The Shin Guardian Archives for January 2011

Saturday: Your Live Commentary

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MLS Playoffs see the Seattle Sounders face off with Real Salt Lake.

First, it's Chelsea-Arsenal and overseas action.

Game on.

Some of the same actors still remain...


Saturday: Your Live Commentary

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MLS Playoffs see the Seattle Sounders face off with Real Salt Lake.

First, it's Chelsea-Arsenal and overseas action.

Game on.

Some of the same actors still remain...


MLS Playoffs Live: Colorado Hosts Columbus

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In "the other wild card" game, two offensive lineman type soccer clubs come together, again.

Reigning champs Colorado have swept the flakes off their pitch to host Abercrombie FC, the Crew(necks.)

Kimura (left), if you didn't know, is Japanese....ironically...

First, some odds:

• 25 to 1: Will Hesmer scores or gets an assist

• 30 to 1: Marvell Wynne, own goal.

MLS Headache Time: Reviewing 2011 Predictions

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One thing that always bugs me about sports coverage....and reason #345 why we started The Shin Guardian...is that no one ever goes back and evaluates their predictions in great detail. Nobody calls themselves out!

About the domestic league...

This happens all the time in the business world.

MLS Playoffs!: Live: FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls

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Game Time!

It's come down to this for the New York Red Bulls. No cushy, concrete confines of Red Bull Arena.

On the road, in Frisco, in the rain.

Hans Backe's team is typically winners there in their last 4 (3 wins), but Dallas was missing some hands on deck.

Dallas will try to shake the slump and as we learned in today's column by Jeff Carlisle "momentum" going into the playoffs means little.

TSG’s 2011 MLS Awards Ballot

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And here you go.

And let the second guessing begin.

First some bullets:

• Had an extremely difficult time for the Best XI as you might imagine. We were committed to choosing four defenders (who plays three defenders in MLS?) The toughest calls were: (1) Osvaldo Alonso (narrowly beating out Kyle Beckerman), (2) Sheanon Williams (narrowly beating out Chance Myers), and (3) Mauro Rosales (narrowly beating out Landon Donovan and Sebastien Le Toux.

MLS Awards 2011: Part IV of Many: MVP

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We wanted to do a bigger expose on MVP, but alas we've run out of time for stating the case.

Though if you've been following along at home, you know who TSG's frontrunner is.

Help us decide:

Will DeRo walk away with the award?

Volkswagen 2011 MLS MVP: (Most Valuable Player in MLS during the 2011 regular season.

MLS Playoffs: Handicapping & Whose Your Favorite?

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The MLS playoff schedule was set late Sunday night (it's down below here).

We'll review with a thorough handicapping later this week, but for now...here's our quick odds, brief summary and the schedule.

Please lend your voice to the odds and we'll republish on Wednesday or Thursday:

Evans for Seattle (and previously for Columbus)

TSG's MLS Playoff Odds:

Seattle Sounders: 3 to 1* (pending Rosales injury update)

Los Angeles Galaxy: 4 to 1

Real Salt Lake: 6 to 1

Philadelphia Union: 7 to 1

Sporting KC, FC Dallas: 8 to 1

Colorado Rapids: 10 to 1

Houston Dynamo: 14 to 1

New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew: 15 to 1

-

TSG's Pick (may change by Thursday): Seattle

TSG Skinny: There are a just few basic things you need to reach the MLS Cup Finals after journeying through its playoff gauntlet.

MLS 2011 Awards: Part III of Many: Newcomer of the Year

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Part III in our continuing review of who TSG will choose for the MLS Awards 2011. Help us out. Add your voice.

Next up:

Rosales...singled out here...as a lock for newcomer?

Newcomer of the Year

The best newcomer in MLS during the 2011 regular season. For this award, "newcomer" is defined as a player with previous professional experience who made his MLS debut in 2011.

The Weekend: Your Live Analysis Here

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Nothing much to play for in MLS.

Meanwhile, the EPL is starting to rev up.

Along with the Wayne Rooney Bowl, the Manchester City Derby complete with Tevezgate, this year's absence of Paul Scholes, Man City atop the table, something guaranteed to go with Mario Balotelli in the limelight and likely David Silva cementing his spot in the EPL Season's Best XI for a time to come.

MLS Awards 2011: Part II of Many: Defender of the Year

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And moving on...

2011 MLS DEFENDER OF THE YEAR:

Best defender in MLS during the 2011 regular season.

Candidates:

Marshall was a big part of the Crew's surprising success...

