Saturday, May 19, 2007

2007 MLS Predictions

Well, the season's getting to be 1/4 over now. Awhile ago FC Rocky had some MLS 2007 predictions at their site. What predictions made before the season are looking good? What ones are looking bad?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Help Kids Enjoy The Beautiful Game In Denver

Denver SCORES is part of America SCORES, an after-school program for kids in 15 cities nationwide. As their website states, "The Denver SCORES mission is to empower urban communities through soccer, writing, creative expression and service-learning. With teamwork as the unifying value, Denver SCORES inspires youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students, and become agents of change in their communities." The Denver SCORES Jamboree is a round-robin tournament for student participants and will be held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday May 19th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or any portion thereof, and yes there will be free lunch . Activities that volunteers may choose from include field setup and takedown, goodie bag stuffing, face-painting, handing out water and snacks, helping with the book drive, or refereeing games. Over a dozen supporters, both Class VI and C-Firm, have signed on as volunteers for Saturday's Denver SCORES Jamboree. Thank you! If you haven't signed up yet but you wake up rarin' to get out and do some good Saturday morning---head on over to DSG Park! Volunteers can arrive as early as 8 a.m. and help out as late as 1 p.m. If you can only show up for a portion of that time, that's OK too. The games are going to be on one of the turf fields, most likely field 8, which is in pod 2 (south of gate D). For more information, contact Denver SCORES at 303-832-5879.

Insane Soccer Bruise

If you want to see one, check this one out that was posted over at Throughball.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It Wasn't Offside

Last night after posting a comment on Steven Davis' recent column, I listened to the podcast of From The Pitch (Dino Costa + Marcelo Balboa; link here). At one point during the interview with Clavijo, Fernando says that league officials have told them that both of the goals Herculez Gomez scored last Thursday night were legitimate. That is, even though the referee crew at the time called him offside, neither actually were. How many more times does this sort of thing need to occur before video replay is introduced?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

But How Is That Offside?

But how is Gomez offside if he wasn't at the time of the shot and always had the ball between him and the goal? I'm hoping to get a copy of the game via bit torrent. But at the match not only did Gomez appear to be onside at the time the shot was taken but, IIRC, he was not in an offside position on the deflection from the defender. [Quote Link]

Getting it right: Match officials in Colorado got it right last week when they overturned Herculez Gomez's goal against Real Salt Lake - even if everyone else thought they got it wrong, including ESPN2's commentators.

Colorado's Jovan Kirovski fired a shot that goalkeeper Nick Rimando punched away. Kirovski's effort then bounced off an RSL defender before falling to Gomez, who was not in an offside position at the time of the shot but was by then standing alone in front of goal. He scored easily from that spot.

The referee's assistant immediately raised the flag, a seemingly bold call considering how quickly the ball had pinged around near goal. But he was absolutely correct, and there should have been little confusion, regardless of whether the final bounce came off an attacker or a defender. All that mattered at the moment was that Gomez had by then assumed an offside position.

This is from "Decision 2" of Law 11 (Offside) from the International F.A. Board: "Gaining an advantage by being in that position means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a post or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position."

Questions For The MLS Commish 2

If you could asked ask Major League Soccer (MLS) commissioner a question or five, what would you ask him? Last week I had some questions. This week I have a few more. Why don't developmental players get bonuses for starts and substitution appearances? They get paid peanuts and as apprentices that's just fine. But when they show they're good enough to go toe to toe with the big boys they should be rewarded. Will the league ever amount the amount of teams a player can move to in a season? What signing has been the biggest bust of 2007 so far? RSL's recently waived Luis Tejeda? Chivas USA giving up a designated player (DP) slot for 5 years for Amado Guevara? Ex-Toronto FC and now Rapid Conor Casey? A few weeks ago we saw a weak foul against Moreno called resulting ina PK and a goal for DC and a baffling red card against New England's Shalerie Joseph. A couple weekends ago we saw Talley enter the field without the referee's permission, break up NYRB's play and start an attack resulting in an RSL goal. We saw Gomez get called for offside twice last Thursday night only for the league to come back and saw he wasn't and those should have been goals. And tonight we saw Cooper take a dive to earn a PK and a goal against Chicago. When will the MLS start to use video replay to help the refs make the right calls in those situations? When will the Revolution get their own stadium?

