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Friday Kickaround

*You're not going to believe this: Needing to win at USL1 Montreal by four goals to overtake Vancouver and claim both the Canadian Championship and a CONCACAF Champions League berth, Toronto FC allowed a goal...and then scored six in a row for a stunning 6-1 victory. Dwayne De Rosario had a hat trick, Amado Guevara had a brace and Chad Barrett added one.

*While D.C. United and the Washington Freedom are on the road this weekend -- at Colorado and St. Louis, respectively -- consider heading to 9:30 Club on Saturday afternoon for a soccer-related event benefitting Fugees Family, a non-profit that provides educational and sports programs for resettled refugees. Meet Warren St. John, author of "Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town." Listen to Chopteeth, an afro-funk big band. Watch Futboleros, soccer freestyle entertainers. Event details here.

*In USL2, Crystal Palace Baltimore (4-5-3) is at Bermuda (3-7-1) tonight while Real Maryland (5-4-0) is at Harrisburg (6-2-1) on Saturday and home against Wilmington (4-3-2) on Sunday at 4 p.m.

*From Estudiantes' 1-0 victory over Defensor in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals (2-0 on aggregate), check out the special fan at the 30-second mark:

By Steve Goff  |  June 19, 2009; 6:44 AM ET
Categories:  Libertadores , MLS , USL  
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Something very serious needs to be mentioned in this comment section. I missed something from the last match thread and it needs to be addressed.

cmon hoos. Even sitruc is cheering for us now.

Posted by: Reignking | June 17, 2009 10:37 PM

At no time was I actively cheering for the Hoos. I respect John Grisham and what he has done for the baseball program at UVA, but I only wanted an end to the match. Every nice thing I may have said on BigSoccer or any other website was conditional and included references of Tech's superiority over UVA. Congratulations to the Hoos for their late regular season and post-season run. Now they're out of the CWS and all that really matters is a Tech team that didn't even make the conference playoffs won 2 of 3 against them this season in baseball.

Carry on.

Posted by: sitruc | June 19, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Sure, sitruc, sure. In the cold light of day, we've all regretted our dalliances from the night before once or twice. Doesn't mean you didn't cross over to the dark side when it was convenient for you, in the heat of passion. When the guy in the eunuch bird outfit shows up, just hand in your alumni card nice and quiet like, ok? No need for more drama.

Is this for this year's ccl or next years?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | June 19, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

How are we doing the comments over the last couple of days? it seemed a lot of comments were posted, On each thread over 400, 200 etc. wow!

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | June 19, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

De Rosario may be the best player in MLS with his back against the wall. Toronto could be a tough team to face in the playoffs.

Posted by: DCUMD | June 19, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Regardin TFC's victory over Montreal Impact to win the Canadian Championship last night--three things immediately came to my mind:

1) How bitter are they in Vancouver?

2) What an interesting tie the preliminary round will be with TFC facing Puerto Rico Islanders. MLS vs USL. Puerto Rican national team captain and the best modern player that the Island of Enchantment has produced, Marco Velez with his current squad squaring off with the club that he helped to establish and that his family still supports--they are at just about every home game.

3) Man, how bitter are they in Vancouver!?!?

Posted by: yankiboy | June 19, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Too many possible lines to be written about why that spectator has a dog with him @ the match. I'll leave that alone...

Posted by: 22206no1 | June 19, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

How are we doing the comments over the last couple of days? it seemed a lot of comments were posted, On each thread over 400, 200 etc. wow!


Nobody posts here any more. It's too crowded.

Yogi Berra

Posted by: OWNTF | June 19, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In the end, sitruc, you won.

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Damn, no "Bob Bradley fired" headline.

Posted by: EssEff | June 19, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Ug, just looking at the Gold Cup sked. Oh, those games vs. Grenada and Haiti will really help us improve and see what this team is made of.

I'd love to see a poll -- do you blame Bradley, or blame our players? For me, our players just aren't good enough.

Where on earth is DMB going to play next season? MLS?

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Reignking. In a perfect world, none of it would have happened.

Posted by: sitruc | June 19, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"- do you blame Bradley, or blame our players?"


In the post-game interviews on ussf, the players defended the coaches by saying that they were told what to do, but didn't execute. But the coaches have failed to motivate these players.

The players, overall, aren't good enough. Someone covered this at length the other day (psps23?). We have 2nd and 3rd tier players, just like we've always had. But now we just have more of them. The joking calls for Bora are not so off target, I feel that we're back in the mid 1990's, where a tie in a friendly (e.g. Argentina) is a major accomplishment. It's depressing to think about.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

>The players, overall, aren't good enough.

Yeah, that's what I think -- I've been posting that since seeing Egypt v Brazil. Egypt has some world-class talent that we just don't have.

I'm just wondering who people blame (the most). I usually blame the players, first, anyway, believing coaching can only do so much (in any sport).

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

BTW...on that red...was that called by the linesman? I didn't even see the ref signal advantage.

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Being back in the 1990s isn't all bad. We can still party like it's 1999,

Posted by: fischy | June 19, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Toronto's fans must be over the moon today. Nice for them to build a little history for themselves.

Posted by: KireDCU | June 19, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't remember there being no sound in 1999...

