Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Week

I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase "foreign game" when discussing soccer in the United States.

Several colleges had teams as early as the 1820s

The first organized soccer club in the U.S. was the Oneidas of Boston, formed in 1862.

The American Football Association was formed in 1884.

The USFA received provisional FIFA membership in 1913 and full membership in 1914.

Any sport that has been in this country for that long cannot be called foreign. Please, please, please refrain from calling it such.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Long History of All-Star Games in American Soccer

I mentioned this issue on a recent episode of World Soccer Wrap: Serie A . . . Folks, there is a long history of American soccer all-star teams playing foreign travelling teams, as well as American club teams playing these travelling teams. Also, little known, is that U.S. all-star teams and some club teams did some international traveling of their own. For example:

1909 - The Pilgrims from England toured the U.S. and played all-star teams representing New York, Baltimore, Pennsylvania League, and the New York Amateur League, as well as several club teams. The Pilgrims were essentially an all-start team from England with players from clubs such as West Ham United, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Queens Park, Rotherham Town F.C., Fulham, and Falkirk F.C., among others.

1911 - The famed Cornithians F.C. played all-star teams from Chicago and New York, as well as Toronto and Ontario, as well as several club teams.

1916 - The U.S. Football Association's All-American Soccer Football Club toured Sweden and Norway.

1919 - Not so much an all-star team, but Bethlehem Steel toured Sweden and Denmark - with a record of 6 wins, 6 draws, and 2 losses.

1920 - The St. Louis Soccer Club, made up of players from St. Louis, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York, toured Scandinavia - with a record of 7 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses.

1921 - The All-Scots of Scotland played several club teams in the U.S.

1924 - The Corinthians returned to play several Philadelphia clubs and a Brooklyn club.

1926 - This year saw both the Hakoah All-Stars of Vienna and Sparta F.C. play U.S. all-star teams and club teams. Additionally, Worcester, Mass. played some travel games in England and Germany.

1927 - Featured the return of the Hakoah All-Stars of Vienna to the American shores, as well as matches by Maccabi F.C., Real Madrid, National of Uruguay, and Worcestershire of England. Meanwhile, New York's Viking F.C. travelled to Norway and Sweden.

1928 - Palestra Italia F.C. and Glasgow Rangers F.C. traveld to the U.S. to play all-star and club teams. Palestra was a bit of an all-star team, made of players from Bologna, Brescia, Genoa, Milan, Padoga, Rome, and Turin.

1929 - Preston North End, which was in the English 2nd Division at the time, and Sabaria from Budapest both traveled to the U.S., while Worcester, Ma. toured in England.

1930 - Argentina's Sportivo F.C. played the Hakoah All-Stars before a crowd of 5,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York, with the American side winning the match 1-0. Meanwhile Hungaria F.C. (M.T.K.) , Marte F.C. from Mexico City, Kilmarnock F.C., Worcestershire of England, and Scotland's Rangers all toured and played against all-star teams and club teams. Meanwhile the ASL's Fall River Marksmen toured Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary; the ASL's Hakoah All-Stars toured Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay; and Germania Milwaukee toured Germany.

That's just a small look at the history of touring clubs and all-star teams in American Soccer History. The post-war years saw several visits from clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, A.C. Milan, Celtic, and Inter Milan, among others.

Houston Dynamo Updates

The Houston Dynamo have announced that Rocky Harris is the team's new Vice President. Harris has spent the last two years as Director of Sports and Marketing Sponserships for Reliant Energy, and he has spent time as the Houston Texans' Director of Media Relations and Communications. A graduate of Arizona State University and the University of San Francisco, Harris started his public relations career with the San Francisco 49ers.



This past Saturday, the Houston Dynamo held fitness trials, 500 showed up, only 26 passed:


Don Garber says he wasn't trying to threaten Houston's Mayor Bill White - I want to add a "wink wink, nod nod, know what I mean . . . "


Of course, unfortunately, the "Beckham & Landy Cakes Show" managed to hold the Houston Dynamo to a 2-2 draw at the Home Depot Center this past Saturday:


Latest episodes of World Soccer Wrap Available

This week World Soccer Wrap has a Mike Chabala Interview special:


As well as the regular weekly program, episode 42:


And WSW: Serie A, episode 6:


These podcasts are also available through iTunes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don Garber made Mayor Bill White Mad

It appears that the letter, which I linked to in the earlier blog, only managed to make Houston Mayor Bill White mad, he perceived it as a threat, and he doesn't like threats or to be threatened. Good job meddling there Garber.

Here's the Houston Chronicle's Bernardo Fallas' take on the issue:


Dynamo's Eddie Robinson Suspended

While we wait for what Oliver Luck has to say, some more Dynamo news:

Defender Eddie Robinson has been suspended 3 games and fined $1,000.00 for using his contact with KC Wizards Defender Tyson Wahl on Saturday night. This is a post game red card for EdRo, who was not booked durng the match.




News on Dynamo Stadium Today

The Houston Dynamo have announced that its president/general manager, Oliver Luck, will be addressing the media at 4:30 p.m. cst today, regarding negotiations about a soccer specific stadium.

KHOU, Channel 11, has reported that the City of Houston and the Dynamo are at an impasse:


Here's a letter that MLS Commissioner Don Garber sent to the Dynamo ownership group concerning stadium negotiations:


Seems Garber is offerring moral support and veiled threats.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dynamo Round-Up

Former MLS defender Steve Jolley is joining the Channel 55 (KTBU - Houston) broadcast team as a color analyst for Houston Dynamo games. Janette Fernandez is also joining the team as a sideline commentator.



