New York Red Bulls: Gregory Coupet to NY?

Don’t think about it too hard. Take it all with a grain of salt. The 35-year old French international recently signed a contract with Lyon until 2010. That would make him 37 if he were to come over on a free transfer. “It’s a desire Greg has”…meaning, at least it’s not forced on him by his American wife…(that was a reference to Sheva, not Coupet – who doesn’t have an American wife).

He has been with Lyon for over 10 years and is still considered the number one goalkeeper for France heading into this summer’s European Championship. We’ll monitor this, but I can’t see it happening…

One thing it would do is piss Jon Conway off. Let’s hope Conway plays well enough to warrant his starting spot…

Red Bulls: Expanding Coverage, Brunner, Oscar, and a call for depth.

Along with Jeff’s extensive coverage of Columbus and Colorado and the MLS in general, I decided to pick my “local” team (until Philly gets arrives in 2010) to cover. Center Holds It was just issued their first press credential (solely based on the merit of this blog)…yep, for a blog, which means I will be getting my ass to and from Giants Stadium to join Ives, Nat, and many others in bringing New York Red Bulls info to everyone. Hopefully, we have some Red Bulls fans on here.

Expect quotes, live blogs, developments, etc.

Couple – by now – well known tidbits from today’s news:

– Check out Metrofanatic’s coverage of RBNY’s Media Day. I especially enjoy the Jozy Altidore interview, where they try several different ways of getting Jozy to announce that he is in fact leaving for Europe before the end of the year.

– The Bulls are expecting at least 2-3 more foreign signatures in the next month or so. One as early as next week. That target is apparently someone who is “playing” in Europe. They have completed the signing of 31-year old Colombian striker Oscar Echeverry who last played with Atletico Nacional from 2004-2007.

– Jeff’s Eastern Conference Preview tags JCO and New York as “fillers”, ESPN Soccer has them making the playoffs, 4th in the East, 7th overall. WV Hooligan says about the same, citing depth as their biggest weakness. You ask my opinion – and I don’t have it up yet – but watching these guys play all year, and the turnover is minimal, I see us 2nd in the East again, 4th overall. Projected lineups and season previews of all teams are going up here. You think my pick is bold? Check out this guys.

–  The New York Post has now jumped in the Red Bulls/MLS media circle with “Extra Time”. Brian Lewis is doing the reporting. Informative and to the point, it’s more soccer coverage. Looks like the press box is a going to be a bit more crowded this season.

Buzz Carrick over at the FC Dallas’ 3rd Degree predicts that central defender and RBNY’s first round 2008 Superdraft pick Eric Brunner will be rookie of the year.

10. The Rookie of the Year will be Eric Brunner of the Red Bulls.  It’s going to be a three horse race between Brunner, Anthony Beltran in Salt Lake, and Chance Myers in KC.  I’m giving Brunner the nod as he’s a natural fit for the LCB spot in the 3 man NY back line.  He’ll also score a couple nice goals on headers.

Can’t say I agree, but he did say for many he was goin’ out “on a limb”. What other rookies should be added to that list? Brek Shea of FC Dallas? Shea Salinas in San Jose? Julius James in Toronto? It looks like Chance Myers will be the only one certain of a starting spot heading into the start of the 2008 season.

Shevchenko to the MLS Rumors Resurface

The UK’s Mirror have re-opened the wound that is the Abrahomivich, Mourinho, Shevchenko rift.

Many blame the expensive Sheva blow-up as the straw that broke the camel’s back between Mourinho and Abrahamovich. Shevchenko just wants to play and right now – even with Mourinho gone – he still doesn’t. At what point is Chelsea going to cut their losses on a $60 million investment? Apparently, Sheva fears sooner rather than later. With the January transfer window fast approaching, Chelsea is ready to listen to offers, but there is one catch – Didier Drogba is leaving for a little over a month to play for Cote D’Ivoire in the African Nations Cup. Therefore, Chelsea could stick with Shevchenko – give him a month and be stuck with him the rest of the year – or bring another high-profile striker. Many are predicting Bolton’s Nicholas Anelka (whose wide-open miss against Liverpool this past Sunday was unexplainable). Either way, Sheva’s days at Stamford Bridge are numbered. 5 goals in all competitions this year won’t excite anyone, regardless of price tag.

The Mirror is reporting that the Red Bulls and the Revolution are the two teams pulling for a Shevchenko swoop, but past rumors have confirmed that D.C. United are just as likely to get in on the chase.  

At 31, is this the time that Sheva looks to make his final US career move? Or will Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan, etc. come in and snap him up for a couple years?

Red Bulls – Revs Live Blog

FINAL TIME – It’s gonna be a tough one at Gillette Stadium next Saturday. Thoughts?

