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Thursday kickaround

*Clint Dempsey became the first American to play in a European final Wednesday, entering in the 55th minute of Fulham's 2-1 overtime loss to Atletico Madrid for the Europa League championship in Hamburg. The Independent describes the match.

*U.S. midfielder Jose Torres played 62 minutes in Pachuca's 2-2 draw at home against Toluca in the first leg of a Mexican playoff semifinal.

*Brian Straus' take on the Charlie Davies situation and the U.S. World Cup preliminary roster.

*Soccer United Marketing, a division of MLS, will cash in again tonight as another huge crowd attends a Mexico friendly on U.S. soil, this time at Houston's Reliant Stadium against Angola (9 p.m. ET, Telemundo).

*MLS tonight: Houston (4-3-1) at Real Salt Lake (3-3-1), 9 p.m., ESPN2

*The official list of all 32 World Cup preliminary rosters is now available from FIFA.

Teams with the fewest foreign-based players:
England 0
Germany 1 (Michael Ballack)
Italy 1 (Giuseppe Rossi)
North Korea 3

Teams with the fewest domestic-based players:
Australia 1
Ivory Coast 2 (both goalkeepers)
Cameroon 3
Ghana 4 (three goalkeepers)
Brazil 5

*U.S. Open Cup preliminary round: At empty Red Bull Arena, New York rolled to a 3-0 home victory over the New England Revolution, which, because of injuries, had just two field players in reserve.

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By Steve Goff  |  May 13, 2010; 6:05 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , FIFA , MLS , Mexico , U.S. Open Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Atletico Madrid, Charlie Davies, Clint Dempsey, FIFA, Fulham, Jose Torres, MLS, New England Revolution, Pachuca, Real Salt Lake, Red Bull Arena, Reliant Stadium, Soccer, World Cup  
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Next: Davies' anger, Quaranta's health, Wambach's nose

Comments

Not even 2000 for NY? Even DCU managed over 4k.

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

1,935 fans at Red Bull Arena? They are the top team in the East (second in MLS) playing in a brand new stadium with a strong squad and only 1,935 people bothered to attend? I would compare NY to Dallas but at least Dallas had respectable attendance during their first year at Pizza Hut Park.

I really wonder if Rochester should have been the NY MLS team instead of the MetroRedBulls.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 13, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Only 17 players from Chelsea? Have to feel bad for the few who didn't make it...oh wait their teams didn't make the WC.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 13, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be too critical about folks not wanting to pay to go see the New England Revolution's scrubs.

Steve Nicol started a B team when DC played NE in the SEMIFINALS of the Open Cup. I doubt the quality of the players for a play-in game was too stellar.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 13, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

@Joel_M_Lane: I get your point but Energy Drink FC started there a reserve based side as well and they got the job done.

Hey--the Reserve League is back!

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Straus article is typical in this way -- only now that Davies did not make the roster are the knives coming out, as reporters consistently refer to his having broken curfew the night (morning?) of the accident. Why didn't folks say that earlier? It was just as obvious then as it is now.....

Goff, you are welcome to comment.

Posted by: DCUSince96 | May 13, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I really wonder if Rochester should have been the NY MLS team instead of the MetroRedBulls.


Posted by: Southeasterner
------------------------------------------
Bro, when is the last time that your employer did drug testing? (Just kiddin, my Man).

Seriously. The Rochester boat has sailed. They wouldn't have drawn much more for a USOC match these days (unless it was against an MLS side).

Like Joel pointed out: An educated consumer knows that the Revs are in a world of hurt right now. It was a midweek match.
I bet that even for the season ticket holders who didn't have to pay for the tickets and tried to give them away:

"Whoooah!!! A FREE ticket for the new stadium?!?! Seriously?!?!? Thanks, guy--Oh wait, it is for a USOC playing match with the Revs?!?! Come to think of it, I think that I promised my wife to watch Dancing with Stars with her tonight. You know she's kinda broken about that Sista Niecey getting voted off the show. Soemtimes you have to take one for the team, ya know what I'm sayin'?"

