Sunday, November 30, 2008

Liege Ties

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege tied KV Mechelen 0-0 on Sunday. The point keeps Liege 3rd in the Belgian league table. Up next for Liege is a quick turnaround for the UEFA Cup - they face Sampdoria on Thursday. Last week Liege went top of Group C with a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Today's highlights: KV Mechelen 0, Standard Liege 0

Thursday's highlights: Partizan Belgrade 0, Standard Liege 1

Altidore Starts as Villarreal Win

Jozy Altidore got the start and went 78 minutes for Villarreal as the Yellow Submarine defeated Recreativo Huelva 2-1. Goals from Santi Carzola and Ariel Ibagaza were the difference as Villarreal moved back into 2nd place in La Liga with the victory. Next up for Villarreal is a match against Getafe next weekend.

Rennes vs. PSG Live on Setanta

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes host PSG in a Ligue 1 clash on Sunday. Rennes put their 13 match unbeaten run on the line against the resurgent side form France's capital, themselves unbeaten in their last three.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Rennes manager Guy Lacombe is the former gaffer for PSG. He left in January before coming to Rennes. Since then, PSG has turned around significantly, and they currently lie in 6th in the table, level with Rennes on 26 points.

You can tune in to see Bocanegra and Rennes in action, as the game kicks off at 3 p.m. ET live on Setanta.

Fulham Grab Another Away Result

Fulham stoically held on for another road draw on Saturday, digging in to earn a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

The tie marked Fulham's second consecutive away draw against tough opposition, after the Cottagers tied Liverpool last weekend.

Clint Dempsey went the full 90 minutes for Fulham, and earned a yellow card in the fourth minute. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan was in his customary position of backup for the hosts, though he could be back on the field in midweek when Aston Villa take on MSK Zilina in the UEFA Cup.

Another American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, added another award to his already storied career thanks to his appearance in Saturday's game. Friedel broke the record for consecutive starts in the Premier League, when he took the field for the 167th consecutive time against Fulham.

For Nancy Armour's article on both Brads (Friedel and Guzan) at Aston Villa, click here.

Next up for Fulham is a return to Craven Cottage to take on Manchester City next Saturday.

Picture from

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

San Luis Down after One Leg

Despite ending the season at the top of the Primera División table, Michael Orozco and San Luis was unable to hold off reigning champions Santos Laguna in their first match of the 2008 Apertura quarterfinal series at Estadio Coronoa in Torreón, Coahuila. Santos was without injured Christian Benitez, and replaced him with Cuauhtémoc Blanco, on loan from the Chicago Fire. Santos scored first, on an own goal that went off Oscar Mascorro’s head in the 17th minute. Santos scored again in the 34th minute and San Luis cute the lead in half in the 44th, but was unable to come back as the Guerreros sealed the 3-1 scoreline in the 78th minute.

Next, the San Luis will host Santos, and they will do it without head coach Raúl Arias on the sidelines. Arias as suspended for two matches for arguing with the referees. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Wigan 1, Everton 0

Tim Howard and Everton were defeated by Wigan on Monday night, with a Henri Camara goal separating the two sides at the JJB stadium. You can see first half highlights here, and second half highlights here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Timmy on TV

Tim Howard and Everton take on Wigan this afternoon in Monday's Premier League action. If you're looking for a reason to take a long lunch, well now you have it. The game is being shown life on Setanta, so head over to your nearest Official U.S. Soccer Bar to catch the midday action.

Rennes Extend Unbeaten Run

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes extended their unbeaten run in France to 13 games, courtesy of a 1-1 draw away to Bordeaux. Next up for Carlos and Co. is PSG. The teams are in 4th and 5th in Ligue 1, separated by just a point, and both teams are in excellent form. PSG just dispatched league leaders Lyon 1-0 over the weekend.

Liverpool 0, Fulham 0

Fulham traveled to Anfield this weekend and came away with a 0-0 draw.

Clint Dempsey played 85 minutes in the match, as Fulham spoiled Fernando Torres' return to the starting lineup for Liverpool.

In other Fulham news, Eddie Johnson, on loan to Cardiff, played 90 minutes in Cardiff City's 2-1 loss to Plymouth in the English Championship.

Next up for Fulham is a trip to Villa Park to meet a tough Aston Villa side with Brad Guzan.

Picture courtesy of

Liege One Point Back

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege beat Mouscron 3-1 over the weekend to keep pace with Club Brugge in the Belgian League. Up next for Liege is a trip to Serbia to take on Partizan Belgrade in the UEFA Cup.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Results

Drawn Together

The U.S. has gone hexagonal, and results are in from South Africa for the draw for Final Round Qualifying. Here's the full schedule. More on later today, including the Confederations Cup Draw.

Wednesday 11 February
Costa Rica-Honduras
El Salvador-Trinidad and Tobago

Saturday 28 March
Mexico-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-Honduras
El Salvador-USA

Wednesday 1 April
Costa Rica-El Salvador
USA-Trinidad and Tobago

Wednesday 3 June
Costa Rica-USA

Saturday 6 June
Trinidad and Tobago-Costa Rica
El Salvador-Mexico

Wednesday 10 June
Mexico-Trinidad and Tobago
Honduras-El Salvador

Wednesday 12 August
Honduras-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-El Salvador

Saturday 5 September
Costa Rica-Mexico
Honduras-Trinidad and Tobago
USA-El Salvador

Wednesday 9 September
El Salvador-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-USA

Saturday 10 October (*)
Costa Rica-Trinidad and Tobago
Mexico-El Salvador

Wednesday 14 October (*)
USA-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-Mexico
El Salvador-Honduras

(*) simultaneous kick-off

The top three finishers from the final 'hexagonal' round will qualify automatically for South Africa 2010 as the region's representatives, while the fourth-place team will contest an intercontinental play-off with the fifth-place finisher from the South American Zone over two legs. The winner will also go to South Africa.

