Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stories of the Day - March 17: Health care; MLS biz & top goals

As I mentioned in the early days of this feature, the name may change - and so it has. Although the name has changed, the content will remain the same and it will continue to serve, on most days, as morning reading material.

This weekend is 'Rivalry Week' for MLS, but Saturday's action came up a little lackluster on that note, though the first match of the day served up a lot more drama despite the 0-0 score. New York dominated play with two shots off the woodwork and lost Thierry Henry, who skipped the post-game media, to injury late in a match that will also spark a lot more discussion on when MLS would implement goal-line technology that in the past year was finally approved by FIFA. Here is the NASR TODAY round-up of recaps with links to stats and highlights.

Another Goalkeeper Goes Down
If their was a national infirmary for soccer players, they would have an entire ward full of goalkeepers at the moment with a slew of US netminders going out of late. First it was Hope Solo going in for surgery on her wrist, then the US WNT lost Jill Loyden to a broken hand. That same day Tim Howard broke some non weight-bearing bones in his back. Zipping forward to Saturday, the Colorado Rapids' Matt Pickens suffered a broken forearm while rising to play a ball coming into the box, hitting it off a forward's head.

Speaking of Health Care
Last week FIFA executives began to intimate that they wanted Qatar to approach them and request moving the 2022 World Cup to a winter schedule to avoid the extreme heat of the normal tournament window. Now, after a FIFA medical committee meeting in Belgium, the organization's medical chief is adamant that the change should happen not only for player medical safety, but also for fans - many of whom would not be accustom to the conditions.

Nazi Salute in Greece Causes Stir
A Greek player says it was accidental and had no idea what it meant, but in a match in the domestic league he gave the Nazi salute after scoring the go-ahead strike late in the match for AEK. It's a surprising gesture considering his coach is German. If the salute was accidental, you have to definitely question the Greek education system for one of its own not knowing one of the most infamous salutes in Europe and around the world.

Messi vs Lebron
On a bit of a lighter note in world soccer and sports, ESPN basketball writer Marc Stein examines who is greater in their given sport, NBA great LeBron James or Argentine star Lionel Messi?

Garber Reiterates NY2 Focus, but Eyes Florida 
On hand for the New York Red Bulls opener, commissioner Don Garber spoke with media once again and discussed their continued intent on building the stadium in Queens and their desire for a second NY franchise. He went on to add, though, that they are now increasingly considering the expansion opportunities in Florida, particularly with the advancements in Orlando of late.

RSL Saved From Collapse?
Commissioner Garber's positive expansion comments came hours after a report from the Salt Lake Tribune outlined that new Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen says he saved the club from a collapse, though the previous owner Dave Checketts argued otherwise. Hansen says the club was under enormous debt due to the stadium construction and massive spending to become one of the most competitive teams. The story also outlines the process in the ownership transfer, including news that Garber oversaw a sealed auction in December according to Checketts, who initially ponied up to buy Hansen out but pulled out before finalizing the deal.


1) Rodney Wallace (POR) stoppage time equalizer

2) Precision strike inside far post by Justin Morrow (SJ) 

3) Steve Zakuani finds Eddie Johnson for go-ahead Seattle goal

'Stories of the Day' is a quick recap of interesting, underreported, or top soccer news items - sometimes accompanied by some commentary - to give readers in the Inland Northwest area (or beyond) a brief look around the North American news scene.