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Early-Morning Kickaround

*Remember Mario Rodriguez, the Guatemalan midfielder who spent the 2005 season with Columbus? Me neither. Last night, though, "El Loco" caught everyone's attention at RFK Stadium with a goal and two assists in a 13-minute span of the Chapines' 3-0 rout of abysmal Bolivia in front of an estimated 15,000 spectators. In two weeks, the U.S. boys will have to contend with Rodriguez, who raided the right flank all night.

*The Red Bulls were no match for Barcelona, 6-2. No surprise.

*If you're looking for the USA men's Olympic result against Japan this morning, check the Post's Heavy Medal blog or the FIFA Web site. I'm sleeping. Leave me alone. (I'll share my thoughts after watching it on tape later.) UPDATE: The Associated Press match report is here. Nigeria and the Netherlands tied, 0-0, so the Americans are in first place heading into Sunday's meeting with the Dutch in Tianjin.

*As I'm sure you are already aware, newly minted DCUer Ivan Guerrero has been called up for Honduras's World Cup qualifier at Mexico on Aug. 20, which means he will miss United's match at New England the same night. Guerrero won't face the Revs next Tuesday in the Open Cup semis either: He is cup-tied after playing for the Earthquakes early in the tournament.

*You might have noticed this pro-Portland expansion banner at RFK the other night.

*Former DCU bust Franco Niell has resurfaced (all 5 feet 4 of him) back in Argentina with Gimnasia de la Plata.

*Fear the Hogges!

By Steve Goff  |  August 7, 2008; 1:20 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS , Olympics , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Looking Ahead to Guatemala
Next: DCU, Goalie in Talks

Comments

We need to go top gear through the MLS CUP.

Posted by: The Jim | August 7, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I think Hleb's going to be a stud for Barca all season long. I've always liked his game. He'll end up giving them more than they lost in Ronaldinho, who has looked ordinary for quite a while now.

Whatever happened to Ronny? I hope he turns it around with Milan. I recently saw a replay of a Real/Barca match circa 2005 where he was flat-out dominating the game, scoring a brace, and single-handedly demoralizing the Madrid side in their stadium.

Compare that player to the seemingly disinterested turnover-machine we saw last season, and you just have to wonder what's going on with him. He's only 28, these should be his best years.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 3:04 AM | Report abuse

I remember "El Loco", he didnt do much at Columbus and went back to Guate. Buts that good i'm glad he has his form back and causing havek. Man the Guate uniform keeps on getting fresher everytime the play, they are allways tweaking it a bit. And now they have a unique uniform. 15k? well thats what you can expect for a weekday game if it was the weekend it would be more.
red bulls got two goals..hmm? who was that team that tied REAL MADRID about 2 or 3 years ago..o yea it was DC UNITED!!!

whats up with that Portland banner and why are we supporting them??????????
shoot! Im bring out my St. Louis United banner next time! Just for the f* of it!


HAHAHA Niell..(now moving on..)

in the words of Stewie Griffin .."good day to you sir!"

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 7, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Senor Goff,

Single unilateral table for MLS soon?

man its early in the AM, random thought!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 7, 2008 3:23 AM | Report abuse

If you're looking for a liveblog for the USA-Japan this site called fightingtalker.com is doing one.

Posted by: USAMNT fan | August 7, 2008 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Any chance we'll hear about a new signing today?

Posted by: Jason | August 7, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

I told Nowak to utilize the 4-5-1 with McBride up top!

Posted by: B. Arena | August 7, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Quality of live NBC feed online is crystal (palace) clear. Unfortunately, not much to see yet. Japan doesn't look sharp but missed an absolute sitter early, only decent chance of the morning. McBride's been everywhere, good call up. Doesn't bode well for non-Fire MLS teams.

Posted by: danj | August 7, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

It's 0-0 at half-time: USA vs. Japan. I'm watching in Tokyo. Japan had the most chances early on. A set-up play off a corner kick force Guzan to make a play that just barely deflected the ball as it was crossed from the right side and skipped off the feet of a Japanese attacker. It's Adu and McBride up top but so far they have not linked up for anything good. Adu is hesitating in his attack and strangely, McBride is being roughed up by the smaller Japanese defenders and usually ends up on his belly. A few times Wynne has over played the ball in the back which has led to some dangerous attacks by Japan. Freddy had the best chance for the USA around the 30th minute with a half-volley from the top of the 18 but it was a good 3 fet over the cross bar.
The ref is letting both sides play and is not calling very much.

