Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Second PDL Team in Utah: Ogden Outlaws

Utah adds a second PDL team in Ogden, as reported by the Deseret News. The Ogden Outlaws will join the BYU club team in the United Soccer League's Northwest PDL division next spring.

This is nothing but good for RSL. To have lower division teams through out the state will only increase soccer's visibility in the area as a spectator sport. The owner expects to have about 1,500 to 2,000 out to each match, which is a realistic goal.

The team will play at the minor league baseball stadium in downtown Ogden for the 2006 season. Depending on the teams success Ogden City will help the Outlaws find a field of their own for 2007.

From my days attending Blitzz (D-3) games where they would draw 3,000 regularly with no advertising I've had a good feeling about soccer in Utah.

Best of luck to the Outlaws. I'll probably catch a game or two in the spring.

Thanks to Are You Loyal? for tipping me on the story.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Local SLC Radio: Dunny to Chivas

The rumor has been bounced around for about a day now. Apparently it may have some merit.

According to 1320 KFan Brian Dunseth will be in a Chivas uniform next season in exchanged for 2 players to be named later.

I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous about this move. We'll have to see who we get in exchange for Dunny.

Looks to be a major overhaul this winter for RSL.

Thanks to the folks over at Sports Fanalysis for the heads up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

USA Today: "Mathis on trading blocks"

According to this report (look at the bottom under the "short kicks" section) in USA Today, you could say the Clint isn't on the waiver bubble. In fact, he's not even near it.

I am surprised that "about five teams" have shown interest. That means that at least two teams that made the playoffs are willing to consider the idea of putting $410,000 on Mr. Mathis.

In all honesty, Clint looked frustrated here. I realize that RSL is still looking for a style and a system, but Clint was not connecting with what ever experiments were going on with the side. He doesn't do well carrying a team. He'll be your sniper and score for you, but he has a hard time as a team uniter and motivator.

That's not to say that he could turn around a second wind of his career in another system.

Somebody on BigSoccer poked at the idea of trading Gaven for Mathis, not sure why the Metros would do such a thing but the thought gave me goose bumps.

Didn't Gaven play of Ellinger before?

RSL players on the waiver bubble

As reported on Monday RSL is looking at their options for building an improved squad for next year. Each team in the league will be submitting their list of waived players by the end of the day on Tuesday.

James Edward mentions in the article a list of players who are definite and a list that is on the bubble. Those on the bubble include: Jordan Cila, Tiger Fitzpatrick, DJ Countess, and Adolfo Gregorio. First, I'm going to focus on the goalkeeper situation.

In his fifth year in the league Countess played in 27 games and the team earned a 4-19-4 record while he was on the field. This means that RSL accumulated only 19.75% of the total points possible while Countess was playing.

Salt Lake played slightly better during Jay Nolly's five matches this year acquiring a 1-3-1 record, or in other words when he was between the pipes RSL earned 26.67% of the possible points from those 5 games.

Countess' main drawback is his health. I don't remember a week this season where he was completely healthy. Nolly, on the other hand, has looked very good during the few opportunities he's been given. He's still a young keeper mentally, but his size, agility and presence in the box makes me feel comfortable with him in front of the net.

Nolly is currently in Germany training with Bundesliga side Hannover 96 along with fellow RSL first year players Kenny Cutler and Jamie Watson. Meanwhile Countess is in rehab from shoulder surgery.

As for the other bubble dwellers:

Jordan has lots of talent and can strike a mean ball when his confidence is up. But, I think RSL lacked team speed and Cila was part of that. If he were to go I would think it would be to make room for a speedier addition.

Tiger has mad skills. He's one of those players who is a delight to watch on the ball. But, his play never made a lasting impact in the win-loss column. I'd still like to seem him stay, personally.

Adolfo Gregorio. This one surprised me the most as Adolf was a late season addition from the lower divisions in England. His adjustment to the physical nature of MLS took a little time. Maybe the coaches were expecting him to make an immediate impact. Or, there could be something I'm not thinking chemistry?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Live from Frisco it's MLS Cup!

After watching the Gals of Los Angeles take home their second MLS Cup title there is no argument that the team can play. In the final game of the year against the best team in the Eastern Conference they out shot the Revs 25-11. More than twice as many cracks towards the goal.

The Green-and-Gold were the more fluid and calm team through out the match. If you had not known any of this years regular season history and had stumbled into the game on TV you would have thought that it was the left-coasters who where the favorites (if it wasn’t for JP and Wynalda constantly reminding the viewers of the reverse). As much as I wanted New England to win to reward those players who did so well all year long - who took every game seriously - I had a feeling in my gut before the match even started that it wasn't going to be their day.

To my fellow MLS supporters I pose this question (which I will address more directly in a future post): If LA can look so good in the playoffs, why did they play so disinterestedly in the regular season? Are their white kits really that distracting - to themselves - on the road that they can't focus on playing?

