Missed me? I know, I know, I’ve been slacking off in my coverage of my beloved Quakes. Life is starting to slow down a bit for me, which is fortunate as things are hopefully going to start heating up for San Jose. Times are a-changing at Buck Shaw. The club has parted ways with long-time coach Frank Yallop and named (former) assistant coach Mark Watson interim head coach.
The Watson era started with the Earthquakes’ first road win, a 2-1 victory over Colorado, on Saturday–not too shabby! A win next Saturday at D.C. United could potentially put them in a playoff spot. Granted, the playoffs are still months away, but it is a comforting thought nonetheless.
The week after next will be the much-anticipated Cali Clasico Stanford Stadium Spectacular (yay for alliteration!). This rivalry match against the L.A. Galaxy will be a real test for Mark Watson and his squad, as the first home game after a lengthy stretch of traveling as well as the first home game without Yallop. The entertainment factor should be high as always, although this year we will have to forego the spectacle of a David Beckham-Q dust-up (see above), a David Beckham-Rafa Baca dust-up (see below), and all sorts of other David Beckham shenanigans.
Oh well, there is always Landycakes to pick on, right?
Video courtesy of ESPN UK Youtube channel, photos courtesy of MLSSoccer.com and whoateallthepies.tv
After all of the love I got from last week’s Ten Reason’s article (THANK YOU!) I have decided that I’m going to make it a weekly or bi-weekly thing. This week I’m bringing you one of my favorite players, and why he would be the greatest best friend in the Universe. Ladies and Gents, the one and only Stuart Holden!
10. He’ll be your work out buddy. Because everyone needs that one person who pushes them to work hard, and Stu is that person.
9. He’ll let you hang out with his dog. Who is the cutest thing ever, seriously. Toby the Teacup Poodle even has his own instagram.
8. He’ll make funny videos of you guys hanging out. Alllllllll the time, and post them for the world to see.
7. He’ll teach you how to dance. Or attempt to… It all depends how you look at it.
6. He’ll dress up with you for Halloween. Hello. Matching costumes? Yes, please.
5. He’ll never forget the important holidays. Because he knows how much they mean to you.
Mardi Gras is an important holiday.
4. He’ll go grocery shopping with you. He may not be much help, but at least he goes with you.
3. He’ll teach you how to sing. He has the voice of an angel, and you can do duets on karaoke night.
2. He’ll take you out to eat, and do this walrus thing. Because who doesn’t love the chop stick walrus thing?!
He might even take you to Taco Bell…
1. He’ll always be able to put a smile on your face. Because that’s what best friends are for, and he is basically the Superman of best friends.
So Stu, if you’re reading this and you are accepting applications for a BFF I would like to submit mine. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m awesome and I have some pretty sweet dance moves too. Just tweet me, or call me. Whatever you prefer.
Talk about having the worst luck and playing with just about all the odds against you. That was FC Dallas’s game against the Portland Timbers. In the end, Dallas just could not overcome all the obstacles and fell 1-0 to their Western Conference rivals.
Man of the Match and, yes, he deserves that spot on the All Star roster.
To start off the list of our bad luck, Blás Perez is still away on international duty. The team traveled with only two strikers: Kenny Cooper and Eric hassle. This afternoon, Kenny Cooper flew home for a family emergency and did not play. So Eric Hassli got the start and a chance to shine. And he went off injured in the first seven minutes of the game. Are you effing kidding me?! So Schellas had to put on Je-Vaughn Watson in place of the injured Frenchman. FC Dallas played almost 90 minutes without a real striker on the field.
Then there was this lovely incident with Jair Benitez and Piquionne where Benitez decided it was a brilliant decision to head-butt the Portland attacker. I don’t know what the referee was thinking, but Jair wasn’t shown a card. Whew! I don’t think FCD would’ve handled that very well.
But FC Dallas have Raúl Fernandez. Raúl “Brick Wall” Fernandez. He is the reason the scoreline stayed as low as 1-0 at the end. Raúl pulled off some phenomenal saves. In fact, if he doesn’t win MLS Save of the Week, I’m gonna have some words to share. I know I was pretty darn iffy about having him in the net at the beginning of the season, but Raúl has made me eat my words. He still occasionally has moments when he falls asleep and spills an easy save. Thankfully he’s seemed to work out most of that.