Posted by: samuraise | August 7, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't Altidore starting?

And why is Adu playing CF? I thought he was an attacking mid.

I'm not trying to suggest that Nowak doesn't have a freaking clue or anything, just curious.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Diatta did call about 6 consecutive against Japan, it looked like they were employing a Hack-a-McBride strategy. Not giving them the last minute corner was brilliant.

I can't find any explanation for Jozy, is there helpful commentary on MSNBC or anywhere?

Posted by: danj | August 7, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL


Holden!

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

nice hit by Holden, game should open up now.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

What on earth was the keeper doing?

Posted by: Patrick | August 7, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Also, this ref is calling Adu for some nonsense "fouls."

Posted by: Patrick | August 7, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Just -zero- service into McBride. They're getting so little out of the wing play.

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

that yellow for Adu should've been a warning at most.

and #6 for Japan needs to get a yellow for repeated fouling if he nails McBride from behind one more time.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see that Cedric Daniels landed on his feet as an Olympic soccer referee.

Posted by: Dupont Circle | August 7, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Nice to get on the board, but that goal was exhibit A for bringing in an overage, experienced keeper.

Posted by: danj | August 7, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

that yellow for Adu should've been a warning at most.

and #6 for Japan needs to get a yellow for repeated fouling if he nails McBride from behind one more time.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:14 AM
=====================================

How right you are. He's letting them play, but it's creating a rising frustration.The US needs to keep cool to avoid retaliation fouls, like Freddy's.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

37,177 at the match

Edu on for Kljestan at the half, rightfully so.

Posted by: danj | August 7, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Unreal, another cheap yellow.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Edu started at CB....

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

no, I don't think there's been any changes, Edu started. I would like to see Kljestan come off for Altidore though, then Adu could shift into that PM role.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Bradley's yellow wasn't even a foul. This ref is Busch league.

Posted by: Patrick | August 7, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Looked to me like Bradley may have hit the Japanese player in the head with his arm. Not hard, but he started his challenge a little high. I thought that was the only thing card-able about it...

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Edu's having a great game.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

We don't seem to be either bigger, or faster than this Japanese team.

That doesn't bode well for the Nigeria match, who are traditionaly both.

Or any other team for that matter. Small and plodding not a good recipe...

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

How on earth did that make it through to Altidore!?!? And why isn't it 2-0

Posted by: Patrick | August 7, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

whew, Japan has missed a lot of real chances. If we play like this against a more talented squad we'll get crushed.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Thank the gods for Japan's crap finishing...

Nothing even on frame...

Posted by: JkR | August 7, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

i'll take 3 points even if its ugly

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

bad move putting Edu at center back? Thats twice now that Japan should have had pk's

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Edu's having a great game.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:26 AM

--------------------------------

His positioning and reading of the game is outstanding. If he plays like this all tournament, his transfer price is going to go up, up, up.

Posted by: Brian | August 7, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

That was a dive by the Japanese forward. Definitely *not* a penalty.

Edu is starting to look like he's playing out of position all of a sudden. Maybe he's tired.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

jesus, they almost equalized with 10 seconds left.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

USA - USA - USA

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Wynne MOTM for me...

Sasha was terrible, contributing nothing on offense.

RR didn't see the ball enough, but I like what he did...

Adu wasn't in the game in the first 30, and his footwork/decisionmaking seemed slow.

Too much early direct play going nowhere...

Got lucky to escape with 3 pts there.

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

We win, but it wasn't convincing by any stretch of the imagination. If Japan could finish at all they'd have scored at least 2-3 and we didn't create more than 2 quality chances that I remember: Adu's volley and Holden's goal.

This team needs to get better or we'll be lucky to get a single point out of either of our remaining group games.

I hope Nowak puts Altidore next to McBride with Adu behind them in the playmaking role to start the next game.

Posted by: uranderson | August 7, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Rossi PK goal today :)

Italy's 1st goal was niiiice....

Brazil just 1-0??? Wow.

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree, RK, Wynne played great.

Our team needs to improve considerably in the next two matches. I was disappointed in Sasha. Altidore played well in his time as a sub.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | August 7, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Ivory Coast / Argentina on Telemundo at 730. I need to call in sick for a few weeks.

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Balboa is the worst commentator EVER.

Posted by: Jim | August 7, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Impressive that Balboa can call a game while waving his USA pom poms at the same time. Can we get someone who can provide an ounce of true insight - rather than "that's better for the U.S. " everytime they don't kickball it up the field or first touch it 10 yards away from themselves.

