Posts Tagged ‘steve nichol’

2010 SUPERLIGA: WHAT TO WATCH FOR

July 14, 2010

2010 SUPERLIGA – WHAT TO WATCH FOR

FAMILIAR FOES – PACHUCA v HOUSTON

Possibly the best rivalry between an MLS club and a Mexican Club, these two have put on some of the best club matches seen on this continent in the CONCACAF Cahmpiosn League/Cup. The two sides played a memorable  SuperLiga semifinal goal fest in 2007 with the 10 man Dynamo getting a late equalizer to send the match to extra time only to see Pachuca take the match on penalties. The 2010 edition of this rivalry will be the Group A opener for both clubs. If you see only one SuperLiga match this year, make it this Thursday at Robertson Stadium.

SISTER SIDES? MORELIA v CHICAGO

The Chicago Fire and Mexican club Morelia have a sister club relationship.  They have had since 2003 and the Fire even sported Morelia colors for a few matches in the clubs 2004 MLS Season. What this relationship means, I have no idea, as the two clubs haven’t met since before the deal was made..

It was the quarterfinals of the  CONCACAF Champions Cup (Precursor to the current Champions League) in 2002 and the Fire came back in the 2nd leg of the tie at then home Cardinal Stadium in Naperville IL, only to see their efforts couldn’t stave off elimination.

So Wednesday Night the sister-clubs meet for the first time in eight years.  Outside of the Houston-Pachuca match, this may be, on paper anyway, the tie of the group stages.

PACHUCA: TEAM (MEXICAN) AMERICA

CF Pachuca is fast becoming a breeding ground for talent; American talent. Pachuca has not one but THREE Americans on it’s roster.  Two of them saw (more…)

MLS WEEK 7 PREVIEW: NEW ENGLAND v CHIVAS

May 5, 2010

MLS WEEK 7 PREVIEW:

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION v CHIVAS USA

What an intriguing matchup. Both teams have the same 2-1-3 record and both have struggled to find form.

Though Chivas USA have seemed to right the ship in the past few matches, I still believe there is a lingering problem.  Whether that problem is as simple as needing a goal scorer or as complex as a communication problem on the field remains to be seen.

The Goats problems up front have been addressed in the last few weeks by have a group of players rotating in the striker position and they all have scored, but Justin Braun, Chukwudi Chijindu, and Maicon Santos will find the New England defense as tough as the one they encountered in Chicago.

(more…)

SHORT CORNERS – SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

May 4, 2010

IS HENRY GIVING BARCA THE KISS OFF?

THIERRY HENRY ON HIS WAY TO MLS?

The Mirror is reporting that Thierry Henry is on his way out at Barcelona and is headed to Major League Soccer. That will come as surprise to no one, but the new question seems to be; where will he land? DC United has emerged as the new favorite to land the French striker, who any Irishman will tell you, is just as good with his hands as he is with his feet.

(more…)

MAJOR ROSTER MOVES LEAD UP TO FIRST KICK

March 27, 2010

MAJOR ROSTER MOVES LEAD UP TO FIRST KICK

TFC SCRAMBLES

Many Major League Soccer teams made moves in the last minutes before their 2010 First Kick this weekend, none more than Toronto FC. The Canadian side acquired midfielder Nick LaBrocca and a third-round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2011 from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Marvell Wynne. LaBrocca appeared in 29 matches for the Mile-High club, while Wynne was touted as future US National team regular, but has struggled to shed the ‘all speed’ accusation levied on him by critics.

Toronto FC is desperately in need of some cap space but also has to fill some roster spots, moving Wynne will solve some of the teams budgetary concerns, no doubt shipping Welsh midfielder Carl Robinson and Goalkeeper Greg Sutton to Red Bull also helped, but the team didn’t stop there.

In more Goalkeeper moves, TFC then signed stopper Jon Conway, and waived goalkeeper Brian Edwards. Conway who was the first MLS player to be banned for substance abuse was put on waivers by Chivas USA earlier this week and is looking to resurrect his career.

Finally (or possibly not, there are a few minutes until kickoff after all) Toronto signed 30 year old Argentine midfielder Martin Saric. Saric (see if you can follow me on this one)  was born in Argentina, carries a Croatian passport, played most of his career in Romania and spent last season at a Slovenian Club. How TFC scouts found him I’ll never know, but Red’s fans can’t complain that the team isn’t LOOKING.

Though Toronto FC dominated last minute roster moves, they weren’t exclusive to them.

UNITED BOLSTERS BACKLINE

D.C. United addressed all complaints regarding it’s defense going into the season, signing three defenders in the lead up to First Kick.  Juan Manuel Pena, Carey Talley and Barry Rice.

Experience was obviously the watchword for First year United manager Curt Onalfo. That is exactly what the 37-year-old ex-Bolivian international Pena brings.  His 35 Bolivian Caps as well as over 14 years experience playing in Spain should have him rival anyone in the league for experience.

Carey Talley not only brings 12 years of MLS experience, the 33 year-old was a member of DC United’s championship era, having made 120 appearances for United form 1998-2001 and winning MLS Cup with the team in 99. Talley was acquired after being waived by Chivas USA and now gets a chance to return to the team he started with.

Rice, who attended the University of Kentucky and was a member of the venerable Chicago Fire Premier, joins the club after training with DC United in the preseason as a camp invitee.

