The New York Red Bulls and UNAM Pumas played to an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly at the 2012 Red Bull Reto Del Sol in Arizona.
For me, the first half is the most telling of where New York stands.
While the Red Bulls used the majority of their starters for the full 90, Pumas played the first half with only two changes to the side that drew 1-1 against Cruz Azul in Saturday’s Classico Capitolino. This made for an excellent preseason test for Hans Backe’s men against Guillermo Vazquez’s preferred starting XI. A side that is already in mid-season form.
It was also going to be a strong examination for the Red Bulls attack against a well drilled Pumas defense that is compact, and always keeps it shape.
The Red Bulls looked sharp out of the starting blocks, moving the ball well through the midfield, especially on the ground. Six minutes in and the first real question was answered. Thierry Henry won the ball in midfield and played a defense splitting pass to Kenny Cooper. The former Portland Timber should have taken one touch to settle and another to shoot, but instead dilly-dallied on the ball, allowing Marco Antonio Palacios to close him down.
A minute later the Red Bulls executed a gorgeous sweeping team move that started on the right side of defense and flowed all the way to the left corner ended with Dane Richards putting Henry in prime shooting position. The Frenchmen made good contact, but shot right at Alejandro Palacios (twin brother of Marco Antonio).
The New Jersey club was buzzing and adventurous in the first 10 minutes. After that, however, the Red Bulls lost the plot as Pumas took the game to the MLS side.no comments
USMNT coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, has named a roster of 21 players for the upcoming match against Italy in Genoa on February 29th. This will be the first meeting on Italian soil since 2002, and it will be very interesting to see the buzz surrounding the match.
US Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3) :Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7) :Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (6) : Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5) :Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Amobi Okugo and Sean Johnson introduce the U-23's last camp before Olympic qualifying....
Caleb Porter's U-23 squad started off its 10-day camp on the right foot, defeating FC Dallas 2-1 Wednesday with the game-winning goal coming from Brek Shea. Shea ironically plays club ball for FC Dallas, but had no qualms burying his break-away opportunity in the second half to lift the US to victory. This US youth squad will next take on the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions on Friday.
Even though they played an MLS club in pre-season form without their best player (Shea), the win for this group of Olympic hopefuls was impressive. First off you have to take a moment to look at the Yanks starting 11, which when released sounded quite potent and the players did not disappoint. Porter's starting lineup featured- Hamid; Sarkodie, Opara, Valentin, Villafana; Okugo, Adu, Jeffrey; Agudelo, Bunbury, Shea. From an attacking standpoint with Shea on the wing, Adu in the middle (had both assists), and Agudelo and Bunbury up top, that's a lot of speed, power, and creativity for opponents to deal with.
The young guns showed some resilience as well, after falling behind early on San Jose's talented center-back Ike Opara finished expertly with his head to level the match. Opara, who was drafted 3rd overall in 2010, has battled injury throughout his young MLS career, but is definitely a neophyte that could play a big role in London this summer.
Not only did the Yanks fall behind early but they ended the match down to 9-men as both Sarkodie and Shea saw red cards after receiving their second yellows in the 58th and 75th minutes respectively. Fifteen plus minutes is a LONG time to hold on to a one goal lead when you're down two guys. However, Porter's squad found a way to get it done, and this grind-em out mentality will be crucial come qualifying. Should be a fun week leading up to the Mexico friendly, as you will be sure to see a mini-dosage of the great CONCACAF rivalry that is US vs. Mexico.
Here are the goal highlights from the match...I apologize in advance for the horrific camera angle but there was no mistaking Shea's demolishing finish...
Believe it or not the MLS season starts March 10th, which is ONLY 18 days away. Then on March 11th, one day later, the MLS will debut on NBC Sports Network in an epic clash that features the league's best young player and MVP front-runner, against one of the league's most star-studded clubs, who need to win MLS Cup to justify recent roster decisions and big spending.
These two teams I so eloquently described are FC Dallas and the NY Red Bulls and the MVP front-runner is none other than Brek Shea. This match has the all the elements of a primetime, classic 90-minute affair with big names (Thierry Henry, Brek Shea, David Ferreria), controversy (Rafa Marquez, NY Red Bulls), and bright lights (NBC) all bundling up to form one unstoppable force.