Friday, November 21, 2008

San Luis Set to Begin Playoffs

On Saturday, Nov. 22, at 5 p.m. CT, Michael Orozco and San Luis will travel to Torreón, Coahuila, to face off against Santos Laguna in the first leg of the 2008 Apertura quarterfinals. San Luis heads into the quarterfinals, not only at the head of Group 3, but also at the top of the overall Primera División table, with 29 points at the end of the regular season. San Luis and Santos have met only once in Apertura 2008, resulting in a 2-2 draw in the second to last regular season game.

As a defender, Orozco may face off against a new face in the Santos attack, as Chicago Fire midfielder Cuauhtémoc Blanco has been loaned out to Santos for the Liguilla. San Luis will host the return leg at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 29.

If you haven't noticed yet, Orozco is nominated for U.S. Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year Award, along with Robbie Rogers, Maurice Edu, Stu Holden, Marvell Wynne, and Sacha Kljestan. Head over the 2008 Best Of Blog to cast your ballot.

Picture courtesy of

Back to the Grind

The international break is over, which means the Global Blog is back in operation! Here's what's going on this weekend:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

U.S. Wins 2-0 to end 2008

The U.S. closed out 2008 with a 2-0 win over Guatemala. Goals from Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu gave the U.S. a good win to end the semifinal round. Now the U.S. looks towards 2009, where they will meet Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Mexico in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, aka 'the hexagonal.'

USA vs. GUA: Live Blog from Colorado

5:50 p.m. - Well, the teams are off the field, and that means it's time for us to sign off! We'll be back after the match!

5:48 p.m. - Just a reminder: Guatemala needs to win tonight. Los Chapines are three points behind Trinidad & Tobago, so they'll need a win and a T&T loss to have any chance of advancing to the Hexagonal. In Group 2, Mexico, Honduras, and Jamaica are still fighting over two spots. There's still much to play for in these last games of the semifinal round.

5:46 p.m. - More highlights from today, with England beating Germany 2-1:

5:45 p.m. - Brad Guzan has had enough, and he's marched back to the locker room. The team should follow pretty soon.

5:43 p.m. - Looks like we're wearing our whites tonight, with blue shorts and white socks. That may sound fairly straightforward but actually it wasn't - there was a bit of a snafu with some of Guatemala's gear getting here, so we were not quite sure what colors the teams would be wearing. Anyhow, looks like it's going to be the U.S. in white, and Guatemala in blue

5:41 p.m. - The stadium soundtrack has reverted back to its traditional form: The Boss' "Born to Run" is playing now.

5:37 p.m. - Sean Franklin and Matt Pickens are inactive tonight.

5:35 p.m. - Tonight's referee crew is from Mexico, with Benito Archundia taking the whistle as the center ref.

5:33 p.m. - Apparently the Snake Pit was goin' off! Here are some pictures from the pre-game festivities out in the parking lot.

5:26 p.m. - Out come the U.S. and Guatemala for warmups...

5:20 p.m. - Some Guatemala fans have arrived and they're making their home behind the near goal. They've got their blue and white streamers out already...

5:16 p.m. - Here come Brad Guzan and Troy Perkins, they're the first players out on the field as they walk across the pitch to the far goal box.

5:14 p.m. - The players should be out any minute now...There was a full slate of international games around the world today. Perhaps most notable was Diego Maradona's debut as head coach of Argentina in Scotland. Argentina grabbed the 1-0 win for their new coach.

5:10 p.m. - Here's how the U.S. will start tonight's game against Guatemala:

Guzan; Thorrington, Goodson, Parkhurst, Bornstein; Mastroeni (c), Clark, Adu, Kljestan; Cooper, Altidore

That's a 4-4-2, though expect Clark and Mastroeni to operate a bit behind Adu and Kljestan, who will use the wings to get forward and support the strikers.

Six players make their first ever starts in World Cup Qualifying: Thorrington, Goodson, Parkhurst, Bornstein, Clark and Cooper.

Four players retain their places from the previous game against T&T: Guzan, Adu, Kljestan and Altidore.

5:08 p.m. - In case you haven't seen it yet, here's today's pre-game video:

5:05 p.m. - Currently The Killers' new single, Human, is playing over the loudspeaker. Um...Where is "R.O.C.K. in the USA?" Where is James Brown's "Living in America?"

5:03 p.m. - Our U-20's got off to a great start in the World Cup today, defeating France 3-0. Alex Morgan opened the scoring before substitute Sydney Leroux added a brace to nab all 3 points.

5:00 p.m. - We've put out the lineup over on the U.S. Soccer Twitter. Go check it out! Or just wait here if you want, we'll have it in a few minutes.

4:58 p.m. - Pre game sprinklers are watering the field. At this time of year, usually the grounds crew wouldn't water the field - since the ground would freeze. It's unseasonably warm here, almost 60 degrees! That'll cool off more into the tonight but it shouldn't be nearly as cold as we (or probably Guatemala) expected.

4:55 p.m. - The team arrived a few minutes ago, but nobody is on the field yet. A few coaches and players walked out onto the pitch to check it out. Jozy Altidore, Ricardo Clark and Freddy Adu trotted out to the center circle, along with assistant coach Mike Sorber.