This past weekend in a 2007 Western Conference Final Rematch, the Houston Dynamo and Kansas City Wizards played to a 0-0 draw. The good news for Dynamo fans is that Caig looked much more comfortable in the box and Stuart Holden came in late in the game.






Not Dynamo related, but Houston related, Mexico's National Team will start its 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign at Reliant Stadium in Houston on June 15, 2008 when they take on Belize.


New Episodes of World Soccer Wrap Available

Are available for download on iTunes or you can listen to them online at or download them from these links:

World Soccer Wrap - Episode 65:

World Soccer Wrap: Serie A - Episode 5:



Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thoughts on Caig as Goalkeeper for the Dynamo

Grahame L. Jones of the L.A. Times had a recent article criticizing Tony Caig's play against Dallas this past Sunday:


Gotta love that he now has one with reader comments on his comments about Caig:


I like Grahame, think he does a good job covering soccer. I hope he survives the turmoil of Sam Zell and Tribune Co.

A Little Late, but Houston v. Dallas Report

The teams had played 90 minutes and it looked like Dallas, who was up 3-2, would finally win its first game at Robertson Stadium in Houston, but in the dawn of stoppage time, MLS rookie Geoff Cameron scored the equalizer for the Houston Dynamo. And Dallas returned home with only one point.

This past Sunday’s exciting 3-3 draw took place before a crowd of 20,102 soccer fans, many of whom were wearing the Dynamo’s distinctive orange, especially in the North End where the supporter group sections have been converted into terraces.

It was a day of firsts for the Dynamo, riddled with injuries and still suffering the loss of Rico Clark, who was suspended late last season for kicking Carlos Ruiz in the shoulder. The young Argentinian forward, Franco Carracio, made his first MLS start, as well as 3rd round draft pick, Geoff Cameron, a midfielder and a product of the University of Rhode Island.

Carracio managed his first MLS goal off of a Corey Ashe cross in the 20th minute, and things started looking good for the Dynamo who have dominated their north Texas rival these past two years.

But the Dynamo soon suffered a big blow in the 28th minute when goalkeeper Pat Onstad left the game due to a right shoulder injury that he incurred during a collision with Dallas’ Blake Wagner. This resulted in another first for Houston, the debut of back-up goalkeeper Tony Caig, who looked rusty and out of place, especially when Kenny Cooper scored his two goals, in the 35th and 44th minutes, for the Hoops.

In the 56th minute, Brian Ching managed to score the Dynamo’s second goal, bringing them even with Dallas, but that didn’t last long as Arturo Alvarez quickly responded in the 57th minute with a breakaway goal, putting Dallas in the lead once again.

The Dynamo and Geoff Cameron managed to equalize the game by taking advantage of the fact that instead of holding onto the ball and allowing time to expire, the Dallas players were pushing for another goal, leaving them vulnerable to Cameron’s fast break and resulting goal.

The Houston Dynamo’s next home game will be on May 3, when Chivas USA comes to town.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Saprissa v. Dynamo - Live Blog

I've never done a live blog before, but here it goes.

A shame for D.C. United as they fall to Pachuca - 3-2 aggregate. Second half of the earlier game was great. At least they got that moral victory with the home leg win.

Wow, I wish I was down in Costa Rica right now, that stadium looks like a great place to be - at least I can take some heart in knowing the FSC announcers aren't there either. Houston wasn't able to score during the home leg, but they kept Saprissa from scoring too. So a clean slate for both teams.

I should note that this game is on a bit of delay. So . . .

Artifical surface in Costa Rica, so what do the Anglo snobs have to say about that??

Dag, looks like Waibel is injured. Both Boswell and Robinson are out tonight - the back line needs some help from the middle.

Brian Mullan is in now . . .

Easy, but nice stop for Caig who looked so rusty on Sunday.

Once again Caig comes through for the Dynamo.

Lucky break in the 13th minute for Dynamo.

Apropros of nothing . . . according to Du Nord, the rumors of Riquelme to the MLS have been flowing in the Argentine press. Come on Dynamo, let's find a way to get him, if the MLS can bend over backwards for LAG, they can give us a break too.

DeRo getting warmed up . . .

Saprissa can't get it together on a corner.

Right now, seems like Saprissa is controlling, but Dynamo have had a couple chances.

Oh . . . get up . . .

Hot, humid, this commentator needs help if he thinks that's an issue, this is a Houston team we're talking about.

Dag, a transformer must have blown, lost power, and my DirecTV had to start up again, thankfully I didn't miss any goals. Still 0-0.

Blown opportunity for Dynamo . . .

Cheese and Rice, goal for Saprissa gosh darn it . . .

Saprissa 1 - Dynamo 0

AA can kiss my . . .

Franco misses an opportunity in stoppage, and the first half ends with Saprissa up by 1

Now I'm just despondent . . .

2 - nil Saprissa

I swear that the call of the goal has lasted at least 4 minutes on Costa Rica radio . . .

Man Costa Rican radio sports coverage puts American sports coverage to shame, all sports coverage that is. I don't know half of what they're saying, but it sounds exciting. . .

UGH . . . at least I can hear the Benny Hill theme on Costa Rican radio . . .

I hate this friggin salary cap that the MLS has . . . no room for real depth when needed . . .

Seriously, if the MLS wants to compete at the international level it needs to take the kid gloves off and allow teams to spend money on salaries.

Carricio out . .. Davis in

Saprissa gets 3rd goal . . .dag . .

Caig, you need to learn to stay in THE F'N Box

So, it appears that Saprissa and Pachuca will meet in the CCC final . . .

Rough night. Rough game.

Com'on Garber, time to raise this stupid salary cap.