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.
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...
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.
It's a big week for South Florida soccer fans... Sunday: UM women vs. No. 11 North Carolina at Cobb Stadium on UM campus, 1 p.m. UM has upset Tar Heels on their last two visits, 1-0 both times.
Monday: US national team arrives and they practice Tuesday through Thursday (closed to public)
Thursday: Meet and Greet with Jozy Altidore at Mickey Byrnes Irish Pub -- 1921 Hollywood Blvd. Altidore will be interviewed, play FIFA2012 with fans and sign autographs. Also, the pub is sending a bus to the game on Saturday, $25 includes food, beer and bus. Leaves 4 p.m.
Friday: US national team practice OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, 5-6 p.m. Sun Life Stadium. Register and get more details at www.ussoccer.com
Saturday: USA vs. Honduras, 6 p.m. Sun Life Stadium.
Weekend Wrapup...A Trio of Hat Tricks! (DeRo, Messi, Ronaldo)
Dwayne DeRosario scored three goals in nine minutes for D.C. United Saturday night in a 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake. It was the fastest hat trick in MLS history and put him smack in the middle of the league MVP conversation. He scored in the 22nd, 27th, and 31st minutes and all were beauties. The first was a header, second was a 25-yard rocket, and the third was a 35-yard bending free kick to put DC up 4-0. The 33-year-old Canadian has 13 goals and 11 assists, best in MLS. Some feel, despite DeRo's numbers, that the MVP should go to Landon Donovan, Brek Shea or Kyle Beckerman. But DeRo certainly deserves a look.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo also delivered hat tricks over the weekend...Messi for Barcelona in a 5-0 win over Atletico Madrid and Ronaldo for Real Madrid in a 6-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Manchester United's perfect season is perfect no more after a 1-1 tie with Stoke. ManU was without Wayne Rooney, who leads the EPL with nine goals. Rooney injured his hamstring in training last Friday and could be out for a few weeks. He is expected to miss Tuesday's Champions League match against Basel. Man U and Manchester City are tied with a 5-0-1 record.
Good weekend for the Bradley family. Dad, Bob, the former U.S. coach, was hired as Egypt's national coach, and son, Michael, set up two goals for Chievo in Serie A in Italy. Dad's first match with Egypt is in November against Brazil.
US teammates Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu scored for Glasgow Rangers in a 4-0 win over Dunfermline.
Finally, closer to home, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers lost to Tampa Bay Mutiny, but had already clinched a home playoff game. They face Edmonton Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella left Manchester City's Carlos Tevez off the roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Venezuela. He didn't impress during Copa America, but still, a big name. Should he be on the roster?
Abby Wambach may be getting old, but she sure can score! The US veteran forward scored two goals (one header, one left-footed) in a 3-0 friendly win over Canada late Thursday night in Portland. Meanwhile, Hope Solo survived Week 1 on Dancing With the Stars, for those who care.
Tim Howard is not the only U.S. goalkeeper at Everton anymore. They just signed 39-year-old Marcus Hahnemann.
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on the road at rival Tampa Bay Saturday night in battle for sole possession of 3rd place in NASL standings. Both already clinched home field advantage for Oct. 1 playoff games. Rowdies won two and tied one against Strikers this year, so Strikers looking for payback.
I'd like to see the Miami Dolphins try this some day...:)
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey tried a new approach to curbing crowd violence at soccer games -- kick out all of the men, but let women and children attend for free.
Under new rules approved by Turkey's soccer association, only women and children under 12 will be admitted to games involving teams sanctioned for unruly fan behavior.
On Tuesday, Fenerbahce handed out free tickets and more than 41,000 women and children attended the game against Manisaspor in Istanbul. Women formed long lines around Sukru Saracoglu stadium, some carrying babies in the team's colors, for an opportunity to watch the club.
Before the game, Fenerbahce and Manisaspor players tossed flowers at the fans. The visiting team was greeted with applause, instead of the usual jeering, the Anatolia news agency reported.
"This memory will stay with me forever," Fenerbahce captain Alex de Sousa said. "It's not always that you see so many women and children in one game."
Manisaspor midfielder Omer Aysan added: "It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere."
The fans were searched by female police officers.
"This really is a historic day," Yasemin Mercil, a female member of Fenerbahce's executive board, said before the game. "For the first time in the world, only women and children will watch a game. The women know all the chants. The same anthems, the same chants will be sung."
In July, Fenerbahce was ordered to play two home games without spectators after its fans stormed the field during an exhibition game against Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk. Fans also attacked journalists for what they regarded as critical coverage of a match-fixing investigation involving the league champion.
This week, the federation changed its rules to allow women and children at the games.
Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim is among 30 suspects detained in the match-fixing case, and the club faces the threat of being stripped of its title and possible relegation. It also lost its chance to play in the Champions League this season.
Some women showed support for Yildirim, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his photograph.
"We have to thank the ladies for coming to support us," Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo told Lig TV. "It's difficult playing without the fans."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press