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Thursday kickaround: MLS roundup, Americans abroad, college soccer, TV listings

*Add Omar Cummings to the list of candidates for MLS most valuable player. The smooth Jamaican attacker scored twice in the first 15 minutes, increasing his season total to 12, as the Colorado Rapids moved closer to a playoff berth with a 4-1 romp over the Philadelphia Union. The Rapids, who will host D.C. United on Saturday, have won five straight at home by a 14-1 margin. ... The Chicago Fire maintained its flickering hopes, ending a seven-game winless streak with a surprising 3-0 victory at San Jose.

*Six months into the season, the new MLS Web site remains incomplete. As of 8:30 this morning, the expanded league statistics were 11 days old. We will, however, give them credit for video packaging, which is posted minutes after goals are scored.

*Americans abroad:
MF Maurice Edu 90 minutes in Rangers' 1-0 win over Bursaspor
MF Jermaine Jones 24 (assist) in Schalke's 2-0 win over Benfica
F Jozy Altidore and Villarreal vs. Club Brugge (Europa League)
MF Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht at Hajduk Split (Europa League)
F Freddy Adu not on roster for Aris at Rosenborg (Europa League)

*Weather permitting, top 10 women's teams will clash tonight in College Park as undefeated Maryland hosts once-beaten Virginia.

For TV listings.....

*Soccer on TV:
Europa League, Ultrecht-Liverpool 1 p.m. GolTV
Europa League, Atletico Madrid-Bayer Leverkusen 3 p.m. GolTV
Copa Sundamericana, Banfield-Tolima 7 p.m. Fox Deportes
CONCACAF, FAS-Olimpia 10 p.m. Galavision

DirecTV will show numerous Europa League matches. Click here for details.

By Steve Goff  | September 30, 2010; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, College Soccer, MLS, TV  | Tags:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ohio State draws with No. 1-ranked Akron, 2-2
Next: D.C. United's Ben Olsen fined by MLS for comments made to match officials after ejection


Time for to fire another webmaster.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 30, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The Rapids-United game could be ugly for our boys in black. I'd like to be wrong but between Colorado's current form, and DCU's absurd number of injuries, national team call-ups and a general lack of quality to start with...well, it might be best to avert your eyes. At least get the children away from the TV.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 30, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

national team callups aren't until next week. And the game's not on local TV anyway. So I won't be able to avert my eyes

Posted by: fedssocr | September 30, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

No national team call-ups this week? Well that's a relief. Now we'll kick some Colorado arse. ;-)

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 30, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that there is going to be a reserve league next season? After that was abolished DC seemed to sink in the tables every year

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | September 30, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Sr. Steve Goff, I just know that you are going to amend the great "injustice" of omtting the comeback win by my beloved Puerto Rico Islanders over Toluca--after being down two goal last night in the Thursday Morning Kickaround :D

[Best annoying Dickie V voice]C'mon?!?!Where's the love, Baby?!?! Are you kiddin' me?!?!

Posted by: yankiboy | September 30, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

OT -- I just found out that CONCACAF has already approved major changes for 2014WC qualifying, and approval of these changes by FIFA is expected. Under the new format, there would be many more qualifying games, but US and Mexico would be unlikely to meet even once during the qualifying tournament.

Here are some of the details:
There are 35 teams in CONCACAF. The six lowest-ranked teams in the region will have a home-and-home playoff to trim the field to 32. Then eight groups of four teams will play a six-game quarterfinal stage, with the top two in each group advancing. Then four groups of four will play a six-game semifinal stage, with the top two again advancing. Then two groups of four will play a six-game final stage. The two teams that win those groups will earn bids to World Cup '14. If CONCACAF successfully lobbies FIFA for four spots in Brazil (instead of the previous 3.5), then the two second-place teams will also receive World Cup bids. If it stays at 3.5 (which is likely), then the two second-place teams will have a playoff, with the winner going to Brazil and the loser then playing against a team from another confederation for a World Cup spot (last time it was the fifth-place team from South America's CONMEBOL).

Under this set-up, 32 of the 35 CONCACAF countries will get at least six World Cup qualifiers. In order to qualify, teams will have to play a MINIMUM of 18 qualifiers. Seeding will be done based on FIFA rankings. Teams will be re-seeded after each round. Assuming US and Mexico remain the two highest ranked teams in CONCACAF (which is likely), US and Mexico will not meet during qualifying, unless they both finish second in their respective groups during the final round of group play (a very unlikely scenario).

The "good" news is that we will learn the names of many obscure Caribbean islands, and the US will win some easy games against places like Santa Lucia (pop. 160,000). The bad news is that this will be an incredibly long qualifying campaign, with all the attendant possibilities for upsets,injuries, and disruptions to players' club careers, but without too many games against qualify opponents who might actually sharpen the team for the WC itself.

What do you guys think?

Posted by: jack35 | September 30, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It's raining so hard right now you half expect to see DC United playing Houston when you look out the window...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 30, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@jack35: I think that it is potentially bad for the US and Mexico.

I think that it is good for Puerto Rico to get some more games (potentially if they can find the money).

I also think that I would like to know where you got the info? Is it legit???


Posted by: yankiboy | September 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nairbsod | September 30, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Sports Illustrated ran a column about the new CONCACAF qualifying set up. The minnows (i.e. most of CONCACAF) will get more games and may have voted as a block for this. I don't really think that this will help them improve. Do the Faroe Islands benefit from more games?

It's bad for meaningful US-Mexico games, as there will be none outside of the Gold Cup and the World Cup. However, it essentially guarantees qualification. With more qualifying games, USSF will rely on more MLS players. So it's an opportunity for them, but it may backfire as won't field our best team for some of those matches.

I think the current system is more interesting for generating interest in the US. I also like it because it's more competitive for us.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 30, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse


Here is a link to the Sports Illustrated article that I plagiarized:

Posted by: jack35 | September 30, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and I dislike the new WCQ format because Kickback Jack Warner likes it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@yankiboy - it was a great comeback. Horst with 2 great headers to grab the 3 points. highlights here:

The Municipal-Columbus game was played in a swimming pool and got really testy at the end with Lenhart, the Municipal coach and several other players and coaches getting into it. Columbus could have pretty much clinched advancement with a tie but couldn't find an equalizer.

back to Puerto Rico - what would it take for DCU to lure Colin Clarke away from the tropics? other than the fact that he looks a little bit like Soehn and is another MLS re-tread, i think he would be a solid choice. his results with FC Dallas were pretty good.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | September 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@jack35: SI?
Never heard of them. Are they some sort of new, internet outfit?

Thanks a lot for the link, my man!

Posted by: yankiboy | September 30, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Dortmund/Sevilla at 1 then Man City/Juve at 3 are probably the pick of the Europa league..and they are on the same channel which saves some energy.

Posted by: rockotodd | September 30, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Kudos definitely due to the Islanders. Clarke's getting better CCL results there than anyone's ever had with DCU. Impresses the heck out of me. If there's no interest abroad in the job, I'd be very OK with Clarke getting a shot here in DC...if he wants it.

Posted by: fischy | September 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I-270Exit1 :

"Do the Faroe Islands benefit from more games?"

I would think they do. Why are you suggesting otherwise?

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | October 1, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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