Sunday, May 30, 2010

My take on last night

The Preston Burp injury was horrific. I have not seen the replay and I think I won't as I don't really want to see that ever again. From what I saw it was not dirty at all, two guys going for a 50/50 ball. Unfortunately Burpo suffered a horrific injury. Unfortunately it's a part of the game, these injuries happen from time to time. Burpo is 37, which makes his recovery that much harder. The injury comes at a time in which he was playing pretty well. I just hope he can make a full recovery and make a come back next year and continue with his career.

It was a very entertaining game. The best game I've been to this year. Both teams played well. Up until the red cards I'd say the fair result would be a tie. After being up 2 men the Revs had the obligation to win the game, which they did. The Revs played a good game. The addition of Joseph is huge. He can win balls and hold onto them. He can also distribute the ball well. Hopefully he stays on the field. I really like having him in the midfield alongside Perovic. It's a very good combination to have.


Revs 3-2 New York

The Revolution beat NYRB 3-2 last night in one of the most well-played games we've seen from at Gillette this season. Preston Burpo's injury was one of the focal points in the game, and not undeservingly, but there's a lot of other things to talk about in this one.

Hans Backe said after the game, "This was a joke the first was absolutely ridiculous. They had one chance and scored twice. It was one way traffic for forty-five minutes." This is a slight exaggeration. Red Bulls were definitely the better team. They forced Burpo and Shuttleworth into a handful of really good saves, and they made the New England defense look pretty useless at times. However, New England played pretty well at times too, especially through the midfield. Joseph, Perovic, and Tierney were especially good in the first half.

The second half was a bit more even than the first. New York still passed the ball very well, and had some great chances. What killed them were the two red cards. The first was warranted; Mendes's tackle was pretty ridiculous, and he didn't complain too much when he was shown his second yellow. The second sending off was a terrible call, and we could tell how bad it was in real time from the Fort, at the other end of the stadium. It may not have even been a foul at all. Anyway, after that, it was only a matter of time before New England scored, and it was on a very nice headed goal by Schilawski from Joseph.

You know how at games, before the game and at halftime, they show messages from players on the big screen saying "Get Loud" and things like that, to pump up the crowd? Maybe I never noticed it before, but last night they had one where the PA guy said something like, "Let's show the Red Bulls why New England has the best home field advantage in MLS!" It was funny because the Revs hadn't won at home since the home opener against Toronto, and they have pretty low attendance these days. So low, in fact, that Brian Billelo said preseason that the reason they wouldn't build a new stadium is that the projected attendance numbers wouldn't be sufficient to pay off the cost of building it.

Anyway, it was a big win against a big Eastern Conference team, which they perhaps didn't fully deserve, and a very fun game to watch.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hello to an Old Friend and some other notes

The Kansas City Wizards announced the singing of an old friend of ours, Jamar Beasley. I remember when the Revolution signed him. They made a big deal about, which was justified. Beasley was considered the next big thing in American soccer. People expected him to be a star and be a key member of the National team. Well, it never ended up working that way. During his time with the Revs Beasley failed to turn into a consistent performer. He had some bright spots during his stay here. I liked him. I wish they had given him more of a chance. Many times he would appear as a sub. On the other hand, I've heard he had a pretty big reputation as a partier which may have been why he didn't always start and the reason for his inconsistent play. At the end of the day, he's a wasted talent. He could have had a much better career than he did. Now that he's back in the league I wish him luck and hope he has a good year. He's always been a talented player.

One thing the Revs are doing this year that I like is their game day previews on their site. You can access today's here. Gives you the weather forecast, the injury reports, and a few other notes usually in 2 - 5 minutes. It's good to watch on game day to get a heads up on what to expect.

No Revolution players at this year's World Cup. It's disappointing since in the past we've gotten to see some our favorites Revs players represent their National Teams. Hopefully this is a one off thing and we've got some Revs in Brazil for 2014.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

US 2-4 CZE and USMNT 23

The US men's national team lost to the Czech Republic, 4-2, on Tuesday in Connecticut. The following day, Bob Bradley announced his final 23-man roster selection.

The main player I was looking at was Stuart Holden...not because his place was in jeopardy, but because I hadn't seen him play since Nigel De Jong broke his leg. He looked totally 100% to me. In fact, he was the best player on the field as far as I'm concerned. Not only does he have technical skill, but he flat-out knows what he's doing. You can see him going through his options when he makes decisions with the ball, especially in transition. He played very well with Steve Cherundolo on the right side of the field; they looked like they'd been playing together for a while. If Dempsey ever moves up top, I absolutely trust Holden with the right midfield role. Actually, I'd prefer to see him start in central midfield in front of Bradley, but I highly doubt that will happen. You should too.

A position to keep an eye on was striker. Buddle was okay up top. Gomez was a bit better. Eddie Johnson actually had a pretty decent game too, but didn't do anything to really make a mark on the game. Ching, who came on for Johnson at halftime, also played very well. I've become a Ching fan over the past few US games...I just don't like what he did to the Revolution in the MLS Cup Final a few years ago about three seconds after an extra time Twellman goal. Robbie Finley didn't play.

