December 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM
That's it. @UW_MSoccer's magical season has come to an end. New Mexico advances to the College Cup, wins 1-0.
— UW Men's Soccer (@UW_MSoccer) December 8, 2013
A “magical season” might be the best way to put it.
The University of Washington men’s soccer program had never seen a year like this one. Unfortunately, it came to an end short of a national championship as the second-seeded Huskies fell at home Saturday, 1-0, to No. 7 New Mexico in the NCAA quarterfinals.
It was the farthest UW, this year’s Pac-12 champion, had ever advanced in the tournament.
The Lobos, which finished with a 16-8 advantage in shots, got the lone goal from Ben McKendry in the 37th minute. Washington coach Jamie Clark said in our game story that the sub-freezing conditions and the frozen field were an issue, forcing the team to buy different footwear during the contest and change them out at halftime.
“We’d never played in it before and didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make,” Clark said.
The Dawgs finished the year 16-2-4 in front of 2,240 at Husky Field.
New Mexico (14-5-2) will face No. 3 Notre Dame in the College Cup. No. 5 Maryland and No. 8 Virginia will meet in the other semifinal. The final games will be played Dec. 13 and 15 in Philadelphia.
December 8, 2013 at 12:59 AM
It might not have been the prettiest MLS Cup final ever, thanks to the 20-degree weather at Sporting Park, but Saturday’s final between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake won’t soon be forgotten.
The hosts, Sporting KC, prevailed in a penalty-kick shootout, one that lasted 10 rounds following a 1-1 tie, becoming the first Eastern Conference team to win since 2008.
Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio opened the scoring in the 52nd minute, set up brilliantly by a no-look pass from Kyle Beckerman. Kansas City equalized in the 76th minute through bruising defender Aurelien Collin, who some felt had deserved to be sent off, with a header off a corner kick.
Action eventually led to a shootout, where each team had a chance to claim the trophy. A champion was settled when RSL defender Lovel Palmer, an injury substitute, slammed a shot off the crossbar (the ball, mysteriously, was moving on the spot as he took the kick). Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made two saves during the shootout, which ended 7-6 in the hosts’ favor.
Sporting KC had won the 2012 U.S. Open Cup on penalty kicks (against Sounders FC, of course). Salt Lake had won the MLS Cup in 2009 via shootout.
Here is a list of league champions, with Kansas City becoming the fifth city to have won multiple titles:
2013 — Sporting Kansas City
2012 — Los Angeles Galaxy
2011 — Los Angeles Galaxy
2010 — Colorado Rapids
2009 — Real Salt Lake
2008 — Columbus Crew
2007 — Houston Dynamo
2006 — Houston Dynamo
2005 — Los Angeles Galaxy
2004 — D.C. United
2003 — San Jose Earthquakes
2002 — Los Angeles Galaxy
2001 — San Jose Earthquakes
2000 — Kansas City Wizards
1999 — D.C. United
1998 — Chicago Fire
1997 — D.C. United
1996 — D.C. United
December 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM
I can confirm that Sounders FC assistant coach Brian Schmetzer has interviewed for the head coaching job at FC Dallas, something first reported by Jeff Carlisle in this story for ESPNFC.com.
The job was vacated by Schellas Hyndman, who stepped down after this season following five and a half years with the team.
Carlisle, citing sources, noted that former MLS great Guillermo Barros Schelotto is the preferred choice among the candidates — the ESPN report from Wednesday identified five — but that there has been a disagreement over compensation.
No firm deadline for a decision has been made public by FC Dallas, and Schmetzer is still believed to be in the running.
Schmetzer, 51, does have an interesting connection with FC Dallas, and it comes with technical director Fernando Clavijo. Their relationship dates to 1984 when they were teammates on the San Diego Sockers of the indoor North American Soccer League until 1988. It continued with two more indoor teams, the St. Louis Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League (1990-91) and then with the Seattle SeaDogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (1995-97), where at the end Schmetzer got one of his first coaching jobs under Clavijo.
A Seattle native, Schmetzer has been Sigi Schmid’s top assistant with the Sounders since the team’s leap to MLS in 2009. He was previously the head coach of the lower-league team in the A-League and United Soccer Leagues, and he also has ties to the Sounders dating to 1980 as a player in the old NASL.
Schmetzer had interviewed for the coaching job with the Montreal Impact before they joined MLS as an expansion franchise in 2012, something he told me last year. That job eventually went to Jesse Marsch, albeit not for very long.
Schmid and Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer have both expressed faith that Schmetzer is ready for the next step. Hanauer, in the linked story in the previous paragraph, said that Schmetzer will be “a tremendous head coach in MLS someday.”
Maybe “someday” is nearing.
December 6, 2013 at 12:55 PM
The last of Sounders FC’s team awards was revealed Friday, and it came in an announcement that Leo Gonzalez has been named Defender of the Year after a player vote.
Here were the other awards: Osvaldo Alonso (MVP), Eddie Johnson (Golden Boot), Lamar Neagle (Humanitarian of the Year).
