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Soccer Insider: May 31, 2009 - June 6, 2009

Matchnight: USA-Honduras

Greetings from Chicago's Soldier Field, where, about four hours before kickoff, tens of thousands of Honduran supporters were beginning to gather with flags, horns, coolers and enormous banners. Tell me again why the USA is playing a home qualifier against an opponent with strong support in this country in a...

By Steve Goff  |  June 6, 2009; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (182)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF , U.S. men's national team  
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MLS Officiating.....Again

*That controversial penalty kick called against D.C. United in the waning moments last weekend at New England? Bad decision by the linesman, according to the USSF, which oversees officiating in MLS. "There is minimal contact. The contact is doubtful, soft and trifling. It does not prevent the attacker from playing...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2009; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Soccer and music  
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Poll: USA vs. Honduras

After their horrible performance in Costa Rica on Wednesday, the Americans are in dire need of a victory tomorrow night in San Pedro Sula Tegucigalpa Chicago. Vote: poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2009; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  CONCACAF , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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Weekend TV Listings

What are you going to watch? FRIDAY USL1, Austin-Charleston 8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel SATURDAY World Cup qualifier, North Korea-Iran 4 a.m. FSC World Cup qualifier, Azerbaijan-Wales 11 a.m. Setanta World Cup qualifier, Qatar-Australia noon FSC World Cup qualifier, Sweden-Denmark 2 p.m. Setanta World Cup qualifier, Serbia-Austria 2:30 p.m. FSC...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2009; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  TV  
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Early Friday Kickaround

*Perhaps an early hint at the massive Honduran support at Soldier Field tomorrow night for the World Cup qualifier against the USA? While strolling through Miami International Airport today to board a connecting flight home, I spotted at least 10 travelers in blue-and-white Catrachos jerseys arriving in the States and...

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2009; 2:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , Freedom , MLS , Spain  
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United Rewind

Well, that was fun wasn't it? It's got to feel good in the United locker room to finally get three points after five straight league matches without a win. Man of the Match? It's got to be Josh Wicks, who made me look...well, not like an buffoon, by putting up...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 4, 2009; 10:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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DCU Matchnight #13 - DCU vs. Red Bulls

Greetings from Estadio RFK. It's a rainy Thursday, which should be no surprise to loyal D.C. United fans, who remember that exactly one year ago today D.C. played 15 minutes of a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo before a torrential downpour forced the game to be canceled. D.C. United...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 4, 2009; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Thursday Morning Kickaround

- It was not the best of nights for the U.S. national team in San Jose, with the Americans getting drubbed by the Ticos. Goff linked to his match report earlier, but here it is again. Needless to say, I was getting happy phone calls from my father and 'what...

By Paul Tenorio  |  June 4, 2009; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
Categories:  D.C. United , Misc. , U.S. men's national team  
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Adios, Costa Rica

That's my message as I prepare to head home after a fourth trip in about a dozen years to the land of Pura Vida (and volcanoes and rainforests and, of course, Spencer and Heidi). The headline also serves as the catchphrase for the U.S. team, which suffered yet another humbling...

By Steve Goff  |  June 4, 2009; 2:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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Matchnight: USA-Costa Rica

Venue: Estadio Saprissa. Kickoff: 10:06 p.m. ET TV: ESPN2, Galavision. (ESPN2's pregame show starts at 9:30) The latest weather forecast for greater San Jose. It's been gorgeous the past three days, but as always this time of year in the Central Valley, there is a chance of late-day thunderstorms. I...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2009; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (225)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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The Wallaces of Costa Rica

D.C. United rookie Rodney Wallace is taking a neutral approach to tonight's USA-Costa Rica qualifier. "I'm just hoping it's a good game," the left-side midfielder/defender told the Insider a few days ago. "Not to say I don't care who wins, but I know it's important for both teams. I'll definitely...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2009; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Costa Rica , D.C. United , U.S. men's national team  
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Costa Rica Kickaround

*My scene-setting, USA-Costa Rica story from San Jose. To see how it was presented on the front of the print-edition sports section, click here. *TV Alert! Less than 24 hours before the USA-CR showdown, ESPN execs abruptly moved tonight's coverage from ESPN to ESPN2. The good news is that they've...

