Sunday, October 30, 2011

Strikers, the Day After

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers lost the NASL Championship series to Minnesota, but won a heapload of respect from the league and fans in recent weeks. Considering there was a monsoon at Lockhart Stadium just before Saturday night's match, the crowd of 6,800 was very enthusiastic. I truly believe they'd have reached 9,000-10,000 if the weather had cooperated.

Ray Hudson, the former Strikers great and Miami Fusion coach, admitted he had not attended a match all season, "even though I live a half-mile from here,'' but he liked what he saw. The franchise took important steps in this playoff run, and if ownership keeps listening to Tim Robbie, next year could be really fun.

Here's the story from last night, for those you didn't see it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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.

 

Friday, October 07, 2011

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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Meet Jozy, watch US team practice!

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.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DeRo's 9-minute hat trick!

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.