Tag Archives: MLS

Daily Noontime – April 6, 2012

Austin Jackson drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, which helped Detroit defeat Boston on Opening Day! (Photo Credit: Nashua Telegraph)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means we’re a few hours away from a brand-spanking new weekend! So, let’s pass the time with some headlines and news from the city of champions…Boston!

* Despite a ninth inning rally to tie the game, Detroit’s Austin Jackson drove in the game winning run in the bottom half of the same frame, which helped the Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day, 3-2. Jon Lester lasted seven innings, and gave up six hits, one run and struck out four batters, while Justin Verlander recorded eight innings on the bump and fanned seven batters.

* Boston and Detroit will resume their three-game series on Saturday, Apr. 7 – first pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm.

* For the second night in a row, the Boston Celtics fell to a playoff contender, as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Green and White, 93-86. Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 22 points, while Luol Deng led all scorers with 26 points.

* The Boston Celtics are now 30-24, and will attempt to snap their two-game losing skid on Saturday when they travel to Indiana for a 7:00pm tip-off.

* The Boston Bruins won their final regular season road contest on Thursday, as they defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-1. Boston will return to the TD Garden on Saturday for their last contest of the 2011-12 slate against the Buffalo Sabres.

* Finally, FC Dallas handed the New England Revolution their third loss of the season, as they defeated the local soccer squad, 1-0.

Daily Noontime – March 8, 2012

Evan Turner's 26 points helped the Philadelphia 76ers defeat Boston on Wednesday! (Photo Credit: Philly.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Thursday to everyone, and welcome into yet another amazing edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s jumpstart the day with some headlines and news from the Hub.

* Philadelphia snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak on Wednesday, as the 76ers defeated the Celtics, 103-71. Evan Turner led all scorers with 26 points, while Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 16 points. Boston will return to the hardwood on Friday when they host the Portland Trailblazers.

* The Boston Bruins will look to build off their 5-4 victory against Toronto on Thursday when they host Buffalo at 7:00pm.

* Sources confirmed on Wednesday that Andrew Ference and Daniel Paille both skated on their own in Wilmington. Head coach Claude Julien told the media that having both of them on the ice is a “good sign.”

* The Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team will begin their quest toward capturing an ACC tournament championship on Thursday when they tip-off against North Carolina State at 12:00pm. The Eagles ended their conference slate with a 4-12 record, as well as ended their 2011-12 campaign with 9-21 record.

* Finally, we’re a few days away from the start of a new MLS season, as the New England Revolution will kick-off their 2012 slate in San Jose on Saturday.

New England Revolution Draft Preview

Photo Credit: SportsLogos.net

By Ryan Lanigan 

The New England Revolution are coming off one of their worst seasons in club history, and are looking to get back to the top of the league.

After replacing longtime head coach Steve Nicol with former player Jay Heaps, the Revs, and GM Michael Burns have begun the process to enhance their unit, as well as numerous personnel decisions.

New England has the third overall pick in the MLS draft, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 12, and here’s a few names that the Revolution might consider targeting.

Andrew Wenger, Defender/Midfielder, Duke (22 games, 17 goals, 8 assists): Wenger would be an ideal pick for the Revs. Some say that New England is lacking a number one striker and needs more scoring. On the other side, there are those that notice the weak defensive line. A.J. Soares needs a strong partner in the middle and Wenger would be that fit. He has solid size, (6’0, 185) and good versatility. Also, he scored 17 goals this year in his first season playing forward. If Wenger falls to the Revs, they should take it to solidify their defensive line.

Billy Schuler, Forward/Midfielder, North Carolina (25 Games, 16 goals, 5 assists): Schuler is a fellow nominee with Wenger for the Hermann Trophy, soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman. Schuler is a great finisher and can do so with either foot. He has decent speed and has some a good soccer IQ. It might not count as an attribute, but Schuler has been known to be in the right place at the right time and can finish those opportunities. He could make an impact right away for the Revs with Milton Caraglio and Rajko Lekic out of the picture.

*AUTHORS NOTE: Schuler has decided to sign on with Sweden’s Hammarby.

Matt Hedges, Defender, North Carolina (26 games, 6 goals, 1 assist): If the Revs decide to go with a defender, which I think they will, they may choose to go with Schuler’s Tar Heels teammate, Matt Hedges, who is going to be considered the best defender in the entire draft. He will bring something to the back line that they didn’t see last season: size. He’s 6’4 and can help control and defend against set pieces. Some say he won’t go until the second round, but others think he’s a top 10 pick.

Enzo Martinez, Midfielder, North Carolina (26 Games, 9 goals, 11 assists):  What was something that was lacking from the Revolution in 2011? A young playmaker. There was Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph in the middle, but there wasn’t much that came from the outside. The most intriguing part of Martinez’s game is his speed and ability to adapt. Two years ago, Martinez was the scoring star for the Tar Heels. This past year, he was able to change his style of play and become the playmaker for the College Cup Champions. All in all, he’d certainly be a great asset for New England.

Kelyn Rowe, Midfielder, UCLA (24 games, 6 goals, 10 assists): Kelyn Rowe is a very, very talented midfielder. Like I previously stated, the Revs need a playmaker coming out of the middle. Also, he’s fast, can use both feet, and has experience on the National Team, too. He’s a pure talent that the Revs could use in their lineup.

