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25 April 6:15 pm

We're seeing lots of this lately:

"I think we were the better team, we had more chances, but they did well holding on for the win.” -- FC Dallas' Brek Shea after his team's 1-0 loss to Vancouver on Saturday.

"We didn’t give up many chances. We played well but came up short even though I thought we created more chances. Sometimes, that’s the way it happens, but we kept pressing it. All in all, I was happy with the performance.” -- Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes after his team's 1-0 loss to Portland on Saturday.

“If you look at the game and the number of chances we played, and potential opportunities, possible ... questionable calls that could have led to different results ... We did quite a bit tonight and could have been rewarded a bit more for what we did.” -- Chivas USA manager Robin Fraser after his team's 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

"We should have won the game on the scoreboard. When you create so many chances and play so well, it's just so frustrating. But you have to take a positive from this game. We were by far the better team ... We did everything possible to win the game." -- Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor after his team's 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday.

“I’m disappointed with the result. We had a couple more chances and could’ve won this game, but we just got a point.” -- Columbus Crew manager Robert Warzycha after a 2-2 draw against Houston on Saturday.

That's five MLS teams who feel they didn't deserve the verdict adjudged by the field. All on the same DAY.

You get the picture here. Barcelona fans get it loud and clear these days.

But don't blame the coaches, who see the payoffs that result from betting on defensive "anti-soccer" tactics. Blame the format of competition.

Fans don't want to see teams bunker in? Create a competition format that draws them out. Reward goals scored handsomely. Lavish the team that scores more of them with a bountiful bonus package. The greater the goal differential in your match? The more points you take away in league play.

But fans and soccer officials around the world would rather huff and puff about goal-line technology, which would only have a marginal effect on the game.

There is a much more meaningful discussion that could be taking place. That it's not is perhaps the most revealing sign that soccer fans actually enjoy the status quo but are too hypocritical to admit it.

That's because the status quo allows for cinderella stories. It creates "villains" and even allows them to win now and then. If the good guy won every time, that'd be a lot less compelling, wouldn't it?

25 April 5:14 pm

What are the chances that the MLS All-Star team will be facing the Champions League trophy winners come July?

The odds certainly improved when Chelsea beat Barcelona in the semifinals this week. They will next face Bayern Munich -- who beat Real Madrid on Wednesday -- in the Champions League final.

Once that's done, though, Chelsea will turn their attention to their US tour, which will, of course, include the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, July 25, at PPL Park outside of Philadelphia.

You want to be there, don't you? Well, tickets went on presale starting today.

CLICK HERE to get tickets via the VISA presale.

25 April 4:53 pm

Remember those Columbus Crew kits that made news headlines earlier this year?

Well, they made an appearance in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night in a match that will likely go down as one of the greatest in Chelsea FC history: a 2-2 draw in Barcelona which earned Chelsea a spot in the final.

Sure, the Chelsea stripes are horizontal and the Crew's go vertical, but the concept is basically the same. And Columbus Crew president Mark McCullers made sure to let everyone know earlier today:

 

25 April 2:38 pm

La amistad y cercanía de los jugadores de Seattle Sounders Fredy Montero y Osvaldo Alonso va mucho más allá de la cancha. Eso no es noticia para nadie, ya que se trata de dos de los jugadores latinos de más duración en la franquicia esmeralda.  

Sin embargo, en una entrevista con Félix Fernández de Republica Deportiva durante las pruebas de Sueño MLS en esa ciudad, el colombiano y el cubano revelaron la particular historia de cuando se conocieron, de su rápido acercamiento por el idioma y la cultura que los rodeaba, siendo ambos los únicos jugadores de habla hispana en el equipo.

En las palabras de Montero: “Un día yo vi a un muchacho flaquito, blanquito, sentado en el hotel y dije ‘este es americano también’ y lo miro y él me dice a mi: ‘¡tu eres el colombiano!”

Aquí la entrevista:

25 April 12:10 pm

As Real Madrid and Brazil star Kaka ticks over the 10 million followers mark on Twitter — a quite remarkable feat — which other athletes generate the most interest from fans, journalists and other professionals worldwide?

Four out of the top five followed athletes are soccer players, once again proving soccer's global appeal. This is what Kaka had to say:

Here are the top five followed athletes on Twitter on the planet:

1. Kaka – 10,014,735 million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo - 9,015,170 million

3. LeBron James - 4,340,534 million

4. Neymar - 4,102,275 million

5. Wayne Rooney - 3,942,544 million

25 April 10:17 am

Battu 2-0 lors du match aller à Monterrey, Santos Laguna réussira-t-il un nouvel exploit devant ses supporters en finale de la Ligue des champions ? Les changements à l’attaque modifieront-ils la dynamique de ce duel ? Le tenant du titre sera privé de l’auteur des deux buts du match aller, Humbert Suazo, suspendu pour abus de cartons jaunes. De son côté la formation de Torréon peut à nouveau compter sur son buteur Oribe Peralta.

