Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 2011 FIFA Rankings: Big Move For Mexico

The United States fell two spots to 24th in the June 2011 FIFA Rankings released on Wednesday. With the Gold Cup final counting in this rankings period even though it was played after last Thursday's deadline, Mexico advanced a remarkable 19 places from 28th to 9th. Jamaica also moved up multiple slots after the Gold Cup, climbing to 38th from 55th. Honduras fell one spot to 44th, with Panama advancing from 67th to 52nd, three spots ahead of 55th-place Costa Rica. The next ranking will be released on July 27th.

Edgy Beats, Artful Jazz, Rough-and-Ready Roots: London, Ontario’s TD Sunfest Bursts with Global Sounds, Flavors and Arts

Plenty of outdoor summer festivals give music fans good times in the park. Some feature global sounds. But in sonic scope, community impact, and positive vibes, few rival London, Ontario’s admission-free TD Sunfest (July 7-10, 2011) Full festival info at

Artists fly in from across the continent and overseas—just to perform at TD Sunfest. It’s a signature Canadian festival that has now outgrown its verdant, tree-lined home in Downtown London’s Victoria Park, drawing ever larger, strikingly multi-generational and multi-ethnic crowds during its four-day run (More than 200,000 visits last summer in a city with a population of just over 350,000).

The credit goes to Sunfest’s unwavering commitment to fresh yet deeply rooted global sounds: from Maori chants (New Zealand’s Moana & the Tribe) to rough Saharan blues (Niger’s Etran Finatawa), and from the swaying, accordion and banjo-powered songs of Haiti’s Ti Coca & Wanga Neges to the lush marimbas and vocal harmonies of South Africa’s Dizu Plaatjies & Ibuyambo. Elsewhere in the park, Chicago’s super-cool family affair, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, bumps with the jazz-tronic wonder of Netherlands-based Saskia Laroo and her effects-fueled trumpet.

Check out the video:

In addition to its always rich panoply of roots, world, and jazz artists–many of them JUNO Award (Canadian Grammy) winners—this year’s TD Sunfest is highlighting the global edge of electronica through a new programming component entitled “Suntronica ‘11”. International heavy hitters—the South American psychedelia of Chicha Libre, the Afro-Colombian Technicolor hip hop of Systema Solar—meet Canadian favorites, such as Vancouver’s unlikely yet grooving Delhi 2 Dublin and Montreal’s Nu Afro-Latin big band, the Roberto Lopez Project. Artful jazz, raw roots, and dance floor beats mingle, just as immigrant grannies get down next to hipster teens.

“Our patrons relish the tremendous element of surprise, of sharing new discoveries,” explains TD Sunfest Executive & Artistic Director Alfredo Caxaj. “Every year we work hard to book both established and up-and-coming creative artists whom people haven’t seen live before; international and Canadian groups coming to the area for the very first time. Sunfesters always know there will be something spectacular on stage.”

Caxaj adds: “The most incredible thing about Sunfest is its unparalleled socio-cultural impact. We are the only event where the community, here in London and from across the region, comes together in a free and upbeat environment. That’s worth a hundred political initiatives, in our book.”

This unique environment stems not only from an eclectic music lineup—ranging from the Afro-Colombian body percussion and a cappella from NVOZ to the Kiwi alt-klezmer of Mamaku Project—but also from the hundreds of premier food, craft, and visual art exhibitors who turn Victoria Park into a huge international feast. With the sun as its inspiration, the heady mix of sounds, sights, and tastes draws tens of thousands of visitors from increasingly far afield—Middle Eastern music fans from Southeastern Michigan, festival devotees from Central Ohio. As one visitor told London’s local daily last summer, “Once you get a taste of Sunfest, you’re a fan for life”.

While putting London on the global music map, the festival is also helping to catapult the Forest City to the top tier of tourist destinations. In fact, the American Bus Association recently selected TD Sunfest one of the TOP 100 North American Events for 2011.

Such popularity and acclaim is already fuelling plans to move TD Sunfest outside its park hub and into the streets of downtown London. The expansion comes despite the dismal economic outlook confronting many arts organizations. If Caxaj and his colleagues have their way, “Canada’s Premier Celebration of World Cultures” will soon turn urban street corners into dancehalls, jazz clubs and jam sessions brimming with musical surprises.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The USA And The Golden Generation^
From the US National Team Players Association, June 28, 2011

By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 28, 2011) US Soccer Players -- Back in 2001, I was working for a company that provided the material for the official FIFA Under-17 World Cup site. At the time, the United States was expected to turn out better than most in a field of 16 teams. Instead, they crashed out in the group stage to Nigeria, eventual champions France, and fellow under-achievers Japan.

Unlike the other three teams in the group, the US finished with no points. Only Iran and hosts Trinidad and Tobago joined the US in that category. All told, whatever promise that group of players had going into the tournament was downplayed by that early exit.

Yet there was an exception, as always seems to be the case with a USA squad. They did better than expected against the eventual champions. On September 16th, 2001, they lost to France 5-3 at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet. That’s not a score line that flatters, but since the US was shutout in their other two games it’s worth stressing. Three goals – one a gift in the form of an own-goal – against the eventual champions and crashing out in a group that contained the other finalist. Hey, if you want an upside it's two US players scoring against France.

The goal scorers? Our current MLS Player of the Week and the League’s favorite fill-in goalkeeper Mike Magee and Eddie Johnson. A quick run through of the starting eleven against France: Adam Schuerman in goal, David Chin, Justin Mapp, Magee, Jordan Harvey, Santino Quaranta, Johnson, Gray Griffin, Chad Marshall, Jordan Stone, and Craig Capano. Coach John Ellinger used all three subs, bringing on Paul Johnson, Chris Lancos, and Chefik Simo.

In June of ‘01, the US played in the Under-20 World Cup, back then known as the World Youth Championship. Their lineup in their opener against China? DJ Countess in goal, Qguchi Onyewu, Nelson Akwari, Alex Yi, Kelly Gray, DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Kyle Martino, Brian Carroll, and Conor Casey. Coach Wolfgang Sunholz also went with three subs: Philip Salyer, Alecko Eskandarian, and Edson Buddle.

At the World Youth Championships, the US finished second in Group C losing to China, beating Chile, and drawing with Ukraine. The goal scorers in those games were Beasley, Brad Davis, Buddle, and Kenny Arena. Egypt knocked the US out in the Round of 16 in a 2-0 shutout.

Two years later, and the next U-17 and U-20 tournaments. At U-17 level, the USA finished second in their group, losing to Brazil in the quarterfinals. A look at who was playing for the USA: Phil Marfuggi in goal, Jonathan Spector, Eddie Gaven, Dwight Owens, John Diraimondo, Guillermo Gonzalez, Freddy Adu, Steven Curfman, Jamie Watson, Corey Ashe, and Danny Szetela against Korea in their opening game. Coach John Ellinger used two subs, Chris Germani and Brian Grazier. The goal scorers for the US in that tournament? Owens, Adu, Watson, Curfman, and Gonzalez.

At U-20 level, the US won Group F beating Paraguay, losing to Germany, and beating South Korea. They beat Ivory Coast in the Round of 16 and lost to Argentina on penalties in the quarterfinals. The lineup in that game against Argentina was: Steve Cronin in goal, Zak Whitbread, Justin Mapp, Chad Marshall, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Johnson, Bobby Convey, Ricardo Clark, Freddy Adu, Drew Moor, and Ned Grabavoy. Coach Thomas Rongen used two subs, CJ Klaas and Santino Quaranta. Johnson, Mike Magee, Convey, Whitbread, and Mapp scored in that tournament.

Those ‘03 squads combined to form the 2004 Olympic soccer team, a synthesis of proven goal scorers at international level over two youth championship cycles. Some of you are already giving me that look, while others are waiting for the squad list. The US didn’t qualify for the ‘04 Olympics, losing out to Costa Rica and Mexico. The USA won their group in CONCACAF’s pre-Olympic tournament, but lost 4-0 to Mexico in Guadalajara. They ended up finishing in fourth-place after losing to Honduras on penalties in the third-place game.

From all of those rosters – the ‘01 and ‘03 U-17’s and ‘01 and ‘03 U-20’s, six players were on the ‘06 World Cup squad. Johnson, Beasley, Onyewu, Convey, Donovan, and a barely used substitute from the ‘03 Under-20’s named Clint Dempsey. Onyewu, Dempsey, and Donovan are the only players from that group to make the 2011 Gold Cup squad.

Injuries happen. Players continue to develop differently into their early 20’s. New faces emerge. Other teams in all of those tournaments were relying on odds-on future stars that didn’t pan out. All fair enough. But looking back at those rosters it should be clear that the obvious choices for that generation of American players weren’t as obvious by ‘06. Some of them reemerged for the 2010 cycle, but only Onyewu, Dempsey, and Donovan have stuck around.

Three players from the cycles of youth soccer that would give us players in the prime of their career. Something to think about for those looking at the current crop of American youth national team players and trying to predict the future.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Five Things From The 2011 Gold Cup

From the US National Team Players Association, June 26, 2011

By Clemente Lisi – PASADENA, CA (Jun 26, 2011) US Soccer Players -- History has an awful way of repeating itself. With the USA up 2-0 in the Gold Cup final Saturday afternoon against Mexico at the Rose Bowl, it looked as if the Americans were on their way to the title.

It was not meant to be. Like the 2009 Confederations Cup final against Brazil, the USA squandered a 2-0 lead. Before a crowd of 93,420 baking under an early-summer California sun, Mexico put on a dazzling display, tying the match before halftime and getting the better of Tim Howard and the US defense by netting two unanswered goals in the second half.

Indeed, it was the Mexicans, before a largely partisan crowd, who came up roses in Pasadena. A year and two days after Landon Donovan scored the winning goal against Algeria at the World Cup, the National Team was not able to replicate that success and emotion.

