Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Earlier today the Washington Post’s David Nakamura reported that negotiations to build the Poplar Point soccer specific stadium for D.C. United in Southeast Washington have collapsed.

“Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s administration had been negotiating for months with D.C. United’s principal investor, real estate magnate Victor A. MacFarlane, over the team’s proposal to build a 27,000-seat stadium in Ward 8, just across the Anacostia River from the Washington Nationals’ new ballpark.”

“But the negotiations stalled over the financial terms. Although United offered to pay for the $150 million stadium, it asked for about $200 million in city subsidies, including roads, tax incentives and the right to develop additional land.”

“Administration officials have decided to look at other options for the site, which is part of a 110-acre piece of federal land known as Poplar Point that is scheduled to be transferred to the District in the fall. The city will seek proposals from interested developers over the next two months, the sources said, with the focus on housing and retail. A soccer stadium still could be part of the mix but is not a top priority.”

“During the negotiations, D.C. United officials suggested they would consider moving to Maryland or Virginia, possibly the Baltimore or Loudoun County areas, if the District was unable to help build a new stadium…Another option that had been discussed is construction of a soccer stadium next to RFK, which would then be torn down.”

After reading some posts on Steven Goff’s Soccer Insider blog, the complications with the Poplar Point deal were not surprising to many. The local DC government has a reputation for being difficult to deal with, and many blame city officials for the Washington Redskins’ departure to Landover, Maryland. Will it happen again for DC United? Will they move to Arlington, Crystal City, or Reston?

Many fans are upset with the failure of the stadium deal, and have vowed to forfeit their season tickets if the team moves out of DC. Certainly a move outside of the DC city limits will deter a portion of the fan base, but I’m certain team officials are looking for areas close to the city that can be accessed via the Metro. DC United has one of the best fan bases in the MLS (17,000 average attendance per game), and I’m sure the Barra Brava and company will follow the team wherever it ends up.

The other losers in the scenario, besides the fans, are the residents of Anacostia and Ward 8. DC United officials had talked about creating a mixed-use development that would include youth soccer fields, housing, commercial space, and employment opportunties. If city officials award the area to the highest bidder, then this area will probably fill up with high-priced luxury condos and penthouses.

I hope that Mayor Fenty’s administration takes another look at DC United’s proposal before officially killing the deal.

Advertisements

A few months ago I published a post about DC United’s plans for a new stadium, Poplar Point. Talks between United officials and the city haven’t progressed much since that last post, but a couple of days ago some new renderings of the Poplar Point stadium were released.

To read more on the updated proposal check out this pdf file.

To usher in the David Beckham era, the LA Galaxy have decided to change their uniform colors and badge. The Galaxy’s traditional yellow and green have been replaced with collegiate navy, gold, and white. Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said “we wanted to create a classic and a clean look that would stand the test of time and ultimately something that generations of players and fans were going to wear with pride on and off the field.”

The Galaxy will introduce Beckham on Friday and he is expected to debut on July 21 against his former English Premier League rivals Chelsea.


USA 1 – Argentina 4


Last night Argentina overwhelmed a young US squad in the first round of the Copa America in route to a 4-1 victory. The US took the early lead when Eddie Johnson converted a penalty kick, but the Yanks couldn’t control Juan Riquelme, Hernan Crespo, and Lionel Messi.

Futbol Meets Football

USA > Mexico


Thank You Benny Feilhaber for this wonderful goal. It’s great to see USA continue its success against Mexico in this 2-1 win in the Finals of the Gold Cup.

Bob Bradley recently released the US Men’s National Team’s Copa America roster, and here is is:

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Caps/G Hometown Club
17 Beckerman, Kyle M 5’10” 165 04/23/82 1/0 Crofton, Md. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
13 Bornstein, Jonathan D 5’9″ 145 11/07/84 7/1 Los Alamitos, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
4 Boswell, Bobby D 6’2″ 185 03/15/83 2/0 Tampa, Fl. D.C. United (MLS)
7 Califf, Danny D 6’1″ 175 03/17/80 14/1 Orange, Calif. Aalborg BK (Denmark)
19 Clark, Ricardo M 5’10” 150 05/10/83 6/0 Jonesboro, Ga. Houston Dynamo (MLS)
12 Conrad, Jimmy D 6’2″ 185 02/12/77 21/0 Temple City, Calif. Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
10 Davies, Charlie F 5’10” 160 06/25/86 1/0 Manchester, N.H. Hammarby IF (Sweden)
3 DeMerit, Jay D 6’0″ 185 12/04/79 3/0 Green Bay, Wis. Watford FC (England)
5 Feilhaber, Benny M 5’9″ 150 01/19/85 7/1 Irvine, Calif. Hamburger SV (Germany)
11 Gaven, Eddie M 6’0″ 165 10/25/86 3/0 Hamilton, N.J. Colombus Crew (MLS)
8 Gomez, Herculez F 5’10” 165 04/06/82 0/0 Las Vegas, Nev. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
23 Guzan, Brad GK 6’4″ 210 09/09/84 1/0 Homer Glen, Ill. Chivas USA (MLS)
9 Johnson, Eddie F 6’0″ 180 03/31/84 26/10 Palm Coast, Fla. Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
18 Keller, Kasey GK 6’2″ 190 11/29/69 100/0 Lacey, Wash. Bor. M’gladbach (Germany)
16 Kljestan, Sacha M 6’1″ 150 09/09/85 1/0 Huntington Beach, Calif. Chivas USA (MLS)
21 Mapp, Justin M 5’10” 140 10/18/84 5/0 Brandon, Miss. Chicago Fire (MLS)
15 Moor, Drew D 6’0″ 170 01/15/84 0/0 Dallas, Texas FC Dallas (MLS)
25 Nguyen, Lee M 5’8″ 149 10/07/86 1/0 Richardson, Texas PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
14 Olsen, Ben M 5’8″ 140 05/03/77 34/6 Middletown, Pa. D.C. United (MLS)
6 Pearce, Heath D 5’10” 175 08/13/84 6/0 Modesto, Calif. FC Nordsj√¶lland (Denmark)
20 Twellman, Taylor F 5’11” 170 02/29/80 24/6 St. Louis, Mo. New England Revolution (MLS)
2 Wynne, Marvell D 5’9″ 171 05/08/86 0/0 Poway, Calif. Toronto FC (MLS)

