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Afternoon Kickaround

Let's take a break from MLS and look at the Olympics and some local clubs in the W-League, USL2 and colleges:

*The Olympic men's rosters are set. Click here for more details. Familiar names to MLS followers on non-U.S. teams: Ryan Nelsen and Simon Elliott (New Zealand), Samuel Caballero, Ramon Nuñez and Carlos Pavon (Honduras), and Emmanuel Ekpo (Nigeria).

*The Washington Freedom continues its pursuit of a second consecutive W-League title tonight with a semifinal encounter against the top-seeded Pali Blues (Santa Monica, Calif.) in Virginia Beach. Seattle faces Indiana in the other match. The winners will meet in Saturday night's final, which will be shown by Fox Soccer Channel on tape delay at 11 p.m.

*The USL2 intrastate derby between Crystal Palace Baltimore (9-6-1) and Real Maryland (3-14-1) resumes tonight at UMBC Stadium.

*According to this Web site, Maryland has the best men's soccer recruiting class heading into the 2008 season, which begins in about a month. Other area teams to make the list: Virginia (7), George Washington (27) and George Mason (33). Of GW, the site said that Coach George Lidster's six-member class "was arguably the nation's biggest surprise on the recruiting trail."

By Steve Goff  |  July 31, 2008; 2:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Wow Maryland has a program that is in the hunt every year.

Posted by: Ron | July 31, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Goff -- thanks for this. Interesting reads. From what I've read before about a few players, and what I've seen in US youth teams and USYSO play, I'd say that Maryland does have a deep class, but that IU may have added the best players. It will be interesting to watch them develop.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 31, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Steve -

On the college front - was VT's year most recently the work of veteran leadership and Patrick Nyarko or has Oliver Weiss rolled out some ground work for the Hokies to be an ACC contender?

Have you ever talked to college coaches about how they feel they fit into the framework of American soccer and specifically, being a pipeline for MLS talent given the differences in the games?

Much is always made of the inability for the current set-up to produce enough talent to feed the quickly expanding MLS machine, but is this really showing that MLS, Lower Division, College, and youth coaching is perhaps some of our biggest talent game in the game?

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 31, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"our biggest talen game in the game?" should read "our biggest talent lapse in the game?"

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 31, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Agorsor (UVa) has been trying out in Europe...

Posted by: RK | July 31, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that Simon Elliott, who hasn't played in two years, would be one of the overage players named for New Zealand. Hmmm...maybe they aren't that good.

Posted by: John | July 31, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Anybody here go to Maryland? Does The Crew still exist? I had an absolutely amazing time with them my 4 years in College Park.

Posted by: Colm | July 31, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

VT's success has been due to quite a few factors. Most important to the program is Coach Weiss and the support the program received when it joined the Big East and then the ACC. Patrick had a great three years where he was much of the attack. While he was often the most critical player, I wouldn't have called him a leader on the field. The team has transformed from a well-disciplined team with few attacking options to a relatively well-rounded team with multiple options. There are quite a few players on the team and joining the team that will try to pick up where the team left off. There will be a few international students once again, but the homegrowns including some from Blacksburg should not be overlooked. Hopefully, team chemistry will come together quickly. It will be another interesting season in Blacksburg.

Posted by: sitruc | July 31, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH.

The Blanco fine item disappeared just as I was about to make a witty (to me) comment.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 31, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

such is the power of El Blanco!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The chickens, do they have large talons?

Posted by: EssEff | July 31, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Did Howard land anybody of note?

Posted by: Omar | July 31, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

off topic. I saw a commercial on foxsoccerchannel for upcoming Barca v RedBull game naming Reyna. How stupid.

Posted by: wrong ad | July 31, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Reyna is doing the coin toss. He can't get injured doing that. I think.

Posted by: RK | July 31, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Sign Caballero NOW!!

Posted by: George Powell | July 31, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

from The Sun (UK):

SWINDON will swoop for midfielder Lilian Nalis, 36, and Nigerian left-back Yinka Casal.

...wonder if this is the same Yinka Casal (Kasali?) who graced DCU's roster for a while last year?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 31, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Kill me now.

Posted by: W league | July 31, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

colm:

The Crew (despite their lamentable name) were still going generally nuts at Ludwig last year. I'm not an MD student but I would see no reason for them to disband.

George Powell:

Caballero was, at the very best, no better than Peralta. I'd argue he would just be adding a body for us, rather than improving what we've got (which is what we need).

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 31, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't tell if Chest Rockwell gets it...
It would kind of be funny if he didn't really know who George Powell is. Even funnier if he does and I don't get that he's saying Stacy was actually better than Steve. Which I would disagree with.

Posted by: Dadryan | July 31, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

from The Sun (UK):

SWINDON will swoop for midfielder Lilian Nalis, 36, and Nigerian left-back Yinka Casal.

...wonder if this is the same Yinka Casal (Kasali?) who graced DCU's roster for a while last year?

Posted by: | July 31, 2008 5:27 PM

---

No idea about Casal but Nalis is signing from Plymouth Argyle of the Championship. Very good player!

I can't believe that Simon Elliott, who hasn't played in two years, would be one of the overage players named for New Zealand. Hmmm...maybe they aren't that good.

Posted by: John | July 31, 2008 3:32 PM
---

Simon Elliot had an injury at Fulham for most of the 06/07 season but still managed to clock some games in the reserves this season. He has only recenly been released by Fulham but I hope his performance helps him to find a new club, maybe a return to play for Wellington Phoenix in A-League.

You don't need to name your best overage players for the Olympics. Its more important to provide your U-23's with some matches in order to help them gain the experience needed for the step up to the full-international squad.

Posted by: menyagi | August 1, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Nice recruiting classes from the area schools, Maryland and UVA keep reloading, nice surprise to see GW and Masons class making noise, those two programs are on the up

Posted by: Thora | August 1, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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