The US loss notwithstanding, the Gold Cup, and the past three weeks, taught us a few things.
The 2014 Cycle

The Gold Cup was the true start of the 2014 World Cup cycle. The insertion of players like Alejandro Bedoya, Jermaine Jones, Juan Agudelo, Eric Lichaj and Tim Ream is the start for bringing a group of new players into the fold. Regardless of the final outcome, it was important for US coach Bob Bradley to identify new talent ahead of World Cup Qualifying.

The rediscovery of Freddy Adu, who did not make last year’s World Cup roster, is a pleasant surprise and adds depth to the player pool. His long-ball pass that ultimately resulted in Clint Dempsey’s goal against Panama in the semis will be remembered as one of the prettiest plays at this tournament.

“I think the team’s getting a little bit better,” said former National Team striker Eric Wynalda, who now works as a Fox Soccer analyst. I think that's because certain players have defined their roles within the team. We are establishing a much better continuity and idea of who the core group is.”
Mexican Supremacy

The Mexicans are the ones headed to Brazil in 2013 for the Confederations Cup. As CONCACAF representatives, everyone across the region wishes them well. At this Gold Cup, Mexico was the superior team. When they weren’t beating opponents handily, they worked hard to rally when falling behind. They were the comeback kings in the quarterfinals against Guatemala (down 1-0) and in the championship game to the USA (down 2-0).

Despite being dogged by a doping scandal, Mexico defended the Gold Cup they won in 2009 and enters the 2014 cycle with a solid group of players ready to take the country to new heights. This current Mexico team could arguably be the strongest fielded since 1986, when on home soil they reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup under the leadership of Hugo Sanchez.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who is one of the greatest strikers in the world, leads the Mexican squad. Like Sanchez who played at Real Madrid at the time, Chicharito is a star at Manchester United. Once again, it is no secret that having your star player in the lineup of one of Europe’s top clubs every week translates into success not only for club, but country as well.
The Talent Gap

The gap between CONCACAF's heavyweights and the mid-tier and smaller nations in the region is widening. That's the only way to explain why the first round was loaded with blowouts. This does not bode well for the region as a whole come World Cup Qualifying next year.

If this Gold Cup is to be any barometer, expect the USA, Mexico and Honduras to steamroll their way to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. Competition within the region is what will make the USA (and others) better and future Gold Cup more enjoyable to watch. That the final would be contested between the USA and Mexico was not really a surprise to anyone.

That said, there were some good performances by Jamaica (quarterfinals), Guatemala (quarterfinals) and Panama (semifinals), but on the whole it's not an optimistic outlook. While teams like Cuba and Grenada solidified their roles as minnows, Canada was a major disappointment after they were unable to get out of group play. If the Canadians want to qualify for Brazil ‘14, they will need to up their game big time over the next year.
Growing Popularity

TV ratings were never so good. A year after the World Cup, it seems that Americans do have an appetite for the game. For instance, last Wednesday’s Mexico-Honduras semifinal was the top primetime sports telecast ever on Spanish-language network Univision, which aired every match of the tournament. The broadcast averaged 7.1 million viewers. That’s not counting the final, which will without a doubt beat out that number once the Nielsen ratings are released this week.

“We were better than Telenovelas," joked CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer before the final, referring to TV ratings for soap operas popular across Central America.

Over on Fox Soccer, Gold Cup viewership jumped 82% compared to the 2009 edition. The USA-Panama semifinal drew 381,000 viewers, a larger audience than the 369,000 that watched the 2009 final between the United States and Mexico.
The MLS Factor

Major League Soccer may have been the poorer for missing so much talent over the past three weeks, but the League did contribute immensely to the quality of teams at this Gold Cup. Ten of the 12 countries that participated in the Gold Cup featured at least one MLS player (Cuba and Panama were the only exceptions). Jamaica had the most MLS players on its roster with eight, followed by the USA with seven.

Indeed, a record 32 League players were named to Gold Cup teams, which represented the highest number in the tournament's history. The previous record-high of 29 players had been set at the 2009 Gold Cup. That number will only increase over the next decade as more players from Central America and the Caribbean flock to our shores for a chance to play in MLS, which has shown to be one of the best leagues in CONCACAF.

It would not be a surprise if more players join MLS after spending the past month on US soil, training and playing in world-class venues. The region is loaded with gifted players that would add pizzazz to MLS clubs, not to mention appeal to American fans of their National Teams.

Gold Cup Final: USA 2 - Mexico 4

From the US National Team Players Association
June 25, 2011

Mexico successfully defended their Gold Cup title, winning the 2011 edition of the tournament on Saturday in Pasadena. As CONCACAF champions, they advance to the Confederations Cup to be held in Brazil in 2013.

In front of a packed Rose Bowl, the United States got a quick start. Michael Bradley scored in the 8th minute from a Freddy Adu corner. USA coach Bob Bradley put Adu and Landon Donovan into the starting eleven after both players had super sub performances in the semifinal. It was Donovan's turn in the 23rd, picking up a pass from Clint Dempsey in the box and making it 2-0 USA in the 23rd minute. Mexico answered back six minutes later when Pablo Barrera scored. The score was level through an Andres Guardado goal in the 36th minute. Mexico took the lead five minutes into the second-half when Barrera scored his second. It was 4-2 Mexico when Giovani Dos Santos scored in the 76th minute.

Both teams were forced to substitute early. USA defender Steve Cherundolo was injured in the 11th minute, with Jonathan Bornstein replacing him in the US back line. Mexico used a sub for a tactical adjustment in the 28th minute and were then forced to use another when Rafa Marquez was injured in the 43rd minute.

"You walk away on a night like this and nobody has a good feeling in their mouth so it’s part of being a competitor," USA midfielder Michael Bradley said. "Nights like this you leave everything you have on the field and at times it doesn’t go your way but it only motivates you more to work harder, to get better, to know what we need to bring on nights like this when things are at the absolute highest level. It’s not a nice feeling, but having said that we’ll be back. I know that.”


Match: USA vs. Mexico
Date: June 25, 2011
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup – Final
Venue: Rose Bowl – Pasadena, Calif.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Attendance: 93,420
Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
MEX 2 2 4

USA – Michael Bradley (Freddy Adu) 8th minute
USA – Landon Donovan (Clint Dempsey) 23
MEX – Pablo Barrera (Javier Hernández) 29
MEX – Andrés Guardado 36
MEX – Pablo Barrera (Andrés Guardado) 50
MEX – Giovani dos Santos 76

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 11), 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Juan Agudelo, 63), 20-Freddy Adu (16-Sacha Kljestan, 86), 8-Clint Dempsey; 10-Landon Donovan
Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 7-Maurice Edu, 15-Tim Ream, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

MEX: 12-Alfredo Talavera; 16-Efraín Juárez, 15-Héctor Moreno, 4-Rafa Márquez (capt.) (2- Héctor Reynoso, 43), 3-Carlos Salcido (20-Jorge Torres Nilo, 28); 6-Gerardo Torrado, 8-Israel Castro, 18-Andrés Guardado, 7-Pablo Barrera (13-Jesus Zavala, 75), 10-Giovani dos Santos; 14-Javier Hernández
Subs not used: 9-Aldo de Nigris, 11-Angel Reyna, 17-Paul Aguilar, 23-Jonathan Orozco
Head coach: Jose Manuel de la Torre

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 13 / 17
Shots on Goal: 3 / 8
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 19 / 10
Offside: 0 / 7

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Landon Donovan (caution) 33rd minute
MEX – Jorge Torres Nilo (caution) 81
USA – Clint Dempsey (caution) 87
USA – Jermaine Jones (caution) 90+1

Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Hector Vergara (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: William Torres (SLV)
Fourth Official: Walter Lopez (GUA)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adu On The Night

June 23, 2011

From the US National Team Players Association

By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (June 23, 2011) US Soccer Players -- Let it never be forgotten that Freddy Adu is a big game player. He showed that decisiveness that was apparent early on in his career again on Wednesday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Big stage, everything riding on a result, and it was an Adu pass that unlocked the opportunity for the USA to score the game’s only goal.

Sure, that move also required Landon Donovan making a run, seeing a passing line right in front of the Panama goal, and connecting with Clint Dempsey’s outstretched foot. That takes nothing away from the pass Adu made to find Donovan.

This raises an old complaint about Adu’s game. It tends to show up when it wants to, and normally in the high profile matchups. Unfortunately for Freddy, those games have been few and far between in recent years. Fortunately for the USA and coach Bob Bradley, given the proper stage Adu’s game doesn’t normally disappoint.

Where this leaves the US, not to mention Adu, is interesting. One game left in the tournament, a packed Rose Bowl against Mexico, and Adu still one of the best US players working at full speed. Let’s not gloss over that last bit. Adu makes his moves and picks his moments in the flow of the game. He’s shown before that when that flow picks up, so does he. It’s no guarantee of performance, but it also separates him even at this level.

Panama had enough examples of players enjoying the view for long moments on Wednesday night. That they even had the chance at a late equalizer is disturbing. It wasn’t that they were over-matched all over the field, it’s that Panama ceded space with no tactical benefit. They also took space that didn’t exactly help them.

Stringing passes along the width of the field closer to your own goal than the one you’re supposed to be attacking? Looking for the call at the same moment you’re supposed to be focused on that final touch? Turning the likeliest point of the US attack into a shoving match down the flank? With all due respect to what got them there, Panama rarely looked like a team on its way to a final.

In fairness, the USA also had their moments where they weren’t exactly creative with their use of space, not to mention the ball. Stretches in the first half looked like two teams eating the clock. That changed for the US first with the Donovan substitution at halftime and again when Adu entered in the 66th minute. Was it night and day? No, but it was a quick indication that there are more variants to the US game than what the team showed in the opening half.

Now the question becomes simple. Why wait? Against a Mexico team powered by the current best player in CONCACAF, it’s tough to hold onto the potential American trump cards until halftime. That’s the limit to Donovan’s role as a super sub, ending up in a situation where he’s pushed into service after things have gone wrong.

There’s a difference when a player enters needing to spark an offense versus needing to salvage something quickly after the team has gone one or more goals down. With Donovan two games into starting on the bench, we’ve yet to see that goals down scenario.

