Posts Tagged ‘Major League Soccer’


June 14, 2012 2 comments

Well, we might as well talk about it…

Turn and face the strain

A quick look back on Nowak before our preview of the DC match-

May 2009 – Named the head coach of the incoming Philadelphia Union.
Brought DOOP into our every day vocabulary.
Petitioned Danny Mwanga to stay in the United States, and subsequently was the Unions first (and first of 2010) draft pick ever.  Never heard from the kid since.
Introduced us to the fan favorites of Old Serbian and Big Quick Mondragon.
Lost track of loan information (MOF)
Was unaware of visa information (Daniel)
Smited Superman (David Myrie)
Turned a rag tag bunch of motley into a 2nd year playoff competitor.
Collected more (allocation) money than the monopoly guy. 

Rumor (rather word is, cause it’s obvious in legal contractual dissolvements) is that Nowak got paid plenty to leave.  Not sure if his application to another job is grounds for dismissal, but as some joked along with the rumor that he had applied to Hearts in the Scottish Premier league – he would take the allocation money with him.  Well, it seems if he did get a payout, that’s likely true. 

So, what now? 

After finally getting rid of the coach who took bath salts towards the end of the 2011 season and ultimately cannibalized his own players, where do we go from here with the leftovers. We already have the talent – Valdes, Gomez, Williams, Carroll, Daniel, Torres (whenever he comes back…), Marfan, Garfan, Martinez.  I will lump Adu into this category if he has another stellar play, and Pajoy once he gets two more goals – I do like Pajoy, it just seems that (like Ruiz) the game strategy for the team doesn’t fit into any play with him (which is a coaching fault… cough).  We have a team with talent and stars, but what will happen. 

Where will Hackworth lead this team?  Is he better at developing talent where it seems that Nowak has only stifled it due to some egotistical maneuver that is contrary to any child development guide (See: Mwanga, Adu – twice!, and McInerney)?  Is he going to field a team that will benefit the team – play to their strengths as opposed to plugging in holes like you’re playing FIFA 12 and chosen a random team (I’m getting the hang of it)?  Not only that – the bottom line question of course is – will he give us results – will he give us wins. 

Now none of this “He’s a Nowak lacky”.  If you were put in charge while your boss was away for only one week, you’d do what your boss wanted you to do.  Why?  Well, it’s not your team, you’re his assistant, and you want to keep your job.  Hackworth’s been assistanting and coaching since 93 and started with colleges.  He’s been the 2nd in line, as well as the man in charge throughout his career – especially for our U-17’s. For now, time will tell.  This is a new leaf.  This is a new day.  We got what we were asking for because, well, we didn’t like what we saw anymore.  Too much inconsistency (even with success) and then a complete nuclear melt down will result in a quick turnaround.  This is our first growing pain.  This is our first MAJOR (non-player) change.  Will the team go through another overhaul? Will we bring in a (semi) big name?  How much allocation money is left?  

The better question… 

Will we score goals?


Preview: Philadelphia Union @ Toronto FC

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

When: Saturday 5/26 at 4:30
Where: BMO Field

If the Union don’t fucking win…. (click here)

Link: ZWR.

Week 9 MLS Picks – give me a goal

May 4, 2012 Leave a comment

NY:  I’m mailing this week in.  I’m employing the coin-flip technique.  I don’t know how draw is going to factor in to this.  F*ck it, I just won’t pick a draw then.

DK: Isn’t that what we always do? Mail it in.  to make it simpler (cause of timing) I’m going to match up with your matches.

NY:  Chivas USA v Chicago Fire:  I guess home team is heads, road team is tails, so here goes:  Damn it, I don’t even have a quarter so I’m flipping a nickel, but anyway: Tails = Chicago wins.  I like this method.

DK: Even though Chicago sucks, so does Chivas.  It’s going to be sad that this game is close in any aspect, but Oduro is likely going to notch a goal in this one, it’s harder to tell what Chivas will do – but east conference teams always fail miserably on the west coast. 1-1 tie.