My thoughts: Wow! What a young team! Where’s Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Pablo Mastroeni, or Oguchi Onyewu?

It looks like Bradley is relying on Ben Olsen, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Johnson, Taylor Twellman, and Kasey Keller to lead the team. If the US teams wins a few games I think that Bob Bradley will cement his place as the MNT coach. In fact, he’ll look like a genius. However, if they bomb then Bradley gets all of the blame and he’ll look like an idiot.

I think that the team will struggle the most in the midfield. Bradley didn’t pick any experienced midfielders for this squad except Ben Olsen, and I don’t know if they have anyone that can be “the playmaker” and carry the squad. Even Michael Bradley could’ve filled this position, but he’s playing in the U-20 World Cup. I would have liked to see Bradley pick Donovan or Mastroeni to help settle the midfield, but I guess Bradley wants to see some fresh faces emerge.

In a tournament that features Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, Bradley is truly throwing his players directly into the fire. The US’s first match is June 28th against an Argentina squad that features Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Tevez (West Ham United), Gabriel Heinze (Manchester United), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Hernan Crespo (Inter Milan) and Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors).

Honestly, I am looking forward to watching the US in the Copa America. US fans will get the chance to see “the future of US Soccer,” and we will get a better idea of how American soccer stacks up against South American talent.

Will Eddie Johnson and Taylor Twellman maintain their scoring touch? Who will provide the playmaking skills in the midfield? Who’s going to wear the captain’s armband and lead the team to victory? I can’t wait for Copa America.

Best Possible Lineup:

Forwards: Eddie Johnson, Taylor Twellman

Midfield (from left to right): Justin Mapp, Benny Feilhaber, Ricardo “Rico” Clark or Ben Olsen, Sacha Kljestan

Defense (from left to right): Jonathan Bornstein, Jimmy Conrad, Jay DeMerit, Heath Pearce

Goal: Kasey Keller

It’s official. Thierry Henry is best friends with Tony Parker.

The following is the manuscript of Steve Nash’s interview with Frenchman Thierry Henry. It appears as though Henry is really fascinated with San Antonio Spurs guard, and fellow Frenchman, Tony Parker.

SN: Does it bother you that North Americans call it soccer?

TH: No. You know what bothers me? That they call American football football. Because they throw the ball. They don’t even play with their feet.

N: I wish we were as smart as the French. So what do you think they should call it?

TH: Throwball.

SN: How about airball?

TH: Airball? I don’t know. I just know it’s weird to call it football.

SN: Who are your favorite athletes to watch?

TH: You, Tony Parker and Allen Iverson. Allen, because he always plays from the heart. And Tony has the same view you have on the court — that soccer player’s view.

SN: I’m excited to hear you say that.

TH: You see more than what is in front of you. I hear people watch you and say, “What a pass!” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” Because for me, it was obvious.

SN: Remember when I came to France for your game against Ukraine? At one point, Zizou played it to you, and you played it back. You hit it hard, and it was heading between his knee and his waist. He let the ball hit him, but the way he rotated his hips, it stopped on the grass. Didn’t bounce, didn’t do anything. He was like a martial artist. I can’t even explain it.

TH: I know what you’re talking about. To receive the ball that way you need to relax the right part of your body.

SN: I get what you’re saying, but I still can’t believe he did it.

SN: If there’s a three-on-three match at Tony and Eva’s wedding, whom do you want on your side?

TH: It would be Tony, Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf against Eva, my wife and me.

SN: If I know Boris, he’ll be watching the girls.

TH: Exactly. And I can keep the ball away from the other two.

SN: Are there any French superheroes? You know, like Superman is American.

TH: Yeah. Tony.

SN: What country has the toughest, craziest fans?

TH: Turkey. They make the stadium feel like it’s about to explode.

SN: And who has the funniest fans?

TH: England. It’ll be minus-10 degrees Celsius, and they’ll take their shirts off to show the writing on their bellies. And they always have funny songs to sing about the opposition.

SN: Who is the Bruce Bowen of the Premiership?

TH: It was Martin Keown, but he’s retired. A lovely guy but just crazy.

SN: You played with him. I want to know who has his hands on you all the time.

TH: It’s the little things — stepping on your feet, running into you, an elbow when no one is looking. A guy will say, “Oh, that was an accident.” But you know it wasn’t.

SN: That’s what I just experienced with Bruce, so I’m glad you understand.

TH: You never lose it, though. You care more about the team than yourself.

SN: But there comes a point when you want to punch the guy in the face.

TH: If I’d done everything I wanted to, my career would have been over after two games.