Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Keller Snags 2nd Player of the Year Award

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, the only American soccer player to ever be immortalized in song, won the Honda Player of the Year Award on Wednesday as the best player on the U.S. national soccer team, adding it to the honor he earned in 1999.

Landon Donovan, who had won the award the past three years, and DaMarcus Beasley were the other finalists. Keller received 344 points in voting by 206 sports journalists across the country, while Donovan got 329 and Beasley 270.

Keller joins Eric Wynalda (1992, 1996) and Donovan as the only multiple winners of the award.

-- Jarrett @ 11/30/2005 07:19:00 PM

Duke/NCSU players invited to MLS Combine

Duke University's Blake Camp and Danny Kramer will join NCSU's Aaron King and John Queeley at the 2006 Adidas MLS Combine to be held at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 12-15, 2006, an effort to find the next batch of Major League Soccer stars. 54 NCAA Division I players were selected Wednesday to participate in the Combine. The list announced Wednesday is not final, as players from NCAA Divisions II and III, the NAIA, and elite underclassmen and high school players who will be part of the next Generation adidas class have yet to be added. The league expects to announce those names in the near future; if past combines are any indication, approximately a dozen players will be tacked on to Wednesday's initial list.

-- Jarrett @ 11/30/2005 05:44:00 PM

Freddy Goes Camping

It's the day many US Soccer fans have been waiting for with eagerness and bit of anxiety for the last 2 years. Freddy Adu has been called into the US Men's National Team camp by coach Bruce Arena. Arena said Tuesday at a soccer symposium that he plans to observe Adu during the team's first training camp of 2006, which starts Jan. 4 in Los Angeles. Giving the depth of the U.S. player pool, Adu would appear to have only a longshot chance of being on the roster for the World Cup, which starts June 9. In separate news, US Soccer confirmed that additional friendlies are being planned for the US National team this winter. In addition to the Jan 29th friendly against Norway in the Home Depot Center, the US will face Canada on Jan 22th at a West Coast site yet to be determined and Japan on Feb. 10th in San Francisco (venue not yet announced).

-- Jarrett @ 11/30/2005 07:09:00 AM

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Dream Game

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your little soccer player? My Dream Game offers a fully illustrated, 36 page, personalized storybook which is customized to feature the person of your choosing, as well as three of his or her friends, in a chance to play in the biggest soccer tournament on the planet. The site, which I had seen advertised on Setanta for weeks, allows you to choose from the US Men's or Women's National Teams as well as several interational rugby teams. It also looks like they'll be adding most of the major pro sports and teams in the USA soon. I remember having a personalized book like this when I was a child that detailed a mystery featuring an alligator detective who needed "Jarrett's" help. I loved it, but this sounds much cooler! Don't tell Max, but this is what he's getting from Daddy for Christmas.

-- Jarrett @ 11/29/2005 10:02:00 AM

Monday, November 28, 2005

Soccer United Recovery Fund

I know a lot of people make charitable donations as the end of the year draws near -- either in the spirit of the holidays or in an effort to stay one step ahead of the tax man. In case you hadn't heard, I wanted to make sure you were all aware of the Soccer United Recovery Fund sponsored by the US Soccer Foundation. This recovery fund is dedicated to aiding the soccer-playing communities impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita recover their playing surfaces. In addition to being able to make a direct donation to the fund, you can also participate in a charity memorabilia auction sponsored joinly by the US Soccer Foundation and Fox Soccer Channel. The auction includes autographed jerseys, balls, trading cards, etc. from teams and players in the USA and all over the world.

-- Jarrett @ 11/28/2005 06:32:00 PM

Ronaldinho wins the Ballon D'Or

It should come as no surprise to anyone that saw the stunning goals that Ronaldinho produced last week against arch rival Real Madrid that he has won the Ballon D'Or (Golden Ball) in recognition of his being selected the European Footballer of the Year.