NY:  Toronto FC v DC United:  Flip #2:  Tails, again.  That makes sense.  TFC doesn’t seem to play as well in league play as they have in their inter, and intra, national tournaments.

DK: TFC still can’t buy a point, and DC is on a tear, DC 2-0.

NY:  Vancouver Whitecaps v San Jose Earthquakes:  Flippity Flippity #3:  Damn it, i dropped on the floor and rolled under my desk.  Re-do:  Tails, AGAIN!  Eh, San Jose HAS been playing well.  They scored 2 in beating Union Saturday, then come out mid-week and put a 5-spot on the board to get another 3 points.  Sure, why not another win?

DK: I don’t like this match up only because I’m clearly picking San Jose… they’re good, who the hell knew. 1-0

 NY:  LA Galaxy v New Jersey Pink Cows:  Flippity Floppity Floop #4:  Heads!  That means that this early war-of-attrition will be won by the home side!  Sure!  Why not?!?!?

DK: Weirdly, I dislike LA more than RBNY, and they’ve been doing much better than LA so far (only by one game).   I’ll go with a 2-2 tie.  Think NY could HANDle it?  No, it never gets old.

 NY:  Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union:  Dare I coin flip this?  Sure, it seems to be working so well… Heads!  This means that Union will take their second straight defeat.  I guess I can believe that.  That turf is weird, it’s an odd time (1:30pm local), and Freddy Montero might be too much for the Union to deal with.  If these picks are correct, I’m keeping this nickel and flipping it every week, but if these are wrong, I’m going to melt the damn thing down so it’s no longer a coin.  There’s a lot at stake for this coin, isn’t there?

DK: Yes we beat Seattle last year… Yes that field is atrocious.  Yes my retinas burn while watching games in Seattle.  No nothing good will come from this.  Last year’s team was vastly different than this year’s team, and sadly enough – only one of those variations included Stefani Miglioranzi.  The only upside to this weekend for me is seeing the Avengers movie after the game, I fully expect a loss of 2-1.  I hope to god though that something FINALLY f***ing clicks with this team….

Week 6 picks – god we suck at this game.

April 12, 2012 1 comment
We need advice

We need advice

Dan – 13 out of 25
Nick – 12 out of 25

DK:  There’s a reason why we’re not in Vegas.
NY:  Damn right.  There are better sports books for soccer in Europe anyhow.

DK: Well here we are again.  I’m getting to these picks late as usual… I need to start slacking off work more often.
NY:  MORE often?!?!?  Is that possible?

 DK: Game of the week should be KC vs RSL.  5 and 0 versus 5 and 1.  Top of east verse west.  KC has only allowed 1 goal in 5 games, and RSL has only allowed 4 in 6 games.  RSL’s only loss so far came at the feet of Chivas, so consistency can be a question, but that was a couple weeks ago.  Neither team is going to take the other lightly, and this will probably see some decent amount of scoring chances from both teams.  This one can really go either way, but a tie is most certainly out of the question.  I’m going to go with KC over RSL 3-2.

NY:  In Seattle v Colorado, I’m going to take a one week break from my assertion that Seattle always wins at home.  I’ll say 2-2 draw for this one.

 DK:  2nd pick is going to be Dallas over Montreal.  Hands down.  I don’t think I have to go into much detail as to why, even though Montreal can take you by surprise.  Dallas 2-0

NY:  New England v DC United ought to be an easy one for DC, with NE’s Shalrie Joseph suspended for the match.  I foresee much bad dancing from DeRo.  3-0 DC wins.

 DK: 3rd pick is Toronto and Chivas.  Now that Toronto can focus on the MLS regular season, will they go back to their normal level of suck that we’re accustomed to seeing?  Not likely.  I’ll put my money on Toronto finally getting their first points against Chivas 1-0.