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  College Soccer , Costa Rica , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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I'm Not a Celebrity, Where's the Marriott?

The visit to the Poas volcano was spectacular. The nearby mountaintop lagoon was as peaceful of a setting as I've ever seen. The zipline through the jungle canopy was a rush. Son of Insider (SOI) and Wife of Insider (WOI) had a grand time searching for crocodiles and enjoying the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 10:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Costa Rica  
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A Few Minutes With Benny Feilhaber

You remember, Benny, right? Brazilian-born midfielder who grew up in New York and California, went to UCLA before heading to Europe to sign with Hamburg and then Derby County, and at age 22, scored a mighty-fine winning goal against Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup final and then made the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Team USA News Conference

I'll be back later with a Benny Feilhaber interview, but for now, highlights from the USA news conference at the team hotel this afternoon: Bob Bradley: "We're excited about this match. A lot of talk about how difficult it is to come to Costa Rica and win -- the stadium,...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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Who Starts for USA?

This much we know (or at least we think we know): Tim Howard will start in goal against Costa Rica tomorrow night, Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra will claim their usual roles in central defense, Michael Bradley will be somewhere in central midfield, and Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan will...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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USA at Saprissa

Estadio Saprissa, home of Costa Rica's national team. (Laultramorada.net) Costa Rica provides wonderful memories to all who visit -- except the USA national team. A look back at recent calamities at Estadio Saprissa: Dec. 1, 1996 Semifinal round of World Cup qualifying Fans pelt USA players with batteries, bags...

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Costa Rica , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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USA Training at Saprissa

Never mind the USA practice. The highlight was the onset of dusk on a breezy, cool evening at Estadio Saprissa. The sun's fading rays mixed with low, fast-moving clouds to create a hue nearly the same as the 23,000 purple seats. Breathtaking. The Americans' training session was closed to the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 1, 2009; 10:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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Greetings From Saprissa

Police vehicles created a wedge through San Jose's rush-hour traffic, escorting the USA team convoy to Estadio Saprissa late this afternoon for a 90-minute workout on the artificial turf. Along the way, a few commuting Ticos realized what the commotion was about and welcomed the Americans with a one-finger salute...

By Steve Goff  |  June 1, 2009; 7:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Costa Rica , U.S. men's national team  
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Pura Vida: Costa Rica

Futbol permeates Costa Rica, the land of "Pura Vida" -- literally translated as "Pure Life" but in reality means "Full of Life." I took the above photo in San Antonio de Belen, near the international airport. Yesterday, on the slithering drive into the mountains toward the rim of the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 1, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Costa Rica  
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Edu Out

Greetings from rainy Costa Rica, where the Poas volcano and Colinas del Poas zipline should not be missed. (Can you believe they named a volcano after Post colleague Paul Tenorio?) The Americans won't arrive until tomorrow afternoon, but we already know one player who won't be on the flight here...

By Steve Goff  |  May 31, 2009; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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WPS Matchday 8 - Freedom vs FC Gold Pride

Greetings all from Maryland SoccerPlex on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. It's been a great weekend for soccer, with D.C. United, Freedom and an international match all going on, as well as, at least for me, regional finals for high school soccer. It's Soccer Club Night out here in Boyds, and...

By Paul Tenorio  |  May 31, 2009; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Freedom  
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United Rewind

Here's the link to Kyle McCarthy's D.C. United match report from last night's 2-1 controversial loss to the Revolution. If you haven't seen it, here is video of the call that led to the penalty kick. It's been a busy soccer weekend. Paul Tenorio covered last night's El Salvador-Jamaica tie...

By Greg Manifold  |  May 31, 2009; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  D.C. United , Freedom , U.S. men's national team  
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