Monday, January 30, 2006

SPECULATION: USA v. Honduras in Cary This April???

UPDATE (2/4): A game entitled USA Men's Soccer has shown up on ESPN2's schedule for 7pm ET on April 11th. Location and opponent are not specified in the listing. UPDATE (1/31): I am moving this post from "wild speculation" to "very real possibility" at this point. Birmingham officials are saying that US Soccer has moved on to their "Plan B" city and it's a done deal, save final contract signing. So is Cary the "Plan B" city??? I believe the US Men's National Team is going to play Honduras at SAS Soccer Park on April 11th. Here's why: 1) It has been widely reported that the US wanted to play Honduras at Legion Field in Birmingham but the installation of artificial turf is not going to be delayed to allow this to happen. This decision was reached this past week meaning the game will not happen in Birmingham as expected. 2) During the press conference announcing the USL expansion to Cary, Chris Economides mentioned Honduras as a potential international team that he would be bringing to Cary for an exhibition game. I thought he meant Honduran club teams, but could he have meant their national team? 3) During an interview this past Saturday on Kick This, a soccer talk show in the Rochester area, Economides mentioned on several different occassions the possibility of the US National Team playing in Cary. Right at the end of his interview he mentioned the date "mid-April". Now it wasn't clear to me if he was saying to expect the news in mid-April or to expect a game in mid-April. Take those three puzzle pieces and put them together anyway you like, but until an alternate site for the US v. Honduras friendly is announced, I'm hoping that it's going to be here in Cary.

-- Jarrett @ 1/30/2006 09:00:00 AM

FA Cup Fifth Round Draw

FA Cup Fifth Round Draw:

  • Preston/Crystal Palace v Coventry/Middlesbrough
  • Newcastle v Southampton
  • Aston Villa v Manchester City
  • Everton/Chelsea v Colchester
  • Charlton v Brentford
  • Liverpool v Manchester United
  • Bolton v West Ham
  • Stoke v Reading/Birmingham

Ties to be played on weekend of 18 February.

-- Jarrett @ 1/30/2006 08:31:00 AM

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Triangle Pro Soccer VP Economides on Kick This

Triangle Pro Soccer VP Chris Economides was on Rochester's Kick This radio show Saturday (listen now) talking about leaving the Rochester Rhinos and the startup of his new venture here in Cary. Just listening to the guys in Rochester laud Chris ("he belongs in the Soccer Hall of Fame" they claim) makes me excited about our future. Chris shared lots of enthusiasm for the new venture and lots of compliments for the local parties involved in making things happen here in Cary. Economides hinted very strongly that the US National Team would be a part of one of the 6-10 exhibitions that TPS will be putting on in 2006. He also suggested the Rhinos and DC United would be a part of these exhibitions. In the first 24 hours after the announcement, TPS fielded over 100 emails and 50 phone calls entering the name the team contest. Chris sees hiring a coach by mid-July to early-August and holding tryouts around the November 2006 timeframe.

-- Jarrett @ 1/28/2006 08:10:00 PM

2005 NCAA Men's Attendance Figures

The best attended men's college soccer game this season was the Clemson v. New Mexico College Cup Semifinal played at SAS Soccer Park in Cary. The game drew 8,645 spectators -- over 1,700 more than showed up 2 days later to see Maryland capture the College Cup title over New Mexico. Duke was fifth in NCAA Division 1 for average season attendance with 1,855 spectators per game. UNC followed at 1,238 per game for 13th best in Division I while NCSU was 27th with an average of 900 per game. It looks like USL has a strong regional base of about 4,000 men's college fans to work with from the start if they can tap into the collegiate markets.

-- Jarrett @ 1/28/2006 12:56:00 PM

Friday, January 27, 2006

Euro 2008 qualifying draw held

The draw for the qualifying competition for the 2008 European Championships was held today in Montreux, Switzerland. There will be seven groups. Austria and Switzerland are joint hosts, which leaves 14 qualifying spots. I can only assume this means that the top two in each group will go through to the finals. The groups are listed in the order of the draw, which means that the highest-seeded team is listed first and the lowest-seeded team last. Qualifying begins on September 2, 2006. Group A: Portugal, Poland, Serbia & Montenegro, Belgium, Finland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Group B: France, Italy, Ukraine, Scotland, Lithuania, Georgia, Faroe Islands Group C: Greece, Turkey, Norway, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Hungary, Moldova, Malta Group D: Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Wales, Cyprus, San Marino Group E: England, Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, Macedonia, Andorra Group F: Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Liechtenstein Group G: Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Albania, Belarus, Luxembourg

-- Jonathan @ RGB Cards @ 1/27/2006 11:53:00 AM

Economides to leave Rhinos post for Cary

Many folks were curious how the balance between the Rhinos and the new Cary USL team will be handled. Well, I think we have an answer. Chris Economides, who is the only General Manager in the Rochester Rhinos 10 year history, will leave his post with the Rochester franchise to concentrate soley on starting up the Cary franchise. He will however, retain his minority ownership stake in the Rhinos. This is great news for Cary as we'll have an executive with a wonderfully proven track record at the helm with a 100% focus on making our club a success. My condolences to the Rhinos fans who I am sure will be disappointed by the move as Economides has a well-respected reputation among their following. Could this be the start of a nice sibling rivalry? UPDATE: Read what Rhinos fans are saying about the announcement

-- Jarrett @ 1/27/2006 10:25:00 AM

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Media Coverage of USL Cary Expansion

This article will be continually updated with links to articles regarding the USL expansion in Cary. Photo: Andy Mead / Yellow Card Journalism.

