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Soccer Insider: June 21, 2009 - June 27, 2009

Poll: USA-Brazil

Have your say..... You can also use this thread to discuss today's MLS, SuperLiga, WPS and Euro transfer news. poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 27, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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USSF Frowns on Water Breaks

In our continuing series about questionable MLS officiating decisions, the USSF takes issue with referee Jair Marrufo's bizarre water break midway through the first half of Houston's match with Real Salt Lake last weekend. (What is this, an under-11 league?) "The referee incorrectly takes it upon himself to make a...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  MLS , USSF  
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Twellman Out, Pietravallo Gone

Nearly three weeks ago, after Taylor Twellman suffered a relapse of concussion-like symptoms that had sidelined him almost all season, the Insider told you that the Revolution's star forward was in rough shape and probably wouldn't return anytime soon. For a while Revs Coach Steve Nicol said he was "day-to-day."...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  MLS  
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Late-Day Kickaround

*USA forward Jozy Altidore will appear via satellite on a segment of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser at 5:30 p.m. today. *A reminder that Sunday's final has been moved from ESPN2 to ESPN. Univision will carry the Spanish broadcast. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. *Join the...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup , History , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Talkin' Soccer

A mature, reasonably intelligent conversation about soccer on one of ESPN's mainstream headache-inducing blab-fests talk shows? Go figure. From "Around the Horn" after the USA's upset of Spain..... Bill Plaschke: "It's significant only if they sustain it. You remember they made the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2002, that...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Video: Estudiantes Victory

Juan Sebastian Veron (look for the bald guy) and Estudiantes defeat visiting Nacional, 1-0, in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores semifinal series:...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Argentina , Libertadores  
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Friday Kickaround

All quiet on the local front this weekend as D.C. United and the Washington Freedom are off. Nationally and internationally, brace yourself for a busy couple days: *Confederations Cup Sunday's Third-Place Match Spain vs. South Africa, 9 a.m. ET (ESPN2, Univision) Sunday's Championship USA vs. Brazil, 2:30 (ESPN, Univision) Pregame...

By Steve Goff  |  June 26, 2009; 7:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , D.C. United , MLS , Mexico , SuperLiga , TV , U.S. men's national team , USL , Women  
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Video: Brazil's Goal

Daniel Alves's perfect free kick in the final moments of Brazil's 1-0 victory over South Africa in the Confederations Cup semifinals:...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 10:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup  
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Matchday: Brazil-South Africa

Confederations Cup semifinal Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN, Telefutura. Brazil and South Africa battle for the right to play the United States in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday. Brazil is heavily favored over the host nation, but as the U.S. team proved --- anything is possible. As usual,...

By Greg Manifold  |  June 25, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
Categories:  Brazil , Confederations Cup , World  
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United Drops Crayton

The Insider has learned that D.C. United will not exercise the contract option on veteran goalkeeper Louis Crayton, who lost the starting job this season and had fallen to No. 3 on the depth chart. Crayton's deal, which was paying him about $170,000 annually, expires next week. He had not...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Quaranta's Call-Up

D.C. United veteran Ben Olsen, commenting on teammate Santino Quaranta's call-up to the USA squad for the Gold Cup: "It's just another tribute to the position he has put himself in this last year. He has been great, he'll keep pushing forward and I think he looks at this as...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Altidore to Greece?

Greek media is reporting that Olympiakos has targeted USA forward Jozy Altidore. Click here for a fuzzy image of a front page referencing Villarreal's 19-year-old player. Awaiting more details........

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Greece , U.S. men's national team  
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USA Gold Cup Roster

While the American squad prepares for the Confederations Cup final Sunday in Johannesburg, Coach Bob Bradley and the USSF have finalized the 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which begins late next week. The Americans are scheduled to open training camp Tuesday in Seattle in preparation for their July...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  CONCACAF , Gold Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Thursday Kickaround

The USA's upset of mighty Spain wasn't the only soccer news yesterday. The Washington Freedom played at Boston, SuperLiga continued, there were two MLS matches, a Mexico friendly and Copa Libertadores. (Not to mention South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in Buenos Aires looking for, um, Boca-River tickets.) *Let's begin in...

By Steve Goff  |  June 25, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Freedom , Gold Cup , Libertadores , MLS , Mexico , Spain , U.S. men's national team , USL , Women  
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Poll: Greatest USA Upset?

In the wake of the Americans' 2-0 shocker over Spain today..... poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  History , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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USA Shocks Spain

The United States men's national soccer team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in its 93-year history today, stunning European champion Spain, 2-0, in the semifinals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. The triumph rivaled victories over England in the 1950 World Cup, Colombia in the 1994...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Spain , U.S. men's national team  
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Matchday: USA-Spain

Confederations Cup semifinal Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET. Live TV: ESPN, Univision. Taped TV: ESPN2, 11 p.m. IT'S OVER. USA 2, SPAIN 0. USA ADVANCES TO CONFEDERATIONS CUP FINAL AGAINST BRAZIL OR SOUTH AFRICA. SPAIN, RANKED NO. 1 IN THE WORLD, HAD WON A WORLD-RECORD 15 STRAIGHT GAMES AND HADN'T LOST...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (246)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Spain , U.S. men's national team  
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Wednesday Kickaround

*Spain is ranked No. 1 in the world. Spain is the reigning European champion. Spain has won a world-record 15 straight matches. Spain is undefeated in 35 straight, tying the international mark. Spain hasn't conceded a goal in the Confederations Cup. Blah blah blah.....Spain-USA kickoff at 2:30 p.m. ET on...