After Goff watches the game, if Sasha gets anything more than a 0, it will be too generous.

Posted by: Hmmm | August 7, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Will someone please tell us what was up with the "Portland 2011" banner? If we are just going to support our respective hometowns, I say its my turn and we have "Atlanta 2011" next game.

Posted by: BK | August 7, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

F Portland.

Posted by: Atlanta | August 7, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Messi will play.

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Swiss-Liberian Keeper to United. There are now a couple of Swiss publications claiming this is a done deal. Doesn't seem to have a huge reputation. I am guessing he is coming pretty cheap.

Posted by: Central PA United Fan | August 7, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Messi is playing. www.channelsurfing.net has the game live online and I think Telemundo is playing it.

Posted by: Lost in BA | August 7, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Screw Portland. This DC fan is hoping for Montreal! Epic roadtrip possibilities.

Posted by: Gitmo FC | August 7, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

DCU new goalie is Louis Crayton per the Swiss press - 30 year old Liberian national teamer who is a dual citizen (Switzerland) - was with FC Basle though did not see a lot of 1st team games in recent years.

Posted by: Zman | August 7, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Nice move by Argies

Posted by: arlington4united | August 7, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Telemundo is showing live ch 16 in arlington

Posted by: arlington4united | August 7, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

kljestan was abysmal. he was just letting people knife through without a care in the world. men of the match gotta go to wynn and edu (even though he could have cost us the game at the end). if i had a beer for everytime freddy took a guy on, got stuck, and then fouled him...i'd be drunk at work this morning. the substituting was suspect and altidore needs more time on the field, he's the most dangerous player on our squad. feilhaber needs to start as well.

Posted by: e$ | August 7, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The only time he was allowed to wear “Loco” on the back of his jersey was against DC in RFK before MLS made him change – and he tormented United along the touchline in one of his first games with the Crew, maybe it's something about playing at RFK. That was about the only shining moment for him as he didn’t stick around Columbus long.

Posted by: Fid | August 7, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Holden played very, very well, as did Wynne and Edu.

The rest? Not so much, but given Japan's rampant, high pressure style, it's a good 3 points.

The ref was awful but equally awful for both sides-- the worst call being Bradley's phantom foul and yellow card, and the missed Edu or Wynne jersey pull . .

Posted by: delantero | August 7, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Jose Carvallo has resurfaced at Sporting Cristal in Peru. http://www.libero.com.pe/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55815&Itemid=23

Posted by: Mifflin | August 7, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Steve,

FWIW, there was a pro-Portland banner in Foxboro as well for the Superliga Final. I got a photo of it and will pass along the link when I've uploaded it.

Posted by: Evan | August 7, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I thought the US team played fairly well this morning. Looked good towards the end of the first half (after I eventually woke up) and then leading up to the goal. Not so much after the goal. I thought Freddy looked tough and active - nearly scored a beauty in the first. McBride threw himself around as always but underused on his own.

Japan failed to take advantage of our rather vulnerable defense. I think it's really worrisome that one of the country's best young midfielders has to play center back. Seriously, (like United) the US can't find two proper center backs to play in an international tournament? Not saying that Edu played poorly, he was strong - did get away with a penalty though.

Agree that the ref and Balboa were atrocious - neither should be allowed anywhere near international soccer.

Posted by: Kev | August 7, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sno job -- straight red, won't play for the Dutch v US

Posted by: RK | August 7, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Brazil's goalscorer this morning - Anderson de Carvalho Andrade Lima Hernanes

No wonder everybody just calls him Hernanes!

Posted by: Kev | August 7, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The Guy is garbage. He runs around crazy and has the touch of an elephant. Trust me i played with him for a year.

Posted by: LOCO | August 7, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

5 red cards in the first 8 matches - ouch! Looks like the refereeing will be an issue for the next couple weeks.

Posted by: Kev | August 7, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The reason the barra-brava put up the portland banner is because we have a strong friendship with the timbers army. we certinly hope they get the expansion nod

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a link to the lineups from the Bolivia v Guatemala game? I'd like to figure out who some of those players were, apart from #18, #11, etc. :)

Posted by: Mike in Takoma Park | August 7, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I think the correct term is "cup-tied", not "cap-tied"...sorry to be a nitpicker, Sir Goff.

