Thursday, December 22, 2011

[VIDEO] Celebrating a Sunderland Goal, With a Dog

Sometimes EPL matches are worth watching for the randomness that occurs in the stands, such as in yesterday's match between Sunderland and Queen Park Rangers in which, if you watched closely, you would see a Sunderland fan celebrating Nicklas Bendtner's goal by standing and hugging/jumping with his dog. I guess it was a service dog, but, hard to say, but how else could you get your dog down to a first row seat. Sunderland went on to beat QPR 3-2.

Defend Yourself from a Pitch Invader, Get a Red Card

During yesterday's Dutch League match between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, an Ajax fan invaded the pitch and went running towards AZ's keeper, Esteban Alvarado, who managed to trip the 19 year old invader and then kicked him for good measure. The match's referee then awarded a red card to Alvarado, who is from Costa Rica, an act that resulted in AZ abandoning the match. Ajax had been leading the match thanks to a goal from Gregory van der Wiel, and, as of the moment, it is not clear whether the match will be awarded to Ajax or if it will be replayed.

While I don't condone Alvarado's decision to kick the young Ajax fan while he was down, I can understand the emotions and level of testosterone that was running through Alvarado, and when that fight or flight instinct kicks in, things happen.

American striker, Jozy Altidore, who currently plays for AZ, showed his support for Esteban via his Twitter account. For more reaction to the incident, be sure to check out this post by Greg Seltzer over at No Short Corners.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bieber Believes in Chelsea?

If soccer becomes more popular with tween girls in the United States it won't be because of Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, or MLS, it'll be because of Justin Bieber using his fame to hang out with top international clubs - okay, that fits for when he hung out with Barcelona, considering the state of Chelsea fans they might argue my calling their club a "top international club." But I'll leave that debate for Chelsea fans to argue on twitter and in message boards, as for now, the young Mr. Selena Gomez spent some time hanging out at Stamford Bridge wit the likes of Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres, hmmm, wonder why John Terry wasn't allowed to hang out with the Bieber . . .

Speaking of Chelsea fans, this post is for you Messrs. Marcus Coleman & Johnathan Starling!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Naming Rights Deal for New Stadium done between Houston Dynamo & BBVA Compass

This afternoon the Houston Dynamo will officially announce a stadium rights naming deal with BBVA Compass, which means that come May 12, 2012, the Houston Dynamo will play their first home game at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston. Reports indicate that the deal between the Dynamo and BBVA Compass is for ten years at a cost of $20 million.

BBVA Compass is the United States branch of BBVA Grupo, an international bank with a focus on doing business in Latin countries such as Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Argentina, etc. In the United States, BBVA Compass is headquartered in Alabama and has 716 branches located throughout the Sunbelt, including Texas. BBVA is no stranger to supporting the beautiful game, it has been the named sponsor of the top flight league in Spain since 2008.

The official announcement, which will occur at 3:00 pm central time today, will be streamed live on the Houston Dynamo's website and Here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

United States 9 - 2 Germany: USA! USA! USA!

On Sunday December 4th, the United States finally managed to best Germany on the pitch with a 9-2 victory that will surely be remembered by American soccer historians for centuries to come. I kid, I kid. Actually, on Sunday a group from the US Navy managed to beat a group from the German Navy at that lovely little paradise in Africa known as Djibouti.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Former Captain of Brazil Sócrates Passes Away

Today the football world, still morning the untimely death of Gary Speed, is now mourning former Brazil Captain Sócrates, who passed away as a result of an intestinal infection at the age of 57. Sócrates earned 60 caps with the Brazil national team between 1979 and 1986, and captained the team in the 1982 World Cup. In addition to his international play, Sócrates played professionally at Botafogo-SP, Corinthians, Flemngo, Santos, and Fiorentina.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Montreal Impact Draft Brian Ching in MLS Expansion Draft

The Houston Dynamo took a gamble this week by leaving striker Brian Ching unprotected for today's expansion draft, hoping that Ching's age and salary would prevent the Montreal Impact from drafting him. Additionally, Brian Ching made it clear that if he was drafted by Montreal, he would retire.

We'll soon find out if Brian Ching's threat to retire was a bluff, because he was the Montreal Impact's first pick in today's expansion draft.

