Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
In the second half, Guadeloupe started as the more dominate side and had some good chances to grab the lead. The best two chances fell to their captain, and SKC midfielder, Stephane Auvray. The first after a ball was knocked away from Guadeloupe's forward, Auvray blasted a shot that was well saved by Jamaica's keeper. Shortly after a cross came into the box where Auvray laid out for a diving header at the six yard box. Auvray though couldn't direct the header on goal though and it went wide.
That miss proved costly as about 30 seconds later, Dane Richards played a cross in to the back post where Shaun Francis met it with his head and put it away to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead. Throughout the rest of the second half, both teams had chances, Jamaica missed some very good chances to double their lead but again poor finishing hurt their chances. Guadeloupe also had some chances but couldn't find a leveler. In second half stoppage time they had a free kick 30 yards out. The free kick was blasted into the wall and Jamaica was on the break. Guadeloupe looked to have the play covered a few times in their box, but poor defending led to the ball falling to Ryan Johnson who buried his shot past Guadeloupe's stranded goalkeeper and into the net for the 2-0 win.
Both Thomas and Auvray went 90 minutes for their team. Guadeloupe now needs to win their final game against Antigua and Barbuda and need Jamaica to beat Guyana to qualify for the semifinals and the Gold Cup. Tomorrow Craig Rocastle and Grenada need a draw against Cuba to qualify for the semifinals.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Rocastle and Grenada continued their quest to qualify for the Gold Cup in the Digicel Caribbean Cup today as they took on Trinidad and Tobago in their second group play game. Grenada got the win on a goal by Kitson Bain and were able to hold on to go to 4 points. Rocastle went 75 minutes for the Spice Boys in the 1-0 win. They currently sit second in the group after Cuba won their game against Martinique and clinched a place in semifinals. Cuba did it with 9 men as well. Those two factors (clinching and 2 red cards) could lead to Cuba fielding a bit of a weakened side on Tuesday for their final group game. A point for Grenada in their final match will see them qualify. The two results also mean that Trinidad is eliminated from the tournament with one game to play.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
They currently sit behind Thomas and Jamaica, as the Reggae Boyz took out Antigua and Barbuda today 3-1. The Jamaicans jumped out to a 3-0 half time lead through Luton Shelton's brace and a goal from Dane Richards. An early goal in the second half by Antigua was not enough as the Jamaicans are looking defender their crown. Thomas and Jamaica will meet Auvray and Guadeloupe on Monday in the second group play game.
Finally, India continues to prepare for this January's Asian Cup as they played Hatta Club, another UAE club side. India finally broke out of a long slump and picked up a 3-1 win over the club side. Wizards forward, Sunil Chhetri, though did not feature again for the Indian team as they finally picked up a win after some embarrassing loses.
The Comets fell to the Milwaukee Wave by a score of 24-11 Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Wave dominated the first quarter, leading 6-0 at the end of the first period. After a Wave 3-point goal to start the second quarter, Brian Harris got the Comets on the board with a nice assist from Jose Louiz Birche. Jamar Beasley followed with a goal of his own for the Comets, but 11 seconds after Beasley’s goal, the Wave scored to end the half up 11-4.
The 3rd quarter belonged to the Wave again, scoring six unanswered points, including one goal on a power play after the Comets had too many men on the field. End of 3rd quarter score: 19-6 Wave.
Leo Gibson started the Comets best run of the night by starting off the 4th quarter scoring with a 3 point goal from beyond midfield while the Comets were shorthanded during a Wave power play. Tiguinho followed Gibson with a goal of his own to bring the Comets to within 19-11, but just as the Comets were showing signs of life, the Wave finished the Comets off after they pulled keeper, Danny Waltman, and went with a 6th attacker. Final score: 24-11.
“We’ve got to play better defense, period,” said Comets head coach, Kim Roentved. “We have to do a better job of protecting Danny [Waltman].”
The loss leaves the Comets with a record of 1-3. The Comets next game is at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday, December 11th at the Baltimore Blast. The Comets next home game is on Sunday, December 19th against the expansion Chicago Riot at 3:10 p.m. at the Independence Events Center.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Also it looks like a member of the Gambian U-20 team could be participating as well. Omar Colley plays for Wallidan FC in Gambia along with being on the country's U-20 team. Colley was apparently on trial with the club in August this year and impressed enough to be invited back. It certainly seems like Colley will be one of the African players invited to participate in the games.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Still looking for:
Preston Burpo - New England - Season is over.
Adam Cristman - DC United - Season is over.
Nick Garcia - Toronto - Season is over.
Luis Gil - Real Salt Lake - Season over.
Taylor Graham - Seattle - Season over.
Kevin Hartman - Dallas - Started and played 120 minutes in Dallas' 2-1 loss to Colorado in the MLS Cup final.
Will Hesmer - Columbus - Season over.
Chris Klein - LA - Season over.
Claudio Lopez - Colorado - Dressed but did not play in Colorado's 2-1 win over Dallas in MLS Cup.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Real Salt Lake - Season is over.
Kurt Morsink - DC United - Season is over.
Scott Sealy - San Jose - Season over.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Season over.
Carey Talley - New York - Season is over.
Tyson Wahl - Seattle - Season is over.
Alex Zotinca - Chivas USA - Season is over.
Jamar Beasley - Missouri Comets - Played in the Comets 14-10 loss to the Vipers on Friday. Played in the Comets 12-11 win over the Vipers Sunday.
Chris Brunt - Omaha Vipers - Played in the Vieprs 14-10 win over the Comets. Played in the Vipers 12-11 lost to Missouri on Sunday.