Please provide me with further links if you find ones that I miss in the comments section!

-- Jarrett @ 1/26/2006 08:25:00 PM

Queeley heads to Revolution in Supplemental Draft

Just a day after being drafted by Puerto Rico in the USL 1-Div College Draft, NCSU's John Queeley punched his ticket to the MLS when he was acquired by the New England Revolution as the 23rd pick of the MLS Supplemental Draft. The Supplemental Draft was added in 2005 to help MLS teams fill out rosters that were expanded to 28 players. Eighteen of those will be considered members of the senior roster, while the remaining 10 will be part of the developmental roster. Developmental players do not count against the MLS salary cap.

-- Jarrett @ 1/26/2006 08:10:00 PM

USL Cary expansion press conference

The United Soccer Leagues, Triangle Pro Soccer and the Town of Cary formally announced today that the USL will be expanding to Cary for the 2007 season. The as-yet-unnamed team will play at SAS Soccer Park and will be a member of the USL First Division. Some highlights from the press conference:

  • Cary will feature in the new team's identity, either in the name or with a crest on the team shirt
  • There will be a "name the team" contest with the winner receiving two lifetime season tickets
  • The ownership group includes investors from the Rochester Raging Rhinos and the Atlanta Silverbacks, two existing USL First Division teams
  • Plans are for a six-to-ten game exhibition season at SAS Stadium this summer. Potential teams involved could include MLS teams, USL teams and international club teams.
  • There might also be a professional lacrosse exhibition at SAS Stadium
  • Season tickets packages are scheduled to start as low as $99
The deal will be formally signed tonight as soon as the town council meets to approve the lease changes at SAS Soccer Park. Here's the press release, some "quick facts", and the biographies of the ownership group.

-- Jonathan @ RGB Cards @ 1/26/2006 04:30:00 PM

OFFICIAL: Cary Has a Pro Soccer Team!

The deal will be formally signed tonight as soon as the town council meets to approve the lease changes at SAS Soccer Park. Jonathan was at the press conference today and will blog in more detail later. For now, here's the press release, some "quick facts", and the biographies of the ownership group.

-- Jarrett @ 1/26/2006 04:29:00 PM

N&O Coverage of USL Expansion

The News & Observer finally weighs in with a story about today's press conference to announce a USL expansion team in Cary. Most of the story covers old ground at this point but there are a few new tidbits: The team doesn't have a name yet, but Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister has one suggestion. "One of the things I will lobby very hard for will be that the name include Cary," McAlister said. A public contest will be held to name the team.

"The group from Rochester has one of the most successful First Division teams by far," said Charlie Slagle, chief executive of the Capital Area Soccer League, which offers teams for more than 10,000 participants, youth and adult. "I think they know the formula to having a successful team. They turn the game into an event, so if the game isn't going well, it's still fun."

Chrs Economides, one of the team's new owners, said the new team is likely to follow the model established by the Rochester Rhinos, with cheerleaders and fireworks. "We try to make it a fun, two-hour event that's not just a soccer game," he said.

-- Jarrett @ 1/26/2006 09:59:00 AM

2006 State Games of NC to be hosted in Cary

Mark June 2-25, 2006 on your calendar for the State Games of North Carolina which will be hosted once again by the Town of Cary. The State Games is the premier Olympic-style amateur sports festival in North Carolina promoting health, fitness, and athletic participation statewide. Among the games' many events are included four soccer competitions:

  • Adult Soccer
  • High School Soccer Showcase
  • Youth Soccer
  • Indoor Soccer

-- Jarrett @ 1/26/2006 09:47:00 AM

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cila to Metrostars

Former Duke standout Jordan Cila was aqcuired Wednesday by the Metrostars from Real Salt Lake in return for a 2006 Supplemental Draft pick. Cila spent his first year in MLS with Colorado where he scored 4 goals and 2 assists. In 2005, Cila played for the expansion Real Salt Lake and added 3 goals and a assist. Cila graduated from Duke in 2004 with a sociology degree. While in Durham, the Jericho, NY native tallied 30 goals and 35 assists in 75 collegiate apperances.

