Of all the amazing goals I have watched in my life, this one may be the most incredible -- not to mention inspiring. That's all I'm going to say. Watch for yourself.
Miami may not have an MLS team anymore, but apparently it still has MLS fans. The league has discovered that Miami is one of the top three television markets for MLS games among non-MLS cities, along with San Diego and Atlanta.
In fact, the league is reaching out to Miami fans with T.V. ads targeted to this market promoting Thursday's Philadelphia Union v. DC United game (8 p.m., ESPN2) on local Comcast channels. Commercials are scheduled to appear locally on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, FX, USA, Discovery and the History Channel.
So, if you're watching your favorite history documentary tonight and an MLS commerical pops up, you now know why.
Do you watch MLS games on TV? How often?
The US national team faces a critical World Cup qualifier tonight at 8 against Jamaica (ESPN2) in Columbus, Ohio. The Jamaicans beat the Americans 2-1 on Friday night in Kingston, taking the lead in the group. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Clint Dempsey and the rest of the guys say they realize how important this game is. Read more here...
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A reporter asked U.S. men's national coach Jurgen
Klinsmann Monday what it would be like if his team were to lose to Jamaica for
the second time in five days.
"No, we won't (lose),'' Klinsmann said with a smile. "Don't worry.''
A lot of people are concerned, however, after the Americans lost 2-1 against
host Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier on Friday night - their first loss ever to
the Reggae Boyz.
That defeat dropped the U.S. into a tie for second in Group A. Jamaica
(2-0-1) leads, followed by the U.S. and Guatemala, both 1-1-1, and then Antigua
and Barbuda (0-2-1) round it out. The top two teams advance to next year's
six-nation regional finals, with three of those moving on to the 2014 World Cup
With games remaining against Guatemala in Kansas City, and a road trip to
Antigua, yes, there is reason to be somewhat on edge. Klinsmann, however, said
his team knows what is at stake.
"Pressure is always there in professional sports,'' he said. "Obviously, we
wanted to get points in Jamaica, to be in a better kind of position than we are
right now. We need tomorrow night, which is our goal and which we are focused on
very strongly. It would put us in good position in that group.''
Forward Clint Dempsey said the loss at Jamaica's home field, called The
Office, certainly grabbed the team's full attention.
"It's no different if you look in years past. It was difficult getting points
on the road, but we were able to come together and get important results at home
to put us back in good position,'' said Dempsey, who scored 35 seconds into his
first competitive match in three months - the fastest goal ever in U.S. World
Cup qualifying. "That'll be no different if we can get the job done on Tuesday.
We're excited about the challenge and everybody's ready and the focus is to get
Veteran Jozy Altidore said at Sunday's practice if the Americans don't win,
"It gets pretty scary.''
The U.S. should have some reinforcements on hand, however.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard collided with Jamaica's Luton Shelton 8 minutes into
the second half and left with a lower right leg contusion. He did not
participate in an open practice Sunday here, but Klinsmann said he would be 100
percent and ready to go for the rematch.
Defender Steve Cherundolo missed Friday's game with a strained right calf but
is expected to be available. Another defender, Clarence Goodson, is suspended
for an accumulation of yellow cards but will likely be replaced by Carlos
Bocanegra, the longtime captain who was held out of Friday's game.
Klinsmann said Bocanegra is "hungry'' to see action.
"Carlos is a very, very important piece of the whole puzzle,'' he said.
Bocanegra declared himself fit and ready to go. He also said his teammates
were prepared to prove themselves after the disappointment in the Caribbean.
"We know we're a good team,'' he said. "We didn't have a very good game on
Friday. It can't get much worse than that. We're still confident that we'll play
the game that we can.''
The match is a sellout at Crew Stadium, home of the MLS franchise in
Dempsey said the match will be made even more special because it falls on the
11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. He was a student at
Furman University that day and recalled watching the horror enfold on a TV set
in a dining hall.
"As a country, we always remember that and it's impacted everyone's life,''
he said. "Everybody remembers where they were on that day.''
The U.S. Soccer Federation selected the venue because of a loyal following
and past success. And so far, so good. After all, more than 3,000 cheering fans
showed up on Sunday for the American open practice.
The U.S. side has a record of 5-0-3 overall and 4-0-2 in World Cup qualifiers
in Crew Stadium.