4:50 p.m. - Hello from Commerce City, Colo! We've settled ourselves in the press box and we'll be here live blogging up until kickoff.

Ready to Go?

The team is en route, we're here at the stadium ready to go and we'll be back in a few minutes with a live blog leading up to the game!

TT - Game Day

If you took our advice and read the pre-game notes this morning, you would have seen this tidbit:

Three players are in the squad from the Colorado Rapids. In addition to team captain Mastroeni, Conor Casey and Cory Gibbs return to the U.S. fold. Casey looks to get his first international action since 2005, while Gibbs comes back after a knee injury knocked him off the 2006 FIFA World Cup roster.

Got us thinking about which player has had the longest interval between national team appearances. One player in the running may very well be starting tonight! Anyway, you know the drill. Starting the stopwatch ... now.

A (Game) Day in the Life ...

Game days are often the longest days in any camp. With matches normally having night-time kickoffs and no real activities beforehand, it often winds up being a day of eating, resting, eating, napping, eating ... you get the idea. With the 6 p.m. MT kickoff, things move up a little bit for the team. Here's a look at today's schedule:

7 - 10:30 a.m. - Breakfast available
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Pick up Game Day Attire
2 p.m. - Pre-Game Meal
2:45 p.m . - Team Meeting
4:10 p.m. - Depart for Stadium
6:11 p.m. - Kickoff
9 p.m. - Post-Game Meal

(Somewhere around 8 p.m., we're hoping to pencil in 'defeated Guatemala')

Pre-Game Video: USA vs. Guatemala

U-20s Kick Off World Cup

You may have noticed that the MNT isn't the only U.S. team with a game today. The U-20 Women's National Team has just kicked off their World Cup campaign, as they take on France down in Chillan, Chile. The game is currently being shown on ESPN2, so tune in to see what will hopefully be a good victory for the U.S. You can aso follow the game over at with MatchTracker.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To Read With Your Morning Coffee

Official Pre-Game Notes

Sacha Casts His "Best Of" Ballot

The 2008 "Best Of" Awards kicked off today, with voting taking place over at the Best Of Blog. Fans are invited to vote on 12 different categories, ranging from Best Goal, to Best Bar and even Best Blog (seriously, is that one even a contest?). We asked U.S. MNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan to weigh in with his votes in different categories. You better believe that we watched Sacha while he filled out the ballot, too.

Best Assist - Drew Moor vs. MEX, Feb. 6: "I wasn't at this game, so I was watching it on TV. Drew hit a pinpoint cross and Jozy finished well. It looked like a great crowd at the game, it's just too bad we couldn't get the win."

Best Goal: MNT -
Michael Bradley vs. TRI, Sept. 10: "This was a good finish on a set piece that we had worked on. It's pretty difficult to score with a touch like that and the goal started out the game really well for us. It set us on pace for the 3-0 win and took us closer to qualifying for the next round."

Best Goal: WNT - Carli Lloyd vs. BRA, Aug. 22: "This was an important goal, not just for the Women's team but for U.S. Soccer. It gave the U.S. another gold medal and marked a big win over one of the toughest teams."

Fan Photo - Jeff York: "I picked this photo because it shows the spirit of the home fans we had in D.C. It was a good atmosphere at the game that night, and it really helped us get a 6-1 victory that put is in the next round of qualifying."

Best Performance: Player - Tim Howard vs. ARG, June 8: "This was a great individual performance and Timmy came up with a ton of saves, especially early to keep us in the match against Argentina. The atmosphere at giants stadium, with the cheering fans and the heavy rain at the end. For Tim, it must have felt great to put in such a good performance in the stadium he used to play in for the MetroStars."

Best Performance: Team - U.S. MNT vs. Guatemala, Aug. 20: "In a hostile environment our team did really well to handle the pressure; we needed to start out semifinal round with points. Maybe it wasn't our best soccer at times, but we got a good result because of a great collective team effort and I think that's what made it such a good performance."

Best Photo - Triple Celebration: "I remember when this photo was taken; it was a good moment for our team. Getting the second goal in that game solidified our lead and help us qualify [for the Olympics]. It was early in the half and Freddy stepped up and just buried the free kick (Ed. See Best Goal - MNT) , and the keeper didn't move. We were so happy and ready to celebrate."

Best Video: All_Access - It Starts Here: "It's an inspiring video about preparing for World Cup Qualifying and I think it really captures a lot of the feelings you have getting ready for these big games. I've been lucky enough to be a part of these squads, and the team has done really well and we hope to continue getting better throughout the rest of qualifying."

Sacha didn't get a chance to vote for his favorite blog before heading to dinner, so we just cast his vote for the MNT Blog. We think it's what he would have wanted. Remember to cast your votes at the Best Of Blog!

Pictures from Today's Beautiful Sunset Training

Today's training took place inside of Dick's Sporting Good Park. We had the customary one hour on the field, and because the guys were split up into groups of starters and non-starters, we can't show you too many pictures! Muuahahahaha! Instead, you can get by with a few shots of what was a beautiful sunset tonight.
Be sure to check out the full gallery at

Anatomy of a Training Session

Here's the latest installment of Anatomy of a Training Session:

A Couple Club Connections

Considering the number of players from CONCACAF who ply their trade in MLS, there is normally quite a bit of crossover between club and country when the U.S. plays in the region. This time...not so much. Chris Rolfe and John Thorrington share the same locker room with Marco Pappa in Chicago, the trio coming off a 2-1 loss to Columbus in the Eastern Conference finals. They are the only current teammates lining up against each other Wednesday night. Sean Franklin now sits in the space at The Home Depot Center that was once the home of Guillermo “El Pando” Ramirez, who many will recall scored the championship-winning goal in overtime for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2005 MLS Cup.

