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20 posts from September 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Miami FC clarification

From Aaron Davidson, regarding the story I posted a few weeks back on the future of Miami FC after Traffic's bid to buy the league fell through:

"Miami FC is not in danger because Traffic didn’t win bid for league...Miami FC’s future depends in large part on the teams owning/controlling our league."

Plus, in case you missed it, my story from Sunday on Gale Agbossoumonde.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

College soccer glance

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI WOMEN (3-2-0): The Hurricanes sure aren't ducking quality opponents early. After opening with a loss to Florida (ranked 14th in the latest NSCAA.com poll), UM beat Western Carolina 1-0 in the first round of the Hurricane Cup. The 'Canes fell to Navy 1-0 in the final, but won't have long to bounce back. They will appear in the Nike Invitational this weekend. First up: Washington. No. 2 Portland is also in the tournament.

FIU MEN (2-1-0): The Golden Panthers haven't exactly faced national powers to start the 2009 season, but at least Munga Eketebi's bunch has finally tasted victory after disappointing seasons in 2007 and 2008. The campaign started with 1-0 loss to Florida Gulf Coast, but the Panthers rebounded with wins over St. Thomas and UNC Wilmington. FIU, which has allowed just two goals on the season, next faces Stetson on Friday.

FIU WOMEN (1-2-2): Thomas Chestnutt's group has had its share of good moments (3-0 victory over Stetson in the opener) and bad (a 5-0 loss to UCF at the Dafeldecker classic in Tampa Sunday) just four games into the season. The Panthers, with just three goals in five matches, better find some offense quick. Sun Belt action starts in two weeks.

BARRY MEN (2-1-1): Lightning in a bottle or a sign of things to come? The Buccaneers hope sophomore Mark Anderson's four-goal explosion against Lander is the latter. Evidence would point that way, with Anderson, from Durham, England, scoring in 14 of his 18 games with Barry. The Bucs are back in action this weekend, competing in the Lynn/Embassy Suites Classic. They'll have Christian Brothers Friday and Webber on Sunday.

BARRY WOMEN (1-2-0): The Bucs have gotten off to a slow start, but it might be more of a reflection of the level of competition. Barry hung with North Georgia, one of the better teams in the nation, before falling 3-2. After a 4-0 rout of Florida Memorial, Barry lost its SCC opener NOVA Southeastern 2-0 at home. Next up: Northwood at home on Friday.

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN MEN (3-2-0): Early bright spots for the Sharks, with the most encouraging sign being a 1-0 home win over No. 25 Florida Tech on Wednesday. NOVA didn't allow a shot in the match's second half and David Wahlberg tallied the game-winner in the 86th minute. Florida Tech is up next on Monday, setting up a showdown with No. 6 Lynn late next week.

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN WOMEN (2-0-0): So far, so good for the Sharks, who have opened the season with 2-0 victories over Embry-Riddle and Barry. Anchoring the NOVA defense has been junior goalkeeper Sarah Glass, who was named the conference player of the week after her shutout of Embry-Ridde. With a relatively light schedule for the next few weeks, the Sharks could be undefeated when they face No. 2 West Florida on Sept. 26.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CONCACAF Wrap-Up

Good news: The United States can win a road game in qualifying.

But it wasn't easy. It took a Ricardo Clark goal in the 62nd minute for the Americans to down Trinidad & Tobago 1-0. Now, they essentially need one point in the final two matches in ensure their sixth straight World Cup berth.

Why? They stand alone in first place of the final round hex after a low-scoring night.

A Rudis Corrales goal in stoppage time Costa Rica 1-0 and kept El Salvador's faint hopes alive, while Mexico used a PK to down Honduras by the same score.

New standings: USA 16 points, Mexico 15, Honduras 13, Costa Rica 12, El Salvador 8, Trinidad & Tobago 5.

Grab Bag: U-17, Miami FC news

Tying up a couple of loose ends on a Wednesday afternoon...

1. Local kid returns to the U-17 MNT Residency Program. Forward Stefan Jerome will enroll in his fifth semester in Bradenton ahead of the U-17 World Cup in October. Jerome's club team is West Pines United.

2. A bright spot in an otherwise bleak month for Miami FC: Leo Inacio Nunes has been named to the USL Team of the Week after leading the Blues to a 3-1 win over Austin on Saturday.

U.S. MNT faces Trinidad & Tobago

Call me a glass-half-full kinda guy, but I think there's been too much "sky is falling" mentality surrounding the men's national team.

Yes, the Americans (4-2-1) have a tendency to blow leads. Yes, their midfielders couldn't hold a place in line. But still, they're a win away from all but locking up a spot in the World Cup.