By Michelle Kaufman
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers can clinch an NASL playoff berth with a
home win or a tie Saturday night against the Puerto Rico Islanders at
Lockhart Stadium. The Strikers (9-9-7) are tied with the Carolina
Railhawks for fourth place with 34 points, two points behind the
Islanders. If they finish third or fourth, they will host a
first-round playoff game Sat. Sept. 29.
A season-high crowd of 5,659 showed up last week for the game against
the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and the Strikers would love a similar
atmosphere for Saturday's critical match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
The game, being billed as Legacy Night, will feature a tribute to
former Strikers players -- including Ray Hudson -- and ticket prices
will be sold at throwback prices, $7 general admission, $9 reserved
“We know how important this game is, first to qualify for the
playoffs, but also to try and get us seeding to have a home game in
the playoffs,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore. “We know Puerto Rico
has had some results that didn’t go their way so we have to be
prepared for their best game. We are focused on those things that have
made us a good team over the last month including defending as a team,
creating more chances and finishing those chances when we get them.”
The Strikers are 1-1-1 against Puerto Rico. The last time they played,
Aug. 18, it ended in a scoreless tie.
Puerto Rico is coming off a 3-1 home loss to the RailHawks.
The Strikers will be without Michael Tetteh, who received a red card
for violent conduct in the game against Tampa Bay and was given a
two-game suspension by the league.
No way to know until gametime what the coaches have planned, but here's a guess as to the lineups for both teams (note that Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley are injured and didn't make the trip, and Jamaica did not call up Marlon King):
USA: GK - Tim Howard. D- Steve Cherundolo, Carlos
Bocanegra, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson MF - Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman; Clint Dempsey (or Danny Williams), Jermaine Jones F - Hérculez Gómez (or Terrence Boyd), Jozy Altidore.
Jamaica: GK - Dwayne Miller; D - Lovel Palmer, Shavar Thomas, Adrian
Mariappa, Nyron Nosworthy MF - Dane Richards, Jason Morrison, JeVaughn Watson, Ryan Johnson F - Omar Cummings, Luton Shelton.
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean
Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt
DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson
(Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis),
Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos)
GOALKEEPERS: Jacomeno Barrett (Montego Bay United), Duwayne
Kerr (Strommen), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska)
DEFENDERS: Andrae Campbelll (Notodden), Adrian Mariappa
(Reading), Nyron Nosworthy (Watford), Lovel Palmer (Portland Timbers), Jermaine
Taylor (Houston Dynamo), Shavar Thomas
(Montreal Impact), Dicoy Williams (Toronto FC), O’Brian Woodbine (VPS)
MIDFIELDERS: Rodolph Austin (Leeds United), Jason Morrison
(Aaelsund), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United), Dane Richards (Vancouver
Whitecaps), Joel Senior (Harbour View), Errol Stevens (Arnett Gardens),
JeVaughn Watson (Houston Dynamo)
FORWARDS: Kavin Bryan (Vicem Hai Phong), Omar Cummings
(Colorado Rapids), Ryan Johnson (Toronto FC), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver
Whitecaps), Luton Shelton (Karabukspor, Turkey), Tramaine Stewart (Aalesund)
Good news: The supremely talented Phil Schoen will be calling the US-Jamaica game Friday night, along with former US player Marcelo Balboa and Robbie Earle.
Bad news: Unless you have DirecTV (in HD) or DISH (in SD), you will not be able to watch the game at home. BeIN Sport, the new Al Jazeera-owned soccer network, now holds the rights to US qualifiers, Spanish league, French league, Italian league, and regular cable providers have not signed on yet.
Dear US National team:
Welcome to Miami in September...rain, lightning, thunder, suffocating humidity.
Jurgen Klinsmann and his US team are in town for a few days training for Friday's World Cup qualifier at Jamaica -- and the second leg of the home-and-home series Sept. 11 at Columbus, Ohio. They certainly are getting a taste of tropical weather.
A lightning storm moved Tuesday's workout at FIU indoors to the basketball gym, where word is Tim Howard and Sean Johnson showed their hoops skills. Howard was a promising basketball player in high school before choosing soccer. Afterward, Howard posed for photos with a group of giddy FIU women's soccer players.
Clint Dempsey is enjoying being back on the field after his drama-filled summer. Read about it here:
The US has never won in Jamaica, and the Americans would like to continue their streak of winning where they hadn't won before: Mexico, Italy. The team is scheduled to train once more in Miami on Wednesday (weather permitting) and then head to Kingston.
What are your thoughts on Friday's game? Can the US get three points off the Reggae Boyz on Jamaican soil?