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Joe Rodriguez
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Yesterday Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA arrived in Juarez for the exhibition matches that will take place today and on Saturday. The game on Saturday will be between Chivas de Guadalajara and the Under-20 Mexican National Team. In a press conference that was held yesterday in the team's hotel, head coaches for both teams promised to give their best effort despite it being an exhibition match. By the roster of players that made the trip anyone would have to say that this is true. Both teams arrived with their entire roster and no "superstar" on the team missed the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Yesterday afternoon, USMNT head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann announced the United States roster for the next two World Cup qualifiers that will take place on March 22 (at home against Costa Rica) and on March 26th (in Azteca Stadium against Mexico). Here is the list: Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Justin Morrow, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Graham Zusi, Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Eddie Johnson. Notables left off the list, aside from Landon Donovan,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Late last week Mexican National Team head coach, Jose Manuel de la Torre, released the roster of players that have been called for the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches against Honduras (March 22) and against the United States (March 26). Here it is: 1.- Guillermo Ochoa- AC Ajaccio 2.- Jesús Corona – Cruz Azul 3.- Alfredo Talavera- Toluca 4.- Severo Meza – Monterrey 5.- Jonny Magallón - León 6.- Francisco Javier Rodríguez – América 7.- Héctor Moreno- RCD Espanyol de Barcelona 8.- Hugo Ayala - Tigres 9.- Diego Reyes – América 10.- Jorge Torres Nilo – Tigres 11.- Carlos Salcido... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Hours after the new Pope was announced, supporters of the Argentinian team, San Lorezno de Almagro (know commonly and simply as San Lorenzo) took to the Vatican singing soccer chants and waving flags that represent the teams colors in celebration. As it turns out Pope Francis is a big fan of San Lorenzo. I thought it was a cool side note that came out of Rome yesterday and wanted to share this with you.I guess the team will be in good hands spiritually speaking for this Pope's tenure. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Just when a world full of jealous haters thought they were having their day in the sun,90 minutes of play silenced them. When critics were saying that their magic was just about done, they made a comeback Harry Potter could only dream of. Yesterday afternoon, FC Barcelona showed the world that they are still the best soccer team in the world. With their back against the wall, needing to win by a three gol differential, FC Barcelona defeated AC Milan in Camp Nou 4-0, to advance to the round of eight in the UEFA Champions League. With a recent streak... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
The Mexican Soccer Federation has announced that the Under-20 Mexican National Team will play an exhibition match on Saturday March 23rd at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium in Ciudad Juarez. Their rival for this match will be non other than Chivas de Guadalajara. The game will be at 5:00pm local time. The game will take place on the weekend that play will be suspended at the club level worldwide due to FIFA World Cup qualifiers happening from March 22nd thru March 26th. Chivas will use that game to maintain form and rhythm while league play is suspended for the qualifiers, while... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Yesterday the Mexican Soccer Federation announced the players that are currently playing in Europe that will be called to represent the Mexican National Soccer Team later this month. "El Tri" will face Honduras and the United States on March 22nd and 26th in World Cup qualifiers. The biggest and most surprising name on that list was that of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Ochoa became a star with Club America in Mexico and is currently continuing to make a name for himself playing in France with Ajaccio. One can argue that Ochoa was snubbed in the 2010 World Cup from being the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
One day after Manchester United's exit from the UEFA Champions League, Manchester United head coach, Sir Alex Feguson is still upset. United was elminated by Real Madrid at Old Trafford, Man U's home stadium on Tuesday. Manchester United's fate was pretty much sealed when Nani was given a red card leaving the Red Devils one man down. At this point in the match United was up 1-0 (2-1 aggregate) and ended up losing 2-1 (3-2 aggregate) The red card on Nani was extremely questionable. Personally, I feel it was unnecessary and should have been a yellow card. After the game,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