U.S. Soccer Official Bars Heating Up for Guatemala Match

It may be getting close to winter time, but The Official U.S. Soccer Bars are continuing to heat up across the nation as fans gather to support the U.S. national teams. There are 27 locations ready to turn on the tube live for kickoff when the U.S. takes on Guatemala on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. MT, including the November 2008 Bar of the Month, Summers Grill and Sports Bar. Click here to find the Official U.S. Soccer Bar near you.

Vote for the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards.

The election is over but you voters out there still have a bit more work to do. The finalists have just been announced for the 2008 Best of U.S. Soccer Awards and we need your help deciding winners in 12 different categories. Make your way over to the Best Of blog, to cast your ballot...

Monday, November 17, 2008

You Probably Won't See this on Wednesday

So the MNT Blog has consulted the Global Blog, an expert on world affairs, about this story. It is pretty ridiculous if you ask us, but apparently it works. Regardless, those of you coming to the game on Wednesday probably won't see the U.S. pull this off - we haven't been working on it much during this training camp. We'll see what Guatemala comes up with though...

Video from Today's Training

Pics from Today's Highly Elevated Training

We're training at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park Complex and as you can tell, the scenery is fantastic. The guys did a bunch of work outside today, as preparations for Wednesday's game began in earnest. A warm up, possession game and 8v8 were on the agenda before the team headed inside to finish up with a brief session in the gym.
Bob Bradley and Mike Sorber also took timeout to address coaches of various teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Visitors from the Development Academy have become a common occurrence in the past year, as coaches from around the country come out to watch training whenever we're nearby.

Edit: The full gallery is now up on There you go, Kim!

Guatemala Primer

Since the players have now started their preparations for Guatemala, what do you say we start getting warmed up ourselves?

We begin with a look back at the match against the Chapines on Aug. 20 in Guatemala City, which also happened to be the first match of the semifinal round of qualifying. Team captain Carlos Bocanegra provided all the scoring the U.S. needed to end a 20-year drought of defeating Guatemala on their home turf, nodding a home a corner kick from DaMarcus Beasley after a crafty play in the box from Brian Ching. Tim Howard earned his third shutout in four World Cup qualifying appearances, and the U.S. left Guatemala City with a 1-0 win and a crucial three points to kick off the semifinal campaign.

Your Photos, Mr. Anonymous

Mr. Anonymous is faithfully following the blog - thank you very much - and can not seem get enough photos!

Well, sir, we would like to remind you that the blog is only one source of information for all things U.S. soccer, the flagship obviously being In fact, there are photo galleries from the previous two training sessions just waiting to be seen!

We'll make it easy on you this time, but don't forget to check for all the latest news on our national teams, Coaching Education, Development Academy, Referee Week in Review podcasts, and much more.

Photos from Nov. 14

Photos from Nov. 15


Nov. 19 @ 2 p.m.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Lot Between Gates E and F

Are You Ready To Climb Into The Snake Pit?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

(Almost) All In

Nineteen of 20 players are here in Denver, midfielder Freddy Adu arriving Monday following AS Monaco's 2-1 loss to Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes. With only one full training session prior to Wednesday's game, the squad has to quickly shift gears into international mode. Following the day off, it's back to work tomorrow.

Guatemala Have Their 20

Guatemala head coach Benjamín Monterroso named his 20-man travel roster for Wednesday's must-win match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The group arrives Monday evening into Denver after a week-long camp in Guatemala City. Seven of these players were on the field when the U.S. won 1-0 on Aug. 20 at the Estadio Mateo Flores.

The travel roster:

Goalkeepers: Luis Pedro Molina (Jalapa), Ricardo Jerez (Rentistas -Uruguay).

Defenders: Jaime Vides (Municipal), Carlos Castrillo (Comunicaciones), Wilson Lalín (Suchitepéquez), Claudio Albizurís (Municipal), Carlos Mercedes Vásquez (USAC– 1era División), Luis Rodríguez (Xelajú MC), Cristián Noriega (Municipal), Yoni Flores (Marquense)

Midfielders: Wilfred Velásquez (Suchitepéquez), Freddy Thompson (out of contract), Jean Jonathan Márquez (Comunicaciones), Carlos Castillo (Suchitepéquez), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire - USA), Carlos Figueroa (Xelajú MC).

Forwards: Mario Acevedo (Municipal), Marvin Ávila (Municipal), Mynor Ignacio López Campollo (Xelajú MC), Guillermo Ramírez (Municipal).

MNT at the Nuggets Game

Tonight the team headed the Pepsi Center to catch the Denver Nuggets taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves. There was a good crowd and our seats were great - fifth row! The Nuggets even came back in the second half to get the win.

For better or for worse, the highlight of the game may have been the accident during the "Sandwich Race" midway through the 3rd quarter. You know how you always hope something wild happens during one of these ridiculous promotional gimmicks? Well... Our best wishes go out to the cheerleader who face planted while running at full speed in the bread costume. A few stitches, a little blood, but hopefully she'll be ok.