During the short question and answer portion of the draft, Jesse Marsch of the Impact, made a comment about other teams being interested in Ching, which suggests the Impact have already looked into the prospect of trading Ching.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Galaxy's Triumvirate Wins Los Angeles its Third MLS Cup

On Sunday evening in a rainy Carson, California it seemed that all the stars had aligned for MLS, for AEG, for Don Garber, and for the Designated Player concept as David Beckham, Robbie Keane, and Landon Donovan teamed up to give the Los Angeles Galaxy the 2011 MLS Cup winning goal in the 72nd minute at the Home Depot Center.

Going into Sunday's Cup Final, featuring the Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, all the focus was on the Galaxy, winner of the 2011 MLS Supporters Shield by picking up 67 points over the course of the 34 game regular season. After having lost the 2009 MLS Cup final to Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks, all the talk was about how it was the Galaxy's time to finally win the Cup again, having last won it in 2005. More pressure was added to the Galaxy by the fact that Beckham's contract is about to expire and winning the Cup would give a sheen of success to the Designated Player system and the so-called "Beckham Experiment."

The extended break between the Conference Finals and the MLS Cup Final seemed to give the advantage to the Galaxy, who also enjoyed home field advantage, by giving them time to get healthy and cooling the momentum of the Dynamo, who were riding a 9 match unbeaten streak into the Cup Final. However, the rainy weather and choppy pitch seemed to favor the Dynamo, a physical team that relies on set pieces and counters, over the Galaxy, a finesse team that relies on smooth passing and flow.

Each team dominated portions of the match, but it was clear that the Dynamo were suffering due to the absence of midfield Brad Davis. Without Davis' skill on deadballs and management of the midfield, Dynamo attacks tended to break down too easily and the team seemed to lose focus too easily. Meanwhile, the Galaxy, who only made one substitution during the course of the match, managed to keep their focus, keep their cool and finally found the one goal, the only goal needed to win the match and give the Galaxy franchise its third MLS Cup.


Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Houston Dynamo Memories of Cups Past: Stuart Holden

Since yesterday's post dealt with a former Houston Dynamo player who was a member of the squads that won the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups, a video, shown below, that I came across made me decide to do a post about another member of those Dynamo championship teams: Stuart Holden.

Holden, who grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston, joined the Dynamo in 2006 and made his MLS debut in a 1-1 draw at New England Revolution on May 27th. Over the course of the season, Holden managed to see action in 13 matches. When the 2006 MLS Cup final against New England Revolution came down to penalty kicks, Holden converted the Dynamo's second penalty kick. Houston won that match on penalty kicks.

In 2007, Holden saw increased playing time, primarily as a result of an injury suffered by Brad Davis. Over the course of 17 matches, Holden picked up 3 goals and 5 assists for the Dynamo. Although Holden did not start in the 2007 MLS Cup final, he was substituted on in the 80th minute. In the end, the Dynamo beat New England Revolution, 2-1.

When Dwayne De Rosario departed the Dynamo after the 2008 season, the team looked to Holden to step into the midfield hole that resulted in the Dynamo lineup as a result of De Rosario's departure. Although the Dynamo did not make it back to the MLS Cup Final during the remainder of Holden's tenure, his time and development in Houston landed him a spot on the US National Team in the summer of 2009 and with the Bolton, of the English Premier League, in early 2010.

Currently, Holden is still recovering from an injury sustained in early 2011.

This is the video that set this post into motion, even though it does not cover Holden's time with the Dynamo:

Here's some highlights of Holden from his time with the Dynamo:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dwayne De Rosario Named 2011 MLS MVP

Houston Dynamo fans will be a bit disappointed when they wake up this morning to discover that Brad Davis was not named the 2011 MLS MVP, but that disappointment will be tempered a bit since Dwayne De Rosario, once an important member of the Dynamo, is this season's MVP. In fact, the last time De Rosario won the MVP, in 2007, he was a member of the back-to-back MLS Cup winning Dynamo.

Although De Rosario, who played for Toronto, New York, and D.C. this past season, did not make it to the playoffs, by the numbers alone, he did beat out the other nominees for MVP, Brad Davis and Brek Shea. This season, De Rosario had 16 goals and 12 assists, while Davis had 4 goals and 16 assists and Shea had 11 goals and 4 assists.