Posted by: Big C | August 7, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW: I have no ill will toward Atlanta, the only time I've ever spent there was in the airport switching planes.
My guess is the person saying F Portland has never been west of the Mason Dixon line, or has the East Coast Hate Every Town But Your Own Disease... My wife suffers from it, I know it can be rough.
I think the main reason she doesn't "like" Philly is because she's never really been there.

Posted by: dadryan | August 7, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Atta boy Goff!!!

Go Timbers and Vamos United.

Posted by: Dave | August 7, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"My guess is the person saying F Portland has never been west of the Mason Dixon line..."

Did you mean west of the Mason-Dixon, or north of the Pecos?

Posted by: Carmen Sandiego | August 7, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I think I did mean north of the Pecos Carmen.

Posted by: dadryan | August 7, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the correct term is "cup-tied", not "cap-tied"...sorry to be a nitpicker

-------------

darn typos. thanks for the heads up!

i fixed it

sg

Posted by: Goff | August 7, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why Georgia is the south and Florida isn't really.

Posted by: dadryan | August 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why Georgia is the south and Florida isn't really.

Posted by: dadryan | August 7, 2008 12:32 PM

My wife is from Ocala, Florida - and trust me dadryan... that's the south!

Posted by: Kev | August 7, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The reason the barra-brava put up the portland banner is because we have a strong friendship with the timbers army. we certinly hope they get the expansion nod

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2008 9:54 AM

------------------

Who is we? Is it one of the elders or something? Just seems like this was more of a personal favor as opposed to a Barra-TA gesture.


I'm still trying to figure out why Georgia is the south and Florida isn't really.

Posted by: dadryan | August 7, 2008 12:32 PM

My wife is from Ocala, Florida - and trust me dadryan... that's the south!

Posted by: Kev | August 7, 2008 12:42 PM

-----------------------

North FL is still south, but Ocala is near the boundary. Central and south FL is a culture of its own and hardly Southern.

Posted by: BK | August 7, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

EVAN GET ON IT! You should post it here also: www.talktimbers.com


Steve,

FWIW, there was a pro-Portland banner in Foxboro as well for the Superliga Final. I got a photo of it and will pass along the link when I've uploaded it.

Posted by: Evan | August 7, 2008 9:28 AM

Posted by: DB | August 7, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have insight as to how Nowak and Adu are getting along these days. Any resentment still exist from the DC United days?

Posted by: SoccerGuru | August 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Watch the last Timbers - Sounders game tonight @ 8 on FSC.

Big ups to the Barra, real support recognizes real support, regardless of location.

Posted by: Swizzy | August 7, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

One can certainly be west of the Mason-Dixon line, as in west of Delaware. Delaware was part of Pennsylvania at the time, so dealing with that boundary was also part of the M-D team's mission.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 7, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wynne, Edu, and Holden were our best players today, by some distance. McBride did well to draw fouls but was often starved of service and looked rusty. Japan made a bizarre move at halftime to pull Uchida (who was MOTM as of halftime) back, thus sparing Orozco from further abuse. Kljestan was very disappointing other than a couple tackles, while Adu seems to have forgotten some of the lessons he learned here in DC (people will double you; don't get frustrated, just keep the ball and wait for your 1v1 chance). Altidore looked like a tougher proposition for the Japan defenders than McBride was, since he has the speed to accompany that strength. Finally, it seems that no one in our national team set-up wants to use Michael Bradley correctly, since he was barely able to get involved in the attack (a couple long, aimless shots).

Japan deserved to win this game but were betrayed by truly awful finishing. That set piece that Morishige missed an open net on was very clever. Uchida was superb in the first half. From where I sit, we just got very lucky that they missed their sitters and that Edu's tug wasn't called as a penalty (thought the other one that Balboa went on about was negated by the handball on the Japanese player at the same time).

Finally, Balboa is still not a good announcer. Isn't one of the main tasks of an announcer to be able to get the words out of your mouth? And correctly identify the teams involved? I guess I should just be thankful that the US got a huge away win against the host nation, "China".

Ratings:
Guzan - 5
Wynne - 7
Parkhurst - 5
Edu - 6
Orozco - 4
Holden - 6
Bradley - 5
Kljestan - 3
Rogers - 5
Adu - 4
McBride - 6

Altidore - 5
Feilhaber - NR
Szetela - NR

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 7, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I am very much looking forward to Red Bull New York getting relegated to USL-2 where they can face their arch-rivals Baltimore !!!

Posted by: diego r. | August 8, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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