U.S. Roster for Guatemala

Off to the Nuggets Game

We're capping the day off by heading to the Nuggets game tonight at the Pepsi Center. Denver is taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves, with tipoff scheduled for 6 pm MT. We'll update you more after the game (hopefully with some pictures), but it should be a fun night out.

MNT Blog Trying Something New

In the spirit of change (sound familiar?) the MNT Blog is going to try something new for the next few days: Twitter! We'll be twittering over at so follow along as you see fit. And be sure to let us know what you think!

One more news item on the new media front - our page over on Facebook. Click on the link to the right to join the quickly growing Official U.S. Soccer page on Facebook.

Freddy and Carlos Face Off in France

Over in Ligue 1 today, Rennes inflicted a 2-1 defeat on visiting AS Monaco. Carlos Bocanegra went 90 minutes for Rennes, who extended their impressive unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 12 games. They're also up to third place in the league, five points behind leaders Lyon. Freddy Adu entered the game in the 68th minute for Monaco, who face Le Mans at home next weekend.

Pachuca Ties Atlas, Needs Help to Make Playoffs

Pachuca and Jose Torres tied Atlas yesterday, which means that qualification for the playoff is out of Los Tuzos' hands. They need Santos to lose by more than two goals today, so stay tuned to see what happens...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dempsey back in Starting Lineup as Fulham Win

Clint Dempsey was in the starting lineup for Fulham as the Cottagers defeated in-form Tottenham 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Dempsey was inserted into the starting 11 and made an impact early as Tottenham goalkeeper Gomes was forced to make a save from Clint's long range drive.

Later in the first half, Tottenham's Gomes was at fault for some shocking goalkeeping to let Fulham open the scoring. In the second half, the Cottagers continued to have the better of the exchanges, and the home side extended its lead through Andy Johnson in the 70th minute.

A late Tottenham consoloation goal was not enough to trouble Fulham, who moved up to 9th place in the Premier League with the win. All five of Fulham's wins in the league have come at Craven Cottage. Watch manager Roy Hodgson talk about Fulham's win here.

Elsewhere in England, Marcus Hahnemann and Reading defeated Sheffield Utd. 2-0, Eddie Johnson played 90 minutes in Cardif's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, and Jay DeMerit and Watford fell 2-1 to Barnsley.

Bradley on the Mark in Germany

Michael Bradley opened his Bundesliga account as Borussia Monchengladach fought back for a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Bradley started the game in midfield for 'Gladbach, who went behind early to a Luca Toni goal. Bayern added to their lead in the 65th minute courtesy of a penalty from Frank Ribery.

'Gladbach fought back though, and Rob Friend halved the deficit in the 79th minute. Just two minutes later the score was level with Bradley nodding home the equalizer from close range. Bradley got forward well throughout the game, and his goal marked his first for 'Gladbach.

The result keeps 'Gladbach in 14th place, while Bayern slip three points behind Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen.

Here's what Michael had to say about the game:

"The team has earned a point and we have really worked hard today. At the end to come back and get that tie was a great feeling. We never stopped running, working or fighting and it was a good result in such a great atmosphere"

In other German action, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover tied Bochum 1-1 on Friday.

Full highlights of 'Gladbach taking on Bayern Munich:

Picture via

Mexican Apertura Enters Tense Final Weekend

It's the final weekend of Apertura 2008 in Mexico, and only three teams - Michael Orozco's San Luis included - have qualified for the Liguilla. It's coming down to the wire, as 11 teams still have a shot at reaching the playoffs. The top two teams from each of the three six-team groups qualify, along with the two best third-place teams.

San Luis qualified for the post-season two games ago, and currently lead the league table with 29 points, three ahead of second-place Pumas. A win against Toluca would solidify their place at the top, ensuring home field advantage in each post-season series. Their biggest task will be to overcome the apparent "Curse of the League Leader," as the team that has finished in first place during the regular season hasn't won the league title since Mexico switched to the short tournament format in 1996.

Jose Torres and Pachuca, however, are playing for all the marbles in their match against Atlas (which kicks off at 8 p.m. et), as they currently sit in third place in Group 1 with 20 points behind the already qualifed Atlante, who has 26 points, and Santos Laguna, who has 21 points. Right at their heels in fourth place is Indios of Ciudad Juarez, who have 19 points and are also trying to qualify. In Group 2, Cruz Azul are on the doorstep of claiming one of the two best third-place spots as they lead Jaguares in their final match. Over in Group 3, Tigres are in the driver's seat for the other berth as they sit in third place with 23 points.

One Training Camp Down, One to Go

The U.S. wrapped up their four-day camp in Commerce City today in near perfect conditions. With the shining sun exposing the heights of the Rocky Mountains, the 19-man group had their last chance to impress before U.S. head coach Bob Bradley announces the roster that will train in advance of the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Guatemala. The players that are going to remain have the night off in Denver (any restaurant suggestions?), while more call-ups arrive over the next two days as training resumes Monday.

It's been a very useful experience for both players and coaches, and now it's on to the business of playing spoiler to Guatemala on Wednesday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. In the latest news from Guatemala City, midfielder Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire) and Freddy Thompson (Veracruz) have arrived into camp to complete the group called in by new head coach Benjamín Monterroso. The Chapines will make their way to Denver on Monday with a final list of 20 players in tow.

Studio 90 News Update

From a sit-down with Pablo to a preview of the inaugural final of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, take a look at this Studio 90 News Update from Commerce City.