-- Jarrett @ 1/25/2006 07:43:00 PM

Two Raleigh Elite Players Selected in USL-1 College Draft

Raleigh Elite players John Queely and Aaron King (both of NC State) were selected today in the USL 1st Division College Draft. King was taken 15th by Virginia Beach while Queely was picked 19th by Puerto Rico. The selection of King may prove largely symbolic as Va Beach is gambling that King's selection as the last pick of the MLS Draft by LA Galaxy may not lead to his signing with the league. The highest player taken in the draft with links to the Triangle area was Duke's Danny Kramer who was selected as the 5th overall pick by the Rochester Rhinos.

-- Jarrett @ 1/25/2006 01:00:00 AM

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Local Press Coverage of USL Expansion in Cary

Both the Cary News and WRAL have run stories now about the USL expansion in Cary. Here are the links: Cary News: Story WRAL: Story | Video

-- Jarrett @ 1/24/2006 09:41:00 PM

Sunday, January 22, 2006

MLS Players from Triangle Area Universities

Asad, ShakerNC State
Ashton, ChadUNC
Berhalter, GreggUNC
Brose, DarioNC State
Camp, Blake*Duke
Carrieri, ChrisUNC
Castellanos, DavidDuke
Cila, JordanDuke
Crawford, MattUNC
Curtis, AliDuke
Dodd, MarkDuke
Ferruzzi, MarcoUNC
Gutierrez, HenryNC State
Heaps, JayDuke
Jackson, DannyUNC
Kelly, BrianDuke
Kerr, JohnDuke
King, Aaron*NC State
Kreis, JasonDuke
Lagerwey, GarthDuke
Lassiter, RoyUNC
Leitch, ChrisUNC
Mastroeni, PabloNC State
McCarty, Dax*UNC
Merritt, TimUNC
Pause, LoganUNC
Perea, TrevorDuke
Pope, EddieUNC
Ramos, TabNC State
Robinson, EddieUNC
Russell, RobertDuke
Sahaydak, TimUNC
Stokes, DavidUNC
Storey, MarcusUNC
Suarez, TemocUNC
Talley, CareyUNC
Testo, DavidUNC
Ueltschey, MikeUNC
Watson, JamieUNC
Whitfield, Evan Duke
Zavagnin, KerryUNC
All active MLS players are linked to their current MLSNet profile. * 2006 MLS Draftees, MLSNet profiles not available yet Thanks to Chris Edgemon for providing me with this data. Please note any omissions/corrections the comments section.

-- Jarrett @ 1/22/2006 11:42:00 AM

Saturday, January 21, 2006

DuRoss Confirms Interest in Cary USL Franchise

Rochester Rhinos President Frank DuRoss was a guest Saturday morning on Kick This, a weekly soccer talk show on WHTK 1280 AM in Rochester (listen to the segment -- mp3). During the interview DuRoss confirms that the Rhinos ownership group is "close to being a part of the investment group that would put a franchise in Cary." Later in the segment, a caller poses the concern that MLS may be more interested in the Triangle than Rochester and he would hate to see his Rhinos ownership group pouring money into the Triangle only to see Rochester loose out the opportunity for MLS expansion to their sister organization. DuRoss points out that Triangle Professional Soccer will have exclusive rights to soccer at SAS Soccer Park and that Rochester have much more infrastructure and a proven history that should put Rochester in a better position for MLS expansion. I tend to agree. Update: Link to Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article on this topic.

-- Jarrett @ 1/21/2006 12:09:00 PM

Friday, January 20, 2006

Triangle Professional Soccer Preparing to Start Play in 2006!

Town of Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister has called a press conference for Thursday, January 26th at SAS Soccer Park to make an announcement that Cary is ready to welcome professional soccer back to the Triangle. It is expected that the mayor will announce that Triangle Professional Soccer, L.L.C., a NC company owned and operated by the same ownership group which owns the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues (USL), intend to own and operate a new local soccer team to compete in USL Division 1. Cary Town Council also has an agenda item on that same night to address an amendment to its current lease of SAS Soccer Park in order to make way for a a 6 year sub-lease to allow TPS to bring a team to the Triangle. It is expected that the new pro team would play 6-10 exhibition games during 2006 in order to build awareness and a fan base in the local area before entering the USL First Division in the Spring of 2007. One interesting note about the sub-lease terms: it grants TPS the exclusive rights to pro soccer and pro lacrosse at SAS Soccer Park during the 6 year span. Update (1/23): The Town of Cary has issued a press release regarding the press conference. Rochester Rhinos owner Chris Economides will make the announcement Thursday at 3pm at SAS Soccer Park.