Pat Healey - Baltimore Blast - Recorded 2 assists in Baltimore's 10-6 win over Chicago.
Boris Pardo - Missouri Comets - Dressed but did not play in either of the Comets games.
Sunil Chhetri - India - Did not have a game this week.
Vicente Arze - Aurora - Bolivia - Came off the bench and played 23 minutes in Aurora's 2-1 win over Blooming.
Eloy Colombano - Ferrocarril Sud - Argentina - Started and played 90 minutes in Ferro's 2-1 loss to Independiente (Tandil).
Herculez Gomez - Pachuca - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 31 minutes in Pachuca's 3-3 draw with Monterrey.
Santiago Hirsig - Quilmes - Argentina - Came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Quilmes 1-1 draw with Racing Club.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Defeated St. George's SC 2-0.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Lost 2-1 to Croatia Sesvete.
Eddie Johnson - Fulham - England - Did not dress in Fulham's 4-1 loss to Manchester City.
Carlos Marinelli - Györi ETO - Hungary - Did not dress in Gyori's 3-0 loss to Kaposvári Rákóczi.
Yura Movsisyan - Randers FC - Denmark - Came off the bench and played 18 minutes in Randers' 3-3 draw with Lyngby.
Matt Taylor - Rot Weiss Ahlen - Germany - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in Weiss' 4-2 win over Aalen.
Ivan Trujillo - Deportes Quindío - Colombia - Did not dress in Quindio's 2-1 win over Atletico Nacional.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Did not dress in Wellington's 1-0 loss to Newcastle. Did not dress in Wellington's 2-0 win over Melbourne.
Leathers finished his KC career playing 34 league games for KC, 25 of them starts playing 2,320 minutes. In all competitions Leathers played another 10 games for KC, start 9 of them for 3,169 minutes played. In his career with KC, Leathers picked up 1 assist, in his final game for KC on a goal by Birahim Diop in their 4-1 win over San Jose. Leathers did record one goal in one of the team's reserve league games before the league was discontinued. Good luck to Jonathan next season, except against KC.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
1. Seattle - 36,173
2. LA - 21,437
3. Toronto - 20,477
4. Philadelphia - 19,253
5. New York - 18,443
6. Houston - 17,310
7. Real Salt Lake - 17,095
8. Chicago - 15,802
9. Columbus - 14,642
10. Chivas USA - 14,575
11. DC - 14,549
12. Colorado - 13,329
13. New England - 12,988
14. Dallas - 10,815
15. KC - 10,287
16. San Jose - 9,659
Korede Aiyegbusi - INC - Didn't get much more playing time than in the first half of the season, since he got an INC at midseason it seemed unfair to give him a grade when he played less in the second half of the season.
Davy Arnaud - B - Improved his grade a full letter in the second half of the season. Arnaud was a big part of the turn around, especially since he didn't get another red card the rest of the season and acted more like a captain.
Stephane Auvray - B+ - Held onto his grade from the first half of the season, Auvray was solid in the middle for KC, although late in the season you could tell his playing a stopper role in front of Jimmy Conrad and Shavar Thomas had worn him down this season.
Jamar Beasley - INC - Never made the bench, already out of MLS playing for the Comets.
Matt Besler - C - Didn't see a whole lot of time in the second half of the season after the trade for Shavar Thomas, but played well when replacing Jimmy Conrad for the last few games.
Teal Bunbury - B - Became a much more important player for the team in the second half of the season, and earned himself a call up to the US national team, a good second half of the season for the rookie.
Sunil Chhetri - INC - Got a token appearance against Manchester United to go with his 45 minute appearance in the US Open Cup and that's it for his time in KC at this point, he was loaned out to the Indian national team shortly after the United game.
Jimmy Conrad - B- - Had a better second half to the season, and while the defense caught a lot of flack this season it was one of the better defensive years ever for KC. His partnership with Shavar Thomas helped solidify the back line.
Birahim Diop - B - KC went 5-1-1 with him starting and he scored 5 goals, a very good performance for a guy who only had garbage minutes at the midway point.
Pablo Escobar - F - Better if his time here is just forgotten.
Roger Espinoza - B+ - One of the brightest spots for KC this season, the Wizards came into the season with him being the big question mark on the back line, but he turned into one of better left backs in the league. Earned himself a place at the World Cup because of it.
Michael Harrington - B+ - My defensive player of the year for KC, Harrington had a very good year at right back, I was hoping he'd earn a call up to South Africa for the friendly, but hopefully he'll get the chance in January.
Zoltan Hercegfalvi - INC - Didn't make it back from his ACL tear this season.
Aaron Hohlbein - INC - Went out on loan for most of the second half of the season, not enough minutes to warrant a grade.
Jack Jewsbury - C+ - Lost his starting spot for much of the second half after Stephane Auvray and Craig Rocastle settled themselves, but was still a very important player for KC in their late run.
Kei Kamara - B+ - Had a bit of a quieter second half of the season goal scoring wise, but added plenty of assists to help him earn this year's MVP award for the team.
Nikos Kounenakis - INC - Never appeared for the team, but unlike Jamar Beasley he at least made the bench a few times.
Eric Kronberg - INC - Finally made his first appearance in MLS and I thought held his own. I had said last season after it was apparent Kevin Hartman wasn't going to be back that I wouldn't be disappointed if Kronberg was handed the number 1 shirt and I still stand by that opinion.
Jonathan Leathers - C+ - Enough minutes to earn a grade, Leathers was solid if unspectacular playing all over the back line filling in. For much of the Wizards good run of form he was the only defender on the bench for KC.
Chance Myers - C- - Improved his grade a bit but the former first round pick hasn't shown a whole lot now in 3 years and has moved all over the field.
