Kick Off: Timbers' Spencer does not back down from ref rant
He’s not done yet.
If you thought that Portland Timbers manager John Spencer was through having his say about the officiating in the Portland vs. Colorado match this weekend, there was more where Saturday’s outburst came from. On Monday he talks about a missed penalty kick call that his “67-year-old mother-in-law can see from the club deck” and he clears up the spelling of “fricking.”
The hope is that officiating will not be a topic of conversation as the US national team faces Guadeloupe tonight with a great deal at stake in its CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C finale (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer and TeleFutura). Sitting on three points, the USA can finish anywhere from first to last depending on their result and that of the first Group C match from LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, when Canada take on Panama (6:30 p.m. ET, Galavisión).
US manager Bob Bradley is relying on his team’s ability to respond with good performances after poor ones while Clint Dempsey isn’t expecting anything less than a tough game: “They want to win and they have a good team.”
Sporting Kansas City president Robb Heineman says the luxurious home locker room at LIVESTRONG — one which some are calling the best in all world soccer — can be a recruiting tool when landing major stars. He’s right, because several US national team stars have taken notice.
One specific goal has surely gotten noticed. If you’re keeping count, the goal by Vancouver’s Eric Hassli from this weekend has reached one million views on YouTube.
Back in Seattle, where the Hassli goal took place, the soccer game-day experience never gets old. A local sports columnist relives what it’s like and speaks to supporters in what he calls “America’s best soccer town.”
You want raw and pure soccer emotion. Take Carlos Ruiz, who helped Guatemala reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 4-0 win over Grenada on Monday: “I don’t care about money, I love soccer.”
In the same doubleheader that featured the Guatemalans, who were also led by an inspired performance from the Chicago Fire’s Marco Pappa, another MLS player was at the center of the action. San Jose Earthquakes forward Ryan Johnson had the stunning shot that caromed off the crossbar and goalkeeper before nestling into the back of the net for the only goal of the match vs. Honduras.
With three wins in three matches and no goals conceded, the Reggae Boyz feel they are one of the favorites in this competition and “can beat anybody.”
Another star in Jamaica’s 1-0 Group B win was New York Red Bulls winger Dane Richards, who was playing in his home stadium of Red Bull Arena. He explains in this article how he is very much a different player than most remember him earlier in his career.
Along with Gold Cup action, there is an entire slate of US Open Cup first–round matches being played today. For the full list of matches, times and locations, check out the official fixture list issued by the US Soccer Federation.
As the summer fast approaches, so will more transfer rumors. The latest one has Bolton’s Martin Petrov as a potential MLS target, according to this report.
In other Gold Cup news, we learn more about the minute-by-minute plan of the Cuban player, who defected while his team was in Charlotte, N.C., for the CONCACAF tournament. His uncle speaks in this article and we find out he left his five-year-old daughter and wife back in Cuba: “She wouldn’t have understood.”
If the USA’s Bradley thinks he has pressure going into the match against Guadeloupe, he should look at Ruud Gullit. His club, Terek Grozny, has issued a statement that the Dutchman will fired if he doesn’t win a match later today. They accuse the former LA Galaxy coach of focusing on "thinking about bars and discotheques."
One of Gullit’s former Galaxy players, David Beckham, was in London yesterday at a London 2012 Olympic event. He confirmed that he wanted to be part of the first British soccer team since 1960 at the Games and that he’d “be better as a player than a coach” of the squad.
The Red Bulls also had their own photo ops on Monday with Formula One’s top racer Sebastian Vettel visiting and training with Thierry Henry and the New York. Here’s the complete photo gallery.
Vettel was not the only one in fantasy land on Monday. Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller plays the game “Commissioner for a Day” and points out some of the moves he would make if he managed the league.
Canada want to prove they’re among CONCACAF’s Top 5 teams
Portland’s Futty Danso picks up an injury which will put him out of action
How San Jose Earthquakes are finding goals without their top two attacking players
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