Thursday, July 19, 2007

Soccer News & Notes: 7/19/2007

Heinze remaining with United
Sir Alex Ferguson announced that Gabriel Heinze will not be moving to Liverpool this summer. Manchester United rejected a £6 million offer for the Argentine defender.

This is a smart move in my opinion. Not only has Gabby shown through his work in the Copa America that he is still a world class defender, but he also came through in several clutch situations for United at the end of the EPL season last year. There was a spell where Heinze was just about the only fit defender SAF had in the squad. If United is truly going to make a run at the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup as they also defend their EPL Championship, they are going to need as many versatile players as possible. Keeping Heinze gives them a lot more depth in the defense.

Justin Moose goes under the knife.
DC United midfielder Justin Moose is recovering from Hernia surgery in Germany. He will be sidelined for about three weeks.

Hopefully this doesn't lead to more problems with the DC United bench. Yes Moose isn't one of the main players in the squad, but considering the number of matches that DC United will be playing over the next few weeks and our lack of depth, having a guy who would provide extra support out of action could be a problem. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Chivas USA out of USOC
Chivas USA were bounced from the US Open Cup last night, 3-1 by the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders will face the Colorado Rapids in the next round of the tournament.

Are we seeing the first true signs of how MLS clubs just don't care about the USOC? According to the USOC website, out of a total 12* MLS clubs (yes I know that only eight took part in the fourth round) only three are left. If this type of result was seen in England, with only three EPL clubs remaining going into the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup, the press would be murdering the EPL and the clubs. I would say that we have pretty good odds that we will see a non-MLS club win the USOC for only the second time since MLS has been formed. Somebody explain to both Gulati and Garber that having the MLS clubs piss this tournament away is actually a bad thing.

* Edit - I changed this to say 12 as Toronto FC does not take part.

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Anonymous chunter said...

I agree that USOC needs more attention overall from everyone, whether the teams take it seriously or not. It is a telling sign of your future if your reserves get beaten by a team consisting of younger players, whether that team has a high budget or not. Having said that, the value of an MLS loss in USOC play depends upon the side lost against.

For example, Rochester was famous for ousting MLS sides in the 90's. Seattle did similarly well in parts of the 90's and 2000's, and in fact, have given us the likes of Frank Yallop and others.

MLS sides that lose to the following perennial USL powers should not feel embarrassed, but don't take the loss too lightly: Rochester, Charleston, sometimes Minnesota, and Seattle have always been right on the edge of being able to compete in MLS if only things were just that little bit different.

Now, Charleston haven't been faring that well, and despite likely having a scouting report leftover from preseason play, Houston are too good to lose to them, but... that's why we play the game. Similarly, FC Dallas should be better than going to penalties against Atlanta.

Chivas USA should be concerned about a loss to Seattle, but the only source of embarrassment is losing to two goals instead of one.

However, when Chicago Fire lose to expansion Carolina Railhawks, and DC lose to a USL-2 side, it is a disgrace.

I hope that bloggers make more point to draw attention to Lamar Hunt's Cup, because it's one of those little things unique to soccer that can convert fans from other sports, or create "soccer guys" (think "hockey guys") that don't like any other professional team sport.

3:31 PM  

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