Coming out of this game, I felt Gomez was a sure thing for the final roster, with a decent chance to start against England. He's been the hottest goalscorer for his club, and he looked the most comfortable in front of goal, with the exception of a poor decision he made to shoot (at least in the manner in which he did) on a nice 2-on-2 counterattack. Buddle looked like he ought to have edged out Johnson. I thought Ching should be there because of his cool hand and general soccer intelligence. Finley was out. All told, the strikers I supported going into the game looked like the ones who would make the cut.

The defense is still up in the air, at least in my mind. For a long time I favored the Confed Cup defense of DeMerit-Onyewu in the middle, Bocanegra out right, and Spector on the left. However, I forgot about Cherundolo because he'd been injured and out of the US fold for a little while. Now I'm really liking him at right back. Bocanegra, however, is the captain, and if he plays centrally then DeMerit is probably out. Anyway, between them, there are four good players to cover right, center.

Left back, however, remains a thin position for the US. After Spector, there's either Jonathan Bornstein or Heath Pearce. What a game they both had! In a bad way. I don't mind Bornstein overall, but he continues to make a few crucial mistakes here and there. On Tuesday he got totally owned 1-on-1 by RIGHT FULLBACK Ondrej Kusnir, and decided to just tackle him, while ignoring the ball.

Then in the second half, Heath Pearce's most crucial error was allowing Jan Polak to run right across him for the goal from a David Lafata pass. I don't think he even knew he was there...he certainly didn't look like he knew, by his body language; he was nonchalantly watching Lafata counterattack down the left side. Then, his first reaction after the goal was to throw up his arms and yell at the linesman for offside. But it was obvious that he was not playing for an offside. He never stepped forward as the ball was passed, and Goodson and Onyewu made no indication that they were playing the trap. It was just a lapse on Pearce's part, who should have been watching for the run. He's probably become too used to MLS, being back at Dallas.

Onyewu was out-jumped for a set-piece goal. Hopefully it was just a blip, because we need him to be very, very close to 100% come June 12. Goodson was pretty good individually, but the US defense had some sloppy moments which can maybe be indirectly attributed to him, as a central defender. Onyewu too. Anyway, Goodson's been good for the US lately, and I'm comfortable with him backing up Onyewu/DeMerit/Bocanegra.

This is already too long so I'll move on to the 23-man selection. I don't get the Robbie Finley selection over Brian Ching. At all. Okay, on to DaMarcus Beasley's inclusion. Eh, yeah, I guess I like it. I was hopeful that Bedoya would make it over him, but Bedoya wouldn't have played anyway now that Edu and Holden are 100%. Beasley is more valuable for his experience, which will probably get more substitute minutes than yet another young fringe player. He's been pretty good lately too, so it's probably the right decision.

The rest of the team is good, and it's nice that none of the non-Charlie Davies injuries lasted this long; Dempsey, Holden, Onyewu, and Cherundolo have all been injured in the past few months, and all have made it back.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Portugal Preview

So, how about those Portuguese? Are they going to do anything this year? I'd love to tell you they're going to win it, but I'd have a really hard time convincing anyone that that's going to happen. Here is the squad (Portugal Squad). Portugal's got a few major problems. First, we don't have a right back because Bosingwa is injured. That's a huge loss as Miguel is fat and Paul Ferreira is old. Second, we don't have a left back. Duda's just not a good enough left back and Fabio Coentrao can't defend. His supporters will tell you that he is an amazing attacker down the left. Yeah, but left backs tend to have to defend, which he can't. Lets take a look at my line up for this team. Keep in my mind that this is the team that Queiroz chose which I have to work with. I would have made some different selections which I'll cover later.

GK: Eduardo - He had a good year with Braga and I think he should start. He's a solid goalie.

Left Back: Ricardo Costa - He finished the year strong in France. Although his primary position is not left back he does have some experience there. Most people want Coentrao to start here. Coentrao will get beat every time. I don't care if a left back or right back can attack really well. I'm much more concerned about them being able to defend. That's why I'll take Ricardo Costa over Coentrao at left back. Costa is also good in the air and a good player to have on set pieces.

Right Back: Paul Ferreira - He's old and not as good as he once was. However he's the best right back on the roster. One of my fears is that he will play left back. He is terrible there. The other right back on the team is Miguel. When these two were in their prime the argument for Miguel was that he was a much better attacker, however Ferreira was the better defender. Well, Miguel is now old and fat. He is no longer the speedster he once was. Although Ferreira is no longer the player he once was he can still defend better than Miguel and that's why I'd go with him.

Center Backs: Bruno Alves and Ricardo Carvalho - No need to explain this decision. Pepe hasn't played in too long and isn't in game shape. So you have to go with these two who form a very good pairing in the middle of defense.

Defensive Midfielder: Pedro Mendes - Mendes is a hard worker who can win those 50/50 balls and help out on defense. He's also a smart player who can distribute the ball well. You can argue that Miguel Veloso is a better player. He is, when he wants to be, which is pretty hard to predict. So that's why you have to go with Mendes.

