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Italy, Mexico, Algeria

*Italy, which will face the USA next Monday in Pretoria, reveals its Confederations Cup roster: Buffon, Cannavaro, Gattuso, Toni, Pirlo, American-born Rossi.....

*Javier Aguirre, new coach of the Mexican national team, on El Tri's 1-3-0 record and fifth-place predicament in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying: "I'm convinced that we're going to be at the World Cup, but the situation in the standings doesn't help. A statistic like this is not nice to look at."

*In African World Cup qualifying, Algeria earned a 3-1 home victory over Egypt, the USA's third opponent at the Confederations Cup. Turn up the volume -- singing and dancing strongly encouraged:

By Steve Goff  |  June 8, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Italy , Mexico , Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Real Madrid, Real Maryland, El Pibe
Next: Tuesday Kickaround


It looks like Italy has gotten better. The players on the WC roster all played in Serie A -- how good can a country be if its players can't play abroad?

Posted by: Reignking | June 8, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

OT: You are defined by the choices you make. I ask: did Steinbog make a good choice here?

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 8, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mexico has six remaining matches, four at at home (three in Mexico City) and one of the away matches is against T&T. They will qualify.

Off topic: Which one of you clowns sent all the soccer questions to Michael Wilbon's chat?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 8, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

That first goal looked just like Honduras's first on Wednesday night.

Posted by: paj18 | June 8, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Reignking, It is great to see the Italians finally following our lead with a Jersey boy and getting a player on the roster playing in France, England and Spain. If they keep it up I see great things for them one day.

Posted by: csd1 | June 8, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey all,

Fresh off my Chicago trip and an unbelievably cool random encounter with Bob Bradley yesterday outside of a Dunkin Donuts (where I was on my third or fourth donut of the morning), and toiling away at work (kind of), I thought it would be worthwhile to reflect on my previous post last week re: if you are mad that Chicago was picked for the qualifier, you should have bought tickets...

It was a bit of a sacrifice, money-wise, but even for my seventh U.S. MNT game, I was inspired all over again. My voice is STILL raw this afternoon.

Here is the deal...American fans may have been outnumbered 3 to 2, or even 3 to 1 at Soldier Field on Saturday night. But I loved standing in Nike Town and seeing fans dressed in full gear, seeing me in my jersey and just nodding at each me like " is ON." We may have been outnumbered, but I would contend that our fervor and knowledge of the game was unmatched.

I won't comment on player ratings, etc., because who am I to tell a guy who was the leading scorer on his EPL team last year that it was stupid to toy with the ball in the middle third? (Sorry Deuce--you are STILL my boy). Get out there and buy a ticket folks. It could be life-changing (ok, a bit hyperbolic).

I'll see you all in SLC, D.C., and potentially Port of Spain. Anyone out there possibly going to T & T?


Posted by: TwinCity | June 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Tried to do an educated-guess thing like I-270 did on the Mexico poll...but gave up. I see them getting bounced after a playoff with either Peru, Chile or Bolivia.

Posted by: BaltoFan | June 8, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I-270Exit1--Would you believe the brewery ran out of Summit?

Posted by: TwinCity | June 8, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Any news on Osorio? Do you think los Red Bulls are going to be getting rid of him soon?

Posted by: Springfie1d | June 8, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

no Macheda? Lippi must go! he doesn't see what we see!

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 8, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

that first Algerian goal was a carbon copy of the Honduras goal from Saturday. and that 3rd goal was a terrible display by the goalie who went down before the shot was taken, leaving a huge open target to shoot at.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

That is an absolutely massive win for Algeria, whose national football team has been in the wilderness for years due to civil war, poor economy, and the immigration pipeline to France. This might give them the confidence to take command of the group and knock out Egypt, who have to be considered the class of Africa at this point. However, it'll probably all come down to the last day, when they meet again - in Egypt.

Posted by: tendcpl | June 8, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Algeria? That used to be my radio name.

Posted by: Reignking | June 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps some of the wilderness trek has been their own doing? Appalling if true . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | June 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is off-topic, but it may be the most interesting news out of the DC United front office in some time...

There's a survey posted for season-ticket planholders. I'd post the link, but that could skew the results. If you have a plan, check your email.

Here's the interesting tidbit: The last couple of substantive questions deal with the stadium issue.

In one question, we're asked to rank 3 locations in terms of ideal personal preference. I answered that differently than I might have if asked what I thought would be the best or ideal location for the team. The choices were the "Dulles Corridor", the District of Columbia and "Lower Montgomery County" -- the survey defines that last choice as Rockville, Wheaton or Silver Spring.

The next question asks us to assume that the District is not an option, and then rank the desirability of the Dulles Corridor and Lower Montgomery County.

This is the first I've heard of the possibility of a site in lower Montgomery County. I realize that this would bea traffic nightmare for weeknight games -- at least for those coming from Virginia. I will note that the northern stretch of the Beltway typically does start clearing by or before 7:00, so driving there would not be impossible, but early arrivals would be, unless you live in Montgomery or PG or Howard Counties. However, driving times for many would be less than heading out to Ashburn or some distant spot on the future Silver Line. In terms of Metro access, this could be a huge improvement over Dulles. No doubt, this would also be more appealing to most Maryland residents than even the current location. Not sure what locations would have the real estate needed, but I'm definitely intrigued.