-- Jarrett @ 1/20/2006 11:10:00 PM

MLS SuperDraft

UNC's Dax McCarty has been selected #6 by FC Dallas. Duke's Blake Camp has been selected #45 by Metrostars. NCSU's Aaron King has been selected #48 by Los Angeles Galaxy SuperDraft Pick Tracker Pictures from the SuperDraft First Round:

  1. Marvell Wynne (D-UCLA) - MetroStars
  2. Mehdi Balloucy (M-Santa Clara) - Real Salt Lake
  3. Jason Garey (F-Maryland) - Columbus Crew
  4. Yura Movsisyan (F-Pasadena City College) - Kansas City Wizards
  5. Sacha Kljestan (M-Seton Hall) - Chivas USA
  6. Dax McCarty (M-UNC) - FC Dallas
  7. Justin Moose (M-Wake Forest) - D.C. United
  8. Patrick Ianni (M-UCLA) - Houston
  9. Kei Kamara (F-Cal State Dominguez Hills) - Columbus Crew
  10. Calen Carr (F-Cal State Berkeley) - Chicago Fire
  11. Leandro de Oliveira (M-UAB) - New England Revolution
  12. Nathan Sturgis (D/M-Clemson) - Los Angeles Galaxy
Second Round:
  1. Jed Zayner (D-Indiana) - Columbus
  2. Jeff Curtin (D-Georgetown) - Chicago Fire
  3. Justin Moore (D/M-Clemson) - FC Dallas
  4. Lance Watson (M-New Mexico) - Kansas City Wizards
  5. Josmer Altidore (F-U17s) - MetroStars
  6. Blake Wagner (D/M-U17s) - FC Dallas
  7. Tyson Wahl (D-UC Berkeley) Kansas City Wizards
  8. Brian Plotkin (M-Indiana) - Chicago Fire
  9. Jacob Peterson (F-Indiana) - Colorado Rapids
  10. Dominic Oduro (F-VCU) - FC Dallas
  11. Willie Sims (F-Cal State Northridge) - New England Revolution
  12. Marc Burch (F/M-Maryland) - Los Angeles Galaxy
Third Round:
  1. Kyle Veris (D-Ohio State) - Los Angeles Galaxy
  2. Ryan Johnson (F-Oregon State) - Real Salt Lake
  3. Brandon Moss (M-New Mexico) - Columbus Crew
  4. Matt Groenwald (M-St. John's) - Kansas City Wizards
  5. Stephen Shirley (D/M-VCU) - Kansas City Wizards
  6. Ray Burse, Jr. (GK-Ohio State) - FC Dallas
  7. Rod Dychenko (F-UNLV) - D.C. United
  8. Andre Schmid (F-St. John's) - Houston
  9. Dayton O'Brien (M/F-Memphis) - Columbus
  10. Jordan Russolillo (D-Southern Connecticut) - Chicago Fire
  11. Kyle Brown (F-Tulsa) - New England Revolution
  12. Chris Dunsheath (GK-Bradley) - LA Galaxy
Fourth Round:
  1. Jonathan Bornstein (F-UCLA) - Chivas USA
  2. Duke Hashimoto (F/M-SMU) - Columbus Crew
  3. Jeff Carrol (M/D-St. John's) - DC United
  4. Eric Kronberg (GK-California) - Kansas City Wizards
  5. Blake Camp (M-Duke) - Metrostars
  6. Mike Dello-Russo (M-Maryland) - FC Dallas
  7. Mike Ambersley (F-Indiana) - FC Dallas
  8. Mike Chabala (M-Washington) - Houston
  9. Josh Brown (D-New Mexico) - Colorado Rapids
  10. Jeremy Ashe (D-Marshall) - Chicago Fire
  11. Kenny Bertz (D-Maryland) - DC United
  12. Aaron King (F-NCSU) - LA Galaxy
News and Rumors:
  • Jason Hernandez has been traded from Metrostars to Chivas USA as the player to be named later in the 1st pick trade.
  • Garber says a 2nd expansion team in THE MIDWEST will be announced in the next 60 days. My money is on Peter Wilt's Milwaukee bid.
  • Lots of Trades: Houston has traded a 2007 fourth round pick for a player to be named later. Rapids trade 2007 3rd selection and a conditional 2007 pick for players to be named later. Crew trades partial allocation to Revs in return for first pick of 2nd round of 2006 draft plus a 2007 draft pick.
  • FSC has a recap show tonight at midnight.
  • MLS Opening Day Schedule: April 1: Chicago at Dallas, Columbus at KC, Colorado at Houston, New England at LA April 2: MetroStars at DC, RSL @ Chivas USA
  • New jerseys pictures now on my flickr stream. MLSGear has drawings of the jerseys for pre-order
  • MetroStars select Marvell Wynne as the number 1 pick.
  • MLS gets a special edition of the world cup match ball, a 16-panel (rather than the normal 32-panel) ball. Goalkeepers will "love" this ball says Adidas -- more accuracy and faster flight should benefit strikers and playmakers alike. I love that Donovan, EJ, etc. will be playing with this ball for months before the rest of the world!
  • New Houston name, logo and jersey this coming Wednesday, 1/25.
  • Chivas trades number 1 pick to MetroStars for 5th pick and player to be named later.
  • Rumor: Eddie Gaven to Columbus for Edson Buddle, Columbus/Metrostars exchange first round draft pick order
  • Rumor: Eddie Johnson to KC for Josh Wolff
  • Rumor: Jesse Marsch to Chivas
  • Rumor: Wingert & Jordan to Colorado from Columbus for a conditional draft pick and third rounder.
  • Rumor: Borchers to Odd Grenland
  • Rumor: Cannon to Wizards
  • Rumor: Bradley to Heerenveen

-- Jarrett @ 1/20/2006 10:16:00 AM

Thursday, January 19, 2006

WUSA Revival in 2007?

