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Early Thursday Kickaround

Pardon the absence (for non-soccer responsibilities).

*New England goalkeeper Matt Reis will miss the start of the 2010 MLS season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Revs lost their back-up, Brad Knighton, in the expansion draft last week.

*As expected, Martin Vasquez is Chivas USA's new head coach. New York, Chicago and D.C. United, you're on the clock.....

*The first country selected in the World Cup "draw"? Ireland! Hello, Charlize.

*Besides ESPN2 at noon, Univision will present the World Cup draw live Friday. Its coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. ET.

*Down to nine players, LDU Quito loses at Fluminense, 3-0 ... but wins the Copa Sudamericana title on a 5-4 aggregate.

*Americans abroad:
Yesterday
GK Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 1-0 win at AEK Athens
Today
MF Clint Dempsey, F Eddie Johnson for Fulham vs. CSKA Sofia

*The 15 semifinalists are named for the Hermann Trophy (college player of the year). The three finalists will be identified next Friday.

For today's TV options.....

*Soccer on TV:
Europa League, Werder Bremen-Nacional 1 p.m. GolTV
Europa League, Galatasaray-Panathinaikos 3 p.m. GolTV
Europa League, Roma-Basel 8 p.m. GolTV
Europa League on DirecTV:
Austria Vienna-Athletic Bilbao, 1 p.m.
PSV-Sparta Prague, 1
Shakhtar-Brugge, 1
Toulouse-Partizan Belgrade, 1
Copenhagen-Cluj, 1
Roma-Basel, 3
Sporting Lisbon-Heerenveen, 3
Fulham-CSKA Sofia, 3
Ventspils-Hertha Berlin, 3
Dinamo Bucharest-Sturm Graz, 3

By Steve Goff  |  December 3, 2009; 1:18 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , MLS , TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wednesday Kickaround
Next: World Cup Draw Projection

Comments

"New England goalkeeper Matt Reis will miss the start of the 2010 MLS season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Revs lost their back-up, Brad Knighton, in the expansion draft last week."

Great. The MLS press can bust out their lip balm even earlier than usual in preparation for telling us all how Steve Nicol does so much with so (ahem) little.

Posted by: j_doe | December 3, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Weird, unrelated question--
My ex-wife just got back from Morocco. She said that on the flight from Morocco to Paris (on Air France!) she met the coach of the Senegal soccer team. She said he was happy because they were going to "the next level."

Now, as far as I know, Senegal is not going to the World Cup. Does anyone know the story here?!?

Posted by: wjones3044 | December 3, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Funny article about the rehearsal draw, which said:

"a goal from striker William Gallas after captain Thierry Henry had handled the ball."

France is really desperate when Gallas is playng as a striker.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | December 3, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the pilot decided to climb to 40,000 ft - the next level.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"The MLS Press"? You could buy them lunch with $50 and get change....

Posted by: JkR- | December 3, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"The MLS Press"? You could buy them lunch with $50 and get change....
-------------------------------------------

Lunch with Goff is would be worth more than $50! And any excess could be donated to your favorite charity arm of DC United.

Steve, do we have a Soccer Insider Holiday Charity Auction?

Posted by: Curious99 | December 3, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@wjones3044 - Maybe your ex- confused Senegal with Cameroon?

Posted by: edgeonyou | December 3, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he turned the volume to 11.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Just for the record, if FIFA charge Henry with bringing the game into disrepute, and Henry misses some WC games as a result, you will all remember that I called it first. Not that I necessarily think it would be a fair punishment. Or, rather, it is an entirely fair punishment, if only it were handed out in a consistent fashion.

Posted by: glfrazier | December 3, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I guess Ireland "asked" for it, but it hardly seems fair that everyone is using them as the butt of their stupid jokes when the JOKE is the cheating frogs going to South Africa. Sepp's audacious chuckle was disgusting, this is only acceptable because she's hot and has not made any sort of commitment to "Fair Play". Barf.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Roma-Basel, 3
aka the Fresh Mozzarella Bowl

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 3, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Roma-Basel" has pretty much wrapped it up... pizza for lunch.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 3, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

If anyone should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, it should be Sepp and Jack.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

*The NSCAA Hermann semifinalists for the women are out too, and include Tiffany McCarty from Laurel (Fla State).