Jimmy Nielsen - B+ - Maybe I rated him too high at midseason and got my hopes up or maybe he just played above his level in the first half of the season. In the second half of the season Nielsen didn't seem to be as impressive, but that could also be because the defensive got better and he didn't have to be.
Craig Rocastle - B - Rocastle won me over throughout the season. I was ready to write him off, early on, but after learning how physical he could be in the midfield, he became a good destroyer d-mid for KC.
Ryan Smith - B - Smith faded a bit as the season wore on and missed the last few games for personal reasons, but he showed very well in the time he did play and on a bigger field next year should make for an interesting season for the guys that go up against him.
Shavar Thomas - B - Came in and solidified the back line, he wasn't spectacular, but he came in, did his job, and didn't make huge mistakes that caused the fans to turn on him. Which is a major upgrade over the guy whose roster spot he took (Escobar).
Josh Wolff - C - Wolff was going to have trouble coming close to replicating his season last year, but he did well accepting his role off the bench in the second half of the season and his goal against Houston will go down as one of those magical moments that fans will talk about for years.
Graham Zusi - B- - His playing time went down a bit in the second half, but I still think Zusi has a good role in this team. He has enough creativity to play in the midfield and create while also being able to push wide.
Monday, November 22, 2010
So who does that leave available for selection? Korede Aiyegbusi, Jamar Beasley, Sunil Chhetri, Jimmy Conrad, Birahim Diop, Zoltan Hercegfalvi, Aaron Hohlbein, Nikos Kounenakis, Eric Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Chance Myers, Shavar Thomas, and Josh Wolff. Overall, there isn't anyone on the list that jumps out as a must grab for Portland or Vancouver, unlike some other teams' available players. Of the list the most likely to be taken would seem to be either Myers or Leathers who could both slot in on the back line for either team. Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to choose from unless they want to take aging veterans like Conrad, Thomas, or Wolff, which I don't see. The rest of the exposed players didn't play much this season, Aiyegbusi got minimal minutes, Beasley and Kounenakis never saw the field, Chhetri got 45 minutes in the Open Cup qualifier, Hercegfalvi missed most of the season, Hohlbein had a disastrous game against New York and spent much of the rest of the time on loan to Miami, Kronberg got 1 league game. Then there's Diop who played 7 games and got 5 goals, but I don't think either team is going to take him based on that.
As for other potential picks for the two teams, Dax McCarty seems to be the biggest head scratcher on the list and unless he plans to go abroad and has something lined up would be my absolute first pick if I was one of the two teams. Anthony Wallace of Colorado is another name that would do well on either of those two teams. It should be interesting to see how things go in the draft, but it wouldn't surprise me to see no KC players taken.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the 2011 Gold Cup. Guadeloupe and Jamaica are the favorites in their group to make the tournament. Grenada's group is a bit tougher, but they could certainly make it through to the Gold Cup.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Teal Bunbury (GA)
Jon Kempin (HG)
Remember KC has to protect 3 of their internationals, who are currently Korede Aiyegbusi, Sunil Chhetri, Zoltan Hercegfalvi, Nikos Kounenakis, Ryan Smith, Jimmy Nielsen, and Craig Rocastle. I could see Nielsen added to the list as an international in place of Chhetri, but currently my 3 protected internationals are Chhetri, Rocastle, and Smith. Kamara and Auvray have their green cards while Espinoza is a dual citizen. Bunbury and Kempin are exempt due to their status as Generation Adidas and home grown.
So that leaves the following players exposed:
Again you can replace Nielsen for Chhetri, but with the way that Portland and Vancouver appear at goalkeeper, I think Nielsen is safe to expose at this point. The only change from my list last time is moving Jack Jewsbury to the protected list in place of Bravo, who as I said does not have to be protected apparently.
So who, if anyone do I see Portland or Vancouver selecting? There are a few that could be potential picks. Myers is one that I could see either team going for, although his injury history will scare a few people off. The others are Shavar Thomas or Matt Besler, a defender that could immediately come in and start could help the expansion side. We'll see how right I am some time tomorrow most likely.
First, leaked before hand was the comment that MLS will begin looking at potentially switching their schedule to the "international calender". Which means moving to a fall to spring schedule with a winter break. They seem no where close to a decision, and part of it just seems like lip service to FIFA with the World Cup bid decision coming up in the next month. We'll see in the future if this is something that MLS will really look to doing or not. Personally I'm not a fan at all, I understand taking breaks for FIFA international dates, but switching to that calender just seems destined for failure.
The bigger news of the announcement was the fact that MLS is set to expand their playoff format. MLS will add two more playoff spots, making it 10 teams that make the playoffs now instead of 8. The final playoff spot will be decided by a play-in game. They haven't fully finalized everything, but did say it will be 10 teams for sure making the playoffs. Garber also said that they will continue to work to address the situation of multiple teams from the opposite conference making the conference final in the other conference. Certainly this is going to polarize a lot of people on seeing it as a bad thing or a good thing. MLS had just recently gotten to a point where 50% of the teams made the playoffs, down from 80% at one time. Still it does seem to devalue the regular season a bit. So it'll be interesting to see what happens when a 10th seed makes MLS Cup.
The final point of the conversation had to do with the 2011 schedule. The schedule had been expanded to 34 games from 30 and most immediately assumed it was to accommodate a balanced schedule again, but Garber in the State of the League said that they weren't sure. Tonight Garber confirmed there will once again be a balanced schedule, probably the last time as 2012 with 19 and potentially 20 in 2013 the league seems unlikely to expand to 36 and then 38 games.