The WUSA suspended operations in September 2003, and since then, various factions have looked into the feasibility of reviving women's professional soccer in the United States.

The group that has made the biggest headway is Women's Soccer Initiative Inc. (WSII), a nonprofit organization dedicated to relaunching women's professional soccer in the United States. WSII is headed by Tonya Antonucci, a former Stanford teammate of ex-national team captain Julie Foudy.

If successful, the likely time for a women's professional league to be relaunched would be in spring 2007. The season would run through August, similar to the WUSA. Antonucci has been low-key about making announcements, not wanting to overstate expectations.

Still, there is a soon-to-be meeting which Antonucci calls an "investor forum." While not getting too much into specifics, she said a relaunch would include at least eight teams, the number involved in the WUSA.

"We are engaged in considering and contemplating a partnership with Major League Soccer with respect with how our leagues can work together," Antonucci said.

If teams could share soccer-specific stadiums, it could reduce costs. Antonucci added that her group was talking to cities that have had WUSA teams such as Philadelphia; Boston; New York; Washington; Cary, N.C.; Atlanta; San Jose, Calif.; and San Diego.

-- Jarrett @ 1/19/2006 01:19:00 PM

US Men's Cary Training Camp Set for May 9-21

As rumored earlier, the US Men's National Team will be holding their pre-World Cup training camp at SAS Soccer Park in Cary bewteen May 9th and May 21st.

"We're extremely pleased that Cary will once again be our base for training camp prior to the World Cup," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. "The facilities are outstanding, and our players and staff felt extremely welcome in the area. There's no question the camp in Cary in 2002 was important to our success in the 2002 World Cup, and we're looking forward to another great experience as we prepare our team for Germany."

-- Jarrett @ 1/19/2006 10:03:00 AM

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Raleigh Elite 2006 Schedule

The 2006 PDL schedule is out. Here's the slate of games for the Raleigh Elite.

DateHomeAwayTime (ET)
Sat 5/6* Raleigh Elite Nashville Metros 7:00 PM
Wed 5/24* Raleigh Elite Augusta Fireball 7:00 PM
Fri 5/26* Cocoa Expos Raleigh Elite 7:30 PM
Sat 5/27* Palm Beach Pumas Raleigh Elite 7:00 PM
Wed 5/31 Raleigh Elite Carolina Dynamo 7:00 PM
Sat 6/10 Carolina Dynamo Raleigh Elite 7:30 PM
Sat 6/17 Atlanta Silverbacks U23's Raleigh Elite 1:00 PM
Sun 6/18 Augusta Fireball Raleigh Elite 3:00 PM
Wed 6/21 Raleigh Elite West Virginia Chaos 7:00 PM
Sat 6/24 Nashville Metros Raleigh Elite 8:00 PM
Fri 6/30 Raleigh Elite Nashville Metros 7:00 PM
Wed 7/5 Raleigh Elite Richmond Kickers Future 7:00 PM
Fri 7/7 Raleigh Elite Augusta Fireball 7:00 PM
Sat 7/15 Raleigh Elite Atlanta Silverbacks U23's 7:00 PM
Fri 7/21 Williamsburg Legacy Raleigh Elite 7:00 PM
Sat 7/22 Northern Virginia Royals Raleigh Elite 7:00 PM
All Raleigh Elite home games will be played as SAS Soccer Park. Games marked with a * are US Open Cup qualifying matches.

-- Jarrett @ 1/18/2006 07:34:00 PM

Sunday, January 15, 2006

MLS Combine Final Day

Buzz wraps up his analysis of the MLS Combine with his 3rd installment over at 3rd Degree. Here's where he mentioned our boys:

Blake Camp (Duke) is far, far better today. This is the player I expected as he is a load of fun to watch. Top notch showing. Rowland and King (NCSU) are really putting the pressure on early. Again I really like the choices King makes. Kramer (Duke), Ambersley, Plotkin, and McCarty (UNC) are all swapping roles on the fly. That's some fairly advanced tactical work for a combine. Moss has his bright moment when he gets up for a McCarty corner with a strong header and puts it just wide of the post.

McCarty rolled a free kick back to Plotkin and he rips if left footed from about 30 yards out. Very impressive bender that moves away from the keeper and toward the far post. Nice save by Schuerman who has his best day, although that's not saying a lot. Dax McCarty with only some slight soreness from getting fouled yesterday. What he's doing playing wingback I don't know. Queely (NCSU) looks better at right back today than he did on day one. I am still not sold though as his touch and passing let him down a couple times.