By Steve Goff  |  June 24, 2009; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Freedom , Libertadores , MLS , Mexico , Spain , U.S. men's national team  
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Poll: United's MVP

With D.C. United having passed the midway point of the league calendar, it's the proper time to select the club's most valuable player. The candidates: Josh Wicks, who has come to DCU's emotional rescue after winning a three-man battle for the starting goalkeeping job; Dejan Jakovic, a smooth central defender...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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USA Yellow Cards, Revs Injuries

An update from the U.S. Soccer Federation: Yellow cards do not carry over into the second stage of the Confederations Cup, which means Michael Bradley, Jonathan Bornstein, Oguchi Onyewu and Jonathan Spector are not at risk of missing Sunday's final or third-place match. Unless, of course, they receive a red...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , MLS , SuperLiga , U.S. men's national team  
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Iranian Players Banned

Four Iranian national team players have essentially been banned for life for wearing green wrist bands during a World Cup qualifier in protest of the national election results. The group includes veteran stars Ali Karimi and Mehdi Mahdavikia. Read the Guardian's account....

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  World  
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MLS News & Notes

*As we told you the other day, D.C. United's Champions League schedule has been set. Today CONCACAF officially announced the dates and times of the preliminary stage, including DCU hosting Chalatenango of El Salvador on July 28 at 8 p.m. at RFK and playing the road leg at Estadio Custcatlan...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , MLS  
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DCU-Real Madrid Tickets

D.C. United officials tell the Insider that ticket sales for the Real Madrid friendly Aug. 9 at FedEx Field are approaching 35,000 -- an impressive total more than six weeks ahead of the match. By comparison, the DCU-Chelsea game at FedEx in 2005 drew 31,273 total. Real's recent acquisitions of...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  D.C. United , Spain  
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Tuesday Kickaround

*Defender Carlos Bocanegra, a full-time starter who has yet to play in the Confederations Cup because of a hamstring injury, is listed as questionable for tomorrow's semifinal against Spain. ... Defender Danny Califf has left camp to attend to a family matter. ... Jonathan Bornstein, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu and...

By Steve Goff  |  June 23, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , England , MLS , Spain , SuperLiga , TV  
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Quaranta to Gold Cup

The Insider has learned that D.C. United midfielder-forward Santino Quaranta, who resurrected his career after battling drug addiction, will be named to the USA Gold Cup roster this week. Quaranta, 24, has not played for the American squad since February 2006. USSF officials are tentatively planning to name the 23-man...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  D.C. United , Gold Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Jakovic, USA, Wambach

*The Insider told you weeks ago that this was in the works, and now it's official: D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic has been named to Canada's 23-man Gold Cup roster and will miss as many as three MLS matches and two U.S. Open Cup games. The USA offered to CONCACAF...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  CONCACAF , D.C. United , Freedom , U.S. men's national team  
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DCU Stadium Update

While the self-proclaimed "Night Owl" maintains his unwavering support for keeping "The United" in Washington, the Insider is hearing that another local jurisdiction has stepped forward in recent days with an interest in a possible stadium partnership with D.C. United. We know that Montgomery County in Maryland is curious, and...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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MLS Misadventures

There were PKs, an own goal and a red card over the weekend, but three follies by MLS defenders that led directly to goals were most troubling. Which was the most egregious? Judge for yourself: DCU's Avery John vs. Colorado: Seattle's Tyrone Marshall vs. New York (Marshall also had a...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  MLS  
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Monday Kickaround

*"Not Just a Liga, It's SUPERLiga" Update..... After four matches, MLS's record against Mexican counterparts stands at 2-1-1. (USA! USA! USA!) Defending champion New England, still without star forward Taylor Twellman, scored three goals in 22 minutes of the second half to subdue Santos Laguna, 4-2, at rainy Foxborough. Shalrie...

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  MLS , Mexico , SuperLiga , USL , Women  
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Poll: Confederations Cup

Now that we've reached the semifinals..... poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  June 21, 2009; 11:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Poll  
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USA Rewind

They're too old, too slow, too predictable. The coach leans too heavily on holdovers from previous World Cups and is being pummeled in the blogoshere. Trouble looms as next year's tournament approaches. One of the most promising young players was -- gasp! -- born in another country. We're not talking...

By Steve Goff  |  June 21, 2009; 7:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , Italy , U.S. men's national team  
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Matchday: USA-Egypt

Oh, and let's not forget Brazil vs. Italy, a couple of teams with a bit of international history. Both matches will kick off at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Americans will appear on ESPN2 and Telefutura, while that second-rate match (kidding) is on ESPN and Univision. Mathematically, the Americans are still...

By Steve Goff  |  June 21, 2009; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Confederations Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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United Rewind

Even in defeat, D.C. United had been competitive in every match this season. Not tonight. The Mile High Hex continued with as dodgy of a performance as we've seen in a very long time, a 3-0 rout that was over at halftime. Maybe it was the busy schedule, fatigue, travel...

By Steve Goff  |  June 21, 2009; 1:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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