To be among the "world's best" is a goal that the MLS has set for itself by 2022. That is what MLS commissioner Dan Garber said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. That's 9 years people. Yeah, and I want to join Paul Foster is that little Forbes list he made earlier this week. Honestly speaking, I think I have a better shot at that than the MLS becoming one of the best soccer leagues in the world, in less than 10 years none the less. I know that in the good ol' U.S. of A. we aspire... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Yesterday in a media release, ESPN announced that it will begin to broadcast Liga MX games on ESPN 2 and ESPNEWS later this month. The new agreement runs through 2015. This latest announcement is another step in showing how much the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" believes in Mexican soccer and how it can be a positive business venture for all parties involved. In January ESPN announced that it would begin to broadcast the Mexican National Soccer Team games in English. Here is the announcement by ESPN: ESPN has reached a multimedia rights extension with Azteca América to air Liga MX,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
In a game that seemed to be Mexicans against Mexican-Americans, the Mexican Under-20 National Team defeated the Under-20 United States National Team by a score of 3-1 last night in Puebla, Mexico. The game was decided in overtime after each team scored one gol in the first 10 minutes of the game and finished deadlocked at the end of regulation. The tied score was definitely indicative of how tight and competitive the game was for the 90-minutes of play. This game was all about pride as both teams along with El Salvador and Cuba were already qualified for the 2013... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Both the U.S. and the Mexican Under -20 national teams had advanced to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF U-20 Championships taking place in Puebla, Mexico. The U.S. defeated Canada 4-2 on Tuesday evening while Mexico beat Jamaica 4-0 last night. The team that represents the Stars and Stripes will face Cuba, while "El Tri" will face Panama on Friday afternoon/evening. The U.S. will play at 4:00pm local time, while Mexico will play at 7:00pm local time. Both games will be televised on FOX Soccer Channel. It is important for both national teams to not overlook the their opponents in the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
The most aniticipated soccer game in the entire world for this week did not disappoint. The first leg of the round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League got underway on Tuesday. The highlight for this round is without a doubt the matchup of Manchester United versus Real Madrid. Yesterday they squared off in Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. The tie certainly did not disappoint or take away from the excitement of a game that was offensively oriented for 90 minutes. Truth be told I felt that Real Madrid dominated the match in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
The game has change in the world of soccer broadcasting in the United States. Yesterday evening ESPN announced its new deal with the Mexican Soccer Federation to broadcast all Mexican National Soccer Team home games throughout the 2014 FIFA World Cup in English across its family of networks. This kind of agreement speaks volumes of the popularity the Mexican National Soccer Team (known as "El Tri") has in the United States. It has to be worth it for the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports" to break the monopoly that both television networks in Mexico (Televisa and TV Azteca) have had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
King Leo is deserving again. On Monday, for the fourth year in a row, Lionel Messi was awarded with FIFA's Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) which is given to the world's best soccer player. In reading AP Sports columnist John Leicester's column (that can be found in the soccer section of this webpage) on why the award should to have gone to Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo instead of Messi reminded me of how soccer opinion here in the U.S. needs to improve ten times more than its actual execution of playing the sport. Leicester said it has become habit to vote... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
-The Liga Mx (Mexico's premier soccer division) kicked off last night in Morelia, Michoacan. Morelia and Cruz Azu tied 3-3. -Here is the rest of the matches for week 1 in the Liga Mx: America vs. Monterrey, Pachuca vs. Atlante, Tigeres vs. Jaguares, Leon vs. Queretaro, San Luis vs. Santos, Pumas vs. Atlas, Puebla vs. Tijuana, Chivas vs. Toluca. -Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez got 2013 off to a hot start. He scored two goals for Manchester United on New Years Day in a easy 4-0 victory for the Red Devils. -FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently criticized the MLS in an interview... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
Mexico's premier soccer league, recently rename Liga Mx, kicks off it 2013 Clausura season tonight in the city of Morelia, Michoacan when Morelia host Cruz Azul. Week one of the league will take place throughout the weekend. Tijuana is the league's defending champ. They, along with Leon, are looking to once again be legitimate contenders this season despite being Mexican soccer's two most recent promoted teams. While traditional powerhouses like Chivas, America, Cruz Azul and Pumas will be looking to matter once again. Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2013 at Free Kicks with Joe
EL PASO, Texas – For the second straight season UTEP soccer standout Azia Nicholson has garnered All-Central Region honors (third team) from the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA), it was recently announced by the organization. Nicholson joins former Miner standouts Tameka Sumter and Jami Tullius as the only individuals in program history to receive multiple all-region nods. Overall nine Miners have combined to receive a total of 13 all-region distinctions, with all but one of those coming during the Kevin Cross era. “UTEP soccer is very proud of Azia Nicholson’s great accomplishment,” Cross said. “Being named to the All-Region team... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
The fate of the Mexican National Soccer Team was determined this morning in the drawing for next year's Confederations Cup. The FIFA 2013 Confederations will take place in Brazil. Mexico will be in Group A and will face Italy (6/16/13), Brazil (6/19/13) and Japan (6/22/13) in group stage of the competition. The full dress rehearsal for the hosting World Cup country has turned into a very respectable tournament and one that is important to have on the resume of every national team that is out to be a true protagonist of world soccer. Brazil has won the tournament 3 times... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
Further proof that there is plenty of soccer talent in the desert southwest and that the U.S. Soccer Federation should take notice. ALBUQUERQUE - The second-seeded Chaparral boys soccer team found the net just before halftime, then held off a late charge by defending champion Farmington to win 1-0 Saturday afternoon and claim the Class 4A State Championship at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex. The championship is the first in any sport for the Southern New Mexico high school, which has been open seven years. The team also finished the season without a loss to another Class 4A school,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
EL PASO, Texas – UTEP’s soccer has received a prestigious honor by earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award for once again having a team GPA of 3.0 or better during the 2011-12 scholastic year. The Miners had an exemplary performance with a 3.12 was also UTEP squad. a as GPA cumulative recognized by Conference USA this past year, piling up 24 academic honors. The Orange and Blue placed 16 members on the 2011-12 C-USA Academic Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 GPA) in addition to having eight secure C-USA Academic Medals (min. 3.75 GPA) “I am very proud of UTEP Soccer's achievements... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
Earlier this evening L.A. Galaxy midfielder and international soccer superstar, David Beckham announced that the MLS Cup will be his last game with the Galaxy. The MLS Cup will be on December 2nd in the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The Galaxy will play host to the Houston Dynamo. Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
-Both the United States and Mexico advanced to the final stages of World Cup qualifying last night. The U.S. beat Guatemala 3-1, Mexico defeated El Salvador 2-0. The final qualifying stage will begin in February 2013. -Yesterday's day of World Cup qualifers had a couple of goofy memorable incidents. The Mexican National Anthem was played instead of Ecquador's prior to the Venezuela-Ecquador match that took place in Venezuela. In Chile, one of the refs ask Lionel Messi to take a picture with him after the match between Chile and Argentina. -The UTEP Soccer team was superior to a 16th ranked... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
The UTEP Soccer team demonstrated that it is clearly, without a doubt, one of the better soccer teams in Conference USA when it defeated No. 22 ranked Memphis 4-1 at University Field on Sunday afternoon. This was first time since 2010 that anyone had defeated the Tigers in conference play. In my opinion this victory more than solidifies my idea that this team is a lot better than its current 2-4 conference record. UTEP executed all the things that it needed to do throughout the 90 minutes of play in order to get the victory over what is the class... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe
EL PASO, Texas – UTEP will aspire to wrap up its five-match roadswing on a high note by locking up with SMU (6 p.m. MT Friday) and Tulsa (1 p.m. MT Sunday). With four home matches around the corner, the Miners (7-4-0, 0-2-0 C-USA) have ample motivation to build some momentum this weekend. UTEP will need to be in top form, though, with the Mustangs (4-5-1, 0-1-1 C-USA) and Golden Hurricane (5-3-2, 0-1-1 C-USA) forging a combined home record of 7-1-1 on the season (SMU 3-0, Tulsa 4-1-1). The Orange and Blue’s depth will once again be tested, with freshman... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2012 at Free Kicks with Joe