Who Will Win the RSL-Red Bulls Match? We Asked the (Same) Players

Prediction time again from camp. There wasn't a lot of gloating from the three guys who correctly picked a 2-1 win for Columbus. Like all players, they only take it one game at a time. While last time the picks were evenly split, today's lean heavily towards Real Salt Lake getting it done at their new ground.

Here's their second effort at prognostication:

Matt Pickens (formerly played for Chicago) Red Bulls - "I can't predict a score. Might be overtime, might be PK's, but they will do it. They have made the most of their life lines so far, and will do it again."

Troy Perkins
(formerly played for D.C. United) RSL 3, Red Bulls 0 - "RSL have been great at home. They have great fans, and they want to prove that they are the real deal."

Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) RSL 2, Red Bulls 0- "They are at home in front of a good crowd. They play with a lot of energy, and I expect the same tonight. Yura Movsisyan will get one."

Drew Moor
(FC Dallas) Red Bulls 2, RSL 1 - "New York are on a bit of a hot streak and are playing with a lot of confidence. These are uncharted waters for Salt Lake."

Michael Parkhurst
(New England Revolution) RSL 3, Red Bulls 2 - "I feel like goals are coming. Angel will score, but RSL are the better team."

Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo) Red Bulls 2, RSL 1 - "Angel gets at least one."

Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) RSL 2, Red Bulls 0 - "Hate to go against my brother, but RSL are on a good roll and playing at home. Yura Movsisyan gets the first goal, then Robbie Findley scores late while New York is pressing for the equalizer."

Davy Arnaud (Kansas City) RSL 2, Red Bulls 1 - "New York scores a late goal to make it interesting."

Chad Barrett (Toronto FC) RSL 2, Red Bulls 1 - "RSL are hard to score on, especially at home. The game goes to OT and Robbie Findley gets the game-winner."

Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas) RSL 2, Red Bulls 1 - "They're at home, and have a team of hard-working players."

Serbian Report on Subotic Not True

Many of our loyal MNT fans may have seen a report out of Serbia stating that defender Neven Subotic has decided to play for the Serbian National Team. Well, not so fast. We've spoken to Neven's representatives today and can confirm that the story is untrue. On a side note, Neven tallied two goals (both headers) in the first 26 minutes for Borussia Dortmund to lead them to an eventual 4-0 domination of Eintracht Frankfurt. (Check the Global Blog for updates later today).

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Day in Pictures


Belated Congrats

To Sean Franklin, who yesterday was named the 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year Award. Franklin is one of three MLS Rookies of the Year in the current camp, along with Jonathan Bornstein and Michael Parkhurst. Could there be others come Sunday? We'll see.

In the meantime, a list of the former winners:

2007: Maurice Edu – Toronto FC

2006: Jonathan Bornstein – Chivas USA

2005: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution

2004: Clint Dempsey – New England Revolution

2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire

2002: Kyle Martino – Columbus Crew

2001: Rodrigo Faria - MetroStars

2000: Carlos Bocanegra – Chicago Fire

1999: Jay Heaps – Miami Fusion

1998: Ben Olsen – D.C. United

1997: Mike Duhaney – Tampa Bay Mutiny

1996: Steve Ralston – Tampa Bay Mutiny

Preview in England

Clint Dempsey and Fulham host resurgent Tottenham at Craven Cottage. Fulham have won their most recent two games at home, and a win this weekend would give them three home wins on the trot for the first time in two years. The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last six home games against Spurs and last year's 3-3 game in the corresponding fixture featured Clint Dempsey opening the scoring for Fulham.

Tim Howard and Everton put their four match unbeaten streak on the line against Middlesborough (also unbeaten in four) at Goodison Park. For the ambitious ones among you there are still some seats available.

Jay DeMerit and struggling Watford host Barnsley in the Championship. Watford managed a 1-0 win over Swansea in the Carling Cup midweek, but their league form has been poor and they'll look to get back on track with an important away game on Saturday. In other action, Eddie Johnson and Cardiff host Crystal Palace, while Marcus Hahnemann and Reading face off with Sheffield Utd. in a match between teams placed three and four, respectively, in the Championship table.

Gooch Goes on in Cup

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege needed a shootout to see off KV Courtral in the Belgian League Cup. Next up for Liege is KSC Lokeren in the Belgian League on Sunday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That's a Big Sky

And while you're at it, don't forget to look up

Something You Don't See Every Day

It's a well-established axiom that in order to be the best, you have to go through hours and hours and hours of training. Practice makes perfect, right?

So we suppose it makes sense then that in the parking lot outside of the team training session this afternoon, there was a group of EMT's going through ambulance-driving training. Everything from navigating a course, driving in reverse, and we're not making this up, parallel parking.

We are certainly proud and grateful for the work of the professional and volunteer EMT's across the country. We only have one question. When does one have to parallel park the bus?

Who will Win the Fire-Crew Match? We Asked the Players

Who better to give predictions on tonight's Eastern Conference Final than the players themselves? Of the 10 we asked, the predicted winner was split right down the middle. Seven predicted a 2-1 scoreline, and only one predicted a shutout.

We've broken their responses down by position - for no particular reason, really ...

Matt Pickens (formerly played for Chicago) Chicago 2, Columbus 1 - "Chris Rolfe will get at least one."

Troy Perkins
(formerly played for D.C. United) Chicago 2, Columbus 1 - "The Fire are more experienced in the playoffs. Being the lower seed, they have something to prove."

Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) Columbus 2, Chicago 0 - "They are feeling it right now."

Drew Moor
(FC Dallas) Chicago 3, Columbus 2 - "The Fire score a lot of goals. Columbus are a good team, but I have just have a gut feeling."