Monday, May 14, 2007

MLS College Combine 2005 - Forwards

I've been putting together information on players that attend Major League Soccer's college combines. Since they involve youth development they're originally posted on From College To Pros. My posting for last week can be found by clicking here. Or you can read it below :

2005 Adidas College Combine (Forwards)

Awhile ago I posted information on players from the 2006 MLS combine [GKs and Defenders; Midfielders; Forwards]. In looking around the Internet, I couldn't find any sources that looked at players from the combine and how they panned out. There were articles about the combines going into the drafts but no follow up afterward breaking down which players made in the MLS or even went on to play professionally. With From College To Pros being about looking at the development of young players in America, it seemed the right spot to sharing this information. I welcome everyone to look over the list and share information and their own conclusions on these players. 2005 Adidas MLS Player Combine - Forwards Knox Cameron (Michigan) Superdraft 4th round (44th overall) by Columbus Crew Knox was a player that generated a decent amount of buzz during his time in the league. He was a big striker that likely would've been taking higher in the draft had he not suffered a knee injury in the year before the draft. He had previously played for the Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL). Born in Jamaica, Knox Cameron had chosen to play for the US at the youth level. He played in 30 games for the Crew during his 2 years in the league (2005 + 2006). In 2006 Crew coach Sigi Schmid tried to convert him to a defender. But he wasn't developing as hoped and was released by the Columbus Crew after the 2006 season. He isn't playing in 2007 as he's returned to college to complete his studies. Justin Cook (Ohio State) Supplemental Draft 1st round (3rd overall) by Chicago Fire I'm not sure if Justin made the Fire's roster in 2005. He doesn't appear to have played in any leagues since the combine. Jamie Holmes (Birmingham Southern) Supplemental Draft 2nd round (17th overall) by New England Revolution Holmes made New England's roster but only played in one game for 20 minutes in 2005. He is currently playing for the Wilmington Hammerheads in USL-2. Antouman Jallow (Wisconsin – Milwaukee) Superdraft 4th round (41st overall) by San Jose Easrthqueakes Born in Gambia, Jallow was a Swedish citizen who came to the US to play at the University of Milwaukee - Wisconsin (other MLS alumn such as Manny Lagos and Tony Sanneh played there). Jallow did not make the 2005 San Jose (now Houston) squad. He returned to Sweden to play for Gefle IF in Sweden's top flight (Allsvenskan). He does not appear to be on the current Gefle roster. Ryan Latham (Southern Methodist) Supplemental Draft 2nd round (21st overall) by New England Revolution Latham Got 6 games under his belt in his first year with the Revolution. He didn't see any playing time for Steve Nicol's squad in his 2nd year other than an appearance in a friendly against Celtic FC. He was waived before the season was over and doesn't appear to be playing in 2007. Jerrod Laventure (Seton Hall) Laventure was not drafted but joined the then Metrostars reserve team in 2005. In 2006 he made the first team on a developmental contract seeing all of 70 minutes of action in league play. He made the squad again in 2007. Chris Lee (Marquette) Supplemental Draft 4th Round (44th overall) by Columbus Crew Lee was also drafted by Milwaukee Wave (MISL) in 2005. But he didn't play professionally after college for either the Crew nor the Wave. Alon Lubezky (Hartford) Lubezky was drafted by any Major League Soccer teams. He played for the Charleston Battery in 19 games (4 goals) in 2005. He doesn't appear to have played in 2006 and may have returned to his native Israel. Julian Nash (Creighton) Superdraft 4th Round (40th overall) by San Jose Earthquakes Nash played over 200 minutes in his first year wit the then San Jose Earthquakes. He stayed with the team after their move to Houston for the 2006 but only played 95 minutes. He was released by the team after the season. Orlando Ramirez (Fresno Pacific University) Superdraft 3rd round (31st overall) by San Jose Earthquakes Ramirez played with San Jose in 2005 but didn't make any first team appearances. 