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Friday Kickaround

*Red Bulls to the rescue for MLS! After D.C. United's glum, 1-1 tie at RFK to a Salvadoran replacement team in preseason and Toronto's 1-0 home loss to a USL1 squad, New York manages a 2-2 tie on the road in the first leg of its Champions League preliminary series. Granted, the opponent was from T&T's very modest league and both New York goals took favorable deflections, but a tie on the road with two goals puts the Red Bulls in prime position to advance to the group stage next week.

*Coaching legend Bobby Robson (1990 English World Cup squad, Barcelona and PSV among others) has died at age 76. The BBC has complete coverage.

*More than 85,000 are expected at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night (11 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel) for the Galaxy's friendly against Euro champion Barcelona. Meantime, ticket sales for United's encounter with Real Madrid next weekend at FedEx Field are over 55,000.

*Saturday's high temperature in Houston prior to the DCU-Dynamo match: 98 with a headt index of 105.

*USA goalkeeper Troy Perkins returned to Norwegian club Valerenga for a 2-1 home loss to PAOK of Greece in the first leg of Europa League qualifying. In the 64th minute, a former Perkins teammate in Washington in 2005 entered for PAOK: Argentine forward Lucio Filomeno.

*In USL2, Real Maryland (7-8-1) continues its push for a playoff berth with two matches this weekend: at Richmond (9-3-5) on Saturday and home against Harrisburg (9-6-2) on Sunday afternoon. Real is tied for fifth with Crystal Palace Baltimore but has played two fewer games. The top five will advance to postseason.

By Steve Goff  |  July 31, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF Champions League , Spain , U.S. men's national team , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New York State of Mind
Next: ITN's Tribute to Robson

Comments

norwegian press reports were positively giddy that perkins is back; apparently he is truly appreciated there. that said, they also reported that the squad played a weak defensive game and that there was reason to believe they would be better in the return leg. for those who tease Dallas and others for attendance figures, Valerenga had fewer than 3500 in attendance.

Posted by: troy6 | July 31, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"98 with a head index of 105."

Too many possibilities, including some not family friendly, so let's keep it topical:

"Those are the grades handed out yesterday by President Obama after his Rose Garden Beer Bash with the recently at-odds policeman and "suspect"....After much discussion about which beer to serve, it seems that the final selection liked by all."

Posted by: 22206no1 | July 31, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

OT: In an earlier thread a few days ago, it came out that several of you have some connection with Flagstaff, AZ. It so happens that a restaurant in that burg will be featured on a program on the Food Network tonight:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/their-own-way/index.html

Posted by: universityandpark | July 31, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Still disappointing for united madrid draw. Less than 80k would be a not so success with the club like madrid. With 9 days left I don't see it going above 60k.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 31, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@S. Goff,

As you've crossed paths with your sources this year - I'm wondering what some of them (Mainly senior club and MLS officials) would think if out of 5 possible MLS teams in the CCL, only the 2 in the group stage got there?

Toronto has the steepest hill to climb, DC needs a win in Central America (yikes) and Red Bull is up and coming home.

Last year, the teams that played in the CCL had a difficult number of matches to contend with (Old C. Cup, League, USOC, SuperLiga, CCL, etc). This year it has improved by elimination of some of the double participation. However, this league can't really take the black eye two years in a row, can it? What does the Players Union have to say?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 31, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"98 with a head index of 105"

What's a head index?

Is that the temp that Tino's hair gel catches on fire?

Or is that the temperature Soehn needs to finally lose a gasket and motivate his team?

Posted by: delantero | July 31, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: universityandpark

There's off topic and then there's bringing the food network in . . WAY OT .. but Guy Fieri does have a great job.

Posted by: delantero | July 31, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So excited Tommy didn't put in the starting XI on Tuesday night...
Seems to me Houston would have been a much better place to test a bunch of benchwarmers. I know league play is crucial, but HOuston is busted up, and a scary percentage of our guys have a penchant for cramping up in the heat. I really hope Coach surprised me this weekend. A draw simply will not be enough.

Anyone know anything about the quality of the left Costa Rican left back that the Sounders just signed? Leo Gonzalez. Does DCU have any more spots left to fill in the window?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

really needing to preview more... meant to type I really hope Coach surprises me this weekend.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

How does one qualify for the MLS Playoffs this year? Top 2 in each division next 4 in either division? Top 4 in each division?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | July 31, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

3500 for a Euro League qualifier? Despicable!

-Adrian Hanauer-

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | July 31, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Top 2 in each division next 4 in either division."

Per Sr. Goff's post yesterday regarding the Bulls and their likely futile effort to salvage their MLS season . .

Posted by: delantero | July 31, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

RIP Sir Bobby. What a legend. And a character.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | July 31, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"98 with a head index of 105."

Too many possibilities, including some not family friendly, so let's keep it topical:

"Those are the grades handed out yesterday by President Obama after his Rose Garden Beer Bash with the recently at-odds policeman and "suspect"....After much discussion about which beer to serve, it seems that the final selection liked by all."

Posted by: 22206no1 | July 31, 2009 8:29 AM
==================

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 31, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@Dalentero
Top 2 plus next best four equils only 6 teams. Will 8 teams make playoffs?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | July 31, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Meantime, ticket sales for United's encounter with Real Madrid next weekend at FedEx Field are over 55,000."
---------

Only 35,000 more for a sellout with just over a week to go. I'd say they'd be lucky to get up to 65k. Question is, does the current 55k-plus allow DCU to at the very lease break even after RM appearance fee, FedEx Field rent, etc?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 31, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@9Nine9
Top 2 in each division will give you 4 and next 4 regardless of division brings the total to 8.