Now Adu is added to this mix, creating the potential for three levels of play for the United States.

Mark 1 is the standard lineup minus Donovan in Bradley’s return to a five man midfield and a single forward. That the forward has switched from Jozy Altidore to Juan Agudelo is almost irrelevant. Though the two are the same height, Altidore plays bigger than Agudelo. For his part, Agudelo appears to be quicker with his runs. Either way, it’s not a crucial letdown in quality.

Mark 2 is subbing out one of the midfielders for Landon Donovan. That’s a new trick, and one perfectly suited for the later rounds of a tournament. More can be made of it than is necessary, especially for a team that was in search of something coming out of the group stage. Donovan understands not only his role, but just about everything else happening on the field. That’s what makes him Landon Donovan. Of all the established players to press into sub service, he’s the one.

Mark 3 is now Freddy Adu, changing the complexion of the US with one appearance. Adu is that big game player looking for that big game moment. Even if he’s only seeing the final half hour, he should find plenty of them. That was certainly the case against Panama where he followed up his decisive pass with a run at the middle of the Panama defense.

That’s exactly what the USA needs against Mexico. Decisiveness, pressing upon Mexico early that there’s a plan in place that won’t be easy to disrupt. Mexico has taken their quarter and semifinal games into overtime against over-matched teams. They were and are the class of this tournament, but they’ve also proven susceptible to tournament malaise. Part of that has to be the squad shuffling they did mid-tournament, but this is still a squad built on individual quality with most of those individuals still there.

Playing to that strength, Mexico remains dangerous from minute 1 to minute 120. That’s how the US has to treat them, taking nothing for granted in yet another high profile Gold Cup final between the best in CONCACAF.

USA 1 - Panama 0

June 22, 2011

Something happened in the 78th minute of Wednesday night's Gold Cup semifinal that most USA soccer fans thought would be common by this point in the team's development. Freddy Adu found Landon Donovan with a long pass, Donovan put a ball in front of the net, and Clint Dempsey finished it off for the 1-0 win over Panama.

Donovan came on for the start of the second-half, with US National Team coach Bob Bradley sticking with the setup he used against Jamaica. With Jozy Altidore injured, Juan Agudelo got the start. Agudelo subbed out in the 66th minute for Adu, who made his first appearance for the National Team since the 2009 Gold Cup.

”It was very important for me, personally, and very important for the team," Adu said. "I haven’t stepped on the field for the national team in over two years. To get a chance to be out there, I was very happy and very fortunate. The goal as a substitute is to get out there and bring a lot of energy and make a difference. It worked out well.”

The win advances the United States to the 2011 Gold Cup final. The USA will face Mexico, who needed overtime to beat Honduras 2-0.


Match: United States vs. Panama
Date: June 22, 2011
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup – Semifinal
Venue: Reliant Stadium – Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
Attendance: xxx
Weather: Indoor

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 0 0 0

USA – Clint Dempsey (Landon Donovan) 76th minute

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya, 16-Sacha Kljestan (10-Landon Donovan, 46), 8-Clint Dempsey; 9-Juan Agudelo (20-Freddy Adu, 66)
Subs not used: 7-Maurice Edu, 11-Chris Wondolowski, 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Tim Ream, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-Román Torres, 14-Eduardo Dasent, 17-Luis Henríquez, 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.); 6-Gabriel Gómez (20-Anibal Godoy, 86), 10-Nelson Barahona (8-Gabriel Torres, 86), 11-Armando Cooper (16-Luis Renteria, 71), 21-Amilcar Henríquez; 18-Luis Tejada, 19-Alberto Quintero
Subs not used: 3-Harold Cummings, 4-Aramis Haywood, 9-Renan Addles, 12-Luis Mejía, 15-Eric Davis, 19-Alberto Quintero, 22-Eybir Bonaga
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdes

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 5 / 8
Shots on goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 2 / 0
Fouls: 21 / 10
Corners: 2 / 3
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
PAN – Armando Cooper (caution) 18th minute
PAN – Luis Henríquez (caution) 36
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 68
PAN – Gabriel Gomez (caution) 72

Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Hector Vergara (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Fourth Official: David Gantar (CAN)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Really nice article about me in the KDT

A true Renaissance man
Tony Gallucci has varied interests and talents, but it’s his
passion for others that makes him vital to the community

By Peter McCrady, Kerrville Daily Times Staff Writer, June 22, 2011

Hidden behind mountains of papers, computer towers and media equipment in his office at the Hill Country Youth Ranch, you might be able to find Tony Gallucci, if you’re lucky. The organized chaos of his office only shows a fraction of his busy life in the community.

“I could use some sleep now and then, but I hate wasting a second of time,” Gallucci joked as he turned on some tunes from a band he had discovered.

Gallucci works in media and publications for the youth ranch, but his job doesn’t stop there.
“I do what needs doing,” Gallucci said. “I can’t tell people ‘no.’ That’s one of my great failings. Not being able to say ‘forget it.’”

“When I work with the kids though, I’m normally doing something with fine arts.”

Just a few of his endeavors at the youth ranch include theater productions based on the kids’ poetry and music videos. Gallucci also teaches at the Playhouse Academy, owns Milk River Film productions, is a founder of the Guadalupe Stage Quartet and is a photographer.

“I just do things,” Gallucci said. “I don’t pick out a role and then try to fulfill it. It’s a good feeling that the community gains something from what I do. I wish the whole world was like that.

“I think we’re at our best when we’re doing for others. The selfish end of this is I dn’t do things unless I feel good about doing them.”

It is the idea of doing for others that drives Gallucci in his various projects. But the notion took a lifetime to develop. Gallucci said he had an idea when he was younger that he wanted to live forever.

He thought to achieve that goal he had to leave something behind. It created an obsession in him that he had to be the best at everything he did.

“I wanted this lasting thing, and somewhere along the line, I realized even if I were to . . . get famous or be known for those things, that all I was leaving behind was something that was inanimate,” Gallucci said. “It was just a piece of me, and I’m not sure that piece of me was of value to anyone else.”

After this epiphany, Gallucci decided the way to live forever was to give something someone else might be able to use that might have an effect on their life. Gallucci believes this approach has two benefits — the enrichment of those he works with and the enrichment of his own life.

“I’m not sure exactly how it turned into troubled kids, but that’s the direction it took,” he said. “I think maybe because there’s some kind of subliminal empathy going on, I connect with them.”

It’s the connections Gallucci makes with the community that have kept him in the area.
“I have to work with people. I love being outdoors, but I can’t be away from people,” he said. “And it’s the people that have kept me around here. I would love to live in Austin, but I just can’t leave the people here.”

The Stealth Clave: Roots Pianist Neil Pearlman Wakes Up the Latin and Funk in Traditional Scottish Tunes on Coffee and the Mojo Hat

The Stealth Clave: Roots Pianist Neil Pearlman Wakes Up the Latin and Funk in Traditional Scottish Tunes on Coffee and the Mojo Hat

“There’s a clave hidden in Scottish music, if you look for it,” explains piano player, arranger, and composer Neil Pearlman. It’s a secret place where Robert Burns does the boogie woogie. And where salsa brass and Tower of Power bass sneak into the frenetic triplets of island dances.

Pearlman has found this sweet spot. The young freethinker of a musician unleashes Scotland’s unexpected grooves and Cape Breton’s unique piano style on Coffee and the Mojo Hat. Doffing his plaid cap for “mojo,” Pearlman gently but firmly expands on tradition, honing high-precision technique and finding uncharted rhythmic affinities.

The possibilities of the piano—Pearlman’s chosen instrument since he was four—were limited by what Pearlman humorously calls “the boom-chuck” style of most accompaniment for traditional tunes. But not on Cape Breton, Canada’s Celtic roots hotspot, with its thriving music scene and a piano style all its own.

Inspired by stride and boogie woogie, Cape Breton piano players held their own with the region’s acclaimed fiddlers at community dances. They broke out the broken octaves, setting the right hand free to hit all the burls—the traditional, fast-paced triplets—that make Scottish tunes sparkle. Pearlman fell in love with the approach, which he taught himself in his early teens by watching Cape Breton performers.

“The base of Cape Breton piano is the left hand, which was heavily influenced by boogie woogie and keeps a constant pulse,” Pearlman says. “It condenses the usual two-handed back-and-forth and opens up right hand to do syncopations. It’s a totally different world from the basic piano style you often hear in a contra dance or other fiddle music tradition.”

He comes by his sixth sense for rhythmic subtlety honestly. Neil grew up hanging out at his fiddler father Ed’s lively sessions and ceilidhs, hearing master players from Scotland and Cape Breton. At concerts and festivals Ed organized as the long-time head of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club, young Neil would sit enthralled. He soon began playing along.

As an accompanist and as a member of Highland Soles, the Pearlman family band, Neil has been moving to and making Scottish music professionally for more than a decade. A step dancer from toddlerhood, Pearlman learned the complex footwork that accompanies Scottish tunes from his dancer mother. He danced as part of Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster’s touring group at the tender age of 11.

“On a very basic level, this music is dance music, just like jazz, funk, and lots of Latin genres,” notes Pearlman. “To really understand the Scottish music tradition, you need to understand the dance tradition. You know where strong points in melodies fall if you’re dancing. That’s a point you jump or land. Especially in some of the more stylistically complex tunes, the dance phrasing is crucial to music phrasing.”

This phrasing is vital in traditional strathspeys, powerful dance tunes unique to Scotland. Whether composing his own (“Alison House”) or taking on tradition (“Highlanders”), Pearlman found the strathspey delightfully complex to arrange for piano without losing its distinctive feel. “Although in a strong 4/4 time signature, there is a subtle undercurrent of triplets, which is a difficult thing to work with if you don't want to lose the sharp drive,” explains Pearlman, “but if it is approached right, you can accentuate, rather than detract from the strathspey feel.”