Other two midfielders: Deco and Tiago - Deco isn't the player he once was but when he's on he can still play. Tiago has played well since moving to Atletico Madrid on loan. Really don't have much to choose from here. Raul Meireles has been disappointing all season long. He'll probably start but I don't think he should.

The wings: Cristiano Ronaldo and Danny - Ronaldo should probably start. I've heard he's a pretty good player. Danny should start over Simao and Nani. Simao is overrated. Often times I will watch Portugal play and not hear his name for over 20 minutes. Danny is just a better player than Nani, although Nani does have those moments of brilliance they tend to be very inconsistent.

Center Forward: Hugo Almeida - A big strong forward who is good in the air. Amazing left foot. Liedson can stay at home.

That's my starting line up given the players that Queiroz chose for the team. So is this team good enough to win. Yes, however they will need Ronaldo to be at the top of his game and will need some big performances from guys like Ferriera, Deco, Tiago, and some very good defense. I just don't see it happening. It could but it probably won't. So I wouldn't count on these guys winning it. Obviously not winning the World Cup is a disappointment, a disappointment that we are very used to. But realistically, if Portugal makes it to the quarter finals I'll say they did pretty good, even though I will be crushed by the disappointment of not winning, although not as much as usual.

Here are some players who should have gone:

Makakula - Had a great year in Turkey. Similar player to Almeida.

Joao Moutinho - I was shocked when he wasn't picked.

Vieirinha - Had a very good year in Greece. Should have been given a chance on the national team but never was.

There are a few others but the list could get pretty long so I'll stop there.

But lets be serious. The biggest omissions from this team were Carlos Rocha and Carlos Semedo. There's no way we're winning the World Cup without these two guys.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two New Links and some thoughts

We've posted two new links. First is the House of Soccer. It is written by Brian O'Connell. I think it's a great site which I really enjoy reading. The site covers the Revolution as well as anything else going on in New England soccer or anything that he feels like writing about. I think what makes this site great is that when you read it you can see just how passionate Brian is about the game of soccer. He also has some unique perspectives about the game at the grass roots level in his home state of Rhode Island as well as some thoughts about the history of the game in the area, such as articles about Billy Gonsalves. It's certainly a site worth checking out.

The second link we added is Premiershiptalk. The main focus of the site is the English First Division. Why did I just call it that? Check this link out and all will be explained (Leagues with Stupid Names) They also cover some other things like International tournaments, a little MLS, and the European club competitions. They tend to focus on English teams. So if you're a fan of the English game it's worth checking out. However, I must warn you. You probably want to stay away from any articles written by Taylor Fisher (who by the way is very anti-MLS although he knows pretty nothing about the league). They tend to be quite bad and illogical. Honestly, most of the time I read them I'd just be like "what the fuck is he talking about?!?! Does he really think that? Is this some kind of joke?" So I still visit the site but I ignore his articles. If you want to go ahead and read them, go ahead. However, you've been warned.

Joseph is back! This is good news. Lets hope that he has put his personal problems behind him for good and that he has made a full recovery.

MLS really needs to get rid of turf and mandate that all teams play on grass. I know that this is not feasible to do over night but the league should establish a timetable which reasonably allows the teams to transition from turf to grass. I remember being at the San Jose game and the Revs nearly scored due to a random bounce as the result of playing on turf.


Red Bulls 3-1 Juventus

I just watched the Red Bulls beat Juventus 3-1 in New York, a game that made me even more dejected about New England's performance against Benfica on Wednesday. The final score accurately reflects the performances of the two teams.

If you hadn't seen the game, you might think, well Juventus had a terrible season for their standards anyway, and they probably brought a B-side to face New York. It's true that they were missing a handful of important players to the World Cup, like Buffon, Chiellini, Cannavaro, Camoranesi, Marchisio, Melo, and Iaquinta. Yeah, that's a lot. However, they still had Del Piero, Trezeguet, and Diego in the starting XI, as well as Grosso, whom Marcelo Lippi recently cut from Italy's preliminary 30. Amauri came off the bench at halftime.

Not only that, but New York's was a team called "a largely reserve team" by the FSC commentator (I forget who exactly was calling the game). Let me tell you about the first two goals. The first was scored by Jeremy Hall, a 21-year old rookie who has been a regular for NY this season; it came off a 25-yard rocket that hit the post by a guy named Irving Garcia, who is 22 years old and has played a total of zero minutes in 2010. The second goal was scored by another 22-year old named Conor Chinn, who has started zero games in 2010 but has three substitute appearances. Juan Pablo Angel did not start; he came on in the 68th minute.

This is the team that beat Juventus. It wasn't even a defend-and-counterattack performance, as you may have expected. In fact, it kind of looked like a good Serie A game. It was weird-- you could actually tell that New York had midfielders. Weird, that is, to me, who's used to watching the Revolution. There's a legitimate difference in quality between New York (15 points in 9 games) and New England (8 points in 10 games). New York is good.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Revolution rookies

The featured article on is an article on three rookies: Schilawski, Sinovic, and Boggs. It touts this rookie class, as well as draft classes of years past under Nicol and Burns.

