Apr 30, 2008 

Talkin' Shep, Part II: Khano Smith

Red Bulls New York color commentator, Shep Messing, is known for his gruff and poignant remarks. He also isn't one to shy away from speaking his mind. Here's an example:

"Cry baby! I've never liked his attitude."

As New England Revolution midfielder, Khano Smith, was substituted during a game against the Red Bulls April 20, he made an unhappy gesture towards his coach.

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Apr 29, 2008 

Quakes Fail To Grab Points In The Big Apple


At East Rutherford, N.J.

NY -- Mike Magee 1 (penalty kick) 79
NY -- Jozy Altidore 2 (John Wolyniec 1) 95

SJ -- Jason Hernandez (caution; Reckless Foul) 36
SJ -- Ramiro Corrales (caution; Professional Foul) 61
SJ -- Nick Garcia (caution; Pushing, Holding) 87

6 GK Joe Cannon-Not much action; nearly had hand on PK
6 D Jason Hernandez-Continues to play well on def. and off.
5 D Ryan Cochrane-Penalty on Altidore iffy, but a good foul
7 D Nick Garcia-Two big time saves; pestered Altidore all day
5 D James Riley-Improved play; got involved offensively.
6 M Ronnie O'Brien-Wasn't able to find space on the flank
5 M Ned Grabavoy-RBNY shutdown midfield for him, early sub.
5 M Ramiro Corrales-Couldn't string together a pass to box.
6 M Ivan Guerrero-Good performance, seemed a tad out of place
5 F Kei Kamara-This time around, didn't have any opp.
4 F Gavin Glinton-Ineffective; slowly make room for Peguero?
5 M Joe Vide (46)-Good sub that just didn't work out.
4 F Jean Peguero (67)-Inauspicious start; hardly got a touch
5 M Shea Salinas (81)-Hardly knew he was on the field.

5 GK Jon Conway-Wasn't tested; nice tip on floating header.
6 D Jeff Parke-Open header in box set up scoring opp.
5 D Kevin Goldthwaite-Gave SJ a bit of their own med.-pestered
6 D Chris Leitch-Good reason last 1/3 of field had no space
6 D Seth Stammler-Quiet, but strong performance in the back
5 M Sinisa Ubiparipovich-Bosnian played ineffectually
6 M Dave van den Bergh-Looked poised to break open right side
6 M Luke Sassano-Rookie has started every game; talent shows
5 M Claudio Reyna-"El capitan de America" doesn't care anymore
6 F Jozy Altidore-Whiny performance; beautiful touh on goal
6 F John Wolyniec-Journeyman always shows up and contributes
5 M Mike Magee (46)-Nailed PK and put pressure on SJ with speed
5 M Danleigh Borman (72)-Sub hassled tired SJ backline.
5 D Carlos Mendes (75)-Helped keep pressure on Quakes offense

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Apr 26, 2008 

Talkin' Shep, Part I

Red Bulls New York color commentator, Shep Messing, is known for his gruff and poignant remarks. He also isn't one to shy away from speaking his mind. Here's an example:

"That's where the similarities end"

Messing commenting on FC Dallas' Brazilian midfielder, Ricardinho,who idolizes the great Ronaldinho so much that he emulates the star with the diminutive form of his own name, wears golden boots and number 10 jersey on his back.

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Apr 20, 2008 

San Jose Finally Puts Biscuit In The Basket

San Jose's Ronnie O'Brien scores the first goal of the season

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Quakes Parlay Tough Loss Into First Victory


At Commerce City, CO

SJ -- Ronnie O'Brien 1 (unassisted) 43
SJ -- Kei Kamara 1 (Ned Grabavoy 1, Ronnie O'Brien 1) 61

SJ -- Nick Garcia (caution; Persistent Infringement) 42
SJ -- Joe Cannon (caution; Delaying a Restart) 73

6 GK Joe Cannon-Clean sheet; steady, came up big on Gomez's blistering volley in 2nd
7 D Nick Garcia-Steady job; Rapids attack never materialized with him at center back
6 D James Riley-Best game thus far; did well when he dribbled towards top of box
6 D Ryan Cochrane-Vet played typically steady team defense
6 D Jason Hernandez-Speed was still evident late; tracked Clark wonderfully
6 M Ivan Guerrero-Work rate was high; defense early in 2nd held off Rapids brief run
7 M Ronnie O'Brien-At times, owned the right side of the attack; tenacious goal
7 M Ned Grabavoy-Catalyst for Kamara's goal
6 M Ramiro Corrales-Played like his impressive pre-season games
6 F Kei Kamara-Finally score! Was able to find open space on the ground for 1st time
5 F Gavin Glinton-Still not putting away chances, but looks ready to breakout
5 D Joe Vide-Couldn't be found, but his job was to hold the lead and they did
5 F Shea Salinas-Speed was highly effective with Rapids defense on the ropes
5 M Ryan Johnson-Late game sub didn't make a mark in short time

