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25 posts from October 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Strikers in NASL Finals!!

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will play for the NASL championship after knocking off defending champ Puerto Rico in the semis. Read about it here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meet Striker Martin Nunez

Ft. Lauderdale Strikers are one win away from playing for the NASL Championship. Read about forward Martin Nunez, former Sunset High star, here...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/13/2452903/new-life-for-nunez-with-fort-lauderdale.html

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Klinsmann Report Card: What does US coach deserve so far?

VEN over ARG! USA loses. Brazil wins.

What a day yesterday...

Biggest stunner: Venezuela beat Argentina 1-0 in World Cup qualifying opener. Wow! La Vinotinto is for real!

Other CONMEBOL results: Colombia 2-1 over Bolovia, Chile 4-2 over Peru, The "Guays'' -- Uru and Para -- tied 1-1.

Euro 2012 qualifying: Spain 3-1 over Scotland. Germany 3-1 over Belgium. France 1-1 with Bosnia.

Last night, USA lost 1-0 to Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in NJ. Crowd of 20,000 was a bit smaller than the crowd Miami got last weekend for the soggy win over Honduras. So, US is 1-3-1 under coach Jurgen Klinsmann with two goals scored. Give Klinsi a grade in our poll (see above). The good news: Gooch looked like the old Gooch again. Dempsey and Donovan together could be dangerous. Brek Shea continues to impress. What's your opinion on the US team as it stands now?

In the second night match, Brazil escaped with a 2-1 win over Mexico. Brazil's two goals were scored by Ronaldinho and Marcelo. Brazil, as host of 2014 World Cup, gets automatic berth so doesn't have to go through CONMEBOL qualifying rounds. 

Reminder: Fort Lauderdale Strikers second leg of NASL semifinal Saturday night at Lockhart. 7:30 p.m. They play Puerto Rico Islanders, whom they beat in first leg.

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

USA-Ecuador, Euro 2012, Strikers, Sounders.

On tap Tuesday...

Euro 2012 qualifiers: Germany vs. Belgium (1 p.m., ESPN2), Ireland vs. Armenia, Spain vs. Scotland, France vs. Bosnia, Sweden vs. Netherlands.

USA vs. Ecuador, friendly from Red Bull Arena (NJ), 7 p.m., ESPN2 and Univision. Will the US follow up Miami win over Honduras with another one?

Speaking of US team, coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he'd like to see MLS extend its season from 9 months to 11 months to keep up with European leagues. He thinks MLS players have too much vacation time.

Reminder that the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers host second leg of NASL semifinal this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart. They play the defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders, whom they beat 3-1 in the first leg. Tickets start at $10. Call 954-606-0400.

Finally, major thumbs up to the Seattle Sounders for selling more than 57,000 tickets for Saturday's regular-season finale against San Jose. Yes, this game was part of a 3-game package that included a Manchester United friendly earlier in the summer, but still...57,000 for a regular-season MLS game! The Sounders are averaging 36,893 per game this season, better than last year's 36,173. If only MLS could bottle up whatever they're doing in Seattle and spread it all over the league. I sure would love to get to one of those Sounders games and experience it. I've heard it feels like Europe or South America. Lots of passion. Must be fun.

 

Sunday, October 09, 2011

21,000 in the rain: Not bad

So, I missed the US - Honduras game because of the Jewish holiday (I joked that the monsoon was the wrath for US Soccer holding a game on Yom Kippur)..anyway, reading the reports was happy to see that 21,000 showed up -- or at least bought tickets, anyway. That's not bad, considering there was no promotion whatsoever from US Soccer. If weather was nicer, surely there would have been a bigger crowd.

So, what did you think of the game? Assessment of the US team? Klinsmann got his first win as coach, which is nice. Dempsey looked good. Brek Shea looked good -- minus the slip on wet grass in front of open net. Who else do you think stepped up? Who didn't? Share with the group...

Strikers won 1st leg semifinal

The Strikers stunned defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers won the first leg of the NASL Semifinal against the Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1 at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium on Saturday. The loss was the first all season at home for the Islanders. The Strikers return home to play the second leg of the semifinal on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Lockhart Stadium.

“Obviously we are pleased with the result,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “We know we have areas to improve upon for the second leg. We know Puerto Rico is going to come in hungry and throw everything at us. We have to be prepared and ready for a battle next week.”