I agree with the general message of the article: these three rookies have been pretty good. However, it seems as though there isn't much else the team could have published in terms of positive publicity. These players' emergence is a silver lining in an otherwise sloppy season thus far (8 points through 9 games).

The article points out that Sinovic has slipped under the radar a bit. In fact, it includes a quote from Sinovic himself, in which he agrees with this characterization of his rise. To the casual MLS fan, or the fan of a different MLS club, yes there has been less to-do made of him than of Schilawski. However, I know Andrew and I personally mentioned what a solid player Sinovic was during the home opener, and I think fans of the Revolution in particular have really appreciated what he's done so far.

The article also points to the relatively greater amount of attention Zak Boggs has received than Sinovic, saying, "Attacking players have always been the center off attention." This explanation is probably more applicable to Schilawski than Boggs. I think the reason so much was made of Boggs's emergence about six weeks into the season is that when the Revs drafted him, he wasn't anywhere near that spot in the so-called experts' draft forecasts. When Brad Feldman interviewed Ives Galarcep about the Revs' first few picks, Ives had nothing on him because he didn't expect to have to talk about him so soon.

And finally, it's strange that we can point to so many good young players (Barnes, Alston, and Tierney included, who are 2nd years), and still have a pretty bad team. Part of the problem is Shalrie Joseph's absense, whose importance was clearly on display in the Toronto game. But they shouldn't be THIS bad without him. I'm not as anti-Nicol as Andrew is, but I wouldn't be surprised to find myself in that camp by July if this team's disparate talent doesn't gel by then.

Anyway, it's a pretty decent article, and has some quotes from Sinovic as well as Preston Burpo. I just wanted to throw my two cents in.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


As much as I hate to say it, the Revs pretty much got dominated last night. Benfica came out and played very well. There were large parts of the game where the Revs barely touched the ball. Here are some quick thoughts on the game:

Kardec's goal was a very good shot. Good player. I think he has a bright future.

I enjoyed watching Cesar Peixoto. He has always been a very talented player.

Was that Benfica fan trying to make out with David Luis after the game? I don't get why David Luis just stood there even after being separated from the fan.

Hey Nicol, maybe you should teach the Revs how to pass the ball and actually maintain possession instead of telling them to kick it down field and run after it. It's 2010, not 1985.

One thing that really pisses me off is when someone in the media doesn't do their research and makes a stupid mistake. Case in point, this podcast (Podcast 5/19) before last night's game with Brad Feldman and Gus Martins. According to them Oscar Cardozo's price went up big time after the good season he had this year with Benfica. Ok, that's fine, but apparently so did Simao. Simao hasn't played for Benfica in over 2 years. He's at Atletico Madrid you morons. Maritns also mentions that Nuno Assis of Braga was left off the national team. Nuno Assis actually plays for Guimaraes. But hey, maybe that was just a mistake. Anyone can make a mistake like that and not realize that they has just made a mistake. But saying Simao was still on Benfica, come on. That's just bad. I hope Feldman wasn't really looking forward to seeing him play last night. They then went on to talk about the Esuebio statue. That must've really made Brian O'Connell's day (Statues)

According to the Boson Globe (Attendance ) attendance for last night's game was 12,735. A very disappointing number indeed. The main reason behind this, high ticket prices. The cheapest ticket available to the general public was $40. That's just too high given the economy and most fans weren't willing to pay $40 just for a ticket. In years past when Benfica came here you also had to pay for parking. Although parking was free for last night's game, this was announced too late, just a couple of days before the game. So you're paying $40 for a ticket and you think you're going to pay $20 to park your car (according to people who were at the game last night and who also went to the Inter vs Milan game last year, the parking price for that game was $40.) So that takes you up to $60. Well, you need to pay for gas. Lets say that's $10. Most Portuguese people who go to the game also like tail gate with wine, beer, sardines, and all that other good stuff. Well, all that good stuff costs money too. At the end of the day it's not just $40 for the ticket. You have to factor all those other things as well. You can argue that making the cheapest ticket $20 would only save people $20 and that they'd still have to pay for other things. That's true, but psychologically there's a big difference when you think about buying a ticket that is $40 vs a ticket that is $20. If tickets had been something like $20, $26, $35 a lot more people would have gone. The number should have been between 30,000 and 35,000. Instead we get a disappointing 13,000. Nice going whoever came up with the pricing structure used last night, (Revs or Benfica, or Both).


