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June 28, 2009

2009 US Open Cup. 3rd Round.

Filed under: Soccer NASL/MLS/USL/NWSL — admin @ 12:25 pm

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NBC Channel 40 (Atlantic City, New Jersey) sports highlights,  of Ocean City Barons 3-0 Crystal Palace Baltimore (June 7, 2009, at Carey Stadium, Ocean City, New Jersey) [a 1st round match of the 2009 US Open Cup] {click here}.      

2009 US Open Cup, 2nd round: Ocean City 1-0 Real Maryland (June 14) {click on the following:  http://www.youtube.com/user/oceancitybarons }.   

The Ocean City Barons,  who hail from the south New Jersey coast (12 miles from Atlantic City),  were awarded the $10,000 prize,  as the amatuer team that advanced the furthest in the tournament.  Impressive,  as is the fact that the team is able to land a sponsor as respectable as Moen,  the faucet manufacturer.  Go Barons !  {Ocean City Barons site, here}.    I also like the fact that the Barons play in a ground which has a ferris wheel as a backdrop.  Well,  they do play in a “resort town” (I know…linking the phrase “resort” with the concept of New Jersey is pushing it).  And as they are 15 minutes away from Atlantic City,  they have a sort of vague Blackpool FC-aspect to them. 

The Ocean City Barons travel to Germantown, Maryland to play a 2009 US Open Cup 3rd round match against current Cup-holders DC United,  on Tuesday night, the 30th of June.  The venue,  the Maryland SoccerPlex,  is the former home of the USL-2 team Real Maryland FC (whom the Barons eliminated in the 2nd round).

Seven of the eight 3rd round matches will be played on Tuesday, June 30,  with the Portland Timbers v. Seattle Sounders match on July 1. 

3rd round schedule, with locations [3rd round is halfway down the page] {here (WVHooligan.com site)}. 

One interesting fixture is the Harrisburg City Islanders v. New England Revolution, at New Britain, Connecticut…which is 83 miles (135 kilometers) from the Revolution’s home field,  the gargantuan NFL venue Gillette Stadium (68,000 capacity), in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  Last season,  the Revolution drew 3,950 in New Britain,  for a similar 3rd Round draw (beating Richmond 3-0);  and in 2007,  for a semifinal match,  the Revs drew 4,203.  This was four weeks after they drew a jaw-dropping,  embarrassingly tiny crowd of 1,512,  to a quarterfinals match at Gillette Stadium (!).  “Major”  League Soccer ?  That gate figure is more appropriate for English Non-League football.  

The largest crowd in the 2008 US Open Cup 3rd round was 6,678,  in Bridgeview, Illinois for the Chicago Fire v. Cleveland City Stars.  So the New England Revolution have been acting wisely,  avoiding paltry home crowds that would be swallowed up by a sea of empty seats in Foxboro,  by moving the game an hour-and-a-half’s drive west,  to central Connecticut’s Veteran’s Stadium {see this}.  This broadens the New England Revolution’s fan base,  and getting around 4,000 for a match when there is no regular soccer team playing there is not too shabby…for the United States,  that is,  when it comes to ticket-paying soccer fans,  or lack thereof.  And one can see that a similar conclusion was reached by the DC United organization,  in staging their home game v. Ocean City 22 miles outside the District of Columbia,  in a 5,100-capacity stadium.

US Open Cup site  {click here}.

[Note: please excuse the low quality of the non-MLS teams' jerseys on the map...6 of those 8 jersey images had to be cobbled together,  as there were no better images I could find.]

Thanks to Albion Road site…Jeremy wrote the team write-ups on the map  {AlbionRoad.com, click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia  {click here (US Open Cup page)}.

June 26, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Kansas City Royals.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:32 am

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Below: Kansas City Royals Auxiliary Chart,  featuring uniforms and logos from the history of the Kansas City Royals franchise (1969-2009).

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Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Kansas City Royals 1978-1986)}.     Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to JerseyExpress.com {click here}.     Thanks to Joe’s Sports {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {Kansas City Royals page, here}. 

