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Monday Musings

kreis Monday Musings
  • The Galaxy’s win over the Dynamo was dramatic but in many ways tainted. A strange call when against Houston, and the rolling power outages that swept Southern California seemed to unfortunately coincide with upsurges in Houston play.
  • Chicago vs Real Salt Lake was a better match than the Galaxy-Houston game. A better atmosphere and more attacking chances highlighted an unforgettable match.
  • Nick Rimando has won an MLS Cup with DC United, and a Supporters Shield with Miami. Now, if he wins another title with Real Salt Lake, is he the best multiple team goalkeeper in the league’s history? Or would that be Kevin Hartman? The uncanny knack Rimando has for saving penalty kicks in match, translated to Saturday night’s shootout.
  • RSL has found a way to use Javier Morales in a tactical position between Andy Williams and Kyle Beckerman. During the season the three midfielders often bunched up when on the field together, but the width at Toyota Park and a change in tactics from Jason Kreis and Robin Fraser late in the season have made RSL midfield bite impossible to stop.
  • Robbie Russell, one of the few MLS players with UEFA Champions League experience has brought an athleticism and intelligence to RSL’s back line since he signed in the middle of last season.
  • Upon a second viewing, the US performance against Slovakia looked worse than before, and the Slovak performance continued to underwhelm. Slovakia has nothing to prove until the World Cup: they won a very difficult qualifying group in UEFA that included two teams that have beaten the US badly, in recent World Cups and a Slovenia team that is also considered very dangerous. But for the US, doubts linger about the team’s ability to play effectively without Landon Donovan. The record of the nats through the years in matches which Donovan is not available is much worse than many think. I keep track of these things and do know that the US’ record since qualification in 2005 against non CONCACAF opposition without Donovan is 4-7-1 (This does not included January games against Scandinavian “B” teams). The wins were against China, Venezuela, Switzerland (a credible victory) and South Africa.
  • Costa Rica’s lifeless performance at Saprissa against Uruguay, where the Ticos who looked badly outclassed from minute ten on, showed the weakness of CONCACAF. The return leg in Montevideo could be a bloodbath.
  • The death of Mexican International and class act Antonio De Nigris of a heart attack will be felt by all fans of CONCACAF. The former Monterrey and Villereal Striker was playing his trade in Greece when he suffered a fatal heart attack overnight.  De Nigris was on the Mexican Copa America team that lost to Colombia in the 2001 final, and was last capped for the national team  during the 2-2 draw withhe US  last year, in Houston. He was 31, and will be missed.
  • The USL vs TOA mess got messier over the weekend. Published reports from our partner site Inside Minnesota Soccer indicate the Thunder will have local competition from a new USL team next season, as the league has found investors to compete with the established TOA entry. Also, Rochester who was previously thought to be ironclad in USL’s camp has begun making noises about the TOA, according to multiple internet reports. This weekend’s Annual General Meeting of USL in Tampa, will be very interesting to say the least.
  • Former NCAA and USLPDL star Vedad Ibisevic, who is one of the top strikers in the Bundesliga actually prevented Bosnia from scoring a goal in Lisbon on Saturday. A Bosnian team mate had an open net with Portuguese goalie Eduardo out of position, but the shot deflected off Ibisevic and rolled away from the goal mouth. Bosnia trails the two leg playoff with Carlos Quieroz’s Portugal 1-0.
  • Several current MLS players and former MLS/USL/NCAA Soccer stars are headed to South Africa with New Zealand. Congratulations to the Kiwis!

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

20 Responses to Monday Musings

  1. Fan says:

    How convenient to simply remove results that would make that record without Donovan look less negative just to prove your point. To use a silly word you employ earlier in the article, your thesis is “tainted.”

    • The record is 5-7-1 if I put the January games back in, so it is not that much different. I refuse to include those games because they are not on a FIFA date and do not coincide with a break in the European season. Mexico does the same thing, playing games on non FIFA dates in non break periods and when evaluating their opposition, I NEVER include those games. The fans of the opposing nations don’t value those results so neither should we unless we are simply looking for games between virtual “B” squad to improve our talking points.

      It goes both ways, my friend.