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Revs and Papa Gino's

I went to Papa Gino's for lunch today. It was ok. I said no pickles and they put pickles. Not good. Anyways, I noticed a little display by the soda that had a Revolution logo. Papa Gino's has a new rewards card in which customers get a card, register it online, then earn points for each dollar they spend at Papa Gino's. As a member you get to participate in special promotions. One of the promotions currently being offered involves the Revolution. The promotion is that you can purchase a ticket for $30 and get another ticket free. So you're basically getting 2 tickers for $15 each, a pretty good deal considering that the cheapest ticket on game day is $22. There are two caveats to the deal. The first is that you need to call ahead and order them through the team. You can't use the deal on game day. The second is that you can only use the deal for 4 games. These are games against DC United, Houston, Philadelphia, and Seattle. I think that's a great choice as the Houston and Seattle games should be pretty good. The DC United and Philly games should also be entertaining. It'll be interesting to see if this promotion will lead to any sort of attendance bump for these games. My guess is that it will be minimal. The team should certainly keep track of sales through the promotion to see if the bump is significant. If it is then they should look at doing it again next year. Having a display at Papa Gino's also gives the team some visibility throughout New England. People who normally don't go to the Revs might see the display and be like "hey, I forgot about the Revs, they're still around? Maybe I should go check them out". It's important to note that the Revs have a long history of doing promotions with Papa Gino's. If I remember correctly, there was no promotion last year with Papa Gino's. However, a couple of years ago (as well as seasons prior) the promotion was that you could get a ticket, a personal pizza, and a soda for $24 ($18 or $19 when the promotion was first introduced back in the day). A pretty good deal.

Weather doesn't look good for tomorrow. I'm holding out hope that its decent and that people are able to hang out before the game. Have some beers and some sardines.

Pablo Aimar is not able to play tomorrow. He had some passport problems and is not in the United States. Check it out here (Aimar stays behind)


Monday, May 17, 2010

Benfica Roster

Benfica have released their roster for the game on Wed. night. Interesting to note that the Revolution have this roster on their site (Benfica Roster on Revs Site) and abola is reporting this roster on their site (Abola Benfica roster). Below is the roster according to abola.

Goalies: Moreira e Júlio César;

Defenders: Luís Filipe, David Luiz, Sidnei, Fábio Faria e César Peixoto;

Midfielders: Airton, Javi Garcia, Felipe Menezes, David Simão, Leandro Pimenta, Ruben Amorim e Pablo Aimar;

Forwards: Nuno Gomes, Kardec, Éder Luís, Weldon e Saviola.

Both goalies are solid. Nothing special. Moreira was very hyped up when he was younger and was the starter for a while. He's been buried as the third stringer for quite some time. Really hasn't done anything the last 4 years. Not sure why he's still on the team. Solid goalie but if you're not going to use him why not just get rid of him.

I hope Luis Felipe plays right back and Cesar Peixoto plays left back. Neither can defend but both are very good attackers. Both started their careers on the wing up front. Some interesting facts about Cesar Peixoto.
1. Upon joining FC Porto he bought a brand new Mercedes and crashed into a house.
2. Married a really hot model then got divorced shortly thereafter.
3. One of Jose Mourinho's all time favorite players. Played for Mourinho while the two were at FC Porto.

As a Revs fan I really hope David Luis does not play. We can't afford to lose any more player to injury. He is a good player but he gets away with a lot of hacking in Portugal that often goes unpunished, or should be a yellow or red card but is only called a foul. Good defender but not worth half the money that many of these soccer sites claim has been offerred for his contract.

The midfield is not very impressive. I'm surprised Pablo Aimar was not selected for the World Cup to represent Argentina. Not that he has a place on the team, but he's one of Maradona's all time favorite players. And to be fair, Aimar was a very good player while at Valencia. About that Argentina roster, it's pretty bad. I don't want to suggest anything, but perhaps there was something influencing some of those decisions. I mean really, you take Veron but no Cambiasso or Lucho Gonzalez. Who's going to win those 50/50 balls in the midfield? Lisandro Lopez should've gone as well. Great goal scorer. Scores a lot of goals from out of no where.

Lets get back to this roster though. I'd like to see Kardec play. He's a good young Brazilian. Entertaining player to watch. Nuno Gomes is old. I hope he goes to Toronto. That way we don't need to worry about Toronto scoring any goals.

It's a solid roster. It's better than what I was expecting.

Revolution also announced that parking to the game will be free. I have the feeling that the attendance for this game is going to be pretty disappointing.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Notes about the Quakes Game

Revs tied the Quakes 0-0 on Saturday. It was a pretty even game. I'd say that the tie was the correct result. Neither team really outplayed the other. Perhaps you can make the argument that the Revs slightly outplayed the Quakes. Not a whole lot of chances for either team. Not much offense in this one. I was disappointed with Perovic, not his strongest game. Boggs played well. He's a hard worker and showed some flashes with some skillful play. He's looking pretty good so far.

As I pulled into the parking lot some jackass who was working the parking lot almost drove his little cart directly into my car. I was pulling into the parking space with my blinker clearly indicating I was making a right turn and this jackass cuts me off. He drove through the parking space that I was in the middle of parking in. After nearly hitting me he made no acknowledgment of his tremendous blunder. You are a jackass.

Bobby Convey is a shadow of his former self. What happened? Are you really that depressed about playing for San Jose? Really hasn't done anything since coming back from Reading.

