Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bouna Time! for Senegal

Bouna Coundoul got the start for Senegal's final group stage African Cup of Nations match today against South Africa. For Senegal to advance they must win, have Angola and Tunisia not draw, and have the margin of victory in the two games combined be at least 4 goals. Follow the game live here.

UPDATE: In the 13th minute bad marking leads to a goal for South Africa

UPDATE2: From the BBC

1825: Sibusiso Zuma has a great chance to give South Africa the lead when a defensive mistake leads to a clear shot in the area but Senegal's Bouna Coundoul pulls off a remarkable save.

FINAL: 1-1 Senegal are eliminated. To add injury to insult, the BBC reported that near the end of the game there was an injury to Bouna that held up play for quite some time. It does not appear Bouna had to leave the game.

UPDATE3: It turns out the injury was to South African keeper Moeneeb Joseph, Bouna was not hurt.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Why I'm a Rapids Fan

This offseason has had a great deal of discussion about why some people are fans of the Rapids, or even questioning "how true fan are they". There's no secret that I've been highly critical of the Rapids FO, Clavijo, and Plush. I've been asked why I'm still a fan, and I've had people question "how true fan am I".

If there's any team's fans in American sports going through what us as Rapids fans are going through its the Seattle Mariners fans. Alas, I'm a fan of both the Mariners and Rapids. The leading blog for the Mariners is U.S.S. Mariner, and today's post had a number of things to say about why they are as critical as they are about the Mariners, and yet still fans.

Answering Some Questions

Read the first section of the blog entry, and responses 7, 8, and 33. Then replace Mariners with Rapids and Mariners players of old with Rapids players of old. You have an exact description of why I'm a Rapids fan. Hopefully Dave won't mind me paraphrasing his line here:

Loyalty - I became a fan with Marcelo Balboa, Ian Feuer, Paul Bravo, and Chris Henderson. I can’t flush 12 years of emotional attachment away just because the team makes a lot of stupid choices. I’m married the Rapids, and I didn’t sign a prenup.

The Start of Preseason

Couple of Notes for Monday:

The Rapids open preseason training today with the typical physicals and such. In the past the practices have been open to the public from day 1 but this year they are closed until further notice.

According to Steven Goff the Rapids are in negotiations with DC to trade for Christian Gomez's rights. They are also in talks with Gomez about a new contract.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick. Not soccer related, but I thought I'd mention it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Offseason of Nothing

Monday morning the off-season ends as the Rapids players report for the opening of training. What have the Rapids done this off-season to improve a team that missed the playoffs last year?

Tony Sanneh - D/DM
Daniel Osorno - F
Jose Cancela - AM
Zach Thorton - GK

Jose Burciaga - LB/LM
Chase Hilgenbrinck - LB/LM

and the draft, which I'll get to.

So the Rapids cut 3 benchwarmers and a defensive super-sub, and added two players who's primary position is left back. This on a team that was worst in MLS in scoring, while having a good, if not great, defense.

I'll say two things about the draft, and why I believe its inconsequential to the offseason improvements. First The Rapids were considered to have had one of the two worst drafts of any of the teams, and every MLS team got to draft, so the quality relative to the rest of the league didn't change significantly.

Now I know there are a number of rumors about players being signed or traded for in the near future, and I hope some of them turn out to be quality. But once again the Rapids are opening pre-season needing to make multiple moves in order to put together a decent MLS side, more than likely leading to a disorganized group that isn't used to playing with each other when the games start to count.

So I decided I wanted a place to ramble

Hello everyone! If you're reading this, you're probably a friend of mine, or maybe a friend of a friend. On the off chance you aren't, a quick introduction. I'm your typical child of the late 80's/early 90's tech geek. Outside of the typical geek stuff (computers, SF, video games, etc.) I'm also a big soccer fan, particularly of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer. For a while I was writing for the now-defunct, run by a good friend of mine, under the View From the Couch title. Since that closed up shop I've been rambling on BigSoccer, but I've decided that I needed my own place to talk.

Along with the regular talk about the Rapids, you'll probably also see comments about the various European soccer teams I follow, the U.S. National Teams, general soccer things of interest, and the occasional random posting. Posting will be more frequent during the MLS season, but I'm going to try to do no worse than weekly, and probably a couple of times a week at minimum.

Hopefully I don't bore you.