Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Following Players Get to Rock These....

Seattle Sounders FC took the following players in the expansion draft that took place today:

1. Nate Jaqua (F, Houston)
2. Stephen King (M, Chicago)
3. Brad Evans (M, Coumbus)
4. Khano Smith (D/M, New England)
5. Jarrod Smith (F, Toronto)
6. Jeff Parke (D, New York)
7. Tyson Wahl (D, Kansas City)
8. Nathan Sturgis (D/M, RSL)
9. Peter Vagenas (M, Los Angeles)
10. James Riley (D, San Jose)

So I guess I am not very good at predictions, as I only guessed 4 out of 10 correctly. For me the selections fall into 3 categories: Nice pick, Wait and See, and Really?.

In the nice pick category, I have Nate Jaqua (Seattle boy, solid target forward), Stephen King (cheap, versatile midfielder out of Maryland), Tyson Wahl (Young, solid defender to pair with the veteran CB yet to be signed), and Brad Evans ( cheap, talented, box-to-box midfielder).

In the wait and see category, you got Khano Smith (tall, athletic winger, but with a heavy first touch and an occassional attitude problem), James Riley (versatile defender played lots of minutes for San Jose but did not consistently impress), Nathan Sturgis (young defender will turn out to be a great signing if he can stay healthy), and Jeff Parke (Solid, proven back but one who still has a suspension to serve and might bolt for Europe).

Finally, in the "Really?" category, there is Peter Vagenas (veteran midfielder would have been a great pick-up a few years back but at 30, a step slower, and with a $144,000 price tag seems like a strange pick) and Jarrod Smith (a young New Zealand international who only played in 6 games last year for TFC). These last two seem odd to me with talent like Jorge Flores, Aaron Pitchkolan, Johann Smith, and Francis Doe available. Seattle did not choose any players from DC, Dallas, Chivas, or Colorado.

Let the offseason trading begin....


As We Wait For the Expansion Draft

The Expansion Draft takes place at 1 pm, and should kick off some player movement around MLS. Here are the highlights from yesterday's Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Steaua Bucuresti, two teams with connections to MLS; Landon Donovan is expected to be playing for Bayern soon and former FC Dallas player, Juan Toja, is on the books for Steaua.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Expansion Draft Tomorrow

Although every blogger and soccer reporter has already talked about this story, I figured I might as well share my opinion. Plus American soccer news is slow today, so sue me. Last year, the San Jose Earthquakes used the expansion draft (as well as some trades) to build their team from the back to the front, and it served them relatively well. Unfortunately, their lack of firepower up top caused them to start the season horribly, until some mid-season trades (Darren Huckerby, Arturo Alvarez) helped them solve that problem.

Look for Seattle to focus on defense in the expansion draft as well because unlike San Jose last year, they already have some quality players on the roster. They have already signed Kasey Keller (GK), Sebastien Le Toux (F), Sanna Nyassi (M), and their DP Freddie Ljunberg (M). With these players available, who would you take? Following these rules, my picks are after the jump.

Player (Team, Pos., Salary)

1. Nate Jaqua (Houston, F, 156,000)
2. Brandon Prideaux (Chicago, D, 72,000)
3. Pat Phelan (New England, D/M, 33,000)
4. Brad Evans (Columbus, M, 33,000)
5. James Riley (San Jose, D, 33,000)
6. Tyson Wahl (Kansas City, D, 33,000)
7. Jorge Flores (Chivas USA, M/F, 17,700)
8. Aaron Pitchkolan (FC Dallas, D, 33,000)
9. Francis Doe (DC United, F, 33,000)
10. Michael Randolph (LA Galaxy, D/M, 33,000)

I wanted to take Eddie Gaven (Columbus, M, 165,000) and Nate Sturgis (Real Salt lake, D/M, 75,000), but I thought the price tag was too high for Gaven (when you already have 2 outside mids on the roster) and I am not convinced that Sturgis will ever be able to stay healthy.


Jake One is the Truth

Jake One has got beats for days. Got his new album "White Van Music" a little while ago and it has been on constant rotation since. With cameos from Royce da 5'9", M.O.P., Busta Rhymes, Bishop Lamont, Little Brother, Young Buck, and Freeway; the album has an interesting mix of mainstream and below the radar artists rapping over Jake One's productions. The full video for "The Truth" by Jake One featuring Freeway and Brother Ali is after the jump. Check it out and I'll be back later with some soccer news, that's the point of this blog right?