NY:  RBNY hosting San Jose is going to be ugly.  As if it isn’t bad enough for the ‘Quakes that they have to travel cross-country for this, they’re running into the We-Play-Much-Better-Without-Luke-Rodgers NY side.  Henry finds some way to net a couple more cheap goals and earn Player of the Week honors yet again.  4-1 RBNY win

 DK: 4th pick is one of those gimmes that probably will slap me in the face.  LA versus Portland.  Bottom of the west coast (who knew that LA was at the bottom – supporters shield my ass).  Whatever has befallen the Galaxy, I’m certain good ole Bruce – I look like a Bond Villain – Arena will start lighting some fire under peoples asses so that the golden child of the MLS won’t go 1-5-0.  My suggestion, start with the money piled up to pay Donovan and Beckham.  LA over Portland 1-0.

NY:  Chicago v Houston is going to be a more competitive match than most this week. That’s because Brad Davis won’t be playing, leaving Houston with a midfielder shortage.  This wouldn’t be a problem for them if Peter Nowak was their coach, because he would just play some forwards out of position there.  That guy’s got the answer for everything (I wouldn’t have been able to say that line without laughing, which is where typed text works better).  2-1 Chicago Fire win.


DK:  This one never gets old – and by that, it means it does.  The only thing we do know is that there is one less midfielder to randomly pick who might even ride the bench, yet alone start.  Hopefully Torres gets a fast and full recovery.  Anyway – I would say that we get to see Garfan back in that ill-fated LB position, as Lopez is likely with his national team.  Other than that… Yea.  I don’t know either.  What I do know is that something was starting to click in that last match against Vancouver, but unfortunately it wasn’t shots.  Columbus isn’t that great either, and word on the interwebz has it that even Columbus fans don’t think this is going to be a stellar game, as both teams have went on the decline – don’t let Columbus’ 2 wins fool you, those were games they were supposed to win (Montreal, TFC).  What I think?  I think we’ll finally notch our first win.  The shots will pour forth as if the Bearfight Brigade converted into Jersey Shore wannabes.  Union 2-0.

NY:  Yes, Columbus and Philly are having similar seasons right now, but Union will only go as far as Freddy Adu takes them, which will not be good enough.  I just can’t see them scoring 2 goals right now without Torres involved.  I’m picking this to be a 1-1 draw.

DK:  KC 3-2 RSL; Dallas 2-0 Montreal; Toronto 1-0 Chivas; LA 1-0 Portland; Union 2-0 Columbus
NY: Seattle 2-2 Colorado; NE 0-3 DC; NY 4-1 SJE; Chicago 2-1 Houston; Union 1-1 Columbus

Week 4 picks – The downward Spiral Begins

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Score – Dan 7, Nick 8

Wow we suck


DK: Well, last week was completely miserable… I didn’t get shit right.

NY: That’s because your luck has run out.  I’m in front on the scoreboard, the way it should be.

DK: Hopefully not run out enough to win the lottery tonight.

DK: Since I have to right my sinking ship, I’m going to pick LA vs New England.  New England squeaked one out last week at home, but now they have to play LA in LA.  We all know how that works out for east coast teams.  2-0 LA just because they’re LA

NY: DC v FCD:  Andy Najar is away on Honduran international duty, and Brek Shea is just back from US international duty.  I think DeRo nets one, and Dallas gets one.  I call a 1-1 draw, in a match that may have more people on the field than in the RFK Stadium stands.

