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Thursday kickaround

*Overshadowed by the USA men's loss to the Netherlands, the USA women won the Algarve Cup with a 3-2 victory over Germany on goals by Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach and Lauren Cheney. Next on the calendar are a pair of friendlies with Mexico in late March in San Diego and Salt Lake City.

*In a friendly in Los Angeles, D.C. United midfielder Christian Castillo played 85 minutes of El Salvador's 2-1 loss to Guatemala. Former DCU forward Eliseo Quintanilla scored late for El Salvador. Chicago's Marco Pappa had Guatemala's first goal.

*United's friendly in Mexico against Santos Laguna is set: next Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

*Midfielder Matthew Mbuta has returned to second-division Crystal Palace Baltimore after one-plus seasons with the New York Red Bulls.

*Soccer America's player ratings from the USA-Netherlands match:
Howard 6; Spector 4, DeMerit 5, Bocanegra 6, Bornstein 3; Holden 5, Torres 4, Bradley 6, Donovan 4; Altidore 6, Findley 3. Subs: Beasley 6, Edu 5, Johnson 4, Pearce 5, Bedoya 5, Goodson no rating (not enough time).

By Steve Goff  |  March 4, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , U.S. men's national team , USA 2nd division , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Chicharito's goal for Mexico
Next: Weekend TV listings


Some things you would never read from a Greg Ryan-era match report:

"Early on, some quick U.S. passing put Cheney free inside the penalty box"

"a great series of quick touches put Lloyd in on net about eight yards from the goal"

"Wambach and Shannon Boxx played a perfect give-and-go inside the German penalty area"

And this is good news indeed:

"Lloyd’s goal, her 20th international score, broke a long scoreless streak for the midfielder who had an excellent overall tournament and was crucial to the U.S. attack during the final. Lloyd’s ball-winning with the always rugged Boxx in the middle was also impressive."

Posted by: OWNTF | March 4, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Goodson nearly tied the game in the closing minutes with an awkward side volley. He also defended well. I think that's worthy of a good rating.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thought Demerit was really solid, especially in the air. But I guess Boca got an extra point for scoring.

Not sure Torres deserved much; he seemed scared to death on every defensive play and nearly scored an own goal on howard with a bizzare piece of defending. He's never going to fit into the US system in the middle.

Go Beaz. I sure hope he gets back to his attacking form of old. Once he got going he looked good on the ball and may have had a goal if the stupid ref didn't call a foul on his breakaway. Anyway, he's a great asset if his head's on straight and could help to take all of the attention of Donovan.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 4, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I loved Goodson's effort in the few minutes he got (same for Bedoya). still not sure how he got that side volley off. im not sure our forwards could have made contact like that on such an akward ball.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 4, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Findley was bad, but to give him the same rating as Bornstein is a bit off.

Posted by: delantero | March 4, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

aside from the howlers, bornstein got turned inside out several times and was always chasing the play. spector had the same issues, minus the high profile howlers. I'm not hating on either of them; they were simply overmatched.

contrary to delantero's thinking, I think Findley had the worst performance of the game.

Posted by: troy6 | March 4, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but you expect more out of a seasoned defender who has faced quality before. Findley was thrown to the wolves.

He made nice runs and put himself in the position to make plays, which is the most important part for a young striker. If he learns to shield the ball and buy some space, he'll be fine.

Posted by: delantero | March 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@VT United: Goodson spent a good part of his youth days as a forward.

When he was about 11, I once saw him one-time a bicycle kick directly from a throw-in and nearly score. So watching him nearly connect on that near volley did not surprise me.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 4, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I think most top players were forwards in their youth. that's where the most talented players are. later, as competition stiffens and physical development takes place is when those talented ball handlers start being more productive elsewhere. frankly, I think anyone who plays this sport for a living ought to be able to get off a decent shot.

(and fair point, delantero, when it comes to gradual development of a player, but we're a little late in the 2010 cycle for that.)

Posted by: troy6 | March 4, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Soccer America's ratings are not wildly unfair, though they're a bit cynical. I thought DeMerit's defending was first-rate, though he clearly struggled to clear the ball under pressure -- as did the entire back-line. No doubt Cappello will see that on films and salivate, but I still think JayDee deserves better than a 5 rating. I also think Bedoya deserved an uptick from the standard 5, even if his time was fairly short. He stood out for me from the other attackers except Jozy, who had a really good game. I'm also glad to see some more credible "expert" types agree with me that Torres had a really lousy game.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to seem unduly harsh or unfair to Jose. I'll just say this: He's no Tab Ramos, though I wish he were.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

From O Globo (via the Times) Blatter studying getting rid of offsides

Blatter estuda a abolição do impedimento no futebol
Uma das mais profundas mudanças na regra do futebol pode estar em andamento nos bastidores da Fifa: o fim ou pelo menos a limitação do impedimento. Segundo o jornal inglês 'The Times', o presidente da Fifa, Joseph Blatter, conversou há cerca de 15 dias com o presidente da Federação Internacional de Hóquei, o espanhol Fernando Negre, sobre o resultado da abolição do impedimento naquele esporte, ocorrida há mais de dez anos.