Raúl’s performance was so magical that it took a bit of magic from Darlington Nagbe to get past the goalkeeper. In a genius move, Nagbe spun around George John and put a ridiculous ball into the far upper corner. Everyone on defense for Dallas was doing their job and there was nothing anyone could’ve done to stop Nagbe’s shot.
It’s a tough loss, but the Dallas guys shouldn’t hang their heads about it. They put on an impressive display with the odds stacked against them. Whoever angered the soccer gods…make your peace because I can’t deal with another game like!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny Cooper and his family. Hope they come through whatever the emergency was without any pain.
Next Saturday, FC Dallas are back home in Frisco where Sporting Kansas City will pay them a visit. And I’ll be at the game!! Until next time…DTID!
We’re used to seeing Clint Dempsey on the pitch and doing his signature glare on his opponent but this is so unexpected and well, we kind of like it around here. The photos were for a recent shoot for FHM Collections, the new men’s fashion addition to the always cheeky, FHM. Clint was photographed by Damien Van Der Vlist who definitely has a style we like.
So the next time Clint decided to give his best b***h face, well let’s hope the other guy can remember this look!
Yeah, our thoughts exactly…just give Clint the ball and no one will get hurt.
Jabs at women and translating Latin phrases incorrectly; that is a great go-to after your soccer team gets a victory on its way to World Cup qualification, am I right?
And after hearing that Australia’s national team manager, Holger Osieck thought it was funny to say “Women should shut up in public” with a huge grin on his face, who wouldn’t think that? Because clearly if you want to entertain the press after a solid 4-0 win over Jordan, you have to say something that will grab some attention. Surely Osieck’s move would get him the positive press the Socceroos could use at the moment…
Look, in all seriousness, what the hell man? I don’t even really know why he chose that particular Latin phrase or figured it wouldn’t be recorded in a room full of journalists. “I say it to my wife at home, it’s a private one,” he mentions. “I’ll be the darling of all Australian wives.” He’s got the biggest you-know-what-eating grin on his face too. And what’s more, as Ryan Bailey points out in his article on Yahoo! Sports, Osieck doesn’t even translate the phrase right!
Come on, Holger. Come on! What’s funny about this? And, the biggest question, what does it even have to do with the subject at hand: the fact your team is moving closer toward a World Cup berth?
But hey, maybe I’m just being ridiculous about this. As Osieck said in a released “apology” yesterday, the comment was made “off the record” – again, you’re in a room of journalists and if you don’t say “off the record” to us, it is so on the record – and it was just meant to be funny. Because what person doesn’t love a good derogatory statement made toward women?
“It was nothing against any women or whatever,” Osieck said in the press release. “Definitely just a complete misunderstanding.” I wonder if that bit in the beginning of the clip where he said, “You push me around like my wife” went over well in the Osieck household. I bet if she dared to speak up about it, it was just a misunderstanding.
It’s that time again! You guessed it, another episode of Chicks and & Free Kicks is available for your listening pleasure…
Well, it is weird this week as I’m doing a solo podcast so maybe I shouldn’t have said that…. you know what? Never mind.
Anyway, even though I could have broken out into a rendition of “All by Myself,” I did refrain from making Chicks & Free Kicks a karaoke session and got down to business. I tried my hand at jumping into the mess going on at Chivas USA and shared the latest US Open scores before moving on to US Men’s National team talk. And you know how I love to talk about the national team. With Landon Donovan, Gold Cup preliminary roster and more!
So go check out the latest episode here! Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter at @AerysSoccer, like our page on Facebook and listen to all the Chicks & Free Kicks episodes for free on iTunes! What’s not to love about that? Have a great weekend of soccer everyone!
“I have a migrane…” said RSL Head Coach, Jason Kreis, in his post game press conference. He had every right to have one.
Despite a bright 15 start to the USOC match against USL side Charleston Battery, it was the away team who struck first and second. It started in the 16th minute when Battery forward Dane Kelly took advantage of bad communication between the RSL center backs, ran in behind them, and made no mistake in putting his team up 1-0. Only two minutes later, Charleston midfielder Quinton Griffith hit the near post of the RSL goal, with the ball deflecting to the feet of an unmarked Nicki Patterson who had a simple one touch finish in front of goal.