-- Jarrett @ 1/15/2006 10:31:00 PM

PDL Re-Alignment for 2006

The Professional Development League of USL is re-aligning in 2006. The Raleigh Elite move from the Mid-Atlantic Division to the newly created South-Atlantic Division along with the Carolina Dynamo and Augusta Fireball United. Also joining Raleigh in the South-Atlantic will be the newly formed Atlanta Silverbacks U23s and the Nashville Metros, formerly of the mid-South. It looks like we'll get to see some new teams at SAS this Spring. The PDL schedule should be announced in early February.

-- Jarrett @ 1/15/2006 12:28:00 PM

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Rainy Day at the Combine

Buzz is johnny-on-the-spot again with his report on a rainy Day 2 at the MLS combine. It looks like most of our Triangle-area MLS hopefuls are bringing their game. Here's excerpts from Buzz's analysis: Dax McCarty (UNC) is again superb, right up until he takes a knock from the persistent fouls. He limps a bit and is subbed out at the 30 minute mark or so. I am now convinced this kid is a top five talent, although he may not go that high. He's been getting fouled like crazy, although nothing all that hard. Did I mention he's 18? John Queeley (NCSU) is much better as a centerback than outside back. He helps himself today, But there are still quite a few better centerbacks. He may have played himself into being drafted by someone though. Danny Kramer (Duke) again is serviceable out wide. He scores a late goal with his work rate, good show for a midrange possible pick. He came back on for Veris late, letting Zayner play some sweeper. Aaron King (NCSU) is better today. Or so I think. One person I talked to didn't like him yesterday, and thought he was worse today. Here's what I like about him. He has explosive speed, but more importantly he knows when to use it. He also knows how to judge the flow and cut against it, which he does 5 or 6 times to effect playing wide midfield today, NOT his natural position. It's the mind to go with that pace that I noticed. Blake Camp (Duke), as much as I like him, is not playing himself up the board. As a senior I think he needed a strong showing here, and he's not dominating play like I would like to see. He may be looking at the second round now.

-- Jarrett @ 1/14/2006 10:39:00 PM

Kick Off Carolina

Kick Off Carolina is a youth soccer magazine aimed at youth players, coaches and parents in North and South Carolina. The magazine describes itself on its website as providing practical, useful information on essential topics; including nutrition, fitness, mental preparation, injuries and treatment, product news, clinics, tournaments, travel, facilities, rules, academics in sport, conduct, tryouts and more. Each is written by professionals illustrating specific application to the sport of soccer. The magazine is available for free in selected Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority stores, and other locations throughout the Carolinas although looking at their distribution locations list, I don't see any Triangle area distribution points as of yet.

-- Jarrett @ 1/14/2006 04:36:00 PM

Friday, January 13, 2006

MLS Combine -- Day One Notes

Buzz Carrick over at 3rd Degree is out in California at the MLS Combine. He has a pretty detailed review of action from the first day along with some pictures. Here are his notes on players with links to the Triangle area: Aaron King (NCSU) is very quick. He's got serious speed. MLS speed. Like Sealy last year he catches your attention as he blows by the defender on the way to goal. MLS should sign him so he doesn't go to Norway. Blake Camp (Duke) has real nice feet and ball composure for a big guy, hell even for a short guy. I would like to see him lift his pace of play and ball movement. Not his running, just how quickly he moves the ball. Today I am reminded of Matt McKeon with better feet. John Queeley (NCSU) I barley noticed. He needs to get himself more involved in the game as he's a guy that could use a combine splash. Dax McCarty (UNC) is very composed and classy in midfield, and he's only 18. Danny Kramer (Duke) was exactly the player I recall from Duke, good work rate and energy out wide. He will help someone's reserve team.

-- Jarrett @ 1/13/2006 10:58:00 PM

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Daddy's Proudest Day

My son Max scored his first ever soccer goal today! After a goalless season of U5s at DreamCamps and then an instructional session of L'il Kickers (where they don't play any actual games), Max started in the U6 instructional league at Soccer Dome. At first I was a little wary because the drills seemed to be a bit above his level but once they started scrimmaging, I saw a soccer player emerge. Back during his first season of U5s, I used to joke that Max was destined to play sweeper because he was always 10 yards behind the play and showed almost no aggression toward the ball. But today at Soccer Dome he was a completely different player. As soon as he realized it was Game On he was after the ball like Edgar "the pitbull" Davids. About 10 minutes into the game, he raced ahead of the bunch to pick up a loose ball and with visions of Beckham against Wimbeldon unleashed an audacious shot from beyond the halfway line that left the keeper rooted to the spot watching the ball whistle by into the net. (In the interest of full disclosure, I guess I should point out that the entire field was only 20 yards long and the keeper was a parent who was less mobile than Tony Meola circa 2005) Max went on to score 5 goals during the half-hour practice game. Not even the fact that 3 of his goals were own goals scored into the wrong net can temper my pride tonight!