Frank Ribery as the Pink Panther

I usually stick to the realm of the US Men's National team and hip hop, but after seeing this over at I had to post it. Nice to see Ribery showing off some of his acting chops, and his always beautiful smile. I am sure all the players out there who love the Nike Mercurial Vapors and have Cam'ron on their ipods, are especially excited for these boots to hit the stores.


Monday, November 24, 2008

An Early Reason to Give Thanks

In order to cash in on early holiday shoppers and boost their numbers, Ludacris and Kanye West are dropping their new albums today. Now you can get a "The Theater of the Mind" and "808's and Hearthbreak" a day earlier than expected. Above is "Undisputed" from Ludacris' album and you can check out the first single from Kanye's below.

Personally, I'm excited to hear some experimentation from Kanye (as long as he hits us with a classic hip hop album next time) and am always pleased with what Luda brings to the table. I plan on picking these up later, but if you already have, let me know what you think.


U-20 Friendly Result and Qualifying Dates

Thomas Rongen's U-20 squad finished up their camp in Spain with a 2-0 loss to the Rayo Vallencano reserves. The team went 0-2-1 on their trip but the time together should have given Rongen a good chance to evaluate the talent he has available for the upcoming qualifiers.

Speaking of the qualifying tournament, it will take place in early March, in Trinidad & Tobago. Here is the link to the announcement from US Soccer, and a highlight video from the highly entertaining US vs. Poland game, from the last U-20 World Cup. A little taste, to get you excited for upcoming tourney.


Columbus Wins and Other MLS News

The Columbus Crew are MLS Cup Champions. GBS put in a masterful performance, Chad Marshall continued his aerial dominance, and Frankie Hejduk capped off the game with a goal and his first MLS Cup during his long tenure in the league. No complaints should be heard from soccer purists, as the team with the best record in the regular season went on to win the cup.

That's not all that happened this weekend, as Commish Don Garber delivered his State of the League address and the draws for the Hexagonal and the Confederations cup took place. To get the full recap of all the news, check out this post over at DuNord.

I'll be back later with some more soccer and a little music, as some big releases are coming out today.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

MLS Cup Preview

Here is the MLS Cup preview courtesy of ESPN. The winner of the Supporter's Shield, Columbus Crew, taking on the resilient, and surprising New York Red Bulls. Who do you have taking home the cup? I am going to go with a 2-1 victory for the Columbus Crew, behind goals for Alejandro Moreno and GBS, with Juan Pablo Angel pulling one back for the underdogs. Think differently? Let's hear your predictions in the comments section.


Getting Fired Up Courtesy of Bergkamp

MLS Cup is today. Two teams without a championship, and one will not have to wait much longer. I leave you with a video to get you hyped for the beautiful game on national TV today (3:30 pm ET, ABC). I know it is not MLS related, but every time my old roommate wanted to get our house ready for what we were doing, whether it was a game, or a night out at a fine drinking establishment; he would blast this video, whether we liked it or not. Hats off to Bergkamp, he never gets the respect he deserves; and good luck to New York and Columbus, let's hope they give us a classic final.


Friday, November 21, 2008

U-20's Come Up Short in Spain

In their first two games during their week-long camp in Spain, the US U-20's lost to Real Madrid's reserves 5-3, and tied Atletico Madrid's reserves 0-0. The trip will conclude tomorrow after a match with Rayo Vallencia's reserves. It's nice to see Rongen bring together a strong squad for camp, before the team reconvenes for U-20 WCQ early next year. Notable players from the MLS include, Tristan Bowen (LA Galaxy), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Abdusalam Ibrahim (Toronto FC), and Josh Lambo (FC Dallas). While lesser known players plying their trade abroad include, Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Vincenzo Bernardo (SSC Napoli), Kyle Davies (Southampton FC), Gregory Garza (Sporting Lisbon), Jared Jaffrey (Club Brugge), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), and Giuseppe Nazzani (Bologna FC).

Flores, Bowen and Ibrahim tallied against Real Madrid, while Josh Lambo played the full 90 in net in both games so far.


Keep it Moving

Here's the new video by Q-Tip off his tight new album, "The Renaissance". Cool, mellow song to get you through Friday and welcome you to the weekend. Kudos to Rik Cordeiro to having the entire underground hip hop music video scene on lock. From videos by The Roots, to Nas, to Wale, he has been putting it in all year. Nice to be able to see the visual presentation of the music we love, from artists that don't have Britney Spears-type budgets.


