvature with a divine free kick.

Hell's bells, Greg.

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I meant to post this like four time since Herculez Gomez scored the consolation capper for Tecos on Saturday night and kept forgetting. Sorry, been quite out of it the last couple days trying to fight off getting sick. While you enjoy this, I'm gonna head back toward my pillow to continue the battle in earnest.

Urgh.

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You know how I do; sometimes, I am asked by one party or another to keep something quiet. Naturally, I do it because it's the proper thing to do and, well, I'd like for people to trust me so they continue telling me things. However, deals are off when it comes out elsewhere wrong. To say I don't like misinformation would be putting it mildly.

Top 5 MLS Cup favorites

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In early September I ran my top 5 picks for MLS Cup dark horses. Some look promising now (RSL), some not so much (Chicago). Now, with most of MLS taking a break this weekend, we level our gaze on the top five frontrunners. It's all about the big dogs today. With the wild card round almost two weeks away and the picture rapidly crystallizing, here are the top five teams most likely to take home

On Tap: USA v Honduras

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In memory of Al Davis' death today, I'll rip a page from his book to provide some helpful advice for Klinsi today: Just score, baby. With a few exceptions, the style points have been there. We've seen advances in stylish play that seemed a pipe dream during RoboBob's preference for the robotic, some brief glimpses of progress in this 4-3-3 implementation and some serious defections, most notably

Three kinds of awesomeness in one

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Do you (or someone you know) enjoy autographed soccer memorabilia, the thrill of online auctioning and the feeling of helping a really great cause?If so, stop what you're doing and check out what former MLS all-star keeper Mike Ammann has going on just for you.- Greg Seltzer

Left, but not least...

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Like Lionel Ritchie once sang, we've come to the end of our rainbow. Once, twice, three times thanks to you all for riding along these last two weeks, stirring up some debate/discussion of the new system and indulging my keen ability to speak mind without caring the slightest that some will find me whacko.

Hello Muddah... you know the drill

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A pair of clips from USMNT camp and then one about the US ladies giving back away from the field...- Greg Seltzer

B-Boy Hero

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As with a soccer team, a successful breakdancing crew is usually made of people all playing their specific roles. Everybody is expected to add their unique flavor to the mix. Some people wow as lockers, some doing hand tutting, some add in classical training.Indulge me a moment, please, and enjoy this performance by Boston crew Phunk Phenomenon.

District #9

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No, we won't be discussing fire trucks, school buses or South African aliens today. It's literally the pinnacle of our 4-3-3, the striker. It's also the easiest top choice this side of Tim Howard in our little exercise.This is the most straightforward job description on the field, really. Naturally, our #9 wants to stay in the middle of the field, make the center backs work, drop back to be

"These BS reading are off the charts, Ray."

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It's been brought to my attention that various UK rags (I don't know why anyone ever believes them) have Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all bowing up with drawn knives over FC Dallas ace Brek Shea. His agent just told me, chuckling, that this was all news to him.So who ya gonna call? "Scoop" busters!

3-peat

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Timbers fans will not like this. But thereyago... the Sounders are your 2009, 2010 and now 2011 US Open Cup champs. And it's not like there was any doubt either. Seattle's road: 2-1 over something called Kitsap Pumas, 3-1 over the Galaxy, 1-0 over FCD and finally 2-0 over Chicago. Not a light slate. Will have some video up as it becomes available.

The tipping point

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Aided by a merciful Cardinals start time, there will be no dozing off too early tonight. It about to get really Dutch up in here, up in here - so let's just dive in.The #8 is a very important player in this formation. He's the time-keeper, controlling match tempo when necessary. He's usually also the traffic director, deciding which direction we go up the field.

Dancing with Hope Solo - Round Three

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This week, our #1 shirt was assigned the Cha-Cha. Like most any Latin-style dance form, many of the moves are re-purposed or re-imagined throughout the various forms of break dancing. Among these similarities with the female partner are body and arm waves, which we've already seen Hope be a little stiff with - let's see how she did.

Donovan's down, so Buddle's up

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It's the camp with no natural LB's or proper #10's allowed. Apparently. At least we've brought 634 forwards. That'll show 'em our new system!On an obviously unrelated note, I can confirm that Benny Feilhaber still exists.- Greg Seltzer

Who likes goals?

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I'm telling ya, all these baseball late nights are making my brain foggy. Meant to have this up last night, but just fell out and I'm slow today. Plenty coming your way, let's get started...The MLS Goal of the Week decision is rough this time. It's hard to pick a standout.This crazy concoction by Bayer Leverkusen's Eren Derdiyok will be remembered for a long time.

Spec is on spec

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Have no fear, just got the Brums word: the ankle twist suffered by Birmingham's Jonathan Spector on Sunday was minor and he has departed for USMNT duty. Proper report soon at MLSS. That is all.- Greg Seltzer

The MLS Grinder: DC United's meek week

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We begin our playoff madness with DC United this week. United had wild card nemesis New York's kryptonite entering the week: games played. With two in hand over New York and two games to play in four days this week, DC made up one of those in a Thursday tussle at Philly and then played Columbus on Sunday.

Two points conversion

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We have a pair of goals to screen, starting with DaMarcus Beasley's losing cause opener for Pachuca last night. As against Ghana at World Cup 2006, Da Bease passes it on to Fulham's Clint Dempsey, who helped pile on late with the fifth goal (and assist on the sixth) in a 6-0 spanking of QPR this afternoon.

Lucky #7

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First off, apologies on the tardiness. I just got too tired and happily dozed off before I getting to the post.Secondly, as is often the case, discussion of my prattle out there on the interwebs has been brought to attention. It seems we suddenly have a lot of new NSC visitors, including many who joined in the fun after we'd started.

Bud-Step

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Ain't that a kick in the head? Edson Buddle scores twice in the opening 20 minutes at home to Bochum and then Ingolstadt promptly goes on to lose 5-3. The US striker now has a team-high five goals on the season (which is two off the league lead) and four in his last three games.- Greg Seltzer