6 GK Bouna Coundoul (GK)-Not as good as week 3, but defense also left him hanging
5 D Facundo Erpen-Kept getting turned around; let Kamara blow by him on goal
5 D Jose Burciaga-Quakes limited his offensive runs well
5 D John DiRaimondo-Best of iffy defensive effort
5 D Stephen Keel-Could have defended O'Brien goal; out of position a few times
6 M Christian Gomez-Like Blanco a week ago, attacking MF was handcuffed all game
6 M Terry Cooke-Led early 2nd half comeback, but wasn't able to penetrate the box
6 M Nick LaBrocca-Surprise player plays hard-nosed defense
5 M Kosuke Kimura-Ineffective, pulled early in second
4 F Omar Cummings-Ineffective striker gets pulled early
6 F Colin Clark-Showed frenetic pace, if not, out of control
5 M Tom McManus (69)-Ineffective; made one run unimpressive run late
6 M Rafael Gomes-Good first touches all night, but never connected with anyone
5 F Herculez Gomez-Showed good pace, but never got a good opp. on goal

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Landy Cakes Says The F-Word

Speaking of Donovan. Anger and Landy-Cakes have rarely been mentioned in the same sentence. After Houston defender Patrick Ianni gave Landon a shiver to the turf, the girlish Galaxy forward cursed him out and stomped up the field. Minutes later he delivered a flying header in the net with Ianni covering him. Instead of celebrating, Donovan hovered over Ianni and berated the younster reminiscent of the famous photo of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston. I'm sure if you could hear the audio of Landon's exchange with Ianni, the high-pitched squeking wouln't have seemed so tough.


Apr 19, 2008 

Altidore Lashes Out At His Elders

First, it was Landon Donovan who was anointed the man to take the U.S. national team to the next level. Then it was Freddy Adu and to some degree, Eddie Johnson was to be the go-to-guy for the United States. Start thinking about 19-year-old Red Bulls phenom, Jozy Altidore, as the most viable candidate in years.

There's something different about Altidore. For instance, within a two minute span early in the first half of the New England/New York game, the running bull tore through the Revolution defense 1 v. 4 and enleashed a rocket for the game's first goal.

More importantly, two minutes later, Altidore tussled with the Revolution's Shalrie Joseph, one of the club's veteran defenders, in addition, to being 10 years his senior. That sort of grittiness and talent in one American striker is rare, if not, unknown in this country.

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Apr 16, 2008 

The Shot Of Shea Salinas' Nightmares

Young San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas is probably still having nightmares over this missed opened net in the 93rd minute of their match against Chicago.

Watching the replay, it seems the Genesis of the shot being lifted over the net begin with Salinas' approach. His angle to the ball is the reason he only see the near side of the net above goalkeeper Jon Busch, instead of the entirely open far side of the net. Of course, youthful overexuberance is a very good reason.

Chad Barrett's goal off a rebound from Joe Cannon

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Apr 15, 2008 

Earthquakes/Fire Game Ratings


At Oakland, Calif. (A-20,038)

CHI--Chad Barrett 2 (unassisted) 19th.

CHI -- Bakary Soumare (caution; Reckless Foul) 55
SJ -- Ryan Cochrane (caution; Reckless Foul) 65
SJ -- James Riley (caution; Pushing, Holding) 94

GK 5 Joe Cannon-Not many chances; allowed the crucial rebound on the game-winner
D 6 Jason Hernandez-Another under-the-radar performance
D 6 Nick Garcia-Had a string of nice open field defensive stop, especially in the air
D 5 James Riley-Unwilling to advance ball on left side; still, improved over week one
D 6 Ryan Cochrane-Led a a strong team defense vs. Fire; got in yellow card trouble
M 6 Ramiro Corrales-Neutralized Blanco; still can't distribute the ball in close space
M 6 Ivan Guerrero-Like Corrales, was sticking to Blanco on every touch
M 6 Ned Grabavoy-Some excellent chances on goal; looks poised to put one in net
M 6 Ronnie O'Brien-He's getting more comfortable after injury-riddled season.
F 5 Gavin Glinton-Brought some life to attack; seems more confident than Kamara
F 4 Kei Kamara-Can't say he's not getting chances; needs a decisive shot on goal
F 5 Shea Salinas (59)-Still looks like a young doe; open net miss may linger
M 4 Ryan Johnson (79)-Hasn't shown much in two substitutions.
M n/a John Cunliffe (85)

GK 6 Jon Busch-Peppered by surprising SJ attack; always in the right spot
D 5 Wilman Conde-Showed some aggressiveness; best of weak D effort
D 5 Gonzalo Segares-Was run ragged by constant attack; did not bend, though
D 5 Bakary Soumare- Just adequate; showed nice teamwork sticking up for Blanco
D 5 Dasan Robinson-Late entry for injured Prideaux, played well on short notice
M 6 Justin Mapp-Disappeared at times, but still showed amazing creativity
M 5 Logan Pause-Performed well early on goal; disappeared thereafter
M 6 Stephen King-Very quick and active; needs time to gel with Blanco, though
M 5 Cuahetemoc Blanco-Agitated on every touch; Quakes neutralized him
F 6 Chad Barrett-Excellent finishing on goal; playing like a true sniper
F 6 Tomasz Frankowski-Delivered fantastic balls in box; surprising distributor
F 5 Calen Carr (61)-Spindly player brought some energy late during a warm day
F 4 John Thorrington (73)-In a defensive stance, went unnoticed
D 5 Daniel Woolard (79)-Sub brought some flexibility back to exhausted backline

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Week 3 Best XI



Apr 13, 2008 

Ubiparipovich! Beckham And Is Everybody a 'Patron'?