*NSCAA High School All-Americans are out, and include two local players, Alex Doll from Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS and Pamela Vranis from Winston Churchill HS.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 3, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Charlize has a wicked sense of humor, no?

I'm getting draw fever, so here's my thoughts: I realize fans in all the unseeded nations want their team to draw South Africa for their group. We may all be guilty of underestimating the power of the mighty vuvuzela -- but, I'm still hoping we get drawn in South Africa's group. I don't want to start off with a game the USA can't win.

As I wrote before -- I'm glad the British think we're the best team in our pot, but I think that's based on a team that doesn't really exist right now. Without Onyewu and Davies, and even Edu, the USA is not so formidable. Perhaps we'll get one or more of those players back in form in time for the Cup, or perhaps Cunningham or Findley can fill Davies' role; perhaps Jermaine Jones will step up and claim a midfield slot; and perhaps Edgar Castillo can make us less vulnerable in defense. If those things don't happen, the USA will have bigger things to worry about than the draw.

Still, I can hope for a good draw. A good draw would be: South Africa from Column A, either Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece or even France (Les Blues are very beatable) from Column B, and Algeria, Cameroon or even Uruguay from Column C. The USA could advance out of such a group. If the USA's group draw doesn't include at least 2 teams from this short list, it'll be a short stay in South Africa.

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

A healthy Ribery could make France a very, very good team.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Weird, unrelated question--
My ex-wife just got back from Morocco. She said that on the flight from Morocco to Paris (on Air France!) she met the coach of the Senegal soccer team. She said he was happy because they were going to "the next level."

Now, as far as I know, Senegal is not going to the World Cup. Does anyone know the story here?!?

Posted by: wjones3044

Its not the African Nations Cup either.

Posted by: Brian76 | December 3, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Senegal coach was about to join the mile high club.

Posted by: GeneWells | December 3, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Wait wait wait! Charlize Theron is South African?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 3, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Saw a picture of Charlie Davies out on the town in NY on my pseudo facebook friend Sacha Kljestan's page.... It seemed pretty encouraging.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 3, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My guess -- he wasn't the coach of the Senegalese national team. Perhaps he's the coach of a club side in Senegal -- a team which might be going to the next level in Senegal, or the CAF Champions League?

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Senegal coach was about to join the mile high club.

Posted by: GeneWells

Winner. Contest over.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Or, maybe Senegal, Ireland, Costa Rica and a few other countries are going to start a second level World Cup, like the Europa League...

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

he probably finally learned how to jump over Bowser in Super Mario Brothers.

Posted by: diego_r | December 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wait wait wait! Charlize Theron is South African?
Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish
===============

She's a naturalized US citizen now. Does that make her, technically, the second African-American to win the Best Actress Oscar?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Count me as one who thinks any punishment of Henry would be a travesty. I for one think it was just a reaction (did he really have time to plot out his action...and if he did did would he really expect for it to go unnoticed?).

It was a foul, but an ordinary run of the mill yellow card foul...it would not ordinarily carry any follow up punishment...when do we start reviewing games to find other transgressions?

Posted by: teo_68 | December 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think MLS should fine Donovan for his penalty miss...

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So, the Revs were apparently caught off guard by the decision of Jay Heaps to retire as well as the severity of Reis's injury, look to start the off-season with Bobby Shuttleworth as their de-facto #1 keeper after losing Knighton in the expansion draft, not to mention the earlier departure of Paul Mariner... and this while the club continues to suggest that Twellman and Jankauskas will be our starting forwards in 2010. Wow... who's been asleep at the wheel?

Posted by: evan_whitney | December 3, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

She's a naturalized US citizen now. Does that make her, technically, the second African-American to win the Best Actress Oscar? Posted by: I-270Exit1

Technically, she's African American, eh? That certainly will make the Politically Correct folks' head spin. "Can not compute. Can not compute. Danger. Danger."

Theron's boyfriend is Irish, apparently. I wonder who slipped in the ball . . .