Triplets are not the only undercurrent in Pearlman’s music. There’s a quiet pressure of Pearlman’s other musical fascinations: Latin music (he played trombone in a Cuban band); funk of the likes of Tower of Power and Earth, Wind, & Fire; and jazz. Though Pearlman knows traditional ballads (“Monymusk Lads”), airs (“Mill Mill O”), and Robert Burns songs (“Afton Water”) like the back of his hand, he hears them with brass parts and bass lines.

“Even when I’m not performing in a band setting, I don’t play totally traditionally,” Pearlman states. “I’ve been bringing in all these influences anyway, for years. In fact, I put this project together so I could flesh out these other possibilities with other musicians who could play them.”

Along with conga player Javier Ramos (who first helped Pearlman feel Scottish music’s stealth clave), Pearlman works with drummer Alex Cohen, who has precise chops honed by years playing heavy metal and jazz, and bassist Doug Berns, who gets seriously funky on tracks like “Butterfly.” Pearlman has also brought in his father, fiddler Ed Pearlman, whose poignant playing graces “Mill Mill O,” renowned fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and guest vocalists who navigate the edge of tradition and jazz with a beautiful lightness.

The natural, playful way seemingly divergent sounds unite means Pearlman’s pieces keep to their original spirit: the Scottish vibe, and the dancefloor joy. “I want people to take it intellectually, but sometimes if you start talking about melding styles or about fusion, people start thinking too hard,” Pearlman states. “It should be about the groove, about enjoying what you’re hearing.”

Cool Stuff from Dana^

You are perhaps aware that 2011 begins the Sesquicentennial of the U.S Civil War. My friend -- and co-producer of The Conjurer --- Thomm Jutz has gathered an illustrious group of songwriters and artists to write and record a collection of original songs about that epic conflict.

The just completed CD is called The 1861 Project, and conveys through song how the lives of both civilians and soldiers were effected by the Civil War. Some of the other artists involved include Marty Stuart, John Anderson and Irene Kelly.

The song that I co-wrote with Thomm, entitled Greater Gentlemen, tells the story of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox -- as it might have been witnessed by an anonymous soldier.

The track is available for your listening or downloading pleasure by following this link. In fact, you can listen to the entire CD from that page, or just visit There is also a Facebook conversation about the Project that you are welcome to join.

Finally, if you live in the Houston area I want to remind you of two upcoming concerts this week. Thursday, June 23 I share a musical evening with my old friend and cohort Jack Saunders at Main Street Crossing in Tomball, TX. Friday, June 24 I perform solo at the legendary Anderson Fair in Houston, TX. See below for details and times.

Thank you,

-- Dana

Roma close in on Bojan

By ESPNsoccernet staff, June 18, 2011

Roma director of sport Walter Sabatini says Roma are confident of reaching an agreement to sign Bojan Krkic from Barcelona in the coming days.

Bojan, 20, made his breakthrough at Barca in the 2007-08 season, but he is set to leave the Camp Nou after falling down the pecking order.

Former Barca B coach Luis Enrique is now in charge at Roma and, with his agent suggesting the move would suit the striker, Sabatini has confirmed he hopes a deal can be completed in the imminent future.

"It's true and I confirm this is a very realistic hypothesis, even if it has not been perfected yet," Sabatini told Rete Sport.

"Bojan is a quality player, no doubt. We hope to complete the signing of Bojan in the next few days, but for now he's still a Barcelona player."

Reports suggest Bojan is likely to move for around €10 million, although Barca are apparently eager to include a buy-back option in the deal.

Five Things For Panama... Again

From the US National Team Players Association

The Individual: The USA has had a tougher than expected time allowing enough space for individual skill. When a US player takes a chance on the ball, it's almost as surprising for his own team as it is for the opposition. Players don't adjust, leaving minimal options and few second chance opportunities. Though this improved against Jamaica, it was also most of the reason the US didn't score as many goals as expected against Guadeloupe and couldn't get back into the game against Panama. It's easy enough to expect your skill players to be the difference, but so far that hasn't been the story of this US team.
The Group: As a squad, the US should be disappointed at their goals total. They've produced enough chances to expect more, but a combination of final touches, shot selection, and plan bad luck has limited the offense. There are moments when the US has seemed more interested in the buildup than the final shot. Ducking that reputation has yet to really happen. It's the pressure cooker scenario, where there's a distinct feeling that eventually the US offense will explode for multiple goals. Not a bad way to enter a semifinal winner-take-all game.

Playing The Advantage: In the wake of the Charlie Davies dive against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Jermaine Jones wasn't left with much in the way of benefit of the doubt when his minimal contact response to the nearest Jamaican defender resulted in a game-altering red card. Jermaine Taylor was shown the early exit and the US responded with a second goal 13 minutes later. US coach Bob Bradley did the smart thing in getting Jones off the field eight minutes after the red card incident. No sense leaving a player already holding a yellow in the position to be the brunt of a makeup call. All of that said, Jones measured the risk/reward in the moment and saw an opportunity. For all of the US fans belaboring the point about diving, at this stage of the game would you rather be the victim or the beneficiary?

Route 1: At various points in this tournament, the USA has reverted to a style more closely associated with desperate lower division teams in England. Lob the ball up the field and hope for the best, and for the US that hasn't worked out all that well. And for good reason. The soccer equivalent of football's Hail Mary works just often enough to encourage teams out of ideas to try it. More often than not, it's a waste of energy. For all the talk of passing we heard coming out of the 4231 the US played against Jamaica, we already know the US has no problem hedging their chances with the long ball. It's unfortunate from a team that should be showing a higher level of tactical nuance.

Brothers Of The Brides: The US gets a rested eleven against Panama, in theory giving them a stronger squad than the one that beat Jamaica. Panama's showing against EL Salvador was the kind of chippy game that's become a cliché among the Caribbean teams. It doesn't work against a team like the USA because the US simply doesn't engage in that style of play. That's not a knock against the way Panama and El Salvador contested their semifinal, just a realistic assessment in differences of style of play. Panama will need to adjust more than the US, and they'll be doing it without their first choice attack.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scouting Report: Panama - Semifinals

By Clemente Lisi – The USA’s collision course with Mexico remains very much alive at this Gold Cup. That seemingly inevitable final match-up between CONCACAF’s two best teams is the likeliest outcome from Wednesday’s semifinal doubleheader at what’s expected to be a full Reliant Stadium in Houston.

While Mexico mounted a 2-1 comeback win over Guatemala Saturday at New Meadowlands Stadium in suburban New York to set up a semifinal against Honduras, the United States got the better of Jamaica the following day at RFK Stadium with a cathartic 2-0 win.

Now, the USA gets another shot at Panama, only this time, the game is a do-or-die affair. At stake is a spot in this Saturday’s final at the Rose Bowl. Panama, the tournament’s Cinderella team, will be looking to play spoiler once again. In its quarterfinal victory over El Salvador on Sunday night, Panama had more scoring chances over 120 minutes. Ending 1-1- in regulation and with that score holding through the overtime period, they needed a 5-3 win via penalty kicks to advance. That should take nothing away from Panama’s strengths. After all, they’re the team that finished first in Group C.

The USA, for its part, will need to remain confident if it wants to avenge its 2-1 loss to Panama in the first round just 10 days ago. In a telephone poll conducted by Spanish-language network Univision, only 38% of viewers said the USA could defeat Panama. Aside from the fact that those polled were mostly Hispanic, there is some reason to fear Panama. While Panama remains a solid team, the Americans are not the same squad that lost to them in Tampa.

Instead, there should be optimism in a USA win. The Americans are definitely surging and the victory over Jamaica was a positive step in showing just how hard to beat they can be when things come together. US coach Bob Bradley tweaked his lineup just enough for it to dramatically improve things. Bradley’s 4231 – instead of the much-used 442 – served him well. For Bradley, having the extra bodies in the midfield definitely helped create more offense. What resulted was a solid showing and superiority in every part of the field. The USA will again need to up its game to get past the potent Panamanians.

Like they did against Jamaica, the Americans will need to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan started in his first game at this Gold Cup and created ample space for Clint Dempsey. Ditto for Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, both of whom had great games. Both had possession of the ball for long stretches and the usually defensive Jones pushed up in an effort to aid the attack. His efforts were rewarded with a goal. The second US strike came from Dempsey, who broke out of a brief funk to score his fourth all-time Gold Cup.

“From the start, we were able to do a good job establishing control, passing the ball and keeping the ball,” Bradley told reporters after the game.

The US defense had a relatively easy day against Jamaica. Don’t expect Panama to fall as flat. True, they might be fatigued, playing those 120 minutes and the stress of the penalties in a game that started on Sunday evening, but Panama has shown at this Gold Cup that it can compete with the best teams.

Under coach Julio Dely Valdes, Panama has turned into a much tougher side. If in the past teams like El Salvador would have gotten the best of them, Panama has learned to compete with the rest of Central America. Panama could have gotten further at previous editions of the Gold Cup had they not always seemed to have run into the United States and been eliminated.

That’s almost like a regular occurrence. The USA is 6-1-2 all-time versus Panama, including a 3-1-1 record at the Gold Cup. Prior to this Wednesday’s game, both sides have met in the knockout stage of the tournament three consecutive times. The Americans defeated Panama on penalty kicks in the 2005 final and beat Panama 2-1 in both the 2007 and 2009 quarterfinals.

Asked about playing the United States, Dely Valdes said, "It will be a very complicated game.”

Striker Luis Tejada has become the Gold Cup's biggest clutch player after he tied the score against El Salvador in the 90th minute to send the match into overtime. The controversial goal - El Salvador later claimed the ball never crossed the line - energized Panama, who came close to scoring twice during the extra session. In the shootout, Tejada scored what turned out to be the decisive kick to send Panama through to the semis. Tejada had also scored in injury time in the final group stage match against Canada to earn a 1-1 draw.

“I’m not at all worried. We really need some rest because the game is only a few days away,” Tejada said. “The United States is a great rival, but I do think this will be a different game the second time.”

Panama will be without Blas Perez, who was red-carded following a scuffle against El Salvador's Luis Anaya at the end of regulation. Perez's absence will hamper Panama's flashy attack. He had played in all four games thus far, scoring a goal. Panama doesn't have the depth of other Central American teams like Honduras and could find itself at a loss up top.