(Omaha, NE) - The Comets, who couldn’t take advantage of numerous opportunities handed to them by the expansion Omaha Vipers, came back with a late scoring flurry to earn their first win of the season. A missed penalty kick, a yellow card, a Vipers player ejection, and multiple scoreless power plays almost cost the team dearly. The team came back from an 11-8 deficit late in the 4th quarter at the Omaha Civic Auditorium to defeat the Vipers 12-11.
The Comets struck first with time running out in the 1st period on a goal by Byron Alvarez. The Vipers lead at the half after 3-point goal off an inbounds play by Comets killer, Chili Farias. Vipers lead 3-2 at the half.
Both team heated up in the 2nd half, including tempers, as Vipers player, Le Petit was ejected from the game mid-way through the 3rd period. The Comets struck quickly at the start of the half with a quick turn-around goal by Geison Moura at the 4 minute mark. The Vipers would score the next 2 goals, one on a power play, the other on a 2-on-1 break. Late in the quarter, Byron Alvarez scored his second goal of the game to close out the period. Omaha lead 7-6 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Vipers scored the first two goals of the final period, including a short-handed goal by Chili Farias, his second of the game, giving him four goals in two games against the Comets. Tony Avery scored the Comets first goal of the 4th quarter to bring the Comets closer at 11-8. After inserting Vahid Assadpour as a sixth man for goalkeeper, Danny Waltman, the Comets came roaring back on back-to-back goals by Leo Gibson and Byron Alvarez’s 3rd goal of the game.
“This feels great,” said Comets head coach, Kim Roentved. “To come back like we did, on the road, in a tough environment…this is incredible. I’m so proud of our guys for not giving up and fighting like we did.”
The victory takes the Comets record to 1-2. The Comets next game is at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday, November 26th at the Milwaukee Wave. The Comets next home game is on Sunday, December 19th against the expansion Chicago Riot at 3:10 p.m. at the Independence Events Center.
The first topic has to do with Heineman's talk about members and their benefits. On Wednesday, Heineman said that there would be perks for members, including free tickets for traveling away support, deals on partner products, and free access to the supporters' section. There are other things as well according to Heineman but these are not finalized quite yet. Heineman did say that there would be no cost to be a member as well. He also seemed to hint at some votes for members as well. An interesting idea, one that seems to combine some of the aspects of Seattle's current set up and other organizations as well. It will be interesting to see what actually comes from this and how they go about implementing and executing this members program.
Heineman was also asked about hosting an MLS Cup or All Star game in the near future. Heineman said he'd love to host the game next year but doesn't know if it's possible. He also mentioned hosting the all star game in 2012 or 2013. This goes against a rumor that came out of Toronto this weekend that Kansas City would be hosting next year's all star game. But when you look at the two side by side I'd lean more towards trusting Heineman instead of Steve Davis.
The next topic to address from the chat is the continued work towards getting a jersey sponsor. The Wizards are one of only a few teams that do not currently have a jersey sponsor. Earlier in the week during the State of the League address, Don Garber said that he hoped all teams would have jersey sponsors by next season and that he expected announcements in the next month or so. Heineman said during the chat that they aren't that close but that he hoped that they'd have something to announce in February.
Finally I wanted to touch on the topic of the other teams that the Sporting Club is bringing in under their banner. Currently they don't have any set plans for announcing any other teams but they have plenty of thoughts out there. One worry for fans is that other teams in less revenue friendly sports than soccer currently is would drag down the potential success of the soccer team. Heineman said that soccer is the groups biggest, most important aspect. "We won't do anything that has the potential to detract from our ability to win."
The part that stuck out to me was when he answered a question about what other teams would be named. Heineman said that "Sporting Kansas City will only represent the Major League Soccer team." This point makes me go back to the question of why rename the team in the first place. If the soccer team is going to be the only team called Sporting, then why rename the Wizards to Sporting? Why not just rename OnGoal to Sporting Club and bring in the other teams as well? Heineman says all the teams will also have their own logos with the SC being the only joining of the teams. If Heineman and OnGoal want a true Sporting Club, most would expect all the teams under the banner to have the same name. It almost brings out the old thoughts that the team was only renamed for the European connotation of the name.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Early on, the Vipers were the one dictating possession, and were able to make that pay off less than two minutes into the game as a shot from Chile Farias squirmed through the hands of Danny Waltman, through his legs and just over the line giving the Vipers the lead. The Comets were able to get a little more of the ball after the initial pressure from the Vipers, but were unable to get much possession overall. Around the midpoint of the first half MO got themselves on the board off of a free kick. The ball was played across the 3 point arc to Leo Gibson who fired in a blast that landed in the far corner giving the Comets their first lead at 3-2.
The Vipers continued to maintain their control of the game, holding possession and keeping MO from being able to clear their defensive lines, similar to what the Wave did last week. Ibrahim Kante did a fantastic job of keeping Jamar Beasley in check throughout the game. The bigger Kante was able to effectively neutralize Beasley's speed throughout the game. The one thing Kante really showed is exactly what the Comets are lacking, especially defensively. They lack a big defender with bite that can be an annoyance to the opponents attackers and be a bit of a bruiser.
The Vipers possession paid off almost half way through the second quarter as they retook the lead on a great run by Victor Quiroz who laid the ball off to Paulinho Le Petit who buried the ball into the upper corner making it 4-3 Vipers. Shortly after the goal, the Comets found themselves on the power play as Johnny Torres was given a blue card for tripping. The Comets took advantage as they set up their offense around the 3 point arc. Once again a ball across the arc led to the goal as Vahid Assadpour slid a ball to Geison Moura who blasted the ball into the lower corner giving the Comets the lead again 6-3. The Comets continued to press, and Assadpour got in with a goal as Byron Alvarez worked down the left and slotted a ball into the middle that Assadpour just poked into the net after the goalkeeper had committed to Alvarez. With just over a minute left, the Comets again found themselves on the power play as the Vipers were caught with too many men on the field on a free kick, a fairly poor card to take in that situation. Once again the Comets took advantage, this time through Alvarez, as Moura found the former MVP whose shot made it past the keeper and was knocked into the net more so by the Vipers defender.
