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Morning Kickaround

*Big showdown in Prince George's County tonight. No, D.C. United hasn't moved there -- yet. It's Wake Forest vs. Maryland. Kickoff is 8 p.m. ET. TV coverage on Fox Soccer Channel. If you are planning to attend, get there early; it's a small ballpark. The No. 1 football team went down last night. Will the No. 1 soccer team suffer the same fate? Let's break down the matchup:

Rankings: Wake #1, Maryland #3 (Soccer America top 25)
Overall Records: Wake 7-0-0, Maryland 6-1-0.
ACC Records: Wake 1-0-0, Maryland 2-0-0.
Winning Streaks: Wake 12, Maryland 5.
Recent NCAA Titles: Wake 2007, Maryland 2005.
Goals For: Wake 21, Maryland 15.
Goals Against: Wake 3, Maryland 3.
All-Time Series: Maryland leads 14-13-4.

*Chris Rolfe scores on a terrific solo effort, Chris Rolfe is responsible for Eddie Lewis's equalizer, and after Cuauhtemoc Blanco breaks the tie amid defensive chaos, Chris Rolfe seals Chicago's 3-1 home victory over Los Angeles, ending the Galaxy's inspiring winning streak at, um, one. The Fire is within a point of second-place New England and six of front-running Columbus in the East, with the Revs and Crew set to face each other tomorrow night at Foxborough. Despite the loss, the Galaxy remains very much in the thick of the farcical MLS playoff race. Click here for the video.

*Speaking of the Galaxy, the Insider reported exclusively weeks ago that Bayern Munich had expressed interest in Landon Donovan. Now, the rest of the footy media is jumping on the Landon-back-to-Germany bandwagon.

*Kinnear named Newcastle manager!! Relax, Dynamo supporters. It's Joe, not Dominic.

*River Plate 2, Defensor 1 (Copa Sudamericana):

*Boca Juniors 4, Newell's Old Boys 2 (Argentine league):

By Steve Goff  |  September 26, 2008; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 24 Teams for Euro Championship
Next: A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen


The Bailout is being held up as MLS seeks to protect its investors and see a boost in confidence in the Playoffs.

AEG is attempting to move bad assets (DP Salary Cap Space) off its books to free up the system.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 26, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

farcicle? Nice work Steve...
What will we see first? A single table in MLS, or Donovan leaving?
Gotta admit that something is wrong when LA can have such an incredible backslide, win one game, lose another one and still be in the hunt.
All this only makes the two CL losses for United hurt even more. The MLS Cup is a joke if anything the way things stand this morning.
Nice work staying after it for Rolfe. Chicago has a defense that is to die for. Not saying I'm jealous...but...

Posted by: dadryan | September 26, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

With JPMorgan buying WaMu, does that mean our salary accounts are now the property of RBNY?

Posted by: B.A. | September 26, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Chicago looks to have straightened things out a little bit, but they didn't exactly look brilliant, either. Pause and Thorrington made it difficult for Donovan to find the game, which might serve as the blueprint on how to stop this particular LA lineup (as opposed to DC's attempt to just hope for the best). Mapp was totally absent, and I enjoyed Harkes letting him have it as a result. Chicago is better with Mike Banner on the left. Against even a modest defense, this team is going to struggle mightily to create goals, which is why they're not looked at as a true contender like Columbus, Houston, and New England. Then again, Blanco looked like a changed man after scoring...maybe that snapped him out of his funk.

LA, meanwhile, reverted back to form. Beckham looks a bit off, Donovan was marked out of the game until he moved forward, and the defending was atrocious as always. Rolfe's first goal was less a brilliant exhibition of dribbling than a simple lack of any real attempt at tackling by anyone in an LA shirt. It should have been shut down long before he got the shot in. The Blanco goal was even worse, with either Wicks coming out without calling off Roberts or Roberts ignoring him. LA can now finish with a maximum of 41 points, which is as likely to happen as DC signing me tomorrow, starting me against Cruz Azul, and celebrating after I score a hat trick. From midfield. With my left foot.

This serves as good news for United, at least. With a win, LA would have moved within 1 point of us. Hopefully, all the teams that are definitely going to the playoffs (Columbus, New England, Chicago, and Houston) can keep winning against the teams trailing us. There's virtually no chance of us grabbing a divisional playoff spot, so we might as well hope the chasing pack all lose to the good teams and cancel each other out.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 26, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

What a load...
The UEFA Executive Committee has approved the change of name for the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League from 2009/10.

'New impetus'
The new name heralds major changes to the competition, which will have a new 48-team group stage with centralised marketing of broadcast rights, a presenting sponsor and an official matchball in addition to centralised sponsorship from the knockout stage and a new logo and visual identity. UEFA President Michel Platini said: "These changes will improve this historic competition, which is very important for UEFA and for European football as it gives more fans, players and clubs the thrill of European club football. I am convinced the new format will give the UEFA Europa League a successful new impetus."

Posted by: RK | September 26, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Any word on the status of Joe Vide? We haven't heard much about his injury yet. Anything you could let us know, would be appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by: kristin | September 26, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Could Wicks be a worse option than Cronin???? I know, seems crazy but, watch him come out for the ball where Blanco scores. Very poor decision.

