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Moving on…

CONCACAF Champions League Final

Real Salt Lake lost to the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final to Monterrey 1–0 on Wednesday night, giving the Mexican-side the title on a 3–2 aggregate. Is the professional game in the US doomed? Just how big of a setback is this loss? Can MLS ever recover from this crushing disappointment? What is wrong with the professional game in the US if a team from this country can’t beat a team from lowly Mexico? When will a US team get a fair shake from the officials? Should RSL coach Jason Kreis be fired?…Sorry, I got carried away thinking about the kind of storylines that usually follow when a US team disappoints on the international stage. Anyway, thanks for the entertainment RSL, even if you bottled it at home. Now we can all go back to following the Union, beating you in league play and living for the day when our team wins the Champions League final.


Last year, San Jose handed the Union their first home loss thanks to a goal from Arturo Alvarez in the 90th minute. San Jose may now be at the bottom of the Western Conference table but Peter Nowak knows not to take them lightly:

“They showed last year they were a team who had nothing to lose and nobody really paid attention to that. They can go deep with these players. I think the series against New York they played really, really well and got a bit unlucky in the semifinal. The team is capable of having great results, especially on the road. This team is capable of scoring goals and playing football. So for us, it is another very difficult opponent, who after two losses, they will be hungry for the points.”

Nowak said the Union treated their time off thanks to the postponement of the RSL match “as a little preseason.” He added,

“It was a good time for us to take the perspective to look back on the past five weeks and five games we played and trying to figure out what’s the best way to approach the stretch with the four games coming up…So we took this past week as trying to correct the mistakes we made and work on the things [that are] going to improve our offensive play, as well as keeping our defensive shape as well as we did in the past five weeks.”

That four game stretch Nowak is talking about? San Jose at home on Saturday, April 30; Portland Timbers away on Friday, May 6; LA Galaxy at home on Wednesday, May 11 and FC Dallas away on Saturday, May 14. Steady now.

The likelihood of Brian Carroll playing in Saturday’s game has moved from “questionable” to “very hopeful.” Said Carroll, “I feel good now but hamstrings are funny things. It could pop back up at any time. I just have to be aware and be smart about it.”

In addition to being Dietz & Watson Dollar Dog Day, Saturday’s game is also Autism Awareness Day.

The Union Dues on the San Jose game.

Tim Howard is looking forward to playing the Union in July. “Philadelphia Union is a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to playing against them. Nick Sakiewicz (a former goalkeeper, now the club’s chief executive) brought me through the ranks when I was younger, I’m friends with members of their coaching staff and one of my best friends, Danny Califf, plays for them.”


The club’s website has a profile of team captain Nikki Krzysik.


The Energy Drinks will play in this summer’s Emirates Cup along with Arsenal, Boca Juniors and Paris Saint-Germain. Nothing like flying across an ocean for a meaningless tournament in the middle of the season just because your most expensive player misses his old team.


A brace from Clint Dempsey in the 3–0 win over Bolton breaks Fulham’s EPL all-time goal record. His 33 career league goals puts him above the previous record of 32 goals held by Brian McBride and Steed Malbranque. The first goal was a real beauty.

The 2011 class of the National Soccer Hall of Fame will be inducted on June 4 in an invitation-only ceremony prior to the USA v Spain friendly at Gilette Stadium.

Megan Toohey, a graduate of Phil-Mont Christian Academy and a freshman at Michigan, has been called up to the USWNT U-23 camp.


Aside from two moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi—the first coming off of some fantastic play from Ibrahim Afellay, the second a piece of individual mind blowingness that is already taking on the grainy quality of the footage of Maradona’s legendary run through the England defense in the 1986 World Cup when I replay it in my head—yesterday’s Champions League semifinal first leg between Real Madrid and Barcelona was ugly, ugly ugly, with Real Madrid playing cynically behind the ball, and Barcelona writhing on the pitch when they weren’t, in the words of Emmanuel Adebayour, “crying like a baby.”

Jose Mourinho wondered after the game, “Why do the opponents of Barcelona always have a man sent off? Where does this power come from?…Barcelona are a great team on and off the pitch, but winning like that doesn’t leave the same taste.” He added, “I don’t know if it’s the UNICEF publicity or the friendship of [Spanish federation president Angel] Villar at UEFA, where he is vice president. I don’t know if it’s because they are so nice, but they have got great power. The rest of us have no chance.”

The otherwise absent Cristiano Ronaldo showed up at the post-match press conference to say, “Do I like to play in a defensive team like Madrid? No, but I have to adapt to what the coach wants…Messi played very well, but it’s easier against ten…It’s always the same with them [Barcelona]. This is the fourth consecutive season that something like this has happened. [Jose] Mourinho is right, just look at what happened with Arsenal, Chelsea and Inter. They [Barcelona] are a fantastic team, but they also have a lot of influence, both on and off the pitch.”

The Guardian says that Barcelona’s win came at a cost to the beauty of the game.

Before there was the Internet, there were football fanzines like When Saturday Comes. Now a wonderful website, book publisher as well as a magazine, When Saturday Comes has turned 25.

It was a frenzied atmosphere at Chesterfield’s Bet2net Stadium on Monday when they hosted Bury. If Chesterfield won, they would secure the League Two title over Bury. Instead, Chesterfield lost 3–2, ensuring promotion for both clubs and leaving the title up for grabs with two matches remaining in the season. But the big story was the assault of Bury goalkeeper by Chesterfield “fans” when the home team equalized to bring the match to 2–2. Among those involved in the assault were a “Ponytailed schoolgirl,” a 13-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy. A 38-year-old man was also taken into custody with more arrests expected to follow. During the assault, Cameron Belford—the Bury goalkeeper who earlier in the season had his cheekbone, shattered during a match, replaced with a titanium plate—was punched in the face by an as yet unidentified youth.

In the wake of the arrest of two Swiss journalists in Qatar, an ESPN columnist wonders why should the country want to host the 2022 World Cup. Checkout the readers comments for the real debate.


  1. The Bury goalkeeper is one hell of a man for not putting those kids in their place, and keeping his composure. It’s really sad that those stupid kids have to ruin the beautiful game. And Qatar does not deserve to host a WC, ever.

  2. good riddance to rsl. US soccer blah blah blah. when it’s the union i’ll care.

    pepe deserved to be sent off. persistent fouling and a studs on shin tackle. the only thing real were missing was de jong. the diving/card uproar is a smokescreen for a shit game from real. if you’re gonna play the cynical physical fouling game be prepared for cards and your opponent making the most of it too. marcelo could have been sent off himself.

  3. Qatar needs parking lots… one of the reasons why they wanted it.. also excuses to build things ‘correctly’.

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