blog

All-Star

16 July 1:54 pm

Avant de se pencher sur le Match des étoiles (All-Star Game) de la MLS et les joueurs qui se mesureront à l’AS Rome, l’émission Coup Franc de cette semaine (à écouter ici) examine de près la baisse de régime de Montréal et en aborde tous les aspects (mentalité, condition physique, tactique, individualités, collectif, etc.) pour tenter de répondre aux nombreuses questions qu’elle suscite.

Ce lundi a eu lieu l’annonce de la sélection des 20 joueurs qui représenteront la MLS pour affronter l’AS Rome le 31 juillet. Chacun des membres de l’équipe de l’émission a composé son onze de départ pour la rencontre et explique ses choix, tant individuels que collectifs, ligne par ligne, et a choisi trois joueurs non convoqués qui auraient mérité une sélection.

Après un départ de championnat rêvé, Montréal n’avance plus. Si on ne parle pas encore de crise, on sent que les inquiétudes sont de plus en plus nombreuses. À quoi doit-on attribuer ce ralentissement soudain ? Caractère ? Nonchalance ? Fatigue ? La défense est-elle la seule à mettre en cause ou se fait-elle toujours renvoyer la patate chaude par l’entrejeu ? Faut-il pointer du doigt des individualités ou des choix de jeu collectifs ? Le fait de jouer à deux attaquants est-il plus néfaste que bénéfique ? Les questions se multiplient et nous tentons d’y répondre.

Voyez aussi le geste de Lenhart sur Gspurning dont on parle en fin d’émission.

L'émission Coup Franc est disponible sur Stitcher et iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com), sur Facebook ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

12 July 9:51 am

CALENDARIO

Lunes 29 de julio, 2013 (Todos los horarios en tiempo del Centro)

7:30pm – Presentación de Clinton Sparks
8:45pm – Pre-Show (Con transmisión en vivo por FutbolMLS.com)
9:00pm – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Con transmisión en vivo por FutbolMLS.com)

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS CON CLINTON SPARKS

Ya están disponibles los boletos para el AT&T MLS All-Star at Power & Light District con la presentación estelar de Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, presentado por BlackBerry.  Este concierto gratuito se llevará a cabo el lunes 29 de julio a las 7:30 pm (hora del Centro) en el KC Live! Stage at the Power & Light District.  Las puertas abrirán a las 6:00 pm y Clinton Sparks será el telonero, como invitado especial.

BOLETOS
A pesar de ser un concierto gratuito es necesario adquirir entradas. Los asistentes deben tener 18 años o más y cualquier persona menor de 21 años debe asistir acompañado de un adulto responsable. Nadie menor de 21 años podrá ingresar después de las 9 p.m.

CÓMO OBTENER BOLETOS
A través de la emisora local Mix 93.3 se estarán regalando entradas, así que conéctense a la estación. De la misma manera, se estarán entregando boletos durante el partido del 13 de julio en el Sporting Park, entre Sporting Kansas City y Toronto FC.
La emisora 95.7 The Vibe también estará rifando entradas, a través de 957thevibe.com.
Siga pendiente de FutbolMLS.com para tener más oportunidades de conseguir entradas.

UBICACIÓN: Kansas City Live! at Power & Light, en Kansas City.

10 July 4:28 pm

Une fois n’est pas coutume, la ville hôte du All-Star Game (Match des étoiles) a été annoncée un an à l’avance. En 2014, il sera joué à Portland, entre une équipe composée des vedettes de la MLS et un club étranger renommé dont le nom sera dévoilé ultérieurement.

Cette année, l’adversaire sera l’AS Rome et le match aura lieu le 31 juillet à Kansas City. Peter Vermes n’a pas encore dévoilé sa sélection mais pourra piocher parmi les membres du Onze Populaire, joueurs pour lesquels vous avez voté. Particularité : ils ne sont pour le moment que dix dans le Onze Populaire… Le onzième homme, un attaquant, dépendra de l’adresse des joueurs de FIFA 13. Voilà qui a le mérite d’être un mode de sélection original !