Gonzalez, 33, matched his career high in games/starts (27) and played 2,318 minutes, fourth best on the team. The Sounders went 14-9-4 with the Costa Rican in the lineup, averaging 1.04 goals allowed per game, and 1-3-3 when with him out, averaging two goals allowed per game.
Offensively, Gonzalez’ lone assist came May 4 in Philadelphia — the one matches a personal best in MLS — and he took a career-high seven shots.
Here are the previous winners of the award:
2012 — Jeff Parke
2011 — Jeff Parke
2010 — James Riley
2009 — Tyrone Marshall
December 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM
The World Cup draw has been getting much of the attention Friday, but U.S. men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey also addressed a potential offseason loan in a TV interview with ESPN after the draw.
Dempsey has been linked to a handful of English Premier League teams in the past few weeks following his first season with Sounders FC.
Asked for an update on a possible loan from host Bob Ley, Dempsey said on the ESPN2 broadcast: “We’re still waiting to see what’s going to happen, but we should know what’s going on in the next week.”
Dempsey has a stipulation in his contract with the Sounders that allows for a one-time loan, and that was intended for this offseason as World Cup preparation. General manager Adrian Hanauer told me last month the team wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up happening.
“His agent and he are kind of keeping me in the loop, and we’re sort of working on that,” Hanauer said on Nov. 11.
Ley, on the ESPN2 broadcast, had a follow-up about what a potential loan would offer. Here was the response from Dempsey: “For me, it’s just about getting games and trying to get to that high level, bringing that back to the States if I get that opportunity to go on loan, and making sure I’m playing the best I can play going into this World Cup.”
Dempsey reiterated those exact thoughts in a separate ESPN interview later on Friday during a SportsCenter cut-in.
December 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM
I’m not sure it could have gone any worse for the U.S. men’s national team in Friday’s draw for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann‘s squad will take on Germany, Ghana and Portugal in Group G, and also face some of the worst travel in the tournament, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.
Here is a look at the draw:
Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
The U.S. will face Ghana on June 16 at 3 p.m., Portugal on June 22 at 3 p.m., and Germany at June 26 at 9 a.m.
What are your thoughts?
December 6, 2013 at 7:31 AM
I’ll be holding a live chat during Friday morning’s FIFA World Cup draw (I’ll start along with the ESPN2 broadcast at 8:30 a.m.). It should be an exciting day as the U.S. men’s national team looks to avoid being drawn into the Group of Death.
If you need something to pass the time, here again is a link to a draw simulator that is pretty addictive.
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December 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM
Sounders FC has some representation in the latest Seattle Sports Star of the Year award nominations, and it comes in the form of young DeAndre Yedlin being among the finalists for Male Athlete of the Year. The 20-year-old defender had a standout rookie campaign, leading the team in minutes, making the MLS All-Star Team, playing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and even collecting a goal and assist in the playoffs.
The Sounders have been no stranger to the annual event, with Adrian Hanauer and Gary Wright winning top executive awards and Kasey Keller winning top professional athlete a couple years ago.
Soccer programs from the University of Washington, Seattle University and Washington State University are also in the mix for awards this year. Tickets for the Jan. 22 event at Benaroya Hall, the 79th edition of the awards banquet, can be purchased here.
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Nominees for the Female Sports Star of the Year:
Joan Bonvicini (Seattle University Women’s Basketball Head Coach)
Krista Vansant (UW Volleyball)
Marti Malloy (USA Judo)
Melissa Arnot (Record holding Mountaineer)
Micaela Castain (WSU Soccer)
Tina Thompson (Storm Basketball)
Nominees for the Male Sports Star of the Year:
Bishop Sankey (UW Football)
DeAndre Yedlin (Sounders FC)
Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners Pitcher)
Jon Lester (Red Sox Pitcher)
Russell Wilson (Seahawks Quarterback)
UW Men’s Soccer
Nominees for the Sports Story of the Year:
Eastlake Little League
The Seahawks’ Run
Seattle University Men’s & Women’s Soccer
December 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM
Reign FC appears to be the busiest sports team out there, and here is a brief rundown of three more transaction in the past week or so:
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— Seattle has acquired forward Beverly Goebel on a year-long loan for INAC Kobe Leonessa, champion of the Japanese Nadeshiko League. The California native led the league with 15 goals in 15 games this past season and was named to its Best XI. Goebel, 25, in a University of Miami product who played for the Western New York Flash in Women’s Professional Soccer and went to Japan when the league folded.
— Also announced Thursday was a trade that sent forward Liz Bogus to FC Kansas City for a second-round pick (No. 15 overall) in the 2014 college draft. The teams also swapped third-round picks. Bogus was selected No. 26 overall in the 2013 supplemental draft and played 20 games this past season, scoring once and collecting two assists. The Reign currently holds the picks at No. 9, 15 and 26 in the Jan. 17 draft.
— In a move announced last week while I was on vacation, Seattle acquired forward Danielle Foxhoven from Portland in exchange for forward Jess McDonald and the rights to midfielder Rebecca Moros from the Reign’s discovery list. Foxhoven, a University of Portland product, played 21 games for the Thorns, starting eight, and scored four goals, including two game-winners. McDonald, acquired off waivers, scored three goals and had an assist in seven games for Seattle in 2013.
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