Thursday, April 15, 2010

Utahan Update - April 15

Utah's professional players didn't fare well this last week, as only one of the three made an appearance. Although, there are at least three players of the younger generations with ties to Utah who have been called into upcoming training camps for the U.S. National Team.

Major League Soccer

Justin Braun (Salt Lake City) -- Dressed, but did not play in Chivas USA's 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls this last weekend.

Women's Professional Soccer

Liz Bogus (Sandy, Utah) -- Did not dress for the Boston Breakers' 2-1 victory over the Washington Freedom.

Katie Larkin (Draper, Utah) -- Came on for the Atlanta Beat in the 90th minute of a 0-0 draw with the Philadelphia Independence. It was the inaugural match for both clubs.

Elli Reed (Park City, Utah) -- US U-23 WNT -- As mentioned last week Reed will train with the U-23 WNT April 18-25 in Corvallis, OR. Reed is no stranger to the national team system as she was a member of the US U-20 squad that won the World Cup in 2008.

Lindsi Lisonbee (BYU; Park City, Utah) -- US U-20 WNT -- A press-release from US Soccer included Lisonbee in the line up for the U-20 WNT camp that is currently gathered in Carson, Calif. Although, the information can not be confirmed on Interestingly enough, when Lisonbee is on the roster Cloee Colohan is not.

Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah) -- US U-20 WNT -- According to Colohan was called into camp with the U-20 WNT that convenes this week. Although, Colohan's name was missing from a recent press-release, she remains on the roster on the website.

Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) -- US U-18 MNT -- The RSL teenage sensation, who made an appearance for the professional side in US Open Cup play this week, will train with the U-18 MNT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. April 25-May 2.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Opening Day Jitters

Saturday was a special day in Sandy. With the recognition of the 2009 MLS Cup Champions, a full house, and a new season to open at Rio Tinto Stadium, there was an electric feel to the evening. The buzz was enough to affect not only the play on the field, but also the team operations off the field. My thoughts on opening day need to be prefaced by the fact that I spent the first 20 minutes of the match standing in the ticket line on the west side of Rio Tinto Stadium. Due to some travel plans I wasn't sure if I would be attending the match and did not purchase a ticket in advance of the contest. Instead, I had the privilege of mingling with the masses who were trying to pick up tickets either previously purchased or grab a few of the remaining for sale. From the murmurs of the crowd, I gathered that RSL did not mail out season tickets, but rather informed holders to simply arrive early to pick up their tickets. This led to excessive congestion that ensued, causing many to miss much of the first half. If what I heard was true, the team should really rethink this process.

About the match, it's a very similar story for RSL. The team played well as a whole for most of the match. Seattle is a solid team, who will most likely be involved in the postseason. With only a pair of scoring chances through the entire match, the Sounders capitalized on both of them. The Salt Lake defense was solid. But, to be elite, as head coach Jason Kreis requests, they can't allow such chances. Teams will pounce, much like Seattle did.

RSL controlled the tempo with dominating midfield possession. Even while switching out the pieces due to injury there didn't seem to be much of a let down. Nelson Gonzalez was a lot of fun to watch on the left flank. He's crafty on the ball through traffic, speedy on the attack, and a great crosser of the ball - as seen on the late service to Alvaro Saborio that led to the equalizing goal in extra time. Gonzalez appears to be another fantastic addition to the league's most solid midfield.

What a difference a goal makes. Before Saborio's header in the 94th minute I was ready to rant about poor finishing and wasted chances. But all of that frustration is gone with a great snap header. Add Will Johnson's fantastic diving header just after halftime and you have some feel good moments to counter balance the weight of two fatal defensive lapses.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Utahan Update - Apr. 8

With the summer seasons of the American professional leagues get started this month Desert Crown will follow the progress of players with ties to the state of Utah. If you know of any other players who are getting paid to play, and are not included in the list below, please let us know so we can keep everyone informed.


Justin Braun - CD Chivas USA (MLS) - Started and played 81 minutes in a loosing effort in the El Classico with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Chivas will host the red hot Red Bulls of New York on Saturday, April 10.


The Woman's Professional Soccer season is set to kickoff on April 10th. The off season saw the demise of WPS finalists LA Sol, which housed both of the representatives from Utah in Katie Larkin and Liz Bogus. As the roster dispersed through out the league Larkin ended up with the 2010 WPS Expansion side, the Atlanta Beat and Bogus is in Boston playing for the Breakers. The Beat came out on the winning end of a 2-1 pre-season match against Boston this week. Bogus made an appearance in the match as a substitute.

Bogus and the Breakers will open the 2010 season on the road against the Washington Freedom on Saturday, April 10. While Larkin and the Beat will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Independence in a battle of the 2010 expansion teams.

U.S. National Team

U-23 WNT - Park City's Elli Reed has been called into a training camp with the Under-23 Women's National Team at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., from April 18-25. Reed, currently a student at the University of Portland, was included in the list of 24 of the nation's best collegiate players who will train under coach Bill Irwin and then face Oregon State and the University of Portland.

U-20 WNT - After a shortened freshman season at Portland, Cloee Colohan will rejoin the U.S. National Team system as part of the U-20 squad preparing for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany later this year. Head coach Jill Ellis will bring 26 players to a training camp April 11–18 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Ellis will have one more domestic training camp in May, followed by a trip to Germany in June before she selects her 21-player roster to represent the USA at the World Cup in late July.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

2009 Road Form Returns for RSL

As a defender for much of my playing days, I really enjoy watching Jamison Olave - most of the time. A few seasons back I heard on opposing coach mention of Olave, that he was a solid defender but that he was good for at least one major mistake per game. Ever since I heard that I've noticed Olave's weak moments, and have discovered that the coach's statement was extremely accurate on most occasions.

On Thursday Olave was good for two mistakes. To hasty challenges resulted in two penalties pounded in by Brad Davis.

The title of this entry is a bit misleading, as the Champions were able to score. The build up was pristine, with the finish matching the entire play in quality. With only two games done, RSL have now nearly reached their halfway point on road goals scored from 2009. So, on that level, the overall match wasn't bad.

Does anyone really know what got into Fabian Espindola's head toward the end of the match when tried to take an unsolicited piggyback ride on Houston's Bobby Boswell? All I can say is that Espi got away with flipping out on the pitch and not getting sent off.

My final point I wanted to bring up was regarding Robbie Findley. Even though he hasn't found his scoring touch this season, his first touch continues to make me smile. Watch when Findley receives a pass. Last year the ball would bounce a little away from him, and in tight spots he would lose it. This year the ball is staying tight to his body, keeping the striker in complete possession of the ball - even in tight spaces.

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