Dos a Cero, Sound's about right

Sorry for the delay, I took a day to bask in the glory of victory and annual leave. Nice performance put in by the young fellas, emphasized by the poor display by the visiting Guatemalans. Solid defending, two quality goals and some nice confident ball movement. Those who had been calling for Kenny Cooper had to be happy with the result, as he finished well after a quality move and pass from Jozy. With Beasley, Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Edu and Davies available for the Hexagonal, let's see how big Bob does with some tough personnel decisions.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wait is Over

Let's hope the boys have carb-loaded for the game like Michael Phelps, and are hyped for the game despite being through to the next round. I'm picking the US to win 2-1, getting at least one goal from Jozy. Give a prediction. Will the young Americans rise to the occasion, or will a desperate Guatemalan side overcome an inexperienced American side like Trinidad before them? Let me know what you think. Thanks go to the MNT blog for the preview above.


Let's Take it Back to the Concrete Streets

Just when you thought they were gone, Jurassic 5 returns with a Deluxe Reissue of their classic self-titled EP. Buy it here and check out the video above for that classic, refreshing sound that J5 always brought. I still regret not buying tickets to their show my freshman year in college when they played at my school.


Preview of Things to Come?

Let's hope Freddy brings some of that magic he usually saves for the youth tournaments, and Jozy puts the T&T game behind him and makes the big boys look small. After work, and after picking up a few adult beverages, it's back home to watch the young Americans eliminate Guatemala from World Cup Qualifying (ESPN Classic, 8 pm ET).


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's the Point?

So with the US already through to the next round, and most European players along with top MLS players getting a rest, why should you care about the US vs. Guatemala WCQ ( Wed. on ESPNClassic, 8 pm ET)? Here are a few reasons (or a few players) to watch:

1. Freddy Adu - After a couple of strong performances in friendlies against world powers, Spain and Argentina, and a move to Monaco in Ligue 1, Freddy seemed poised to realize his potential and become a regular for the US. Now having struggled in the last qualifier versus T&T and failing to break into the lineup at Monaco, he has another chance to step up and shine against a motivated Guatemalan team.

2. Jozy Altidore - A goal in your first game against Mexico, and a 10 million dollar move to Villareal can certainly raise expectations for you future. But after a lackluster performance in the Olympics, a lack of playing time for the Spanish giants, and a possible loan move on the horizon, Jozy gets another opportunity to show that he is the future at the forward position for the US.

3. Kenny Cooper - Kenny Cooper earned this call up. After getting overlooked for all of the critical qualifiers, and turning down a chance to play against T&T to stay and help his club, we finally get a chance to see the big man don a US jersey once again. Second in MLS with 18 goals scored, Cooper has established himself as one of the most prolific American strikers at the club level. At only 24 years old, lets hope that nose for goal translates to the international level.

4. Cory Gibbs and Conor Casey - Both were once promising young players that were supposed to be future mainstays for the US. Both went through more injuries than you can imagine. Both came back to MLS, and the Colorado Rapids to rejuvenate their careers. Job well done. During their late season push, the Colorado Rapids leaned on Gibbs to steady their inconsistent back line and depended on Casey for the goals. If they can stay clear of the injury bug and continue their resurgence, they can add some quality depth to their positions on the national team.

5. Michael Parkhurst - The 2007 MLS Defender of the Year, and perennial Fair Play award winner (only 9 fouls in a season, really?), has never developed into a mainstay for the senior squad. One of the most dominant defenders in MLS, Parkhurst should get a fair amount of playing time on Wednesday, and another chance to prove that his lack of physical play will not hinder him on the international level. His contract with the Revs is up, and a good performance could increase his stock in the January transfer window.

6. Jonathan Bornstein - Once Bradley's favorite option at left back, Bornstein has been relegated to the background thanks to a series of injuries and Heath Pearce's steady play at the position. But, after overcoming early season injuries and helping Chivas reach the playoffs for the second year in a row, Bornstein gets another shot to assert himself as the premier American left back.


A Little Wale in the Morning

Since I briefly considered not coming into work this morning, I needed a little music to get me going after I sat down in my chair a good 15 minutes after I should of been there. Here's the video for "Artistic Integrity" from DC's own, Wale. It's off "The Mixtape About Nothing", the mixtape of the year so far, and is available for free download over at his blog. He is about to blow, no doubt about it.


