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Wednesday kickaround

*England superstar Wayne Rooney, who seems to have scored in every match this spring, will miss two to four weeks after spraining an ankle in the hectic, final moments of Manchester United's 2-1 loss at Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal Tuesday.

*The United States moved up two slots to No. 16 in the FIFA rankings and jumped ahead of Mexico, which dropped two positions to No. 17. The top three -- Spain, Brazil and Netherlands -- remained unchanged, but Portugal rose to No. 4. Check the full list.

*Jon Busch, the 2008 MLS goalkeeper of the year who was released by Chicago just before the season opener, has resurfaced with the San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes already have Joe Cannon, one of the finest keepers in league history. I don't see this ending well.

*Three days after defeating Mexico in San Diego, the USA women play the Mexicans again in Salt Lake City (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and attempt to stretch their domestic unbeaten streak to 43.

*For Americans abroad and TV listings, please see the continuation of this thread.....

*Despite being reduced to nine players, Toluca held on for a 1-1 tie with visiting Pachuca in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals:

*Americans abroad:
D Jay DeMerit 90 in Watford's 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace
MF Maurice Edu last 45 in Rangers' 4-1 loss at St. Johnstone
MF DaMarcus Beasley not in 18 for Rangers
MF Jose Francisco Torres 68 in Pachuca's 1-1 tie at Toluca
F Kenny Cooper 2 in Plymouth's 0-0 tie with Barnsley

*Soccer on TV:
UEFA Champions League, Arsenal-Barcelona 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports Espanol (tape at 5 on Fox Soccer Plus)

UEFA Champions League, Inter Milan-CSKA Moscow 2:30 p.m. FSP (tape at 5 on FSC and FSE)

Women's friendly, USA-Mexico 9 p.m. ESPN2
Libertadores, Monterrey-Sao Paulo 9 p.m. FSE
CONCACAF, Pumas-Cruz Azul 10 p.m. FSC, Galavision
Libertadores, Morelia-Banfield 11 p.m. FSE


By Steve Goff  |  March 31, 2010; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF Champions League , England , Euro Champions League , FIFA , MLS , Mexico , TV , U.S. men's national team , Women  
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Next: Valencia trip in doubt, but others in works

Comments

I'm going to repost this purely because I'm an idiot, but about the Australian CB option that just got cut from Greece.

@Fischy
That may be a good option, but do we really need a guy thats going to do something stupid off the field?

Actually, who cares, he knows how to defend. Snatch and RUN!!!

Posted by: SexyOffender | March 31, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Cannon has been great over the years. I wonder if he has lost a little something or if it's just bad defense in front of him. I don't see them play enough to know.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 31, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Goff's prediction about the SJ goalie situation. Busch is a big mouth and Cannon seems to get really childish whenever he has to face a challenge. Two of my least favorite goalie personalities sharing the stage. Time to make the popcorn.

Posted by: beach3 | March 31, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You go Kenny!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 31, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I love the DCU Home Opener banner advert. That prematch concert with Wale looks like jolly good family friendly fun. *cough*

Posted by: Motterman81 | March 31, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I saw people writing Wade and had no idea who it was. (Maybe Wade Barrett doing a career switcheroo thing a la Joaquin Phoenix.) Now I see it's "Wale" -- that clears it up.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Wild game in Toluca last night. Although nowhere near as entertaining as watching a British side lose on German soil...! (Even though I hate Bayern)

Posted by: rademaar | March 31, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'll be honest I don't even think a dozen beers would make me like Wale, and I like Hip Hop. I've now listened to a half dozen of his songs and not a one grabs me. Am I listening to the wrong one?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 31, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Although nowhere near as entertaining as watching a British side lose on German soil...! (Even though I hate Bayern)

Posted by: rademaar | March 31, 2010 9:34 AM

Trivia time - anyone know the first British club team to win a European match in Germany...?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to understand why Rangers would be losing this badly, even more so when Edu and Beasley aren't starting.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 31, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Someone posted some of his mixtape songs on The Forum That Shall Not Be Named. Sounds good to me. I like both the singles too - Chillin' and Pretty Girls. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to future matches with other talent - Kyle hinted on Twitter a while back that they might get The Pietasters. Ska ska ska baby!

