CONCACAF Champions League
If you care about the progress of the professional soccer in in the US, and the progress of US professional soccer in the CONCACAF region, tonight you will be cheering for Real Salt Lake as they host Mexican side Monterrey tonight at 10pm in the second leg of the CONCACAF final. As you already know, the first leg ended in a 2–2 draw. If RSL wins or if the game ends 0–0 or 1–1, they will become the first MLS team to play in the FIFA Club World Cup. And then we can also cheer the progress of US professional soccer in the world.
You can show your support of RSL by leaving a message on their Wall of Support here. Let them know that tonight the Philly soccer community will be a Union of support for Real Salt Lake. You can also tweet #MLS4RSL.
Here’s a very cool infographic that illustrates all kinds of useful information about RSL and the growth of soccer in the US. Thanks to PSP reader Edwin for bringing it to our attention.
Says RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey, “We’re carrying the flag right now, and we’re the vanguard.”
In an article that calls tonight’s game the biggest in the history of the league, Lagerway also says, “We haven’t had that Lake Placid moment for U.S. soccer. That’s the opportunity we have in front of us. We have an event to put the world on notice that American soccer has taken another step forward.”
RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando says, “We don’t have any big stars and we don’t spend big money. Our team is our only star.”
The ExtraTime Radio podcast previews tonight’s big game.
Goal.com says, “If Salt Lake wins the CCL, a little assist goes to the Philadelphia Union, who agreed to reschedule a league match that was originally set for this past weekend, April 23.”
Thanks to the third loss in a row for Colorado, the Union move up to no. 4 in the MLS Power Rankings despite having the weekend off. They stay at fourth in the SBI rankings with the Energy Drinks moving up to third. The Union come in at fourth in the Goal.com rankings, which notes, “Peter Nowak will have Saturday’s match against San Jose circled as an opportunity to substantially increase the Union’s modest haul of four goals in five matches.” Fingers crossed.
Zach Pfeffer is on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly for this piece on the rookie revolution in MLS.
From the Union website, Roger Torres is adjusting well to being only 19-years-old and 2,500 miles away from home.
Goal.com talks to Ryan Richter.
In further YSA-related news, The Brotherly Game has a post entitled “On the Code of Conduct of the River End and YSA.” Although it it seems almost entirely directed toward Sons of Ben members, it has many valid points and any Union supporter, affiliated or not, would gain from giving it a reading.
Anderson Monarchs documentary director Eugene Martin thanks the Philly soccer community for their help in raising the money needed to finish the film in this piece from MLSsoccer.com.
Artistically inclined Union fans, Kyle Nakazawa is having an art competition on his Facebook page.
San Jose Earthquakes Watch
San Jose has been terrible. Coach Frank Yallop says to expect more lineup changes for Saturday’s game against the Union. “I need to shake it up now, because that ain’t good enough. Not even close…There might be a few [new] guys starting. We’ll see.”
Val Henderson has a new blog post up entitled “Empowering Soccer.” The Independence return to action on Sunday when they travel to sunny Florida to face magicJack (sigh) SC.
Estelle Johnson is profiled on the website of her alma mater, University of Kansas.
In what was supposed to be a tune-up game, the Harrisburg City Islanders might have received a reality check when they lost 1–0 to University of Maryland on Tuesday. The City Islanders also posted pictures from their season opening loss to Pittsburg Riverhounds on their Facebook page.
The latest installment of the Home Grown Hopefuls column at The Brotherly Game looks at Union-affiliate Lehigh Valley United in the Dallas Cup and Sueño MLS 2011 at YSC Sports in Wayne.
The Union website has a great piece on high school senior Milton Rico. Rico started at Sueño MLS 2011 on Saturday as a volunteer staff member. A no-show meant an open spot and an opportunity to play as a walk-on. Rico stole the show and by the end of Sunday was among the 21 field players invited to compete for the remaining spots at the Sueño MLS 2011 finals in Dallas on May 7-8.
PSP photographer Daniel Gajdamowicz took pictures of Sueño MLS at YSC Sports over the weekend for MLS. You can see his pictures of the activities on Day One here.
LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena on David Beckham flying to London for Friday’s Royal wedding and back again for the match against Dallas on Saturday: “I don’t comment on his social calendar. David’s playing against Dallas.”
Chris Savino looks at the question of whether MLS is missing out on opportunities for marketing and growth by having adidas as its sole kit supplier. My answer is yes.
US Open Cup
New England Revolution knocked DC United out of the US Open Cup on Tuesday night with a 3–2 win.
Here’s a look at US Open Cup qualifying for Eastern PDL teams. These include Union affiliate Reading United AC, as well as teams such as Ocean City Nor’easters and the Central Jersey Spartans.
Stuart Holden talks about his road to recovery.
When Barcelona face Real Madrid today in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal (2:30pm, FSC), they will be without the services of Andres Iniesta.
Pep Guardiola had a few things to say about Jose Mourinho on Tuesday. “Tomorrow at 8.45, we will meet each other on the pitch,” Guardiola said. “Off the pitch he has already won. In this room [press room], he’s the fucking chief, the fucking man, the person who knows everything about the world and I don’t want to compete with him at all. It’s a type of game I’m not going to play because I don’t know how.”
World Cup qualifying for the ten lowest ranked CONCACAF teams will begin June 3. Under the new qualification format just submitted for approval by CONCACAF to FIFA, the US would begin qualification in the semifinal round.
In actually meaningful controversies about chants at soccer games with truly hurtful consequences, there’s this piece from the Guardian about some new chants Manchester City fans have devised.
Soccer and the movies haven’t really had the best of relationships. Last weekend’s NYFEST aims to change that.