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Late-Morning Kickaround

*LDU from Ecuador takes a two-goal lead into the second leg of the Copa Libertadores finals against Fluminense tonight at Maracana. Great quote from Fluminense's Washington: "LDU's best player, the altitude, is not coming." Away goals are not factored, so if the Brazilians win by two, regardless of the score, they'll go to overtime. You can watch it live on Fox Sports Espanol beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

*More from Crystal Palace's upset of the Red Bulls.

*The Kansas City Wizards meet the New York Knicks. Read this.

*The USA women tune up for the Olympics at noon today with a friendly at Norway. They'll visit Sweden on Saturday. The latest word on the USA player allocation for the new U.S. league that kicks off next spring is that it will not take place until after the Olympics.

[UPDATE: USA women win, 4-0, on goals by Tarpley, Lloyd, Hucles and Wambach.]

*Spain leaps past Italy and Germany to take the top spot in the latest FIFA men's rankings. The USA drops nine positions? Another reason not to take this stuff too seriously. The women's list remains largely unchanged .

Anything else to discuss?

By Steve Goff  |  July 2, 2008; 11:28 AM ET
 
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

The FIFA rankings are highly accurate. Even better than the BCS.

;-)

Posted by: Ron | July 2, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Libertadores reminder Steven. The first leg was terrific.

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

We need to get Nolly back. Look!
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/player

Click on Vancouver at Toronto and count all the insane saves he made in a 2-0 SHUTOUT of Toronto.

And thats not all, he's played very well for Vancouver all season. Didn't we send him there on loan?

If we could get Nolly back you can bench Wells.

Posted by: JAY NOLLY NOW! | July 2, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Jay Nolly had his chances w/ DC . . .

Posted by: JAY NOLLY NEVER! | July 2, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Any chance of next weeks match being moved to RFK? Blanco may draw a crowd mid week and school is out. Is DCU contractually bound to the SoccerPlex? Any news on tickets?

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | July 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The FIFA rankings are not inaccurate - they're just misleading. We beat Mexico like a egg every time we play them, but they advanced further at WC'06 and Copa America.

Also, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America have been playing meaningful (more heavily weighted) qualifying games over the past six months, and CONCACAF hasn't so any CONC team is going to drop in relation to the other confederations.

Take these with a grain of salt, but finishing last in our group at WC'06 should statistically put us somewhere between 24 and 32 in the rankings.

Posted by: AM | July 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Why are there no news relating cuts/waives/trades ?

Since supposedly on July 1st the salaries of all players get guaranteed ie the count against the cap even if you would/could release them...

Posted by: Ben | July 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought that RFK was not available for either last night or next week - so it's not an option.

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Search soccer, and click on 6 most beloved DC sports athletes. Jaimie and Benny are on the list and there is a conversation going on about rather they belong. Just thought you might want to chime in and show support.

Posted by: Joe | July 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The Baltimore Sun actually bothered to acknowledge Palace. Go figure...

Posted by: yankiboy | July 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Emilio up for an ESPY.

STUFF THE BALLOT BOX.

Posted by: ESPY's | July 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Re: FIFA Ratings. I guess a crushing win over Barbados did not amount to much.

Posted by: Orange14 | July 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

USA drops an incomprehensible number after the recent results with the superpowers that we played before the WCQ series?!?!


Wow! Puerto Rico moved up to 146 after our tie with Honduras in Bayamon. We are on the move. It seems like only January we were 194 or something.

What FIFA giveth, FIFA taketh away (insert rolled eyes here).

Yep. Good thing that I have never, ever taken these silly ratings too seriously.

Posted by: yankiboy | July 2, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Any chance of next weeks match being moved to RFK?

-----

rfk is not available next week. if dcu continues to advance, the club will bid to host the semis and final there.

Posted by: Goff | July 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link to Steinberg's blog that Joe mentioned.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/07/dcs_top_six_beloved_athletes.html

Joe: next time, just post the link.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

What's going on at RFK on a Tuesday night?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What's going on at RFK on a Tuesday night?

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 12:44 PM
================

Much needed grass is growing.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I have never been to the "Plex" and last night was the first time, It was a great change for a season ticket holder. I sat behind the the goal(in hopes to help wells, but he stays true to his LA form and actually got a shut out.) and enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere. I will go to Tuesdays game and wonder how the family like atmoshere will deal with the horrible Blanco since we shouldnt teach the youngins so many four letter words so early.