Posted by: GeneWells | March 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice signing by the Sounders -- Dutch champ's captain...

Posted by: Reignking | March 4, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

That odes sound like a huge pick-up by Seattle. C'mon DCU, get on the stick. This proves you don't have to wait until after the World Cup to make these deals. Let the fans know who we're going to be getting.

As far as I can tell from the internets, the Red Bulls are bringing in Henry, Raul, Maldini, and now:

"Red Bull Salzburg GM Dietmar Beiersdorfer has told Bild that he believes Hamburg midfielder Ze Roberto will indeed head to New York and MLS this summer..".

Now, we can understand where the MLS' $60 million figure is coming from. Probably half the $60 million will go to the Red Bulls' Cosmos-like star-studded lineup. I guess the salary cap won't apply to them.... ;)

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice signing by the Sounders -- Dutch champ's captain...

Posted by: Reignking | March 4, 2010 2:03 PM

Oh, Lord. If DC United had signed a 34-year old striker who won't join the team until after the World Cup, this place would have exploded with cries of "idiots!" But, you know, the grass is always greener....

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | March 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

it probably isn't worth commenting on it, but that portuguese language piece dropped in by genewells isn't talking about the offside rule. it's talking about interference; screening off attackers and running them off their lines.

Posted by: troy6 | March 4, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

He's still producing.

Now, whether he is just a poacher, I don't know...but leading a team to win the Dutch league isn't something to ignore. Plus, he seems to be healthy (in terms of games played).

Posted by: Reignking | March 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@troy6 -- Are you sure? I think you're right, though Google online translation translates "impedimento" as both offside (which doesn't make sense to me) and "deterrent". Clearly, it's the same word in English - "impediment"...obstruction. I do think that would be a welcome rule change.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

the grass is always greener....

Especially when it's the X-Box 360 pitch!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

pretty sure troy doesn't need a google translator to read portuguese...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, believe it or not, there's something to the Ze Roberto story. What it may come down to is if the Hamburglers will let him go without decent sized transfer fee, as his contract still has another year on it.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@MJ -- I believe all of those players that are being linked to the Red Bulls all have a year left on their contracts. Probably not a coincidence. MLS isn't going to pay the transfer fees, but maybe their agents think the prospect will get them better new deals in Europe?

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

USL ups the ante in the squabble with the NASL teams:

"Orlando will have a professional franchise starting in 2011 in what the USL is calling a ‘re-established’ first division USL."

The Orlando Titans. I guess the Disney tournament was a toe-in-the-water thing?

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Oops. My bad about the name. The team will be run by the the lacrosse club, the Titans. NO name yet for the soccer side.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

there are some English language sites saying he discussed offside with the hockey federation, but not that he was actually considering doing away with it for football (headline writers get carried away).

regarding the genewells quote, the Portuguese normally use "fora do lugar" (akin to the Spanish "fuera de lugar"). Impedimento is usually used for impedence of an attacking player. it seems from those english reports, however, that offside is indeed what they meant. I'm wondering if someone used a google translator to put that thing in Portuguese in the first place, which would explain the error.

In any event, sorry for the confusion!

Posted by: troy6 | March 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I had an impedimento sandwich at Augusta. Overrated, in my view.

Posted by: OWNTF | March 4, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If they did get rid of offside (or maybe tweaked it, so you couldn't be offside outside the 18-yd. box??) it would be a very different and. in my opinion. a better, more exciting game.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Or, dare I say it, FIFA could look at the way NASL took an NHL invention (the blue line) and implemented it in soccer. A 35 yd. or 35 meter line (better, I think) would push a defender or two back from the offensive zone, but it would make it easier for offenses to work their way up the field. Plus, it would make the assistant's job a little easier, if they have less territory to cover for offsides.

Posted by: fischy | March 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Better duck fischy, UnitedDemon is picking up the barstool again.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

why would you abolish obstruction rule? It may be correct that the word impedimento is the wrong word from O Globo but the English article makes it clear that Blatter was looking at offsides.

Posted by: GeneWells | March 4, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You don't believe Sampson or Wynalda, but you'll take some out of context Sepp Blatter quotes that have probably been run through a translator at face value!?!

Freaking Nutz...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 4, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"Probably not a coincidence. MLS isn't going to pay the transfer fees, but maybe their agents think the prospect will get them better new deals in Europe?"

Hamburg might actually be looking to offload Ze Roberto, is the thing: he has been hurt a lot and is paid an absolute fortune.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 4, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

23 days until United's first match!

Posted by: Curious99 | March 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

These ratings are too subjective...what matters is the effectiveness and individual contributions to the team as a whole. Does the individual player deliver the goods at a specific moment for the good of the team. with effectiveness, the higher the rating; the less, the lower the rating.

Posted by: juke2 | March 5, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

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