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Soccer Insider: November 16, 2008 - November 22, 2008

Best XI

MLS's all-league squad is..... GOALKEEPER: Jon Busch (Chicago). DEFENDERS: Chad Marshall (Columbus), Bakary Soumare (Chicago), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City). MIDFIELDERS: Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus), Robbie Rogers (Columbus), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Shalrie Joseph (New England). FORWARDS: Kenny Cooper (Dallas), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles). Comeback player of the...

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2008; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  MLS  
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Bradley, Gulati Address Draws

The Americans' World Cup qualifying schedule and Confederations Cup group are now in place. So what do the head coach and USSF prez think about it all? Sunil Gulati, on the possibility of returning to Columbus to host Mexico in a cold-weather setting..... "We have spent a lot of time...

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2008; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Confederations Cup Draw

FIFA strikes again. Why not seed the teams and create balanced groups? The three worst teams are in the same Confederations Cup group, while the USA is in with Italy and Brazil. GROUP A: South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand and Spain. GROUP B: Italy, Brazil, USA, Egypt. The tournament runs...

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2008; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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USA-Mexico in the Opener

The USA's path, via CONCACAF final-round qualifying, to the 2010 World Cup begins at home against Mexico. (Hello, Columbus?) Wed., Feb. 11: Mexico Sat., March 28: at El Salvador Wed., April 1: T&T Wed., June 3: at Costa Rica Sat., June 6: Honduras Wed., Aug. 12: at Mexico Sat., Sept....

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2008; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , U.S. men's national team  
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The Commish Speaks

A few quotes from Don Garber's address late today..... On the impact of the global economic downturn: "These are challenging times for the sports industry. It is a challenging time for any company in this country or throughout the world, and Major League Soccer is no different than any other...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 10:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS News!

In the aftermath of the Board of Governors meetings today..... *As we told you yesterday, rosters have been trimmed from 28 players to 24 and the teams will have the option of having as many as 20 senior roster players. The current limit is 18. As a result, the reserve...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 8:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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USA, DCU, MLS

*In their annual Scandinavian challenge, the USA national team will play its first competitive match of 2009 on Jan. 24 against Sweden at Home Depot Center. Kickoff is 8:30 p.m. ET with coverage on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. The match will come a couple weeks into a USA training...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Masonry

Coach Greg Andrulis and George Mason will host an NCAA men's tournament first-round match tonight against Penn at GMU Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The winner will play at second-seeded Maryland on Tuesday night. For more details, click here and here. Tomorrow night, the Virginia women will host Duke in...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Estudiantes Advances

Estudiantes, captained by Juan Sebastian Veron, reaches the Copa Sudamericana finals by defeating Argentinos Juniors, 1-0, for a 2-1 aggregate victory. It will be Argentina (Estudiantes) vs. Brazil (Internacional) for the championship....

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Copa Sudamericana  
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MLS Cup Memories

poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  MLS  
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Expansion Update

Representatives for all seven groups seeking two MLS expansion clubs, including several FC Barcelona officials supporting the Miami bid, are in Los Angeles for MLS Cup events and four apparently will make presentations to the league's board of governors Friday. They are believed to be Miami, Portland, Vancouver and Ottawa....

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 3:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS Tidbits

*Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena just returned from a scouting trip abroad. He declined to reveal his destinations, but said he remained "in this hemisphere," so let's go way out on a limb and say it was Latin America. *Crew officials estimate that between 750 and 1,000 supporters will be at...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  MLS  
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Sonny, Cher and Schelotto

Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto was formally presented the MLS most valuable player award this afternoon in the Hyatt Regency Century City's Westside Room -- the spot where the "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" was filmed in the early 1970s. (The Commish Don Garber will address the media in...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  MLS  
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Brazil 6, Portugal 2

The story. The video:...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Brazil  
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Donovan, Schelotto and Gomez

*MLS and Bayern Munich have struck a deal for Landon Donovan to join the Bundesliga club on loan this winter. Discuss. *Guillermo Barros Schelotto has been named MLS's most valuable player, finishing well ahead of Donovan and Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the voting of coaches, general managers, players and media members....

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  MLS  
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Adios, Chivas

Brazilian club Internacional routs visiting Chivas, 4-0, to win the Copa Sudamericana semifinal series on a 6-0 aggregate. They'll face an Argentine side, Estudiantes or Argentinos Juniors, in the finals....