Posted by: sec 131 | July 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The soccerplex will have Tuesday adult soccer leagues next week, which might add a little bit of time for the commute. Keep that in mind if you're going to the game.

Posted by: CY | July 2, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Libertadores heads up and the Washington quote. I didn't know he was such a complete winy cry baby boo-hoo altitude is the reason our defense was swiss cheese.
As an impartial party who just wanted to see a good game I'd like to thank mr Washington for giving me reason to root for LDU. Maracanazo!

Posted by: TommyT | July 2, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The FIFA rankings are highly debateable, which was the impetus to my joke earlier, but actually the US is probably ranked about right for now. Mexico, on the other hand...

Posted by: Ron | July 2, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

We probably dropped 9 places b/c of our horrible finish in the '98 WC. Once that cycles out of the rankings in 2018, we're sure to go higher.

Posted by: New England Guy | July 2, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The FIFA rankings are great


For me to poop on

Posted by: Triumph | July 2, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it me, or has it always been the Brasilians complaining about the Altitude??

Argentina even supports Altitude and the right to play in it.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | July 2, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Kansas can't even score off of the pitch!

Posted by: Jason | July 2, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The Fifa ranking is based on the quality of the matches played by each country. If the US goes through a long period of training and no quality friendlies, it's only logical that they'll drop in the ranking. It's not a measure of strength of any country.

Posted by: Bart | July 2, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

don't know about that BolivianDCFan, but I do know that Washington needed a convenient excuse for his teams drubbing in Quito. They seemed over-confident going into that game and even now exude an air of arrogance from their players, their coach and their fans. I work with a few flu fans so I know =)
Maracanazo!

Posted by: TommyT | July 2, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually with the way the US has been playing I don't have a problem with them being ranked so low. Also if you look at the 10 teams ranked right above us, it is hard to say we're definitely better than any of them with the exception of maybe Colombia, Paraguay and Sweden. Everyone else such as Ghana, Cote D'Ivore, Egypt, Israel, Nigeria, Uruguay and Ukraine I could see the game go either way with our current form and coaching

Posted by: Matthai | July 2, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

If the allegations are true, the KC FO is watching too much Dream Team on FSC and believing that it is a how a soccer team's FO is staffed.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"it is hard to say we're definitely better than any of them with the exception of maybe Colombia, Paraguay and Sweden."

Interesting choices since we've lost to each of these teams over the past year.

I think #30 is about right.

Posted by: Nate | July 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"If the US goes through a long period of training and no quality friendlies, it's only logical that they'll drop in the ranking."

Besides the Barbados qualifiers, they just played England, Spain and Argentina! I'd say those are quality friendlies.

Posted by: Sweetness | July 2, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"We need to get Nolly back. Look!
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/player

Click on Vancouver at Toronto and count all the insane saves he made in a 2-0 SHUTOUT of Toronto.

And thats not all, he's played very well for Vancouver all season. Didn't we send him there on loan?"

Now click it again and watch the two goals he gave up against montreal and you will see why he is no longer with an mls team

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The US was # 32 in Germany, after all.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 2, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The US was # 32 in Germany, after all.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 2, 2008 2:48 PM

Do you mean France, Fisch? US was not the worst team in WC '06. Earned a point (against the winners, at that). Togo, Costa Rica and Serbia left without a point.

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

If Americams don't take the FIFA rankings seriously, why do they have them? I thought the only purpose of the rankings in to satisfy the average American sports fan and give the local sports radio guy something to talk about.

College football, one of the major American sports awards its national championship based on a poll.

Posted by: Tommie | July 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Kev,

There are 36 teams in the World Cup finals. That means 32nd is not last.

Posted by: Sepp | July 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The news from Scandinavia reminds me that I learned recently that a former Freedom player, Joanna Lohman, is now playing in Sweden. She is also involved with a project called GreenLaces:

http://www.greenlaces.com/?p=77

Posted by: tri-village | July 2, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, ESPN were listening to FIFA. Annoying headline on their home page today...

Spain is FIFA's new No. 1; U.S. continues descent

This after their day after Euro Final headline...

Spain fan found dead amid celebrations

Great coverage last month, but their editorial department still needs some improvement.

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Kev,

There are 36 teams in the World Cup finals. That means 32nd is not last.

Posted by: Sepp | July 2, 2008 3:29 PM

Really Sepp? Were there 4 invisible teams playing last time? :-)

Although you did make me check again - still 32.

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"it is hard to say we're definitely better than any of them with the exception of maybe Colombia, Paraguay and Sweden."

