América recibe ayuda del árbitro – America gets some help from the referee

In a game that América and their manager Miguel Herrera knew they would have the lion’s share of possession, Las Aguilas failed to make their pressure count.  América had more than five times as many shots as Toluca, 16 to 3, but only directed 5 of them on frame.  While it is true that Toluca’s goal came against the run of play, la azulcrema should have been miles ahead of their visitors in the Estadio Azteca.

En un partido en que América y su entrenador Miquel Herrera sabían que tendrían la mayoria de posesión, las Aguilas no pudo hacer valer con su presión.  América tenía más que cinco veces más tiros que Toluca, 16 a 3, pero sólo dirigió cinco al arco.  Aunque es cierto que el gol de Toluca fue contra la corriente del juego, la azulcrema debería haber sido millas por delante de sus visitantes en el Estadio Azteca. Continue reading

Red Bulls Postseason Update: January 15

The New York Red Bulls off season has been of the same start-stop nature of the team’s form in 2011.  November saw the Red Bulls waive a bunch of dead weight and December saw the team lose its longest tenured player.  But in the new year, the Red Bulls office staff sprung into action signing three players and drafting a goalkeeper.

The Red Bulls declined the options on the contracts of Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright and Bouna Coundoul after the 2011 season ended.  This meant that they were all eligible for the Re-Entry Draft, in which any MLS team could sign them.  Columbus used its pick to select former Rochester Raging Rhino player Carlos Mendes.  The departure of Carlos Mendes after seven seasons at New York means that Dane Richards is now the player who has been at the club longest.

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Rhinos Postseason Update: January 14

Since November the Rochester Rhinos have made three signings, all of a different nature.  In Conor Chinn, the Rhinos signed a striker looking to kick-start his stuttering professional career.  In Brandon Miller, the Rhinos signed a promising young goalkeeper fresh out of college.  And in Quavas Kirk, the Rhinos re-signed a solid performer from the 2011 season.

 

On Monday December 19, Rhinos fans got an early Christmas present in the form of 24 year old striker Conor Chinn.  Chinn was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in 2010 and made 5 league appearances for the club before being waived after the season.  After a brief spell with Real Salt Lake, Chinn joined Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL in June where he made 10 appearances. Continue reading

So I’m in Mexico Now

I haven’t posted anything for 6 weeks at this point.  In the meantime I was taking finals and writing terms papers, oh yeah and moving to Mexico.  I’m currently living in Puebla located between the BUAP Lobos (as of yet unfinished) stadium and Estadio Cuauhtemoc which is the home of Puebla FC.

Lobos play in the sort of second division in Mexico, the semi-professional Liga de Ascenso – Promotion League.  Like most leagues in Latin America, Liga de Acenso has two seasonal tournaments each year; the Apertura (Opening) from July until December and the Clausura (Closing) that runs from January through May.  Each “torneo” has a playoff structure which results in the champion for that short tournament.  The two torneo champions meet to decide which team earns promotion into the Primera Division of Mexico.

Puebla FC is a regular in Primera with recent torneo finishes of 12th, 14th, 13th, 13th, and 7th.  Interesting for me, as an American living in Mexico, is the performances of winger/forward DaMarcus Beasley.  The U.S. international plays outside on the left in both a 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 formations (also in a 4-4-1-1 and 3-5-1-1) and as a striker coming in on his favored left foot as a striker in a 4-3-1-2 setup and an attacking midfielder in a 4-3-2-1 lineup.  Beasley started, as he normally does in Puebla, for the first game of the new season this past weekend before getting subbed out ten minutes into the second half.

American fans living in Puebla almost got the treat of seeing one time MLS great Eddie Johnson suit up with his fellow countryman.  After initially signing with Puebla and training for two weeks, Johnson was released by the club which cited a lack of fitness, which isn’t a great surprise for a player who hasn’t been a solid starter since he left the MLS in January 2008.

But even with only one American on the team sheet and a disappointing first fixture (held to a 0-0 result at home after playing the entire second half with a man advantage) there’s still hope for Puebla to challenge for the 8 Liguilla playoff spots this season.  Next match is on Saturday when Puebla travels to Pachuca, where a draw would be a positive result for the team affectionately referred to by the sash on their crest as La Franja