Un match de MLS est aussi au programme de la soirée : Dallas accueille Salt Lake. Les Texans sont surtout efficaces sur phases arrêtées alors que les pensionnaires de l’Utah marquent davantage sur attaques posées : qui remportera ce duel de styles ? Avec deux des équipes les plus prolifiques dans le dernier quart d’heure, on est aussi en droit d’imaginer une fin de match spectaculaire.

Enfin, comment ne pas évoquer les déclarations d’Aron Winter, faisant preuve d’une belle assurance en affirmant qu’il comptait voir son équipe participer à la phase finale de la saison, malgré les six défaites concédées par le Toronto FC depuis le début du championnat. Selon vous, fait-il preuve de réalisme ou d’optimisme démesuré ?

LIGUE DES CHAMPIONS
20h00 : Santos Laguna (Mex) - Monterrey (Mex) (aller 0-2)

MLS
20h30 : Dallas - Salt Lake

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Horaire télé des matchs de Ligue des champions et de  MLS

24 April 3:34 pm

Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall showed MLS some love the other day, but not the kind D.C. sports fans want to see. Wall wasn't sporting a D.C. United jersey, but the shirt of fierce rivals, the New York Red Bulls. Ouch.

The first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft was recently spotted showing off his Red Bulls jersey at Club Play in Miami Beach.

After a stellar career at the University of Kentucky, Wall has carved out a name for himself in the NBA, finishing runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.

Wall grew up in North Carolina, so why the Red Bulls jersey, United fans might be asking?

Beats me.

Also, one last lingering thought. Did he bust out the cult “John Wall dance” which gave him so much popularity during his college days, while in the club? Did he do so with New York colors on his back?

Answers on a postcard, please.

(Photo via Urban Party Life

24 April 11:20 am

Deux autobuts et de nombreux autres buts offerts directement par l’adversaire ou résultant d’erreurs des gardiens et joueurs de l’équipe qui encaisse, les cadeaux ont été nombreux lors de la dernière journée.

Au lieu de stigmatiser les bêtises, j’ai préféré me concentrer sur un autre aspect des réalisations du week-end : le kick and rush. De plus en plus rare (3% des buts en MLS en 2011, comme la moyenne des grands championnats européens), il existe encore. On n’avait marqué que deux fois de la sorte depuis le début de l’année, trois (jolis) buts avaient cette physionomie ce week-end. Le topo est simple : on balance un long ballon devant, tout le monde se précipite et là, place à la débrouillardise.

Le plus beau est celui de Pontius (DC United) contre New York : un dégagement mal négocié par la défense lui arrive dans les pieds et il déjoue l’arrière-garde adverse avant de marquer. Celui de Cummings (Colorado) contre Los Angeles est similaire : il récupère une longue balle de son arrière droit, elle aussi mal repoussée, et conclut de superbe manière.

Mais le but qui résume la journée est celui ci-dessous de Gaven (Columbus) contre Houston : kick and rush qui part d’un dégagement du gardien, passe décisive d’un défenseur et erreur combinée de la défense et du gardien. Tout y est…

24 April 11:04 am

Former Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III has been in the news a lot recently, but mostly because of his impending jump to the NFL. Yawn.

But RG3 crossed into the world of soccer last week when he tweeted out that he had just met Alex Morgan, she of US women's national team and SI Swimsuit edition fame.

Which is pretty cool, except that's totally not what happened.

 

 

Eventually everything got cleared up and everyone had a good laugh about it. But it just goes to show that even the most talented among us sometimes make dumb mistakes.

And probably that Tobin Heath's agent should get on the phone with Sports Illustrated right now.

23 April 6:19 pm

Toronto FC came out in their normal 4-3-3 lineup against Chicago minus Danny Koevermans and Nick Soolsma. Crossing has been a huge inconsistency for Toronto which makes it even more perplexing as to why they keep doing it. According to @OptaJack, TFC are attempting the most crosses by any team in 2012.

Toronto attempted 30 crosses from open play against the Fire, completing just 5 of them. The problem isn’t the number of crosses – it’s who’s taking them. Out of 25 unsuccessful crosses, TFC’s three forwards were responsible for 18 (image below) and 4 of the 5 successful crosses. Koevermans and Johnson are TFC’s best options in the air. So if Johnson is crossing and Koevermans is out, who (from TFC) is going to get on the end of these crosses?

 

Before this past Saturday’s game against the Chicago Fire, Toronto had conceded ten goals while netting just two. They’ve missed some sitters (6 Big Chances Fluffed) – Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans with 3 each – so the opportunities are there. With Koevermans and Soolsma out, Reggie Lambe has stepped up.

Lambe is listed as a midfielder in FS: M for $7.5m. He might not have another game like he did against Chicago anytime soon, but he’s providing a nice spark for a struggling squad. In his last 3 games he’s had 7 key passes (three equals a point), so if he continues getting regular minutes up top, there may be potential value in a TFC striker after all.