Interesting choices since we've lost to each of these teams over the past year.

I think #30 is about right.

Posted by: Nate | July 2, 2008 2:08 PM


Glad someone picked up on that! ;)

Posted by: Matthai | July 2, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, ESPN were listening to FIFA. Annoying headline on their home page today...

Spain is FIFA's new No. 1; U.S. continues descent

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 3:31 PM

I think that was Goff's point. Nobody takes ESPN seriously either.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You dare question Sepp. It was part of my outreach program. You may not have seen them but they were there.

Posted by: Sepp | July 2, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

http://www.eloratings.net/world.html according to the elo ratings we are tied for 19th with Paraguay. Spain is number one here as well

Posted by: Orange14 | July 2, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"it is hard to say we're definitely better than any of them with the exception of maybe Colombia, Paraguay and Sweden."

I'd say Paraguay is head and shoulders above the US team, and we've seen how different Sweden is with a healthy Zlatan. Honestly the only chance I'd give us is against Colombia, and they've played well lately. If I was a betting man I'd bet against us in all of those 3 games.

Posted by: TommyT | July 2, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Sepp is correct. The stealth Group I (invisible) is never listed on any public documents. This group consists of countries that are identified, every four years, as ones that should have a team. Catalonia and the United Kingdom qualify automatically. Others that must qualify through Playstation tournaments include: Kurdistan, Chechnya, Khalistan, Basque Country, the Banana Republic, and the District of Columbia.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

We may be seeing a familiar face at the Olympics:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A37901225

Posted by: tri-village | July 2, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

:-D

Don't forget about Siam, Kamchatka, Ural and Yakutsk

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Lets talk about how much the redbulls suck. What a boring team. I am a new yorker and I just cant get on board. Considering their embarrassing performance last night and over mediocrity its time to change their name to the new jersey redbulls. thats where they play and thats who they should represent. NYC needs their own team. unsure about Osorio. His success in Chicago could have been flukey.

http://www.futink.com

Posted by: wrc | July 2, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

don't know about that BolivianDCFan, but I do know that Washington needed a convenient excuse for his teams drubbing in Quito. They seemed over-confident going into that game and even now exude an air of arrogance from their players, their coach and their fans. I work with a few flu fans so I know =)
Maracanazo!

Posted by: TommyT | July 2, 2008 1:42 PM
____________________________________________

Yea, because of Flamengo complaining to Fifa was what started the ban for any games played higher than 2500mts. All becasue they cried about the altitude playing in Potosi of Bolivia that is 3700mts.

This whole thing with the Altitude never was a problem until those teams at altitude started making waves becasue of talent, example Quito, or Bolivia Beating Brasil in 93' in La Paz for their first ever defeat in a Qualifying.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | July 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Sepp is correct. The stealth Group I (invisible) is never listed on any public documents. This group consists of countries that are identified, every four years, as ones that should have a team. Catalonia and the United Kingdom qualify automatically. Others that must qualify through Playstation tournaments include: Kurdistan, Chechnya, Khalistan, Basque Country, the Banana Republic, and the District of Columbia.

==========================================

Well played, good sir, well played.

They must be in the same confederation with Zamunda, Guilder, Florin, and Macho Grande.

Posted by: AM | July 2, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

USA 4:0 Norway
Tarpley (5), Lloyd (53), Hucles (85), Wambach (89). According to the tracker, Hucles caught the keeper off her line with a shot from 40 yards out.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The matchtracker also indicated that Wambach was taking corners.

Posted by: tri-village | July 2, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget about Siam, Kamchatka, Ural and Yakutsk

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 4:07 PM

Man, had some classic Risk battles over Kamchatka . . usually ended up with my brother tossing the board at me . . . something about paratroopers not allowed in the game or something . . .

Posted by: delantero | July 2, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

almost forgot . . .

LI LI LI, GA GA GA UNIVERSITARIA . .

Altitude or not, go LIGA, forza la U!!

Posted by: delantero | July 2, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The matchtracker also indicated that Wambach was taking corners.

Posted by: tri-village | July 2, 2008 5:09 PM
==================

Maybe the first questionable decision from Sundhage? Not that I think it's wrong, I just wonder (a priori) why the tallest player would not be in the box on a corner.