90′ – Riley in for Wells Thompson who was pretty much non-existent out there

88′ – Adam Cristman in for Pat Noonan, first Revs sub; Mathis also came in for Claudio Reynawho had a decent day; three minutes of added time

82′ – Leitch is already beaten to the ball by Twellman who fires a close-range shot on Conway; Conway parries it away

78′ – Chris Leitch is coming on for Dave van den Bergh who looks like he picked up a knock, limping on the left leg

73′ – blatant push on Jozy Altidore earns Parkhurst a yellow but effectively stopped the flow of the counter attack

72′ – Seth Stammler tries to clear a dangerous cross and almost powers it past Jon Conway into his own net

68′ – Ubiparipovic in for Doe as Doe was woeful; maybe Sinisa can put on a technical clinic on how to cross a ball as that department is clearly suffering after the half

60′ – cross by van den Bergh started a scrum in the middle in which it looked like Angel was pushed and pulled every which way, but he still almost got a shot off – the game is definitely more back and forth now

58′ – Noonan was sprung on a breakaway but opted for a square pass instead of a shot on Conway; the ball was cleared awkwardly by Jeff Parke; less than a minute later Shalrie Joseph ripped a close shot from about 30 yards out – missed wide right

54′ – Angel and Noonan scuffle when Noonan elbows the Colombian right in the noggin going up for a headball; New England still not working well together but it doesn’t really matter as New York can’t score

50′ – Dane Richards has forgotten how to effectively cross again.

Davy Arnaud goal in 33′ for Kansas City. 1-0 KCW.

46′ – No changes. Not even Francis Doe out despite his suspect play. Clarence Goodson has put Dallas ahead in Frisco against the defending champs.

Halftime – the Red Bulls dominated offensively but without a goal so far and New England potent on the counter, a collective breath is held every time the ball does find New England’s front men – it should be an interesting second half, there are shades of early season New York here as Reyna is firing on all cylinders and van den Bergh is fitting in nicely at left back

Continue reading

MLS: Every Teams’ Remaining Schedule + Analysis (because I like you and hate me)

Not to go all nelly on all y’all – though I can do that from time to time – Fire_Juve10 acted as my muse for today.  After reading (and saying nice things about…yay!) my post on last weekend’s Chicago v. Columbus, he listed Chicago’s upcoming games.  Prior to seeing those, I would have listed Chicago the clear favorites for the eighth and final post-season spot – a notion that precludes such entirely plausible scenarios as a third consecutive flameout from the Kansas City Wizards (just answer this: is their last game against Red Bull New York?).

So, inspired by that, I’m listing all the upcoming games for all the teams in Major League Soccer (MLS) – a decision that necessitates ditching the Daily Sweeper for today.  Also, I did think of linking to the source material – e.g. the “schedule” part of each team’s official website – before thinking about the time it would take to add all the links.  So, if you want to check my work – and I’d recommend it – just go to your favorite team’s page and click on “schedule.”

Here goes – and, shockingly, I’ll sneak in some analysis.  And, one more thing, here’s the key I’ll use to shorten team names:

Chicago Fire: CF
Chivas USA: CUSA
Colorado Rapids: CR
Columbus Crew: Crew (don’t ask)
DC United: DCU
FC Dallas: FCD
Houston Dynamo: HD
Kansas City Wizards: KC
Los Angeles Galaxy: LA
New England Revolution: NE
Red Bull New York: RBNY
Real Salt Lake: RSL
Toronto FC: TFC

Right…now, here goes: Continue reading

Easing into MLSWeek(end) 23; It’s Prediction Season

Weeks go by that end with a sense of rest well-earned. The news-tap runs at a trickle and the stage looks ready for the show, leaving one free to idly lean back and take it in.

And that makes it something of a shame that Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Week 23 isn’t quite doing it for me.

For instance, I can chuck three of the weekend’s matches into the dumpster with a second’s thought: FC Dallas v. Toronto FC (preview), the Houston Dynamo v. Real Salt Lake (preview), and the Los Angeles Galaxy v. the Colorado Rapids (preview). If I may speak for neutrals everywhere, Contenders v. Spoilers games don’t cut it; unless you care about the particular teams’ fortunes (e.g. unless it’s the entertainment option of your particular choice out there on the field), you expect the expected pounding and don’t care much about upsets. That’s the first two games done. As for LA v. Colorado, that one could have worked were we talking about LA fighting up the standings and the Rapids sucking wind in Shitsville. This being the other way around, eh, not so much. Continue reading

MLS Team News, Week 23: Injuries, Tactics (Sorta), Rising Stars (Sorta)

Welcome to my first crack at posting team news from all-’round Major League Soccer (MLS). What comes below will be by no means exhaustive; really, it’s only a compilation of what I bumped into during my travels. And, of course, anyone feeling I made a grave omission is welcome to correct that in the comments; by the same token, tips and mentions to reports are also welcome, so’s I can post those in future editions.

And, yes, I’m aware that I’m starting this feature appallingly late in the season. Without further adu…shit, habit…without further adu – dammit! seriously, it happened again – without further ADO, enjoy the team news. If I skipped your bunch, it doesn’t mean I don’t like ’em; you’ll notice entries for both DC United and the Los Angeles Galaxy below. Hell, I’ll even start with ’em:

DC United
Marc Burch finds his MLS niche

Emilio’s and Vanney’s upside(s)

Kissing Ben Olsen’s butt, but also laying out good dish on DC’s tactics.

