Friday MLS Playoff Kicks & more

i-1fea310ad92e158a25b81015df8628c6-schellas.jpgMmmm – buttery leather: FC Dallas Coach Schellas Hyndman talks with Brek Shea before the game at Real Salt Lake last weekend (AP Photo).

*FC Dallas scolded the local media this week for ignoring the team ahead of Sunday’s Western Conference Championship game in Carson against the Galaxy (6 p.m. ESPN2). I couldn’t find a mention of the open letter anywhere in the Dallas media.

And as if to drive home the point, here’s an excellent piece about Hyndman’s rebuilding of FC Dallas – on the Sports Illustrated website.

*Eastern Conference finalists (just to show how banal the MLS playoff system is) the San Jose Earthquakes have a similar problem in the Bay Area so perhaps comparing themselves with the Giants couldn’t hurt (could it?). San Jose faces that other Eastern Conference powerhouse Colorado at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox Soccer Channel.

*The U.S. Women’s National Team has decided reinforcements may be necessary to qualify for Germany:

CHICAGO (AP) — Midfielders Lindsay Tarpley, Leslie Osborne and Tina DiMartino have been added to the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup qualifying playoff against Italy.

Backup goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who trained with the team during regional qualifying in
Mexico, also has been added to the 24-woman roster, the U.S. Soccer Federation said
Friday.

Eighteen players can dress for each game in the playoff, which will determine the final berth in the 16-team tournament next year in Germany.

The U.S. leaves Sunday for the first leg, which will be Nov. 20 in Padova, Italy. The return leg in the total-goals series is Nov. 27 at Bridgeview, Ill.

The Americans were forced into the playoff when they were upset 2-1 by Mexico in the
semifinals. The U.S. then beat Costa Rica in the third-place game and advanced to the playoff against Italy, which finished fifth in European qualifying.

Tarpley is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and trained with the team in
Mexico. She has 120 international appearances.

Osborne, part of the 2007 World Cup roster, has not been with the team since July 2009.

DiMartino had four goals this season for Philadelphia in WPS.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo is sidelined by a right shoulder injury that requires surgery. She’s expected to return in time for the World Cup on June 26 in Germany.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (Gold Pride), Ashlyn Harris (Washington), Jill Loyden (Chicago)

Defenders: Rachel Buehler (Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston), Ali Krieger (Frankfurt, Germany), Amy LePeilbet (Boston), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington)

Midfielders: Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue), Shannon Boxx (Gold Pride), Tina DiMartino (Philadelphia), Kristine Lilly (Boston), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue), Leslie Osborne (Boston), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago), Lindsay Tarpley (Boston)

Forwards: Lauren Cheney (Boston), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia), Abby Wambach (Washington)

*The UCLA women needed penalty kicks to overcome BYU Thursday at Drake Stadium to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after the two teams failed to score in a double overtime game. UCLA (12-7-2) will meet UCF Saturday.

What I’ll be watching this weekend:

*Manchester-United-Aston Villa 4:30 a.m. Saturday ESPN2

*Reading-Norwich City 2 p.m. 11 a.m. Saturday Fox Soccer Plus (But then as a City fan I’m completely biased). Also: repeat at 9 p.m. Saturday.

*Inter Milan-AC Milan 11:30 a.m. Sunday Fox Soccer Channel

Click the Live TV link at top right for all the televised games this weekend

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    Classic example of the Dallas media indifference was at the media day last year when Cunnigham introduced himself as Freddy Adu to the un-suspecting reporter.
    But come to think of it what has the LA media done? Is MLS doomed to be an internet novelty?

    Earthquakes should have not been re-admitted to the league. They’ll never look like a “Major” anthing in their bush league set up. And now their owner is laying out the blue print for a 15,000 seat STADIUM. Pathetic. Move them to ST. Louis.