In the third quarter, the Vipers continued to pressure, but Waltman came up big in the Comets net as he had since giving up the first goal of the game. The Vipers kept pressuring but Waltman made some big saves, unfortunately he kept getting let down by his defense as they were unable to clear their lines and the Vipers were able to hold them in their own end. Late in the 3rd, the Vipers pulled a goal back, as a pass by Farias deflected off of Assadpour and into the net.
In the fourth, the Comets fell asleep right from the start as Stefan Stokic was easily dispossessed by Frederico Moojen. Moojen moved around the Comets defense and found Shaun David who beat Waltman to make it 10-8 after only 13 seconds played in the 4th. It took less than 6 minutes in the fourth for the Vipers to find the equalizer as Ricardinho found Chico Parisotto to tie the game at 10. With six minutes left, the Vipers found the winner and it was one of the best goals I've personally ever seen. A long throw from goalkeeper Jose Bontti into the Comets end found an unmarked Farias who amazingly biked the ball past Waltman and into the net. The best way I can describe it is to have you look at this goal, but make the field longer, have the keeper throw it, and have the keeper be a little more active. An amazing goal that even brought Comets fans to applaud the goal. Things got worse for MO as they pushed to find an equalizer again, as Alvarez picked up his 3rd blue card in two games for the Comets with just over 2 minutes left in the game. The Vipers at that point appeared set to kill the penalty themselves as they spent much of the time passing the ball around themselves, but with about 20 seconds left on the power play, Ricardinho fired a shot into the net to make it 14-10 and totally kill the game off.
A major collapse by the Comets in the second half, but it wasn't totally unexpected. The Vipers controlled most of the game and if not for some good goalkeeping or blocks, the Vipers likely could have run away with this game. The Comets main struggle is in the defensive third. As I mentioned earlier, they lack a big bruiser, someone that can muscle up and annoy the attackers for the opposing team. The other problem is a lack of foot skills from the defenders, too many poor give aways and inability to get the ball out of their own end when they collect the ball. As a former defender those parts have to bother coach Kim Roentved.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I'm sure other people have had similar experiences in KC. It's certainly not the easiest thing to explain, the reason why they're called Sporting and you can only direct people to look at the reasoning on the team's website so many times. Many that I did explain it to actually liked the idea of a sporting club, thinking it was a pretty cool idea overall, which I actually agree with. The idea is cool, the question is how the team pulls it off, I'm sure it will start with lower revenue generating sports like rugby and lacrosse, but will they move into more high profile sports like basketball and hockey in the future?
Hopefully the need for an explanation lessens over time, and it certainly should, but today along with the good responses I got a lot of that's stupid, why'd they dump the history of the name, and why'd they go with a European name, this is the US. And while Robb Heineman has said this wasn't about copying a European name, the fact that when soccer fans think of the name Sporting in regards to soccer, most think of Sporting Lisbon.
The name has gotten a good beating in the local media as well, on the radio and on TV. Last night on NBC Action News, Jack Harry said that of the comments on his Twitter page about the change 99% of them were negative. Other news organizations seemed to have similar results, or they spent some time making a joke or two about the new name. Certainly not the way you want to start off your new era under a new name. Sporting Club has their work cut out for them in fighting against this early negative connotations about the name.
Around the MLS world the reaction hasn't been much better, a lot of what I've read today centers around MLS again dumping it's "American" identity with another step towards a more "European" one. Fans of all teams seem to be bashing on the new name, the logo and the jerseys. The name is obviously getting the brunt of it because of the European connotation, but the logo is getting it's fair share. The questions about why the SC, why not a KC, why have Kansas City above Sporting when the name is Sporting KC. All questions that I've seen asked all over the place with relation to the logo. The jerseys have not been left along either. While I think the new uniforms are sharp I do see the arguments people have against them. The Wizards had been the only team really wearing a more "true" blue for their uniform any more. Now with the rebranding they run into more uniform conflicts. The two jerseys at first glance look similar to Vancouver's colors and jerseys although the home jersey is a light blue unlike the Whitecaps white. With the light blue though, they're very similar to Colorado's secondary jersey, although the word is that they are going to white next year. As for the indigo, it'll certainly remind a lot of fans of LA and New York's away jerseys with the similar colors.
Overall it could have gone worse. The world didn't end, the sun came up this morning, etc. Still there is a lot of work that will need to be done by the front office of Sporting KC to continue to get the word out on the new brand, push it out to the fans and none fans and push for a better understanding of what the name and the brand means now. They did a decent job last night, but the news isn't going to show the full announcement. It's up to them now to make people understand the reason for the change, help them embrace it, and help people begin to develop a love for Sporting. The one question I do have is how much of this did they expect? How much of this negative reaction did they expect and how much are they actually currently taken back by? Either way it's not going to be an easy process.
Espinoza was expected by most fans I think as he started all the games that he was available for this year and appeared for Honduras this summer in the World Cup. The surprise though, was that Chance Myers also graduated from the program. Myers, the former number 1 draft pick, made the most appearances of his career (15), but he still played less than 1,000 for KC. He'd come into the season pegged as the starter on the right wing. But an injury the week before the first game against DC allowed Kei Kamara to start and he never gave Myers the chance to win the spot back. This was also the healthiest Myers has been in his career, his first two years were littered with injuries including only 165 minutes last year. It was surprising to see his name on the list because of this. I figured due to his injury history over his first two years he'd be left on for the 4th year of eligibility, but that did not happen.
