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37 posts from July 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

US-Honduras tomorrow

At the request of one reader, this will be a Beckham-Free post...although, would like to tell that reader that Beckham being booed two years after being welcomed as a savior, is, indeed, a big story no matter where in America we live.

US plays Honduras in the Gold Cup semifinals Thursday night. Should be a good game. US has proven twice this summer that it can beat the Hondurans -- 2-0 in the group round and 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier. Can they make it 3-for-3? I say yes. Even with the B team, plenty of talent and spirit.

Mexico plays Costa Rica in the other semifinal. Right now, Costa Rica is a better team, but Mexico has a lot of pride and wants to prove it is still a regional power.

As for MLS expansion to Miami..don't hold your breath. Best chance we had was Claure and FC Barcelona. If MLS bigwigs weren't convinced by that bid, it's a tough sell. Right now, my suggestion is to support Miami FC, the only pro game in town.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Who's to Blame? Becks or fan?

David Beckham got a chilly reception from a good number of LA Galaxy fans on Sunday as he returned "home'' after a five-month extended Italian jaunt with AC Milan. Some fans carried signs that read: Go home Fraud. But the low moment came at halftime of the Galaxy's friendly against -- coincidentally -- AC Milan. Beckham apparently gestured for a rowdy fan who had been harrassing him to come onto the field and shake his hand. The fan jumped over the wall, ran onto the field and was arrested.

LA Coach Bruce Arena said the team regretted the incident.

Arena said in a statement issued by the team that it's important for fans to be able to voice their opinions but they must do it in an appropriate manner.

So, who's to blame here? The fan? Beckham? Both?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Michelle asks: Is Becks worth the $$$

David Beckham made his 2009 debut for the LA Galaxy on Thursday night against the Red Bulls, and fans booed his every touch. A crowd of only 23,238 showed up for the occasion, one-THIRD the number who were there two years ago, back when Becks was being considered the savior of MLS. Those days are long gone. Landon Donovan proved the better player Thursday, with a goal and an assist. Becks played 70 minutes, and looked exhausted.

Do you think Beckham has helped MLS in any way, or do you feel the league made a mistake bringing him over?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michelle's Musings...Welcome back Becks Edition

1. So, David Beckham is officially back tonight, gracing MLS fans with his presence after his Italian jaunt. While he was gone, Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan basically trashed him in the book The Beckham Experiment, by Sports Illustrated writer (and former Miami Herald intern) Grant Wahl. Donovan contends Becks was not a great teammate, and was stingy, to boot.

Becks had harsh words for Landon upon his arrival at camp, but says they have smoothed things over and if Landon is in scoring position, Becks will feed him the ball. We'll see if he sticks to his word.

2. I was at Wimbledon and on vacation in Spain during Gold Cup (Ronaldo Nike posters plastered all over Madrid saying "His Expectations are Greater than Yours''), but saw there were great, spirited crowds at FIU. That's fabulous. But it doesn't mean MLS would work there. Fans here are very passionate about international soccer. MLS, not so much. Maybe some day, but not yet. Seattle is the kind of place MLS works best, and the 30,000 crowd last week is proof.

3. Feel bad for Miami FC, which has tried every which way to get fans here involved, and is struggling at the gate. Announced crowd of 450 last week. Ouch. Hard to believe fans here (who had the HIGHEST TV ratings for Confederations Cup) wouldn't at least have some desire to see pro soccer live. But apparently, most don't. Never-ending dilemma.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rooftop soccer gets Miami.com treatment

Nunes named to Team of the Week

Blues midfielder Leo Inacio Nunes, who scored a goal and assisted on another in the Blues' 2-1 victory over Vancouver Sunday, has been named the the USL-1 Team of the Week.

Nunes helped Miami FC win for the fourth time in six matches and vault back into the playoff race.

He and the rest of the Blues return to action this weekend, with matches on Friday and Sunday against the Portland Timbers.

More shameless self-promotion

I was happily a guest on Miami Ultras President Pieter Brown's podcast after the Gold Cup doubleheader.

If you have any interest in hearing me bloviate, click here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pairings set for Gold Cup quarters

With Mexico's victory over Guadeloupe Sunday, El Tri captures Group C and avoids a quarterfinal match with the Americans. Here is next week's schedule:

Saturday

Canada vs. Honduras, 5 p.m.

United States vs. Panama, 8 p.m.

Sunday

Guadeloupe vs. Costa Rica, 5 p.m.

Mexico vs. Haiti, 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Miami FC 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

Midway through 2009 season, a strange pattern has emerged for Miami FC:

The less the Blues' stars play, the better the team fares.

Sunday night was no different.

Even with striker Diego Serna sidelined for most of the match with a knee injury, Miami FC was as crisp offensively as the team has been all season, scoring twice in the first half to cruise past the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 at a nearly empty FIU Stadium.

Starting lineups for Miami FC-Vancouver Whitecaps

Couple of notes: Diego Serna is on the bench, and Paulo Araujo Jr. will take his place. Kenny Schoni gets the start in net for Pat Hannigan.

MIAMI FC

Goalkeeper: Kenny Schoeni

Defenders: Tim Merritt, Zach Kirby, Cristiano Dias, Jack Traynor

Midfielders: John Pulido, Jarryd Goldberg, Edwin Miranda, Leo Inacio Nunes

Forwards: Alen Marcina, Paulo Araujo Jr.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

Goalkeeper: Jay Nolly

Defenders: Wes Knight, Wesley Charles, Jeff Parke, Takashi Hirano

Midfielders: Lyle Martin, Gordon Chin, Martin Nash, Tyrell Burgess

Forwards: Charles Gbeke, Marcus Haber