Sylvae MLS News

28Feb/110

Los Angeles Galaxy Ins and Outs, Feb 27, 2011

McBean, USA U-17 win CONCACAFOn one hand, it does help that Mexico is hosting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup this year.On the other hand, the Los Angeles Galaxy's Jack McBean will return to Los Angeles Galaxy training camp a winner.That's because McBean—coming off the bench later for Wilmer Cabrera's USA Under-17 Men's National Team—defeated rivals Canada 3-0 in extra time at the Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay, Jamaica to win the 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.This is the first CONCACAF Under-17 title for the Stars and Stripes.Nathan Smith opened the scoring for the USA in the 92nd minute. Andrew Oliver made it 2-0 for the Yanks in the 100th minute before Alfred Koroma put the game out of reach in the 120th minute of play.Whether or not McBean's success will internationally translate to a huge payoff on the Galaxy Reserves is up to the fates to decide.If Mr. Becks fits, all the betterGalaxy team captain Landon Donovan shrugged off the worries that midfielder David Beckham would have a rough go at meshing with the team at training.“Like always, he fits right in,” Donovan said. “He looked great, he looked fit, he looked sharp. He and I always get back on ...
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25Feb/110

Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham Returns to Training

David Beckham, fresh off a few months of training with Tottenham Hotspur FC, returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy this week as the team camp continued.“My main objective was to get fit for the Galaxy and for the MLS season," Beckham said after training. "My main objective wasn’t to play for a Premiership team. Even if I would have been on loan, even if I would have played the games, this is the time I was always going to come back.”No loans were in the horizons for the the 35-year-old Beckham, who chose to emphasize his match fitness ahead of the 2011 Major League Soccer campaign.“If there was an option to play, I was going to take it," Beckham said. "But without a doubt, I 100 percent wanted to go somewhere and train and not take the three months and just sit around doing nothing. At this stage of my career, and especially after the injury I had, I realized it was more important to train than to sit on a beach.“Speaking with Bruce and speaking at the level that the players came back at at the end of January, it was sensible to continue the program I was doing ...
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25Feb/110

Colorado Rapids: Where Will the Major League Soccer Champions Finish in 2011?

The 2010 Major League Soccer Champions, the Colorado Rapids, nabbed the seventh out of eight playoff spots and went on to win the silverware.  Where will the champs finish this year? In 2010, the Rapids finished 12-8-10, with 46 points—which included only two home losses—an impressive 7-2-5 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and a more pedestrian 5-6-5 record on the road.Begin Slideshow
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24Feb/110

Major League Soccer’s New Playoff Format Is a Winner

Major League Soccer unveiled its much-improved playoff format for the 2011 season.  Not only does it address the major criticisms of the previous playoff format, it increases the importance of regular season games, increasing interest across stratified levels, something MLS has been sorely lacking, and will lead to more competition deep into the season and increased fan interest.    2011 Major League Soccer Playoff Format The top three teams in each conference gain an automatic berth.  The next four best teams gain wildcard berths.  The wildcard teams play a seeded one-off game to qualify for the final eight team playoff bracket. Essentially, it's an eight team tournament, with six guaranteed spots, and a four team play-in.  This is not only a major improvement; it's a clear winner on several levels.  It addresses the major criticisms of the previous playoff format, which were that the playoff seeding did not reflect the final standings in the full table, and that a conference not only could be won by a team from the other conference, but that the championship could even be played in the other conference.   Conference Games Now Matter Conference games now matter.  Winning one of the top three ...
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23Feb/110

Los Angeles Galaxy Ins and Outs, Feb. 23, 2011

Two out of three ain't badBruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy ended their Arizona training camp with a 2-0 victory over Teitur Thordarsson's Vancouver Whitecaps to improve their MLS preseason record to 2-1-2.Adam Cristman opened the scoring off the delivery from Argentinean Miguel Lopez in the 58th minute. Then in the 74th minute, Hector Jimenez found Chad Barrett for the final margin.“We’re pleased with the progress that the entire group is making, being where we are in preseason,” Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday. “Having said that, we know that we need to, as we head into the last phase of our preseason, fine-tune things even more and make sure that we continue to get better each day.”Despite the starters playing the first match and the backups playing the second, Onalfo did have an intention to make it as such.“Part of preseason—especially when you have a lot of new players—is to make evaluations and try to figure out what the best combinations are and try different sorts of things," Onalfo said. "For us, it’s a continuing evolution of us evaluating the group, seeing guys in different positions so that we can make sure that we have ...
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23Feb/110