That could possibly change who the Wizards protect in the expansion draft because now both must be protected or left exposed. Espinoza is an easy choice to put on the list and I think due to his lack of development Myers is likely seen as an easy choice to leave exposed in the expansion draft. We'll see how this turns out.
This was a horrible idea in my mind, in a season where you're opening your new stadium, to play one of your home games in a neutral site. The idea of playing a game at Arrowhead, while not ideal was certainly an idea that I was more open to than neutral site venues. I figured that Sporting could use Arrowhead similar to the way that the Union used Lincoln Financial this past season. It would have given them a chance to at least have a game at home to give fans something before the stadium opened. But I understand why they wouldn't do that, even a really well attended game would look bad in a stadium that seats close to 80,000.
Instead the first time KC will see a competitive game live featuring Sporting KC will be June 9th when the stadium opens with a national television audience on ESPN. Heineman made that announcement as part of his introduction of the Sporting KC brand last night. Certainly a great way to open the team's new stadium. I think a lot of fans will have some pent up energy for some live soccer by that point so the crowd should be really into the game.
Still looking for:
Preston Burpo - New England - Season is over.
Adam Cristman - DC United - Season is over.
Nick Garcia - Toronto - Season is over.
Luis Gil - Real Salt Lake - Season over.
Taylor Graham - Seattle - Season over.
Kevin Hartman - Dallas - Started and played 90 minutes, recording the shutout in Dallas' 3-0 win over LA.
Will Hesmer - Columbus - Season over.
Chris Klein - LA - Did not dress in LA's 3-0 loss to Dallas to end his playing career.
Claudio Lopez - Colorado - Dressed but did not play in Colorado's 1-0 win over San Jose.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Real Salt Lake - Season is over.
Kurt Morsink - DC United - Season is over.
Scott Sealy - San Jose - Started and played 90 minutes in San Jose's 1-0 loss to Colorado.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Came off the bench and played 18 minutes in San Jose's 1-0 loss to Colorado.
Carey Talley - New York - Season is over.
Tyson Wahl - Seattle - Season is over.
Alex Zotinca - Chivas USA - Season is over.
Jamar Beasley - Comets - Scored 2 goals in the Comets loss to Milwaukee.
Boris Pardo - Comets - Did not play in the Comets loss to Milwaukee.
Sunil Chhetri - India - Did not play in any of India's 2 friendlies this past week both of which India lost.
Vicente Arze - Aurora - Bolivia - Came off the bench and played 15 minutes in Aurora's 4-1 win over San Jose. Dressed but did not play in Aurora's 2-0 loss to Universitario.
Eloy Colombano - Ferrocarril Sud - Argentina - Started and played 90 minutes in Ferro's 2-0 loss to Bella Vista.
Herculez Gomez - Pachuca - Mexico - Dressed but did not play in Pachuca's 2-1 win over Necaxa.
Santiago Hirsig - Quilmes - Argentina - Did not dress in Quilmes' 2-1 win over Godoy Cruz.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Drew 1-1 with Humble Lions.
Will John - NK Vinogradar - Croatia - Came off the bench and played 26 minutes in Vinogradar's 4-0 loss to Dugopolje.
Eddie Johnson - Fulham - England - Came off the bench and played 1 minute in Fulham's 0-0 draw with Newcastle.
Chris Konopka - Waterford United - Ireland - Season is over.
Carlos Marinelli - Györi ETO - Hungary - Did not dress in Gyori's 1-1 draw with Fehervar.
Yura Movsisyan - Randers FC - Denmark - Did not dress in Randers' 3-0 win over Lyngby in the Danish Cup. Did not dress in Randers' 4-0 win over Silkeborg.
Matt Taylor - Rot Weiss Ahlen - Germany - Started and played 89 minutes, scoring a goal in Weiss' 2-1 win over Jahn Regensburg.
Ivan Trujillo - Deportes Quindío - Colombia - Did not dress in Quindio's 0-0 draw with Deportivo Pereira.
Diego Walsh - Wellington Phoenix - Australia - Did not dress in Wellington's 3-0 loss to Centnral Coast.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Although on the internet afterward it seems like everyone is bashing the logo and name. Much of the dislike of the logo has to do with the SC and it seeming out of place as the main component of the logo. It being the center point of the logo. You can try to get a better understanding of the logo and other things on their site here where they explain things. The name also continues to get it's fair share of hatred around the net, both from fans of the team and just random people as well. Most seem to point to it being a Europoser name, but Heineman said during his speech:
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
So tomorrow should be incredibly interesting to see how all that goes and how fans respond, there's been a lot of negativity voiced on the comments, here, on the event page on Facebook, and Bigsoccer, so it'll be interesting to see how much of that transitions over to the announcement itself tomorrow.
Today the team confirmed the rumor that had been running around, saying that Omar Bravo WILL be introduced tomorrow to KC fans for the first time. And I'd put money on him wearing the new jersey. I also wouldn't be surprised if the jersey he comes out in happens to have a jersey sponsor on it after Don Garber's comments in the State of the League today.
As I tweeted early today. For those that have read the Fox4 article (since edited), or listened to 96.5 The Buzz this morning, and read/heard that the team was discouraging fans from wearing Wizards gear, this is not true, in fact the team is actively encouraging fans to wear their Wizards gear for the announcement tomorrow.