Corey Gibbs Chicago Fire

Gonzalo Segares Chicago Fire

Ante Jazic Chivas USA

Heath Pearce Chivas USA

Chad Marshall Columbus Crew

Julius James Columbus Crew

Drew Moor Colorado Rapids

Marvell Wynne Colorado Rapids

Ugo Ihemelu FC Dallas

George John FC Dallas

Andre Hainault Houston Dynamo

Todd Dunivant Los Angeles Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez Los Angeles Galaxy

A.

MLS Awards: Part I of Many: This Is A Democracy…

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About the domestic league...

...sort of.

Let me explain.

First, the schedule of events over the next four or five days. Today, "voting" on MLS Awards "Part I," Saturday, more, Sunday more, Monday "voting" on MLS Awards Part Final (Best XI). Note, on that Best XI, TSG won't chicken out and go with three defenders LAME!

Preview: Will The Union Run The Red Bulls?

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Game...on!

Philly Soccer Page's Adam Cann with a Union-tinged preview of tonight's major MLS match-up.

Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States. When the Houston Dynamo rose from the ashes of the original San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, Philly became the largest US city without an MLS franchise.

Op-Ed: Time To Burn Down The Fraternity

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Syracuse University and its bastion of....education?

In 1994, I was a member of a fraternity at Syracuse University.

It was one of the more popular fraternities on campus. If I could send a text message back to my college self, I would probably suggest not check-marking "popularity" as a top criteria for choosing essentially your friends and lifestyle at college.

One Roma Fan’s Agonizing Diary Of Last Weekend’s Derby

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A depressing Derby...for one man...

TSG's Eric Giardini recounts the horrors of Sunday's Roma-Lazio Derby

Heading into Sunday afternoon's Derby della Capitale I had every intention of writing an unbiased review of one of the most hotly contested derbies in world soccer.

Selected Images: USA Vs. Ecuador

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More from super photog Matt Mathai.


Can Portland Pull The Rabbit? A Timbers Fan On Tonight’s Match & The Season

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John Nyen on his beloved Timbers.

See that?

Cooper sky-high to start the sesh...

The glowing yellow leaves and migrating birds tell the tail.

Tiny cold smudges of frost let you know that summer is over and Fall is in full swing. This should also tell you something as a MLS fan.

Over At FBM: On Coldplay, Pearl Jam & American Soccer

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We dropped some science over at friends of the TSG, The Free Beer Movement today.

A little ditty entitled: "Why American Soccer: A Dissident, A Dissident Is Here."

Check it out if you would.

Pearl Jam, Seattle, 1991...just getting going...


Klinsmann’s Depth Chart: October 2011 Edition

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The Krew...

Two games, 1 win, 1 loss from September Camp.

TSG goes diving again into the USMNT...

And now the US will embark for Europe in early-mid November for friendlies against France and Slovenia. Though Slovenia was presumably only chosen because other European nations had commitments, the US finds itself challenged by two vastly different systems and talent levels.

Selected Images: USA Vs. Honduras

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Matt Mathai is a our resident photographer. NUF SAID!

His story and affiliation with US Soccer and MLS is deep; you can check it out here.

So if you're on Twitter and like Matt's work, do a solid and RT this: http://twitter.com/#!/shinguardian/status/103493511625719809



Live Commentary: Champions League: Citizens vs. Submarines, Real vs. Lyon, More…

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TSG knows the folks hoot and holler when they don't have a place to chat about the Champions League.

Manchester City vs. the reeling Villarreal. Napoli vs. Bayern Munich. Real Madrid vs. Lyon Etc. Etc.

Which match are you watching? What are you looking for?


NCAA: Davidson Slays The Goliath

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The #2 UNC Tar Heals left Tobacco Road Monday evening on what they thought was a quick pitstop away victory two hours away at Davidson.

Looming a showdown with #3 Maryland on Friday.

But Davidson had the resolve, weathering nearly 5 times as many volleys as they authored. The one below made the difference though.

On Brazil 2014, Fifa and The Founding of Corruption

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The English Ramblers were an early challenger and loser to the entity known as "Fifa."

Editor's note: This is the 2nd piece for The Shin Guardian from Joshua Wells. Josh is broadly looking at the administrative side of soccer from legality through business practice here at TSG

Over the course of history, repressive governments tend to have common characteristics that define their operations and their impact on the world.

MLS: More Possession, More Winning?

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So?