As I was walking to the stadium I heard a mother turn to her two young boys and say "So what are we going to do tonight? We're going to ignore all the bad language we hear". I thought that was pretty funny haha.

There was a pretty good crowd at the game with over 13,000 fans. It's a shame that we consider 13,000 fans to be a good crowd.

Having the game start at 6 was pretty cool. I got home before 10 which was nice. Got home and still had time to go out after.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Revs Waive Mauricio Castro

Castro's disappointing spell with the Revolution has come to an end. Castro failed to be a consistent performer during his time here. Waiving him opens up a roster spot to sign someone else or promote someone from the academy. The Revolution did not release the terms of Castro's deal when they resigned him a few months ago and I'm not completely sure what the rules are in terms of waiving players and how much salary you owe them if you do so. My guess is that the Revs are saving some money and freeing up some cap space. How much? I don't know and that's if my assumption is even correct. It's a good move. I never really saw Castro being a part of this team. He's not a bad player, but I don't see him fitting in well here.

Now if you excuse me I have to go back to staring at a wall. It's been a rough night.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Revs Season Tickets

This is actually my first year as a season ticket holder of the Revolution. I've supported the team since its inception but was only able to go to games every now and then up until this year. The Revs have done some cool things this year for season ticket holders. One of the first things they did was send season ticket holders a calendar. I think it's pretty cool. Has some old school pictures of the team which show some of the more important events in the team's history. There's one picture of Mike Burns and Alexi Lalas, I wonder who decided to include that one haha. Another thing they've done is send emails a couple of days before each home game. What I like about these is the attachment entitled "Game Notes". It's very informative. It provides the injury report as well as statistics for each player on the team. There are also some mini bio's for each player. However, the thing I like most about it is that it includes the box score for each game that has already been played as well as the line up for each game. I think it's pretty cool. You can keep them and years later you can look back and see some of the line ups that the Revs fielded.

Revs lost 3-0 last night. The stream was very good. They should do that more often for open cup games.


USMNT 30-man roster

On Tuesday, Bob Bradley announced the 30-man preliminary USMNT roster for the World Cup. Here it is:

GK: Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann
Def: Bocanegra, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Spector, DeMerit, Goodson, Pearce, Marshall, Bornstein
Mid: Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Holden, Kljestan, Rogers, Feilhaber, Torres, Bedoya, Beasley, Clark, Edu
For: Altidore, Buddle, Ching, Johnson, Findley, Gomez

First things first. Charlie Davies isn't on the list, as has been well-publicized. I agree with the general sentiment: this is stupid. There are players on this list who are pretty bad, compared to the international standard, and have zero percent chance of making the 23-- I point to Robbie Rogers. Why call in a guy who has proven he can't cut it with the national team when you can call in Davies and give him as long as possible to prove himself?

Also, it's come out that Davies was not consulted when his club wrote to Bradley saying Davies couldn't go. This is the truly awful part. Sochaux could have at least involved Davies in the conversation, rather than unilaterally deciding he would not be fit in time.

Look at the Bobby Zamora situation in England. After the Europa League final, Zamora told the press that Capello's decision to leave him out of the England 30 was based on a collective conversation. In Zamora's words, "It was a joint decision with their medical team, our medical team, myself, and the management over there" ( video). Guess what? The result was that Zamora didn't use words like "hurt" or "angry" to describe his exclusion the way Davies did. One method was clearly more professional than the other.

To stay on the topic of forwards, I'd like to see Findley and Johnson cut when 30 turns into 23. Findley especially. It's one thing to go with fringe players who are hot at their clubs, but guess how many goals Findley has this MLS season? Zero. Johnson has been hot-- or hotter at least-- for his club, Aris. I still haven't liked him in any international games he's played in recent memory, and I'd just rather see truly hot strikers like Gomez and Buddle go to South Africa over him. Plus, I've seen a few of his goals for Aris, and they weren't that great. One was plain luck on a ball from Adu that he received very very sloppily.

By the way, I really hope Buddle goes. I think he will prove himself in the two May friendlies...because having watched him in MLS, I think he's the best goalscorer, maybe in the 30. Obviously Altidore is ahead of him in the pecking order, but as an out and out goalscorer Buddle is the best option at the moment, in my view.

Gomez should go for the same reason, based on what I've read and heard, but I haven't actually watched him because the only Mexican games I've watched recently are Pachuca games when they're on one of the Spanish channels and ESPN Soccernet tells me Torres is playing.

Other than Johnson and Findley, the other cuts I would make (pending injury or incredible performances in Connecticut and Philadelphia) are Pearce, Marshall, Beasley, Kljestan, and Rogers. Pearce and Marshall are at least competent at filling their positions as 2nd stringers, but there just isn't room. Goodson surpassed Marshall in the last two friendlies when Marshall was injured; I was very comfortable with him in central defense. Pearce has been good lately, but it's too little too late in my opinion. Unlike a lot of other Americans, I'm not a Bornstein hater.