Parlant de vote populaire, un autre scrutin bat son plein en ce moment : celui du concours de l’engagement communautaire MLS WORKS qui permet à son vainqueur de remporter une coquette somme pour l’œuvre caritative de son choix. Les projets de Montréal et Vancouver sont au coude à coude, celui de Colorado en embuscade. Le scrutin est ouvert jusque vendredi soir.

Pour finir, revenons à Portland, qui ne sort pas du centre de l’attention puisque ce mardi, les États-Unis y ont remporté une plantureuse victoire 6-1 contre le Belize en Gold Cup.

11 June 12:34 pm

Gloire et décadence sont au menu de l’émission de cette semaine (à écouter ici) que l’on pourrait résumer de façon simpliste en disant que le zénith n’est jamais loin d’un trou noir, mais que l’inverse est tout aussi vrai.

Le divorce entre San José et Frank Yallop est la nouvelle la plus retentissante de ces derniers jours. Les astres n’étaient, semble-t-il, plus alignés… À quel point est-ce surprenant ? On se penche sur l’apport de Yallop au jeu et à l’état d’esprit de son équipe et on aborde l’avenir de celui qui a remporté le titre d’Entraîneur de l’année 2012 avant de débattre sur le style d’entraîneurs qui perceront en MLS dans le futur.

Depuis cette semaine, vous pouvez voter ici pour les joueurs qui participeront au Match des étoiles (All-Star Game), ce qui nous amène à parler de ce duel à venir entre les meilleurs joueurs de la compétition et l’AS Rome, de son utilité pour la MLS, de son intérêt pour les supporters, du retour de Michael Bradley, ou encore des problèmes qu’il peut poser aux joueurs et aux entraîneurs.

Lamar Neagle est un des hommes en forme du moment. Puisque les animateurs de l’émission l’ont souvent vu l’an dernier, et pas sous son meilleur jour, ils tentent de comprendre sa métamorphose à Seattle cette saison. On parle également du passage d’Alain Rochat de Vancouver à DC United, via un processus d’échange qui ne semble pas plaire au joueur.

L'émission Coup Franc est disponible sur Stitcher et iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com), sur Facebook ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

31 July 2:25 pm

Ever wonder what the days are like in the life of MLSers leading up to matches?

Well, now you can find out. Major League Soccer and NBC have announced a new, day-in-the-life series, MLS 36. The program – which follows in the footsteps of fellow NBC Sports Network series Fight Night 36, IndyCar 36 and NHL 36 – takes viewers behind the scenes for a player's 36 hours prior to kickoff.

San Jose Earthquakes star and golden-boot leading Chris Wondolowski wil be the first league player highlighted, when his preparation for the 2012 MLS All-Star Game will air on Sunday, August 5 at 9:30 pm ET on the NBC Sports Network. The second installment is set to air the following Friday, August 10 when Seattle's Fredy Montero's preparations are recorded ahead of the Sounders' World Football Challenge match vs. Chelsea on July 18.

Additional episodes and players of MLS 36 will be announced at a later date. Which player to the right would you want to see featured? Or, let us know who else you would want in the comments below.

26 July 11:42 am

C’était la fête à Philadelphie ce mercredi soir, et en plus d’un superbe feu d’artifice au-dessus de PPL Park, les spectateurs ont été gâtés par cinq buts, de nombreux retournements de situation et une victoire de la sélection de la MLS contre Chelsea (voir résumé ci-dessous).

Certes, les meilleurs talents de notre compétition avaient déjà battu le prestigieux club anglais en 2006, mais les Londoniens ont été impressionnés par les progrès de la MLS en six ans. Leur entraîneur Roberto Di Matteo reconnaît que son équipe était la moins affûtée des deux mais accorde du mérite aux joueurs de MLS (voir son point de presse en vidéo).

Chelsea a manqué de créativité en milieu de terrain et les rares fois où Lukaku a été en position dangereuse, Jay DeMerit a sorti l’intervention salvatrice. Alors qu’il devait quitter ses partenaires en cours de partie, le défenseur de Vancouver a joué tout le match suite à la blessure d’Aurélien Collin.

