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Matchnight: AC Milan - Chelsea

Greetings from...Estadio M&T Bank? Just doesn't have the same ring to it. Let's stick with M&T Bank Stadium.

My commute up here wasn't the loveliest -- I left a meeting at the Post newsroom at 3 PM and hit some traffic on the way up, finally arriving in Baltimore at about 5 PM. I guess a Friday night would have something to do with that, oh and an overturned camper in the left lane of I-95 North.

Fans were already arriving en masse upon my arrival at 5 p.m., as would be expected with a crowd of about 71,000 in the house tonight.

It's my second time in the press box here in Baltimore and I continue to be impressed by the set-up. With my current dieting for this swim project, however, I could hardly partake in the press box food.

Check out Goff's feature on Oguchi Onyewu and tonight's match here.

AC Milan - Chelsea
When: 8 PM
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
TV: ESPN

I'll get lineups to you when I can, and any updates on whether Onyewu will be in the Starting XI for the first time ever with the Rossoneri.

Milan: Kalac; Oddo, Nesta, Silva, Zambrotta; Seedorf, Flamini, Pirlo, Ronaldinho; Boriello, Pato,
SUBS: Kaladze, Gattuso, Inzaghi, Onyewu, Jankulovski, Favalli, Abate, Storari, Di Gennaro, Strasser, Zigoni, Ikande, Albertazzi, Antonini
Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovich, Terry, Cole; Belletti, Lampard, Mikel Obi, Zhirkov; Anelka, Drogba
SUBS: Shevchenko, Pizarro, Sinclair, Turnbull, Hilario, Hutchinson, Mancienne

(These lineups were given without positions, so this is my best estimate based on the starting names I was given.)

Otherwise, as usual, this is your place for pregame, in-game and postgame banter.

By Paul Tenorio  |  July 24, 2009; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  England , Italy , World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Weekend TV Listings
Next: D.C. United News & Notes

Comments

Shouldn't that read:
Estadio Banco M&T

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | July 24, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Gooch will get more than a half out there.

Posted by: ussoccerthoughtscom | July 24, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm really pondering whether or not I want to see Gooch tonight. The defense is going to get ripped to shreds, mainly because Milan's attack consists of Ronaldhino passing from deep positions to Inzaghi. Oh, and Seedorf playing eleagantly, and shaking his head.

I still have a ton of faith in Gooch, though. But I think playing some league games in Italy would be a better starting point then, you know, Chelsea.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm sold on calling him "The Gooch".

Consider it added to the SI lexicon.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Are the lineups out??

Posted by: StewartDC8 | July 24, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The last time I checked, Goff's profile of Gooch was ranked 19th on the list of the 20 most emailed Post articles, and the preview of the game was 2nd on the list of most viewed articles. Both lists are usually dominated by stories from the front section.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 24, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

No Gooch. Milan puts its full squad out there.

Posted by: spikeman | July 24, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

My bad, its not their starting squad.

Posted by: spikeman | July 24, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

That's the first time I"ve seen the big error.

Honestly, I think he should have just kept running, and he would have been given far less flack for it.

I just think that was a very good cross.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Chelsea's jerseys ugly as hell.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I was kinda hoping to see Pato here, but oh well.

I don't like Chelsea's jerseys, but they do seem to be the team taking this most seroiusly.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know Drogba had that in him.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. He does.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Some fans are happy they bought those tickets. Fun game.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Dear ESPN, please make this your number one announcing team. They are about a thousand times better than Dellacamera/Harkes. Thanks.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | July 24, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

WOWWWW.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, fun game.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many people there just went with a friend thinking "Yeah, okay, whatever", and at this point are thinking "Yeah, okay, I'm in."

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I meant the Seedorf, "I'm going to shoot, but about half way there, I'm going to employ zero gravity."

That was a crazy cool shot.

Guess it's just you and me, JacobfromAtlanta-ish. guess everybody else is at the game.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I hope Tracee is watching.

Posted by: djohnson | July 24, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Paul,

No offense man, but my pre-teen daughters swim faster than you!

You should stick to soccer...

Posted by: Barracudas | July 24, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree new chelsea kit is more than ugly. The bright color is always better look on tv.
Also, tv color is dark. The player level of course is very slow compare to actual league play. The good side, both goals were qualities. Agreed Lala is much better in play by play commentator than himself giving analysis and JH. JP. I always like A. Healey.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 24, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else's signal keep stuttering every 3 minutes or so? Maybe it's Comcast?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 24, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

when is seedorf coming to the MLS? and...when can we have him?

Posted by: birdynumnum | July 24, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

That's the thing about "Sport center update" interrupting the broadcast.

We actually Watch both halves of the game, (unlike other sports),

We don't NEED IT TWICE!! So tacky and pointless.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that was Gooch's fault, but he aint helping his stats

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

What's up with the headgear on Cech?

Posted by: djohnson | July 24, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Czech had a bad hit to the head a few years ago.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 24, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I wish more were on this so I wasn't such a dweeb.

I think Leonardo got a good look at why Onyewu should get more minutes. The man is a monster on Any set piece. Plus, long throws and headers that are like punts.

Come on. (I think he has a future).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Cech had a knee to the head that fractured his skull. He hasn't been the same keeper since.

Gooch had another rough start, huh? He's not in 2 minutes and Chelsea is banging the ball around at the goal, leaving him a step late here there, and finally looking totally lost about what to do on the game-winning shot. Then, a header he knocked out to touch. It did get better for him, though. Thought we had the storybook ending when he snapped the header at goal. Too bad it was wide. Final play -- he gets pulled down from behind as he steps away from his man to block Lampard's effort to ice the game. Wonder what the ref would have done if Lampard had scored....