Kljestan and Rogers have had their chances for the MNT and shown they just aren't good enough. Kljestan has had a few shining moments over the past couple years, but overall he just isn't an international midfielder. I don't even think he's that good for Chivas USA, to be honest. He doesn't have the soccer intelligence that I'd prefer a player to have. Also, I just plain don't like Rogers. They say he's fast. Is he? Not in close quarters-- he's not quick. Maybe he's fast in the open field, I don't remember.

The starting 11, and even the substitute bench of choice, is pretty hard to guage, even after those cuts. Hopefully it becomes clearer by June 1, and I think it will.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Join Our World Cup Challenge on Yahoo

Yahoo is offering a World Cup fantasy game (World Cup Fantasy) in which you can compete to see who can make the most correct picks in regards to the World Cup. We have started our own group to see who amongst us can correctly pick the results of every World Cup match, yeah I doubt that's going to happen. It'd be pretty impressive. If you want to join our group send us an email at with the subject line of "World Cup Fantasy Game". We'll then send you the details to sign up. I'll be posting the results on here after the World Cup. Me and John will probably come in last. I'll be second to last and I'm willing to bet that John scores in the negatives. It's not possible but I'm sure he'll find a way. Oh, and to be clear, we are not offering any prizes. We're too poor and have no sponsors. I guess if you beat us you can come on here and leave comments calling us dumbasses or something like that. But you have to beat us first before you can do that.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tough Loss and a few notes

The Revs suffered a tough loss on Saturday night at Columbus. You could probably argue that Columbus deserved the win, but the Revs did play ok, good enough for the tie. A Preston Burpo blunder led to the third goal. Come on Preston, you're making me look like an idiot here, just the other day I said you might still be the starter even when Reis gets back. Mistakes happen, it's a part of the game. He's had a very good season thus far.

Zak Boggs scored two goals. The first one was a gift from the goalkeeper and the second one was a nice finish. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow we all got emails telling us that Zak Boggs is the second coming of Taylor Twellman, well, I guess he'd be the third since Zack Schilawski seems to be the official second coming of Twellman. I'm not trying to put Boggs down or anything, I just hate it when a player happens to score a goal or two in their professional debut and everyone jumps and is like "oh my god this kid is amazing!!!" He played a solid game and I hope he continues to play well and improve.

The only time I have ever said that a player is amazing while watching their professional debut was Cristiano Ronaldo. I remember it quite well. It was Sporting's match of presentation and they were playing PSG. I watched the game and noticed this kid who was named Ronaldo. When you saw his face he looked like a little kid. As I watched this game I turned to my dad and uncle and said "one day this kid will be the best player in the world". And here he is today, the best player in the world. There's a bit more to that story, which is actually pretty funny but I'll save it for another day.

One of the things that pisses me off about the Revolution is their ability to play well for about 5 minutes and then do pretty much nothing in terms of offense the rest of the game. If you look at the first goal from last night it developed from some nice quick passes and some good runs off the ball. Why can't they do that more often? Too often they just kick the ball forward and run after it. I guess that's why Steve Nicol can't coach hockey, there's icing.

Montreal was announced as the newest expansion. It's an excellent choice. They're going to have a lot of success.

It appears that MLS wants a second New York team. I think it's a bad idea. Make sure the Red Bulls can sell out and are a strong team before adding a second team. I'd rather have one strong team than two mediocre teams. Besides, there are other markets that if given good stadium situations would be better, I'm thinking St. Louis.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Revs set to take on Brazil's Cruzeiro

The game will take place on Sunday June 13th at 7pm. Cruzeiro is always a solid team in Brazil. I'm curious as to who they'll bring for the game. I'm not aware of any of their players going to the World Cup. The roster has some known names. Leondro Lima spent some time with Porto before moving back to his native Brazil. Another name with European experience is Kleber who had a successful stint with Dynamo Kyiv. But really, when glancing over the Cruzeiro roster one name certainly sticks out, and that is Roger. Before he left to join Benfica back at the beginning of the decade he was considered the next big thing to come out Brazil. People expected this guy to be a regular on the Brazilian National team for years to come. My little cousin in Portugal even went out and bought a Roger Benfica jersey. He loved Roger, he kept telling me about how Roger was awesome and how he was going to light up Porto's defense. Then years later when I visited once again he was like "yeah, I was an idiot, I forgot about that shirt, thanks for reminding me asshole." Truth be told though, before his move to Benfica he was playing some great soccer in Brazil. Well, his move to Benfica was pretty much a complete disaster. He feuded with pretty much every coach he ever played for as well as with the team's management. He never really became a regular for them. His other interesting move during his career was when he signed with Corinthians. What made this move extremely entertaining was the fact that he joined a squad that already had Carlos Alberto and Carlos Tevez. Something happened pretty much every day. I remember watching the news one day and they were talking about how Alberto just caused problems all day at practice, Tevez did pretty much the same thing, and Roger demanded that he become captain or else he wouldn't play. This sort of thing went on for a while on a daily basis. It was pretty funny. He was certainly a guy with a lot of talent but he never lived up to it and had a very disappointing career.