Brek Shea's FC Dallas, which played in the 2010 MLS Cup Final, made it to the playoffs, but was knocked out by RedBull New York in the Wild Card. Meanwhile, Davis has been an important part of the Houston Dynamo's run to the 2011 MLS Cup Final, but he sustained an injury in the Eastern Conference Final and will not play for the Dynamo on Sunday.

The 2011 MLS Cup Final will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Sunday November 20, 2011, at 8:00 pm central time. The match will be televised on ESPN and Galavision.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Houston Dynamo & The Road to the 2011 MLS Cup

The 2011 MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California is only days away, and with the Houston Texans on a NFL bye week, the Dynamo have been feeling the love in their home city. On Wednesday evening a rally was held in Houston for the Dynamo before their departure to California. Meanwhile, in an effort to help ensure that the core Dynamo fans make it out to California for the final, Oscar De La Hoya, who is a part owner of the team, chartered a bus to take Dynamo supporters to Sunday's match.

Not surprisingly, most commentators have given the nod to Los Angeles Galaxy to win the match, but as their road to the Cup final has shown, the Dynamo should not be ignored.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The 2011 MLS Cup & NBC Coverage

Maybe it's just happening when I'm watching, but based on my (unscientific observations) it seems that NBC has made an attempt to devote a little more time to coverage of the 2011 MLS Cup, which takes place at 8:00 pm central time on Sunday. In light of the news that NBC Universal has obtained a broadcast rights package for MLS matches starting with the 2012 season, it isn't surprising that NBC stations and programs have given airtime to the 2011 MLS Cup. Considering that this 2011 MLS Cup features the high profile LA Galaxy taking on a team that won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007, the Houston Dynamo, it's a good match for NBC to take advantage of in an effort to raise the profile of MLS on its programming.

The first clip is from Morning Joe on MSNBC, the second clip is from Early Today, and the third clip is from Channel 2 KPRC in Houston, Texas. Granted the last clip probably would have been produced even if NBC had not obtained MLS broadcast rights, since Houston Dynamo are involved in the match.

I tried to find video from the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, but this is all I could find, a photo gallery.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Houston Dynamo Players React to Advancing to the 2011 MLS Cup Final

Photo by Chris Canetti

Following Sunday afternoon's 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the 2011 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Final, members of the Houston Dynamo shared their thoughts on the win and the upcoming MLS Cup Final with Simon Borg of

The Houston Dynamo will be facing the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2011 MLS Cup Final on Sunday November 20th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The match, which starts at 8:00 pm central time, will be broadcast on ESPN and Galavision.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Houston Dynamo Advance to the 2011 MLS Cup Final with a 2-0 Win over Sporting Kansas City

For the third time six seasons the Houston Dynamo are headed to the MLS Cup Final. This season's trip was secured by the Dynamo on Sunday November 6th when they beat Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park 2-0 thanks to second half goals by Andre Hainault and Carlo Costly.

Coming into this afternoon's match, the Houston Dynamo were riding an 8 match unbeaten streak, but the last time they had lost a match was to Sporting Kansas City, a 3-0 defeat back on September 10th at Livestrong Sporting Park. That lost must not have been too far from the minds of the Dynamo and their coach, Dominic Kinnear, because the team started the match with an aggressive and physical approach, showing that they were there to win the match. But then the Dynamo got a huge scare in the 38th minute when midfielder, Brad Davis, had to be subbed out of the match with an injury. Brian Ching might be the captain of the Dynamo, but Davis has been the club's heart this season picking up 16 assists.

Jermaine Taylor was subbed in for Davis and during the remaining minutes of the first half the confidence that the Dynamo had at the beginning of the match was absent. The shakiness of the Houston squad was still there in the beginning minutes of the second half, but then, in the 52nd minute, Andre Hainault picked up the match's first goal, thanks to an assist from Taylor. The Dynamo had again found their confidence and managed to hold back a Kansas City squad desperately seeking an equalizer.

The Dynamo sealed up the match in the 87th minute when Carlo Costly, who had subbed in for Brian Ching in the 77th minute, scored the match's second goal and put Sporting Kansas City and its fans to sleep.

With Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening, the 2011 MLS Cup Final will be a rematch of the 2009 MLS Cup Western Conference Final.

The MLS Cup Final will be held on Sunday November 20th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The match, which will be aired on Galavision and ESPN, starts at 8:00 pm central time.

Last Updated 3:56 am on 11/7/2011.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Zygo Soccer Report in the Raw: Dynamo 1-0 Union

Photo by Katy Umaña

The Houston Dynamo beat the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night, 1-0, to advance to the 2011 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal. This episode of The Zygo Soccer Report features raw post-match audio from Stuart Holden, Chris Canetti, Bobby Boswell, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, and Dominic Kinnear.

The Dynamo play Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday November 6, 2011. The match starts at 4:30 p.m. central time and will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel.

I apologize for the quality of my intro audio, had to use different equipment to record that part, the rest of it is the high quality you find on previous podcasts.

Music in this episode from Girl in a Coma, Cage the Elephant, Dum Dum Girls, and The Black Kids.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Brian Ching Says Goodbye to Robertson Stadium & Hello to Eastern Conference Finals: Dynamo 1-0 Union

Photo by Katy Umaña

On April 2, 2006, over 25,400 sports fans packed into Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus to see the first ever MLS match to be played in Houston. The match featured the newly minted Houston Dynamo, formerly the San Jose Earthquakes, hosting the Colorado Rapids and the star of the night was a Hawaiian forward named Brian Ching who scored the first goal and then three more in the 5-2 Dynamo victory. Therefore, it was fitting that it was Brian Ching who scored the last Dynamo goal, the last MLS goal, at Robertson Stadium, ensuring that the Dynamo would advance to the 2011 MLS Cup Eastern Conference Final.

On Thursday November 3, 2011, over 24,700 Houston soccer fans were on hand to watch the Houston Dynamo host the Philadelphia Union in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinal and to say goodbye to Robertson Stadium. This past Sunday, the Dynamo picked up a 2-1 win at Philadelphia in the first leg of the semifinal. Brian Ching picked up his goal in first half stoppage time. Fittingly, Brad Davis picked up an assist on that goal. After 90 plus minutes, all the Dynamo needed was Ching's goal, giving them a 1-0 win in the second leg and a 3-1 aggregate victory in the MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals.

As you will hear in an upcoming podcast, the significance of Ching picking up the last Robertson Stadium goal was not lost on those connected to the Dynamo organization. Following the match, Chris Canetti, Stuart Holden, Dominic Kinnear, and several Dynamo players all reflected on the fact that Ching goals book end the franchise's Robertson Stadium era.

This season will mark the 4th time in six years that the Dynamo have advanced to their respective conference finals, the last time being in 2009 when they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy in a controversial match. In the sporting landscape of Houston where the Astros are considered one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball, the Rockets have been so poor that the NBA lockout barely seems to register as a concern, and the Texans are just now starting to have a serious chance at making the playoffs, the Houston Dynamo, with its MLS Cup championships in 2006 and 2007, have truly been a bright spot, bringing pride to the city. A new era in professional soccer in Houston will begin next season when the Dynamo move into their new downtown stadium, but one thing that never changes is the Dynamo's drive to win the MLS Cup.

The Dynamo don't have much time to relax and enjoy their victory because they'll soon have to travel to Kansas City where they'll face Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday November 6, 2011. The match starts at 4:30 p.m. central time and will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

City of Houston to Hold Dynamo Rally on Wednesday

Leg two of the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals match-up between the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union takes place at Robertson Stadium in Houston at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday November 3, 2011, and in preparation for the match, the City of Houston will be holding a Rally to support the Dynamo, who won the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups, on Wednesday November 2, 2011. The rally will be held at the City Hall Farmers Market between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

The first leg of this semifinals tie took place on Sunday in Philadelphia, with the Houston Dynamo picking up a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Andre Hainault and Calen Carr. The team that picks up the most goals in the two match tie will face the winner of the Sporting Kansas City - Colorado Rapids Semifinals Series on Sunday November 6, 2011. Kansas City currently leads that series after beating Colorado, 2-0, on Sunday.