      Let me ask you since you seem to know so much, how would the US fare without Landon Donovan in a World Cup?

      • tg says:

        The January friendlies between the USA and Sweden or Denmark occur during a lull in each nation’s domestic league (MLS is done, Sweden/Denmark take the winter off).

        It is essentially a training camp for each nation’s domestic players, nothing more. And looking at the USMNT and the DBU or SvFF, how many regulars play domestic? Little.

        So Kartik is spot on.

        • Tony says:

          The best players from all of these countries are in Euro leagues that don’t break in January, so the games are meaningless.

          Fan just like to criticize but Kartik needs to show a little more maturity and simply shrug off his comments and not take the bait. My opinion for what it’s worth

      • Fan says:

        They wouldn’t fare well. I’m not denying that. It’s dishonest to remove certain statistics to further prove your point. Either show all the games they play without him or don’t make the point, ESPECIALLY, since it’s not that much of a difference.

        In other words, grow up and stop trying to tilt the tables to make yourself seem smarter. The US is better off with Landon in the lineup. Any moron knows that and doesn’t need to spike the stats to try and prove it.

        • Fair enough: I just simply don’t ever like including those January games in the stats or even in trying to determine who Arena or Bradley should choose for bigger matches. But your point is well taken, since the difference was only one game, this past January game vs Sweden when Landon was at Bayern dealing with the arrogant Der Kaiser and other former German greats who think they more about football than anyone in Europe. (Guess what? They don’t, and that is why Bayern currently sits 8th in the Bundesliga!)

  2. This One Guy In Detroit says:

    “Chicago vs Real Salt Lake was a better match than the Galaxy-Houston game.”

    Hmm. Did you watch LA-Houston live, or on tape? I watched on DVR, flying thru the power outages (well, except for the first five minutes, when the whole thing was kind of fascinating), and I thought it was a superior match. Better pace, better energy, more gripping all around.

    Chicago-RSL was also dramatic, for sure, but was more tepid and cautious too. Still, I could see how someone’s view of the LA game might have been skewed by watching live, with the frustrating interruptions.

  3. Rhinos Fan says:

    Ibisevic? Are you joking? LMAO

    I remember that guy at St Louis University and the Fire PDL team and he simply was not good enough to play in the A-League or MLS.

    UEFA really is that bad that a guy not good enough for USL 1 is playing in a playoff? And how bad is the Bundesliga if he is as you describe “one of the strikers.” Either you are talking out of your rear end which you do all the time in glorifying Europe and non USMNT topics, or the Bundesliga really is inferior to MLS.

    Actually, I know the answer. A myth has been created around all these Euro leagues by the snobs including this site, but MLS, is in fact better top to bottom than any league in the world. So if a guy plays for a middle of the pack German team, he in fact would not play in MLS.

    Sure, Chelsea has better players than MLS, but we have better players than 12-15 Premier League teams and every German team other than Bayern Munich.

    • Tony says:

      The joke is on you, idiot.

      Name one former MLS player or even a USMNT player who has had this sort of production in Europe. Charlie Davies did but he like Ibisevic was a NCAA/PDL product.

      Club Season League Cup Europe Total
      Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assist

      Dijon FCO 2004–05 12 4 ? – – 12 4 ?
      2005-06 21 6 ? – – 21 6 ?
      Total 33 10 ? – – 33 10 ?
      Alemannia Aachen 2006–07 24 6 1 3 0 0 – 27 6 1
      Total 24 6 1 3 0 0 – 27 6 1
      TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2007–08 31 5 2 3 1 0 – 34 6 2
      2008–09 17 18 7 2 1 0 – 19 19 7
      2009–10 11 5 2 1 0 1 – 10 4 3
      Total 56 27 11 6 2 1 – 63 29 12
      Career total 117 43 12 9 2 1 – 126 45 13

      So that is 43 goals in 117 Bundesliga games, including 18 in 17 games last season.

      If you don’t watch European soccer, please don’t comment on it.

      • Ignore him, he’s one of those American gymrats that don’t believe players can improve after they hit the age of 20. To them, if you’re average in “college ball”, you’re average forever.

        Don’t forget, 40 times and bench press reps are the gospel.

