As they say, timing is everything.
On the same day the Houston Dynamo found out that they will face Honduran side Olimpia in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League this summer, the MLS club has reportedly plucked one of Olimpia's most prized possessions.
Honduran international midfielder Oscar Boniek García is apparently heading to the Dynamo after rumors of the deal first surfaced several months back. Diez is reporting that the president of Honduran club Olimpia has confirmed the deal.
The article states that Boniek García, who was one of the stars of the 2011 Gold Cup, will be joining the Dynamo following the second of two World Cup qualifiers on June 12 in Toronto.
He's versatile enough to play in several of a number of positions from holding midfielder, to attacking midfielder and even on the right side of midfield, a position still in flux for Houston in 2012.
But now he gets to go to Poland and Ukraine for EURO2012?
Now, I've been to a World Cup, a Confederations Cup, a Gold Cup, and an Africa Cup of Nations. But I've never been to a Euro tournament. They say it's the best of them all, at least on the field. All those great, highly paid Europeans doing what they do best.
But come on, Jimmy. Do you need to go over there and drive around and watch soccer and hang out with fans in Warsaw and Kiev and Gdansk? And someone else is footing the bill? Really?
Yes, Jimmy, I am jealous. Very jealous.
At least bring back some real kielbasa. That's the least you could do.
Being an English Premier League cast-off is no guarantee of success in MLS, but it sure is a good way to get a trial.
That's the case for American midfielder Anton Peterlin, who spent the 2009-10 season with Everton after a couple of distinguished seasons with the Ventura County Fusion stateside.
Peterlin never suited up in meaningful competition for the Toffees, and eventually spent the following two years with Plymouth Argyle and then Walsall in England's lower tiers.
Now he's giving it a go in MLS, apparently in camp with Vancouver:
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
Régulièrement, je me réjouis de voir des joueurs de l’Impact montrer leurs efforts pour apprendre le français - sur Twitter, notamment. En revanche, j’ai abandonné l’idée de suivre en français les activités de l’Association canadienne de soccer.
L’ACS n’est pas amie avec la langue de Molière. On en eut une nouvelle preuve avant Canada - États-Unis. L’hymne national, Ô Canada, fut chanté entièrement en anglais (quelle idée de le chanter, alors que presque partout ailleurs, on passe la version instrumentale). On ne nous a même pas offert de réaction en français du Québécois Samuel Piette, pour ses débuts en équipe nationale à 17 ans (bravo à lui, en passant).
Un compte Twitter en français quasiment à l’abandon depuis fin mars, des communiqués trop souvent mal traduits ou écrits dans une langue approximative, un site Internet (en réfection, certes, mais ce n’est pas le meilleur moment) qui nous renvoie sur des textes en anglais même si on s’évertue à cliquer sur « français » : c’est indigne d’une organisation de cette envergure dont les employés ne rechignent pourtant pas sur les efforts.
En même temps, comment lui reprocher de délaisser le français alors que les médias francophones n’accordent pas à l’équipe nationale l’attention qu’elle mérite ? Pas une chaîne n’a daigné présenter en français le match du centenaire de la fédération sportive qui compte le plus d’affiliés au pays, dans la discipline la plus populaire au monde…
Dans un tout autre ordre d’idées, les huitièmes de finale de la Coupe des États-Unis se joueront ce soir. De nouvelles surprises à l’horizon ? C’est à suivre sur mlssoccer.com.
Anthony Ampaipitakwong's new home is Thunder Castle.
More accurately, San Jose are in negotiations with Thai Premier League side Buriram United over the transfer of Ampaipitakwong to the reigning league champions, which are also known as Thunder Castle and have a stadium to cement that impressive moniker (see above).
All in all, it looks like a solid move for Ampaipitakwong, who was on the outside looking in during his time with the Quakes. He heads to a team with Asian Champions League ambitions, a sweet nickname and a 24,000-seat stadium worthy of the Thunder Castle brand. Buriram United even have an English-language website, meaning Ampai's fans in the United States can follow his every move.