After a first half without many chances the Strikers opened the scoring in the 49th minute when halftime substitution Martin Nunez buried a Lance Laing cross to make it 1-0. Nunez had come on for captain Abe Thompson at halftime after Puerto Rico had limited Thompson to very few touches in the first half.

Fort Lauderdale extended their lead in the 82nd minute when Walter Restrepo took a pass near midfield and dribbled to the top of the Islanders 18-yard box and fired a perfectly placed shot into the top corner of the net. Puerto Rico goalkeeper Ray Burse dove to try to deflect the ball, but it was out of reach.

The Islanders answered right back in the 84th minute to make it 2-1 when Gregory Richardson found Jonathan Fana in the small penalty area where Fana shot far post for the goal. Richardson and Fana were both second half substitutions for the Islanders.

The Strikers added their final goal in the second half stoppage time when a Puerto Rico turnover left Mike Palacio alone in the penalty area. Palacio sent a cross to the far side of the net where Brian Shriver was waiting to pocket his third goal of the playoffs.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers return home for the second leg of the NASL Semifinal against the Puerto Rico Islanders on Oct. 15 at Lockhart Stadium at 7:30p.m.

Strikers won 1st leg semifinal

The Strikers stunned defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers won the first leg of the NASL Semifinal against the Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1 at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium on Saturday. The loss was the first all season at home for the Islanders. The Strikers return home to play the second leg of the semifinal on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Lockhart Stadium.

“Obviously we are pleased with the result,” said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. “We know we have areas to improve upon for the second leg. We know Puerto Rico is going to come in hungry and throw everything at us. We have to be prepared and ready for a battle next week.”

After a first half without many chances the Strikers opened the scoring in the 49th minute when halftime substitution Martin Nunez buried a Lance Laing cross to make it 1-0. Nunez had come on for captain Abe Thompson at halftime after Puerto Rico had limited Thompson to very few touches in the first half.

Fort Lauderdale extended their lead in the 82nd minute when Walter Restrepo took a pass near midfield and dribbled to the top of the Islanders 18-yard box and fired a perfectly placed shot into the top corner of the net. Puerto Rico goalkeeper Ray Burse dove to try to deflect the ball, but it was out of reach.

The Islanders answered right back in the 84th minute to make it 2-1 when Gregory Richardson found Jonathan Fana in the small penalty area where Fana shot far post for the goal. Richardson and Fana were both second half substitutions for the Islanders.

The Strikers added their final goal in the second half stoppage time when a Puerto Rico turnover left Mike Palacio alone in the penalty area. Palacio sent a cross to the far side of the net where Brian Shriver was waiting to pocket his third goal of the playoffs.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers return home for the second leg of the NASL Semifinal against the Puerto Rico Islanders on Oct. 15 at Lockhart Stadium at 7:30p.m.

Friday, October 07, 2011

A note from Klinsy to S.Fla fans

This is from US Soccer, to ticket buyers for Saturday's US-Honduras match. Includes Fan Guide below.

Oct. 6, 2011

Dear Ticket Buyer:
On behalf of the players and staff, we thank you for choosing to come to the stadium to watch our team take on Honduras on Oct. 8 at Sun Life Stadium.
Even after three games, this has been a fascinating journey. Every day the team develops a stronger chemistry and understanding of how we want to play. I am very pleased with their attitude, approach and mentality, and I believe it will be reflected on the field this Saturday.
While we have not been satisfied with the results, we are seeing great progress. Improving is a process, which the players understand. I want them to continue to be positive, take chances, and express themselves on the field.
With this roster, you can see we are continuing to develop a core group of players. It is important to maintain some continuity in our work with both players and coaches. At the same time, we will introduce new players when we feel they are ready.
Honduras is an opponent that this team knows very well. The U.S. has played them five times since 2009 and four of those games were in official competition. They remain one of the strongest teams in CONCACAF, so this presents an excellent opportunity for us as we build our team towards qualifying for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying that begins next year.
I have said many times that our fans are a very important process in helping identify the character of this U.S. team. We have had a fantastic week here in South Florida and have enjoyed being in an environment with such a great soccer history. We appreciate the way you have welcomed the team, and we hope to put on a great performance.
Thanks again for all your support. Enjoy the game.
Jurgen Klinsmann
Head Coach
U.S. Men's National Team