Los Angeles Galaxy

Look at all them injuries. It’s true: nobody walks in LA.

New England Revolution

The FNGs from Gambia (don’t worry about the name in the headline; he ain’t comin’).

Real Salt Lake

Beckerman believes in Kreis (see bottom)

Colorado Rapids

Casey rising; Sanneh plugging holes

Kansas City Wizards

Hunting the August Slump

Chicago Fire

Gimpy Guerrero

Columbus Crew

Comings/Goings (Szetela); Convalescing and Waivers

FC Dallas

FrankenCooper “ready to push himself”; Goodson concussion

New York Red Bulls (or is it Red Bull New York?)

Jozy’s injury; Galarcep’s sass

Well, that’s it for this….waitaminute…whoops…

Toronto FC

Dichio’s busted foot, TFC’s doomed season.

OK, done now for reals.

Daily Sweeper, 09.06: Amado Dreams, Fire Sales, Yanqui Rosters, My Tender, Tender Heart

OK…running behind…quickly, quickly.

– The Red Bull Offside was en fuego today…or it made me laugh out loud twice at the very least. How? By talking about Amado Guevara’s recently stated desire to return to Major League Soccer (MLS), specifically to New York (Dave Martinez’s post on RBNY’s hope of signing Francesco Coco made me laugh again, especially how he views competition from New England. The Guevara thing pops up a couple other places – Soccer by Ives and The Offside Rules, to name two – and all are worth the read. Where do I stand? Amado was always good for a laugh…sure, I’d take him back.

– I am so friggin’ ignorant as to the implications of those Andell people buying the Chicago Fire that I almost didn’t post on it. But, it’s big news, right? The Houston Chronicle ran an Associated Press piece (of poo), as did a couple other outlets (and, strangely, that plugged an upcoming movie…as if that’s frickin’ related?), which told one next to nothing. Luis Arroyave snuck in something for his Chicago paper, which usefully noted Andell picked up management rights to Toyota Park…that seemed significant, even if it seems the city of Bridgeview still owns (corrections welcome). ran a bit on it as well, but it took an older article they ran to make me feel remotely clued in.

– Speaking of Arroyave, he picked up an interview with Clint Dempsey, a player I like as much as anyone (had something on his blog as well with some more good stuff). And, if anyone ever doubted I’m a ludicrously soft-touch, doubt no more: I totally choked up over the connection with his sister.

– Even if I’m going to watch the U.S. v. Brazil game this weekend (to my shame! friendlies are for gullible twits!), I’m not doing any roster talk. Nope. Just refusing. This game won’t be educational in any way, dammit. Anyway, other people are doing this sort of thing, guys like Jen Chang and Jeff Carlisle (both for ESPN). But I posted it, didn’t I? I hate my weakness!!

– Finally, I want to give a big shout-out to Jozy Altidore for making me feel old with his latest post for the (vampiric) New York Times’ Goal blog. Thanks, kid. Like hairs jumping out of my scalp and the sagging of my once-proud pectorals didn’t confirm that, already. My favorite thing was my dignity till, oh, 25 minutes ago. Now…make this wretched feeling go away: who the hell is Paula DeAnda?

Well, hot damn!  Done in 15 minutes.  Talk at you tomorrow.

MLS Week 22 Perspecto-Scope: Statements of Intent

It was a weekend of statements.  From DC United’s “knock this battery off my shoulder…bitches,” through Red Bull New York’s, “don’t call it a come-back,” all the way down to the Los Angeles Galaxy reeling out a quiet “Yeah…it can get worse, actually” while longingly eyeing the last day of the regular season, the league looks to be gradually sorting itself out.

Then again, a couple key games ended in ties, thereby giving ambiguity another day in Major League Soccer (MLS).

I caught a few games this weekend and would have typed them up – specifically, Red Bull v. Chicago, which turned out to be the most educational of this weekend’s games – but, between family and squelching various crises, too much time slipped by to post them.  It’s a shame in a way…they were good notes….but this perspective piece will have to do.  May as well start with the boldest statement… Continue reading

Red Bull Loses, Wins: Hide the Children

There are ugly wins. Then there’s the win the New England Revolution picked up against Red Bull New York. The Revs will take this home – albeit like a dog covered with a mystery rash requiring a long, long course of lubing with topical ointments, I doubt they’ll be showing it off.

As the title implies the Red Bull did this to themselves: between helter-skelter defending and losing the beat to the possession game that had them looking the better team in the first half, Red Bull ceded the initiative and hung too close to the ropes. Bizarrely, though, the coup de grace came with a wild throw from one of their own: a thumping back-pass from Carlos Mendes to Jon Conway, who, unbeknownst to his teammates, was sleep-walking.

Things looked nearly as ugly on the other side of the ball. With New England playing like they were – the usual mixture of hard-running, hand-grenade quality passing (e.g. close enough), and scrapping after every 50/50 – the telling mistake was always going to come from a Red Bull blunder; the only surprise came with the great, whopping, even stomach-turning aspect of the thing.

For the record, I watched this game in the morning, when the Insanity Juice is safely locked in the fridge. So, my notes should read a little more literally. Here goes: Continue reading