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Copa Sudamericana  
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World Cup Chase

poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF  
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Thursday Kickaround

Who's this Adu kid, anyway? Nice goal. Good result for a young, largely inexperienced USA squad. *Bob Bradley: "One of the most important things with Freddy is making sure that he understands that while it's really nice that a lot is said and written about him, none of it matters...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2008; 6:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , MLS , Women  
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Matchday: Qualifiers and Friendlies

CONCACAF wraps up the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup today with four critical matches: *USA-Guatemala in Denver (8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic and Galavision; tape on ESPN2 at 10 p.m.) *T&T-Cuba in Port of Spain *Honduras-Mexico in San Pedro Sula (8 p.m., Telemundo) *Jamaica-Canada in Kingston...

By Steve Goff  |  November 19, 2008; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Wednesday Kickaround

*Looking ahead to the MLS expansion draft next week, the 14 current clubs have until 3 p.m. Monday to submit their list of 11 protected players to the league office. The full list of players available to the Seattle Sounders is scheduled to be released late that day. The draft...

By Steve Goff  |  November 19, 2008; 6:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Women  
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Problems in Uruguay

Uruguay has shut down the domestic league after "supporters of Danubio and Nacional invaded the pitch, beating each other with iron rods and corner flags." Nice. Read this story, watch the video:...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2008; 7:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  World  
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Power Hitter Joins St. Louis Bid

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, the National League most valuable player and a native of the Dominican Republic, is backing the St. Louis bid for an MLS expansion club. "I am very proud and excited to join the effort to bring Major League Soccer to the St. Louis area," he...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2008; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  MLS  
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Wardrobe Malfunction in Italy

Actually, it was quite intentional. In a devilish effort to obstruct the Torino goalkeeper's view of a free kick, a few Catania players lowered their shorts in the penalty area. The result was a goal, though the quality of the shot probably had more to do with its success than...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2008; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Italy  
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A Few Minutes With Greg Andrulis

You remember Greg Andrulis, right? A quick refresher: Columbus assistant coach for five years, promoted to head coach in 2001, guided the Crew to the 2002 U.S. Open Cup title and the 2004 Supporters' Shield (for which he was named MLS coach of the year), dismissed amid a poor start...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2008; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Good, Bad for Americans in Germany

Americans met in a German second-division match yesterday, and it wasn't pretty. With Luis Robles in goal, Kaiserslautern blasted defender Heath Pearce and Hansa Rostock, 6-0. Pearce received a red card in the 64th minute. Kicker, the fine German publication, referred to Kaiserslautern's uprising as a "sixpack." Robles is an...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2008; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Germany , U.S. men's national team  
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Every Vote Counts

The finalists for the USSF's annual awards have been unveiled. Categories: bar, store, blog, photos, video, goals, team performance and individual performance. Click here and then hit the respective logos to view the candidates and cast your votes. Since you are reading a blog now and probably read a lot...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2008; 11:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Misc.  
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NCAA Tournament Set

Wake Forest, Maryland, St. John's and Michigan State are the top four seeds in the 48-team men's tournament, which begins Friday. Virginia also received a bye and will await the Fairfield-UConn winner in the second round next week. CAA champion George Mason will host Penn on Friday night, with the...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2008; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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The Week Ahead

A busy few days in American soccer circles..... TONIGHT: NCAA men's tournament brackets (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPNews) WEDNESDAY: USA-Guatemala World Cup qualifier in Denver (8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic, Galavision) WEDNESDAY: CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, final semifinal games: Mexico at Honduras, Canada at Jamaica, Cuba at T&T. THURSDAY: MLS most...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2008; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , College Soccer , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Americans Abroad

GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 1-1 tie with Middlesbrough Brad Friedel 90 in Aston Villa's 2-0 victory at Arsenal Marcus Hahnemann 90 in Reading's 2-0 victory at Sheffield United DEFENDERS Carlos Bocanegra 90 in Rennes' 2-1 victory over Monaco Oguchi Onyewu 90 in Standard Liege's 1-1 tie at...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2008; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Monday Kickaround

*The USA women lost in the Under-17 World Cup final in New Zealand, falling to North Korea 2-1 in overtime. Dear Leader rejoices. *The NCAA women's sweet 16 is all but set with both Virginia and James Madison advancing. *Maryland and George Mason won the ACC and CAA men's titles...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2008; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Argentina , College Soccer , Women  
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USA Roster Announced

The 20-man group for the USA's World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN Classic, Galavision) in Denver: GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins, Matt Pickens. DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein, Sean Franklin, Cory Gibbs, Clarence Goodson, Drew Moor, Michael Parkhurst. MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu, Davy Arnaud, Ricardo Clark, Sacha...

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2008; 8:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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