So it is kind of an interesting day, we have the RSL reserves who pick up their first win of the season in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire off a Ned Grabavoy penalty kick, and a goal from Sebastian Velasquez. The match saw a number of academy players as well as a couple of trialists see action (Matias Quiroga, Kenny Mansally, and Chris Tweed-Kent) as well as a couple of our academy kids.
It is good to see that the reserves get a win, and from the sounds of it they dominated most of the match, hopefully we will get a report from one of the people who were able to attend the match. It will be interesting to see if Mansally sticks around or not, as a guy who can clearly play any number of positions he might be a nice addition to the team.
So MLS is set to get back to action this weekend, with 9 matches (7 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday) and then in what can only be seen as scheduling insanity there are 6 more matches on Wednesday. Remember the talk about less travel and fatigue on players, yeah so much for that. There are a couple of interesting matches this weekend, I think Seattle at Montreal (the opening of Saputo Stadium) should be interesting as should FC Dallas at Houston, but I am confused why MLS would schedule 6 of the matches to be played at the same time? Don't they know that kills their TV ratings?
Don't forget that MLS is in the middle of fan voting for the All Star team, you can vote here. Of course the voting is kinda strange as only with the way the ballot is laid out there is only a generic midfield role, so you get Landon Donovan going against guys like Osvaldo Alonso. I really wish that MLS would give their fans a bit more credit, but when only 6 players from each team are selected for the ballot, we already start in a hole. Anyhow it is nice to see that after a week of voting that Nick Rimando is leading the Keepers, both Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave are in the top 5 of the defender voting, and Kyle Beckerman is number 4 in the midfield voting. Neither of our forwards that are on the ballot Fabian Espindola or Alvaro Saborio are in the top 5. Still not bad that 4 of our 6 are looking good so far.
more thoughts after the jump:
So Tuesday night the US Men's National Team will be playing their second Group match of this round of the World Cup qualifying, the match will take place in Guatemala. Guatemala will be looking for their first points as they were beaten 2-1 by Jamaica in their opening match. I doubt that either Kyle Beckerman or Nick Rimando will see much action tonight, but you can always hope. The other RSL players with their national teams are more likely to be in action as Will Johnson and Canada will look to build on their 1-0 win at Cuba last week as they play host to Honduras, and Costa Rica will look for Alvaro Saborio to lead them to a victory in Guyana after they struggled to get a 2-2 draw at home against El Salvador.
If you want a good read about what life is like on the road in Central America, check out this article from Brian Straus of Sporting News. A great look at what players and even the media have to deal with sometimes.
So for a lot of people the fact that the USMNT match isn't on TV in the US other than on Pay Per View seems a bit criminal, but remember that the TV rights for World Cup qualifying matches are owned by the host nation of each match ( you can read more details about the TV thing here). The rights to the match were sold to a group called Traffic Sports, which after trying to extort high fees from the networks decided to air the match via pay per view. I guess I consider all the very strange things that go on with CONCACAF and FIFA and this one to me just is another example of the many areas that could be fixed to make the sport more accessible for fans.
The Euros are in full swing and by early reports the TV ratings have been good for ESPN, with Spain vs Italy on Sunday pulling in a 1.7 rating which is higher than most of the ratings the last time the tourney was played. So far the tournament has lived up to expectations of some good matches, as teams head into the second set of matches. No team in Group A was able to get 2 wins in their first two matches and Russia leads the group with 4 points followed by Czech Republic with 3 points. Wednesday we will get our second look at Group B, which rightfully has been labeled the group of death with 4 teams all in the FIFA top 10 rankings. It should be interesting as Denmark will take on Portugal and Germany will battle with the Netherlands, both should be very interesting matches. Remember that Denmark pulled off a bit of an upset by beating the Netherlands in their opening match.
Anyhow there you go some random ramblings about things that are on my soccer radar today. So what has you thinking and talking about footy today?
OFF MY SOAPBOX