Monday, November 17, 2008

US Roster for Qualifier Announced

Thanks to the MNT blog for the video announcement of the roster for the upcoming WCQ vs. Guatemala on Wednesday. Nice to see Brad Guzan, Freddy Adu, and Jozy Altidore get called in. Experience playing against a desperate Guatemalan team will be vital for the trio, as playing time has been hard to come by for their respective European teams.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Colorado Rapids), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)


Spector Extends Deal with West Ham

Despite having been out of action since June thanks to surgery to repair a torn labrum, Johnathan Spector has signed a new three-year contract with West Ham. The new deal extends his stay at West Ham one year, through 2011. This is good news for the young American, whose promising career has been hampered by injuries the past couple seasons.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Bradley Was Probably Pulling for Chicago

I would like to say that I was neutral when I was watching last night's game, but I wasn't completely. I was rooting for the Fire a little bit; not because I like watching Blanco fall to the ground more than these goats, but because I would of liked to see some of the young Americans on the Crew get called in for the qualifier against Guatemala. I don't know if Bradley is planning on calling anybody in from the losing teams in this round, but it would have been nice to see Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall lining up for the US. Too bad the most exciting young player that plays for the Fire (sorry Justin Mapp), just decided to play for Mali.


Black Milk - Give the Drummer Some

First video off of his recently released "Tronic". Definitely one of the best up and coming producers out there.


Columbus Crew Advance to the MLS Cup Final

The Columbus Crew overcame a first half goal by Brian Mcbride, scoring two goals in the second half to advance to the championship game. I know I had consumed a few beverages by the end of this game, but I came away impressed with the atmosphere at the game (take notes New England) and the quality of play. Columbus has been the most consistent team all year, and its nice to see a team that actually won the regular season advance to a final.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The MNT Blog is Back

After a month-long absence after the last World Cup qualifier, the US MNT blog is back. Check out the site over the course of the next week as it will post some exclusive content from US Soccer. They do a good job of posting exclusive videos from practice and behind the scenes and is definitely worth a look, especially in a week leading up to a qualifier.


Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 Out Today

Although I have heard FIFA 2009 is pretty legit this year, I have to stick with Winning 11, or as it is now called, Pro Evolution soccer. Here is the trailer, review(s) coming soon.


Was Fernando Clavijo Really That Bad?

After compiling a 5-4-2 record and nearly leading his team to the playoffs, Gary Smith has officially been named head coach of the Colorado Rapids. After a respectable end to the season, and with players voicing their support for Smith, this doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is the sudden turnaround by team captain, Pablo Mastroeni, who re-signed with the club Tuesday. Wasn't it just 4 months ago that he was talking about a move to Europe? Whether it was because of a lack of interest from abroad or excitement about his team moving in a positive direction (and away from Calavijo), Mastroeni seems excited about returning to Colorado for next season.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kanye West - Heartless (Official Video HQ)

New video for the song "Heartless" off of Kanye West's "808's and Heartbreaks". No matter what you have to say about the musical direction of this album, you have to admit this is a pretty cool video.


MNT Roster for 4-Day Camp in Colorado

This is the roster for the national team camp being held in Colorado from Nov. 12-15. I wouldn't put too much stock in this list because after the conclusion of the camp and the playoff games this week, Bradley will then call in the actual roster for the qualifier against Guatemala on Nov 19th. I would expect that most of the players will not make the roster for the Guatemala game, but it's nice to see some different players, both new and old being called in. Most notably, Cory Gibbs, Kenny Cooper, and Colin Clark.

Here is the list and the link to the original article:


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brian Edwards (Toronto FC), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Colorado Rapids), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Nick LaBrocca (Colorado Rapids), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)
FORWARDS (5): Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Chad Barrett (Toronto FC), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)


Monday, November 10, 2008


Welcome to my blog; a blog where I can say anything I damn well please. For the most part, "anything I damn well please", will consist of posts concerning the US Men's National Soccer team, MLS, soccer-specific stadiums, Yanks playing abroad, and anything to do with American soccer. I am passionate about this game, and the growth of soccer in the United States. With this blog, I hope to complement the plethora of similar blogs that already exist and provide another place for fans to come and get their news, watch highlights, kill time, and discuss the beautiful game.

But I am not a journalist, and I am not doing this to make money, so there will be times that I will post about my other interests. Interests which include but are not limited to Natural Light, Fine Women, Roy Rogers' Gold Rush Chicken Sandwiches, Hip hop, Fine women that like soccer, hating Oswaldo Sanchez, and classic movies in the vein of Old School.

Most posts on this blog will be lighthearted, while some will (hopefully) be well thought out and informative. If you like the site, come back. If you don't, come back to see what stupid shit I post next. In the end hopefully I will have contributed something to the game which has given so much to me.

Thanks and welcome,