Friday, August 29, 2008

Blackpool Travels to St. Mary's

Blackpool travels to St. Mary's to take on Southampton. The two clubs barely avoided relegation from the Championship (Div. 2) last year, both finishing with 54 points. Leicester was the 3rd to bottom team, the bottom 3 were relegated, with 52 points.

Can McGoldrick continue his scoring ways? Will we see Stern John get a start up front with McGoldrick? Chris Perry has scored a goal and McGoldrick two in the 3 games Southampton has played so far. Will another Saint step up and score in their 4th game of the 08/09 season?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gibbs Grateful, Cooke On The Move?

There was a rumor in SI a few days ago about interest in Terry Cooke back in England. The basis of the rumor? David Moyes said some good things about him. Classic English rumor; that is, little if anything behind it but they'll still print it. I love have Terry at the Rapids. But it would seem odd that PNE, Derby and Cardiff were all interested in him because Moyes said something nice. Especially for a player who had a lot of playing time in England in Div 3 (League One).

Greg Seltzer over at Soccer 365 had an interview with new Rapid Corey Gibbs.

"The feeling was overbearing," Gibbs told Soccer365. "I really didn't get so overjoyed because I am a very neutral person, but I did thank God for all he did for me."
Gibbs has looked good in Colorado's backline in his first two games. Now if Smith can straighten out the rest of the team and get them playing better, Colorado has a chance.

Getting the team sorted out can't come too soon. The Rapids travel to Salt Lake City for a game Friday night (tomorrow). Why Friday night? Who knows. With the way the 3 Rocky Mountain Cups games were scheduled this year, you have to wonder if the league is trying to kill that rivalry. It's hard enough traveling 600 miles let alone for a Thursday, Friday or Sunday game.

Speaking of the game, as you can see below the Rapids have a lot of knocks going into the match. Could we see Smith go with a 3-5-2? Or will he stick with the 4-5-1 and slide Erpen over to left back with Kimura on the right? And what is with the Salt Lake fans? Have things really been so bleak there over the years that a 3 point difference in the standings is enough to make them think they're talking smack? Anyone predicting for Cleatus to get a RC in the 70th to help CO hold on to a 1-0 win?

Real Salt Lake - Colorado Rapids Injury Report :
REAL SALT LAKE - OUT: MF Nathan Sturgis (L hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Dema Kovalenko (L calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Tony Beltran (L adductor tightness), DF Ian Joy (R adductor strain) ...

COLORADO RAPIDS - OUT: MF Mehdi Ballouchy (concussion); MF Terry Cooke (L hamstring); MF Greg Dalby (R ankle); GK Justin Hughes (L groin); DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion); MF Pablo Mastroeni (R hamstring); PROBABLE: DF Jordan Harvey (R knee); DF Jose Burciaga Jr. (R hip); MF Jacob Peterson (L hip)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saints Advance, Sign Spurs Striker

Southampton racked up a second win in the Carling Cup. Last week they beat Exter. Yesterday they beat fellow Championship club Birmingham 2-0 at St. Mary's. Lee Holmes and Adam Lallana scored for Saints.

Southampton landed young Tottenham forward Tomas Pekhart on loan for the year. I'm not a huge fan of this move. This is a club that could use a few more veteran faces around. Aside from that, with Stern John returning to fitness and McGoldrick scoring I wouldn't expect Pekhart to see much playing time anytime soon.

Paul Sturrock Has Parkinson's Disease

Best of luck to former Saints manager Paul Sturrock. Sturrock, who is currently in his 2nd stint as manager for Plymouth (div 2; Championship), was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. This shouldn't affect his duties, at least not for awhile. He was only in charge at Southampton for a few months but he's not a bad manager. He was part of the process at Plymouth that has built that club into a Championship caliber team. Last year, 07/08, he lead the club to within 6 points a play off spot.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rapids Lose Against DCU At RFK

Fire Clavijo
(note : idiot author last summer; (c) 2008, Mike Murphy ASN) Nick at We Want Rapidman felt the Colorado Rapids, with new coach Gary Smith at the helm, would be fired up and ready to play at RFK Stadium against DC United. Unfortunately that wasn't the case with the Rapids losing 3-0.

View From The Couch takes a look back at the Clavijo Era. Note that the talk on the street was that Clavijo was a coach in name only. Plush and Wright had already taken over player trades (Rafael Gomes being the last player that Clavijo brought in). Then assistant coach and now interim head coach Gary Smith was to take over naming player line ups for games. Why were the Rapids so reluctant to simply fire Clavijo if they didn't want him around?

Jeff at American Soccer News also takes a look at the coaching change. Of note is that Fernando Clavijo was only 40-49-25 as a head coach of the Colorado Rapids. As noted by View From The Couch, Clavijo's record over 114 games was an improvement of a single win over previous Colorado Rapids head coach Tim Hankinson. Now coaching at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, Hankinson had a record of 39-45-35. By chance Fernando Clavijo also coached the Rapids for a 114 games. Clavijo's record while in charge was 40-49-25. In terms of points, Hankinson amassed more while in charge.