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

How serious is Bocanegra's injury?

Posted by: EssEff | June 8, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is the first I've heard of the possibility of a site in lower Montgomery County.

Mr. Chang, please meet Mr. Hendricks. Mr. Hendricks, Mr. Chang. How do you like the sound of "Discovery Stadium, Home of DC United and the Washington Freedom"?

Posted by: OWNTF | May 21, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


Silver Spring (Discovery HQ) would be a nice place for Discovery Stadium . . . . rip out Wheaton Plaza and you'd have land and a Red line Metro stop.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I completed the DCU survey. Any of those potential stadium locations are ok by me!

Can anyone recommend some good places to watch the South American Qualifiers on Wednesday?

Ecuador vs. Argentina 5:00 PM
Colombia vs. Peru 7:00 PM
Brazil vs.Paraguay 8:50 PM
Chile vs. Bolivia 9:00 PM
Venezuela vs. Uruguay 9:00 PM

Posted by: Pedalada | June 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, that story's a year old and I never saw that any Algerian player was identified with the alleged threats, so I'll take it all with a grain of salt until proven otherwise.

OTOH, it's certainly true that Algeria is not exactly a safe country for any kind of foreigner to travel to.

But basically, the economy started to tank which led to a lot of talent leaving for France. Then the 10-year civil war more or less killed any form of civil society and the national team went down the tubes. Meanwhile, the Algerian FA has a revolving door policy for coaches, so there's never been good leadership or organization. It's too bad, because even with all the talent "lost" to France, there is plenty there in Algeria.

Posted by: tendcpl | June 8, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

VW park might look nice out by the new VW HQ on the Dulles Corridor...

Posted by: VTUnited | June 8, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

When DCU scores 5 goals or more, all fans receive a new Jetta!

Posted by: Pedalada | June 8, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@OWNTF -- the question is where in Silver Spring. In theory, downtown Silver Spring would be just the kind of downtown location everyone advocates for stadiums, but there are considerable logistical issues.

There are plenty of garages and some underutilized strip malls along Georgia Avenue - a bit far from the highway, but I guess doable. Perhaps not much worse than the Morgan Blvd site in that regard.

I wonder if there isn't some good location just off the the Beltway, by the Forest Glen Metro. The neighbors won't be pleased, but there are parking lots that could be developed and an empty space right where the Beltway crosses Georgia Ave., which might be large enough. Not downtown, but may be more practical.

Wheaton has the advantage of a huge immigrant population -- mostly Latino. I doubt Wheaton Plaza is going anywhere, but some of the property could be more developed -- especially if they buyout and knock down the office building at the Viers Mill/University intersection.

Rockville? Depends which Metro they're thinking of. There is the school property behind Strathmore, which is planned for development. Wealthy neighbors might object to a stadium. I don't know what's planned for the shopping centers where Montrose Pkwy is being constructed, but that might be a sensible location -- accessible from 270 and 495 and both Twinbrook and White Flint metros. The time to start planning something there would be before the new route is finished. Then, there's downtown Rockville. The Metro lot, or the lost on Middle or Beale might do for stadium, but they're not easily accessible to highways. 270 and the coming ICC are the only options

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I guess Shady Grove could also be a possibility, if that's considered lower Montg. Co.

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

is the school property behind Strathmore, which is planned for development.
SO the stadium would be at 270, Exit 1?

Posted by: OWNTF | June 8, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, it would be named for him....

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I have no preference, as the drive from Atlanta-ish doesn't make a difference whether it's in the district or 10 minutes north or 30 minutes north.

Point being: Just get the thing.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 8, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Give that the so-called community of North Bethesda has been steadily creeping northward since I moved here, it wouldn't surprise me if "Lower Montgomery County" meant Shady Grove.

At my eponym? There's no Metro stop here and the traffic at the 495/270/spur triangle is a nightmare, but I can walk to the games. But Bethesda is NIMBY-land and residents must be gnashing their teeth over the Walter Reed relocation. It's unlikely that they'll accept a stadium too.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 8, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the El Salvador - Honduras game on Wednesday is gonna be televised?

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | June 8, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- Sure residents would fight tooth and nail, but there's an interesting twist...Planners and County Council members have asked WMATA to build a new station between Grosvenor and White Flint. A stadium would be great impetus to do that, although frankly, the Grosvenor stop is plenty close to the location which would never happen because Garrett Park residents would not allow it...but perhaps the lot next to the mall would be more promising -- less affluent neighbors.

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Still -- on reflection, you're probably right -- they're probably thinking of the Shady Grove area, when they ask about Rockville. I-270, Exits 8-9.