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@DCUSince96: I remember a lot of people saying it. I don't remember a lot fo reporters putting the empahsis on the curfew infraction because

1. It was obvious that he had no business being out at that hour and under those circumstances.

2. People were more concerned about the well-being of the player (who was lucky to still be alive).

3. (Way more important) Someonone tragically and needlessly lost their life in the incident.

Now that it looks like he is going to be "ok" (for lack of a better word because I am sure that he must be haunted by the bad decision making and I am not just talking about missing a World Cup) and some more time has passed , I think that some columnists and reporters are being more critical. Especially in the wake of so much of the most recent wave of anti-Bradley sentiment that has resulted in Davies being left off the squad.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

All this hoopla that the NYRB and MLS put out about this new stadium is a thick smoke screen for a very inconvenient truth: If the Red Bulls don't establish themselves as a quality team that will win on a consistent basis, their gate will be a challenge for them, no matter how spectacular the pitch.

You can make all the excuses you want about weeknight game, Open Cup play-in game without the ususal time to do group sales, etc. The bottom line is winning, and an excellent start in just less than one-third of the MLS season is hardly sufficient to make a sound judgment about this team's prospects on the field or at the gate.

If they go wire-to-wire as one of the top 3 or 4 MLS teams, win MLS Cup, then, maybe, they will establish a firm base for a consistent gate. Don't forget: The legacy of this franchise is terrible on and off the field. MLS failed miserably in its mission of making the NYC-area team be an anchor team. It has a lot to overcome.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 13, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. The Rochester boat has sailed. They wouldn't have drawn much more for a USOC match these days (unless it was against an MLS side).
Like Joel pointed out: An educated consumer knows that the Revs are in a world of hurt right now. It was a midweek match.
I bet that even for the season ticket holders who didn't have to pay for the tickets and tried to give them away:

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I’m fully playing devil’s advocate but…

June 9th 2009 (Tuesday night) USOC 1st round Rochester Rhinos vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds att. 2,723
June 16th 2009 (Tuesday night) USOC 2nd round Rochester Rhinos vs. Cleveland City Stars att. 2,788

I know New England is far from being a quality team like the Riverhounds and City Stars but come on.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 13, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know which league produced the most WC players? I'm guessing the EPL. Who wants to convert the pdf into a spreadsheet, add a league column, sort and count?

The FIFA document should have listed us as "United States of America" instead of USA and placed us ahead of Uruguay, instead of last. FIFA hates us.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 13, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, i did a search on "ENG". There are 139 England-based players out of 941, or 14.8%. NO, I'm not going to search on other country abbreviations.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I-270: go ahead and laugh, but I did something like that last time around -- helped me discover that Paraguay had the most European-based players (for a non-Euro squad, or something like that). So I picked them to do well. Fail.

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

you had to figure this was coming, Davies lashes out at Sochaux. wonder if he'll be there next year...

http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ap-davies-sochaux

"It's a very strange situation, I feel hurt because I feel like I've been let down by my club," Davies said.
...
"I'm very angry because I feel FC Sochaux has denied me a chance at playing in the World Cup," Davies said. "Of course I'm not at 100 percent now but I feel that by the time our World Cup camp starts next week I would be at a level where I can compete for one of the forward spot."

Posted by: joe_hill | May 13, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2010/article-1278044/Wayne-Rooney-worn-says-USA-star-Landon-Donovan.html

Landycakes providing fodder for Fabio to put up on the lockerroom wall. Sensationalized, of course. At least this wasn't between sips of merlot...

Posted by: daandre3 | May 13, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@Joe_Hill: Thanks for sharing the Charlie "spouts off at the mouth link".

Not trying to be a hard@ss but Sochaux didn't let Charlie down. Charlie let Sochaux, himself, his teamates and his country down.

He can lash out all he wants. It just makes him look stupid and selfish. It is a lock that Charlie realizes that he messed himself up. He just let his mouth and his emotions get the better of him.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

" Davies, who said he hasn’t spoken with Lacombe since the car accident, told RMC he was first devastated and “then it turned into anger.” "

Does anyone else find that to be interesting/odd?

Posted by: VTUnited | May 13, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Did Sochaux send that letter w/o talking to Charlie? That doesn't seem right.

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Lacombe is also the guy that said Charlie wouldn't play this season, without having talked to the manager (or Charlie).

