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Soccer Insider: December 14, 2008 - December 20, 2008

Three Terps Leave Early

Three players who helped Maryland win the NCAA championship -- juniors Omar Gonzalez and Jeremy Hall and sophomore Rodney Wallace -- have decided to leave school early and turn pro, sources close to the program confirmed to the Insider today. MLS has approached all three about signing Generation Adidas contracts,...

By Steve Goff  |  December 19, 2008; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Normandy, Soccer and History

I wanted to share this bit of soccer-related U.S. history with Insider loyalists: I recently received an e-mail from Jan Milders, who lives in the Netherlands and once played for amateur sides in Amsterdam and The Hague. Three years ago, he and his wife bought an old house in Lower...

By Steve Goff  |  December 19, 2008; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  History  
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USA-MEX in Columbus

It's official: Feb. 11, World Cup qualifier, final-round opener. Brrrrrr. Read about it here. Continue to ignore reports of the game being played in Salt Lake City. Whatcha think?...

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2008; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Mexico , U.S. men's national team  
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Candy. Candy Canes. Candy Corns. Syrup.

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup." -- Buddy the Elf With the holidays approaching, the Insider is going to make like the Bundesliga and disappear for a while. Well, not completely. I might end up posting over the...

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2008; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Gonzalez: Present and Future

If Sunday's NCAA final was, indeed, Maryland defender Omar Gonzalez's final collegiate game, here is how he experienced the final seconds: "Right when that final whistle blew, I just stopped, I didn't go anywhere, I just took it all in, I saw everyone running around me and I was just...

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2008; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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The WPS Debut Is.....

Insider sources on both coasts say the relaunch of a U.S. women's pro league will be Sun., March 29 with the Washington Freedom visiting the Los Angeles Sol at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Fox Soccer Channel is expected to provide live coverage. Three matches will be played the...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 11:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Women  
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The Draft (Continued)

Here's the team-by-team breakdown for the MLS draft on Jan. 15. Things are sure to change between now and then..... FIRST-ROUND PICKS: Toronto 3, New England 2, Dallas 2, DCU 2, NY 1, LA 1, Chivas 1, KC 1, RSL 1, Seattle 1, Houston 0, Chicago 0, Columbus 0, Colorado...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  MLS  
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It's Getting Drafty

With the college season complete, MLS coaches and general managers are beginning to turn their attention toward the draft, which will take place Thu., Jan. 15 in St. Louis as part of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America annual convention. The initial scouting combine rosters are set and Generation...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  MLS  
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Monday Kickaround

*Your eyes did not deceive you: The NCAA final between Maryland and North Carolina was not of the highest quality. Terps Coach Sasho Cirovski's explanation: "The game didn't have much flow. It was a championship game, both teams were exhausted [because of UNC's big effort Friday holding off Wake, Maryland...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  CONCACAF , Club World Cup , College Soccer , MLS , Mexico , Scotland  
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Sundhage's Contract Extension

After guiding the USA women to Olympic gold this past summer, Coach Pia Sundhage has been rewarded with a contract extension through the 2012 Summer Games in London. The four-year deal also includes the 2011 World Cup in Germany. Terms were not disclosed. The Americans are 32-1-2 this year after...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Women  
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Americans Abroad

GOALKEEPERS Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 1-0 win at Manchester City Brad Friedel 90 in Aston Villa's 4-2 win over Bolton Wanderers Marcus Hahnemann (injury) did not play in Reading's 2-0 win over Norwich Luis Robles for Kaiserslautern today vs. Freiburg DEFENDERS Oguchi Onyewu 90 in Standard Liege's 4-1...

By Steve Goff  |  December 15, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Terps Win National Championship

Graham Zusi scored from 18 yards midway through the second half to lift Maryland to its second NCAA men's soccer championship in four years, a 1-0 victory over ACC rival North Carolina at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Tex., today. The goal capped a spectacular weekend for Zusi, a senior...

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2008; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Matchday: Terps-Tar Heels

Greetings again from the House of Pizza in Frisco. College Cup final: Maryland vs. North Carolina, 1 p.m. ET ESPN2. Weather: 70 degrees, windy. Attendance: Weak again. Maybe 3,000 at kickoff? (Of course, the NCAA's "announced" crowd will be larger.) A hundred Terps fans, 75 Tar Heels supporters, MLS scouts,...

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2008; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Barca's Clincher

A lesson in counterattacking from FC Barcelona near the end of yesterday's 2-0 victory over nemesis Real Madrid at Camp Nou:...

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2008; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Spain  
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