Tickets for Thursday's match are going fast, but there are still some available via the Houston Dynamo website and by calling 713-276-GOAL.

[VIDEO] Pitch Invasion in Romania Gets Violent

While one of the great things about football is the role that club supporters can play during matches: songs, chants, and visual displays can sometimes inspire their club to find that next goal or not give up the lead during a match. Unfortunately, this past weekend some fans of Petrolul Ploiești in Romania took things a step further when one fan, Dragos Petrut Enache, sucker punched a Steaua București defender, George Galamaz. Not surprisingly, Galamaz's teammates took matters into their own hands until Enache was hauled off by stadium security/police. But the violence wasn't over yet, as Enache was led off the pitch other Petrolul Ploiești fans began throwing flares onto the match, managing to hit Steaua keeper, Ciprian Tatarusanu, with one of the flares.

The match, which Steaua was leading 2-0, was abandoned and the Romanian FA have since fined Ploiesti an amount close to £2,000.

The supporter culture in the United States has grown significantly since the birth of MLS in the mid-1990s, and while there have been some unfortunate incidents involving violence, violent pitch invasions of the sort that occurred in Romania this past weekend have not occurred, let's hope it stays that way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Amanda Knox - Sounders Fan

Those crazy kids over at TMZ managed to get their hands on pictures of Amanda Knox wearing a Seattle Sounders scarf, along with her Halloween outfit. Considering Knox has played the beautiful game (after all the nickname "Foxy Knoxy" that the Italian prosecutor tried to use against her was actually earned via her soccer playing skills), not surprising that she's pulling for the home team in the MLS playoffs (though Real Salt Lake beat them up pretty good, 3-0, this weekend).

Click here to see the pictures over at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

[VIDEO] Novara Keeper Samir Ujkani Loses Teeth in Collision

On Sunday October 16th's slate of early matches in Serie A, only one saw any goals, it was Bologna's 2-0 victory over Novara. Both of Bologna's goals came after Novara's keeper Samir Ujkani left the match in the 43rd minute thanks to the brutal collision shown in the video below. It appears that you can see one of Ujkani's teeth flying in the air after the collision.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Was this Worthy of a Penalty Kick? France v. Bosnia

In order to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, France needed a goal involving an uncalled handball by Thierry Henry in order to beat Ireland. On Tuesday, France qualified for Euro 2012 thanks to the penalty call depicted in the video below. Bosnia had been leading the match, 1-0, thanks to an Edin Dzeko goal in the first half, with only 13 minutes plus penalty time left to go. A win meant that Bosnia would automatically advance to the Euros, but then the below penalty was called, allowing Nasri to score from the spot, giving France the 1-1 draw it needed to automatically advance to the Euros. Bosnia will now have to beat Portugal in the play-off draw to qualify for Euro 2012.

Not surprisingly, Bosnian fans aren't too happy with the penalty call that enabled France to get the 1-1 draw on Tuesday. I have no dog in this fight, but I am curious what other soccer fans think, was this a good call by the referee?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

[VIDEO] Fastest Goal Ever?

It only took 2.68 seconds for midfielder, Michail Osinov, to score this goal, from about 51 yards out, for Mitos against Olympia Gelendzhik in a recent Second Division South match in Russia. While the goal is impressive, Osinov is 35 years old so it's unlikely any higher division clubs will be looking to acquire the Russian player.

Monday, October 3, 2011

[VIDEO] One Very Pretty Goal By Eren Derdiyok

Probably the prettiest goal of the weekend took place in Bundesliga on Saturday when Eren Derdiyok scored the game winner for Leverkusen over Wolfsburg with the beautiful bicycle kick depicted in the video below. The 23 year old Swiss national's goal proved to be the game winner, giving Leverkusen a 2-1 lead in the middle of the second half. In the 85th minute, Stefan Kießling picked up an insurance goal for Leverkusen, who picked up a much needed win after dropping their last league match to Bayern, 3-0.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Totti - Il Capitano

It's a slow Friday, tomorrow Roma host Atalanta in a rather important match, so forgive me if I decide to devote a column to my favorite player.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bosnian Cup Match in Mostar Halted after Fans Chase Visiting Team Off Pitch

Things got ugly in Wednesday's Bosnian Cup match between FK Velež Mostar and HŠK Zrinjski Mostar in the ethnically divided town's derby match when Zrinjski fans invaded the pitch to chase visiting Velez players. The incident occurred in second half stoppage time right after Rijad Demic scored for Velez.

