A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
BASN Soccer Roundup
MIAMI — In this week’s Soccer Round-Up, BASN’s Andrew Dixon reviews the MLS All-Star game, expansion news as well as international stories from the world’s most popular sport.
The MLS All-Stars kept their perfect record against foreign competition Thursday night in Toronto, coming from behind to beat English Premiere Side West Ham United 3-2.
Goals from Rapids midfielder Christian Gomez and Man of the Match, Cuauhtemoc Blanco of the Chicago Fire were sandwhiched by two strikes from emerging English international Dean Ashton. But Toronto native Dwayne DeRosario from the Houston Dynamo drew and converted 69th minute penalty to put the All-Stars ahead to stay.
The 2008 edition of the MLS All-Star game was the first played outside of the US, drawing an enthusiastic crowd sell out crowd of almost 21,000. Sharlie Joseph of the New England Revolution went the full 90 minutes playing an excellent match in the middle of the park.
This writer has to believe that scouts noticed both his tenacity and compsure on the ball in the defensove midfield role. Edson Buddle also saw action as a late match substitution.
MLS All-Stars have yet to lose a match against a foreign club, having beating Chivas of Guadalaja, Chelsea, Celtic and now W. Ham United.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber, in his State of the League address, revealed that the league is looking to expand by two teams in 2011 with St. Louis looking a very strong candidate.
Cities also mentioned as possible MLS markets Atlanta (doubt it), Las Vegas (yeah right), Montreal (doubt it), a second team in the New York area (hopefully), Ottawa (huh?), Portland (possible) and Vancouver (solid chance, especially with Steve Nash as an investor. Yes, that Steve Nash). Seattle and Philadelpha have already been awarded MLS franchises and will begin play in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
The Don speaketh (MLS)
The Don also stated that by 2010, 12 of the league’s 16 teams will be playing in their own stadiums. This is important because teams playing in oversized NFL or college football stadiums lose money (rental fees) and ambiance (20k in a 20k stadium like BMO Field in Toronto sounds much louder than 20k in a 70k stadium like Giants Stadium). Besides, it’s tough to make a claim to be Major League anything when you contest playoff games on a field littered with football lines (Gillette Stadium)…
Moving Right Along
After getting comfortable with his new surroundings in Libson, American midfielder Freddy Adu has been loaned by his Portuguese club SL Benfica to AS Monaco in the French Ligue 1. Adu saw early action after signing for Benfica about this time last year but has after a coahing change saw limited playing time. Loan spells are common for players that clubs have on their books but haven’t seen much playing time. Monaco, Champions League Runners-up in 2004, have an option to sign Adu at season’s end.
Adu: headed to Monaco (AP)
Speaking of France, Claude Makelele has left Chelsea on a free transfer and is back in French football. One of the great defensive midfielders over the past 10 years, Makelele has previously played for Nantes (1992-1997), Olympique de Marseille (1997-1998), Celta Vigo (1998-2000), Real Madrid (2000-2003) and Chelsea (2003-2008).
Forgot to mention this last week but Ronaldinho, the former World Player of the Year has joined AC Milan after falling out with FC Barcelona with whom he won two Spanish league titles and the 2006 Champions League.
Ghana’s captain, John Mensah has joined 6-time defending French champions, Olypique Lyon. He turned down offers from the likes of Portsmouth and Wigan in England to help strengthen Lyon’s the backline as they attempt make another run in Europe. His international teammate, midfielder Sulley Muntari has left Portsmouth in England and joined Italian champions Inter Milan, signing a four year deal.
Senegalese hit man, El-Hadji Diouf has moved to Sunderland after spending four season at rival English Premiere side Bolton Wanderers. Diouf has also played for Liverpool as well as French sides Sochaux, Stade Rennes and RC Lens.
Robbie Russell, a Duke graduate who played several years in Norway and most recently with Viborg FF in Denmark, has returned to the States and will play with Real Salt Lake for the remainder of the season.
UEFA Cup champions Zenit St. Petersburg of Russia were fined $58,000 by UEFA on Thursday for racist chants directed by its fans towards Black players of French side Olympique Marseille earlier in the competition. It’s nice to see UEFA finally doling out some substantial fines for this type of foolishness.
However, this certainly won’t be the last time it happens and I’ve longed believed that the next step needs to be deductions in points.
Brazillian Robinho has been dropped by his country’s Olympic side for a “shoulder injury”. For real, though, the only thing Robinho is feeling on his shoulder is that yank by Real Madrid who doesn’t want him risking injury, especially if the rumors about a possible transfer to Chelsea are true.
Don’t forget to check out the semifinals and finals of the 2008 Super Liga. Houston Dynamo will host Pachuca Tuesday night (10pm EDT, Telefutura) while the New England Revoution will host Atlante the following night (8pm EDT, Telefutura).
DC United 0
Houston Dynamo 2 (Mullan 20′ Ching 79′)
S.J. Earthquakes 1 (Huckerby 13′)
RBNY 1 ( Denton 4′og)
FC Dallas 4 (Cooper 15′ 17′ ODURO 36′ Thompson 89′)
Galaxy FC 0
KC Wizards 0
Chicago Fire 0
Colorado Rapids 0
Columbus Crew 2 (Lenhart 21′ Garey 75′)
GET OUT AND PLAY SOCCER!