Son of soccertv.com?

Thanks to a comment left by led blimp, it’s possible the predecessor to soccertv.com is up and running.  Even this isn’t what came out of the purchase of the legendary Oliver Tse’s tv-following service, it looks a bit of all right.

Livesoccertv.com

It’s taking a little getting used to the layout, and it may not yet be fully operational (but, hey, the 3/4 completed Death Star was nothing to trifle with), but I’ll be giving it a chance.

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Rating the SuperDraft for Colorado & Columbus

(UPDATED: I missed a couple maneuvers on SuperDraft day…stupid Draft Tracker.  The Crew picked up a couple picks in the 20’s and, with them, forward Ricardo Pierre-Louis and midfielder/defender Ryan Miller.  See here for details.)

Well, the 2008 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft is over. Or close enough to for me to type out this little post, which, in the grand scheme, is a blank slate with a couple words stenciled on it. I may not always be informative, but at least I’m honest. As promised, I’m going to look at the day’s work put in by my two 2008 adoptees, the Columbus Crew and the Colorado Rapids. Here’s what each team picked up today (drawn from MLSnet.com’s SuperDraft Tracker, which is doing much better now, thank you, since it stopped updating every minute or so):

Colorado Rapids
#5. Ciaran O’Brien, M
#36. Adrian Chevannes, D
#47. Brian Grazier, M
#49. Scott Campbell, M

Columbus Crew
#6. Andy Iro, D
#20. George Josten, F
#48. Steven Lenhart, M

I just checked my pre-SuperDraft posts (Crew and Rapids) to confirm that neither team traded away their spots; looks like they both stood pat. Given where their respective picks sat in the queue, Columbus had the better hand to play, but, perhaps no less significantly, they also chose players more people had in their heads going into the draft.

Given how (very, very) little I know about these players, I’m just going to pass on the few things I’ve read and make every effort – Scout’s honor – to pay close attention to all the players involved…assuming they don’t all wind up playing in the reserve league in ’08…I’m looking at you on this one, Colorado. Somewhat predictably, I haven’t branched out a hell of a lot from the two pundits I leaned on in the run-up to the SuperDraft – Buzz Carrick for his Top 20 prospects article and Ives Galarcep for his mock draft – so I’ll be leaning on them again (if by some chance I meet either man in person, I definitely owe them several pints). So, on with the show. This is, literally, it: Continue reading

Yanquis Update: US to Play Friendly vs Spain

Jeff’s Post about the Yanquis needing more may have been answered.

Today, Spanish gaffer Luis Aragonés announced that Spain will play a friendly against US on June 4th.  The location of the match is yet to be determined, but give the US some credit for taking on a European ‘force’ in football. (Note ‘force’ as Spain are the perinnial underachievers in international football).

Just wanted to get this out there right for all to see.  I’ll write my thoughts later.

(First) Thoughts on 2008 MLS SuperDraft (Focus on C’bus and Rapids)

Part of me wants to say the highlight of the whole thing was the ESPN commercial with the dude on the fishing boat. Mind, that was a fantastic commercial, but I now accept that I haven’t missed much by not seeing past SuperDrafts. That’s not to say there weren’t real, draft-related highlights, a quick rundown of which will appear below. And I’ll wrap up with some thoughts on the first-round picks made by my two adopted teams, the Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids.

I’ll start, however, with the first 14 picks…assuming I can remember the final three; MLSnet.com’s Draft Tracker is dragging ass for some reason. Right, the top 14:

1. Chance Myers, M (Kansas City Wizards)
2. Brek Shea, M/D (FC Dallas)
3. Anthony Beltran, M/D (Real Salt Lake)
4. Sean Franklin, M/D (Los Angeles Galaxy)
5. Ciaran O’Brien, M (Colorado Rapids)*
6. Andy Iro, D (Columbus Crew)*
7. Patrick Nyarko, F (Chicago Fire)
8. Josh Lambo, GK (FC Dallas)
9. Julius James, D (Toronto FC)
10. Pat Phelan, M/D (Toronto FC)
11. Roger Espinosa, M (Kansas City Wizards)
12. Dominic Cervi, GK (Chicago Fire)
13. Rob Valentino, D (New England Revolution)
14. David Horst, D (Real Salt Lake)

Now, some thoughts on the picks, the broadcast, and, for me, one hell of a surprise. Continue reading

The NSCAA Convention: Yanqui Whisperings, King of Commentators

Subscribing to the opinion that watching Fox Soccer Channel’s live broadcast from the NSCAA Convention represented some kind of desperate, obsessive-nerd low, I plans to skip it.  I don’t know what I thought they’d do.   Maybe I worried they would sit in on the seminars and whisper commentary into the camera, which is something like reading the scripts to your favorite TV show instead of watching it.

That’s not what happened, of course, something I discovered courtesy of a pile of laundry (I watch TV while I fold and, whoo-ey, there wasn’t shit on TV).  No, I got to see Christopher Sullivan get up in the grill of United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati when they testily rehashed the soccer debate concerning aesthetics versus results; my thanks to the dude from Cleveland who formulated the barely coherent question that inspired the moment.  Sunil was only one of the few “soccer celebs” I caught during the broken up half hour worth of the show I watched – all I could honestly handle, in spite of somewhat enjoying the interview with Frank Yallop.

Still, I took two things from watching.  First, and apropos to yesterday’s post on the U.S. Men’s team needing more games ahead of World Cup qualifying, Gulati suggested U.S. fans can expect at least two more friendlies in the first half of 2008; he penciled in May as the likely time, too late for my tastes, but better than a kick in the head.  He also speculated that Bradley would start fielding something like the line-up we’ll use in qualifying during the February 6 game against Mexico.  This saddens me a bit, because I’m not yet ready to settle on starters.  More important, though, Mexico seems like a great chance to see how some of those bubble players handle a super-charged game, something the U.S. Men reliably get against a Mexican side.

The second item is more trivial: GOD, I love Max Bretos.  And I love him for the precise reason that everyone else hates him.  His talent for awkward questions, for conversation-stopping compliments, are unrivaled in professional sports commentary.  Who else would start an interview – this one with the San Jose Earthquakes Frank Yallop – by telling the interviewee, “You look like you’ve lost weight.  Not that you were fat before.”  Who else would note the tension between Sullivan and Gulati by jocularly noting, “I thought we’d have to separate you two?”  Who else wrap the same segment by saying to Gulati, “You took some rapid-fire questions, but came out, as always, smelling like a rose?” – a phrase that translates loosely as, “it sure seems like you stepped in some shit this year; way to cover it up with scented spray!”

If it were up to me, Bretos would bring that gidddy, foot-in-mouth awkwardness to every soccer-related event.  It gives you something else to listen for when the action gets slow.