Posted by: delantero | December 3, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Still, I can hope for a good draw. A good draw would be: South Africa from Column A, either Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece or even France (Les Blues are very beatable) from Column B, and Algeria, Cameroon or even Uruguay from Column C. The USA could advance out of such a group. If the USA's group draw doesn't include at least 2 teams from this short list, it'll be a short stay in South Africa.

Yeah, it would be great if we could draw both South Africa and Algeria (or Cameroon). Unfortunately, it's not possible.

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 3, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Something tells me that Ireland isn't laughing with.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Or, maybe Senegal, Ireland, Costa Rica and a few other countries are going to start a second level World Cup, like the Europa League...

Posted by: fischy

That's a brilliant idea. The NIT of soccer.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Henry will get a one or two game suspension, at least. Sepp has to atone for his idiotic statements that po'd the Irish.

If Vasquez is the new Chivas coach, doesn't that mean Steve Sampson is still available? Seems like the kind of brilliant move DC's front office would make...

Posted by: hacksaw | December 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

NCAA Men's DII Semifinals: # 1 seed Ft Lewis 2, #6 Le Moyne 1 at halftime. Being played at the U. of Tampa. Pretty good game, live video at ncaa.com

Posted by: soccerman | December 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

As for the Irish, I agree with Sepp -- they are making asses of themselves at this point.

As for Henry, well, that handball was about as deliberate as handballs get. The only way to eliminate cynical cheating from the game is to punish it. Sanctioning players after the game for infractions that the referee did not see is an existing practice; this would not be unique to Henry. HOWEVER -- it is rarely done, and done irregularly. You look at how rugby treats coaches or players who behave inappropriately, and you see the basis for a game that does not have nearly the problems that footy does. A simple example: football managers are always moaning about the referees. Rugby managers never complain about the refs, and when the even hint at it, they get slapped down so hard... my brain can't find an appropriate metaphor.

(Of course, there are far fewer pressures on rugby, as it does not have the commercial focus that soccer does, but there you go.)

Posted by: glfrazier | December 3, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As for the Irish, I agree with Sepp -- they are making asses of themselves at this point.

As for Henry, well, that handball was about as deliberate as handballs get.
Posted by: glfrazier

1) That is Sepp's fault -- they came to him, confidentially, and he opened his big mouth. What they asked for, of course, was impossible, but they had to try.

2) No way -- the Hand of God was much much worse. Henry's was deliberate, but it was a split-second decision due to the fact that his hand happened to naturally be there. In the Hand of God, getting your hand up next to your head -- and swatting the ball -- shows much more forethought.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to watch the Univision coverage. They are sure to have the ladies in bikini's for some reason ;)

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | December 3, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

We're all African-Americans. (Ever hear of the Olduvai Gorge?)

Posted by: universityandpark | December 3, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

My aunt Lucy lived near there

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

NCAA Men's DII Semifinals: # 1 seed Ft Lewis 5, #6 Le Moyne 2...30 minutes left. 4 goals (3 for Ft Lewis) in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half - not a lot of defense in this one.

Posted by: soccerman | December 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Irregardless of the Gorge, I am Irish-Scotch-German-Cherokee American. It's a long story.

And for you nimrods that haven't caught on to the running "irregardless" joke, there is no help for you. Irregardless of your meds.

I should know -- I'm a recovering journalist. I speak good words.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 3, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I commend to you "Born Fighting" by your Senator Jim Webb, if you have not already read it.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Charlize has some messed up looking knees. (?)

Posted by: dculoyal | December 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tidbit: The JMU Men AND JMU Women each won the National Club title in Arizona over the weekend. Congrats to both.

More: The women did it without a coach. The 10 seniors on the side led the team in all aspects.
http://breezejmu.org/2009/12/03/mens-and-womens-club-soccer-dominate-nationals/

Epic.

Posted by: JkR- | December 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you've got to reallllly stretch to find something wrong with Charlize...

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Charlize has some messed up looking knees. (?)

Posted by: dculoyal | December 3, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

So I guess FIFA already roughed her up to make sure the picks go according to plan?

