In a piece that has already generated an outraged response in the comment section of our rave about Amobi Okugo, WVHooligan predicts who the Union will protect in the Expansion Draft. I can’t say whether I don’t like the list or simply disagree with it because it seems very ill-informed, but if the Union have to leave Shea Salinas and Sheanon Williams unprotected and lose them because of league rules about international players, I think I might have an aneurysm.
Our own vastly superior look at the Expansion Draft goes a long way toward soothing the mind.
Goal.com suggests that the big story of MLS for 2010 is the birth of the Union v Energy Drinks derby.
Last week we mentioned an article that said that, if Le Toux doesn’t win the league MVP award, he’s certainly the prime candidate for the (nonexistent) Most Outstanding Player award. With his goal on Sunday, Letoux moved to 14 of the team’s 35 goals with 11 assists out, giving him the highest combined marks in those categories. In doing so, Le Toux set a new league record for a single player’s percentage involvement in his club’s goal tally. Le Toux’s 71.4% tops the previous record of 61.1%, set by Jason Kreis in 1999 when he scored a remarkable 18 goals and 15 assists out of 54 goals. Here’s hoping that, next year, Le Toux can continue this form, more of the Union players score goals and the team’s goal total significantly increases.
Danny Califf visited Ridley Park’s Lakeview Elementary School last Friday. This article reports the visit and includes some charming video. Califf’s advice to the kids about playing soccer: “Have fun. If you’re not having fun, there is no point in doing it,” advice that surely must have been tested at several points in the Union’s first season.
Dave Rowan has been hired as the Union’s Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. Rowan has nearly three decades of experience in the sports industry, including stints with the Phillies and the Eagles.
Among all the hoopla surrounding the (not so) shortlist for the Baloon d’Or, it was easy for the nominees for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year to get buried. Among them is Caroline Seger of the Philadelphia Independence.
Local college roundup
The No. 15 ranked Penn men’s team unbeaten streak grew to eight with a 2–0 win over Yale on Saturday. The team, who moved up to No, 14 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings, host Penn State today at 7:30pm. The Women’s team beat Yale 1–0. They play Lehigh before today’s men’s match.
The then No. 23 ranked Princeton men’s team topped Harvard 2–1 on Sunday. In the latest rankings, they moved up three spots to No. 20. The women’s team was crushed by Harvard on Saturday 4–0. Both teams travel to face Cornell on this Saturday.
The Penn State men’s team celebrated the 100th anniversary of soccer at the university by defeating No. 25 ranked Ohio State 2–1 thanks to an overtime goal from Treavor Gelsinger. The women’s team upset No. 13 ranked Illinois 2–1 on Saturday. They host Indiana on Thursday before facing Purdue on Sunday.
The Villanova men’s team had a scoreless draw against Cincinnati on Saturday and will face St. John’s away tonight. After a tough 1–0 loss to Notre Dame on Friday, the Villanova women’s team ended their season with a 2–0 win over DePaul on Sunday.
After losing 1–0 at home to Massachusetts last Friday, the Temple men’s team defeated Rhode Island 1–0 on Sunday. The team travels to play Saint Louis on Friday. The Temple women’s team suffered a humiliating 5–0 loss to Massachusetts but bounced back with a 2–1 win over Rhode Island. Niki Conn scored both goals for Temple.
The Drexel men’s team hoped to return from a hard 1–0 overtime loss away to Hofstra last Wednesday with a road win against Virginia Commonwealth but fell 2–0. The men are back home to host Northeastern tonight at 7pm and are away to James Madison on Saturday. The Drexel women’s team started the weekend home stand with a 2–0 win over Towson on Friday and finished it with a tough 1–0 overtime loss to George Mason on Sunday. The women will close out their season with a visit from Delaware at 7pm on Saturday.
The La Salle men’s team had a fine weekend and improved their conference record to 3–2, topping Richmond 1–0 on Friday at home and then traveling to George Washington to win 2–0. Ryan Richeter scored both of the Explorers goals against GW.The La Salle women’s team topped Richmond 2–1 on Friday with both of their goals happening withing three minutes of each other. On Sunday they beat George Washington 1–0. Both the men’s and women’s teams are on the road this weekend, first playing Rhode Island on Friday before facing Massachusetts on Sunday.
