Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Soccer Notes

The United States

The 2009 MLS Playoffs got underway last Thursday when Seattle Sounders FC hosted Houston Dynamo before a crowd of approximately 36,000 soccer fans. Although the end result was 0-0, it was a thrilling match with both teams battling hard to find the goal. The teams meet for the second leg of their first round tie at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas at 2:00 pm local time this Sunday, and fans should expect a nail biter of a match. Tickets are going fast but are still available through the Houston Dynamo website.

On Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Real Salt Lake got a surprising 1-0 victory over defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew. Salt Lake's goal came from Robbie Findley in the 88th minute. The teams face-off in Columbus on Thursday November 5th at 7pm central time.

On Saturday afternoon, the New England Revolution, who squeaked into the playoffs ahead of the Colorado Rapids, beat the Chicago Fire 2-1. The hero of the day for the Revolution was Shalrie Joseph who got the game winner in the 75th minute. The afternoon's first goal came from Chicago's Chris Rolfe in the 17th minute, while New England's Emmanuel Osei got the equalizer in the 47th minute. The teams finish the first round at Toyota Park at 7:30 central time on Saturday November 7th.

The final match of the weekend occurred at the Home Depot Center, home of both Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy, who were meeting each other for the first time ever in the playoffs. The match proved to be the highest scoring playoff match of the weekend and ended in a 2-2 draw. Chivas' goals came from Maicon Santos in the 4th minute and Maykel Galindo in the 50th minute. L.A. picked up it's first goal in the 14th minute, thanks to Mike Magee, while Landon Donovan picked up the second LA goal in the 41st minute. Chivas and the Galaxy close up the first round of the playoffs at 6:30 pm central time on Sunday November 8th - and of course the match will be at the Home Depot Center.

It's official, David Beckham will be returning to Milan during the winter transfer window on a loan from L.A. Galaxy and MLS. Beckham will play at Milan through the end of the 2009-2010 Serie A season. After the Italian top flight season ends, Beckham will likely be a member of the team that England fields at South Africa 2010. Beckham is expected to return to the Galaxy in July of 2010 or the remainder of the 2010 MLS season.

Chicago Fire's designated player, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, will also be playing elsewhere starting in January when he joins Mexican second division side Veracruz. It is possible that Blanco will rejoin the Fire in July.

Tom Soehn will not be coach of DC United during the 2010 MLS season. Soehn, who's contract expires at the end of this year, has decided to not seek a contract renewal. Reports indicate that Soehn will be involved in the search for his replacement.

MLS announced its finalists for the 2009 MLS Awards. Instead of reprinting it, here's the MLS Net article.


Are Inter running away with the Scudetto yet again? This past week Jose Mourinho's side beat a feisty Palermo team on Thursday, 5-3, and then beat Livorno, 0-2, on Sunday, giving them 28 points on the season so far, and a solid grip on the top spot on the table. Inter's closest challenger is Juventus, who have stumbled of late. Despite picking up a solid 5-1 victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday, Juve lost 2-3 to Napoli on Saturday. Right now the Old Lady has 21 points on the season, tied in second with Sampdoria who drew 0-0 with Bari on Sunday. Despite a rough start to the season, Milan has 19 points on the season.

Elsewhere in the World

Fernando Caceres, a member of the 1994 Argentina World Cup team, was shot in the head on Sunday when thieves carjacked him for his BMW in Buenos Aieres. Caceres is in critical condition and not expected to survive his injury. In addition to playing for the Argentina National Team, Caceres also played for River Plate, Boca Juniors, and Spanish side Zaragoza.

Currently in Mexico, the leaders are as follows: Toluca with 29 points in Group 1; Morelia with 28 points in Group 2; and Santos with 26 points in Group 3. Meanwhile, Chivas has only 15 points Group 3 and they have sacked their coach, Raul Arias, and are looking for their third coach of the season.

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