Michael Parkhurst
(New England Revolution) Columbus 2, Chicago 1 - "Columbus have been the most consistent team all year. And my fellow Demon Deacon alum Will Hesmer is going to get it done."

Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo) Chicago 3, Columbus 1 - "Rolfe will get two, and Blanco one."

Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) Columbus 2, Chicago 1 - "Columbus has been the best team in the league all year, and they are at home. Alejandro Moreno and Robbie Rogers score for the Crew, and Brian McBride gets one back."

Davy Arnaud (Kansas City) Columbus 2, Chicago 1 - "Columbus has been tough to beat at home all year long."

Chad Barrett (Toronto FC) Chicago 2, Columbus 1 - "Chicago has always played well in Columbus."

Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas) Columbus 2, Chicago 1 - "Columbus has been strong all season."

Today's Video from Training

The camp got underway today with a training session this morning. We spoke to a few guys, Conor Casey and Sean Franklin included, as well as assistant coach Mike Sorber. Check out the video:

Pass the Time on Thursday

The Global Blog knows that you're just trying to grind out the hours until Friday so here are a few things to pass the time:

- Landon Donovan is still in Germany training with Bayern Munich. Here are a really long video taken from training. Really long.

- Speaking of Bayern Munich, they're playing Borussia Monchengladbach this weekend as one of Germany's biggest rivalries gets renewed for the first time this year. Back in the 1970s, these two teams dueled for Bundesliga supremacy on more than one occasion so Saturday's match could make for an interesting throwback. Michael Bradley could be in line to play for 'Gladbach, who jumped out of the relegation zone with last weekend's win.'Gladbach meanwhile got a boost with players returning from injury.

- In cup reults, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes were eliminated from the French Cup by Le Havre. Villarreall and Jozy Altidore met the same fate over in the Spanish Copa del Rey.

Sad News From Guatemala

Legendary Guatemala forward Juan Carlos Plata will not be part of the roster to face the United States next Wednesday due to a family tragedy. Plata is the second most capped player in Guatemala history with 86 international appearances, and is also second all-time in goals scored (35), one behind Carlos Ruiz.

Everyone here wishes the best for Juan Carlos and his family

U-17 WNT Going to the Show

Everyone on the Men's National Team wants to congratulate our U-17 Women for reaching the final of the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup (some of whom followed along on MatchTracker until 1 a.m. our time, but we can't name names. Something about supposed to be getting ready for training the next day...). Second half goals from forwards Vicki DiMartino and Courtney Verloo erased a 1-0 lead for the favored Germans to lift the U.S. women into yet another World Championship final.

Watch the goals here

Be sure to log on to's MatchTracker when the U.S. takes on Korea DPR in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Final on Nov. 16 at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. Kickoff for the championship game is 4 p.m. local (10 p.m. ET on Nov. 15).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For Our Guatemalan Friends Considering a Visit to Colorado

On behalf of the tourism board for Denver, we thought we would share some background information for our friends from Guatemala considering a visit to the Mile High City for next week's game. Some tips for coming to Denver in November, if you will. For example, did you know that ...
  • The average number of days where the temperature dips below freezing is 24.
  • The average amount of snowfall is nine inches. Wouldn't that be great to see snow for the first time ever? Sure it's extremely cold, but it's awfully pretty and makes for photos your friends will be amazed to see!
  • Game-time temperature on Wednesday is expected to be 30 degrees. It's not as bad as it sounds - just ask Mexico!
And don't worry, you'll be able to buy hats, scarves and gloves here - they make great souvenirs!

We hope you find this information both useful and informative. Check back next week when we will give you the lowdown on living at altitude...

Vålerenga er Cupmestere 2008!

So screams the headlines in Norway - it literally translates into "Valerenga are Cup Masters".

Just before traveling to Denver, goalkeeper Troy Perkins and Valerenga claimed the 2008 Norwegian Cup with a resounding 4-1 win against league champions Staebek. In terms of national importance, it's considered bigger than winning the league - the King of Norway presides over the match! We asked Mr. Perkins about the significance of the trophy, and about winning silverware in his first year in Norway. So what's it like shaking hands with the king?

Troy Perkins: "It was very cool. He's a big guy. I can tell my kids in the future the story of how I met the King of Norway." Why is winning this tournament such a big deal in Norway?

TP: "For one, everyone talks about the Cup Final. In addition to the king, all of the dignitaries of Norway turn up for the game. It's not just that you are champions of your league, you are effectively the best team in Norway. For my club, its even more important because of our supporters. We have the biggest fan club in the country, and it means a lot to them." Probably didn't hurt that you played at home...

TP: "It was quite special thing. Ulleval Stadium is not only our home stadium, but the national stadium as well. It helped a lot of us to be a little more relaxed, especially when you have 17,000 of your own supporters behind you." What was the week like leading up to the game?

TP: "We spent the whole week at our sponsor's conference center, which is a 250-year old farm that they have owned for more than 200 years. [Editor's Note: No soccer fields on the farm. They trained at the local club.] We got away from everything, and spent all of our time together as a group. It was a good bonding experience, and a nice atmosphere to be in leading up to game. The night before, we went to a rally set up by our supporters, and there were 4,000 people there crammed under a circus tent." We understand the team was almost late for the game.