-- Jarrett @ 1/12/2006 09:20:00 PM

A Closer Look at USL Attendance

With all the rumors swirling around about Cary getting a USL First Division team in 2007, there's been a lot of discussion on various soccer forums about whether or not the Triangle Area can support a pro soccer team. I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the USL. My first task was to survey the average attendance at USL First Division games. Montreal lead the First Division with an average attendance of 11,176 per game in 2005. Rochester average 9,570 per game and the remaining 9 teams in the First Division were under 5,600 per game (Virginia Beach being the smallest at 1,240). Why is 5,600 a magic number? Because in 32 games played at SAS Soccer Park, the WUSA's Carolina Courage averaged 5,603 per game. Sure, there'll be no home games against a visiting Mia Hamm, but surely a well-marketed USL First Division team can average 4,000-5,000 fans per game putting it squarely in the middle-to-upper reaches of USL soccer attendance.

-- Jarrett @ 1/12/2006 03:37:00 PM

Nguyen signs with PSV

US U-20 International and Indiana University freshman Lee Nguyen has signed with PSV. Pictured at right, training with countryman DeMarcus Beasley, Nguyen has impressed during his trial in Eindhoven. The deal will be completed once Lee completes his physical. For the present, Nguyen will play for the PSV's youth side, but will train daily with the first team and wonder-coach Gus Hiddink. Based on the progress that Beasley has made under Hiddink, I think it's clear that this is a Nguyen-win situation for both Lee and US Soccer (sorry, couldn't resist being punny).

-- Jarrett @ 1/12/2006 10:02:00 AM

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2006 MLS Super Draft Preview

With the MLS Player Combine set to open on Thursday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA, MLS announced the complete draft order for the 2006 Super Draft. The first round order is:

  1. Chivas USA
  2. Real Salt Lake
  3. Columbus Crew
  4. Kansas City Wizards
  5. MetroStars
  6. FC Dallas
  7. D.C. United
  8. Houston
  9. Columbus Crew (from Colorado Rapids)
  10. Chicago Fire
  11. New England Revolution
  12. Los Angeles Galaxy
The Super Draft, which takes place in Philadelphia on Friday, January 20th in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention will be covered live on Fox Soccer Channel as well as 3rd Degree has done a great job of handicapping the Super Draft (look under the "Offseason" tab).

-- Jarrett @ 1/11/2006 07:18:00 AM

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

US to add two more tuneups for domestic players

US Soccer has officially announced a February 19th friendly against Guatemala at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas. Additionally, the Federation has made a request to the Alabama Sports Foundation to delay the installation of artificial turf at Legion Field until after April in order to allow the US to stage a friendly against Honduras in Birmingham. This will bring the total number of friendlies to be played in 2006 before the World Cup roster is finalized to 7.

-- Jarrett @ 1/10/2006 10:36:00 PM

Wildcats Looking for New Head Coach

The East Chapel Hill Wildcats boys soccer team is in search of a new head coach after Mark Kadlecik, who previously coached both the boys and girls teams, resigned his position to focus more of his time on officiating and coaching the girls squad. During his three seasons with the boys team, Kadlecik coached the boys to a record of 46-28-5 and two conference titles.

-- Jarrett @ 1/10/2006 10:20:00 PM

Zimmerman Signs at Hamburg

As rumored earlier, Preston Zimmerman, who had committed to play for Duke beginning with the 2006 Fall season, has signed a contract with German Bundesliga side Hamburg SV. Because of the roles governing the transfer of players under the age of 18, Zimmerman will not join his new professional side until the winter transfer window opens after his 18th birtday -- January 1, 2007. My assumption is the signing of this contract will invalidate Preston's eligibility to play at Duke in the fall. It is not clear whether or not Zimmerman will be able to play professionally in the USA before joining Hamburg next winter. Update: Yanks Abroad is quoting Hamburger SV head of scouting Bernd Legien. Legien confirmed that Zimmerman will spend as much time as possible in Hamburg in the next 12 months training and playing with HSV II. "He will be here," he stated. "He can only stay here three months with his visa. It will be a type of trial. He will train and play as much as is possible, and is allowed."

-- Jarrett @ 1/10/2006 10:09:00 PM

Monday, January 09, 2006

FA Cup Fourth Round Draw

FA Cup Fourth Round Draw:

Stoke City or Tamworth v Barnsley or Walsall Cheltenham or Chester v Newcastle Coventry v Nuneaton or Middlesbrough West Brom or Reading v Torquay or Birmingham Portsmouth v Liverpool Leicester v Southampton Bolton v Arsenal Aston Villa v Port Vale Brentford v Sunderland Manchester City v Wigan or Leeds Millwall or Everton v Chelsea Preston v Crystal Palace West Ham v Blackburn Colchester v Derby Charlton v Leyton Orient Wolves v Burton or Manchester United

The ties will be played on the weekend of January 28/29.