        • Jason Toon says:

          Ibisevic wasn’t even “average in college ball”, either. He scored 18 goals in his one season at SLU and was immediately snapped up by Paris St. Germain. He could have his pick of jobs in MLS. (Oh, and nobody ever asked him to play for the USMNT…)

  4. Brian says:

    “Costa Rica’s lifeless performance at Saprissa against Uruguay, where the Ticos who looked badly outclassed from minute ten on, showed the weakness of CONCACAF.”

    I don’t think it shows the weakness of CONCACAF (although it is weak). It shows how thoroughly Costa Rica have collapsed since getting thrashed in Honduras. 4 losses and a draw in 6 matches during which they conceded 11 goals and were held scoreless 4 times… including a pair of shutout losses in the previously impregnable Saprissa.

  5. Charles says:

    Good comment Brian,

    Also, some think that South America is very strong.

    I guess the games in 2010 will bare all. Hopefully they tell the tale of a US that was the most underrated team ever to win it all.

  6. ELAC says:

    Galaxy game tainted? Really? No way.

  7. dan says:

    the reason the rsl/chicago game was better atleast there wasn’t any phantom calls.

  8. free bet says:

    Im glad they beat Dynamo, just goes to show that they are getting better overall

  9. ERic says:

    “Also, Rochester who was previously thought to be ironclad in USL’s camp has begun making noises about the TOA, according to multiple internet reports.” Really? Can you point out one? I haven’t seen any at all, and people are usually pretty up on this stuff. I mean, at the very least, I’d think that WhiteStar Warrior would’ve found one of them since he seems to find any and all USL/TOA related blog posts.

  10. dan says:

    The Galaxy are like the Yankees to me the team you love to hate. Besides i still prefer to call them the fakes.

  11. Jason says:

    I am very happy for New Zealand. Never been there but I always cheer for the English speaking nations. USA of course, but also England, Australia, and New Zealand. Behind the English Premier Leauge, the Australian A League is the football I watch the most (MLS is 3rd).

  12. chuck says:

    I’m really rooting for the TOA. Actually I’m rooting for any group that will form a “real” soccer league in this country. Not a monolithic, single entity, communistic, all-of-our-teams-are-equally-mediocre, no-team-really-fails-because-there-is-no-relegation, we-have-no-commitment-to-youth-development league. Or a corporate run, ponzi-schemed, play-soccer-on-a-gridiron, centrally-controlled and mismanaged league.

    TOA: Call your league the North American Premier League. Ban gridirons. Plan for promotion and relegation. Do a single table (really your only option with 7 teams) with no playoffs except the Open Cup. Don’t let in any club with a stupid name or logo (by forming an Anti-Stupid Marketing Committee, of course!). Have revenue sharing and other wealth distributive factors if you wish, but no salary cap — the richest, best supported clubs should get the best players to watch. Base growth NOT on massive expansion fees but on teams working their way up from a lower league. Grow the lower league by only allowing in teams with ‘X’ number of season ticket holders, or have teams owned by their supporters groups.

    MLS wants to attract all us soccer fans who live here but follow foreign teams. To do that it needs to end the charade. MLS is NOT a league of teams. It is one big team. All the owners pretend to be interested in their team, but their only real interest is the league. LA and RSL are the same team! They are owned by the same owner. They are part and parcel of the same entity. This is just the left hand thumb wrestling the right. That isn’t sport. That isn’t competition. That is a charade, and it is lame. All the teams have nearly the same record because all the teams are equally mediocre. Every city except the new city, Seattle (and they’ll catch on), is beginning to realize that every year is the same mediocre product as the last. That is why ticket sales are dropping in every market – there is nothing exciting to look forward to. No big signing, no big transfer, no chance at relegation, no chance at promotion. All the excitement has nothing to do with the product, it is the new stadiums and the new markets that generate the buzz because there is no buzz-generating play. Teams just play all season to be as mediocre as everyone else so that you can make the play offs where everyone has an equal chance to win and there are no upsets because every team is the same.

    There is no excellence in MLS. There was no excellence in USL. We watch other leagues to catch glimpses of excellence. Any owners group that is committed to taking the steps necessary that will lead to excellence deserve 100% support.

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