Posted by: dkwatts86 | July 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Prez -- Bud Light
Gates -- Sam Adams Light
Crowley -- Blue Moon
Biden -- Bucklers

Posted by: OWNTF | July 31, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John, according to my Virginia Tech math skills, yes.

Posted by: sitruc | July 31, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Totally off soccer topic but keeping with the beer discussion...Interesting that Gates changed his beer choice. I read yesterday that Gates had requested Red Stripe and that a Congressman from MA was complaining that no one had requested Sam Adams and that the owner of Sam Adams was offering to make a special brew just for that occassion.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | July 31, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Only 35,000 more for a sellout with just over a week to go. I'd say they'd be lucky to get up to 65k.
Posted by: Juan-John | July 31, 2009 10:32 AM

Hey maybe they can just throw XBox 360 tarps over the empty seats and call it a "Sell OUT"!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 31, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Only 35,000 more for a sellout with just over a week to go. I'd say they'd be lucky to get up to 65k.
Posted by: Juan-John | July 31, 2009 10:32 AM
_______________________________________________

I think you're right. The problem is that they have priced out many of the soccer families. I know that we are not going because, plain and simple, we cannot afford the tickets. Even with the price reduction for the upper deck crap seats (to $50!), that is over $200 for our family of 4 for one game. For us to choose not to go is a HUGE deal, as my son is a huge C.Ron fan. We also are not the casual DCU fan... we have a half-season plan, we have already bought our tickets to the US Open Cup Final, we took our kids' teams to a game earlier this year (which we already had tickets to, but bought extra to sit with them) and constantly talk up the experience of going to a game in-person to those we know. However, for decent seats to the RM game, it would have cost us over $300 for the game. That's almost half what we pay for our season tickets. It's just not do-able these days. I think if they had scaled it back just a bit, instead of trying to shoot for the moon $$$ wise, they would have easily had a sell-out.

Posted by: HarkesyRules | July 31, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Although I disagree with HarkesyRules' screen name, I agree with what he wrote.

The game is too expensive for me, and I love United and have been a fan of Real Madrid since I studied there in 1995.

Posted by: WorldCup | July 31, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that they have priced out many of the soccer families.
______________________________________

I think there is an additional factor which should be taken into consideration for the lower than expected turnout.

This game is probably competing against the same fans who have recently attended the sold out Chelsea v. AC Milan game (72,000) and those tickets were priced higher than this game.

In addition, the Chelsea v. AC Milan game was scheduled earlier and imo had a better match up as well as date & time. I would much rather see two famous international teams v. just one. In addition, I would prefer to go to a game on a Friday night rather than a Sunday afternoon, although I will also be going to this game.

Finally, many Washingtonians are away the first two weeks of August and so this also hurts the turnout.

Although it may be a lower than expected turnout, it is still higher than Chelsea v. DCU four years ago which was also at Fed Ex.

Posted by: source100 | July 31, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Eh, I wouldn't even pay $35 to see a friendly. I don't care who the opponent is. It's a meaningless match, no matter how well United shows.

Posted by: alecw81 | July 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This seems worth mentioning that with the upcoming sold-out Barcelona visit to Qwest Field in Seattle will have filled 132,000+ seats in it's 2 international friendlies (Chealsea/Barca). Both games were part of Season Ticket package and will have more Sounder support vs. foreign support.

Props to a fan friendly front-office!

Posted by: beejay1076 | July 31, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This game is probably competing against the same fans who have recently attended the sold out Chelsea v. AC Milan game (72,000) and those tickets were priced higher than this game.

=======================

I sat 9 rows from the field (side line, not behind the goal) at M&T for $50. $50 is nose bleed end zone for Madrid.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I sat 9 rows from the field (side line, not behind the goal) at M&T for $50. $50 is nose bleed end zone for Madrid.

___________________________________________

It probably depends on the type of tickets purchased and from the source.

With the Chelsea game, I bought lower midfield tickets through the official ticket broker and in addition to base ticket price which was higher than the Madrid game, I had to pay a convenience charge, an order processing charge, a UPS charge, and a ticket insurance charge, although the last charge was optional.

With the Madrid game, I was able to buy similar tickets through my local club since it has an affiliation with DCU which sold them at a discount without all of the extras tagged on by ticket broker which I had no choice but to use.

Posted by: source100 | July 31, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, W Connection was as poor an opponent as an MLS team has faced in this competition (and I've watched every game involving an MLS club since the change to Champions League). Well... them or Tauro last year. W Connection didn't have a good defender among the 5 they ended up using, and despite playing 2 holding midfielders they struggled to shield their defense. The only player that was MLS quality was Hughton Hector, and even he was only of the kind of quality you see on MLS benches. I guess their striker Frias (scorer of the other goal from around 1-2 feet from the goal line) was a troublemaker too, but mostly due to being high energy and knowing where to run. Once he ran out of gas, he disappeared.

If NY wasn't so awful, they'd have won this game with relative ease. Instead, they needed 2 extremely fortunate deflections (goal #1 struck a defender's hand, freezing the keeper despite the fact that the ball ended up traveling right past his head). They should still win at home due to their ability to possess the ball better than W Connection. However, since it's NY, I figure they'll be 2-1 up in injury time, give up an equalizer, go up in OT, give up another equalizer, and then concede the fourth in OT stoppage time by doing something astonishingly stupid.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 31, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to real madrid. Pay 50 bucks to watch a very expensive team play half-heartedly? Bunch of facists.

Also the walk from the metro sucks.

I miss lucio filomeno. He had the greatest mullet ever.

Posted by: pigmansweet | July 31, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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