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I know New England is far from being a quality team like the Riverhounds and City Stars but come on.


Posted by: Southeasterner
------------------------------------------
Well played. Good numbers, too.

Back before the bottom fell out at Rochester, they could have easily drawn 5k for A USOC match midweek. It is bitterly ironic that they managed to get a stadium and things went "south".

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Nice, another excuse to wear my Angola shirt, like I did all over Germany in '06!

Posted by: Kev29 | May 13, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

1,935 against another top division team in the largest media market in the world is absolutely pathetic. With the kind of stadium they have, no excuses can forgive that number.

Who is screwing up here? How can you not get more than 2,000 to show up in a city as large and diverse as New York, even if it is only a midweek game featuring mainly reserves?

Posted by: rademaar | May 13, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What is it about the Open Cup that just screams "don't pay to watch me"? I like the competition and have probably paid to see United in the Cup as in the league over the past couple seasons.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

i wonder how many fans would have showed up if the game was at Gilette?

not sure why everyone feels the need to pound NYRB over a poor turnout for a midweek USOC play-in game. attendance is always bad for these types of games (what was the weather like, btw?). Its not like the 4K who showed up at RFK for the Dallas game is anything to brag about.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 13, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

What is it about the Open Cup that just screams "don't pay to watch me"?
-Kev

Maybe the fact that even USL2 clubs usually include the tickets for the USOC home matches in the season ticket package.

Or that usually MLS fans have a lot of apathy when it comes to seeing their teams play lower division teams that they should beat. Or reserve sides playing each other.

I dunno. I personally enjoy the intimacy and david vs. goliath bit of cup competitions.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

New England was probably not really interested in winning the game. In that regards, they were less of a team than any of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester or other non-MLS team that looks at the Open Cup as a chance to show what they can do.

No fan should feel guilty about not attending a US Open Cup qualifying match. Teams' front offices, though, might feel a bit guilty if they are trying to market these games to the fans as anything much more than a reserve league type game.

There's nothing wrong with going to these games if you want to see how a team's bench players look on the field. But folks should know that up front.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What is it about the Open Cup that just screams "don't pay to watch me"? I like the competition and have probably paid to see United in the Cup as in the league over the past couple seasons.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

---

I wouldn't have paid to watch that game. It was possibly the most boring Revs game I've ever seen. Seriously. I've never been bored watching an MLS game until last night.

Posted by: revsfanindc | May 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I-270: go ahead and laugh, but I did something like that last time around
Posted by: Reignking
===========

We are data geeks.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 13, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@revsfanindc: Wow. I gotta start hanging with you when I am checking out MLS matches.

I have seen a lot of DCU, Revs and other MLS games that have been really boring (just like in a lot of other leagues).

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@yankiboy - I mean, I've seen games that have had boring stretches, but that game was just one gigantic yawn fest from minute 1 to stoppage time. I still can't believe I watched the whole game.

Posted by: revsfanindc | May 13, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I've never been bored watching an MLS game until last night.

Posted by: revsfanindc

you must be new here.

thanks for my thursday morning laugh.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 13, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What is it about the Open Cup that just screams "don't pay to watch me"? I like the competition and have probably paid to see United in the Cup as in the league over the past couple seasons.

Posted by: Kev29

It's the fact that USSF doesn't infuse cash into this competition. Imagine if USSF had a sponsor and limited tv exposure.

Shoot, at least get these games some local broadcast time or even online.

USSF why have you failed?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | May 13, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@reignking: +1 and then some. If Sochaux didn't tell Davies about the letter before sending it, they are serious jerks. Anyway, the plot really has thickened a little here: Would Bradley have put Davies in the 30 if Sochaux had cleared him? Did Bradley have a sidebar beforehand with Sochaux management?

Posted by: dccal | May 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

FIFA hates us.

We'll see if this is true when the officiating schedule is released. If Jorge Larrionda officiates the Algeria or Slovenia game, we are doomed. They should just have him do Uruguay's games; he could probably feign more impartiality.

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 13, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

On a more serious note, does anyone know definitively whether Bradley could have called in Davies without Sochaux's medical clearance?

Posted by: BooThisMan | May 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Take 2 -- For some reason my post didn't go through.