Posted by: fischy | June 8, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse


it will cost you $5.99 here:

or you can take your best shot with or with this guy who i think claims he will be showing it:

he's streaming a replay of USA-Honduras right now. just saw Beasley getting subbed in with 15 minutes to go (and making a nice tackle on defense) before it got flipped it back to the ES-Mexico match.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 8, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I know it can get easy to hate on Rob Stone, but he's on Bill Simmons' podcast today spending 45 minutes talking soccer. Just a heads up.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 8, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Lower MoCo would be good, but as fischy and 270 mention, there are plenty of areas that will match the NIMBY power we saw in Virginia. Getting the right plot of land would obviously be crucial. I don't have much to contribute on what land is promising, since most of my commute during a summer working in Rockville was spent dodging death on 193 between College Park and the turn onto Viers Mill. It was hard to pay attention to anything else.

I believe these days everything south of Olney and Gaithersburg presents itself as "lower" Montgomery. I've at least heard such opinions offered. In my mind, even Rockville shouldn't count under that definition, but I'm not really in a position to tell municipalities how to refer to themselves.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

that song is a hit! DCU should start playing party hits during their highlights.

Is that an Algerian song? It wouldn't be out of place in Trinidad.

Posted by: diego_r | June 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Please, please, PLEASE!!! whatever deity delivers the goods and keeps United in the area, I will automatically get off the world religion bench and grant some devotional love to Vishnu.

Let it be.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 8, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

So have we figured out what the prize is for winning the Argy Bargy league? A heineken mini keg? When and where will the winner cash in? Lot 8, last DCU match of the season?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 9, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Real paid 56 Million Pounds for Kaka, not sure what the conversion is to Dollars, but that'll change things this Summer. If Real land Ronaldo for roughly the same amount of money there will be a spending spree this transfer window. Valencia is already needing to sell all of their good players because of their stadium deal that they can't afford. Milan need to replace their aging players and now have money to do it.

What will be interesting is if Man U sell Ronaldo how much they spend, they are over 500 Million Pounds in debt, so if they get 50 Million, will the banks expect that to be paid on the prinicipal. Two years ago no, but now with the credit crunch Man U might not be able to spend on credit anymore.

Real is also supposed to be looking at Ribery, which I can only imagine would be to place him on the left flank. Not sure why since they have Arjen Robin there, but maybe he would be for a rotation. Either way a midfield of Robin, Kaka, Ronaldo and Ribery would be a terror. Ronaldo might get moved into a striker which would be interesting. He can score goals so it makes sense, if he can learn how to head the ball he would be the best striker since Maradona (though he couldn't head the ball since he was 5'6" at best).

It will also be interesting to see if this spending spree might find its way to America. If Ribery gets sold might Donovan go back? Will teams like Milan and Valencia buy young, American players to fill the rosters on a budget? I doubt Milan will but Valencia might.

Portsmouth, Manchester City and Sunderland (I think) all have new billionaire owners who will also be looking to spend big money to get into the Europa Cup and Champions League (isn't going to happen), and Chelsea will be spending money as well.

If any American players get picked up what will that mean for the MLS? The level of play has dropped since the addition of 3 expansion teams (though I don't think Seattle has hurt it much), and another is coming this year. I don't usually agree with the arguement that expansion teams hurt the level of play, but I think the MLS was easier to watch 3 years ago. If more of our best talent goes to Europe the play will be hurt that much more. But can the MLS afford not to sell with attendences being what they are now? I don't see Dallas being able to reject selling Cooper if an offer comes again.

Sorry about the book, just wondering what everyone else has to say on the subject.

Posted by: bighungry | June 9, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Ribery is fantastic. You don't sit Ribery.

Real Madrid is collecting stars once again. I hope they fall flat on their face. I haven't liked them since 2003, when they were so deep that Michael Owen warmed the bench. That's ridiculous.

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Selling Kaka made up last year's operating deficit for Milan. Doesn't really give them lots of money to throw around. They probably wait until the end of the year to get Beckham on a free transfer. As for replacing the old guard, they're going to have to dip into that somewhat to get a striker to replace Kaka, but I wouldn't expect a whole lot more than that. Ribery is probably moving on, but I'm not convinced it will be to Real -- especially if they make a play for Ronaldo. They're going on a spending spree, but it will be harder now than it was in the past.

Donovan? I think he lost his champion at Bayern. If he does go over, I don't expect it to be to such a marquee club. He doesn't fill Ribery's shoes. Similarly, I don't expect that there will be a sudden increase in Americans moving to Europe as a cheap alternative. American players aren't that good. Expansion will force MLS to significantly raise its salary cap, and it will also provide the money to do so. MLS will start bidding more competitively for Central and South American talent to fill the gaping holes on the rosters in coming years, with 3 teams being added...and possibly one or two more after that. MLS owners are holding out now, because of the labor talks, but it will have to happen.

Posted by: fischy | June 9, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

If Milan doesn't do more than replace Kaka, they are not going to be in European competition. They're team is too old to stay at a top level, especially when they sold their best player, and one of the only players who wasn't old. I prefer the other Milan team so I hope you are right.

Posted by: bighungry | June 9, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Don't go [back to] Rockviiiiile" ... "and waste another year".

Posted by: WorldCup | June 9, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What a colorful ambiance for that Algeria-Egypt game. That is why I love African soccer.

Posted by: bluemist | June 10, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

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