2005 appears to be the only year he played professionally. Chris Rolfe (Dayton) Superdraft 3rd Round (29th Overall) by Chicago Fire Rolfe may the most accomplished of players that attended the 2005 MLS College Combine. He's earned 6 caps with the US Mens National Team (USMNT). He scored 8 goals and had 5 assists in this rookie year. He was a candidate for Rookie of the Year in '05 (Parkhurst won). He's scored 18 goals and 9 assists including a great start to the 2007 season with 3 goals and 3 assists in the first 5 games. Before joining the Chicago Fire he played with the Chicago Fire Premier team in the PDL. Edwin Ruiz (Hartwick) Supplemental Draft 1st Round (11th overall) by Kansas City Wizards Ruiz didn't get any playing time with KC in 2005. He doesn't appear to have played since then. Scott Sealy (Wake Forest) Superdraft 1st Round (11th overall) by Kansas City Wizards One of the more productive picks of a very strong first round Superdraft class (they are all still in the league; a far cry from the days when Steve Shak was the #1 overall pick). Sealy lead KC in scoring in 2006 and has racked up 20 goals in 59 league appearances (40 starts). With Josh Wolf gone to 1860 Munich, KC will be looking for him to score goals and keep teams from paying too much attention to Eddie Johnson. Unfortunately for Sealy he was not taken to Germany by Trinidad and Tobago for their first ever World Cup appearance in 2006 (interestingly enough Cornell Glen, who's struggled to shine in the MLS, was & played in all 3 games). Eugene Sepuya (Alabama A & M) Supplemental Draft 3rd Round (31st Overall) by Colorado Rapids Only played 18 minutes and committed one foul for Colorado Rapids in 2005. The Ugandan international was released and later joined FC Banats in Armenia. Chad Severs (Penn State) Severs went undrafted in 2005. He played for Harrisburg (USL-2) in 2005 & 2006. Severs finished the 2005 season second in the USL 2nd Division in goals and points. He joined the Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL-1) for the 2007 season. Abe Thompson (Maryland) Supplemental Draft 2nd round (16th overall) Before joining the MLS, Abe played in the PDL for the Cheasapeake Dragons and Boulder Rapids Reserves. He's had 6 goals and 6 assists in 345 appearances in the MLS including 2007. Mychal Turpin (Michigan) Turpin was not drafted by any MLS teams. He went on to play for the Richmond Kickers (USL-2) in 2005. In 2006 he played for the Mid-Michigan Bucks in the PDL including in their 2006 PDL Championship win. Usiel Vasquez (Southern Connecticut) Supplemental Draft 4th Round (32nd overall) by NY/NJ Metrostars Vasquez didn't make the 2005 roster for the then Metrostars (now New York Red Bulls). But he did have a successful trial with the Charleston Battery (USL-1) where he played in 2005 and 2006.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Who Will Be The Third? It's Sheffield United

Last week we didn't know who the third team in the Premiership would be to be relegated. Watford and Charlton were already relegated. Things did not look good for Wigan. They hadn't won in their last 8 games. And they only had 35 points to West Ham and Sheffield United's 38 points. Today Wigan travelled to Sheffield United's home, Brammal Lane. Anything less than a win and they were relegated. Sheffield United on the other hand were 10 points clear of the relegation fight just a few months ago. But they had slipped down back into it but were again in the driver's seat with a 3-0 win over West Ham back on April 14th. They only needed a tie at home against Wigan today to guarantee their own safety. It didn't go Sheffield United's way today. They hit the woodwork twice and lost to Wigan 2-1. That wouldn't have relegated them had Manchester United beat West Ham at Old Trafford. But West Ham won 1-0 and it's likely many in the crowd if not on the pitch new that result as regular time ended and the 5 minutes of added time were indicated for the match. Warnock's team needed only a goal to tie things up and ensure safety but didn't get it done. Unless the court's intervene in regards to West Ham (they weren't deducted points for playing ineligible players; something that had been done in the past as a penalty for other teams), the Sheffield United is relegated from the premiership along with Charlton and Watford.