Tomorrow, feel free to boo the announcement of the change, I know I will be. But as I said yesterday, give Robb Heineman a chance to explain why, then feel free to boo some more, but at least listen to why the team is doing it. I'm made my opinion well known on this but I am extremely interested in hearing why OnGoal is doing this and will certainly be giving Heineman my attention as he explains that portion.
- Garber announced in the next 30-40 days there would be more jersey sponsorship announcements, with KC's announcement tomorrow, one would think that when Omar Bravo walks out in the new jersey there will be a sponsor on the front of the jersey.
- He officially announced the removal of the home grown player rule.
- Salary cap will be $2.67 million.
- The official announcement of the increased roster size was also announced. The 6 new roster spots have to be for players 24 or under and will not count against the cap.
- Also the reserve league is officially back, the season will be 10 games long, and teams will be divided into 3 6-team divisions. Teams will play each team in their division twice. The top 8 teams will make a reserve league play off. There are new eligibility rules, making games only available to the first team roster, trialists, and youth team players. A good move that will avoid front office people suiting up for the teams' reserves.
- Next season will have a 34 game schedule, they haven't finalized the format for next season and whether the schedule will be balanced or unbalanced. They are looking to possibly change and possibly expand the playoff format. MLS Cup will be November 20th, and they are looking at possibly having MLS Cup at the site of the highest seeded playoff team. Most of this is going to be decided at the Board of Governors meeting coming up soon. Garber did say the first game should be announced soon and that the full schedule should be out in January or early February. He also said that the league will never do away with the playoffs.
- The league is looking to potentially increase the salary cap for teams that make the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champion's League.
- Garber basically gave away who the MVP was this year it seemed like saying that the Golden Boot winner was in MLS Cup, but then backing up and saying there was an announcement coming later this week on an award. This seems to point to David Ferreira being the MVP, which is a great call in my opinion, he was my selection.
- New York 2 is still the leading candidate for the 20th expansion slot. Garber thinks we'll see the league expand over 20 in our lifetimes and included Atlanta, Florida (Tampa and Orlando), and San Diego, among others that were looking to get into the league.
- Finally the head shaking came when Paul Gardner from Soccer America was given the chance to ask a question and then proceeded to rant about the playing style in MLS until he was cut off by Garber asking him what his question was. Gardner continued to rant his opinion only shaping it as a very lopsided question that I thought Garber did well to answer. Gardner embarrassed himself more than anything in that exchange and has been laughed at and mocked quite a bit since the press conference.
Monday, November 15, 2010
First, props to the Uni Watch blog for getting the above, cleaner version of the logo that I posted last night.
Now for more on the upcoming rebranding of the Wizards. This team will be Sporting KC next year, and I'm still not excited, or even happy about. It's not because I hate the name, cause I really don't. It's because I'm indifferent about the name, I nothing it. I have no feelings at all about the name. It's a name that stirs no emotion at all one way or another. The name strikes me as marketing done the best to offend no one. The logo is the same, there's nothing that makes it stand out and it looks too much like the Eastern Conference logo in my opinion. I understand why it was done by OnGoal as I expect they will have team's other than soccer under the Sporting KC flag in the coming years, lacrosse and rugby for example playing out at the new stadium. I just think that the name itself really does nothing to elicit any sort of sense of pride or tie in to the city of KC.
I plan to give Robb Heineman at least the opportunity to explain on Wednesday why the team will be this name, and I hope that others with the same mindset as me will do so as well. But currently I don't feel good about his whole "second chance to make a first impression" right now.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I had the above logo emailed to me by an anonymous source today stating it was the Wizards/Sporting KC's new logo. From what I've been told this certainly does look to be the team's new logo next year. It contains the darker and the lighter blue that people have been hearing, and includes gray which I'd heard was included a bit.
It's a fairly generic logo, seemingly designed to upset no one. If you look closely it actually looks a lot like the MLS Eastern Conference logo currently. We'll find out for sure Wednesday.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The information basically confirms everything that I've been hearing in private conversations with people, and personally it sucks. I hate the idea of rebranding and I hate the idea of being Sporting KC. The main reason for that being that I feel nothing about the name, it's bland and generic, nothing in that gives me any thought of building a better identity in the city and the region as Robb Heineman has stated on previous occassions.
I will be booing the announcement on Wednesday when the Wizards are rebranded Sporting KC. Another rumor that has started making the rounds on Bigsoccer is that Omar Bravo will also be introduced that evening, a sly way to hopefully avoid the boos that I'm sure a few people will be throwing out when the announcement is made.
Below is the information on the registration of the site.
Cache Date: 2010-11-09
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Registrant:Major League Soccer LLC.
care of Network Solutions
PO Box 459Drums, PA. US 18222
Domain Name: SPORTINGKCGEAR.COM
Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Major League Soccer LLC. firstname.lastname@example.org
care of Network Solutions
PO Box 459Drums, PA 18222
Record expires on 08-Nov-2012.
Record created on 08-Nov-2010.
Domain servers in listed order:
Friday, November 12, 2010
In the second quarter, the Comets tightened up defensively and were able to keep the Wave off the board, a lot of this was thanks to the stellar play of Danny Waltman who came up with plenty of good saves throughout the game to keep the Comets in it. Unfortunately in the 3rd quarter it didn't take the Wave long to get back on the board, only 14 seconds into the quarter Leite dispossessed Stokic after a hospital ball from Waltman. Leite beat Waltman to the near post and the Wave were up 8-2. The comes though struck back quickly, with Leo Gibson leading the charge shortly after the Wave's goal, Gibson took a clearance from Wave goalkeeper Nick Vorberg off his chest and with Vorberg already out of his net, Gibson buried his shot for a 3 point goal to put the Comets within 3 points. A little over a minute later Gibson was again involved as he set up the returning Comet and former Wizard, Jamar Beasley with a tap in at the back post. Only signed yesterday, Beasley only played the second half, but during that time he certainly proved to be one of the Comets best players.