NY Mets' owners are getting busy. They're planning to turn the Citi Field stadium site in Queens into a sports empire, adding a soccer stadium for an MLS team, and an arena to bring the NHL Islanders inside the city limits.

With some improvements to make this complex more accessible from Manhattan (the #7 line needs a major upgrade) and maybe some mass transit option from Westchester County, too, this would be an incredible location -- with up to 150 or more game days a year (if playoffs are involved). The Jets might come to regret not being there (not really -- Shea Stadium was unbearably cold and windy in winter).

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Atletico could pull a double -- they play in the Copa del Rey final next Wednesday. Club vs. country is a problem for Forlan (and others), but Atletico need the title to play in Europe next year.

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Reignking:

Actually, as Europa Cup champions, they qualify automatically for the Europa Cup next year.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@fischy: I am not a New York kinda guy (no disrespect just too intense for me) so I am out of the loop.

Is there any sense from people following the Mets' owners who are expressing concerns about the (apparently over)ambitious nature of their plans ???

Those are HUGE plans for a basball team that is pretty much going to always be the second favorite in NYC and that almost had it's sponsor have to bail on them due to the economic/credit/banking crisis that isn't that far back in the rear view mirror...

Posted by: yankiboy | May 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the lack of interest in the USOC is three-fold:

1. MLS attendemce is largely driven by group sales. A team's sales department needs a lot of lead time to organize the groups, and the notice on the dates of USOC games generally doesn't provide enough lead time to sell the game in the way that MLS teams do their selling. You see this dynamic in the play-offs with the first leg of the conference semi-finals.

2. Fans don't take the USOC seriously because the teams don't. The regular use of second team players (ther seems to be a rule that the starting GK may not be used) diminsihes the value of the game. If the teams wnat the fans to respond to the importance of these games (and pay the same money as a regular MLS game), then the technical departments of the MLS teams must have a similar approach; and

3. USSF must take the competition more seriously. Over the years, USSF routinely grants preference to the lower divisions teams in awarding sites for the early round matches. MLS teams are better, and they deserve priority in how the bidding process unfolds. USSF should not be so quick to subsidize the Ocean City Barons of the world with a handsome gate with an MLS team.

Posted by: lgm6986 | May 13, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Reignking:

Actually, as Europa Cup champions, they qualify automatically for the Europa Cup next year.

Posted by: daandre3

I've been looking for that info (I love http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/data/index.html). I only thought that was for the CL champions.

Posted by: Reignking | May 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Yankiboy -- Second favorite baseball team in NY still leaves the Mets as one of the richest teams in the baseball. However all that building does sound ambitious, especially given that Wilpon pulled out of a prior MLS bid before the Madoff scandal broke. Wilpon lost millions and potentially was on the hook for billions of losses as a promoter. I guess the outlook has improved over the last 2 years.

The 'official" supporters group -- the Boro Boys -- are delighted to see Wilpon back in the mix. That represents an exponential increase in chances of getting a soccer stadium built.

The building trades in NY are famously corrupt and expensive, but at least the real estate around the stadium is cheap. There's nothing there besides the stadium and some auto body (chop) shops. There are plans to develop nearby Willets Point, but it's not clear whether the Mets want to be in that project, or just build on top of stadium parking lots.

Posted by: fischy | May 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually, as Europa Cup champions, they qualify automatically for the Europa Cup next year.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 13, 2010 12:58 PM

Really? Are you sure - because I haven;t heard about this.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Really? Are you sure - because I haven;t heard about this.

Posted by: Kev29

All of the English papers have been talking up how Fulham would have been back in Europa Cup next year if they had won last night. It was big news because if England had gotten an extra Fair Play slot and Fulham HAD won, Burnley (relegated Burnley) would have been in Europa as well.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 13, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me...Europa League. I must be subconsciously avoiding calling it a league since it's...not.

"Unless the UEFA Cup titleholder qualifies for the UEFA Champions League
through its domestic championship, it is guaranteed a place in the group
stage of the UEFA Europa League."

http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/competitions/UEFACup/84/52/89/845289_DOWNLOAD.pdf

And now I'm researching UEFA regulations. This is not a good sign for my mental health.

Posted by: daandre3 | May 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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