The entire first half was dismal for RSL. All the players seemed sluggish and despite majority of the possession, only created one or two dangerous chances. Jason Kreis must have slapped some sense into his team during his half time speech, because the Salt Lake team that came out for the second half was completely different. Captain Kyle Beckerman almost pulled back a goal in the 55th minute when he shot the ball with his left foot that had the Charleston keeper beaten, but the post was there to save the Battery.
Real Salt Lake really changed in the 63rd minute when a double substitution was made. Forward Joao Plata came on for defender Aaron Maund, and midfielder Khari Stephenson came on for midfielder Sebastian Velasquez. Three minutes after the switch, RSL found their first goal. Defender Tony Beltran sent in a cross onto the head of rookie Devon Sandoval who headed it home, finally putting RSL on the board.
Plata pushed out to play on the left wing, and caused all kinds of havoc for the Battery defense and midfield. After some good combination play with Ned Grabavoy, Plata was taken down from behind inside the 18 yard box, and a penalty was called in favor of RSL. Plata stepped up to take it and perfectly placed it into the top corner, pulling his team level.
Despite other good chances, RSL couldn’t find the winner in regulation time, and the game went into extra time where RSL just teased Charleston. In the 96th minute, it was Joao Plata once again who was making a difference. He curled a beautiful cross into the box which found Devon Sandoval, who, once again, out the ball away.
Despite the lead, RSL weren’t done. Javier Morales found Khari Stephenson at the top of the box, and Stephenson rocketed the ball past the Battery keeper, putting RSL up 4-2 in the 105th minute. RSL earned another penalty which Javier Morales calmly took, finishing off the scoring. 5-2 RSL.
RSL advance into the quarterfinals of USOC play and will Host the Carolina Rail-hawks at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 26th.
Last night’s victory saw FC Dallas take on the Houston Dynamo in Frisco for the Round of 16 in the US Open Cup. Dallas won the Texas Derby 3-0 with a brace from Kenny Cooper and an unbelievably sexy chip from Zach Lloyd.
Cooper nets his first goal after returning from injury
It seems that the administration has put a lot of emphasis on the USOC this year because Schellas Hyndman fielded almost our strongest starting lineup minus David Ferreira. Houston on the other hand started quite a few of their reserves. All in all, the first half was a bit boring with Houston controlling play, neither team dominating the midfield, and no real chances on goal.
FC Dallas showed their continuing prowess on set pieces as Michel’s free kick set up Kenny Cooper for his first goal in the 38th minute. Cooper’s second goal also came from a corner kick provided by Michel in the second half. The brazilian may be our best addition this season because his accuracy on set pieces has been incredible. We’ll never know for sure, but it looked like Cooper’s second goal just might have been another olímpico goal for Michel had the striker not headed the ball in.
Hassli, Michel, and Castillo celebrating
Then in the 76th minute, some confusion at the top of the box left Zach Lloyd with the ball at his feet and a wide open net in front of him as Houston goalkeeper Deric was way off his line. I wish I had a video of the goal to share! Lloyd’s chip was gorgeous. It cleared Deric easily and soared into the back corner of the net. Ah!
So three unanswered goals for FC Dallas see them through to the quarterfinals on June 26 against Portland. Luckily for FCD, they get to play at home again! Just a few quick talking points before I close out: it was so good to see Kenny Cooper playing again after that nasty head injury against San Jose a couple weeks ago. Eric Hassli also got a start but still couldn’t find his first goal for Dallas. I totally though he had scored at one point, but he was called offside unfortunately.
This weekend FC Dallas travels to Oregon to take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday at 4pm CT. DTID!
Photos courtesy of mlssoccer.com. Follow @AerysSoccer on Twitter for constant updates on MLS and other soccer news!
It was a bit squirelly at first. Yes, I said squirelly. But after the 35th minute of the World Cup qualifying match between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Panama Tuesday, things settled and the USMNT showed that they could have consistent performances and hey, Jozy Altidore can make a run and score!
PHOTO courtesy of MLS official Facebook page.
It’s been two days from the game, plenty of time for my brain to wrap around this, and I still feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone you guys. As a USMNT faithful fan, I’m kind of used to a crazy team – one that makes me never feel secure in the outcome of games; one that makes me feel like they could lose a lead at any moment; one that loses games they should definitely win.
But this team… this team is one US fans have been waiting for I think. That’s not to say that they are perfect. Um, hello, this is the USMNT. And as much as I love them, adore them, follow them everywhere, perfection is not something they are acquainted with. No, this USMNT is finding something that could be just about as damn near awesome as being perfect. They are finding a rhythm together, a consistency. That, ladies and gentlemen, is something I – and probably many other fans – have craved over the years.