I can think of 2 possibilities (1) she has a mild concussion and shouldn't risk head banging and (2) she can do better than those soft, rainbow crosses that we always see. Kai et al. can crash the box on driven crosses, so maybe this is a positive development.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 2, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Crystal Palace (the parents) have a match report on their web site. Its basically just a game recap, but cool to see CP USA linked to from their front page.

http://www.cpfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10323~1337341,00.html

Posted by: Bravo | July 2, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow so Luci got another GOTW award. Impressive. Not only that, he won the MLS player of the month. woo hooo

Posted by: arlington4united | July 2, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

What a Libertadores match so far!! Skill, dodgy keeping and crap walls make for some great viewing. Well worth the $10 month for FSE

Posted by: Kev | July 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.eloratings.net/world.html according to the elo ratings we are tied for 19th with Paraguay. Spain is number one here as well
--------------------------------
Jeff Lynne holding sway over world rankings - who knew!

Posted by: James C. | July 2, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

LDU just got screwed.

Posted by: Red Devil | July 2, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

you're right. there was no offsides on that goal. game to go to PK's

Posted by: jesse | July 2, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Dumb question: If Puerto Rico is part of the US, why do they have a separate team ranking?

Posted by: LD | July 2, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Dumb question: If Puerto Rico is part of the US, why do they have a separate team ranking?

Posted by: LD | July 2, 2008 11:51 PM

They have their own, recognized, football association.

Posted by: Red Devil | July 2, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

LDU wins!! 3 saves from the goalkeeper
3-1 on PKs

Posted by: jesse | July 2, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Liga win the Libertadores, justice served after a perfectly onside winner was disallowed. Washington, who complained about the altitude advantage for the Ecuadorans, missed the last penalty.

Posted by: Kev | July 3, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Ole Ole Ole Ole, Oh Oh, Oh Oh,

Li Li Li, Ga Ga Ga UNIVERSITARIA!

Del barrio de Cotocoallo, ECUADOR!!!

Posted by: delantero | July 3, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

hell yeah, LA U deserved it. manso is the kind of player mls should go after. i was wondering were he was playing once he left the ARG. league. kid has very good skills, he'd be a great attacking mid w/ out breaking the bank. again congrats to LIGA!!!! man i love to see the brazilians choke.

Posted by: frank from sf | July 3, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Congrats Liga well done!

Posted by: koolcaio | July 3, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how LDU will fare at the Club World Cup. Are they more susceptible to an upset in the semifinal than the previous CONMEBOL representatives?

Posted by: myfootballclub.co.uk | July 3, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Ohhh Seattle!!!!
What a swindle! At least the people get what they want...
I wonder if Seattle could work a deal and have a SSS built at Seattle Center instead of renovating Key Arena?
The possibilities are Endless!
Renovate the memorial stadium site, throw on a retractable roof, install a retractable natural grass field, a stationary field turf field that can either be raised or lowered to the desired height, and when they are good and ready rename the Seattle Sounders FC: Seattle Super Sonics, give em some gold and green kits and let the Rain of Terror begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bumbershoot has got to be the biggest money maker for Seattle Center and any development on the sight that has dual use or triple or quad use will fit in just fine during the arts and musical festival.
I guess I miss Seattle a little bit. Can't believe Howard Schultz was such a stupid kook buying the Sonics and then selling them like a chump to an even bigger d-bag Oklahoman dirt farmer.
I should have keyed the be-jesus out of his powder blue convertible bug when I had the chance.
People talking about Smoot on Sports Bog
Aint got a single thing on Big Smooth DoGGGGGGGG!!!
Talk about local Icons.

Posted by: Dadryan | July 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

sorry check the boondoggydog in seattle.
I just had a friend move there that was kinda hoping the Legendary team would be sticking around.
Here's to hoping they can hand their hats on something new with their MLS team next year.
Weed Rivalry

Posted by: Dadryan | July 3, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

hang not hand

Posted by: words | July 3, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

LOL, so Washington ended up choking and giving the championship to Liga in the Maracana?
that's just priceless

Posted by: TommyT | July 3, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

z

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: OWNTF | July 3, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Finalmente, que bonito poder cantar sos cagon, Washington, sos cagon, Washington! Y que tenga doble entendido ;)

Posted by: Campeones Campeones oeeoeeoeeee!!! Desde Liga, para un Ecuador unido! | July 3, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

z

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Nice story, once you get past the misspelling of Krieger's name in the headline. It's too bad that she won't see action in China unless there is another ACL boo-boo.

That raises the question of who will be subject to the initial WPS player allocation: the first 18, the first 22, or something else?

Posted by: tri-village | July 3, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Austin Powersw ould be upset if you don't include Kurblackistan.

Posted by: moreno4prez | July 3, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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