Après l’ouverture du score par Wondolowski, Terry et Lampard ont donné l’avance aux visiteurs. Pontius a égalisé et Johnson a fixé les chiffres à 3-2 dans les arrêts de jeu : il attribue une part du mérite à Ben Olsen (vidéo des réactions dans le camp des vainqueurs).

25 July 10:52 pm

Halftime analysis from Chelsea TV: "It feels quite like an exhibition, doesn't it?"

Yes, yes it does.

The MLS All-Star Game is great for the pomp and pagaentry, for the chance to see the guys who are ostensibly the league's best gathered in one spot, and for the chance to heckle one European superstar or another (this year's target, courtesy of the Sons of Ben, appeared to be Frank Lampard. Bold choice that didn't quite work out).

But just as in other leagues, the All-Star Game doesn't quite run in the red. Players have a little more time and space, tackles are a little less meaningful and complaints to the ref are a little less vociferous than they'd otherwise be.

Bear all that in mind when trying to delve into the 90 minutes we just saw, and don't be too firm in the conclusions you've drawn.

With that caveat, here are three things we learned from the 3-2 MLS victory...

Ozzie Alonso can play in any league in the world

Alonso comes up short vs. a number of MLS d-mids in terms of passing ability. He's not a time-keeper like Kyle Beckerman or Dax McCarty, and when he gets frustrated, he'll play it long a bit too often. He never would have hit that pass to Eddie Johnson for the game-winner.

Many coaches would make that sacrifice, however, for his ability to win the second ball. Alonso is simply phenomenal at it, whether it's against Chivas USA or Chelsea FC.

Basketball coaches talk about guys like Kevin Love or — two decades ago — Dennis Rodman, and their "Rebounding Gene." They just, somehow, know how to read the shot, the angle, the momentum, the spacing of players, and get themselves into the right spot to grab the ball.

That's the nearest approximation I can make for Alonso's ability to gobble up everything in midfield. It's uncanny, like a mutant superpower. And while he may not be as well-rounded as other d-mids out there, his ability in this particular area does so much in terms of freeing the rest of the midfield to play higher that it's, at this point, incalculable.

With all that in mind, I'm kind of stunned that no Euro team has made the Sounders an offer they can't refuse. Having that one world-class skill out there would have a multiplying effect on the abilities of the rest of the players on any team. Period.

With All-Star teams, simpler is better

Ben Olsen started his side out in a 4-4-1-1 and basically kept them there all night. It didn't exactly make for elegant build-up (especially against Chelsea's 4-2-3-1), but in those rare moments that the field opened up and the All-Stars got moving forward, opportunities for flowing, aggressive counterattacks were there. That's about the best you can ask for from a team playing with one day of practice under their belt.

Defensively, it was even more important to keep it simple. Chelsea had their chances, sure, but it's worth noting that their goals came off a set piece and a goalkeeper error. That can happen no matter the formation.

Point is, keeping it simple was Olsen's way of keeping his team from making the errors that have plagued the All-Stars the last two times out. It's also why most tactical experimentation takes place at the club level, where coaches have their players for 10 months out of 12, rather than at the national team level, where the best most managers can hope for is a two-week camp. Can't reinvent the wheel on a deadline.

Balance is the most important physical asset for any soccer player

We didn't really learn this today (or the other two, to be honest), but it bears repeating here anyway.

Too often we get caught up in size, speed, strength, leaping ability, etc etc etc. And all of those are valuable (some more than others). But give me an athlete who can stay on his feet when everyone else around him is getting corkscrewed into the ground, and I can build you a soccer player.

The extreme version is Lionel Messi, obviously. His balance is the most outstanding physical trait in the history of the game.

On Wednesday night in Chester, Pa., it was Chris Wondolowski who stood out, particularly on his goal. When he scored, my Twitter timeline filled up with "Typical Wondo goal" and "All he had to do was put it in" and the like.

And, well, yeah. That's the point, isn't it? He was able to get into position in front of goal then stay on his feet in a situation where most strikers would have taken a tumble. Look at how quickly he stops his momentum, squares and finishes. It's not rocket science.