This column provided by Northwester University seniors Sam Stejskal and Shashank Churukanti and the good folks at soccer analytics start-up, Chimu Solutions. Take a trip on over to Chimu Solutions (kind of like an Opta on steroids.)

We see possession numbers thrown around all the time in the soccer world.

MLS: Working the Marketing Machine

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More Seattlish stuff...

(First, apologies, if you just flew over from Twitter based upon a certain Megan Fox tweet that bent the truth. This is, afterall, a piece on marketing. Read on friend for the connector.)

A great tweet on Sunday for MLS: 64,140 people watched Seattle beat San Jose in MLS this weekend.

The Weekend: Live Commenary

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Sure, it's Liverpool vs. Manchester United.

But the weekend belongs to one man Stateside.

About 60K on hand to watch one of the greats prepare his exit. Here...Kasey Keller for Millwall...


Live Commentary: Spencer vs. Kinnear, Portland vs. Houston

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PERLAZA!

Fired up for this affair.

Been looking forward to it for awhile.

The Timber have a game in hand. A win tonight puts them neck-and-neck with Houston and a few others in the scratching-and-clawing of the MLS playoff cage match.

Chabala. Brad Davis's MVP campaign.

The Fan In You: An Irishman on Tyneside Angst

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In The Fan In You (TFIY) series, TSG explores how a fan became fanatical about their favorite team. We're nowhere near derby time which makes this piece by Ronan Quinn not reduced to noise in a sea of...vile.

Early roots...Newcastle vs. Sunderland

Watching Manchester United and Manchester City battle it out at the top for the first time has given the derby games between the two a new dimension.

The Fan In You: How Portugal Changed My Heart

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In The Fan In You (TFIY) series, TSG explores how a fan became fanatical about their favorite team. This piece about the sport itself.

Arguably Benfica's greatest....Eusebio...

By: RJ DeMello

The beautiful game enveloped me completely in the summer of 2006.

Clint Dempsey Will Karatacize Your *ss

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Matt Mathai. On a loaner camera after getting rained on in Miami.

I triple dog dare you to find a better picture taken of the USMNT this year!

Our next orator is Fulham's Clint Dempsey, who will speak on the art of Ecuadorian Attack Philosophies in Contemporary Time. Clint?

".

The US Falls To Ecuador, 1-0, In Anything But A Bullfight

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So if the US beats Ghana in the Round of 16 at World Cup 2014 will end justify the means?

Jozy was on the ball Tuesday...

The US players walked off the field on Tuesday night in Red Bull Arena with the fat kid on the other side of the see-saw as US manager Jurgen Klinsmann saw his match record drop, while the US dropped a 1-0 decision to Ecuador.

East to Eden: The Eastern Conference & Its MLS Cup Dark Horses

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James Grossi covers MLS with a focus on the Eastern Conference for TSG

The Preamble

MVP candidate Dominic Oduro has le....wait Dominic Oduro! Yes, MVP candidate Dominic Oduro has led the Fire to the cusp of the playoffs....

A cursory glance at the MLS standings could give the impression that there is an imbalance of power between the Western and Eastern Conferences.

USA vs. Ecuador: Live Commentary

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About to get it on in Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. It's the USA. It's Ecuador. There are no marbles involved.

Some solid manu-et-manu match-ups though: Chandler vs. Valencia, Benitez vs. Bocanegra, Noboa vs. Williams perhaps.

Starting line-ups shortly...as well as your commentary.

Dempsey rips around the corner.

FakeBob Rants On Klinsy, Omar, Orozco

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FakeBobBradley with an epic rant last evening. Reproduced with his consent below.
You'll need to read from the bottom up.

FakeBob went on the attack...

I'd challenge @FakeKlinsmann to a Twitter duel, but I think he would just give excuses that he's building for the future instead of scoring.

Orange Slices: USA vs. Ecuador

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Orange Slices! USA vs. Ecuador

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update during the day before the match

This ain't your adolescent Honduras.

The USA welcomes Ecuador to the cement confines of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Game five of the Jurgen Klinsmann era.

TED Talk: Are We Born To Run?

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Last off topic for awhile. Must another must listen, watch:


TSG Preview Lite: USA vs. Ecuador

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Will the same "core" get a runout on Tuesday?

First, some perspective.

The United States played a decidedly weak Honduran side on Saturday. Yes, Clint Dempsey was great, even Brek Shea and Jozy Altidore.

A big step-up is still needed from those three and the US as a whole when they face off Tuesday with CONMEBOL's Ecuador despite a terrible run of form by La Tri over the past few years.