And to put on top of that, it’s entertaining. Most of the time when I watch the national team play, I’m on the edge of my seat, biting my nails in nerves. But the past three games have been something different entirely. The players are finding a style of play that is more than just grit and determination. The first goal Tuesday night, which started with a pass from Michael Bradley in the midfield, was gorgeous. Fabian Johnson – who had been struggling through the first half – sent a fantastic pass skirting across the box. Clint Dempsey drew the defense off Jozy Altidore, who – RUNNNING – slammed the ball into the back of the net.
It was a series of touches that I could get used to seeing from the team. And while we’re at it, can we freakin’ talk about that Eddie Johnson goal? Oh. My. God.
I was worried about Geoff Cameron being in the mid during this game, but he has a capacity to prove me wrong when I doubt him. He had a very solid game. And on this goal, he got space in the midfield and the ball he chipped forward was just utterly gorgeous. I mean, watch it and tell me it wasn’t beautiful. You can’t. If you do, you’re lying to me, yourself and all your soccer friends. And where did he chip it to? Eddie Johnson, who made a great run toward goal, beating his defender. Johnson had a fantastic first touch to settle the ball, then hit it hard with his left foot. The Panama keeper who was off his line had no hope.
I don’t know about you, but the US goals I’m used to are ugly, crazy and lucky. They are rarely pretty, or ones you want on the highlight reel. But the tide has changed in this set of games. The goals against Germany, the goals against Jamaica and, oh man, the goals against Panama are beautiful and entertaining. Like I said, something I really really could get used to.
The US now have one more game of this Hex set, against Honduras in Utah Tuesday. They are on top of the qualifying group and signs point that they could stay that way, especially with the troubles Mexico is having at the moment. But as always, the teams of CONCACAF are not ones to discount. Should the US easily beat Honduras? Yes, but as we know that doesn’t mean it could happen. After the past month, however, I think we’re going to see more entertaining play from the boys in red, white and blue in the games to come.
When I pitched the idea yesterday, I will admit that a tiny percentage of my head thinks “But what if?” Of course, I smacked that bit of doubt back because it was pretty obvious that Panama was not going to win this one. You might be asking, “How did you know?” Well, it was the moment the camera panned to Omar Gonzalez and he stared into the lens – I knew immediately: Beast Mode [ON].
And now the U.S. Men’s National Team sits at the top of the Hex; thanks for trying everyone but they really can all go home now. Mexico … they didn’t even try but the US once again is proving that something is finally coming together and it’s working! No really, I even was handed my words from a podcast ago to eat and I will say – it didn’t taste very good. So, good for you Jürgen, and I will never doubt you again…cool it, people! I am getting to the goods…because this week…well, let’s just say it’s all good!
Do you ever look at a photo and get a tear in your eye? 40,000 people were on hand to watch the US defeat Panama yesterday. And now, the goal scorers!
I love that he keeps an eye on the ball just to confirm that it goes all the way in. This was a beautiful shot from Jozy Altidore, his goal in the 36th minute was off a play from Michael Bradley to Fabian Johnson. But honestly, check out his thighs! And you know it’s really all I’m looking at here…
What can I say about Eddie Johnson that hasn’t been said before? Oh right – he got a goal…and not just any goal…it was the game winning goal that pretty much sealed the deal that the US is going to Brazil!
Remember what I said about Omar? Yeah, you totally see it here.
Fabian Johnson showing us his skills and obviously giving us some Thighlights.
It’s not often it happens but when it does…well, you just have to sit back and enjoy the show…the Michael Bradley show. Look, sit down next to me…you see it? Yeah, he’s pretty to look at.
Brad Evans thanking you and everyone that supports the USMNT for their time…but before we leave you…here is one last shot of Brad showing us what Freedom looks like…
I swear we are almost done (not really) but something happened before the game that I just can’t ignore. You might have seen it everywhere by now and if you haven’t – well let’s just say that it raised some eyebrows, maybe upset those that have not worked their abs in ages…this is a photo that makes me happy to be an American. I think you will agree…
See what I mean? I’d point out some other things…but we are an all ages audience so I will instead talk about the stars and the stripes and..well there isn’t much more. Ok…guess it is time for the customary cocktail!