Friday, March 9, 2012
FUTBOLR FIRST KICK
It's early March, European soccer is coming down the stretch and you know what that means to us folk on the other side of the Atlantic? Major League Soccer is all revved up and ready to go for it's 16th season. 19 teams split between 2 divisions vying for the MLS Cup in December.
This year there is going to be a lot more of the MLS on TV, so to give you a heads up. We are positive that there are a bunch of sites/blogs that will tell you about the high profile players from the overspending teams. But for us on the other hand, we will give you the run down on a select section of 'Bolrs are certified by yours truly.
With MLS First Kick taking over this weekend, most teams will be in action to get there season started. Below we have compiled a list of players to follow, and potentially put in your fantasy team, these are the heavily biased Futbolrs that we will be watching. Mostly, because they are rolling with the home team. Stay upto date by click on a Futbolrs name for twitter account, if not we got you.
In the Windy City look out for our dynamic duo of Cory Gibbs and Marco Pappa taking the Fire on the road to christen the Impact to the league on the 17th. Gibbs is a ferocious defender with a European pedigree that loves to get into the attack, e.g. versus Manchester United. Then you have the Guatemalan maestro in the midfield Marco Pappa that is exciting to watch as he maneuvers through defenses to set up his team with picture perfect chances. Now we have to get these guys on social media.
The Rapids are on the road this Saturday at 4pm in Ohio against The Crew. Omar Cummmings is the major threat upfront for Colorado that is 2 years off of a MLS CUP win and a playoff entrance last year. Keeping the clean sheets in tact is Kosuke Kimora in the defence, being the first Japanese player in the MLS he is making history with every game he logs.
Fresh off a draft selection veteran Carlos Mendes came from New York Red Bulls where he holds the 2nd most minutes logged of All-time. A strong defender is looking to stop a fellow Futbolr, Omar Cummings this week in Columbus.
The nations capital were on a hot streak last year to end the season with the acquisition of MLS MVP Dwayne DeRosario in July. Keep your eye on the young gun Andy Najar
who is still only 18 and an owner of a rookie of the year award. Also, Chris Pontius is coming off a record high goal total last year, Brandon McDonald will secure the backline for Bill Hamid another youngster fresh off a USMNT U23 call up will be a strong option in between the sticks on the road at Livestrong Sporting Park 7:30pm EST.
Cory Ashe was shifted from midfield to left back last year and excelled in Dominic Kinnear's system. So much that even with his 5 foot 5 inch frame still earned him the position for the MLS All Star game vs. Man U. Make sure to check out VA natives team take on Chivas USA Sunday 7pm EST.
Welcome back Mr. Buddle. A season and a half in Germany playing for FC Ingolstadt and tearing itu up, we just witnessed his form when he located Landon Donovan in the 6yard box to secure a Champion League come from behind tie in a hostile Toronto. This year being surrounded by Beckham, Keane, Donovan is going to give Edson Buddle more than a few opportunities to light up the net. It all starts in Salt Lake City this Saturday, 10:30pm EST.
Another not so "expansion" team, coming from the USSL with the same ownership to take on the top tier competition. They have added one of the strongest goalkeepers in the league in Donovan Ricketts. Full of experience in the league and as an international for the Reggae Boyz that will help les Quebecois entrance to the league, starting this Saturday across Canada versus sophomores Vancouver Whitecaps 6pm EST.
New England Revolution
There was a time when the Revolution were running this MLS. That time has passed but both box to box Shalrie Joseph and young defender Kevin Alston plan to bring it back to Boston. Starting off with a cross country trip to the Bay for a 10:30pm EST kick off against the Earthquakes.
The big spenders in the east conference have to back up their reputation this year. With a speedy Dane Richards that zooms by most MLS defenders and another young prodigy Juan Agudelo in USMNT form this team is going to hurt a few feelings. It begins on NBC 3p Sunday when Dallas gets outplayed on National television.
Its all about now for Freddy Adu, the hype machine is gone and all his talent is going to shine without the weight of uninformed sports analysts. First match Monday Night Soccer at home against Portland.
The unofficial Futbolr team, just look at all the love in one photo. The 2nyear squad gets /started against Freddy Adu & his Union on Monday Night. Taking a trip from the northwest Lovel Palmer & Mike Chaballa are looking to a full season with the Timbers. Costa Rican international Rodney Wallace will have a role to play defensively as most eyes will be on the 21 year old soph Darlington Nagbe definitely knows how to score. Rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste has some big shoes to fit into.
Real Salt Lake
The longest serving member of Real is a title Chris Wingert can be proud of edging Kyle Beckerman out by a staggering 3 days. This valuable wingback can be seen occupying the entire wing from defense to offense for one of the top teams in the MLS. Coincidence that they have to play the reigning champs on Matchday 1, at least it will be at home 10:30pm EST
San Jose Earthquakes
Evan Newton 2nd year keeper will be playing the backup role to start the season, but he should be ready to jump in at anytime his number can be called. No real expectations for Earthquakes this year. It begins against New England on Saturday 10:30pm EST.
Look who's back, Eddie Johnson took a trip around Europe and is ready to show the MLS what they have been missing. Next week tho, after a little Concacaf Champs League warmup.
Sporting Kansas City
As a favorite in the Eastern Conference, CJ Sapong is playing for the right squad and has to solidify his Rookie of the Year award with a strong 2nd season. Kevin Ellis is going to be another solid back that will do work and probably not get the attention most defenders deserve, but the team isn't being favorited solely for their attack.
Floyd Franks is back in the MLS with something to prove. The tenacious midfielder is looking to sure up west Canadian midfield as the go into their 2nd season. First Kick with Montreal Impact 6p EST.
LOTS OF SOCCER TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND, MAKE SURE YOU TWEET WITH US @FUTBOLR