REVS MANEUVER – BARRETT RETIRES

On Friday the New England Revolution re-signed midfielder Khano Smith who made 85 appearances for the club in 2005-08. Since then, he has tried to catch on at Red Bull New York and at English League Two side Lincoln City, but he returns in 2010 to the team where his pace helped both himself and the Revs to their most successful seasons.

Steve Nicol also made a move that won’t manifest itself for a few weeks in brining in Marko Perović on a free transfer from Swiss club FC Basel.  The 26 year-old Serbian midfielder still needs to work out visa concerns

To make room on the roster/cap New England cut Costa Rican midfielder Gabriel Badilla. Rev’s fans will not weep. I don’t believe Badilla played a minute for the team in 2009.

In some sad news Houston Dynamo defender Wade Barrett officially retired as a player, on Thursday.  He was a regular for my Fantasy Team in the early years and he will be missed.  Not all sad faces though as Barrett will step into an assistants role as of immediately.

FANTASY UPDATE- ROOKIES THAT WILL GET YOU POINTS

March 24, 2010

Mwanga at the 2010 SuperDraft (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

FANTASY UPDATE- THE ROOKIES THAT WILL GET YOU POINTS

Rookies are cheap and make your fantasy bench look colorful, they fill in roster spots while taking up a small amount of salary cap space.  But what if there were a few who could return on investment or even… Gasp… get you serious points?

Here is the class of the 2010 Class

Danny Mwanga
Forward
Philadelphia Union
Quite a bit of pressure on this kid as there is on the entire Union team. He was the number one overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft and he’ll be thrown into a Philadelphia bunch that will have many holes to fill.  There will be growing pains in for Peter Nowak’s bunch and I think Mwanga will start, get minutes and score.

Fantasy Fact: He counts as a foreign player

Tony Tchani
Midfielder
New York Red Bulls
This Cameroonian talent played for Virginia and went number two overall in the draft. He may find work in what last season was a woeful mid-field.  I don’t see him starting right away, but he will log minutes as the season goes on.

Fantasy Fact: He counts as a foreign player and he does a lot of the toiling midfield work that doesn’t show up on the score sheet

Ike Opara
Defender
San Jose Earthquakes
I never have a handle on what Frank Yallop is doing, but I find it hard to believe that Opara won’t walk into the non-existent San Jose back line and instantly make it better.  Taken number three overall and the first defender selected in the SuperDraft, Ike is a big and talented kid. I think the ACC Defensive Player of the year in 2008 and 2009 will be up to the challenge of MLS attackers and is a no brainer to start on Bay Side, but tell that to Frank Yallop.  This kid may be a future back line man for the United States.

Fantasy Fact: Opara didn’t play a whole heckuva lot in preaseason, not sure if there is an injury concern or again the mystical Frank Yallop.

Teal Bunbury
Forward
Kansas City Wizards
Taken fourth overall Bunbury has everything he needs to be a future star in Major League Soccer, he is likely to be called in to play for Canada any day now and in addition to being Generation Adidas, he is the first second generation MLS player as his father Alex played in the league.  My problem with the young Canadian is that he had the misfortune of being drafted into a team that has a load of talent up that Perter Vermes brought in special to get some needed goals, not sure if he’ll get the minutes.

Fantasy Fact: Canadians don’t count as foreigners!

Zach Lyod
Defender
FC Dallas
Loyd is expected to step right in to the FCD defense and contribute. He left them stunned at the MLS Combine and he is versatile and may even be more comfortable at defensive midfield than on the backline, but that is where he will play for the Hoops.  Many have their eye on this former Tar Heel standout to be Rookie of the Year.

Fantasy Fact: Loyd’s versatility may provide him with a chance to collect more minutes and starts than your average rookie

Jack McInerney
Forward
Philadelphia Union
Peter Nowak likes this kid, he is a hard worker and only 17 years old.  He has a stunning 11 goals in 15 appearances for the US U-17 team, but I am not sure how many minutes young Jack will get.

Fantasy Fact: I see Jack Mac as a super sub, he may get points but coming in late when the Union needs a lift.

Zach Schilawski
Forward
New England Revolution
The Revolution love drafting from Wake Forest and though other teams have begun to catch on to New England’s little secret, Steve Nichol and co. may have picked the one Demon Deacon who can provide them with goals right out of the gate.

Fantasy Fact: Remember Noonan? This kid might have a points per salary ratio on par with him.

Michael Stephens
Midfield
Los Angeles Galaxy
The word from Galaxy camp is that this Chicago Fire Premier product fits right in to the needs of the team. He was a standout player in an always standout UCLA program.  He can play on the flanks or in the middle of the park and has done just that in the preseason.  I didn’t think he could see minutes in such a clogged midfield but as the preseason progressed he earned the plaudits of Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan and really, that’s all I needed to hear. Stephens is having a phenomenal spring and there is talk of him becoming the Galaxy’s third rookie of the year in a row.

Fantasy Fact: Stephens will likely see minutes in every game. His versatility can provide a 70th minute answer to any number of aged Galaxy midfielders, he will see minutes and when he does he will get points

Tim Ream
Defender
New York Red Bulls
Ream is my early pick for Rookie of the Year.  Though he was a 2nd round pick, he will come into a rebuilt Red Bull team and share the center of the defense with Mike Petke, who can only serve to make the kid better.  I think he will start and that this New New York team will get goals and keep clean sheets. Besides Tim played for the Chicago Fire Premier and you how much love I have for that organization.

Fantasy Fact: Ream will start and play 90 right from jump street