With three matches remaining in the final round hex, the U.S. is tied with Honduras for first with 13 points. If Bob's Bunch finishes out with at least a win and a draw, it's hard to see how the team doesn't finish in the top three.

Best chance for a win: Tonight at Trinidad & Tobago. Here's the preview. Gametime is 7 p.m. Follow along live here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rochester Rhinos 2, Miami FC 1

Miami FC’s playoff hopes all but died Tuesday night – and barely a soul was on hand to read the last rites.

Goals by Rochester’s John Menyongar in the 31st and 76th minutes were too much for the fledging Blues to handle, handing Miami FC a deflating 2-1 loss at Lockhart Stadium.

The win put Rochester (11-9-8, 41 points) into the playoffs, and essentially buried Miami FC. With three games remaining, the Blues (8-15-4, 28 points) are eight points behind Vancouver, meaning they would need to win all their remaining games – and have the Whitecaps lose all of theirs – to earn make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

“It’s almost impossible,” Blues coach Zinho said of his team’s chances. “But regardless, we have to be professional and finish the season strong.”

Miami FC hosts Rochester

WHO: Rochester Rhinos (10-9-8) at Miami FC Blues (8-14-4)

WHEN: 8 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium

INTERNET BROADCAST: www.USLLive.com/usl/console.jsp

TICKETS: $12 adults, $7 students/youth. Available at the box office or by phone, 1-866-57-MIAMI (6-4264)

OF NOTE: The Blues kept their faint playoff hopes alive Saturday night when they beat the Austin Aztex 3-1. Still, they remain eight points behind seventh-place Vancouver for the final playoff spot. The Blues have four games left in the season, all against teams with winning records.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thursday morning headlines

Donovan healthy again after swine flu

Sounders bring home U.S. Open Cup trophy

United's Reign In Open Cup Comes to End

World Cup qualifier not the end of RSL's aspirations

Monson: Are you an ugly American? No, just inferior

Qualifier all business for Salvadorans

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

USL-1, Explained

Please, please, please go read all the great work my boy Kartik Krishnaiyer has done on the USL-1 sale, what led to it and the ramifications moving forward.

The three-part series is fantastic, and better than anything we here at TF have the time or institutional knowledge to pull off.

Hats off, Double-K.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Eight teams fight back against USL sale

I've got a lot of non-soccer duties on my plate today, but I would be remiss to not bring this to your attention.

From Miami FC:

Following extensive negotiations with USISL, Inc., the parent company of the United Soccer Leagues (USL), to restructure the USL First Division (USL-1) into a league owned and controlled by its teams, the Team Owners Association (TOA) today announced that it has accelerated its pursuit of all league options for the 2010 season and beyond.  The TOA, led by the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, St. Louis Soccer United, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Vancouver Whitecaps, reached this decision following the announcement by Nike, Inc., the parent company of USISL, Inc., that it had concluded the sale of USL to a third-party (NuRock Soccer Holdings) which does not own a team in USL-1.

The TOA has been and remains committed to a restructuring of USL-1 into a truly professional soccer league which complies with the international rules established by FIFA, the governing body of international soccer.  These rules include the requirement that the league be owned and controlled by its teams.  Despite this rule, USL has historically been owned by a single corporate entity responsible for, among other things, league governance.  The TOA believes that this ownership structure has stunted the growth and recognition of both the league and its teams during USL’s nearly 25-year existence.  Consequently, over the past several years, the TOA has engaged in discussions with the owners of USL to restructure USL and is therefore extremely disappointed with Nike’s decision to sell USL to a non-USL-1 team owner.  Accordingly, the TOA now reconfirms its commitment to achieving a team-owner controlled league and will pursue all avenues to do so. 

“The TOA and its teams thank the fans, media, coaches, and players for their unconditional support and patience as we explore all options for the future,” stated Selby Wellman, majority owner of the Carolina Railhawks and spokesperson for the TOA.  “The teams are confident that this process will lead to decisions and changes that are essential for the further growth of soccer in our respective markets and throughout North America.”

About TOA

The TOA was formally established in January 2008.  Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Montreal and Vancouver are all playing in USL-1 this season, but have not recommitted to USL-1 for 2010.  Atlanta withdrew from USL-1 after the 2008 season due to the continuing uncertainties of the negotiation and restructuring of USL.  Tampa is scheduled to begin playing in 2010.  St. Louis Soccer United, owner of the St. Louis Athletica in WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer league) , is committed to establishing a men’s professional team.  Notwithstanding the fact that Vancouver will be joining MLS in 2011, the Vancouver ownership group is committed to playing in 2010 and to exploring establishing a team in another market for 2011 and beyond.