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Soccer Insider: November 15, 2009 - November 21, 2009

Saturday Kickaround

*From Maryland to MLS Cup, Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza are a victory from another championship. *Seattle's gloomy forecast..... Today: 46 degrees, windy, 100 percent chance of rain Sunday: low to mid 40s, windy, 70 percent chance of rain *MLS's board of governors met Friday, but from what I understand,...

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2009; 6:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS , USL  
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Beckham Status and MLS Notes

Galaxy star David Beckham, who has a bone bruise on his right foot and has been wearing a protective boot, says he will play in Sunday's MLS Cup. He will receive injections to manage the pain. Today at Qwest Field, Beckham trained for the first time this week. "We're not...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  MLS  
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Olsen to Retire

Ben Olsen, D.C. United's gritty midfielder who overcame severe ankle injuries to resurrect his career this season, has decided to retire, several sources told the Insider. A formal announcement is expected next week. Olsen, 32, is not a candidate for United's head coaching job, sources said, but seems likely to...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Video: Keane on Henry

Irishman Roy Keane takes a contrarian view of the Thierry Henry handball controversy and, in typical feisty and combative style, offers a variety of rants. "They should have cleared it. The ball bounced in the six-yard box. ... Would I call him a cheat? Nah, I wouldn't think so. Did...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  France , Ireland  
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Friday Kickaround

*Thierry Henry says a France-Ireland replay would be the right thing to do. "Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa. There is little more I can do apart from admit that the...

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , France , MLS  
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Weekend TV Listings

What are you going to watch? SATURDAY Russia, Rubin Kazan-Zenit 6 a.m. ET Setanta England, Liverpool-Manchester City 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 Germany, Schalke-Hanover 9:30 a.m. GolTV England, Sunderland-Arsenal 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel England, Chelsea-Wolverhampton 10 a.m. Setanta Spain, Deportivo de Coruna-Atletico Madrid 11:55 a.m. ESPN Deportes Spain, Tenerife-Sevilla noon GolTV...

By Steve Goff  |  November 19, 2009; 11:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  TV  
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Olsen Weighs Retirement

D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen, the heart and soul of the club who has endured numerous ankle operations and medical setbacks during a standout career spanning 11 years, is mulling retirement, the Insider has learned. A decision is expected within a week. United officials declined comment and said Olsen, 32,...

By Steve Goff  |  November 19, 2009; 7:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Donovan Is MVP

*Landon Donovan is the MLS most valuable player, finishing ahead of Golden Boot winner Jeff Cunningham of Dallas and New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph. In the league's complicated voting procedure involving media, coaches, general managers and players, Donovan received a weighted score of 39percent, Cunningham 25.3 and Joseph 17.6. Donovan...

By Steve Goff  |  November 19, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS News & Notes

*MLS will announce the MVP winner Thursday after 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNews. However, none of the three finalists will be present for the ceremony in Seattle. Jeff Cunningham is returning from the USA friendly in Denmark, Shalrie Joseph is apparently on vacation and Landon Donovan will be en route...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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USA Loses at Denmark, 3-1

The USA finished the 2009 calendar with a thud -- a troubling 3-1 loss at Denmark after seizing the lead in the first half. Jeff Cunningham scored on a left-footed strike from about 21 yards, but the Danes shredded the USA backline in the first 10 minutes of the second...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Matchday: USA-Denmark

....as well as those final World Cup qualifying playoff matches. The Americans wrap up a busy, productive and mostly successful 2009 calendar with a friendly against World Cup-bound Denmark in Aarhus. Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN Classic will show the entire match. ESPN2 will join the game in progress...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Red Bulls' Sporting Director?

Erik Soler, a former Norwegian international and player agent who has worked for IK Start, is the leading candidate to become sporting director of the New York Red Bulls, the Insider has learned. The choice of a European without any MLS ties to oversee team operations would likely lead to...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  MLS  
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Wednesday Kickaround

*After more than two years of matches, qualifying for the 2010 World Cup ends today with the final six berths at stake: France carries a one-goal advantage into the second leg against Ireland in Saint-Denis (2:45 p.m. ET, select bars and restaurants for a cover charge). Greece is on the...

By Steve Goff  |  November 18, 2009; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , CONCACAF Champions League , D.C. United , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Schelotto's Status

Have we seen the last of Argentine maestro Guillermo Barros Schelotto in Columbus? In a meeting this week, the Crew told the 2008 MLS most valuable player that, in order to remain with the club, he would have to agree to a salary cut of more than 50 percent, the...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2009; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  MLS  
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Tuesday Kickaround

*The final act in World Cup qualifying is Wednesday with six slots available. Will you be able to watch the matches? Yes and no. ESPN2 will show the Ukraine-Greece match live at 1 p.m. and Setanta has Bosnia-Portugal at 2:45. Slovenia-Russia can be found on Setanta Xtra on DirecTV at...

By Steve Goff  |  November 17, 2009; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS  
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The Commissioner Speaks

Highlights from MLS Commissioner Don Garber's State of the League address..... SEATTLE'S IMPACT: "The launch of the Sounders will go down as one of the key moments in the history of this sport in this country. ... The credibility that we have, the awareness that we have of the great...

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  MLS  
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MLS's Best XI

Based on voting by players, coaches, general managers and media, the all-league squad is: GOALKEEPER: Zach Thornton (Chivas USA). DEFENDERS: Chad Marshall (Columbus), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Wilman Conde (Chicago). MIDFIELDERS: Shalrie Joseph (New England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto), Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle), Stuart Holden (Houston). FORWARDS: Conor...

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2009; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  MLS  
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Poll: MLS Cup

poll by twiigs.com...

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2009; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  MLS , Poll  
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Monday Kickaround

*FIFA to Diego Maradona: Go away, creep. For two months, anyway. *Switzerland -- yes, Switzerland -- wins the Under-17 World Cup, defeating host Nigeria, 1-0. *MLS will unveil the Best XI this afternoon. Based on individual awards finalists, I'm sure we'll see Thornton, Marshall, Cameron, Hurtado, Joseph, Donovan and Cunningham....

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2009; 6:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Argentina , College Soccer , Germany , MLS , Youth soccer  
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USA Roster for Denmark Friendly

***LATE-NIGHT UPDATE: Jose Francisco Torres was scratched for personal reasons.*** As we told you earlier this morning, four new faces will join the USA squad and three have been dropped for Wednesday's away friendly against Denmark in Aarhus. Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca), Edgar Castillo (Tigres), Stuart Holden (Houston) and Ricardo...

By Steve Goff  |  November 15, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Sunday Kickaround

*For D.C. United supporters, and particularly those who admire Nick Rimando, Saturday night's penalty kick tiebreaker between Real Salt Lake and Chicago in MLS's Eastern Conference final surely stirred memories of the 2004 showdown between DCU and New England at RFK Stadium. And with the last of his three saves...

By Steve Goff  |  November 15, 2009; 7:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , D.C. United , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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