-- Jarrett @ 1/09/2006 09:00:00 AM

Nike World Cup Jerseys

This appears to ben an authentic picture of what the new 2006 Nike kits will look like at the World Cup. The US kit is fifth from left -- white shirt with a single red/blue stripe down the left side, navy shorts, and white socks. What do you think?

-- Jarrett @ 1/09/2006 08:21:00 AM

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Kicks for Kids

Looking for something for your junior soccer player to do during the cold, dark, short winter days to keep them from going stir crazy? There are a variety of options available for instructional-oriented indoor soccer here in the Triangle. First of all Soccer Dome America has the longest running local programs which offer a variety of options for kids from 2 to 7 years before they move into the normal league ranks. This past Fall, the Carolina Sportsplex started their L'il Kickers program. L'il Kickers, a nationally developed program, is a non-competitive, introductory soccer and movement skills program for boys and girls ages 18 months - 9 years. The program aims not just to teach soccer to kids, but also aims to use soccer as a tool to teach kids about life. The newest Triangle-area kids soccer program, KinderKixx starts up at the Dream Sports Center in Apex January 30th. KinderKixx is a progressive soccer program designed to challenge and motivate children ages 3-6 years old. The program, which is headed up by Kirsten and Scott Schweitzer of First Touch Academy, emphasizes the development of motor skills and socialization. My four and two year olds have gotten a real kick out L'il Kickers. It's kind of like a cross between an outing to Little Gym and a game of soccer. I feel that Max is developing his balance, coordination, and ball touch much better in this program than he did in the small-sided soccer games he played with Dream Camps outdoor league this past fall. We haven't tried the other programs yet but hope to make our rounds over the next couple of sessions. I'll keep you posted on what we think of the other programs. UPDATE: Kirsten just let me know that KinderKixx will not start up until the Fall of 2006

-- Jarrett @ 1/07/2006 08:28:00 PM

Friday, January 06, 2006

Cary Makes Way for Pro Soccer to Triangle

The rumour that the ownership group of the Rochester Rhinos is looking to put a USL team in Cary is building steam... Over in the N&O's Wake Politics blog, Toby Coleman is reporting that Town of Cary officials have recently cleared a major hurdle in the negotiations to bring a men's soccer team to the Triangle.

A deal to bring pro soccer back to SAS Soccer Park (the former home of the WUSA's Carolina Courage) has been delayed because the agreement that allows the Town of Cary to manage the park does not give it authority to lease it out to tenants.

Town leaders recently fixed the problem by getting authority from the state government, which owns the park, and Wake County, which officially leases the park from the state, to lease out SAS Soccer Park.

Town Parks Director Mary Henderson said she expects lease negotiations with the Rhinos management to start up soon.

(As reported here earlier, the Rhinos will be holding spring training in Cary this March/April.)

-- Jarrett @ 1/06/2006 02:50:00 PM

Dish to add ESPN2-HD Feb 1st

A few months ahead of the World Cup, Dish Network customers can breathe a little easier now knowing that with the addition of ESPN2-HD, all the World Cup games will be available in High-Definition through Dish Network. It also looks like Dish will be adding WorldSportHD (formerly on Voom) which has La Liga and UEFA Cup games in HD as well. Triangle area Time Warner Cable customers are still waiting with bated breath to see if TWC will add ESPN2-HD in time for the summer kickoff. It might be a good time to email TWC and let them know you want to watch the World Cup in HD (don't forget to add that switch to DirecTV or Dish would allow you to do this!).

-- Jarrett @ 1/06/2006 10:07:00 AM

Fields of Hate

For those that missed it the first time, HBO is re-airing Episode 105 of its Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel series. The segment Fields of Hate is a look inside racism in European football. The segment includes interviews with Arsenal star Thierry Henry; former English professional soccer player Carl Saunders; Piara Powar, the driving force behind Europe's largest Anti-Racism campaign; National Front leader Steve Reynolds; and Lars-Christer Olsson, CEO of UEFA, European football's governing body. A full list of episode times and channels is available from the HBO website.

-- Jarrett @ 1/06/2006 09:54:00 AM

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The King of Grenland

Mandag kommer Aaron King til Skien for å prøvespille. Depending upon how good your Norwegian is (don't bother, Babelfish doesn't do Norwegian), you may be able to decipher the above article to understand that North Carolina State senior Aaron King arrived Monday in Grenland for a trial with Odd of the Norwegian Tippeligaen. We know that King has been invited to the MLS Combine later this month so it's not clear whether he's keeping his options open at this point or just trying to stay fit ahead of his trip to the Home Depot Center next week. Update: Yanks Abroad now has this story in English.

-- Jarrett @ 1/04/2006 02:01:00 PM