U.S. Soccer looks forward to hosting you on Saturday night for the U.S. Men's National Team match against Honduras at Sun Life Stadium. Kickoff for the match is 6 p.m. ET.
In this email you will find information and links that will help with your preparations and enhance your experience at the stadium. Parking lots open at 3 p.m. ET, and the gates to the stadium open at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Fan Guide
U.S. Men's National Team vs. Honduras
Sun Life Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Stadium Gates: 4:30 p.m. ET
Set your DVR: Live on FOX Soccer and Univision
Stadium Map
[web] [mobile]

Parking Information
Lots open at 3 p.m. ET
Parking is $20 (cars)
Parking Map: [web]
Directions: [web]
Address: 2269 Dan Marino Boulevard, Miami Gardens, FL 33056
Coordinates: 25.958546, -80.238755

Policies and Prohibited Items
The prohibited items list for this event include:
  • Animals (Except for certified animals assisting disabled guests.)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bags, purses, or camera cases exceeding 14 in. x 14 in. x 8 in. in size
  • Bottles, cans, thermoses, coolers, hard containers
  • Food
  • Umbrellas, poles, brooms
  • Strollers (permitted in suites only. Strollers must enter Gates C, G or E)
  • Cameras with lenses exceeding 8"
  • Noise makers, laser pointers and any other item deemed dangerous or inappropriate
  • Weapons of any kind (firearms, knives, pocket knives)
  • Vuvuzelas
 

Pregame Sponsor Activities
Be sure to come early to Sun Life Stadium for pre-game fun at Gate H! AT&T will have a variety of 4G devices available for demonstration and will be distributing branded premium items for fans. Tampico will be providing samples of their refreshing soda. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will also be onsite with an inflatable kick game and information about their NASL playoff run. The excitement begins at 3 PM!

Will Call Location
Open at 3 p.m. ET. Pick up your tickets early to avoid the rush. Location: Ticket windows by Gate H.

Respect Campaign
In an effort to encourage U.S. National Team supporters to create a positive, safe and enjoyable environment on game day, U.S. Soccer has introduced the Respect Campaign. Fans are encouraged to provide an enthusiastic and positive atmosphere by showcasing to the world our love and appreciation for the beautiful game. We ask you to familiarize yourselves with a fan Code of Conduct, which is posted on ussoccer.com and is part of the Respect Campaign.

Guest Assist: Text for Help
U.S. Soccer will be utilizing an in-stadium text assistance program throughout the game. For assistance during the game, reach out to U.S. Soccer staff immediately by texting SOCCER followed by your issue to 78247. Local messaging rates may apply.

Join U.S. Soccer Supporters Club
The U.S. Soccer Supporters Club is the official fan membership program for fans of the U.S. National Teams. Members receive a package of exclusive benefits.
Register today: [ussoccer.com] [mobile]

Join the e-Supporters Club
U.S. Soccer's Electronic Supporters Club allows fans to connect to U.S. Soccer via regular email updates. Sign up for free and receive the latest news via U.S. Soccer Weekly, special deals at ussoccerstore.com and ticketing email alerts to buy tickets ahead of the general public (but after U.S. Soccer SC).
Sign Up Today: [ussoccer.com]

Merchandise Locations
Exclusive U.S. Soccer gear will be on sale during this event, including the red jersey that the U.S. will be wearing. Get merchandise at one of the following locations: Sections 114, 128, 155, or 214. Programs will be sold at every retail location as well as a program seller at Gate B. To purchase gear before or after the game, please visit ussoccerstore.com.
Shop: [ussoccerstore.com]

Wear Red All Over
The U.S. will be wearing red on Saturday. Show your support for the U.S. team and your fellow fans by wearing red to the game.

Jurgen Klinsmann: on baking & his zen ways

Every once in a while, I get to interview a truly interesting athlete or coach, somebody who likes taking about more than just sport. Jurgen Klinsmann is one of those guys. And I didn't even have room to get into his views on alternative energy! Here's my story...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/06/v-fullstory/2442506/klinsmann-brings-big-picture-approach.html

Reminders: US national team holding an open-to-the-public training session TODAY (Friday) from 5-6 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium. Check www.ussoccer.com for more details.

Game tomorrow, 6 p.m., Sun Life Stadium vs. Honduras.