I'll leave you with a thought from the great George Best, talking about — appropriately — former Chelsea and LA Galaxy head coach Ruud Gullit in Andrew Godsell's Europe United:

"Ruud Gullit is a great player by any standards. He has all the skills. He's not afraid to do things with the ball. And he looks as if he's enjoying every second of it. By my reckoning, that's what makes him an even better player than Maradona. Both have the key quality you will find in all the best players: balance."

It's the truth at any level.

25 July 7:28 pm

 

MLS W.O.R.K.S. joined the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Union Foundation, AT&T, Chester Upland School District and organizers from KaBOOM! to construct a new playground and small-sided field on Tuesday at Science and Discovery High School as part of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game festivities.

MLS All-Stars Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia Union), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA), Jimmy Nielsen and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC) and Philadelphia Union players Chase Harrison and Krystian Witkowski and MLS and Philadelphia Union executives were on hand to take part in youth activities, to aid in the construction of the playground and to officially unveil the AT&T Community Field. The players were joined by local volunteers in constructing the playground, while Philadelphia Union Academy coaches led drills and small-sided games for children as part of the AT&T Youth Clinic. Former MLS All-Star Alexi Lalas was on hand to participate. The new facilities were officially opened with a net-cutting ceremony by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz and members of Chester Upland School District.

Tuesday's community service project was part of Major League Soccer's effort to create sustainable projects that leave a lasting legacy.

To view video from the event, click here.

Check out some photos on Flickr.

In addition to the event on Tuesday, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and the Philadelphia Union sponsored a Starlight Fun Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. Children undergoing treatment at Crozer-Chester Medical Center will be smiling brighter thanks to the multi-media Fun Center. Designed to combat anxiety and loneliness faced by hospitalized children, The Fun Center was unveiled today along with Philadelphia Union players Michael Lahoud and Amobi Okugo. Lahoud and Okugo visited with patients, participated in arts and crafts and cut the ribbon during the official dedication ceremony.

Check out some photos on Flickr.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP Grand Prize winner was announced at last night’s 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Congratulations to Andrew Pocklington representing the Philadelphia Union! Andrew won $10,000 for the Animal Care and Control Center of Philadelphia.

Congratulations to Jeffrey Briley, winner of the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Continental Tire Greener Goals contest. Jeffrey and his daughter, Maya, took to the field at the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game where they were recognized for their efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

To view more photos from the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, click here.

 

 

25 July 1:26 pm

How often can you call an All-Star Game historic? Ground-breaking? Or even revolutionary?

Well, the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will classify as all of the above, no matter who wins the match or whether or not a goal is even scored.

Unless you've been under a rock these last few weeks, you've likely heard about the Smart Soccer revolution that's being pioneered by adidas through their miCoach technology. 

It's science fiction meets soccer: The players are wearing devices that track details of their movements and their overall performance like it's never been seen before. All in real-time. Who's covering more ground? Who's the fastest player on the field? Who's working hardest?

Wednesday's match is the first-ever "Smart Soccer" match and fans at home will be able to experience it for themselves by following along on the adidas Facebook page (click here during the match).

Below is a sneak peek of what the data will look like. It's just a preview of what is to come next year when MLS becomes the world's first "smart league" with every game tracked this way.

25 July 12:32 pm

PHILADELPHIA – Frank Lampard must have known this was coming.

Since appearing in a suite at The Home Depot Center alongside David Beckham a few weeks ago, the speculation about a possible move to the LA Galaxy has only heated up. And he can’t dodge the questions now, not with Chelsea on a two-week tour of the United States and American journalists only too happy to keep seeking clues.

Lampard keeps playing diplomat, of course, repeating that he’s under contract with Chelsea and happy with the European champions. But the England international did get a laugh in Tuesday’s press conference when asked if he’d like to play alongside his former captain in LA.

“I think that he might not want me, I don’t know,” Lampard said to laughs.

Galaxy fans can take heart in that he didn’t close the door on a future move if his services were deemed surplus to Chelsea.

“I’m waiting to speak to Chelsea [about a new contract] and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

WATCH: Chelsea's Lampard, Di Matteo laud evolution of MLS