Daily news roundups

Okugo owning Olympic camp, Independence stars in India

Women’s soccer

Abby Wambach is the AP’s 2011 Female Athlete of the Year. Come on, WPS. Capitalize on this!

The USWNT will face Denmark, Norway and World Champions Japan in the 2012 Algarve Cup, which runs Feb. 29-March 7 in Portugal.

THE Val Henderson has a great article up on ESPN-W about Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson traveling to India to start a clinic and mentoring program.

Men’s soccer

Ives Galarcep reports on the US U-23 camp. Sheanon Williams is battling Zarek Valentin at right back (with Valentin a possibility at LB, as well). Bill Hamid looks set between the pipes, although both Zac MacMath and Sean Johnson have performed well. Amobi Okugo has been a stud in the midfield, while Freddy Adu has shown unsurpassed skill on the ball (Ives has quite a soft spot for Freddy). Up front, Jack McInerney looks comfortable as a wing striker in the 4-3-3.

Video from the US U-23 camp. The Union boys will dominate. We are entering the Year O’ Kugo.

Greg Seltzer discusses Americans abroad with The Shin Guardian.

FC Dallas star Brek Shea had a great time training with Arsenal and can see himself playing in London in the future. If Andrei Arshavin keeps up his recent “form,” Brek might get that call quicker than expected.

Greg Berhalter is the new coach of Hammarby in Sweden. Wha!? Berhalter still has to obtain his final coaching licenses, but since the owner of the LA Galaxy, Anschutz Entertainment Group, also owns a 49 percent stake in Hammarby, Berhalter got his name in the mix for the coaching vacancy. Good luck to him!

Darren Mattocks has signed a Generation Adidas contract instead of opting to go overseas. There has been a rash of rumors lately that Mattocks would turn down MLS, a move that could have led to Montreal dealing its number one draft slot. The Impact think highly of Mattocks (who was sh-hut duh-hown by UNC Charlotte in the NCAA tournament).

Former Red Bulls goalie Bouna Coundoul believes there was a racist element to his treatment in New York.

Here are some renderings of Montreal’s Stade Saputo, due to be the home of the Impact when they begin MLS play. How does it compare to PPL?

RSLSoapbox asks why MLS isn’t more transparent, and says there is hope for a more open future with the league.

Beyond

Stunning development! Qatar’s national team coach has been canned after the team failed to sneak through the group stage of the Arab Cup. Sebastiao Lazaroni was the 3rd Qatar national team coach of 2011. Luckily, Qatar remains at 95 in FIFA’s rankings, with plenty of time to improve on that before hosting the World Cup.

Howard Webb will be one of the referees for Euro 2012. Webb, you will remember, was the ref of the World Cup final who found Nigel De Jong’s flying kick to Xabi Alonso’s chest to be perfectly worthy of a match under his care.

The top 10 Own Goals of 2011. Check the list to make sure you’re not on it.

German Cup and Italian league action on WatchESPN.com today.

5 Comments

  1. On one hand I am very proud and happy that we have 5 players in the U23 camp who are all doing well.
    On the other hand, I fear for this season with Nowak at the helm. Two of those players can’t buy playing time (Okugo/Jack) AND we just signed two big names that play their exact same position. MacMath SHOULD start seeing some spot starts, atleast. Adu will probably take over Mapp’s spot as coach’s favorite – atleast Adu has some talent left to unlock. Obviously Williams has the best chance to playing 90 every game and take that next step.

    I guess all I’m saying is that for all his great personnel moves, Nowak has showed me all the wrong gameday moves.

  2. santas grotto says:

    Always felt Okugo’s injuries last year hurt his progress. Here is hoping that the camp doesn’t make him more prone to injuries this upcoming year. I see big things for him.

  3. I’m very glad we’re getting extra players in here for depth. There’s a real chance that we’ll be short as many as 5 guys during parts of this season (which the Sheanomenon being the big blow). Let’s hope we get good depth.

    Also, maybe we’ll take the US Open Cup seriously this year! I doubt it, but…

  4. I continue to believe Okugo should start if we want to become an elite team. He has an ability to tackle and then get the attack started smoothly that few players in MLS display. Nowak never properly gave him a chance to settle into his role. With the addition of Gomez, it will be interesting to see how it all fits together, but my hope is that Gomez starts at LB (or RB when williams is at the olympics for qualifying).

    • One thing to remember with that though. If Okugo starts, then Le Toux is the only player in the front 6 over the age of 25. That’s crazy young.

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