Oh, and the soccer game too.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | March 31, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

So, there's no mainstream HD broadcast for what's being touted as Potentially The Most Beautifulest Display Of The Beautiful Game Evaarrâ„¢? We're stuck with plain old FSC for Arsenal-Barcelona?

It looks as if the Fox Sports HD channel (the one that usually airs a Champions League game or two) will instead be showing tennis. At the risk of sounding similar to the idiots who bash soccer: Who, exactly, goes out of their way to watch tennis? Clearly it has an audience, but who is it?

I'm not knocking the game. Tennis is fine by me. I just don't understand where the viewers are, or why they apparently have been hiding from me all 41 years of my life.

Even before I personally became a big soccer fan, I knew a good number of people who were -- soccer devotees who went out of their way to catch soccer games. But I don't think I've ever met a single human being for whom tennis is regular destination viewing, especially some random tournament during some random week in April.

I'm missing something, I guess. *shrug*

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Clearly it has an audience, but who is it?"

It's the demographic that high-end advertisers would step over their own mothers to reach, which is very helpful if you're a TV network exec.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 31, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm missing something, I guess. *shrug*

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 9:54 AM

Yep - you are!

Fox only runs one Champions League match per week on FSN (picked up by regional sports networks in HD). That was yesterday's Bayern Munich-Man Utd match. Fox wants to keep some of it's prime soccer content on FSC so we'll keep on subscribing - good old fashioned market capitalism there.

You're in luck, the Arsenal-Barca return leg will be on FSN.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Trivia time - anyone know the first British club team to win a European match in Germany...?

Posted by: Kev29

It was probably in early 1945 when a club team consisting of British all-stars played a collection of German prisoners. Despite the overwhelming disparity in talent, the organization of the German side forced the match all the way to a penalty shootout. Rather than take their chances against the Germans in PKs, the entire roster of prisoners where taken to Nuremberg for war crime trials. Not having enough players, the match was abandoned and the game was awarded to the British 2-0.

Posted by: rademaar | March 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I guess. Maybe I need to stop hanging out with all these scrub friends.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I was just making all of that up by the way...

Posted by: rademaar | March 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It's the demographic that high-end advertisers would step over their own mothers to reach, which is very helpful if you're a TV network exec.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 31, 2010 10:01 AM

They even have their own network... in HD... on Comcast!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I blame myself for Rooney's injury. On Monday, I finally broke down and added him to my Argy Bargy Champions League team. Clearly, I should have done this much sooner....

Maybe there's a World Cup fantasy league where I can put him on my team for the group stage?

2 minutes for Kenny Cooper? So, that's his role now -- the guy the manager puts in to waste time during injury stoppage time? He must be proud. Still, it's gotta beat playing in Frisco, TX.

Posted by: fischy | March 31, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Yep - you are!"

Well, my "missing something" remark was more about my tennis-viewers ignorance than about the Arsenal-Barca broadcast, per se, but thanks for the info.

In general, I've found it VERY taxing trying to figure out all the various viewing options with CL matches this season. Setting up the DVR has been madness. I've literally had nights meticulously scrolling through the entire 900-plus channel guide on my TV, trying to make sure I'm not missing any matches over on Fox Sports Regional Network Z Substation 34A or whatever.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@ChristopherMc: I'm two years older than you, but one of the things I've noticed is that back in the 80s and early 90s, the only time you'd ever see a BMW of Mercedes commercial on TV was during a tennis match. So, yes, what G_o_G wrote.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 31, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't there a keeper feud between Joe Cannon and Scott Garlick a few years ago? Making puns on each others' names? I don't think "Busch" will be much better.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | March 31, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

remember when DCU almost got Joe Cannon, but instead got Zach Wells? somehow I think the past 2 season would have gone differently if that deal had worked out.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@Dadryan. I was at a Redskins game when Wale performed at halftime. It was horrible. Not just the music, it was all distorted and you couldn't understand a single word he was saying.

