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New York Red Bulls

31 July 11:45 de la mañana

La période des transferts internationaux estivale est terminée et de nombreux clubs en ont profité pour se renforcer. C’est le thème de notre émission Coup Franc cette semaine (à écouter ici), avec le menu suivant :
- Notre invité Eric Hassli parle de son transfert et de son rôle à Toronto, de son état de forme, de son style de jeu par rapport à celui de Danny Koevermans, évoque Vancouver à qui il est encore très attaché ainsi que de son amour de la liberté sur le terrain et en dehors.
- Les principaux transferts du mercato : quel est le meilleur coup ? Gros plan sur les arrivées les plus récentes : Tim Cahill (New York), Jerry Bengtson (New England), Frederico Higuain (Columbus), Christian Tiffert (Seattle), Sherjill MacDonald et Alvaro Fernandez (Chicago). Nous sommes curieux de connaître votre opinion à ce sujet !
- L’apport des joueurs du Honduras à la MLS : Najar, Espinoza et Bengtson éliminent l’Espagne aux jeux Olympiques, Bernardez et Chavez ont un rôle important dans la première place de San José, Houston est intouchable depuis l’arrivée de Garcia.
- La remontée de Philadelphie, contre New England (résumé vidéo) et au classement

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

30 July 12:32 de la tarde

A lot went into Tim Cahill's move to New York. And now that the former Everton midfielder is stateside, the journey is only just beginning.

In exclusive one-on-one interviews with NewYorkRedBulls.com, Cahill discusses his motives for joining Major League Soccer, how US internationals and Everton teammates Tim Howard and Landon Donovan influenced his decision, and what he's looking forward to the most in New York.

Check out each piece below. Does signing Cahill make the Red Bulls MLS Cup favorites?

Part I: Cahill's decision
Part II: Cahill's teammates
Part III: Cahill's drive
Part IV: Cahill's introduction 

27 July 12:15 de la tarde

The New York DP carousel continues to turn. According to a new report from Brian Lewis at the New York Post, the long rumors linking former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaká to the Red Bulls are still very much a reality.

"He wants to play in Red Bull New York," his agent is quoted as saying. "But in the future. Not now."

The price tag would be a steep one – initial estimates top off around $10 million – but his entrance into the league would immediately make him one of the most high-profile players ever to wear an MLS jersey.

25 July 12:53 de la tarde

When it's splashed all over the cover of Spanish sports daily Marca, we've got to take notice.

Here's what the headline says: "Red Bull gives Kaká wings" (thus the photo).

The rest of it: "The team from New York wants the Brazilian. The player appeals to the US league. ... But it would pay half [his salary]. Yesterday he didn't travel to Oviedo with Madrid. Saturday is d-day."

On Saturday, the Red Bulls also play in Montreal (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE).

25 July 12:09 de la tarde

On vient de dépasser la mi-saison et j’avais envie de voir à quel point les équipes en étaient par rapport au même stade l’an dernier. Le calendrier de la MLS étant ce qu’il est, j’ai d’abord réalisé un classement des 18 premières rencontres de chaque club (qui permet au passage de relativiser le classement actuel). Ensuite, je l’ai comparé avec le classement de leurs 18 premiers duels l’an dernier pour voir leurs progressions / régressions respectives. Même s’il faut prendre ces tableaux avec des pincettes, notamment en raison du déséquilibre entre les matchs joués à domicile et à l’extérieur, ils n’en demeurent pas moins des indicateurs très intéressants. À vous d’en tirer vos propres conclusions… N’hésitez pas à les partager !