The Galaxy were seeded 8th out of 8 teams in this year's playoffs and they stormed through to take the title. It's hard to argue that is 98% Landon, who put the team on his back for the playoff journey. In the final on Sunday the Revs looked to quiet the young lad, but his other team mates stepped in to create havoc for New England.

Albright was dangerous coming up from his right back position. And Gomez, oh my dear friend Gomez. Last year he was kickin around for the D-3 San Diego Gauchos. This year he was a balls width away (and sometimes less) from MLS Cup history.

New England put forth their greatest effort all season to be the best all around team in the east. They really did well defensively the enitre match and into over time, but it all came down to a bad touch from a rookie. When Riley's touch to disposses a Galaxy player rolled over 20 yards and over the endline for a corner I audibly uttered the name "Buckner" in frustration. The ensewing corner was putched out by Reis, but them volleyed into the net by Pando Ramirez.

You can't falt Matt Reis. The man is a big game keeper who stone walled LD and Gomez on several occasions.

Good job to LA for winning the double and showing the rest of the league how to do it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

RSL Injury Update: Dunseth

Deuce over at Are You Loyal? had this report on Brian Dunseth's condition recovering from a broken foot.

I had heard mixed reports on what Dunnie injured. And with the fact that the size of the RSL injury list resembles the length of a team roster, you can imagine that sources get mixed up with who they are talking about with what condition. Said list states that Dunny is recovering from a shoulder injury. That would be DJ Countess with the bum shoulder.

Seeing that Brian played through the pain for several games shows a lot about his character and desire to win. My respect for him just went up a notch.

Of course now our guys need to actually win rather than just have to the desire to do so. Even though it's a start. But, we have a few months until games start again so we'll hold off on that for now...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

2005 Western Conference Finals

You would think, as one who has watched much of this year's MLS season online at, that I would have bookmarked the Sights and Sounds page so that I wouldn't have to go through the front page of the site and see the results of that days games before seeing them.

Such was the case tonight with the Western Conference Finals. I didn't see any headlines or scores, I only saw a picture of Landon and that was enough.

I still watched the match in it's entirety, mostly with the sound off because of the nauseating level of homering that Bretos and Hopkins exhibit in their broadcasts. Due to the lack of volume some of my observations may have been cleared up by the LA announcers.

Tonight was another example as to why Bryan Hall has lost his touch. He's like that old professor that has tenure and therefore is untouchable no matter how bad he is at his job. There were several calls that were questionable, ejections that should have been made and of course what would a playoff game be without a mysterious call that disallows a goal?

It was in around the 33rd minute and Pegero headed in a corner, but Hall called for the corner to be retaken. Was it explained as to what the call was?

Through out the match the Galaxy seemed to know exactly what to do in a conference final situation, and the Rapids as a whole did not. Cobi Jones carried the Gals on his shoulders for the first half. The old-timer did all the work on their first goal, where he beat a few people carried down the sideline and then sent a cross in to Landon for him to slide in front of his mark and knock it in.

During the second half LA seemed to absorb the Rapids while not applying any offensive pressure. They didn't seem to want another goal until the 87th minute when Landon received the ball just past half field and seemed to have this attitude of "let's see how far I can get through three defenders." If you didn't see it, you should. It was especially fun to watch somebody dribble through a defense that wasn't RSL.

With the 2-0 win LA are on their way to Frisco for the Cup against the winner of Sundays Eastern Conference Final.

The Galaxy knows exactly how to work the MLS system: Do just enough to get into the playoffs and then decide to play hard for about the last dozen games of the season.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reaction to BASA: Forward of the Year

Really, I'll only comment on the BASAs if I don't agree. So, with the young player (Dempsey), midfielder (DeRo), and geezer (Djorkaeff) I agreed enough not to feel like I had to say anything.

Now with forward of the year I agree that Taylor Twellman was the man in front of the net. Not only does he score goals, but most importantly for the Revs he finds the net in clutch situations.

Jaime Moreno is a fine player and a great goal scorer, but I don't agree that he is the second most dangerous marksman in the league. Yes, he was #2 in goals for the year with 16, but 9 of those came from the penalty spot. In comparison to the others on the top scorers list Twellman took 0 penalties; Donovan buried 4 from the spot; Cunningham put 2 of his dozen goals from 12 yards; and Guevara scored 4 of his 11 goals as pks.

Just for kicks and giggles, what would the scoring table look like if we took out penalties?

2.C. Gomez11
2.H. Gomez11

I understand that a goal from the spot is still a goal on the score sheet. But this table is simply taking a look at who scores more often in live play and thus is a better forward.

And now to comment on scaryices point on Herc being above LD in the voting. Landon Donovan is far and away a better player than Gomez at every facet of the game. That's pretty obvious. From what we've seen of Herc, he's a one trick pony only posting 2 assists. But, with a guy like Landon feeding the ball to Herc putting him in situations to score, I would have to agree with the voting. Gomez has been a better forward this year for the Galaxy.