Casey Townsend, Forward, Maryland (21 games, 17 goals, 2 assists): The senior forward becomes more enticing now that Schuler has decided to go Sweden. He doesn’t have the best size, but he’s very quick and has been known to be able to create his own chances.  He will come to the MLS ready to make an immediate impact on many teams. It might be a reach to take Townsend with the third overall pick, but with trade rumors flying around, it might be a good deal to trade the pick down to snag Townsend, and possibly a future draft pick, too.

Second Round Options

Calum Mallace, Midfielder, Marquette (16 games, 3 goals, 6 assists): Mallace could be a solid second round pick for the Revolution. He fits Heaps’ idea of “two-way players,” and could fill the Scottish void left by Nicol.

Other Potential Second Rounders:

*Andy Rose, Midfielder, UCLA
*Kevan George, Defense/Midfield, Central Florida
*Hunter Jumper, Defense, Virginia

Sunday Column: Are You Excited for the 2011 Women’s World Cup?

The Women's World Cup kicked off Sunday, but will you be watching?

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been years since I laced up my cleats, stretched my socks, as well as kicked around a soccer ball.

In 2006, I caught World Cup Fever, as Team USA, as well as other countries caught my attention by playing a sport that I certainly don’t enjoy watching. In fact, I never watch soccer, but for the first few weeks of that particular summer, I was glued to my television.

Did I know any of the players? Nope. I don’t know a single name. In fact, I still don’t know enough names to fill up a roster; so again, I’ll admit that I’m not a soccer hooligan.

How about the sport itself, do you know anything about it? Yes. I do know something about the sport of soccer, especially since I played it when I was younger, but again, I don’t care about it.

The sport of soccer isn’t the most popular activity in the United States. Sure, there’s football, basketball, baseball and hockey, but seriously, soccer, are you kidding me? Heck, I think it ranks lower than lacrosse and cross-country.

Yet, what’s so remarkable is the fact that so many young Americans grow up playing this particular sport and only a few continue the game in high school and college. Ask any of those young soccer players that are our neighbors or peers and I’m sure they can tell you about a variety of teams overseas, as well as name a few other players besides David Beckham.

When I was a student at Wheaton College (Massachusetts), the entire men’s soccer team displayed their affection for the sport by watching the various European games on televisions or laptops. They lived in the breath the sport, but again, I didn’t.

Although, there’s something special about the World Cup that really makes me want to watch soccer. What exactly is “that thing” that makes me want to watch soccer? I don’t know, but when I figure it out, I’ll call you, OK?

The World Cup is a special international event that celebrates various regions of the world coming together to play soccer. Politics and economics are ruled out, as teams put aside their foreign differences, most of the time, and play a game that captivates an audience of die-hards, as well as those that are considered casual supporters too.

Yet, what am I saying? Am I slowly admitting that I like soccer, especially the World Cup?

Uh oh!

OK, I admit it. I’m  “closet soccer fan,” but again, I really like the World Cup. In fact, I am super excited to start following and watching the Women’s tournament for the next few weeks and yes, I’ll do my very best to watch a great deal of games.

Of course, I am an American, so I’ll be cheering on Team USA to their first championship since 1999 and yes I do remember that finale quite vividly.

So, I guess… I like soccer.

OK, maybe it’s not my favorite sport, but after playing it as a young boy, as well as broadcasting it in college, I guess I like it. Sure, I don’t know players, teams or organizations, but that’s OK, right?

I’ll certainly be watching and maybe, covering some games for Noontime Sports, but in the meantime, I better start studying up on my soccer terminology, otherwise, I’ll have to admit my love for croquet.

Libon: Why “The Fort” Will Never Be the Same

The Revolution's most passionate fan section is now under review, but why?

By Dan Libon 

Aside from being a hockey contributor, I happen to enjoy the beautiful game of soccer. I enjoy it so much that if you want to know where I spend my Saturday evenings, it would be in Section 142 at Gillette Stadium.

Although, you might be wondering, why exactly am I writing this particular article? Heck, when was the last time the sport or term “soccer” was even mentioned on Noontime Sports?

Well, the reason I chose to write this article was because of a recent event that took place in a little known area called, “The Fort,” which happens to be the location for true “soccer-diehards.” It’s a section that consists of singing, drum banging, as well as loads of cheering, but as of recently, it’s energy and passion have decreased because stadium security and Revolution staff members arrested various spectators who chose to use profane language during the team’s most recent home match against the Chicago Fire.

This certainly made fans incredibly dissatisfied, especially since this particular chant they were shouting has been attached to the club for nearly 11-years. In fact, it just seems strange that all of a sudden, they’d enforce a change, right?

It cannot be expected that a particular chant will disappear over night. In fact it took nearly two-years for the Portland Timers to get rid of their insane chant in preparation for to their move to MLS.

This past Wednesday in Philadelphia, the River Front’s most supportive fans remained silent for a majority of the first few minutes, as well as held up pieces of paper that said “DTF.,” (Defend The Fort).

Overall, what happened last Saturday was an awful thing for the team’s most loyal and passionate fan section, but hopefully the front office will revert back to their old ways, as well as apologize for this rapid change. The MLS is a struggling league and certainly, they’d not be a bunch of happy campers if the attendance for New England’s team dipped.

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