Posted by: PEddy | June 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

From BehindtheBadge:

Beginning today at 11 a.m., the D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC game from Wednesday night will be aired in its entirety for free on It will start out on the media wall like a highlight, then move to the video archive late today:

Posted by: the_slammer | June 19, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I think coaching absolutely has a lot to do with our US players not performing. We must move passed this Bradley-Arena level of coaching. It's got to be more than selecting line-ups from our player pool. USA is missing tactical knowledge to get to the next level and the hunger to prove better. We peaked at WC 2002, where we showed we can compete with other great national teams.

Gulati needs to get some stones and get an internationally experienced coach (i.e. Klinsman, etc.) to install a tactical system and get our players working in it. Enough with the Bradley-era. Must we suffer through WC 2010 like we did in WC 2006 and WC '98 again???!!! I say we get started now!

Posted by: dayface | June 19, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

>USA is missing tactical knowledge to get to the next level

But is that the coach's fault, or a systematic issue that American soccer has?

Look at Rossi. Obviously, he has natural gifts, but he has absolutely flourished while training/learning in Europe.

Maybe we need more Bradentons and fewer travel teams.

Maybe giving Klinsmann the keys to the entire US soccer structure was the right thing to do.

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

>Maybe giving Klinsmann the keys to the entire US soccer structure was the right thing to do.

Reignking- I think it's both US system and coach at the top.
I fear that USSF keeping status-quo will hurt future progress.
We have been drinking CONCACAF cool-aid for long enough. Surely USMNT aims are higher than where we're stuck now. Yet, there's no evidence of USSF/Gulati realizing this, showing any concern, and taking any action.

It's frustrating to see glimpses of possibilities (i.e. U20 WC vs. Brazil a few summer's back with Adu & Altidore, et. al.) and not
see forward progress. IMHO, we have some good players, but lacking leadership to improve our team and developmental system.

Posted by: dayface | June 19, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Not so sure about more Bradentons and fewer travel teams, Reignking. Recent changes with the development academy concept - trying to improve coaching effectiveness broadly - seems better suited to cast the wide net we need. I have cause for hope from what I see at the travel level even at young ages - some tough, athletic and talented young players learning and doing great things with the ball at 8, 9 and 10 yrs old. They are also much more diverse than many people claim (or at least imply) in commentaries about "suburban white kids". Also, there has been some progress with youth programs of MLS teams, another reason to like (well planned) expansion.

Obviously, we are not yet an elite soccer nation, and I hope this experience leads to some obvious conclusions (no more Beasley, Sacha takes a year+ off national team duty, Clark is emergency back up only, Dempsey needs some rest and re-charging at a minimum) and that Bob is given enough rope but only just...

On the other hand, and sorry for the long post, I like what I see from M.Bradley, Spector, Onyewu, and Donovan. It's nice to see Feilhaber back in the mix, Jozy will alomst certainly play more somewhere next season, and I love to see players like Holden, Torres and Pontius in their early 20's who have a chance to show in the next year what they can do. I don't understand using Beas against Brazil, but Bob Bradley has also looked at a lot of players and should continue to do so for at least the next 6 months, while take care of the most important thing, qualifying and building next year's team.

Wow, glad I got that off my chest...Call me a naive optimist if you like, I don't mind.

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | June 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, it is systematic. The senior national team isn't where teaching should happen. The players aren't even there long enough for that. They need to learn each other, not skills they don't have, or tactics they haven't been taught.

Interesting point about Bradenton, though.
There was a piece I found yesterday about the 2001 U-17s -- a where are they now story.

Maybe it wasn't a very good class to begin with, since they didn't do well -- lost all three tournament matches. But, they haven't contributed much to the national team. More surprising is how few professionals, or successful professional players came out of that class. Eddie Johnson and Heath Pearce are the standouts. Quaranta is carving a niche, but he's not the world-beater we'd hoped. Chad Marshall is probably the best of his class, within MLS. There's also Mapp, Magee, Wahl, Harvey, Ashe, Harrington, Gaven, DiRaimondo. Hardly an All-Star team.

Of course, the class suffered a huge blow, when the team's captain was killed in a car crash that probably derailed two other player's careers. It seems most of the Bradenton kids from that class didn't even make it to the pros, or had very brief careers.

The 1999 class had more star power -- Donovan, Onyewu, Beasley and Beckerman But, other than Convey and Cronin, there doesn't seem to be any others still at the MLS level.

I haven't searched out to see if there are other players from the same age group that have made an impact in MLS or abroad, but it would be interesting to see whether the Bradenton kids really stand out above their peers.

Posted by: fischy | June 19, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

What I'm saying in that last point -- I didn't explain it well -- is to raise the question regarding how much Bradenton has accomplished and wonder if we really need more academies like it. Obviously, some of the top USA players did come through Bradenton, like Donovan and Onyewu. But, they were already the cream of their class when they were selected for Bradenton. The question is how many players really advanced because of Bradenton, and how well their peers did, without the Academy training.

Posted by: fischy | June 19, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I know what the problem is, BB hasn't called in our secret weapon...

Eddie Johnson!!!

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | June 19, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

fisch -- my thinking is that players like Rossi benefit greatly being surrounded by soccer and soccer players 24/7. Of course, I would hesitate to send my child to something like that, so I'm a hypocrite :)

sportsparenttoo, you seem to be closer to it. Growing up, all of my travel coaches were just fathers/volunteers -- no one with real soccer experience. High school was a bit different, actually.

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW good link fischy -- cool to see where some of them are, now, and not just in soccer.

Posted by: Reignking | June 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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