All that bodes well for the USA. If the surging Americans can keep its defense compact and midfield pushing forward, revenge over Panama will be complete. Mexico or Honduras may be waiting on the horizon, but the USA needs to get past Panama if it wants to play for the trophy. A repeat performance of the Jamaica game would be enough for them to reach the final.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The hatred of Gov. Rick Perry’s BFF, Bryan Fischer


Posted on 17 Jun 2011 at 12:09pm
Bryan Fischer is the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association, which is funding Gov. Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer event at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Aug. 6. Right Wing Watch has posted the above compilation of clips from Fischer’s radio show, featuring some of his most precious “issues analysis.”

read the rest here:

Scouting Report: Jamaica

By Clemente Lisi -- It often looks as if the opening round of the Gold Cup is a formality aimed at setting up a USA-Mexico final. More often than not, those are the two countries contending for the trophy. This year, Jamaica has something to say about that.

After going 3-0 in the first round and outscoring opponents 7-0, Jamaica is making a bid to reach the Gold Cup final for the first time in history. In order to make at least the semifinal, they will have to defeat the United States on Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium (3pm ET – Fox Soccer) in a hotly-anticipated quarterfinal clash.

“We are here to get to at least the semifinals. We didn't come here expecting to play any easy games, so every game from this point forward is like a final,” Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore said.

For US coach Bob Bradley, the stakes are much higher. Anything short of reaching the championship game will be seen as a huge disappointment.

“Our goal has always been to get to the final,” he said. “We understand from experience what it means in group play. You have to deal with each game and find a way to advance. We were pretty hard on ourselves because we weren’t satisfied with our performance against Panama. Nonetheless, I think there are things there that bring the group together, and now we get ready for the knockout phase and approach it one game at a time.”

The Jamaican defense has yet to yield a goal and the US offense will need to come out guns blazing to change that. Players like Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley will be key in the midfield. Bradley will need to have another big game by maintaining possession and making sure the Jamaican attack never gets a chance to create anything offensively. Subs Sacha Kljestan and Maurice Edu were efficient in the USA’s 1-0 win over Guadeloupe and their energy made sure the Americans stayed fresh down the stretch.

The Reggae Boyz have used their speed, poise, and midfield play to dominate opponents, while showing defensive discipline not usually associated with most Caribbean teams. Even the fabled Jamaica team that qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France was not immune at giving up easy goals.

“We have made a lot of progress,” Whitmore said. “We have a group of players that we have been working with for some time. It is a good group of players. I think what we bring to this tournament is increased ball possession because in the past we tended to give away the ball a lot.”

For Jamaica, the United States represents its biggest challenge yet at this Gold Cup. While Major League Soccer gets a lot of praise for helping develop future American talent, the League has also become a place where an increasingly large number of Jamaicans ply their trade. Jamaica, ranked 55th by FIFA in its May poll, has nine players on its roster that currently play in MLS. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (Los Angeles Galaxy), striker Ryan Johnson (San Jose Earthquakes) and winger Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls) are just three of the standouts familiar to MLS fans.

“We have been improving with every game,” Richards said. “We have to score first and early, not give up any goals, and I think that can be the formula for success for us.”

Jamaica has been powerful offensively despite losing Omar Cummings, who had been originally selected to the roster but withdrew last week following a nagging ankle injury. Cummings will be reunited with his Colorado Rapids teammates this weekend.

Stoke City standout Demar Philips, who scored in Jamaica’s first two games and leads the team with three goals, and Johnson have been two of the deadliest strikers at the Gold Cup. The US backline will need to shut them down. Otherwise, it will be a long afternoon for goalkeeper Tim Howard.

“We’re showing CONCACAF and the world that we have the players and we have a lot of talent in Jamaica,” Johnson said. “We’ve been working on things in practice, passing quickly, finishing. It’s showing on the field. I’m just happy everything is coming together and we’re just trying to take this as far as possible.”

As for the United States, Steve Cherundolo and Eric Lichaj were effective on the flanks and provided plenty of balls in the box against Guadeloupe in their final Group C game. Carlos Bocanegra at centerback gave stability to the backline, while Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan were the attacking catalyst in the midfield.

Often, Bradley's 4-4-2, with Jozy Altidore and Chris Wondolowski up top, turned into a 4-2-4 with Donovan and Dempsey aiding the attack with passes and long-range shots. Although the Americans could only score one goal against Guadeloupe, they pressured their opponents and stretched its defense with as many as five US players in the box at any given time. Applying that much offensive pressure Sunday could be what makes the Jamaican defense finally buckle.

The USA has scored just nine goals in 11 games since last summer’s World Cup. The National Team’s inability to score on a regular basis was on full display in the pre-Gold Cup friendly against Spain (a 4-0 loss) and last week versus Panama (a 2-1 loss). Against Canada (a 2-0 win) and Guadeloupe (a 1-0 win), the Americans did substantially better, but it was against relatively weak opponents.

“Our teams have always come back really well even when we haven’t been at our best,” said Bradley.

For all involved in the US camp, the stakes are clear.

“Now if you don’t win you go home,” Altidore said. “Those chances come back to haunt you. Over the years, we’ve gotten better and better at putting our chances away but now more than ever we have to really stake our claim and score some of these goals.”

The Americans have yet to play at their best at this tournament, something that should be of concern for Jamaica. If the recent past is any guide, never count the USA out.
National Teamers Available In England

Jonathan Spector, Eddie Johnson, and Marcus Hahnemann are available as free transfers after parting ways with their clubs. Spector, who found success last season in a switch from defense to midfield, leaves West Ham United. West Ham was relegated at the end of the season. Spector joined the club for the 2006-07 season, ultimately making 101 Premier League appearances.

Johnson parts ways with Fulham after spending the second half of the season on loan with Preston North End. Johnson had 13 appearances with PNE, who were eventually relegated from the Championship.

Hahnemann spent most of the 2010-11 season as the backup goalkeeper at Wolverhampton. Over two seasons in the Premier League with the club, he had 39 appearances.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Notes from the Yugoslav Dub Underground: La Cherga Rocks the Mic and the Diaspora with Pan-Balkan Funk

Founded by a former Croatian punk turned dub DJ and infused with pop sensibility, La Cherga knows how to organically meld hip-hop MCs to Macedonian Gypsy brass, booming bass and eerie flute melodies, post-Cold War irony with optimistic uplift. Don’t let the crazy-quilt of descriptors fool you. La Cherga is no hybrid band.

The Austria-based, pan-Balkan crew is the product of natural musical evolution, the defiant, hard-hitting energy of a Yugoslav dub underground that spans from small-town Bosnia to the jazz conservatory of Graz. Revolve (Asphalt Tango Records; June 14, 2011), goes beyond the band’s party-hardy dubbed out past into deep funk, rock, and soul territory, guided by the unquenchable spirit of Sarajevo.

In Bulgarian, cherga is a quaint term for a rag rug, a reflection of the band’s love of sonic recycling. Yet it has other resonances as well: “In Romany, ‘cherga’ means a bunch of people, often wandering around without a purpose or direction,” La Cherga founder and producer Nevenko Bucan explained in an interview. “You could say it describes the Gypsies themselves, but we in the band are now immigrants, too. There are definitely links between the choice of that band name and the course of our lives."

The course of La Cherga runs through a vibrant musical diaspora, a fraught world formed by civil war, economic displacement, and a bubbling sense of irony. La Cherga waltzes and skanks through these complexities like a Roma band kicking out the jams at a Jamaican dancehall. Singer and lyricist Adisa Zvekic whispers poetry one moment, channeling Nina Simone, and raises hell like Ari Up the next.

The sultry sway of “Melaha,” backed by a wild lashing of beats and Gypsy brass, bleeds into hardcore defiance, calling for change (“One”)—or at least another round of drinks—while rocking the mic Yugoslav-style. Hints of Augustus Pablo and Bettye Lavette swirl around pop hooks and introspective jazz horns (“Rise Up”). Tales of immigrant life’s boozy woes (thanks to Croatian MC Killo Killo on “Votka dot kom”) alternate with calls from Zvekic’s rebel soul for peace, love, and an end to nationalism and conflict.

La Cherga came together accidentally on purpose. Bucan became a fixture on the Graz music scene, gaining a reputation for his seamless mix of dub, drum & bass, and rootsy grooves from the former Yugoslavia. But Bucan wasn’t satisfied with the DJ-centric approach of Austrian avant-dub, a scene led by producers like Kruder & Dorfmeister, who put Bucan’s work on their label’s compilations. “There was something missing,” Bucan reflects. “The scene needed live bands.”

Serendipitously, Bucan met Bosnian guitarist Muamer “Muki” Gazibegovic, who was studying music at the university in Graz, a magnet for young musicians from across the former Hapsburg realm. Regular jam sessions, which soon involved Macedonian horn players Kiril Kuzmanov and Trajce Velkov, turned into an album and a live touring band.

But dub and reggae have deep roots for La Cherga that extend beyond the cool Central European club experiments. Zvekic, who got her start as a teenager MCing with her brother and close friends as part of Bosnia’s Dubioza Kolektiv, grew up on dub, thanks to a community of music fans in her small home city of Zenica, Bosnia. People of all generations traded cassettes and exposed each other to anything and everything. “The dub approach is my roots. It’s something very natural that already is inside,” Zvekic notes. “It’s natural and spontaneous because I listened to a lot of music for a very long time.”

Putting odds and ends together has long been the cultural norm for musicians like Zvekic and in cities like Sarajevo, where, despite a decade of war, that spirit remains. That Bosnian vibe—a curious mix of cultural diversity and local distinctiveness—powered much of Revolve: Bucan worked with producer Nino Skiljic at a studio there, and Zvekic recorded with Dubioza’s MCs at a home in nearby Zenica (“One”).

“Sarajevo is a very old town, and its spirit carries on, sometimes despite its people,” Zvekic muses. “Its spirit reflects the efforts of cultured people who wanted to save its true values.”