TP: "Yeah. We got on the bus and drove to the center of Oslo, and turned onto the main drive leading up to the stadium. All of a sudden, no cars were moving. As it turns out, our supporters march from our old stadium (Bislett) all the way to Ulleval, so traffic was at standstill. We wind up driving amongst our fans for a little bit, and it was just a mass of people. They were led by marching band, and there were thousands of people singing and chanting. I've never seen anything quite like that." Other than shaking hands with the king, what will you remember most about the win?

TP: "First, we stayed on the field for about an hour after the game celebrating with our fans. Then we got on the bus and drove back to the tent from the night before. As we're getting out, there was a line of people lighting flares leading our way inside. The place was completely full. Our supporters have a song for every player, and they sang every one. I'll never forget seeing our team and our fans that excited to win. You see how important it is to them. I haven't seen guys react like that ever in my life. It was really something special."

But is She a Soccer Fan?

We may ask Mrs. Ciccone Richie - otherwise known as Madonna - if we see her in the hotel lobby, since apparently she is also a guest here. The "Material Girl" is performing at the Pepsi Center tonight. And to the best of our knowledge, none of the players went to the show, although we're not sure if they would admit it anyway.

No word on whether NKOTB will stay here in advance of their gig on Friday night.

24 and 1

The latest FIFA World Rankings were released today, and the U.S. is at #24 on the list. We are still the highest ranked team in CONCACAF, with our neighbors to the south one spot behind. Jamaica got the biggest bounce of any team, their win against Mexico helping catapult the Reggae Boyz from #116 to #83 in the table.

Spain is still tops in the world, with Germany climbing to the #2 position ahead of Italy. Brazil dropped to the fifth position, while England moved back into the Top 10.

Of course, rankings don't mean much on game day...

Midweek Cup Action

There's league cup action around Europe today, which means a few of our guys are suiting up for some games. Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes look to keep up their fine form of late with a Round of 16 game against Le Havre.

In the Copa del Rey, Jozy Altidore and Villarreal have lots to do as they try to overturn a five goal first leg deficit against Club Polideportivo Ejido.

In Scotland, Rangers are playing a midweek SPL game against Motherwell at Fir Park Stadium. In cup news, the draw for the semifinals of the Scottish Cup have just been made, and the Old Firm has been separated in to different halves, with Rangers taking on Falkirk and Celtic facing Dundee United.

Recent Highlights from Germany

Michael Bradley and 'Gladbach earned a 2-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld this weekend, here are some highlights from the game:

Good Morning From Mile High

Greetings from Denver, where the U.S. is making its first appearance in the state of Colorado since nearly 50, 000 people watched Clint Mathis score the lone goal in the 1-0 win against Mexico on April 3, 2002 at Invesco Field in a tuneup for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. (How's that for a trip down memory lane? The Clint Mathis part, not the beating Mexico part ...)

By noon today, all 19 players on the mini-camp roster will have arrived as Brian Ching and Ricardo Clark make their way in this morning. The coaching staff will spend the next four days evaluating options for the Guatemala match, next year's January training camp, and beyond. On Sunday, U.S. coach Bob Bradley will announce the group that will train for Wednesday's match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the first-ever World Cup qualifier held in Colorado. Expect a dose of foreign-based players as well as guys who are on the unfortunate side of results from the MLS Conference Finals.

Meantime, we're up and running, so feel free to send us your thoughts and questions.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Season Done in Sweden

Hammarby concluded their Swedish Allsvenskanliga season with a 5-2 loss to IFK Norrkoping on Sunday. Despite two quick goals from Charlie Davies, Hammarby eventually capitulated and gave up five unanswered goals to mark a disappointing end to a season where they finished 9th in the league.

On the bright side, Davies finished with an impressive 14 goals, tying him with Henrik Larsson of Helsingborg (yes, that Henrik Larsson) for fourth best in the league. While we couldn't find video of Davies' goals from this weekend we did find this really sweet video somebody made of Charlie in FIFA 09. Big props for the soundtrack choice too.

Donovan in Deutschland

Landon Donovan is keeping busy in the offseason by heading over to Germany for a 10-day training period with Bayern Munich. "I know Landon from my time with LA Galaxy," said Bayern head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the club's website.

Klinsmann calls Southern California home and famously took the job coaching the German national team while still living abroad in the States. Donovan, who will use the visit to keep in shape during the MLS offseason, joins Bayern as they are in the midst of preparing for the traditionally busy buildup to the holiday period. The German giants next face Michael Bradley and Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday Nov. 15.

Picture courtesy of Bayern's official website. You can also read the full article about Donovan's arrival (in German) here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

100 Games and a Record for Howard

Tim Howard's appearance in Everton's 3-1 win over West Ham on Saturday marked his 100th game for the Merseyside club. In addition to achieving the century mark, Howard also wrote his name in the record book with an interesting achievement for his club: he's the first Everton goalkeeper to average less than a goal a game over his first 100 games.

As you can see from this nifty chart (from Everton's official club website) Howard just comes in under the 1 GAA mark and he's even done a few better than Wales and Everton legend Neville Southall. Below is a list of the top Everton keepers over 100 games with appearances followed by (goals conceded).
  • Tim Howard - 100 (99)
  • Neville Southall - 100 (102)
  • George Wood - 100 (108)
  • Gordon West - 100 (113)
Of course, Howard would be the first to tell you that he still has a long way to go, especially if he wants to come anywhere close Southall's amazing tally of 750 games for Everton, a club record.
"Neville is a legend and the reason he's a legend is because he did it over a long period of time," Howard told Everton's website. "I've got a long way to go, I know that. But I hope that I can stay consistent, stay here for a long time and do it with this club."