Posted by: spikeman | March 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

In general, I've found it VERY taxing trying to figure out all the various viewing options with CL matches this season. Setting up the DVR has been madness. I've literally had nights meticulously scrolling through the entire 900-plus channel guide on my TV, trying to make sure I'm not missing any matches over on Fox Sports Regional Network Z Substation 34A or whatever.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 10:12 AM

I'm not being a jerk here, Christopher... but this paragraph is pretty interesting. I understand the confusion about what sporting event will be popping up on which channel. But that just shows how spoiled for choice we are these days. Honestly, following European soccer as recently as 15 years ago I would have never imagined the list of problems you refer to above. Not only was there no choice of matches to DVR, there was no DVR period!

We were happy to get whatever match ESPN2 wanted to show us, if they even wanted to show one that matchday. Now if you have good digital cable, you can watch up to 6 live Champions League matches per week (depending on round). If you have DirecTV, you can watch them all. And that's not even mentioning all the games you can watch legally and illegally online.

And you don't have to worry about regional FSN affiliates showing different matches - they're all getting the same match. One per week. Honestly, this is no more confusing than following any other sport in the age of 900 channels.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"but this paragraph is pretty interesting. I understand the confusion about what sporting event will be popping up on which channel. But that just shows how spoiled for choice we are these days. Honestly, following European soccer as recently as 15 years ago I would have never imagined the list of problems you refer to above. Not only was there no choice of matches to DVR, there was no DVR period!"

Er, that's all fine and well. But it doesn't mean it's not taxing trying to figure out all the various viewing options. Saying it's taxing doesn't intrinsically mean "this plethora of riches is horrible." It doesn't even mean I'm unhappy.

It simply means that, like, trying to figure out all the various viewing options is taxing.

High-definition television, for instance, is a wonderful thing. But people remark all the time on the difficulty in navigating all the choices. Same with plenty of other stuff.

Posted by: ChristopherMc | March 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wait... what is Greece doing so high on the list? Did they tie a game recently?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 31, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Wait... what is Greece doing so high on the list? Did they tie a game recently?

Posted by: UnitedDemon

They were just bailed out.

Posted by: Reignking | March 31, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking,

Yes, their rise in ranking is based partially on the performance of Die Mannschaft!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 31, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Te ranking impelled me to calculate the percent of each confederation in FIFA and awarded slots (pre-playoff, ergo OFC is 0.5, not 1) in the World Cup. Percentages are subject to rounding errors and WC % is based on 31 qualifying teams. Draw your own conclusions on fairness. Dear HTML Gods, I beseech you keep the formatting.

Confed		% of FIFA	% of WC
CONCACAF	16		11
CAF		25		16
CONMEBOL	5		15
OFC		5		2
AFC		22		8
UEFA		26		42

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 31, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The FIFA rankings are actually based on a rather simple formula...

Monkeys + Poop + Dartboard = Rankings

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to rub it in but we are Spring Breaking in Tampa and Verizon Vios channel 1522 Fox Soccer HD has Barca/Gunners. The DVR is set and the beer is chilling. Time to hit the boat.

I'm still confused as to what games are on what channels on what cable systems in DC.

Posted by: tcbannon | March 31, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I-270, your "% of FIFA" is just # of teams? Or teams, say, in the top 100 of the rankings? Or top 50? (Keeping in mind Kev29's explanation of the rigorous ranking methodology.)

If you could re-calculate by weighting for quality of all regional teams vs. representation in the WC, and submit it to the peer review panel by next Tuesday . . .

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 31, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If you could re-calculate by weighting for quality of all regional teams vs. representation in the WC, and submit it to the peer review panel by next Tuesday . . .

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 31, 2010 12:14 PM

And don't forget the cover sheet for the TPS report. Did you get the memo?

Posted by: Kev29 | March 31, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this was mentioned yet here, but Goff had reported that former Rev Pat Noonan was getting a look from Seattle. Then I think someone posted a link to an article which (imaginatively?) reported DC was also looking at him.

