Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DC United get Harbour View in CONCACAF

CONCACAF held their final draw yesterday for the CONCACAF Champions Cup (CCC), as the 2008 tournament is to be the final running of that regional club championship. CONCACAF will be rolling out their CONCACAF Champions League sometime around August of 2008, which will replace the CCC. In any case, DC United found out that they will be facing Harbour View of Jamaica in the first round of the CCC, with a potential match up with Mexican powerhouse Pachuca looming for the Semi-Finals of the tournament.

So how do I think DC United will do in this tournament? Honestly, I have no idea. I don't know because it seems as if we are in for a major roster restructuring that really has yet to take shape as of today. Yes, we have already lost a starting defender and are on the verge of losing our starting goalkeeper, but according to other sources, there should be some rather large changes in the club that will happen next month for sure. As we don't even know who will be in our starting 11, or really even have a good idea, I don't know how we will do in the tournament. I don't think we will do any worse than the Semi-Finals, but who really knows.

After looking at the brackets, I do have to say that I believe that Houston has a very, very good shot at reaching the finals this time. Their main opposition looks to be Deportivo Saprissa from Costa Rica, who they can potentially face in the Semi-Finals. I fully expect to see Saprissa knock off Atlante FC in the Quarter-Finals.

So we now know that DC United kicks off its 2008 season in Jamaica around the 11th-13th of March, which I can honestly say, isn't a bad place to start a soccer season. We will be at "home" for the second leg the week of the 18th-20th of March, which should either take place at RFK or at the Maryland Soccerplex. I guess I should start putting money away now for a ticket for the home leg of the first round series.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Veron to United: Next Week

CNN/ is reporting that Juan Sebastian Veron will sign a multi-year contract with DC United and be introduced next week. The salary is in the $3-4 million range per year.

Ok, at least we now have a time frame for an announcement. I can't wait for this saga to be done with.

*Update - Maybe this saga is over before it truly began. According to here & here, Veron ain't coming. If this is true, is it too late to get Gomez a second year and a signature?

*Final Update* - Ok, Veron is not leaving Estudiantes de la Plata to join DC United. At least we can move on, can't we now?

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What happened to "The Best Person for the Job?"

I find this funny and almost ubsurd.

Three English coaches are critical that the English FA have hired Fabio Capello to replace fired England coach Steve McClaren. They did so simply because the England FA failed to hire a British coach.


What the hell ever happened to hiring the best guy for the job? I can think of several other coaches who would have been great picks for the England job... none of them are British. Capello is going to be able to bring a certain panache to the role as coach/manager that McClaren never had and England hasn't really had in a long time, even under Sven. Being critical of a guy simply because he doesn't have a British passport is simply a stupid thing.

Honestly, I think that this goes much deeper. I honestly think that this is a backlash from a group of coaches who know that they don't have what it takes to coach internationally, especially for a side such as England. The job of England Manager is such a high pressured job, what with the expectations that come with the job from the press and the fans. Which British coach is good enough to get England back on track? Sir Alex Ferguson maybe? Why would he leave Manchester United? He has the world at his fingertips and would be giving up his god like status there. Beyond him, I cannot think of a British coach who could even rate. Go deeper and I cannot even fathom which English coach would be able to manage the England team in this day and age.

All English coaches need to take a step back and re-examine their coaching styles and try and understand why pretty much none of them were even considered. Steve McClaren might be the perfect place to start. Why did he fail to get England qualified for Euro 2008? Did his managing style fail him or did his players fail him? Did his choice of players fail him?

Until an English coach steps up and proves that he is capable with results on the field, I cannot blame the English FA for looking outside of Britain for their next coach.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cult of Bozilla no more

Bobby Boswell has been traded to the Houston Dynamo for goalkeeper Zach Wells , as reported by Steve Goff.

I am not so sure about this trade. You get a back up goalkeeper to potentially replace your current starter who might be heading to the Norseland, by trading away one of your central defenders? Did Greg Vanney suddenly get faster in the off season and younger? Is this the sign that Devon McTavish is getting a shot at central midfield or does Kevin Payne have the rumored international central defender lined up and ready to sign?

As this trade has been agreed upon, I would now assume that Perkins will be sold to Norwegian club Valerenga in the very near future. Hopefully Troy's development improves and this move gets him the much needed experience that will help him try and edge his way into the USMNT player pool. Best of luck to Troy if he does leave.