Saint Joseph’s men’s team overcame Rhode Island 2–0 on Friday thanks to two goals from Colin Baker before falling 1–0 to Massachusetts on Sunday. Baker was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week. The men are away to Charlotte on Friday and Saint Louis on Sunday. An 87th minute goal from Jen Pfeiffer put the Saint Joseph’s women’s team even with Rhode Island away on Friday at 2–2 to force overtime, though neither team would prevail. The women finished the weekend with a 1–0 away loss to Massachusetts. The women finish their season with a weekend home stand against Charlotte on Friday and Saint Louis on Sunday.
The MLS playoffs start on Thursday night with Colorado Rapids hosting Columbus Crew (ESPN2, 9pm). If you want to know what to watch in the MLS playoffs and why, read our preview, to be published on Thursday.
The Columbus Crew have signed a backup keeper after starting keeper William Hesmer fractured his shoulder against the Union on Sunday.
Thierry Handball is unlikely to play in the Energy Drinks playoff match against San Jose on Saturday.
The ass-kissing of all those pissed off Toronto FC fans, which began with public apologies from the club’s ownership over the way increased ticket prices were handled and town hall meetings with disgruntled fans, continues. League commissioner Don Garber said last week, “TFC has helped teach Americans how to be soccer fans,” adding that TFC supporters are the reason the MLS Cup final will be played at BMO Field. Oh, brother.
Meanwhile, Garber has an interesting interview with SoccerAmerica which includes such tidbits of the increasing respect the world of soccer (particularly outside of the US) has for MLS, the recent rapid rate of expansion in the league, the impact high profile signings at the Energy Drinks has had in increasing the league’s international profile, and the prospects for the Cosmos joining the league.
More on the hopes of many that the New York Cosmos will become the 20th team in MLS in 2013: “The vision is to have Pele invite some of the best players in the world and intersperse them with players from the Cosmos academy.” According to the article, the Cosmos say they already have stadium funding. Match Fit USA wonders if the whole Cosmos thing isn’t a bit of a con. Tuesday’s announcement that Giorgio Chinaglia, described in a Big Soccer forum as a “well-known MLS hater,” will act as “international ambassador” for the club was enough to make me suspicious, after I finished spewing my morning tea onto my computer.
The Austin Aztex are moving to Orlando where they will be renamed Orlando City Soccer Club. The team will play in the USL Pro League but its majority owner says “we hope to use our combined expertise to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orlando.” Get in line, pal.
Former manager of England, current manager of Leicester City and ladies man Sven Goren Eriksson, who seems to be the football equivalent of the CEO who runs his company into the ground, gets a massive parachute payment and then is invited to run another company, wants to get Beckham on loan. Or, maybe he doesn’t. Beckham says he plans to play out the final year of his contract with LA Galaxy.
Soccer365.com takes a look at the teams involved in the upcoming CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifiers. The Shin Guardian looks at the ABC’s of the USWNT. The US starts off against Haiti on Thursday.
A former member of FIFA’s Executive Committee says the World Cup vote should be postponed until after the ongoing corruption investigation concludes. Meanwhile, the work of the bidding countries continues. In related news, despite FIFA bidding rules forbid candidates from criticizing their rivals, the leader of Russia’s 2018 bid says he will not apologize to England about comments he made criticizing London’s crime rate and problems with young people drinking alcohol.
FIFA has made the initial draw for the Club World Cup.
Soccer tactics wonk Jonathon Wilson wonders if Barcelona are bringing back the old W-W formation that won Italy two World Cups in the 1930s.
The German 1954 World Cup winning team may have been on meth.
The recently rescued Chilean miners played a team led by the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera that included rescue workers and cabinet ministers. The winners would spend a night in the presidential palace, the losers would have to go down into the mine from which the workers had been rescued. Despite taking a 2–0 lead, the miners lost 3–2. Said the president, who scored a goal in the match, “[W]e will rescue you again.” Ha, ha, ha, very funny, El Presidente! You can watch video of the match here.