The Ballon D'Or is voted for by European football journalists selected by French magazine France Football. The award celebrated its 50th anniversary in Paris on Monday night and was first won by Stanley Matthews while he was at Blackpool in 1956.

I really want to hate this guy, but between his brilliance on the ball and the fact that he always looks surprisingly happy, I just can't stand to not appreciate him!

-- Jarrett @ 11/28/2005 05:16:00 PM

Sunday, November 27, 2005

NCAA Men Round of 16 Results

Saturday Results: California 3-2 Wake Forest (AET) New Mexico 1-0 Cal State Northridge (AET) Sunday Results: Penn State 1-3 Creighton Maryland 3-1 St. John's UConn 3-3 Akron (AET, Akron advances 4-3 on penalties) UNC-G 1-3 SMU UNC 2-1 Virginia Clemson 1-0 Notre Dame Round of 8 matchups (games played 12/2-4): Maryland v. Akron UNC v. SMU Clemson v. Creighton California v. New Mexico

-- Jarrett @ 11/27/2005 04:29:00 PM

Tarheels advanced to Round of 8

The UNC Tarheel's men have advanced to the NCAA Round of 8 with a 2-1 win over UVa in Chapel Hill today. I thought this was one of the best games I've seen UNC play all year, and one of the worst officiated games I've seen as well (and as a ref myself, I rarely complain about the officiating). Carolina dominated the first half in midfield and most of the play was down at the UVa end. Virginia came out strong for the first 15 minutes of the second half but when Hunter scored two in rapid succession, it really took all the wind out of their sails. The ref did a horrible job all day, especially letting UVa players get away with all kinds of stuff (kicking balls away to slow the restart, not giving 10 yards, creeping up after the wall was set, rabbit punches, etc.). I really thought he was letting the game get out of control when all of a sudden Hunter got pissed, got a yellow card for a very sharp challenge on one of the worst UVa offenders (Murphy, I believe), and then scored two quick goals. He had Jonathan chanting "Don't Mess with an Englishman!" With the ball about 25 yards from goal, Carolina tried to setup for a free kick but UVa refused to give 10 yards. It must have taken the ref 90 seconds to get the wall set. Then when McCarty tried to hit one over the wall, the UVa wall, which had crept up about 4 yards from where it was set, handled just outside the area (If they'd really been 10 yards, it would have been a penalty!). We went through the whole wall setting ordeal again and then Hunter ripped a shot low around the wall into the net. Just a couple of minutes later, Corey Ashe had the ball all alone against 4 backs for UVa. I remember yelling at the Tarheels to come forward and help because "Corey can't beat them all by himself!" Of course, I was wrong. Corey held possession expertly, finally getting around the right back and cut a nice ball back for Hunter who was steaming into the area from the opposite side. Although he scuffed his shot a bit on the wet turf, the UVa keeper couldn't get his hands behind it to stop it. After that, it was UVa throwing everything forward looking for goals. Justin Hughes had to make a few outstanding saves...I thought he was really impressive. The goal he did finally give up was the result of him doing punching a ball from a cross but it didn't go far enough away and after a mad scramble in the area Reyering somehow nodded a weak ball into the net. I didn't take my camera out because of the rain but Andy Mead was there and grabbed these photos. The Tar Heels (17-3-3) advance to host Southern Methodist at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 with a trip to the College Cup at Cary's SAS Soccer Park on the line. Tickets for Saturday's contest cost $10 for adults and $4 for students.

-- Jarrett @ 11/27/2005 04:21:00 PM

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Men's Sweet 16 Preview Roundup

Pre-game news and notes from this weekend's Sweet Sixteen matchups of local interest (home teams listed first): California v. Wake Forest, Saturday 4:30pm EST Maryland v. St. John's, Sunday 1pm EST UNC v. UVa, Sunday 1pm EST UNC-G v. SMU, Sunday 1pm EST Clemson v. Notre Dame, Sunday 2pm EST Live audio, matchtracker, and continually updated scores for each match will be available online at and in-game chats in the Men's College forum.