CLASSEMENT 2012 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J Pts
1. San José 18 36
2. DC United 18 33
. Kansas City 18 33
4. Salt Lake 18 32
5. New York 18 31
6. Vancouver 18 30
7. Chicago 18 28
8. Seattle 18 27
9. Columbus 18 25
. Houston 18 25
11. Chivas USA 18 23
12. Colorado 18 22
. New England 18 22
14. LA Galaxy 18 20
. Philadelphie 18 20
16. Portland 18 19
17. Montréal 18 18
18. Dallas 18 15
19. Toronto 18 13
COMPARAISON 2012 / 2011 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J 2012 2011 Diff.
1. Vancouver 18 30 14 +16
2. San José 18 36 22 +14
3. Kansas City 18 33 22 +11
4. DC United 18 33 23 +10
5. Chicago 18 28 18 +10
6. New England 18 22 16 +6
7. New York 18 31 25 +6
8. Houston 18 25 20 +5
9. Chivas USA 18 23 21 +2
10. Salt Lake 18 32 31 +1
11. Seattle 18 27 28 -1
12. Colorado 18 22 23 -1
13. Columbus 18 25 27 -2
14. Portland 18 19 21 -2
15. Toronto 18 13 15 -2
16. Philadelphie 18 20 28 -8
17. LA Galaxy 18 20 34 -14
18. Dallas 18 15 34 -19
 
24 July 2:35 de la tarde

 Cette semaine, votre Coup Franc hebdomadaire (à écouter ici) est, à votre demande, plus long de quelques minutes afin d’approfondir certains sujets. Au menu :
- Notre invité Sébastien Le Toux parle de son transfert inattendu à New York, de son rôle dans sa nouvelle équipe et de la liberté qu’il y reçoit, de la situation de ses deux anciens clubs (Vancouver et Philadelphie, où il est parti en mauvais termes avec Peter Nowak), ainsi que de la possible suite de sa carrière en Europe.
- Débat sur l’évolution de la MLS au cours des dernières années. Quels sont les principaux progrès qu’elle a effectués ? Quels sont les avantages et les inconvénients du plafond salarial ? À quel championnat étranger peut-on la comparer (voir le classement de l’IFFHS) ? Quel est l’apport des anciens joueurs aujourd’hui entraîneurs ? Comment la MLS peut-elle conserver ses vedettes, de plus en plus convoitées à l’étranger ? Grâce à quoi fera-t-elle son prochain grand pas en avant ?
- Vancouver se sépare d’Eric Hassli (voir le geste des supporters en son honneur) mais Martin Rennie gagne pour le moment son pari suite à la victoire contre San José (revoir le penalty aussi controversé que décisif).
- Revoyez aussi le troisième but de Houston contre Montréal, image de la semaine d’Antonio Ribeiro.

Des discussions hautes en couleurs auxquelles nous vous invitons à participer en ligne, que ce soit par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com) ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

L'émission Coup Franc est aussi disponible sur iTunes.

23 July 4:55 de la tarde

It seems that Everton's Tim Cahill is on his way to New York.

Things may have just gotten a whole lot bleaker for the rest of the Eastern Conference in their quest to chase down the Red Bulls, as it appears that the Australian international is on a verge of a transfer to the Big Apple club.

According to a report from Everton's offical website, the 32-year-old will be heading to the United States to join RBNY within the next couple of days. The Red Bulls declined to comment at this time, and would not confirm the report.

Cahill found the back of the net 68 times in his 278 appearances on Merseyside, and 24 times in his 55 caps with the Australian national team.

UPDATE: The Red Bulls have put out a statement regarding the move:

HARRISON, NJ (July 23, 2012) – The New York Red Bulls released the following statement today regarding midfielder Tim Cahill:

"We are aware of Everton’s statement regarding midfielder Tim Cahill and our club. However, we have no comment at this time regarding him or any other non-New York player."

11 July 5:57 de la tarde

Yesterday, MLS stars and New York Red Bulls players Rafa Marquez and Kenny Cooper visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. During their visit, Rafa and Kenny spent time with several patients and even helped a few patients learn some new soccer tricks.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. helps share the mission of St. Jude through the Goals for St. Jude program. Rafa and Kenny join Logan Pause of the Chicago Fire, Shea Salinas of the San Jose Earthquakes and Dan Kennedy of Chivas USA as ambassadors for the program.

Be on the lookout for Goals for St. Jude week in September to see how you can get involved in the life-saving mission of helping St. Jude find a cure for childhood cancer. Help us kick cancer!

Learn more about the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Soccer Kicks Cancer program.