Bucan summed up these values perfectly: “Nationalism and patriotism are so passé!” he exclaimed with a laugh during a recent interview. “In a way, we're like the orchestra on the Titanic. Everything around us is going to hell, but we keep on playing. We're just trying to create our own micro universe.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scouting Report: Guadeloupe

By Clemente Lisi – Mention the name Guadeloupe in the context of the Gold Cup and the first thing that comes to mind is the word ‘upset.’ In its first-ever Gold Cup appearance in 2007, Guadeloupe reached the semifinals only to lose 1-0 to Mexico. Two years later, it reached the quarterfinals, eliminated by Costa Rica in a rollicking contest that ended 5-3. If anything, Guadeloupe knows how to fit into its Cinderella slippers and put a scare into CONCACAF opponents.

The USA, coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to Panama on Saturday night in Tampa, will need to regroup and exert its dominance against Guadeloupe cone Tuesday night if it wants to emerge from Group C and reach the quarterfinals.

“It’s going to be the hard route to the final now but we’re ready for it, and we have to get this loss behind us and focus on the next game,” US defender Steve Cherundolo said.

To fully understand Guadeloupe’s soccer team and the success they’ve enjoyed over the last few years, you need to take a closer look at the tiny archipelago’s history and culture. Guadeloupe is not a member of FIFA because it is not a separate country. Technically an overseas department of France, those born in Guadeloupe can play for France. Yet Guadeloupe is a member of CONCACAF, and is eligible to compete at the Gold Cup. However, should Guadeloupe shock the tournament and win the Cup, they wouldn’t be eligible to advance to the Confederations Cup.

The group of islands may not be too large in size, but Guadeloupe remains a place that produces lots of quality players. In the past, the island has produced such talents as defender Lilian Thuram, who helped lead France to the 1998 World Cup.

“You have to remember, the island is not big,” New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry said. “The good players all play for the French National Team.” Henry’s father, Antoine, was born in Guadeloupe.

Under the rules established by CONCACAF, the Caribbean island is not allowed to field players who have played for France during the past five years. Anyone who played for France prior to 2006 is allowed to compete at this year’s Gold Cup.

Although only a handful of players who once wore France’s blue jersey (Jocelyn Angloma is one recent example) played for the island, Guadeloupe offers lower-league players who haven’t made the French National Team a chance to represent their home. Angloma now serves as an assistant coach for Guadeloupe and has been pivotal in recent years in helping recruit players for his homeland.

This year’s version of the Gwada Boys does not feature any big-name French stars. Making its third-ever Gold Cup appearance, Guadeloupe, as mentioned, has been the tournament’s Cinderella team in the past. Coached by Roger Salnot since 2001, Guadeloupe qualified for the Gold Cup after losing to Jamaica in the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup final on penalty kicks.

In their Gold Cup opener, Guadeloupe lost to Panama 3-2, but kept the game close when it scored both goals in the second half after falling behind 3-0. In their second game against Canada this past Saturday in Tampa, Guadeloupe lost 1-0 and showed very little offensively. If the US can shore up its defense and create in their attacking third, then a positive showing over Guadeloupe is very much possible.

“We have got to turn around and make sure that we are ready to play,” US midfielder Landon Donovan said after the Panama game. “We’ve got to win Tuesday, see what else happens and see where we end up. We’re still fine. We just have to make sure we learn some lessons.”

Five Things For Guadeloupe

Group C In Play: Nothing has been decided in Group C going into the final matchday. The United States could finish anywhere from 1st to 4th, with 2nd-place and a game against Jamaica the likeliest outcome from a US win. The US would need a Canada win and to beat Guadeloupe to take Group C and play Guatemala in the next round. A Canada win and a US draw with Guadeloupe is the only scenario that would have the US playing Mexico in the next round. Playing the scenarios isn’t likely to satisfy most US fans getting over the disappointment of the Panama game. The US should expect to be playing Jamaica after beating Guadeloupe, the likeliest outcome.

The US Attack: The United States was unable to capitalize on late opportunities against Panama. The chances were there, but the decisiveness wasn’t. Though there are usually moments in any game that allow a losing team to tell a different story than the actual result, the US had moments to at least pull level and salvage a point. The USA – Panama game wasn’t all Panama, but the difference was Panama taking advantage of their chances. For the US to have its own chance in this tournament, they have to figure out a way to turnaround their offense. Should the US advance, Guadeloupe is the easiest game left on their Gold Cup schedule. It’s an opportunity to build some confidence in an offense that needs to do more.

Fouls To Give: Against Panama, the US played a physical game that resulted in a penalty and some wondering why they finished with 11 players on the field. That’s not something normally associated with the US National Team, and it needs to be left with Panama. The US we’ve seen in competitions is used to absorbing attacks, playing in their own box, and taking calculated risks. That’s especially true for the back four. With two new players seeing time in the US defense, the group needs to figure out a way to recalculate those risks. All of the late chances the US had against Panama were unlikely had they been playing a man down, With a United States squad that isn’t particularly deep, they need a first choice eleven.

Monday, June 13, 2011

USA 1 - Panama 2

US National Team Players, June 11, 2011

The United States got a first-half shock at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday night, falling behind by two goals to Panama. Luis Tejada opened the scoring in the 18th minute and Gabriel Gomez doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 35th. The USA came back when Clarence Goodson headed in a goal from a set piece in the 67th minute. Though the US came close several times in the closing minutes, they were unable to find an equalizer.

“You can’t start that way," US midfielder Landon Donovan said. "I think for some reason we were just a little lackadaisical, a little complacent early. We had some of the ball and we felt OK about ourselves, but they put us on our heels a few times and they made a play that changed the game. The penalty is a little fluky and now we’re chasing the game. We can’t start that way; that’s the overwhelming, obvious point.”

In the other Group C game, Canada beat Guadeloupe 1-0. Dwayne De Rosario converted a 50th minute penalty for the game's only goal.

-- Game Report --

Match: USA vs. Panama
Date: June 11, 2011
Competition: 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Group C
Venue: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 27,731
Weather: 85 degrees, warm

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 2 0 2

PAN – Luis Tejada 19th minute
PAN – Gabriel Gómez (penalty kick) 36
USA –Clarence Goodson (Michael Bradley) 68

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson (11-Chris Wondolowski, 78), 15-Tim Ream, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.); 8-Clint Dempsey, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones (16-Sacha Kljestan, 60), 10-Landon Donovan; 17-Jozy Altidore, 9-Juan Agudelo (22-Alejandro Bedoya, 61)
Subs not used: 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 7-Maurice Edu, 14-Eric Lichaj, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-Román Torres, 14-Eduardo Dasent, 17-Luis Henríquez, 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.); 6-Gabriel Gómez, 10-Nelson Barahona (8-Gabriel Torres, 70), 11-Armando Cooper (19-Alberto Quintero, 84), 21-Amilcar Henríquez; 7-Blas Pérez, 18-Luis Tejada (22-Eybir Bonaga, 81)
Subs not used: 3-Harold Cummings, 12-Luis Mejía, 15-Eric Davis, 16-Luis Renteria
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdes

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 20 / 13
Shots on goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 4 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 16 / 16
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Jermaine Jones (caution) 18th minute
PAN – Armando Cooper (caution) 25
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution) 25
USA – Clarence Goodson (caution) 56
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution) 64
PAN – Jaime Penedo (caution) 90+2
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 90+3

Referee: Marco Rodríguez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Luis Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Morín (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)

Documentaries and the Truth We Can Still Tell (But for How Long?)

By Vivian Norris

There may be an awful lot of lawyer jokes out there but for more and more documentary filmmakers, the legal challenges they are up against when trying to tell a story are no laughing matter. Forty years after the initial publishing of The Pentagon Papers, the full truth about Vietnam is finally being released. Daniel Ellsberg has stated that what he did back then as an investigative journalist was actually legal. Today, post-9/11 and Patriot Act, not only would it be illegal, it would be much more difficult to find any published information at all. Some information has indeed disappeared completely. And for those wonderfully stubborn souls who keep searching for the truth and trying to get it out there in front of audiences, they often find themselves, especially in the US, attacked by layer upon layer of lawsuits funded by corporations with deep pockets.

read the rst here:

Blackfeet hear Thunder radio

11:00 PM, Jun. 11, 2011

BROWNING — John Davis took a unique route to his badge of honor.

"I was the first Blackfeet to ever talk on this radio," Davis said. "This is my coup story."

Davis, a 21-year-old Blackfeet Community College student, is among the volunteers who have made FM 107.5 a force to be reckoned with in Browning.

In the Blackfeet language, the station is Ksistsikam ayikinaan. That translates to "voice from nowhere," but you can call it Thunder Radio.

At 30-watts, the community radio station doesn't reach too far beyond Browning, but its impact is growing.

"What I've heard is, it's our own," station manager Lona Burns said. "The Blackfeet people have our own accent so I guess they enjoy that it sounds like them."

The DJs are preachers, teachers, students and others but have one important thing in common.

"Every single one has a positive outlook on life," Burns said. "Their programs transform into positive energy for the listeners."

The station went live on Nov. 20, 2010, with only three or four DJs. Programming was live only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"People were excited so we raised the hours to 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday," Burns said.

Now the station is live daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.

"They didn't think people would be willing to volunteer," Burns said.

Instead, after less than a year on the air, the station has a waiting list of those who want to be DJs.

"That radio has brought about a community energy," Burns said.

The chamber, radio station and town are working together on an event at a date not yet set that will include pie eating and a radio talent contest.

"The radio station is the driving force in getting the community and entities working together," Burns said. "Everyone has us in common because they come to us to get information out."

In addition to a bevy of public service announcements and community bulletins, the station has promoted the importance of voting, especially among the young, and has hosted candidate forums.

"The apathy is so rampant in elections," Burns said. "We're pushing for people to go vote."

Davis's program is about more than music, although certainly music is key.

"Our big enemy is apathy," he said.

Davis said for a long time community service carried a stigma.