-- Jarrett @ 11/26/2005 07:53:00 AM

Friday, November 25, 2005

Local players among Hermann Trophy semi-finalists

The Missouri Athletic Club's has announced the semi-finalists for the 2005 Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in intercollegiate soccer. Among the men's nominees are Aaron King (NCSU), Justin Moose (WFU), Randi Patterson (UNC-G), and Michale Vidiera (Duke). The women's nomination list includes Lori Chalupney, Heather O'Reilly, and Lindsay Tarpley, all of UNC. The winner will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches. Three men’s and three women’s finalists for the Trophy will be announced at the 2005 Men’s College Cup on Dec. 9. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference which will be telecast live by ESPNews. Both winners will be presented the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy at a banquet later that evening.

-- Jarrett @ 11/25/2005 10:12:00 PM


UNC 1-1 FSU, Seminoles advance to Women's College Cup on Penalties FSU's goalkeepers came up huge when their team needed them most, making two critical saves on UNC's Lindsay Tarpley in extra time and then stopping Heather O'Reilly's spot kick during penalties as the Seminoles advance to the 2006 College Cup in College Station, Texas. A crowd of over 2500 packed Fetzer Field on a cold holiday afternoon only to see UNC shocked early as FSU's India Trotter got behind the Carolina defense after just 8 minutes and finished her breakaway expertly around Tarheel keeper Anna Rodenbough to put FSU ahead with what would be their only shot on net for the balance of regulation time. Carolina's midfield would take over the game from there but it would be 11 minutes into the second half before the Tarheel's Kendall Fletcher headed home the equalizer after FSU's defense had valiantly turned away an amazing salvo of shots from Carolina. The Tarheels would continue to dominate possession while FSU's defense stood their ground and sent the game to extra time. Carolina almost finished the overtime period as quickly as it started when Lindsay Tarpley got free inside the FSU penalty area just 40 seconds into extra time but FSU's Ali Mimms did well to turn the shot aside. Then very much against the run of play, India Trotter, in an identical play to her goal in the first half, got behind the Tarheel defense to register only the 2nd shot on frame for FSU, but this time Rodenbough won the 1v1 battle. Carolina will be disappointed to have not finished off the Seminoles in the extra time period when they squandered several chances late to win the game. First, Lindsay Tarpley made a 50 yard mazy run through the FSU defense and laid off a perfect ball for Libby Guess who beat Mimms but not the crossbar. Then from the left side Heather O'Reilly beat the FSU defense to endline and cut the ball back for Tarpley who sprayed her shot just wide of the left post. Mimms denied Carolina a final time in the extra time period when she commandingly punched a Tarheel corner away just as Tarpley was attempting a free header inside the 6 yard box. Without a winner between them, the game moved to penalties and FSU decided to bring in their backup keeper Minna Pyykko to face the PKs. All 10 shooters put their shots on net with the difference in the game being Pyyko's one and only save of the game on Heather O'Reilly to send FSU to the College Cup. I've posted some pictures from the game on my flickr stream.

-- Jarrett @ 11/25/2005 07:56:00 PM

George Best 1946-2005

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered," -- George Best George Best, the Northern Ireland international and Manchester United star who also spent time with the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Aztecs, and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, died today in a London hospital.

Genius, magician, legend, George Best is perhaps the most talented footballer ever to walk on the face of the planet. Best was the complete player. Pele, Cruyff, Maradona - all were superb but Best had a bit of each in his game and more. He is to this date the only man to score 6 goals in a single game for Manchester United (during the 1970 FA Cup). Born in Northern Ireland, Best is probably the most talented footballer never to have had a chance to play in a World Cup Finals. He could beat opponents with skill and dazzling tricks, swerving through defences like a skier on a slalom course, or go past them with a burst of devastating speed. He could shoot brilliantly with either foot and out-jump much taller opponents to win the ball in the air. George Best had the confidence and arrogance to try absolutely anything - he knew he was a genius and was not afraid to show it.