Dans son unique match de préparation avant la reprise des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde 2014, le Canada a fait match nul 0-0 avec les États-Unis. Un bon résultat dans l’absolu, mais il faut éviter de tomber dans l’enthousiasme démesuré.
S’il y avait une bonne discipline défensive, la construction du jeu était souvent déficiente, reposant davantage sur des inspirations individuelles que sur un collectif bien huilé. Le Canada a dominé la deuxième mi-temps, contre des Américains fatigués, et a même marqué un but annulé. Je rejoins toutefois davantage l’avis du capitaine des États-Unis, Carlos Bocanegra, qui n’a pas vu un grand match, que celui de Dwayne De Rosario, très heureux du travail accompli.
La rencontre a été précédée de diverses cérémonies soulignant le centenaire de l’Association canadienne de soccer. Sur la photo d’équipe, les joueurs canadiens (qui portaient un équipement rétro spécialement conçu pour l’occasion) avaient pris avec eux un maillot floqué du numéro 11 de Josh Simpson, leur coéquipier qui s’est cassé la jambe il y a une dizaine de jours.
Malgré le duel Canada - États-Unis, la MLS ne faisait pas complètement relâche ce week-end, et New England y a battu Chicago 2-0.
So in retrospect ... how bad were Scotland?
I expressed my concern that the 5-1 result for the US in that particular game was a bit of a false positive (usage, I know), and am now bemused in my correctitude. The US are still a mess, looking very much a team in "Who are we, really?" mode.
Canada, meanwhile, get the pleasure of knowing they were the superior team for 90 minutes against the US for the first time since maybe the mid-1980s. And the displeasure of another bad call going against them in this series.
Klinsmann's lineup choices are still baffling
About 95 percent of the Jose Torres-related comments we get on this site are positive. And that's fine — it's always nice to have a favorite player.
But if Torres was as good as you all seem to think, wouldn't he stand out in a game like this? Wouldn't the US have more than one win in 11 games with him starting? Wouldn't he find a way to carve out chances for his teammates — or even, heaven forbid, himself — when afforded time and space in the final third?
That's what he got plenty of on Sunday. And he produced nothing.
The problem is not just his lack of a cutting edge in attack, but that he's being asked to provide something that's not in his DNA in the first place. Torres' only outstanding attribute is his ability to put his foot on the ball and dictate the pace and tempo of the game. Put him in a central midfield trio in front of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, and you may have something.
On the wing? He's an absolute cipher, Klinsmann's white elephant.
That wasn't the only lineup choice that left me scratching my head. Against a Canadian side alligned to prevent up-the-gut penetration, the danger was always going to come from the US flanks. So that left just one forward — Herculez Gomez — to do the running and work of two. Even when Jozy Altidore was subbed in, he was tasked with playing wide on the left instead of as a No. 9.
It makes no sense. And the Scotland anomaly aside, this team feels no closer to realizing Klinsmann's vision than it did nine months ago.
The US have depth at left fullback
Edgar Castillo still has some learning to do, first and foremost when to put the ball into row Z instead of trying to play out of pressure. His turnover absolutely should have been a Canada goal.
But he was a demon patrolling passing lanes and the most consistent US threat on the night. And most importantly, he didn't look out of place physically against a big, strong team with some real power and pace on that right flank.
I'm not totally in love with the idea of him starting for the US in a game that matters — again, that giveaway was inexcusable — but hopefully Fabian Johnson's injury will be gone by Friday. Either way, though, this is a stronger position than it was two years ago.
Canada's two-thirds press caused the US more problems than Brazil's high press
Canada dropped off almost to the midfield stripe, then swarmed the US midfielders whenever they received a pass. Because of the way they were deployed, they always had numbers up, and were always on the verge of forcing a turnover and a breakout.