And what's up with Rolfe getting right back off the carpet after getting knocked down on that first goal? Has Blanco not taught him the 3-minute rule? Rolfe has potential but until he learns to dive and roll around on the ground he'll just be another American least in some eyes. Notice any conspicuous absences in the post-goal celebration? Paging Mr White.

Posted by: marksman | September 26, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Any word on the status of Joe Vide? We haven't heard much about his injury yet. Anything you could let us know, would be appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by: kristin | September 26, 2008 9:55 AM

This is what DCU's season has devolved into: anxiously awaiting the return of Joe Vide.

(Not saying he hasn't shown well, he has)

Posted by: JkR | September 26, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I realize they've been around forever, but the name "Newell's Old Boys" doesn't exactly scream Argentina, does it?

Posted by: zilla | September 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wicks is a worse keeper than Wells.

Posted by: BillyBob | September 26, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

zilla, go rent the History of Soccer and see how many english named teams evolved in South America in the early 1900's.

Posted by: RealityCheck | September 26, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Joe Kinnear? He's better win or else they'd call him Jokeineer.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 26, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Wake is the cream of college soccer. It's them and then at the next plateau is a group of 10-12 teams (including MD).

WF just destroyed a pretty good UCSB 6-2 last week.

I fear that MD's central defense lack of speed is going to be exposed.

Posted by: JSF | September 26, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Beck's face shaking hands at the end of that match is priceless. Doesn't look too happy. I wonder if he's regretting his MLS move. LOL

Posted by: Matte | September 26, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey! Who was that midget chasing after El Loco, Sebastian Abreu, to celebrate River Plate's first goal? Was there a midget player better than Niell available in Argentina?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

RE: UEFA Europa League
Posted by: RK | September 26, 2008 9:51 AM

Union of European Football Associations Europa League. Well, that clears it up. I had it confused with the UEFA African League and the UEFA Antarctic League.

Chest Rockwell's co0mment on the expanded Euro Championship is relevant here as well.

It's interesting that this comes out just after Michel Platini attacks Arsene Wenger for being too business-focused. What is expanding this tournament, other than a blatant cash grab? I guess UEFA wants to try to compete with FIFA in terms of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 25, 2008 8:10 PM

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 26, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Goff -- nice dig at Rolfe for his defensive blunder on Lewis. At least he was in the area, sort of marking his man. When was the last time you saw a DC forward defending in the box?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 26, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Re: Landycakes.

I hope he proves me wrong. I hope he goes (wherever), and doesn't sulk about having to fight and scratch every day in training for playing time instead of having his name in ink on the starting 11 every week, and doesn't get overwhelmingly homesick, and doesn't miss the food, and doesn't miss his cush life in SoCal. I really do. I hope he goes, and gets better, tougher, stronger, and becomes the kind of player who shows up EVERY TIME for the USMNT, and leads us to the second round in 2010.

Bottom line, though - I don't think he will. And if he does go, I don't think he'll stay long. I think he'd rather be comfortable than great. Prove me wrong, Landon.

Posted by: Str8red | September 26, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Stop with the "Landycakes".

Posted by: RK | September 26, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting blogger's post about a game he attended in Argentina earlier this year. Warning: don't eat anything before reading.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 26, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Keep going with the "Landycakes".

It's funny.

Posted by: BerwynHeightsUnited | September 26, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

RK, I think you're missing my point. I WANT Donovan to give me a reason not to call him Landycakes any more. But until that happens, he's Landycakes in my view.

Posted by: Str8red | September 26, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

How about a hat trick against DCU? or playing continuing to play with a tissue shoved up his bloodied nose at RFK?

Posted by: RK | September 26, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I know it's Friday but come on people, WAKE UP!!

No one has mentioned, in the 5 hours since this thread was started, that the Trojans couldn't penetrate the tight Beavers' defense.

OK, that may have been inappropriate on my part. Sorry for the football reference...

Posted by: garbaggio | September 26, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

RK: I give up. You got me. LD showed all he ever needed to show against a mediocre (at best) DC defense. Guess we can really expect him to burn it up in Germany, or Spain, or England.

garbaggio: Classic. Just classic.

Posted by: Str8red | September 26, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

All signs point to another UVA-esque ACC soccer dynasty (in Winston-Salem). Wake has four MLS caliber players in Bone, Tracy, Adams and Opara, already.

Vidovich is a the premier coach in the college ranks.

Terps are in trouble, kids. Go Deacs!

Posted by: jaime | September 26, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"Vidovich is a the premier coach in the college ranks."

Translation: one or two more years at WF, tops, before he gets plucked for a bigger school or MLS squad.

I say this not knowing his specific situation or context; it just seems to me how the world works. You do well in a small setting, you get plucked for a larger one.

Posted by: BerwynHeightsUnited | September 26, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


Platini's strategy is becoming more clear: launch an inappropriate and overaggressive attack on an innocent party to make big news, then in somewhat smaller news do exactly what you charged the other guy with. You've got to say, he's learned all the dirty tricks.

Fisch Fry:

Rolfe was playing as a midfielder, so he had no choice but to be defending there. Plus, in DC's system, having your forwards that far back would just serve to bury our already questionable defense. That's also why we play such a high line. Our forwards do their defensive work on the other team's back four (or three). Unfortunately, teams know that they can just hit hopeful balls down the middle and wait for us to make a mistake. It's a lot easier to play out of the back when you don't have to do anything more special than get the ball to travel 30 yards in the air.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 26, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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