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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. Who else? Schelotto, De Rosario, Beckerman, Casey, Davis, Cummings, Ljungberg?

*The 48-team NCAA men's tournament field will be announced today between 5:30 and 6 p.m. ET on ESPNews. Virginia was going to make it anyway, but a 1-0 victory over North Carolina State in the ACC final -- the Cavs' eighth consecutive shutout -- secured a berth. Meantime, the women's tournament has reached the round of 16 with seven ACC teams, including Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

*Germany says goodbye to goalkeeper Robert Enke:

By Steve Goff  |  November 16, 2009; 6:08 AM ET
Categories:  Argentina , College Soccer , Germany , MLS , Youth soccer  
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Next: Poll: MLS Cup


I was sure wrong about Virginia - they must be doing something right by winning the ACC.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 16, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand exactly why Diego got suspended for ranting. What exactly did he say or do to deserve a two month ban? I know he has a bad track record, but it wasn't like he tripped a player on the field. Did the Mexican coach get a two month suspension for that? I do not think so. So basically FIFA is saying that if you vent your frustrations it is worse than tripping a player from the opposing team. I guess in the land of FIFA actions do not speak louder than words.

Posted by: no_recess | November 16, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Switzerland won? I'm neutral on that.

(Beat you all to the punch)

Posted by: Reignking | November 16, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

So, after the weekend, are we set - regardless of results from Sunday night?

Champions League:
Columbus Crew - Supporters Shield
Seatlle Sounders FC - US Open Cup
Real Salt Lake - MLS Cup Finalist/Winner
LA Galazy - MLS Cup Finalist/Winner

Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire
CD Chivas USA
New England Revolution

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 16, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Also, this means that everyone in the country that loves MLS will be forced to pull for the Galaxy as an RSL win (while overcoming the AEG Axis of Evil) would be just as troubling for MLS Cup Playoffs as a Red Bull one last year.

However, big cheers to RSL - you didn't do it well all season, but you won when you had to - and in sports, that's what matters.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 16, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Maradona: "He arrived 50 minutes after the [FIFA] meeting's scheduled start time"

Of course.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Switzerland won? I'm neutral on that.
(Beat you all to the punch)
Posted by: Reignking

I canton imagine that you'd feel otherwise.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What's the SuperLiga again? Is it on TV, PPV, the internet?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

so adding insult to injury, Chicago losses and now has to plat in the stupidliga???

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 16, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Why all the sour grapes over RSL? There's a feel good story in there and you could hardly say that for New York last year. These guys knocked out teams that theoretically should have beat them, but that's why they play the games right? What's with all this sense of entitlement baloney? I think Donovan and Skunkboy are great ballers but I think I'm secretly rooting for Andy Williams to score the GWG in the final.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

...I think I'm secretly rooting for Andy Williams to score the GWG in the final.
Posted by: DadRyan

Hey Paris, on the internet, there are no secrets.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather watch RSL speed and open attack running at LA's back line than watch Blanco's tired act. I'm glad Rolfe is leaving that team. Now there's one less reason not to hate Chicago even more. I wish McBride would leave too.

Maybe Rimando's not as good as Perkins. But if you're an American GK and you're much better and/or bigger than Rimando, you won't be in "the MLS" for long. So unless you have such an eye that you can identify the next Perkins, Guzan, etc. every year, you're better off getting someone (a) young and reliable who will stick around; or (b) old, established and coming home. And if (a), someone who is not whack (please!).

Posted by: OWNTF | November 16, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Some behind-the-scenes argy-bargy between France and Ireland. :-)

Posted by: glfrazier | November 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dude you asked for it:

On a completely serious food related note, it's been a long time since the Skins made the PapaJohn's monday pizza deal worthwhile. Their 3 touchdowns and win equal 6 free toppings on your $9.99 cheese pizza today. Don't sleep.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 16, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd like to see the Gals when because I would like to see the DP rule work; I was hoping for a Fire/Galaxy final for that reason. If the Galaxy win, perhaps it would encourage more teams to make bold, smart decisions about how to use the DP slot.

Posted by: DaninFL | November 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if an LA victory in MLS Cup would by itself validate the DP rule. I'd say, on balance, it has not worked well for MLS. That doesn't mean it can't work, but based on experience thus far, for every Blanco and Beckham, you have a Gallardo, a Branco, A Denilson, A Reyna, a ...

Posted by: Ron16 | November 16, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Domino's had the TD-pizza tie-in. Maybe $1 off per TD? Anyway, that seemed like a safe bet until Brad Johnson had a career year.

Posted by: Reignking | November 16, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse


No sour grapes over RSL. I mention that I applaud their effort. They beat the supporters shield winners twice to get to Chicago and then beat a team in what amounts to a true road test at the Toyota! It's a great effort.

But, I'm anti-playoff when it results in a mid-table team in leagues where you can play all of your opponents in a fairly equal setting. It has nothing to do with tradition or Europe or anything else. Playoffs make sense in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, College Basketball, and (gulp) College Football - these leagues either don't have enough games to play everyone equally or have more than enough - but play a regional schedule and call it a national league. At the end of a Regular (Exhibition) Season - no one can really say they beat all comers equally to sit as the best team with the best record.

And yet, in those leagues where playoffs make sensse - I still dislike the idea that a one-off game is the decider of a champion or advancing team. Even as imperfect as a home-and-home series can be and the tactical absurdities when one throws in away goals, it's still a better chance to avoid Davidson, the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, George Mason, 2005 LA Galaxy, and the 2008 Red Bulls.

I know I'm in an extreme minority here - but that's my take. I like my champions tested over time. And while the Galaxy were not quite the best team over the 30 rounds of MLS, they've been a pretty good team after their 1-1-9 start and would add some names to MLS Cup lore that may take it a step further in its ascension to worthy competition to win. I just want it to be a trophy that's worth winning.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 16, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought RSL played well and deserved to be in it at the end. Good for them. I just can't stand Beckham and Donovan when they talk to the media with that fake sincerity, so I really hope RSL win.

Maradona is the antichrist in the eyes of FIFA. I think he's always going to get treated harshly, but it's not like he hasn't brought most of his problems on himself.

For those of us planning to tape the US match wed, any word if the entire match will be on ESPN Classic, or are they going to cut away when it's available on ESPN? Just trying to figure out the DVRing logistics.....

Posted by: hacksaw | November 16, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I hear that VBB. I'm no fan of flukes myself, I'm just trying to appreciate it for what it is. We all have ideas of what we'd like to see more or less of in MLS. I'm simply happy seeing something a little different this year. That's all. Tired of Chicago, tired of the Dynamo, I hope the final this year is action packed.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i'm with you, vbb. that's why i think the supporters shield is more important than the mls cup. and since dcu has the same number of each, we can still go with the same number of stars on the banner and keep going.

Posted by: troy6 | November 16, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like you are taking a more serious perspective on the whole champion thing than I would like to take. Its an entertainment industry. Playoffs are entertaining. Columbus being declared the champions of the league with a week left to go in the season does nothing for me.

Posted by: csd1 | November 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

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