If Troy doesn't get sold to Valerenga, having Zach Wells as the deputy goalkeeper gives us much more depth in the nets, but as Goff first reported, all of this trade business started with the offer for Troy, so I assume that we will see Wells as our starter and Jay Nolly backing him up next season.

So long Boz, enjoy Houston and FC Fanta, they have a great supporters group, so you should feel at home.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cannon in for Perkins?

Steve Goff is reporting that DC United appears to be in the mix to trade for current LA Galaxy goalkeeper, Joe Cannon. Assuming that this happens, Troy Perkins would no longer be in the picture with United.

Ok, here is my take on this. If this trade comes about, simply based on DC United getting Joe Cannon, I think it is a great thing. Joe is a very, very good keeper who was burned last season playing behind a horrible defense. If he joins up with United and is manning the pipes behind a defensive line with Namoff, Boswell, Burch and maybe even Vanney, I have to believe that Cannon and United would have one of the best defensive seasons in a very long time. Cannon has so much experience in goal and has a greater amount of timing and judgment than we have seen in goal in a long time.

That isn't a knock on Troy, it is the plain truth.

Now, the biggest question comes in as to why United is trading for Cannon, if this is a real situation. Are they trading due to the chance presenting itself and it is one that the coaches and front office staff feel is way too good to pass up? Or are they doing this because it is an area that they suddenly feel that they need to address, such as Troy possibly moving on himself? If troy is moving on, to Europe as Goff suggests, then I am very happy for the guy and I wish him all the best. If this is a situation where Lalas called up Kevin Payne and offered Cannon up for trade, I still think that United should move on it.

For the good of the club, I think having Joe Cannon in goal will present DC United a much better opportunity to make a stronger run at any of the 6 possible trophies that United will be up for next season. Troy is a great goalkeeper, but over this last season, he has had a few "gaffs" in key moments that one has to ask when he is truly going to step up. He was huge in the home playoff draw against Chicago (minus the two goals) but the two goals, along with the gaffs against CD Chivas de Guadalajara as well as the away match at Chivas USA, all add up to a guy who shows that he might need more training time than spot light time.

If this trade doesn't work out and Troy is still our #1, I am not going to be in any way unhappy. We still won back to back Supporters Shields with him in the net, and I feel that he will still give us a chance this season... I just feel that Cannon would be a stronger chance that Troy.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ok, I'm Back....

I need to find a new job that doesn't get in the way of life, but pays better.

Anyways, alot has happened over the last week.

Kaka wins Ballon D'Or
Was there any doubt that Kaka wouldn't win this award? When he dropped his two goals on Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, it wasn't that much of a shock. Ronoldo had a wonderful season and is still holding to that form, but Kaka was huge last season and Milan won the Champions League, so it had to go to him.

Arsenal win Copa Nissan Sudamericana
Arsenal won the Copa Nissan Sudamericana last night, defeating Club America on away goals, after losing 2-1 at home. Arsenal won the first match in Mexico City 3-2. This win caps a very, very strange year for Argentine football. Arsenal wins the Copa Nissan Sudamericana, Boca wins the Copa Libertadores, Estudiantes won the Clausura championship and Lanus just won the Apertura championship. Talk about spreading the wealth.

On a different note, Club America came a goal from keeping the title in Mexico. It is a positive sign for CONCACAF that for the third straight year, a Mexican club reached the final and has actually made a match of the final series. Pachuca heads into the FIFA World Club Cup knowing that they are still the only Mexican club to have won the Copa Nissan Sudamericana.

Mexican Playoffs finals set
Pumas are back in the Mexican League playoff finals since 2004 and will face Atlanate, who denied Chivas de Guadalajara a second straight championship. The first match is tonight. The winner will take part in the 2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

UEFA Euro 2008 Draw held
Still drunk from the previous day of drinking beer and watching way too much college football, I did wake up and watch the ESPN2 telecast of the Euro 2008 draw. I actually thought I was hallucinating when they announced that France, Italy and Holland were in the same group. I feel bad for Romania and they "appear" to be the lone whipping boy of that group. This is the very definition of group of death. I am looking forward to watching the matches this summer.

DC United announce first two league matches of 2008
DC United announced that they will be starting their 2008 defense of the Supporters Shield on March 29th against Kansas a baseball stadium. They return home the following week to host Toronto FC at RFK stadium. Will we see Gomez, Moreno, Emillio, Fred & Veron all wearing the Black & Red at the start of the season? I doubt it.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Be back soon....

Sorry, but I haven't been all that free to post anything lately, work and life getting the best of me. I will write more soon.


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