The Red Bull New York midfielder, Sinisa Ubiparipovich, has to be the most fun name for an announcer to pronounce in MLS. The Bosnian is in his first season after a stint at the University of Akron and, according to the Red Bulls website, enjoys watching Seinfeld and listening to Coldplay. Let's not hold that against him. Everybody!

Ooo-bee-para-PO-vich! Ooo-bee-para-PO-vich! Ooo-bee-para-PO-vich!

If you don't have Landon Donovan on your fantasy team, get him soon before he costs too much. In their first two matches, it's becoming very obvious that David Beckham can pick out the diminutive Landy Cakes at will. Keep in mind, though, that Becks has unleashed pinpoint volley's against the past two expansion teams, but it's going to be exceedingly difficult to ask MLS defenders to stop four or five breakaways that start with a Beckham long ball and come away with a victory as Toronto accomplished Sunday.

About that L.A./Toronto FC game that shows up as "Futbol MLS" on my TiVo. If you no habla espanol, then you've witnessed, but not understood, the most entertaining game of each of the first three weeks. If a Spanish audio feed is available on your television's SAP function for many televised sporting events, then why can't an English feed be available for a match on Telefutura?

Another thing: while covering the Earthquakes/Fire home opener Saturday afternoon in Oakland, I couldn't help but notice that the Spanish language contingent of journalist and TV/radio reporters greet each other by saying, "Eh, patron!"

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Messing Doesn't Mince Words With MLS All-Star Game

Red Bull New York color man, Shep Messing is anything but shy. During the days Pele and the New York Cosmos, Messing--then a goalkeeper--once posed nude for Playgirl, so it's no surprise that he would rip the MLS All-Star Game featuring English Premier League side West Ham United in Toronto this summer.

"It's a joke," Messing said during Saturday's FC Dallas/Red Bulls game on the MSG Network, "If it wasn't in Toronto, who would care about West Ham?"

The Hammers currently sit in tenth place--dead center in the EPL standings--a gaudy 36 points behind first place Manchester United.

So which came first? Did MLS prefer to have the game in the Toronto to thank the league's most rabid fan base or are Toronto FC fans being used to fill the stadium  because the league could only line up a totally irrelevant English side for its showcase match?

Two years ago, the same could have been said about Fulham traveling to the United States, but that side had Americans Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra to promote. This year? An aging Freddie Ljungberg?

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Apr 8, 2008 

Week 2 Best XI



Apr 5, 2008 

Quakes Look Like MLS Debutantes In Loss To L.A.


At Carson, Calif.
LA -- David Beckham 1 (Landon Donovan 1) 9
LA -- Landon Donovan 1 (David Beckham 1, Alan Gordon 1) 37

GK 6-Joe Cannon-Despite two goals against, came up big at time to keep game close
D 4-James Riley-Looked completely lost early on; improved enough to stay in the game
D 5-Ryan Cochrane-Defensive gaffes cost Quakes two goals and the game
D 5-Nick Garcia-Captain needed to be more involved in L.A.'s off. build up
D 7-Hernandez-Consistently steady; surprisingly effective moving up in the attack
M 6-Ned Grabavoy-Vet held down his side of pitchr4
M 5-Ramiro Corrales-Unable to distribute the ball in the midfield
M 6-Ronnie O'Brien-Played on the wings, but got little help all night
M 6-Ivan Guerrero-Underrated. Stopped L.A.'s buildup the last 60 minutes
F 4-Shea Salinas-Non-existent. Showed zero chemistry with Kamara
F 5-Kei Kamara-Repeatedly unable to break free on long balls; good pace, though
F 5-Gavin Glinton (57 min)-Uneffective after initial burst of energy
F 5-John Cuncliffe (69)-Displayed only energy all night, but could not get a touch
M n/a-Ryan Johnson (85)

GK 6-Steve Cronin-never tested
D 5-Brandon McDonald-Starting for Abel Xavier, showed possible depth
D 6-GregVanney-Steady play throughout; shutdown already anemic SJ attack
D 7-Chris Klein-New position. Played quickly, smart and dominant on LA right side
D 5-Jay Randolph-Speed was sorely lacking; SJ was unable to exploit it
D 6-Ely Allen-Rookie played much better than SJ veterans in midfield
M 7-David Beckham-Healthy. Able to get wide open offensively; netted slick goal
M 5-Sean Franklin-Shaky. Could have been exploited by more talented attack
M 6-Landon Donovan-As usually disappeared. Nice touch on Beck's goal
M 6-Alvaro Pires-Clumsy. Should have stuck Beckham's blazing free kick
F 6-Alan Gordon-Able to roam all over the box. Best match in a while
D n/a-Michael Gavin (86)

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