Truth is, they should have had three goals. The reason Brazil are Brazil is because they finish those chances; the reason Canada are Canada is that they don't.
But there's plenty of good to take from this for the Canucks. Their defense is certainly sturdier than the USA's right now, and from the run of play they allowed almost no real looks to a team that had Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Gomez all on the pitch.
For the US, the idea of playing through or around a two-thirds press seemed beyond them. Playing over it was a non-starter, since Kevin McKenna and Andre Hainault just about swallowed Gomez whole.
The situation called for two forwards. When the US are struggling to create, it often does.
But that's not what we saw. We saw a bad 90 minutes, a bad strategy and a bad result.
Wonder what we'll see next week when the games really matter?
One of the best stories in US soccer this year has been the rapid ascent of the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL. The first-year expansion club has a roster filled with former MLS players, an owner who cares and a crowd that turns out rain or shine.
They're averaging more than 11,000 per game, best in the second flight, and now they have plans for what looks like a pretty sweet soccer-specific stadium that'll be expandable to more than 18,000 capacity.
It's years away, and they're very careful to say that additional seats will be added only if attendance continues to impress.
But the fact that a second-flight team is even considering such things says quite a bit about how far soccer's come in the last 10 years. Even when it's deep in the heart of football country.
They aren't even top half of their own league – ninth of 12 teams in the Gran Liga de Oxnard to be exact – but Cal FC are playing on the big stage.
Fox Soccer announced Friday that they would be televising the US Open Cup fourth round match between Cal FC, which is coached by Eric Wynalda, and the Seattle Sounders at Starfire Stadium (correction: The story previously stated incorrectly that the game would be played at CenturyLink Field) live on Tuesday (10 pm ET). In other words, Cinderella is going to the ball and a camera crew will be following her around to document the whole thing.
That's good news for US Open Cup aficionados, of which there seem to be many in the early stages of the 2012 competition. Don't go betting the farm on Cal FC just yet though. They may have knocked off a Portland side that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but the three-time defending champions are up next and aren't likely to be so wasteful.
Still, they'll get their moment in the spotlight with plenty of reason to believe they can compete at the very least.
Great news for U.S. Open Cup fans: Cal FC's incredible run continues at @SoundersFC LIVE on FOX Soccer at 10 ET on Tuesday, June 5.
— Fox Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 1, 2012
Ce dimanche, le Canada reçoit les États-Unis dans les cadre des festivités du centenaire de l’Association canadienne de soccer.
Le premier duel entre les deux équipes est aussi le premier match à domicile de l’histoire de l’équipe nationale canadienne. Il a eu lieu le 27 juin 1925 à Alexandra Park, stade de Montréal domicile du club CNR (Canadian National Railway), basé à Pointe-Saint-Charles (si l’un d’entre vous sait où était situé ce terrain, merci de partager l’information).
Environ 3500 personnes ont assisté à la rencontre. Six joueurs du Québec faisaient partie du onze de base canadien. L’un d’entre eux, Ed McLaine, a inscrit le seul but de la partie peu après le quart d’heure. Finisseur redoutable évoluant au poste d’intérieur droit, McLaine a plus tard défendu les couleurs de Providence, dans le championnat des États-Unis, professionnel à l’époque.
Le match de ce dimanche sera le trentième affrontement officiel entre les deux pays.
Canada : Arthur Halliwell, George Campbell, Andy Clarke, Fred Dierden, John B. Foy, Bill McKean, Roy Faulkner, Jim Galloway, Ed McLaine, Dave McKenzie, Alex Smith
États-Unis : Jimmy Douglas, Irving Davis, Jock Ferguson, Tom Stark, Tommy McFarland, Henry Meyerdierks, Barney Battles, Davey Brown, Archie Stark, Bob Millar, Tom Florie
Arbitre : Horace S. Lyons
Le but : 16e McLaine (1-0)