Monday, September 26, 2011

[VIDEO] TIS Commercial with Hope Solo & Alex Morgan

The folks at the World Wide Leader have put together another soccer related This is Sportscenter commercial, this time it features the lovely Alex Morgan and the lovely Hope Solo.


[VIDEO] Amazing Header from Odd Grenland-Tromso Match

Jone Samuelsen scored this amazing mid-field header during a recent match between Odd Grenland and Tromso in Norway. Odd Grenland ended up winning the match, 3-1.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MLS Video Features Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti

MLS's latest entry in their video series, Soccer Jobs, features Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti. Canetti has been with the Dynamo since 2006 when he moved to Houston to serve as the club's first Chief Operating Officer. Canetti was promoted to team president in 2010, after the club's first president, Oliver Luck, left Houston to become the Athletic Director at the University of West Virginia.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Try to Ruin Maradona's Photo Opp, He'll Kick You

Leave it to Diego Maradona, who is currently coaching Al Wasl in Dubai, to kick a fan trying to ruin Maradona's photo opp with a banner. As you can see in the video below, a fan tried to lift the banner in an effort to see the footballing legend, Maradona, who was already getting frustrated with people trying to get into the photo frame, decided to teach the fan a lesson by kicking him in the hand.

Al Wasl went on to win the match against Emirates with a 3-0 scoreline.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Copa Sudamericana Match Called Off, Cause, Sometimes, Streamers do Hurt

Last night the Copa Sudamericana match between Nacional of Uruguay and Universidad de Chile had to be called off early in the second half after a linesman was hit in the head by a streamer, yes a streamer. As you can see in the video below, the linesman ended up collapsing to the ground after the streamer roll hit him on top of the head. Universidad de Chile was leading the match, 2-0, when it was called off, meaning the Chilean side advances to the round of 16 on a 3-0 aggregate.

On Tuesday night, the Copa Sudamericana match between Emelec (Ecuador) and Olimpia (Paraguay) was also suspended in the second half after Emelec fans threw objects at Olimpia's keeper, Martin Silva. Highlights from that match are embedded below. Olimpia ended up advancing to the round of 16 with an aggregate of 4-2.

[VIDEO] Hope Solo v. Steve Nash for FIFA12: It's in The Game

EA Sports will be rolling out FIFA12 next week here in the United States, and as part of its marketing campaign they pitted Hope Solo against Steve Nash:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Roma Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg Kicked in Head During Match

There was a scary moment in Serie A's big Saturday evening match between Inter and Roma at the San Siro in Milan when Roma Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was kicked in the head by Inter's Lucio. Although the kick to the head does not appear to be intentional, Stekelenburg clearly lost consciousness before hitting the ground and Lucio was awarded a yellow card. Stekelenburg ultimately regained consciousness in the locker room before being transported to the San Carlo Hospital for medical tests. Italian news agencies are reporting that Stekelenburg did not suffer any major injuries, though, it's not clear if the Italians consider a concussion to be a major injury or not.

Friday, September 16, 2011

David Beckham on TV & Not Mentioning Soccer

I can't say I've ever seen David Beckham on a sports talk show pimping MLS or soccer in America, but he seems to be a regular on the Ellen Show now. Here's his latest non-soccer related bit on the Ellen Show. Thanks to Godman for alerting me to this video.

[VIDEO] Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong Recites Poem/Rap for Hope Solo

On a recent visit to Sporting Kansas City's training facilities, U.S. Women National Team Goalkeeper, Hope Solo, was treated to a poem/rap from Kansas City's C.J. Sapong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

[VIDEO] Worst Dive of 2011 Probably Goes to Ryuji Bando of Cerezo Osaka

Until there is a serious crackdown on diving in professional and international soccer, we'll probably being seeing dives even more horrific than this one by Ryuji Bando in a recent AFC match between Cerezo Osaka v Jeonbuk FC. While all sports have a certain level of gamesmanship, a certain level of crossing the lines, the fact that players in club football, like Bando, think there is something to be gained if they take such a blatant, horrible dive is evidence enough that football officials need to crackdown and issue stiffer penalties for diving.