Posted by: fischy | July 24, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I thinking Gooch is the kind of player that needs to be on the field at the start. Never mind that a defensive sub is a rare thing. I'm thinking he's slow to get into the flow of the game. He's definitely going to have to react quicker at this level.

Posted by: fischy | July 24, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Way to agree with yourself, fischy.

I have to say, it's surprising how much love you have for somebody who Never fulfills his positional obligations, (Ching, that mighty man who would have NOT scored against Ghana... TWICE, had it not been for Bobby Convey) but you go into full critic mode with a guy playing his second game (and only first ninety minutes) against Chelsea!

And I thought Bradley had favorites.

Especially since, other than Inzaghi's header, Milan only looked dangerous when a set piece came around. He was nervous at the start, but the goal can't rationally be said to be his fault.

Honestly, fischy, do we ever agree on anything?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 24, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Gooch is about as much at fault for the Zhirkov goal as Nesta and Silva were for the Drogba goal (you could actually argue he was less at fault, considering Zhirkov scored from a trailing position in which Abate tucked tail and turned on the block attempt -- kinda like Convey circa '06 WC -- while Drogba was a striker who received the ball and turned with negative resistance from the opposition). I'd actually say he looked better than Nesta on the night, who looked slow and disengaged, getting beat on several occasions by Drogba and Anelka. It doesn't mean much, considering the teams were clearly playing at about 30% speed, but it's worth noting.

He played very settled, didn't lose the ball, never got beat, won every 50/50 ball in his area (all 3 of them), and provided dangerous looks on goal (via a long throw, and with his header). He wasn't really challenged, obviously, but he did nothing to spark disinterest from Leonardo (in fact, Leonardo looked pissed at Oddo for not giving Gooch an opportunity on the set piece at the end of the game).

Posted by: psps23 | July 24, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

But, I should point out, he's got to do better with his header at the end of the game. Those types of things will make the difference between him earning a permanent spot and him just being another reserve.

Posted by: psps23 | July 24, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Leonardo will be smart enough to start Gooch against Inter so he can get his first look at a Serie A team. And so he can become more comfortable.

Posted by: spikeman | July 24, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

talk about anti soccer in this media circus, i was checking on NBC4 and that chick didn't have a single highlight or mentioning of the high profile play tonight in Baltimore. Instead they mumble and fumble about nationals and baseball and tenis. What a joke. These people continuously disgust me. stupid morans.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 24, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@UnitedDemon -- I didn't say the goal was his fault. I said he looked lost on the play he took a late step towards Sheva, too late to do anything about his shot, then a late step back towards the other Chelsea play (was it Belletti?), again too late to prevent a shot there, and then he kinda froze. Not saying he could've stopped the play -- just that he looked lost. Had that where am I supposed to go on this play look about him. Doesn't inspire confidence in the coach, if you've just checked in.

And, I said, it did get better. He had a perfectly weighted cross-field pass. He had a nice defensive play in the corner, and coolly passed it to another defender, starting off what could have been a great chance if Otto hadn't given it away. He rose to snap off a header -- if he got 3 chances like that, he'd put one in.

I even liked that, on the play that went to Inzaghi for his header, Gooch was unmarked behind Inzaghi and calling for the pass that went to Inzaghi instead. Showed some confidence to be asking for the ball in that situation.

Really all I said in the negative was he got off to a slow start again. Of course, he's only been with the team for a matter of days. It would be beyond amazing if he was entirely comfortable with his positioning and responsibilities. But, I also think he might fare better in their starting XI than as a sub. I'm not sure that's a criticism, in that I'm saying he should be used as a starter. I think most players would relish that kind of judgment.

Posted by: fischy | July 24, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

it is too early to blame on gooch. he has not played even a full game and didn't do bad. he out jumped every body for that corner kick. it was close but even Rooney could miss that.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 24, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I do always see gooch play pretty slow. One thing being a tall guy i guess.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 24, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I doubt any of you guys are watching RSL-Dallas, but this is odd. I mean, I haven't seen anything that makes me go "wtf?", but there's just been a weird stream of events.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 24, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

@DCUnited -- I think there's something to that. Being as big as he is, he may seem to be lumbering at times, even if he's not. But, there were times in the Confederations Cup when I was amazed at how quickly he was moving. My point was that the Italian game is different than Belgium or England. Maybe only Spain has a similar emphasis on agility over power. Think of it like Rocky 2 or 3 -- whichever one he was chasing chickens. To really be a star in Italy -- and I think he can be that -- I'm thinking he's going to have to get a little lighter on his feet and more nimble. Not totally reinvent himself, but adapt a little for the Italian game.

Posted by: fischy | July 24, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I watched RSL-Dallas. Not the prettiest game in the world but it was very entertaining. As heated a game as I have seen lately.

Posted by: croftonpost | July 25, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Drive from Arlington to Baltimore before game: Four hours
Drive from Baltimore to Arlington after game: One hour

Great atmosphere, totally worth it though.

Posted by: Pedalada | July 25, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I also watched RSL/Dallas- not pretty but fun.

Posted by: jmingus | July 25, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

talk about anti soccer in this media circus, i was checking on NBC4 and that chick didn't have a single highlight or mentioning of the high profile play tonight in Baltimore. Instead they mumble and fumble about nationals and baseball and tenis. What a joke. These people continuously disgust me. stupid morans.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | July 24, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse
===================

Drogba's goal was #1 play of the day on ESPN Sports Center

Posted by: OWNTF | July 27, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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