DK: Chivas vs SKC.  Chivas did the unthinkable, unimaginable, the incredible… ok I didn’t watch the game whatsoever.  But they defeated RSL last week (much to the demise of our pick count) – one of the last teams you would think Chivas could defeat.  Well, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, and Chivas is not that good of a team, and SKC is that good of a team with many attacking options (I’m still scratching my head as to why RSL didn’t score though).  SKC will easily walk into LA and take a win from Chivas, and stay undefeated.  3-1

NY: Seattle v San Jose: Seattle wins at home.  I know San Jose defied my prediction last week, it won’t happen again this week.  Seattle at home 2-1

DK: This is the only time I’m going to pick RBNY.  Still surprised at their manhandling of Vancouver, but if they did that to Vancouver at home, they should easily take apart the expansion side of Montreal in that wasteland they call home (or Harrison).  New Jersey Pink Cows will get the win, while acting and looking like they are the top class of the league – when we all know they aren’t.  2-0

NY: Portland v RSL: Interesting contest, considering RSL losing last week, and having to go on the road in a difficult setting.  I will pick a 1-1 draw here, as well.

DK: Toronto vs Columbus – Toronto, all though they have been playing well at BMO field, is more concerned about Santos and the Champions League than MLS right now.  Columbus will come in and wipe the floor with TFC.  2-1

NY: Colorado v Chicago: A matchup of two teams that we’ve already seen play against Union.  I was more impressed with Colorado, plus they’re playing at home, so I give this one to the Rapids, 2-0.


DK: We have the team.  We have the players Nowak wants… now it’s just implementing the fuck out of it.  We also need to score that 2nd goal.  If we don’t, all is for lost.  But I’m going to say this will come down to a 1-1 tie.  Le Toux, if he plays, won’t be spectacular (neither will be our team).

NY: Union need to take the attitude of Gabriel Gomez on themselves.  He’s fiery, determined, and skilled.  If the whole team plays the way he does, they will win.  I don’t expect them to, therefore, I see this ending 1-1, only because Vancouver will not have Eric Hassli.  If he was in the lineup, the ‘Caps would win this outright.


LA 2-0 New England
Chivas 1-3 SKC
NY 2-0 Montreal
Toronto 1-2 Columbus
Union 1-1 Vancouver

DC 1-1 Dallas
Seattle 2-1 San Jose
Portland 1-1 RSL
Colorado 2-0 Chicago
Union 1-1 Vancouver


Stay tuned later for our match ‘pre’view

Season Picks – Week 2 Dan vs Nick

March 15, 2012 1 comment

All went well for Dan minus his Union pick, as he went 4 for 4 prior to the Union loss.  Nick caught back up due to his union prediction.  Scores Dan 4 – Nick 3.  On to week 2!


WTF is Nowak doing


NY:  San Jose v Houston:  Lingering from last year’s playoff defeat of the Union, I still don’t like Houston.  I know they won a road match last week, but that was against Chivas.  There might not be a worse team in this league than Chivas.  Therefore, I will say that Wondo nets one for the ‘Quakes, and the match ends in a 1-1 draw.

DK: As I would normally pick this match and say Houston over San Jose, Houston not scoring a goal til the 92nd minute against Chivas is going to make me walk away from this one.  Instead I’m going to pick Kansas City over New England.  I’m basing this on SKC holding strong and proving that they are and will be the top of the East (that counterattack is hard to stifle) and the New England is still rotting from the inside out in all areas of management, playing, and so forth.  2-0 for Sporting at home.

NY:  FC Dallas v Portland:  Lingering from last week’s defeat of the Union, I still don’t like Portland.  Dallas did well to frustrate PCNJ last week, but Portland isn’t a bunch of whiny, complaining quitters.  This being in Dallas, I think FCD takes this 2-1.

DK: I’m just going to say that I’m going to pick most all other league matches.  The ones you picked are likely going to be close ones.  I don’t think Portland can out match DC like the way they outplayed the Union, but it goes without saying that they are completely match fit and this will be a good match to watch.

My 2nd match is going to be Montreal and Chicago.  Chicago had a bye in the opening week and will be well rested.  If you include the fact that their starting line is still intact from last year, they are already miles ahead of the Impact… but what amount of impact (see what I did there) will a ‘record breaking’ crowd for Montreal do for the home team?  I don’t think a bunch of French Canadian fans will make that much of a difference.  I’ll say Montreal will finally tally a goal, but lose 2-1 to Chicago.