[VIDEO] US Ex Pats Enjoy the USMNT-Belgium Match

Earlier this month, the United States Men's National Team lost a friendly against Belgium, in Belgium. Here's a video feature from Belgium television focusing on the US ex pats who got to enjoy watching their national team play in Belgium.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

May Juventus Stadium Be the First of Many New Stadiums in Italy

Last week, Juventus unveiled its new stadium, called Juventus Stadium until naming rights are sold. The 41,000 seat stadium is smaller than the Old Lady's previous home, the Stadio delle Alpi, but that is a good development in that there is no longer a running track between the fans and the pitch. The more intimate venue will provide a better football atmosphere not only for those in the stands but also for those watching on television. In recent years Italy's bigger football clubs have been expressing the desire to escape their cavernous multi-use stadiums, such as the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, for soccer specific venues. As it is, security issues concerning the large, aging stadiums that many of the clubs play in result in tickets not being sold for entire sections during most matches, something that has been clearly noticed by football fans in other countries watching Serie A matches on television - they might hear the fans, but rarely do they see the fans.

While I am not a Juventus fan, I respect the club's history, and I hope that the new stadium will prove a successful venture for the club and prove to be the first domino of many falling when it comes to the building of new soccer stadiums in Italy. FYI, Juventus won its first game in its new stadium this past weekend, beating Parma 4-1.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teal Bunbury Buries the Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo's playoff hopes took a severe hit, but were not completely killed, Saturday night in Kansas City where Teal Bunbury's brace helped give Sporting Kansas City a 3-0 victory and first place in the Eastern Conference.

Bunbury's first goal came in the 9th minute and, although it would prove to be unnecessary for the win, Bunbury picked up his second goal in the 73rd minute. Sporting's third goal of the match came courtesy of C.J. Sapong in the 79th minute.

After a poor start, the Houston Dynamo started to find some form and began to control possession, but they were unable to score and the frustration only grew as the match continues. This frustration proved dangerous to the Dynamo when, in the 64th minute, Carlo Costly picked up a red card. Meanwhile, as the match wound done with no indication that the Dynamo were going to pull off a miracle, the frustration of Dynamo fans grew. This was the second straight loss by the Dynamo, who have yet to win a road match.

Despite Saturday's loss, the Dynamo sit in fourth place on the Eastern Conference table, with 35 points. On Wednesday, the Dynamo take on Columbus Crew, who are tied at the top of the Eastern Conference, at Crew Stadium (6:30 pm central), and then return home to host the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday the 17th (7:30 pm central). With DC United and RedBull New York close on Houston's heels, the Dynamo need to pick up maximum points in these two matches or risk falling out of playoff contention.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

[VIDEO] Worst Penalty Kick Ever? Amir Sayoud Collapses

I've seen some bad, some horrible, penalty kicks over the years, but this one "taken" by Amir Sayoud, an Algerian striker playing for Al Ahly in Egypt, during this recent match between Al Ahly and Kima Aswan in the Egyptian Cup. Thankfully for Sayoud, who received a yellow card for this bit of, shall we say, stage fright, his team won the match 4-0, and it seems unlikely that his performance had anything to do with the clashes between police and Al Ahly supporters after the match.

Friday, September 2, 2011

An American in Verona: Who's the Flying Ass Now?

This week it was announced that American midfielder Michael Bradley, who was on the outs with German side Borussia Mönchengladbach, managed to secure a transfer deal to Chievo Verona in Serie A, along with a multi-year contract. Bradley, son of former United States National Team Coach, Bob Bradley, will be the only American playing in Serie A this season. He's the first high-profile American to sign with an top flight Italian side since Oguchi Onyewu's recent, but doomed, signing at Milan. The last high profile American player to see serious playing time in Serie A was Alexi Lalas, who played for Padova for a couple seasons following the 1994 World Cup finals.