Seattle Sounders Here We Go: The New Season Is Upon Us

Kasey Keller. Alonso. Blaise and Fredy.   Can it be spring already?   The Seattle Sounders are set to begin their season against the Colorado Rapids on March 9th at Qwest Field. Before the opening match, though, comes the Cascadia Summit.   The Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will meet at the Starfire complex for exhibition games to kick off the first MLS rivalry in the northwest.  A few random thoughts on the upcoming season follow. Kasey Keller has indicated that this is his last year. Keller, in case you don't know, is a legend in US Soccer—a local boy made good. Keller represented the US in the World Cup four times. He was the first American to become a regular in the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga. We are truly fortunate to be able to watch a world class athlete spend his last days on the pitch here in Seattle.   Fredy Montero is now a designated player. That moniker gives Fredy a certain right to a larger ego, but also gives him the responsibility to be a team leader and a top performer.  Fredy matured last year and became a high performer. Can he become ...
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23Feb/110

2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: As Expected, The New Format Receives Zero Praise

Well, the new MLS Cup Playoff format has been released, and to literally no one's surprise, the system is being chewed to death.  Ideally, it goes without saying that the playoffs should be based upon a single table, have seeds one through eight, or better yet: get rid of the playoffs altogether. Allow the Supporters' Shield winners to become league champions, and allow playoff hungry fans to cheer on their club in the U.S. Open Cup. The evident problem with Major League Soccer is their appeasement, and their ongoing efforts to try to appeal to a casual, playoff loving, American audience, and its sharp polar frenemies: the hardcore, anti-playoff, single table-loving group of fans.  Exactly how evident are MLS' efforts to appeal to the two groups? First and foremost, the league long ago assembled a playoff format that awkwardly blended a conference-driven playoff format with a single-table playoff format, resulting in more "wild-card" entrants than automatic playoff qualifiers.  This so called appeasement has resulted in Eastern Conference final featuring an MLS club based in Colorado playing against a team no more than 50 miles away from the Pacific Ocean. It's also the reason that the only so-called "conference championship" title that the New York Red Bulls earned ...
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22Feb/110

New England Revolution Preseason Update: Team Still Half-Baked

If this pre-season is the time when Chef Nicol creates the Revolution main dish that will be served for the MLS 2011 season, then it’s clear that the meal is still half-baked. Here on Soccer Soap Box, I have occasionally counted on the contrasting perspectives of situations being “Half Full” or “Half Empty” in game reviews, and will apply a modified, point by point, version for reviewing where the team is so far this pre-season. Half Full: The Revolution has secured two victories in two pre-season games, both 2-0 victories. Half Empty: The Revolution did not score a goal from the run of play against a team of second string 16-year-olds (no players in that US Under-17 Team scrimmage started today’s important match against El Salvador) and only put two in against a college team, one of which was a deflected (aka, lucky) shot.    Half Full:  Significant press coverage has been given to Shalrie Joseph’s increased focus, acceptance of leadership responsibilities and even direction to pursue coaching someday.   In fact, when talking about the amount of inexperience surrounding him Shalrie offered, “we just have to be leaders for these guys and try steer them in the right direction.”  Great. Half Empty:  Team experience, skill and ...
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21Feb/110

Los Angeles Galaxy Ins & Outs, Feb. 21, 2011

More action from ArizonaLast Friday, training camp in Arizona continued—with seven players training on their own while the others returned to playing a series of five-minute split-squad matches. After the matches, the team went through shooting drills which involved backup goalkeeper Brian Perk, who impressed the team with his tenacity and readiness.Rains from Alaska did hamper camp over the weekend, as the team were reduced to performing conditioning workouts under the bleachers of the track stadium at Arizona State University in Tempe.Back on track with a winEarlier today, the Galaxy took on the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps as the skies cleared. First-half goals from Chris Birchall and Juan Pablo Angel got L.A. back on track in a 2-0 win.Both the Galaxy and Caps clash once more tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 a.m. ET.Fox Soccer telecasts a-plentyThe Galaxy will be featured in seven of FOX Soccer’s national broadcasts this upcoming season, Major League Soccer and FOX Soccer announced today. Last season, L.A. was also featured in seven of FOX Soccer’s telecasts.Additionally, the Galaxy announced on Friday that the club’s match against D.C. United at The Home Depot Center has changed dates. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, June 4, will ...
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21Feb/110

Orlando City Wins First Ever Game Against Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union finished their Florida training camp by falling to new USL PRO side Orlando City S.C., 1-0, at the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando on Saturday night. The game went sour for Union very fast as defender Carlos Valdes was sent off at 18' for a bad tackle on City striker Maxwell Griffin just outside the penalty box. City midfielder Lewis Neal, a trainee who was with English League Two side Shrewsbury Town in January, took the free kick and sunk it into the left corner of the goal for the only score of the match. Down a man, Union was severely disadvantaged against the third-tier club for the remainder of the match. Danny Mwanga pushed two shots wide of the City goal in the first half for the team's best shots. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa took the initiative for Union in the second half, but was unable to make anything out of the opportunities presented to him. City, for whom this match was their first ever, tried their best to work for their favor, but was limited to the single goal. Neal and Generation Adidas standout Jamie Watson worked the midfield very well, frequently getting the ball to open ...
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