Anyways, I don't even know if these 3 guys are coming. They might just bring a bunch of reserves and juniors. Even if they though, they might have a gem or two waiting to be discovered. I'm just hoping for a good turnout and an entertaining game.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

MLS All Stars vs Manchester United

It's been announced that this summer's MLS All-Star team will face Manchester United on July 28 in Houston.

First of all, let me make it clear that I'm not a fan of this All-Star game format, having an all-MLS team face a foreign team. Or All-Star games in general, actually. I'm sure it's an effective way to market the league, both here and abroad, but I just think it makes MLS look weak that it has to call in a foreign club to face the best players of all the clubs in our league combined.

Also, it's too bad it's being played at Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans of the NFL. The past four all-star games have been played in new soccer-specific MLS stadiums. Houston will get its own stadium by 2012, but as of now they still play in Robertson Stadium. It would have been nice to show off a new one again this time.

If I were in charge, I would have arranged to play this year's in Red Bull Arena and save Houston's turn for a couple years. Maybe there was trouble with RB Arena though, I don't know. It seems like it should have been everyone's first choice. Philadelphia's stadium should be done by then too-- at least it looks done superficially in the Union's Facebook photos.

Anyway, stadium selection aside, and given the league's insistance on playing this type of All-Star game in the first place, Manchester United is a good team to bring in because they'll draw attention and money. There, I finally got to the positive part.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Some Links

Over the next couple of months we plan on gradually turning this blog into a full site. For the time being we are also going to spruce up this blog. One thing that we've done is we've added a couple of our favorite soccer sites in the links section to the right. Footiebusiness is a great site which talks about the various business issues that MLS faces. Matchfitusa is dedicated to pretty much anything that has to do with American soccer whether it be MLS, Americans playing abroad, or the US Men's National Team. There was an excellent article posted today which you can read here (Rossie Left Off Camp). We will be adding some more links soon.

Also, last I heard the new Upper Deck MLS card set for 2010 will be released in May. More on that later.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

FC Dallas game

I agree with Andrew that Dallas should have won this one. They had the majority of the meaningful possession and scoring chances, even before the first ejection. Burpo had a handful of clutch reaction saves throughout the game to keep New England in it, but Dallas should have scored more than once nevertheless.

The Fort showed decent support, but the numbers seemed to be down compared to the home opener, which was really awesome. Also, there was a really disrespectful Shalrie Joseph sign in the Rebellion section of the Fort, which made a joke of his personal leave. I don't know for sure that it was The Rebellion's doing, but I'm pretty sure it's their sign because I've seen ones like it at every game so far.

The first ejection was a bad call. The second was the correct call. I don't think either of them was especially game-changing, because the Revs never strung together meaningful passes, or bossed the game whatsoever, even in the first half. At best it was an even, physical game with tough defense and a lot of long balls, but that doesn't describe the brunt of the game.

Overall, the Revolution performance further showed that they just aren't a great team. They're decent, and they can be good at times, but it usually happens when Shalrie Joseph is playing. He was the central figure in the 2nd half explosion against Toronto a few weeks ago (Toronto's poor play aside), and the team clearly missed him this weekend (again). They just don't have any midfield presence at all without him. I hope he sorts out his personal issues for his own sake, but also for the team's.

It was a good result considering the ejections and the quality of play. Their 2-3-1 record is a fairly accurate reflection of how good the team has been so far. They need to find their groove with the new young players, and they need Joseph back, in order to turn into a good playoff team. Meanwhile, Twellman is still out there somewhere, Tweeting his time away. The pieces exist, but they're not all there and in sync at the moment. One game at a time...


8 Men Revs Hold off Dallas

The Revs were able to hold FC Dallas to a 1-1 draw after being reduced to 8 men on the pitch as a result of Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky being ejected following red cards and the inclusion of Khano Smith at halftime.

This is a game that Dallas should've won given the fact that they were up 3 men.

Thank you Dario Sala, we owe you one. Really, what were you thinking? Perhaps it's time Kevin Hartman's given a chance.

Will Zack Schilawski score 10 goals this year? It's tough to say. I'm going to go out and say that he does score 10 goals this year. He's a solid player and it doesn't look like Twellman will be back anytime soon. So he should be a starter for the foreseeable future.

What is Steve Nicol thinking? As I walked out of the stadium I kept wondering what went through his mind when he decided to put Smith in at the half. I would love to hear his rational behind the decision. I know that I am sometimes critical of Mansally, but Mansally is actually a talented player. He just doesn't have much discipline and doesn't really have much of a soccer IQ at the moment. But at least when he's on he can play and create something. I don't know Nicol. I think it's time for you to go.

The attendance was once again disappointing. Just over 10,000 fans attended the game according to MLS's official site (Revs vs FC Dallas Recap). I forget how exactly MLS comes up with this number. I know I've seen how it's done. I shall find it and post it in the near future.

I'm not so sure Matt Reis should be the starter once he comes back. If Preston Burpo continues to play the way he's been playing then he should continue to start. You have to go with the hot goalie.