NY:  Real Salt Lake v New York:  RSL dominated a tired LA Galaxy 3-1.  They might double that goal-scoring output against a team who seemed to only have 2 players who cared against Dallas.  Ok, maybe not quite THAT bad, but RSL wins again, either 2-0 or 3-1.

DK: 3rd pick for me is Seattle verse Toronto.  Both played the 2nd leg of the CONCACAF Champion’s league Quarterfinal Wednesday night. Seattle, being thoroughly embarrassed by Santos – Toronto overcoming the “goliath” in LA.  One’s confidence is likely shattered, the other is walking on air.  Both are going to have their fair amount of travel-lag and fatigue between Wed and Saturday.  I don’t think the home field advantage of plastic and fluorescent colors will help Seattle against the confidence TFC will have after beating LA at home.  2-1 TFC.

NY:  Chivas v Vancouver:  Chivas sucks.  Sebastien Le Toux will become Sebastien Le Two in this one, and all Union faithful will shed a tear into their green beer.


DK: Far too obvious.  Vancouver played solid soccer in their opener.  Can’t do anything but agree with you on this one.  The gimme pick of the week – Vancouver wins 2-0

NY: Union v Colorado:  Union found it tough to navigate the midfield against Portland, and they will be faced with Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni in the central midfield which won’t make things any easier.  I’m setting the yellow card over/under at 4.5.  That same over/under applies to number of times we will collectively nearly crap ourselves because a Colorado right winger gets behind Porfirio Lopez.  Unless something changes miraculously from Monday to Sunday, I see this as another loss for the U, at BEST a draw.  Second verse, same as the first, Union 1-2 Colorado.

DK: I’ll stop being a homer for once and I’m going to get flack for this as well.  There’s no possible way we’re going to play as a team.  We look like we’re in 2010 form, minus someone attempting to fly like superman (yes, I’m never going to give up on referencing David Myrie’s performance).  We have no midfield – literally they almost disappeared.  Our strikers were too far depressed into our defensive half, providing few outlets for any possible counterattack (which we never had).  And our defensive line looks surprisingly shaky – granted that after Portland’s tying goal we started to panic and play the long ball – something of which we again, never had – and opened ourselves up more for constant pressure did NOT help ourselves defensively.  Colorado is a tough team to beat, even with Casey Connor out for who knows how long.  2-0 Colorado.  The only thing that could save us is home field advantage, Colorado travel lag, and MacMath showing us the same performance he did in goal last year.  But all signs point to no win.

SJ vs Hou – Tie
FCD vs Por – FCD 2-1
RSL vs NY – RSL win
Chivas vs Van – Van win
UNION vs Colorado – loss

SKC vs NE – SKC 2-0
Mon vs Chi – Chi 2-1
Sea vs TFC – TFC 2-1
Chivas vs Van – Van 2-0
UNION vs Colorado – loss

Season Picks – Week 1 Nick vs Dan

March 9, 2012 Leave a comment

In an effort to cure boredom, and lack of content on the blog, Nick and myself are going to pick a set of 5 games weekly.  Naturally, being a degenerate gambler, I had to make sure that something was in it for the victor.  So – the one dollar wager is on!


The rules are simple – 4 games a week are free to choose, and the 5th pick of the week will be that week’s Union game (if there is no Union game, we pick a different game).  Only the final outcome of the match will matter, not any predicted score.  So if we say Union win 5-1, but only win 1-0, the point is still ours.  Scores will only be used for a possible tie-breaker.  Whoever has the most points at the end of the season will have bragging rights – which won’t matter because Nick will still say (rightfully) he has more knowledge than I do.