Posted by: Southeasterner | December 3, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

NCAA Men's DII Semifinals: # 1 seed Ft Lewis 8, #6 Le Moyne 2...FINAL. Very impressive 2nd half by FLC. Finals on Sat at 3:30 PM.

Posted by: soccerman | December 3, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Europa League, Galatasaray-Panathinaikos 3 p.m. GolTV
=============

I'd like to hear Ray Hudson say those two names together real fast.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 3, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watch the Barca game yesterday?

I caught the last 15. Zzzz...Xerez looked liked they weren't even trying to score. Everyone was just standing around. It was terrible soccer.

Posted by: Reignking | December 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it would be great if we could draw both South Africa and Algeria (or Cameroon). Unfortunately, it's not possible.

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 3, 2009 11:32 AM
-------------------------------------------------

I stand corrected. I didn't realize that FIFA was going to restrict the draw so that on African team would be in the group with South Africa. I still stand by my comment that the USA needs to be grouped with 2 of the teams I short-listed, or it's likely to be 3-and-out.

Posted by: fischy | December 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

3 and out? The whole idea of trying to predict these matches is a bit silly.

1994. Experts say 3 and out. We'll lose to Colombia, etc. Result? 2nd Round.

1998. Formidable group but not the "Group of Death" Result? Bonehead reinvents team and formations. 3 and Out.

2002. Experts say we lose to almighty Portugal, tie S.K. and beat Poland. Result? The reverse and we have our best tournament in decades.

2006. Probably the toughest group we have ever faced. But the experts certainly thought the Ghana match were the points most ripe for the taking. Result? Bizarro plays and calls with reds, an underserved Gooch penalty for standing next to a guy. Lose to Ghana. 3 and Out.

2010?

Posted by: delantero | December 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that Henry gets a suspension for a hand ball that wasn't called. It's not the player's fault that it was missed by the ref. Yeah, it may have had some deliberateness to it, but things happen fast on the pitch. Should Argentina now give back a World Cup title for a hand ball in the '86 World Cup? It just doesn't work like that. Refs are human, and it's a part of the game.

And why is everyone blaming Blatter? I know he makes some boneheaded statements sometimes, but there is no precedent for punishing a player for a handball like that, or for admitting a 33rd team in the World Cup.

Now, I could totally see some endline refs put in place for next year...

Posted by: dug2008 | December 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Should Argentina now give back a World Cup title for a hand ball in the '86 World Cup?
=========

OK by me.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be cool if we play England and the only goal is scored by the son of Haitian immigrants?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Just looking at group play for a reality check.

1994: Um, Andres Escobar scores an own goal and gets killed back in Colombia. The best result for the US was the win over Colombia, but which they only got by an own goal.

1998: Yeah, not the group of death, but fans in Iran chant "death to America" as they celebrate their win over the US.

2002: The US loses to Poland and only advances because Korea, playing at home, beats Portugal. The only win for the US in group play was against Portugal, and AGAIN, it needed an own goal by Jorge Costa. (Okay, debatable here perhaps because of Agoos.)

2006: The best result was one lousy point... in a game the US didn't even score. Zaccardo's own goal gave the US its best result.

Look, 3 out of the last 4 World Cups the US has gotten its best result with the help of an own goal. The year the US got no help with an own goal they got zero points.

Record with own goals: 2-3-7 (9 pts,-9)
Record without own goals: 0-4-8 (4 pts,-12)

So, yes, regardless of the draw, it's a pretty safe bet to pick the US not to advance beyond group play.

Posted by: prokaryote | December 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

*The first country selected in the World Cup "draw"? Ireland! Hello, Charlize.

--------

In a press conference this afternoon, Sepp Blatter said "regrettably, we have been forced to replace Ms. Theron in tomorrow's ceremony after she suffered severe ligament damage to her neck and throat in a training ground accident."

When asked as to why his hands we're bandaged, Mr. Blatter had no comment.

Posted by: SoccerVA | December 3, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be cool if we play England and the only goal is scored by the son of Haitian immigrants?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 3, 2009 3:44 PM
__________________________________________

Actually, replacing England with France makes even more sense, in light of Haitian history.

Posted by: universityandpark | December 4, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Its not the African Nations Cup either.

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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