05 July 5:23 de la tarde

EA SPORTS is running the Imagine Yourself Here sweepstakes on MLSsoccer.com that could win some lucky fan two seats in the Sideline FIFA Soccer Lounge at the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, taking place July 25 at PPL Park.

Sounds pretty cool. And it got us thinking about what the sensual experience of sitting sideline might actually be like.

So we asked New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty

If someone has a sideline seat, what can he or she expect you hear?

McCarty: Honestly, it’s a mix of Al Pacino in Scarface and Tupac. It can get a little intense with the heat of the competition. Things get said that you wouldn’t say to your Mom. But there’s also lots of communication. It’s like you have 11 guys all playing quarterback, barking out instructions, encouraging other guys.

What will they see?

McCarty: The subtle connections players have, like the movement of, say, the right back and right midfielder. You’ll see the playmaker’s subtle movements and the runs off the ball. For example, if the center back has the ball, you’ll notice a guy like Thierry Henry breaking off to run onto a long ball. You see the play before it happens.

What will they smell?

McCarty: Ha! Dirty laundry. Or a locker room. Definitely odors you don’t experience in the second deck with the hot dogs and nachos. It’s musky. You also can sometimes smell freshly cut grass. And dirt when the turf comes up on a slide tackle near the sidelines. But the muskiness outweighs the grass.

What will they taste?

McCarty: The moisture and the sweat of 22 guys running around. But it’s also metaphorical. You can taste the effort.

What will they feel?

McCarty: You might feel the grass under your feet. You feel how hard the field is or how soft it is. But mostly, you feel the emotion. You feel how much everyone wants to win. 

01 July 5:21 de la tarde

There's like a 99 percent chance that, if you're reading this blog post, you also watched the 2012 European Championship final between Spain and Italy.

It was awesome. Even if you had no rooting interest (full disclosure: I'm a quarter Italian, but was pulling for Spain), it's hard not to get caught up when the stakes are that high and the quality of soccer on display matches it.

And it just kills me that CONCACAF and CONMEBOL can't figure out a way to get a "Copa Américas" up and running every four years, starting immediately after the Euros. What an incredible opportunity the two confederations are missing.

Hopefully someday, they'll figure it out.

Anyway, only one real observation this week...

Scoring keeps going up and up and up

You should be reading Andrew Wiebe's Opta Spotlight every week. This past week's edition was especially good. Click me!

OK, now that you've read it, you know that teams are passing more, passing more accurately, passing more aggressively, and as a result (we assume), scoring more. Before this week scoring was already up 12 percent over last season's pace. That will have gone up some more, since in Week 17's 10-game slate there were 34 total goals.

And it's not just a blip. Since the end of the international break, MLS clubs have produced 100 goals in 33 games (thanks to Greg Lalas for that little tidbit).

It's the reversal of a 10-year trend. Back in 2001 MLS averaged 3.28 goals per game; by 2010, that was down to 2.46. Here's the whole table:

2011 -- 2.58
2010 -- 2.46

2009 -- 2.54
2008 -- 2.81
2007 -- 2.66
2006 -- 2.62
2005 -- 2.87
2004 -- 2.61
2003 -- 2.89
2002 -- 3.01
2001 -- 3.28
2000 -- 3.19
1999 -- 2.86
1998 -- 3.57*
1997 -- 3.26
1996 -- 3.37

The key thing here isn't just that MLS have imported guys like Thierry Henry (one of the league's elite finishers) and David Beckham (one of the league's elite chance creators). The league's also kept guys like Dwayne De Rosario and Brad Davis, who've both had overseas interest; they've developed highly rated talents like Chris Pontius and Will Bruin, who've both been given plenty of time to figure out where the net is; and, of course, used the Reserve League to help build Chris Wondolowski, who's turning into one of MLS' all-time greats.

It's a multi-faceted approach to finding and cultivating talent, and the numbers say it's working.

* For those of you who don't remember 1998 for one reason or another ... yes, that season was as crazy as the numbers indicate. Go find some YouTube clips of that year's Galaxy squad — it'll be worth your time.