 DK: Vancouver vs Montreal – Impact, what impact.   Montreal is new.  Vancouver has a team set, and with the prime addition of Le toux will likely come out on top in this match.  I don’t think Montreal is ready enough as a team, and won’t be so until mid season (prove me wrong).  Vancouver 2-0

NY:  Vancouver vs Montreal???  What is this, the National Hockey League?  Beat it with this two-teams-from-north-of-the-border nonsense.  This is the only game that I chose to look at different than yours.  I’m looking at RBNY @ FC Dallas.  This game is about the late-season charging Pink Cows against Brek Shea and company.  I see this one ending in a draw.  Henry will be in form after a surprisingly successful return run with Arsenal, and Brek Shea will want to produce for his club team before he gets shipped off to try to win his country a medal.

DK: I don’t need your damn hassle.


DK: DC vs KC – What can’t you say about KC?  They’re going to look to try to match and even top last season’s success – and they are road tested from last year (albeit to a fault).  It’s the season opener, and getting the first win on the road will set them apart from the rest of the eastern conference quickly – as that often became the downside for East coast teams (with the new format though, expect this to change).  Unless DC can get De Rosario to break out with multiple goals, KC is looking like the victor.  2-1 KC.

NY:  Sporting were very impressive once they actually got to play games in a consistent venue.  The question is: did KC benefit from playing at their comfy, new home, or did they benefit from the fact that no one in their right mind would enjoy visiting Kansas City?  I’m not sold either way.  The only problem is that DeRo is really the only bullet in the DC gun, which I expect to be shooting blanks in this first week.  SKC ftw.


DK: LA vs RSL – LA is coming off a CCL quarterfinal match on Wednesday, although being the number one team in the league – RSL is well rested and not one to take lightly.  LA will have the home crowd and the start of a new season behind them, but their minds may still be on the CCL.  I’ll predict RSL to take advantage of fresh legs and win 2-1

NY:  Galaxy did, indeed, already play this week, but I see this as a good thing.  I think it has put them in a rhythm, which I expect to carry over to this game.  It’s the beginning of the season, therefore I don’t see the heavy schedule running the players down too much.  It would be a big problem 2 months from now, but the team is fresh at present.  I expect LA to win this game, but probably just 1-0 because RSL is no slouch defensively.


DK: Chivas vs Houston – I took an easy pick, sue me.  Chivas can easily be described as a bottom feeder team.  Houston’s only fault may be under-estimating them at Chivas’  home.  Although, one can be a welcome mat for only so long – but I don’t expect things to change that drastically anytime soon.  Houston 2-0.

NY:  Shockingly, I’m going to agree with DK.  This also saddens me.  Any thought of Houston taking a team lightly during their season-opening match will be doused with the memory of Danny Califf netting the game’s only goal in 2011’s season-opening match.  I, also, think Houston will win 2-0.

Portland vs Union

DK:  1-1 tie.  Portland gave Cooper to RBNY in the offseason, and Union lost a lot of franchise stars.  This will likely be an even matchup – even though the addition of attack minded players will help the Union, Nowak is obviously going to play a tight defensive strategy to counteract any plausible success.  Expect the inevitable confusion between players in the lineup.

NY:  I pick this as a loss for the U.  Too much change among the personnel responsible for scoring goals.  Freddy Adu is being depended on heavily for leadership, but he hasn’t played with this team long, and seemed, at times, to be at odds with teammates during matches.  He has had the training time with his team now, but I wonder if they can gel early enough to get a win in a venue with dreaded narrow pitch.  Such a field was their undoing in Houston’s Robertson Stadium, where they couldn’t find the space and couldn’t play the aerial game.  They were forced to pass vertically and deep, which lead to choppy possession and not enough goals.  Unfortunately, I expect more of the same in this one.  I ABSOLUTELY hope both myself and DK are wrong and Union win this match 5-0, but I’m very skeptical of the moves Nowak has made during this offseason and need to be shown by the team that they know how to win.

1: Vancouver over Montreal 2-0
2: KC over DC 2-1
3: RSL over LA 2-1
4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
Union : Tie

Pick 1: RBNY / FCD Tie
Pick 2: KC over DC 2-0
Pick 3: LA over RSL 1-0
Pick 4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
Union: Loss