"They thought of people in orange jumpsuits on the roadside," he said. "Never before on this reservation has there been such a great energy of volunteerism."

Davis is the voice behind the "Captain's Love Boat Show" and pledges to "make love to your eardrums."

He's said listeners hear on-the-air jokes they would never hear on a Clear Channel Radio station, such as: "The captain is as cool as commodity cheese."

The tag line — quoted around town — is a reference to part of the reservation culture, he said, and something Davis saw first-hand working at the commodities office.

"That was our prize asset. We had to watch the cheese," he said.

When the station was replaying programming that originated elsewhere, the radio was all "tear in my beer" and "your cheatin' heart." They called it the suicide station for its depressing old country themes.

"I never thought I'd be hearing Martin Gaye and AC/DC on 107," Davis said.

The station's next step is streaming online broadcasts.

"We have 16,000-plus members of the Blackfeet nation, but 30,000 with descendants and only 8,000 on the reservation," Burns said. "We want to allow off-reservation members to learn the language, hear our program and get a little taste of home."

The radio is a way to hear the Blackfeet language — and keep that language contemporary. Talented linguist Darrell R. Kipp, who uses his Blackfeet name Apiniokio Peta (Morning Eagle) on the show, broadcasts a mixture of language lessons and stories from elders.

The program helps "bring an ancient language into a very modern and electronic age, in keeping with the notion tribal languages are viable in the modern age, not icons of an ancient past," he said.

"The radio is a good vehicle to keep the language viable," Kipp said. "It gives the community an opportunity to listen to an hour of Blackfoot."

The Ksistsikam ayikinaan radio program is broadcast on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during the noon hour. A free booklet to go with the broadcast is available at the Piegan Institute or radio station.

"In the program, we play numerous recordings of our venerated older generation speaking the language. They might be telling stories, or, for example, one recording was Peter Red Horn, who has since passed on, reading the American Indian Civil Rights Act of 1958 in Blackfoot. We've had for the last six Sunday programs, the Gospel of John in Blackfoot."

A Mother's Day episode focused on Blackfeet words connected with mothers. Generally the Monday and Tuesday programs are focused on language instruction.

"If it's raining, we do rain words," Kipp said. "If it's snowing, we do snow words. Today we're doing terminology for months, weeks and time."

Kipp said the radio program fits well with the Piegan Institute's goals since its 1987 founding to keep the language active and revitalized.

The radio program "has been well received. I've had many individuals who have voiced they're glad to hear the language again," he said. "The language is in a fragile state, and it's important the community keep it in a contemporary sense."

Children are especially good at coming up with descriptive language for modern items such as iPods.

The language "has to be used to keep it dynamic, and to be viable it has to be spoken by children," Kipp said.

A mantra in America has been to concentrate on English only and, especially at the turn of the century, to wipe out mother tongues, Kipp said. But the institute's language emersion Cuts Wood school has found that its students do extremely well when they go to high school.

"It's not necessary to sacrifice one language to another, and it's simply less effective than to add another language on," he said.

Friday, June 10, 2011

me too . . . "Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic 'angry' at reports he has been offered to Udinese in potential Alexis Sanchez transfer"

Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic 'angry'

. . . at reports he has been offered to Udinese in potential Alexis Sanchez transfer

The 20-year-old Spanish forward insists he will do everything possible to stay at the Nou Camp as Luis Enrique admits that he could target the Catalan club for new signings

By Harry Veal
8 Jun 2011 22:35:00
Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic has admitted that he is "angry" at reportedly being offered to Udinese as part of a potential deal for forward Alexis Sanchez.

The Champions League winners are reported to have offered the young Spaniard to the Italian club as part of negotiations for the Chile winger, although Bojan insists that he will not be forced into a move.

"I feel angry at the situation I am in," Bojan told Rac1.

"I will do everything possible to continue playing for Barcelona.

"Nobody told me that I would be just a player to be exchanged. Nobody likes to be a part of that situation, especially not me."

The 20-year-old has previously been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal reportedly keen, but it has now emerged that he could be a target for the likely soon to be appointed Roma coach Luis Enrique.

The former Barcelona reserve team coach is on the verge of taking the reigns at the Italian side and admitted he could raid his former club for new signings.

"I'll look to work with the best players, those who I will find in Rome and those who I'll be able to bring with me from Barcelona," he stated.

Scouting Report: Panama

By Clemente Lisi -- After outclassing Canada in its Gold Cup opener, the United States takes on Panama on Saturday in another delicate Group C encounter. A win would earn the National Team a berth to the quarterfinals. A loss or draw would set up a potential do-or-die match against Guadeloupe.

A USA victory appears to be the likeliest scenario at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The Americans are 24-0-2 all-time in group play at the Gold Cup and have had the best of Panama at past tournaments. Panama, making their fifth Gold Cup appearance, does not have the same soccer pedigree as its Central American neighbors, but has enjoyed a degree of success over the past six years. Panama reached the 2005 Gold Cup final, only to lose to the USA on penalty kicks. The USA also eliminated Panama from the Gold Cup in the quarterfinals of both the 2007 and 2009 editions.

“We’re in a weird situation in CONCACAF because we play a lot of top teams around the world and we’re hunting them all the time,” said goalkeeper Tim Howard, comparing the USA’s recent friendly with Spain compared to the field it will face at the Gold Cup. “Then you come into CONCACAF and - for better or worse - we are the hunted.”

La Marea Roja is coached by Julio Dely Valdes, a former striker with Cagliari in Italy’s Serie A, who took over as manager last year. Under Dely Valdes, Panama finished third with a 3-0-2 at the Copa Centroamericana to qualify for the Gold Cup. The team is currently ranked 67th by FIFA.

Panama had spent the past few weeks in the US training for the tournament. While in Florida last month, Panama played the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a scrimmage that ended 1-1. In its Gold Cup opener this past Tuesday, Panama nearly squandered a three-goal lead with 26 minutes left in the game. Against a scrappy Guadeloupe, Panama dominated the first half, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and ultimately holding on to win 3-2. Despite almost let the game get away from them in the final minutes, Dely Valdes didn’t seem overly concerned.

“I am very happy with the way the team has played. It is important to get a win in the first game of a tournament,” he said through a translator. “We are prepared for the US and satisfied with our training going into the game. We are very motivated to do well against such a good team.”

In many ways, Panama will be a much tougher opponent than Canada was Tuesday night in Detroit. Panama moves the ball well and combines physical play with finesse passing and an effective offensive game.

The player to keep a close eye on is striker Luis Tejada, who has played in 11 Gold Cup games and scored six goals for Panama. Nicknamed “Matador” for his ability to tame charging defenders, the 29-year-old Tejada has collected 44 caps and 18 goals since making his Panama debut in 2004. Tejada, who scored his team’s second goal against Guadeloupe, was top scorer with three goals at the 2005 Gold Cup and was named the tournament’s MVP.

Another player the USA needs to keep tabs on is attacking midfielder Armando Cooper. Just 23, Cooper has been a regular in the lineup under Dely Valdes for much of the year. Known for his pinpoint passes and ability to create space, Cooper has amassed 12 caps and scored two goals since making his debut in January 2010. He was previously a member of Panama’s Under-20 squad and was once scouted by the New York Red Bulls.

Panama has few weaknesses. If anything, there is a talent gap that gives the USA an edge in this game. Having said that, better teams don’t always win. Known to hunker down defensively after taking the lead, Panama’s back line typically does a reliable job. In its previous eight games this year before the start of this year’s Gold Cup, Panama conceded just two goals.

Veteran goalkeeper Jaime Penedo has played in 14 Gold Cup matches since 2005 and his leadership and experience is a big reason why Panama has kept opponents off the board. Against a 10-man Guadeloupe, Panama gave up two goals – both just feet from the goal in the six-yard box – to equal its tally for the year. Panama’s defense could be in even bigger trouble this weekend. In doubt is central defender Roman Torres, who was injured against Guadeloupe. Dely Valdes said that the 25-year-old Torres has stiffness in his left thigh that could keep him sidelined. Dely Valdes said he could field 22-year-old Eduardo Dasent, who has just two caps, in Torres’ place.

The US was calm and collected against Canada. It needs to do the same Saturday. If the US offense is firing on all cylinders, the game will be an easy win for the Americans. Jozy Altidore’s goal against Canada and honored with Man of the Match honors in the USA’s 2-0 win should help the offense in general regain confidence. Altidore had not scored for the National Team since September 2009 and managed just one tally this season with his Turkish team Bursaspor.

“For confidence, it’s a good game for Jozy,” US coach Bob Bradley said during Tuesday’s post-match news conference. “The movement that led to the first goal and, obviously, the ball that he put across for (Clint Dempsey’s) goal were both great plays. When you go through a stretch with your club team where you’re not always playing regularly and not getting goals, in terms of confidence this was very important.”

Team captain Carlos Bocanegra said the US needs to possess the ball for longer stretches and avoid counterattacks if it wants to beat Panama.

“We have to come out with the same energy and put them on their heels like we did to Canada,” he said. “I think we had four or five corners in the first 10 minutes of the game.”

Dely Valdes said the players on the field are just part of what it takes to win. He is hoping Panamanians fans living across Florida will come out to support the team.

“The players are prepared and I hope our fans are as well,” he said. “The fans need to believe in us and support this side. Whenever Panama plays the US, it is a very big game here and in my country.”

Thursday, June 09, 2011

oh my you know . . .

thanks Kevin Zelnio! on today's Google logo you can play, record and playback tunes! All in honor of Les Paul!

very cool, the kid wins one . . . and well-deserved, even if not my idea of country . . .

the new Cage the Elephant vid is off the charts . . .

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

USA 2 - Canada 0^

The United States opened their 2011 Gold Cup campaign with a 2-0 Group C win over Canada at Detroit's Ford Field in front of 28,209 fans. A 15th minute goal from Jozy Altidore opened the scoring with Landon Donovan picking up the assist. Clint Dempsey made it 2-0 USA in the 62nd minute, with Altidore assisting. Tim Howard needed to make several saves late in the game to preserve the shutout.

