Kick Off: Shalrie eyes SuperClasico, hands Revs parting shot
He’s been around a while, but believe it or not Shalrie Joseph is getting ready for a first in his decade-long MLS career: his first SuperClasico.
Joseph makes his debut for Chivas USA in the LA derby against the Galaxy on Sunday night (11 pm ET, ESPN2) and while he’s looking forward to it, he has a parting shot for his former club, the New England Revolution in an interview with The Bent Musket.
“I didn't like certain things that were going on, I don't want to be specific,” Joseph said of his final days as a Revolution player. “For me, it's all about winning now, not in the future. I need a ring in my career, if I'm going to get that it has to be now. Coming down here [to Chivas USA] gives me that opportunity.”
Joseph wasn’t the only MLS personality to sound off. Galaxy manager Bruce Arena is not a fan of the unbalanced schedule in MLS and he’s not afraid to let the world know: “I think the whole construction of the schedule this year with an unbalanced schedule is stupid. Absolutely stupid. To have a Supporters' Shield for that, it's stupid.”
Then there is New York Red Bulls Designated Player Thierry Henry, who had plenty to say about his team’s defense and the Dynamo’s Mac Kandji ahead of tonight’s Eastern Conference clash at Red Bull Arena (8 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). The Frenchman doesn’t want history to repeat itself after last Friday’s 2-0 loss in Houston.
“Watch how he was getting the ball,” Henry told the media about Kandji's performance in the last game. “Chesting it, going, 20,000 step-overs, on the spot, nobody smashed him once, like he was playing against his friends. … We have to defend better than that. … You don’t let a guy put his hand on your chest and put his foot on the ball and look at you in the eyes and tell you a bedtime story. … If Kandji was a killer, he would have scored six goals or he might well have finished the top goal-scorer of the league in that game if he wanted to.”
Meanwhile, NYRB manager Hans Backe revealed that the club made a move for American goalkeeper Luis Robles because they’re concerned about rookie Ryan Meara’s recovery from a hip injury: “We’ll have to take a decision next week, see how it works with his hip. But it’s a little bit too worrying.”
Watching very closely at what happens at RBA will be the East's No. 2 team Sporting Kansas City, still basking in the glow of their US Open Cup triumph on Wednesday. They welcome D.C. United on Saturday night (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE) but in the meantime, fans in Kansas City are making their voices heard: They think more highly of SKC’s triumphs than what the Royals and Chiefs have accomplished.
But whatever happens on Saturday, nothing will beat this scene on Wednesday night at Livestrong Sporting Park: We’re not talking about the trophy ceremony or the supporters section. This rainbow was spectacular.
What may very well turn into a spectacle is the Western Conference match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Salt Lake on Saturday night (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE). RSL manager Jason Kreis is not taking the Whitecaps lightly after beating them 2-1 just a couple of weeks ago: “They felt pretty frustrated [after], a bit wrong-done. I think they might be coming into this game with some-thing to prove, so we have to prepare ourselves well.”
An equally intriguing match in the upper half of the Western Conference takes place when the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes host the Seattle Sounders (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). What’s been the key to the Quakes’ success? Manager Frank Yallop says his formula is simple: “Being honest and true is what I am with my players. Make sure they are lifted. Give them the best chance of winning. It means being collectively together. I am in it with them."
FC Dallas have to learn how to stay in it – as in the game – when they host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE). FCD may have the fourth fewest yellow cards in MLS, but their six red cards are tops. “I think it’s another statement of frustrations,” manager Schellas Hyndman says. “Why do you get cards? Frustrations, emotional intelligence, lack of maturity.”
One match that won’t be played this weekend is the Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC Trillian Cup matchup at Crew Stadium. The league postponed the match in order that the Crew can attend the funeral of the late Kirk Urso, the rookie midfielder who died last Sunday.
The Philadelphia Union host the Chicago Fire on Sunday night at PPL Park (7 pm ET, Galavision), but they’re busy celebrating the Union Under-17 squad’s triumph in the Generation adidas Cup, one of the prestigious youth tournaments of the year. However, it was their opponents’ goals that might be remembered most. Check out how Toronto FC youngsters Jordan Hamilton and Mark Wadid hit the upper 90. (VIDEO)
Philly native Dan Gargan, who is playing for the Chicago Fire while carrying a fracture in his left foot, is ready for a reception similar to his last time at PPL Park: "It was awesome and everything I expected it to be," Gargan told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I got cursed up and down."
One Fire player who won’t be a target for fans is playmaker Sebastián Grazzini, who simply won’t be there. After his departure for personal reasons, we find out he’s the newest addition to Argentine side Atlético Rafaela: “Yes, from the beginning it was the intention for me to come here, both the club’s and mine,” he told the Argentine press. “It took a little while and I also had other offers but thank God we reached a happy ending.” (SPANISH)
Also on Sunday night, the Montreal Impact travel to face the New England Revolution (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE). Goalkeeper Troy Perkins could make his debut for Montreal and if he does he’ll have a chip on his shoulder after Portland Timbers GM and interim coach Gavin Wilkinson called Donovan Ricketts an upgrade over Perkins following a trade earlier this week: “He’s said some things in the past about guys who had left the club, and that’s him. It’s a little bit of motivation for me, obviously, and I’m not going to come and fight back in the media. I’ll show it when I step on the field.”
That MLS match will be followed by three fights. And, no, none of them involve Impact defender Nelson Rivas. It’s boxing at Gillette Stadium.
Speaking of Rivas, he learned his punishment handed down on Thursday by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Meanwhile, no sanctions for Impact striker Marco Di Vaio, who was acquitted this morning for his alleged role in a match-fixing scandal in Italy.
If it’s already a big day for Di Vaio, it will be an equally big one for Manchester United, who raised $233.3 million in a US initial public offering. Today shares in the club start trading under the symbol of, what else, MANU.
Is nothing sacred in soccer any more? The American owners at Liverpool FC reveal they could be selling the naming rights to their Anfield Road stadium.
Wembley Stadium hasn’t sold its soul … yet. That’s where the US women did the business in England, capturing the Olympic gold medal with a 2-1 defeat of Japan. Here are the full highlights with Arlo White and Brandi Chastain providing the commentary. (VIDEO)
Portland Timbers midfielder Franck Songo’o is not holding back his commentary when it comes to FC Barcelona, their new coach and a possible new signing. His past at the club makes has Spanish media seeking his insight. (SPANISH)
We’re wondering how this conversation went: Real Madrid manager José Mourinho with actor Al Pacino at the club’s hotel. One fan in the comments section wonders if Mourinho was making a deal with The Devil’s Advocate ahead of this upcoming season. Get it? (PHOTO)
Real Madrid play their final exhibition ahead of the La Liga season, taking on Celtic Glasgow in the final match of the 2012 Herbalife World Football Challenge at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday afternoon (2 pm ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).
In other international soccer news: Jurgen Klinsmann, the ball is in your court after Mexico announced their squad to face the Americans on August 15 in Mexico City.
Lastly, because we want to get your day off to a good start, watch this Europa League golazo by Ivan Vukovic, who chose the stage of the San Siro in Italy to score like this. (VIDEO)
Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.