After that, things started to come undone for the Comets, the Wave made it 10-7 with 6:40 gone in the 3rd quarter as Rife scored his second goal on a well designed set piece, and then less than a minute later after a holding call on the Comets in the box led to a penalty kick they found themselves down 12-7 via Giuliano Oliviero from the penalty spot. Things continued to get worse for the Comets as they gave up 3 goals in just over 5 minutes of play in the 4th quarter as Rampa got his second, Hewerton got his second on a nice scissor kick, and JP Rodrigues scored as well to make it 18-7. Beasley pulled one back for the Comets, making it 18-9 after he finished off a break away when the Wave got caught up on a free kick. Matt Stewart though finished off the scoring for the Wave making it 20-9 with just under 5 minutes to play. Very late on things got a little intense with Byron Alvarez, who picked up a second blue card for kicking at Wave keeper Vorberg. Alvarez also appeared to horse collar him (to use a football term) a bit around the neck. Alvarez's first blue card wasn't any better as he slid in "studs" up on a tackle in the first quarter.
Overall not a great performance for the Comets, but certainly some positives, Waltman is a solid pick up in goal and it appears that he'll be needed quite a bit throughout the season. Beasley looks like he'll be one of the team's leaders offensively once he's had time to gel with the team. And Gibson looks to be a handful for opposing defense. But tonight the Wave were just more organized and too strong for the Comets to consistently break down.
Really the rebranding makes the most sense, although it could be something else. But the only thing that makes sense to me to call "a major Kansas City soccer announcement" other than rebranding would be the announcement of the Gold Cup coming to KC. Because if it wasn't one of those, why would they avoid mentioning the team's name in the announcement?
For those of you that are against the name change (or are for rebranding but against being called Sporting KC) here are some potential chants for you other than just booing the new name, if this is in fact the announcement. I personally like the "It's so shitty it's unbelievable" one.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The new Comets are looking to bring back the entertainment atmosphere of the original Comets that brought in over 10,000 people regularly to rock Kemper during their heyday in the 80's. The Midnight Express theme is coming back along with more. The question is how competitive this team will be. With the signings they've made, including today's of Jamar Beasley, it would appear that they're certainly going to try to. Tomorrow, though, they're going up against one of the few remaining elder statesmen of indoor soccer. The Wave has been in existence since 1984, the oldest continuously run soccer team indoor or outdoor in this country. The Wave lost in last season's championship. As an expansion side one would expect the Comets to struggle in their first game against a more established team. But either way it should be an interesting start to the season.
For those of you that need a little more information on the rules, here are some of the basic rules for you. So get out and enjoy the games some time this season.
• The game is played in four 15-minute quarters.
• Corner kicks - taken if the ball leaves the playing area between the two flags on the goal line
• Kick-ins- taken when the ball leaves the field of play
• Yellow Line violations- A ball pass crosses both yellow lines in the air without being touched by another player.
• All goals scored are worth two points, except goals scored on shot attempts from on or beyond the 45-foot arc surrounding the goal, which will be worth three points.
INFRACTIONS AND RESULTING PENALTIES
• Fouls are penalized with a free kick to the offended team. A goal can be scored directly from all free kicks.
• Penalties are two (2) minutes in length. Misconducts (the referee will show a yellow card) are five (5) minutes in length.
• Man Advantages (power play) - a team will play one (or two) men short.
Then last week Bunbury went on It's Called Football and seemed to waiver from that stance, saying that he wanted to do what was best for his career. A week later, he's accepting a call up to the US national team. Today in an interview with MLSsoccer.com, Bunbury says that he is 100% committed the USA and says that he doesn't think about if this or that happens. Bunbury also said that his reason for switching was because he wanted to play in a World Cup and he felt he had a better chance of doing that with the US. With the disorganization with the Canadian Soccer Association, it's hard to fault him in that regard, but you also have to wonder how Bunbury's going to develop, and if he'd even be in the picture for selection for the 2014 World Cup. Bunbury has a lot of raw talent and if he continues to develop it's certainly possible he could be on a plane to Brazil for the World Cup with the US. But that's certainly not a foregone conclusion, while the US striker depth is fairly thin, there is still a lot he'll need to do to make the team.
The other thing that certainly doesn't endear him to the Canadian fans is the fact that on his last appearance on It's Called Football last year he was asked if he'd been in contact with anyone from US Soccer (not necessarily called up), and Bunbury said no. But yet in the MLSsoccer.com interview Bunbury admits to having spoken with US coach Bob Bradley a couple months ago when he was told he was on the USA's radar.
All this is going to make for some very interesting games next year when Bunbury and the Wizards go to Toronto and Vancouver for games as you know the Bunbury/Canada angle is going to be played up (at least in the fans' minds) a lot. All that aside, this is a great opportunity of Bunbury to audition for Bradley right in front of him in training and in a game and prove that he needs to be in the discussion for future call ups.
Here is his interview with Dave Borchardt on the Wizards Youtube channel.
Beasley was signed in May replacing Igor Kostrov on the Wizards roster. Beasley didn't make a first team appearance and didn't make the bench for the Wizards at all this season. He only got time playing with the Swope Park Rangers. Good luck to Beasley and I look forward to seeing him tomorrow night.
This game will not cap tie Bunbury to the USA, but is certainly a statement from him about his intentions for the future. And it appears that he's turning down the opportunity to represent the country his father did for the United States.