It was obvious to Sir Matt Busby from the outset that the skinny 16 year old from East Belfast was something extra-special. Best made his league debut for Manchester United and won the first of 31 international caps before he was 18. It wasn' t long before he was a household name throughout Britain. By 1966, George Best superstar had arrived, especially after his magnificent performance in United's 5-1 thrashing of Benfica in Lisbon where he scored twice. Nicknamed "the fifth Beatle", he was one of the most famous stars in Britain during the 1960s. Best was the first pop-star footballer, a personification of youth culture and the swinging sixties. At times he was getting 10,000 fan letters a week, something that had never happened to a footballer before. Sadly it was this pop star image that proved his eventual downfall, for he began to live the lifestyle of a pop star, and not a footballer. The alcohol, women and wild nights spent partying would ultimately shorten his career and lead to severe health problems later on. As he became a casualty of intense media attention, George could not concentrate on football without being hounded everywhere by paparazzi. After a series of on-off retirements and a dip in form, George left United for good on New Years Day 1974, his final game against QPR.

He then played for numerous other clubs, most notably Fulham (76-77) with the outlandish ex Manchester City star, Rodney Marsh. Then there was Stockport County, Hibernian and USA soccer teams L.A. Aztecs (1976-78) Fort Lauderdale Strikers (78-79) and San Jose Earthquakes (80-81). Even though not as fit as in his prime, the incredible skills were still apparent, no one could ever take that away from him.

George finally ended his football career with Bournemouth in 1983, although went on to play in many charity and friendly matches. In the 1990's he has established himself as a successful sports commentator with Sky Sports and after dinner speaker. Sadly, in 2000 Best had health problems due to liver damage caused by years of excess drinking. However, in July 2002 he had a successful liver transplant operation and made a full recovery.

Best was admitted to hospital on 1 October with flu-like symptoms, and suffered a kidney infection and internal bleeding before the latest decline. Drugs needed after his liver transplant in 2002 had made the recovering alcoholic more susceptible to infection. Things had looked more positive earlier in the week when Best was taken off sedation and regained consciousness. But then his condition deteriorated once more between 0100 and 0200 GMT on Wednesday.

(portions reprinted from McLeery's Manchester United Zone and BBC News)

-- Jarrett @ 11/25/2005 09:01:00 AM

UNC Women host FSU in NCAA quarters Friday

With all the talk about the Men's Tournament and the lack of surprise in the women's progress, I've kind of ignored the women's tournament. With wins over Western Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth and Pepperdine in the opening three rounds, second-ranked North Carolina has played its way into the quarterfinal round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. The impending matchup for the Tar Heels comes Friday, Nov. 25th when the Tar Heels play host to the No. 7-ranked Florida State Seminoles at Fetzer Field at 3 p.m. The ticket trailer and main gates to Fetzer Field will open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $7 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and $1 for children.

-- Jarrett @ 11/25/2005 01:08:00 AM

Get together for UNC v. UVa NCAA match Sunday

Let's meet at the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in Chapel Hill at 11:30am Sunday, Nov 27th. The restaurant is at 208 W. Franklin St. in downtown Chapel Hill. We can walk from there to the stadium for the 1pm kick-off. Tickets for the game are $10 for adults and $4 students. Please RSVP so I'll know how big of a table to grab. So far, I've got my whole family, Jonathan, and Clint & Kelly. If anyone is coming that I haven't met before, look for me wearing a Tarheel blue Manchester City long-sleeve jersey.

-- Jarrett @ 11/25/2005 12:42:00 AM

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Whitbread on loan to Millwall

American youth international defender Zak Whitbread has been signed on loan by Millwall from Liverpool. The 21-year old defender has signed until January 3rd although it is believed the South London side, currently bottom of England's Champiosnhip, will seek to extend his stay until the end of the season.