Early Prediction: FC Dallas Win 2-1 @ Home
This MUST WATCH game is sure to kick off the MLS' most successful season in history. With the player talent level at an all-time high and with the introduction of the league's 19th team, the Montreal Impact, and a new soccer-specific stadium for the Houston Dynamo this year will have plenty of high points, don't be the one to miss out on all the action.
The Flying Donkeys notched a win Sunday in an away match against Genoa. A goal courtesy of Cyril Thereau was enough to ensure that Chievo left the Ligurian capital with 3 points. Michael Bradley was outstanding in the midfield and if it wasn't for goalkeeping heroics from Stefano Sorrentino, The General surely would have been man of the match.
In the process of commanding the midfield, the American picked up a yellow card. If he picks up one more card, Bradley will face a one game suspension. Next weekend Chievo host last place Cesena.
Great match for Bradley and Chievo. They needed the 3 points and managed to grind out the result. Bradley was everywhere in the midfield, serving as a catalyst to the victory. However, Chievo can't afford to gloat over this W and must earn a positive result next weekend against Cesena if they want to keep their top half of the table aspirations on the radar screen.
February 29th, the US Men's National Team will be play against Gli Azzurri (Italy) and I feel that Bradley, having learned a trick or two from the Italians, is eager to showcase his skills.
US U-23 Men's National Team coach Caleb Porter announced his roster for the upcoming February camp that includes a friendly against Mexico's youth squad. Porter's camp will begin on February 19th in Frisco, Texas and end with the match vs. Mexico at FC Dallas Stadium on the 29th. This 10-day stint will represent the next step for the U-23s as they prepare for Olympic qualifying in late March.
Caleb Porter is using this camp as one of his last opportunities to evaluate his youngsters in an effort to solidify a final roster for Olympic qualifying.
“The No. 1 priority in this camp is to see our guys in games and to build a little bit of that rhythm by playing multiple games in a short amount of time,” Porter said. “Everything is geared toward the Mexico game, but we want to get a couple of games early in the week to get guys minutes so we can look at everybody to help with those final roster decisions leading into qualifying.”
The other matches Porter is referring to feature the young yanks scrimmaging against FC Dallas (Wed, Feb. 22) and the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL (Friday, Feb 24).
Here is Porter's 23-man roster:
Our US Men's National Team will continue their preparation for World Cup Qualifying with a friendly against Scotland. These two squads will face off on May 26th in Jacksonville, FL at EverBank Field. Surprisingly the US hold a disappointing 1-3-2 lifetime record against the Scots but hopefully Klinsy and comapny can turn that around.
"Jacksonville has an amazing facility and is the perfect place for us to begin our important summer schedule," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We are excited to bring the U.S. National Team back to a part of the country we haven't visited in many years. It's fantastic that we can continue to give fans in different parts of the country the chance to share in the journey."
On Saturday, Charlie Davies made his first appearance for Sochaux since his involvement in a tragic car accident that took the life of a passenger and put Davies in the hospital with numerous life threatening injuries back in Oct. 2009. The US striker finally returned to France's Ligue 1 after entering the pitch in the 78th minute against Stade Rennes with his club trailing 1-0.
However there was no heart-warming, goal-scoring story to go with his return to European action as there was when Davies took the field for DC United back in March. Instead Davies had minimal impact on the match as Sochaux dropped all 3 points, losing by the 1-0 scoreline. Sochaux currently occupy the last spot in the table with only 19 points on the season, putting themselves in real danger of relegation.
Check out what Charlie had to say about returning to European football...no comments
The US Soccer Development Academy announced plans to move to a 10-month season on Friday, starting with the 2012-2013 season.
In an effort to increase the amount of time youth players spend training and playing in competitive games, the US Development Academy has decided to adopt a more traditional schedule widely used by most European countries.
The main reason behind this move is to align the level of meaningful competitive matches and training scenarios for youth teams with the rest of the world. The long term effect of this strategy is to close the performance gap between US soccer players and the quality of talent elite footballing countries in the world are producing annually.
“This is the model that the best countries around the world use for their programs, and I think it makes perfect sense that we do as well,” said US Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Through a stoke of brilliance, US soccer created the Development Academy system in 2007 to improve the every day environment for the elite US youth player. This partnership is between US Youth Soccer and top youth clubs around the country in order to foster the best environment possible for developing the US soccer talent pool.