Looking Back: USA Bests Honduras B, 1-0

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Tim Howard was called upon again. Here, Jai Alai in Miami...

A little quick redress on Saturday's 1-0 USA win over visiting Honduras in Florida. Jurgen Klinsmann's first win as manager as well.

The Rooster deserves a Snickers commercial

The Rooster sticking around.

USA vs. Honduras Live Commentary: Will Klinsmann Get His “W”?

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The line-ups will be out shortly.

The US should dominate the ball against an inferior Honduran side that is missing many first-team selections.

Enjoy the game; add your analysis.

The Rooster: Brek Shea...


USA vs. Honduras Live Commentary: Will Klinsmann Get His “W”?

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The line-ups will be out shortly.

The US should dominate the ball against an inferior Honduran side that is missing many first-team selections.

Enjoy the game; add your analysis.

The Rooster: Brek Shea...


Interlude

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This is the second only the second off soccer topic post we've put up in over two years.

I was reminded of the TED Talk below upon the passing of Steve Jobs. The talk came out less than a year ago and I surmise that I've listened to it over 15 times already.

We offer a lot of content at TSG; some good, some bad.

Oranges Slices: USA vs. Honduras …Again

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Orange Slices! USA vs. Costa Rica

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update throughout the day and also serves as the place for you to drop comments like, "I can't believe Klinsmann started 12 midfielders from the Primera!".

Three games.

Poll: Does Klinsy Need A “W”?

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"Look T-bone, I don't care if this is a knockout game or a friendly, you don't let this Hondo "B" team score. Are you receiving me?!)

(I'm sorry Google, I don't care that you won't pick up this page from TSG because the headling doesn't have the right keywords. I appreciate the traffic you send TSG, but.

The Roma Empire: Inroading In America?

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Serie A expert Eric Giardini is just that. Here, on Roma

This past week marked the 2011 version of the Leaders in Football conference which, according to its website, was created to provide a "networking environment in order to bring together football's most important leaders to share knowledge, best practice and ideas.

TSG’s Official USA vs. Honduras Preview

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Klinsmann's Krew marches in to Miami...

When the United States takes to Sun Life Stadium Saturday for the first bookend of a two-part October camp series against Honduras, it will mark just another inch forward in Jurgen Klinsmann's war on the old USSF system.

Klinsmann points the US forward.

Selected Images: USA vs. Costa Rica

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For those new to TSG, Matt Mathai is a our resident photographer.

His story and affiliation with US Soccer and MLS is deep; you can check it out here.

So if you're on Twitter and like Matt's work, do a solid and RT this: http://twitter.com/#!/shinguardian/status/103493511625719809


A Uruguayan Leads The English Renaissance at Liverpool

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John Nyen ahead of the curve again on EPL and Anfield analysis

Was the real "Brit" missing here?

When Liverpool dipped their toe into the transfer market in the past window, there was a distinctly British feel to the occasion. Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy and Stuart Downing all joined the club bringing to the forefront the idea that Kenny was going home-grown.

Seattle The Sureshot Victory In The Open Cup

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With an icy clean move by midfielder extraordinaire Alonso Osvaldo to finish off the Fire, the Seattle Supersonics Sounders claimed their third straight Open Cup victory, 2-0 in Chicago Tuesday night.

Each year TSG fails to do a preview and then the game always impresses. Not next year.

Congratulations Seattle.

The African Champions League Exists….And It’s Exciting

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With this piece by new contributor Matthew Pentz, TSG kicks off it's African soccer coverage.

The Forgotten Footie Continent

The African Champions League exists mostly, if not completely, on the periphery of the soccer world. The tournament blends a strong history, passionate fans, and an up-and-coming class of young players, however, and its semifinalists each have a bit of the underdog in them.

Tuesday Morning Bullets: Donovan, Rivas, More

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We'll be back to programming shortly. Internet connectivity issues at TSG's new locale as well as some corporate announcements shortly.

Donovan, out of action for the Nats...

• Banged up World Cup alums: Landon Donovan, Jonathan Spector

Landon Donovan out for the latest USMNT camp kicking off this week.

The Weekend: Your Commentary Here

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Big, big MLS weekend though few games pit two teams against each other that are on the brink or even looking to leapfrog positioning.

Over in the EPL it's darbyish weekend with Everton-Liverpool headlining Saturday morning EST and Tottenham-Arsenal, Sunday morning.

In the Meyerside derby, it's Howard vs.