-- Jarrett @ 11/24/2005 02:47:00 PM

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What's Happening @ SAS

I don't know why I never noticed this site before but I've just found that the Town of Cary website actually has an Upcoming Events at SAS Soccer Park webpage. Of course now, the only event left this year is the College Cup. Hopefully they'll update it pretty regularly as Spring comes around.

-- Jarrett @ 11/23/2005 08:29:00 PM

Exercise Your Democratic Rights

Finalists for the annual "Best of US Soccer" awards have been unveiled by Vote now for the U.S. goal that made your jaw drop or the performance that made you glad you bought your ticket. Check out all 11 categories in the 2005 "Best of U.S. Soccer" voting! In addition to "Best of" voting, fans can now vote online for the prestigious 2005 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year Awards in all four categories - Male, Female, Young Male and Young Female. Who do you think were the players of the year for the U.S. National Teams? Let us know. VOTE HERE! By the way, I fully expect a massive write-in campaign naming "Campbell's Sports Pub & Grill" in Cary the Best Soccer Pub in the States!

-- Jarrett @ 11/23/2005 06:16:00 PM

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Local results from today's NCAAs

Results of local interest from today's NCAA Men's 2nd round matches: UNC 2-0 Providence UVa 4-4 South Florida (UVa advances on penalties 7-6) UNC hosts UVa Nov 26 or 27th in the third round Duke 1-2 Creighton NCSU 0-3 Clemson ODU 1-2 Wake Forest Wake Forest will play at California on 11/26-27 Va Tech 0-0 UNC-Greensboro (UNC-G advances 4-3 on penalties) UNC-G will play UCLA or SMU on 11/26-27 Maryland 1-0 Brown Maryland will host St. John's on 11/26-27 Complete scores and results are available on

-- Jarrett @ 11/22/2005 10:12:00 PM

NCSU 0-3 Clemson

Originally uploaded by wjarrettc.
Clemson, who seems to be peaking just at the right time, handed NCSU a 0-3 drubbing at Method Road Soccer Stadium in Raleigh during the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.

Pictures from the match are available on my flickr stream.

Clemson's defense dominated the affair and they only needed two saves from US Youth International keeper Phil Marfuggi to keep the clean sheet. Clemson's Dane Richard, who continually torched the NCSU backline, opened the scoring early in the second half when he pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area. Clemson then sealed the deal with two fantastic crosses from the right flank that were both headed home expertly.

-- Jarrett @ 11/22/2005 05:25:00 PM

NCAA Men's Action in the Triangle Today

UNC, Duke, State host second-round NCAA soccer games Home is where the wins are in the NCAA men's soccer tournament. Of the 16 games played in the first round this season, the home team won 13 times. The Triangle's three ACC teams want that trend to continue in today's home games. North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State earned a bye in the first round. All three hope to take the first step to the College Cup, which is Dec. 9 and 11 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary. Clemson at NCSU, 2pm Method Road Providence at UNC, 6pm Fetzer Field Creighton at Duke, 7pm Koshkinen Stadium

-- Jarrett @ 11/22/2005 09:15:00 AM

Monday, November 21, 2005

2006 CONCACAF Champions Cup Matches for MLS Teams

Galaxy, Revolution Games Scheduled CONCACAF today unveiled the complete quarterfinal home-and-away series fixtures for the 2006 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup with the opening games scheduled for 22 February and the return matches set for 8 March. The Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy will begin play in the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Feb. 22 at home against Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa or Municipal Perez Zeledon.

The New England Revolution, beaten 1-0 by Los Angeles in the MLS Cup, will face LD Alajuelense in another Champions Cup quarterfinal, with their first game Feb. 22 in Costa Rica.

-- Jarrett @ 11/21/2005 08:40:00 PM