“The last couple of days around the hotel and on the training ground... the atmosphere was really good in the hotel, training was really upbeat," Howard said. "We got into the dressing room early and there was a toughness about us that we were ready for this game. There was no hangover. We’re in a weird situation in CONCACAF because we play a lot of top teams around the world, and we’re hunting them all the time. Then you come into CONCACAF and, for better or worse, we’re the hunted. It takes on a different mindset and I think equally you have to be hard, you have to be tough and you can’t take anything for granted. Tonight our mindset was right.”

Also in Group C on Tuesday, Panama beat a 10-man Guadeloupe 3-2 in the early game at Ford Field. Guadeloupe trailed 2-0 when Mickael Tacalfred was sent off in the 37th minute and were down 3-0 before getting on the board in the 64th minute when Brice Jovial scored. Jovial would get a second shorthanded goal in the 78th minute.
Five Things From Canada

By J Hutcherson -- In the aftermath of the USA's clinical treatment of Canada in the opening night of Group C, we look at five things to carry forward into the second set of games on the Gold Cup schedule.

Multiple Choice: The United States was calm, collected, and dangerous on first looks. It was the second and third looks letting them down, turning into a panic matched only by the Canadian defenders. A bit more poise and winning time to consider options, and they're likely in the lead a lot earlier. Instead, shot selection went out the window in place of simply putting the ball somewhere near frame. It can work, but the US is too good a team to rely on that style of soccer. Their second goal demonstrated what the US should be doing in those situations, and it's to this team's credit that they made the appropriate adjustments.

Clean Up: There should be no complaints directed at the US defense from Tuesday night's performance. Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Ream, and Clarence Goodson did their jobs. The Canadian attack had its moments, but not what's expected from a team with Dwayne De Rosario and Ali Gerba. Canada can expect better against other teams in Group C, but the US back line wasn't giving enough away for Canada to have much of an opportunity of turning a half chance into a goal.

The Canadian Question: After tonight's as close to Canada as possible rivalry game, the Canadian Soccer Association is once again left to wonder what's happening with their program. Almost was moments like '07 aside, they have to find a way to develop and recruit players to compete at CONCACAF level. Right now, there are just too many gaps to fill. They're also combating a long term image problem with players that have options to represent another country more than likely to take it. Canadian MLS teams might not be the answer, but the CSA had literally two decades to come up with something better between the end of the North American Soccer League and MLS expanding to Canada. Remember when they were going to form a league made up of reserve teams from European clubs?

More background on the orientation therapy story

Therapy to change 'feminine' boy created a troubled man, family says^

June 07, 2011|By Scott Bronstein and Jessi Joseph, CNN

Kirk Andrew Murphy seemed to have everything to live for.

He put himself through school. He had a successful 8-year career in the Air Force. After the service, he landed a high profile position with an American finance company in India.

But in 2003 at age 38, Kirk Murphy took his own life.

A co-worker found him hanging from the fan of his apartment in New Delhi. His family has struggled for years to understand what happened.

"I used to spend so much time thinking, why would he kill himself at the age of 38? It doesn't make any sense to me," said Kirk's sister, Maris Murphy. "What I now think is I don't know how he made it that long."

read the rest here:

UTA helps Native Americans learn to save own languages

By Diane Smith
Posted Sunday, Jun. 05, 2011

ARLINGTON -- Hutke Fields pictures a time when younger generations of Natchez people use his tribe's native tongue at ceremonies, while sharing oral histories and during everyday talk at home.

But Field's vision is complicated by the fact that only six people, out of about 10,000 members of the Natchez tribe in Oklahoma, still speak the language.

"We'll lose it if we don't use it," said Fields, who received assistance last year during a workshop dedicated to helping American Indian communities in Oklahoma to bring back disappearing languages.

Fields is a participant in the Breath of Life project -- a joint effort by experts from the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Oklahoma -- in which linguists mentor American Indians so they can better recover endangered languages.

It is modeled after a project at the University of California, Berkeley.

"We are growing field linguists," said Colleen Fitzgerald, associate professor and chairwoman of UT Arlington's Linguistics Department. "We are transferring knowledge to community members so they can teach their own languages."


The first workshop was held in summer 2010 at OU in Norman, Okla., which is also the site of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Members of three American Indian communities took part: the Osage, Otoe and Natchez.

Linguists and American Indians will be able to work together again next May. The project recently got a funding boost that will allow for a second workshop, Fitzgerald said.

The project team received a total of $90,000 in grant money from the National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency that helps support research at colleges and universities.

The grant is spread over two years.

Besides training American Indian community members to be linguists on the ground, UT Arlington will be working to create linguistic databases that will ultimately enable the creation of online dictionaries and collections of texts in various languages, Fitzgerald said.

Each community will have a database which will also be stored in a repository at the Noble museum.

Linguistic diversity

Oklahoma was described as a "hot spot" of linguistic diversity by experts in National Geographic's Enduring Voices Project, said Mary Linn, associate curator of American Indian languages at the Noble museum and an associate professor of anthropology at OU.

As North America was settled by whites, many tribes were forced to move to Oklahoma. As a result, there is not only a great deal of linguistic diversity, but also high levels of language endangerment, Linn said.

The languages grew even more endangered as American Indians assimilated to English-speaking culture that dominates society.

"It's hard to resist shifting to English," Linn said, adding that many small tribes picked up the languages of larger tribes.

Today, language sleuths rely on tribal records, grammar and alphabets that were often chronicled by missionaries, military generals and tribes. President Thomas Jefferson also collected word lists, Linn said.

Fields said the project allowed his community to computerize a dictionary and research. Now, Natchez people in South Carolina can practice with their Natchez friends in Oklahoma. This also allows Natchez histories to flow more readily from elders who still tell of their contributions to America as farmers expert in corn and beans.

Their histories tell of a people displaced from the Gulf Coast and of deaths from influenza that followed early encounters with European explorers.

"I grieve daily over the loss of cultural values," said Fields, principal chief for the tribe. "It takes a community and economy and people who want to preserve."

Diane Smith,


Read more:

PR: Ballroom Icons, A Journey through the Lives of Dancers, Doers and Devotees of the Ballroom World

Award-winning limited luxury edition showcases the passionate men and women responsible for ballroom dancing's longevity and resurgent popularity

"[Ballroom Icons is] richly illustrated with unique history and photographs of extraordinary personalities that resonate the culture and values of dance and its divine beginnings. It is the perfect compliment to the grace and beauty of the dance world that has and will continue to inspire every generation." ~ Sophie Drinnan

If you want to dance with the "real" stars of ballroom dancing, look no further than Brigitt Mayer-Karakis' new award-winning, exquisitely crafted book Ballroom Icons, A Journey through the Lives of Dancers, Doers and Devotees of the Ballroom World.

Carefully designed in every detail, this recipient of the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award features the following:

* an elegant gray hard-shell slipcase imprinted with the title of the book on the front and spine
* high-quality acid-free archival paper to ensure the paper remains soft and pure white as it ages
* onion-skin flyleaf inserts featuring memorable dance quotes
* random 8x10 limited edition photographic plates of key icons photographed by German master photographer U. H. Mayer
* a center foldout panel featuring photographs of the icons in action and the signatures of forty-six icons
* two different sections of historical notes offering insight into the development of ballroom dancing and the many challenges it faced through years of war and at other times
* pages of commentary by today's top champions

Brigitt comments, "Ballroom dancing has its roots in the first decade of the twentieth century and its nature is perennial. I created Ballroom Icons to become a lasting legacy as important and influential as the people featured within its pages."

Only 2,500 limited luxury editions were produced, each one individually numbered. For more information or to contact the author for media commentary, email or visit

# # #

Author: Brigitt Mayer-Karakis was born in Germany and began ballroom dancing at age sixteen. She became a professional ballroom dancer in 1988 and subsequently was a World Open Exhibition Championship runner up. A highly commended member of the Canadian Dancers Federation and the British Dancers Federation International, she is a World Championship judge and is affiliated with Arthur Murray International, Inc. To read her complete bio, visit

Letter from the President of TxMPA

Incentive Program receives funding for 2012-2013 budget cycle

In what was a very challenging legislative session, we emerged with $30
million in funding for the next budget cycle for the Texas Moving Image
Incentive Program. Our funding is included in HB 1, the state budget
that was passed by the Texas Legislature on Memorial Day.An additional
$2 million is included in the budget for the Governor's Trusteed
programs for film and music to cover administration and marketing. This
is a tremendous victory since it is an increase of $20 million from the
original $10 million dedicated to the program when the budget was filed
in January.At one point during the legislative process the Texas Senate
removed all funding for the program.

The Governor called a special session that began May 31st to address
several key bills related to funding the budget that died at the end of
the regular session.It is widely expected that other issues may be added
to the special session agenda, including congressional redistricting,
but the moving image incentive program is not expected to be impacted.

This was a very difficult budget year for the Texas legislature, with
school districts and health care programs facing onerous reductions in
funding.TXMPA representatives worked hard to make sure the legislature
recognized the significance of the moving image incentive program to the
state's economy.Key to the success this session was the involvement of
TXMPA membership. Membersthroughout the state met and contacted their
legislators about the personal impact of the program and what it means
to film, television, video game, commercial and other production in
Texas.Thank you.Your efforts paid off.

Our mission doesn't end with the inclusion of program funding in HB 1.It
takes a year-round effort to make sure the message of the importance of
our industry to Texas is heard.TXMPA will continue to work with the
legislature, the Governor's office, and the Texas Film Commission during
the special session and the interim to ensure the ongoing success for
the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and our industry at
large.As TXMPA matures to better handle this task, we need all industry
members to stay involved.Please mark July 23rd on your calendars and
plan to attend the TXMPA annual meeting that will be held in Houston
this year.Keep an eye out for further announcements on meeting details
and on this year's election of representatives to the board.

Again, thank you for all of your efforts and support that kept our
incentive program alive and put us in the position to build it in the

Don Stokes
President, TXMPA