Bradley, who is coming off a lackluster loan at Aston Villa, has a bit of a reputation of being a red-ass, so it will be interesting if the 24 year old can keep his temper in check as he adjusts to a new team, a new league, and a new culture. Once criticized for a boring defensive style of play, in recent years Serie A has become known for a more aggressive and open attacking style that, along with financial issues, has created a level of parity not found in most top flight leagues in Europe. If he gets some serious playing time, expect to see growth in both Bradley's technical skills and soccer IQ, which will be a benefit to the U.S. National Team.

Not sure about you, but I'm looking forward to the first time Bradley and Gennaro Gattuso of Milan are on the pitch at the same time, which should be on November 27th, assuming the current player strike comes to a swift end. But before that date, we need to see how quickly Bradley gets playing time. If the player strike gets resolved in time, Chievo Verona is set to host newly promoted Novara on Sunday September 11th at 8:00 a.m. central time.

Here's video of Michael Bradley saying hello to the fans of Chievo Verona (note that the club's nickname is The Flying Donkeys):

Saturday, August 27, 2011

[VIDEO] Squirrel Interrupts WPS Championship Match

Western New York and Philadelphia are playing in the WPS 2011 Final today, in fact, the match has gone into extra time as I post this. During the first half of the match, play was temporarily halted because a squirrel was playing around on the pitch.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Episode 34 of The Zygo Soccer Report: Alex Dixon Gives Dynamo a 3-2 Win over Real Salt Lake

Homegrown Houston Dynamo player, Alex Dixon, picks up a late goal giving the Dynamo a crucial 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake this past Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium. Hear Alex Dixon and Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear talk to the press after the match:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Santos - Morelia Match Suspended After Gun Battle Occurs Outside Stadium

UPDATED: 8/22/2011 at 5:36 am central time

Although they may not dwell on it, most citizens of the United States and Europe are familiar with the violence in Mexico connected to the drug trade. This violence has permeated much of everyday life in Mexico, especially in the big cities and along the borders. The one refuge, the one safe place to get away from the senseless bloodshed in Mexico has been the football stadiums, but today even that safety was shattered as a firefight erupted outside of the Territorio Santos Modelo in Torreon, Mexico, bringing a scary and abrupt end to the Santos - Morelia match.

The match was tied at 0-0 in the 40th minute when the sound of gunfire sent players running for the tunnels and fans diving to the ground.

Initial reports on Twitter, including Tweets from U.S. Footballer DaMarcus Beasley, indicated there was gunfire but it was uncertain as to whether it was occurring inside or outside of the stadium.

Initial reports coming out of Mexico indicate that a police patrol vehicle near, but outside of, the stadium was attacked by gunmen; however, more recent reports indicate that police tried to stop three trucks, but the trucks refused to stop resulting in a chase and shootout. So for it appears that nobody was killed, though a police officer was injured.

Although it appears that bullets found their way into the stadium, as seen in this picture:

Nobody in the stadium was injured.

At this time it is unclear what cartel was involved in this violence, which resulted in the first ever top flight match cancellation due to drug violence, but both the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas Cartel have been active in Torreon.

On Sunday,El Blog del Narco posted its story on Saturday's incident.

Baylor Starts Soccer Season with Win over Sam Houston State

One of the downsides of having gone to a SWC (now Big 12) school was the lack of men's soccer; however, there is women's soccer and Baylor University's soccer team started its 2011 season with a 3-0 win over the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Betty Lou Mays Field in Waco, Texas on Friday night.

Baylor's first goal came from Vic Hoffman in the 5th minute, and freshman Justine Hovden picked up the second goal in the 44th minute. Baylor's third goal came from Christine Clark in the 81st minute.

Baylor's next match will be Sunday afternoon at Nebraska.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

[VIDEO] Jose Mourinho Pinches/Gouges Barcelona Coach Villanova & Ray Hudson Goes Crazy for Messi

Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Barcelona beat Real Madrid in Spain's Supercup on Wednesday, 3-2, with a 5-4 aggregate. Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho showed him self to be a bit of soar loser when he gouged the eye of Barcelona Assistant Coach Villanova following the dust-up that occurred after Marcelo picked up a red card for a tackle on Barcelona's newest player, Cesc Fabregas.

Here's bonus video from today's match, Messi's brace, gotta love Ray Hudson's reaction: