Generation adidas Team Outshoots Almere City 27–6, Loses 2–0

The squad of MLS youngsters known as Generation adidas wrapped up their tour of the Netherlands yesterday with a match against Dutch second-division side Almere City.

Playing their second match in as many days, the Americans gave up two goals inside the first half hour, but still dominated most of the game, particularly in the second half, when they kept the play almost entirely in Almere’s end and outshot their opponents 16–1.

But a combination of faulty finishing and some great saves by Almere keeper Kostas Paristeridis kept the GA side scoreless.

Highlights here:

The GA players fly home to the U.S. today, having gone 1-2-0 in their 10-day tour of the Netherlands.

Generation adidas Side Downs FC Volendam 3-2

The Columbus Crew’s 22-year-old midfielder Dilly Duka scored his second goal in as many games, and the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 18-year-old striker Omar Salgado produced another piece of brilliance to lead the Generation adidas team to a 3-2 win over second-division Dutch side FC Volendam yesterday.

Duka struck on a free kick (as he did against the Ajax reserves last week) and Salgado, with his back to goal at the top of the box, took a pass from 20-year-old Philadelphia Union striker Danny Mwanga, turned skillfully, and rifled a shot into the top right corner.

Combined with his mazy run against the Ajax reserves last Thursday, Salgado’s goal was enough to make you wonder why he didn’t get more PT in 2011.

Highlights here:

The GA squad outshot Volendam 19–5 and controlled most of the game. They played the last 14 minutes with 10 men after 19-year-old Philly striker Jack McInerney was sent off for dissent.

The young MLSers wrap up their Netherlands schedule today, taking on Almere City FC, another Dutch second-division club, this afternoon.

Agudelo Headed for Stint at Liverpool, Latest in Wave of MLSers Training Abroad

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann recently said that the long MLS offseason is a handicap for American-based players, claiming it leaves them on unequal terms “physically” with players around the globe, who compete for 11 months a year.

The message is being received, loud and clear, as more MLSers than ever before are heading abroad to train this offseason, with several of the moves orchestrated by the new U.S. boss himself.

Last month, courtesy of Klinsmann, the Red Bulls’ 19-year-old striker Juan Agudelo worked out with VfB Stuttgart, where the U.S. coach spent five years early on in his career. Later this month Agudelo will join Premier League giants Liverpool for a two-week training stint.

Agudelo will be the second American at the legendary club, as 17-year-old U.S. youth international Marc Pelosi (remember the name) is already a member of the Reds’ development academy.

Beyond Anfield, numerous other Americans will be sprinkled across European training grounds this holiday season.

Here’s a list:

Robbie Rogers, MF, Columbus—FC Kaiserslautern 

Kyle Beckerman, MF, Real Salt Lake—FC Kaiserslautern

Tim Ream, D, New York—Bolton, West Brom

Jeff Larentowicz, MF, Colorado—Bolton

Teal Bunbury, F, Kansas City—Bolton

Bill Hamid, GK, DC United—West Brom

Perry Kitchen, D/MF, D.C. United—SC Freiburg

Zach Pfeffer*, MF, Philadelphia—Hoffenheim

Brek Shea, MF, FC Dallas—Arsenal

Omar Salgado, F, Vancouver—Fulham

There have also been reports that Chicago keeper Sean Johnson could be headed to Manchester United.

*Pfeffer is 16.

The U.S. Shut this Guy Down Last Week

Here’s 20-year-old Belgian attacker Eden Hazard playing for French side Lille on Saturday and lighting up St. Etienne for two goals, the first of which is downright Neymar-esque:

That was pretty sweet. We had to watch it twice to see what he actually did.

U.S. fans can take heart from the fact that Hazard started for Belgium in the Sept 6 friendly in Brussels, played 63 minutes and was held to just one opportunity—when he cut the ball back against a sliding Steve Cherundolo and fired at Tim Howard‘s near post, where the U.S. keeper was waiting to make the save.

Speaking of the U.S., the federation has confirmed an Oct 11 friendly against Ecuador, three days after the Honduras match in Miami. The latter game will take place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

Lower-Division Italian Team Gets Caddyshacked

Remember the final scene of Caddyshack, where Danny Noonan’s $80,000-putt hangs on the lip of the cup for an eternity, then falls in after Carl the Groundskeeper goes nuclear on the gopher?

In the movie, the putt counted and Danny’s side won. But in a real-life golf tournament, according to ESPN, which checked with the USGA, golf’s Rule 16-2 would have kicked in.

That rule states that a player has a reasonable time to approach his ball and then ten seconds to determine if it is at rest: “If by then the ball has not fallen into the hole, it is deemed to be at rest.”

All of which brings us to the following clip of a penalty shootout (for promotion to Italy’s sixth level) between Termeno and Dro—and begs the question: Does soccer have a Rule 16-2 for penalty shootouts?

At what point is the attempt finished? The keeper even checks the flight of the rebound as he sprints out in (premature) celebration. He’s convinced it’s a miss. So is the shooter.

Physics—and the game’s referee—said otherwise. And when the next shooter for Dro was stopped, Termeno was promoted.

But the story may not be over. According to one commenter on the original YouTube clip, the rules are different for a penalty shootout and an in-game penalty. He claims this should have been ruled no goal and further that the match will be replayed.

What do you think? Goal, or no goal? Let us know in the comments.

Besiktas Fans: “We Are All Pluto”

Last week, The New Yorker ran a feature on rabid Turkish soccer fans (just about the only kind, apparently), and while we usually dislike “look at the crazy soccer hooligans” stories in American media, this one delivers some golden nuggets.

Jozy Altidore’s Bursaspor features in the article (even if he and fellow American-in-Turkey Freddy Adu both go unmentioned), but the focus is on Besiktas and its rivalries with the other two big clubs in Istanbul—Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.

If you had to choose one of those three to support, we would strongly suggest the “underdog,”’ “working-class” Besiktas. The main reason being this:

“‘We Are All Black,’ proclaimed one banner, after rival fans had made reference to the race of the French-Senegalese Besiktas star Pascal Nouma. When Fenerbahce disparaged a Besiktas manager whose father had been a janitor, there were banners saying ‘We Are All Janitors.’ And when an international committee of astronomers removed Pluto from the list of planets [supporters group] Carsi took up the cause: ‘We Are All Pluto.’ ”

That sealed it for us. As long as Altidore’s Bursaspor (and Adu’s second-flight Rizespor) are not involved, we’re pulling for Besiktas.

The piece, by Elif Batuman (a brave woman: she ventured into the terraces solo), contains multiple other high points. Such as:

“During the course of the Rapid Wien game, the covered stands recited several anti-Fenerbahce chants, a staple of the repertoire no matter what team Besiktas is actually playing. The most famous anti-Fener chant, sung to the tune of ‘Those Were the Days,’ consists of three lines pledging an end to swearing in soccer, followed by the chorus ‘But one last time, suck my d***, Fener.’”


[A handful of old-timers from the supporters group, Carsi, discussing the turf wars that raged when the three Istanbul clubs were forced to share Besiktas’s Inönü Stadium]

“There would be news of a fight. Five hundred people would head straight there, some with guns. Have you seen the movie ‘Braveheart’? It was exactly like that.”

There’s a lot more good stuff in the story, including Carsi members joking [?] that they should kidnap Batuman, the supporters’ obsession with donating blood, and one fan’s assertion that he doesn’t care about extraterrestrials because, “Even if they exist, they’re hardly going to be Besikstasli.”

Check out the complete article in the March 7 edition of The New Yorker or read it right here if you have a subscription.