Anyway this report says Pat Noonan has reached some kind of agreement with Seattle:

http://www.examiner.com/x-42482-MLS-Examiner~y2010m3d31-Sounders-add-Noonan-Philadelphia-to-add-Szetela

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 31, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For those struggling with the 'what is on and when' dilemma, may I offer some suggestions?

Go to Zap2it.com and create yourself a profile, choose your channels and put them in an order conducive to a quick look. Then bookmark it.

Bookmark the Soccer on TV page, LivesoccerTV.com

Between these 2 things, you should be sorted. DirecTV subscribers can manage their DVRs over the internet.

iPhone users are in a real purple patch, they can do all of the above in a heartbeat.

It does take a few minutes to get it all organized but it's well worth it.

Posted by: JkR- | March 31, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@I-270 -- I'll take your comment more seriously. Fairness in what respect? So, CONMEBOL is most overrepresented as a percentage? UEFA next. So what?

CONMEBOL has the highest percentage of WC-quality teams, and UEFA is next. As football fans, don't we want the best teams in the Cup? Just having confederation representation is, in itself, a nod to diversity.

Notwithstanding the rankings, if they had a global competition to pick the best 32 teams, the USA might not be there. Mexico might be, but the other CONCACAF teams wouldn't make it. Asia would be less represented. Probably Africa, too. Teams like Serbia and Russia would not be on the outside looking in, so there would be even more European teams, and maybe more CONMEBOL teams.

Confederations are arbitrary to begin with, but FIFA is trying to make a fair compromise between regional representation and quality. You might argue they've put one or two more from one region, or one too few from another, than they should have, but they're pretty close.

Posted by: fischy | March 31, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- Got my Serbia and Croatia mixed up. My bad. Croatia would not be on the outside looking in.

Posted by: fischy | March 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Jon Busch makes Josh Wicks seem mild-mannered.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@fallschurch1: % of total FIFA members and total WC slots (excl. host).

@Kev29: Well played. You win the Red Swingline Award.

@fischy: Slots based on merit rather than equivalent representation? A little bit of Joe Doc/Rand-al-Thor is rubbing off on you.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 31, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was Wade, too, so thanks for the correction.

I was wondering why I couldn't find him on ITunes.

(Is there a sarcasm emoticon?)

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 31, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Is there any truth to the rumor that Noonan is on trial with DC United?

Posted by: no_recess | March 31, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"It was probably in early 1945 when a club team consisting of British all-stars played a collection of German prisoners. Despite the overwhelming disparity in talent, the organization of the German side forced the match all the way to a penalty shootout. Rather than take their chances against the Germans in PKs, the entire roster of prisoners where taken to Nuremberg for war crime trials. Not having enough players, the match was abandoned and the game was awarded to the British 2-0." Posted by: rademaar

I thought it was the other around, during the war, with the british POWs drafting a young sylvester stalone to play keeper...

Posted by: Pudge_Dooley | March 31, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Is it my techology or it the MLS web site still off? I'm getting "0" attandenace and no scores on all games played last week.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 31, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if there will ever be a good time to bring up this subject, but what does the Soccer Insider Nation think should be the consequence for blowing off a USMNT curfew?

Posted by: GeneWells | March 31, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we'll get some more Joe "Bazooka" and John "Six-pack" comments like the last time Cannon was competing with another first string keeper.

Posted by: iamgnat | March 31, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh, you don't think broken bones and lost lives are a big enough consequence dude? Again, I know it's a rumor and you wouldn't believe it even if Bob Bradley came out and admitted it over a decade later, but you don't think there's any chance that Davies knew he wasn't going to play at RFK because he had a knock, and sort of had permission to stay out a little late?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 31, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Kyle hinted on Twitter a while back that they might get The Pietasters. Ska ska ska baby!

Posted by: VercengetorixII

-----------------------

Yeah! The Pietasters! I did not know they were still playing. Anyone know what's up with them?


Posted by: SoundersMob | March 31, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Is there any truth to the rumor that Noonan is on trial with DC United?

Posted by: no_recess

--------------------------

Probably not as he has been in Seattle all week and signed with the team today....

Posted by: SoundersMob | March 31, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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