June 23, 2009

Italy: the 3 promoted clubs at the end of the 2008-’09 season, from Serie B to Serie A.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Italy — admin @ 4:40 am

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The map shows the three clubs which have won promotion from Italy’s Serie B to the Serie A,  for the 2009-2010 season. 

Serie B winners in 08/09 were AS Bari,  the biggest club from the province of Apulia [Italian: Puglia ],  which is located in the “boot-heel” of the Italian peninsula,  on the Adriatic Sea.  Bari has spent 28 seasons in Serie A,  and are back in the top flight after an eight year absence.  The club’s last four-season spell in the top tier ended in 2000-’01;  they drew 26,415 per game in 97/98,  their first season back up.  Bari saw a 300 percent increase at the gate in 08/09 (15,345 per game) versus 07/08 (3,773 per game).  The club plays at the Stadio San Nicola,  which was built for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.  The city of Bari has a population of 320,676 (2008 figure),  and is 220 kilometers (137 miles) east of Naples.

Second place in Serie B in 08/09 were Parma FC,  who bounce straight back up to Serie A.  The club has had difficuties ever since their former owning company collapsed in the wake of the Parmalat scandal of late 2003.  But from the early 1990′s through to the early 2000′s,  the club amassed an impressive trophy haul,  with 3 Coppa Italia Titles (1992, 1999, and 2002);  2 UEFA Cup Titles (1995 and 1999);  and the 1993 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Title.  Parma also finished in 2nd place,  just 1 point behind Juventus,  in the 1996-’97 Seria A season.  During this time period their turnstile count peaked at 25,364 per game in 1993-’94.   Parma’s average attendance their last season in Serie A (07/08) was 15,427 per game.  The city of Parma is in the region of Emilia-Romagna,  115 km. (72 mi.) southeast of Milan,  and has a population of 178,000 (2007 figure).

The third and final promotion place in Serie B in 08/09 was decided by promotion playoffs.  AS Livorno,  Brescia,  Empoli FC,  and US Grosseto competed for the qualification.  Livorno survived a 0-2 first leg deficit away to second division upstarts Grosseto,  going on to win 4-1 in the second leg.  Then the club from the Tuscan port city took a 2-2 aggregate v. Brescia and trounced them at their Stadio Armando Picchi, 3-0 last Saturday to win promotion straight back to Serie A.   Here are the highlights of Livorno 3-0 Brescia (20 June, 2009) {click here (Youtube)}.

AS Livorno are known for their considerable contingent of left-wing supporters {see this}.  Livorno have spent 16 seasons in Serie A,  with their best season being a second place finish in 1942-’43 (when they lost the title to Torino by 1 point).  The club’s high at the turnstiles was in 2004-’05,  when in their first season back in Serie A for 55 years, they averaged 15,334 per game.  But by 07/08,  when they were relegated,  Livorno were only averaging 9,901 per game.  The city of Livorno has a population of 160,000 (2007 figure),  and is 145 km. (90 mi.) southeast of Genoa.

[Note: on the map I have shown the 6 largest metropolitan ares in Italy {see this (Mongabay.com)}.

Thanks to CityDistance Tool @ Geobytes.com {click here}.   Thanks to the E-F-S site, for gate figures {click here }.   Thanks to WorldStadiums site {click here (set at Stadiums in Europe)}.   Thanks to Stadium.Football.co.uk {click here (set at European Stadiums)}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Serie A 2009-10)}.

June 20, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 5:38 pm

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Below: Los Angeles Angels Auxillary Chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim franchise,  established in 1961,  as the Los Angeles Angels (1961-1964) / California Angels (1965-1996) / Anaheim Angels (1997-2004) / Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005-2009).

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Angels team history and photos,  from the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here}.   Thanks to MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Cooperstown Collection Caps by American Needle {click here (set at California Angels page)}.   Thanks to Sportsstore.USAToday.com {click here}.   Thanks to PrimoCaps.com {click here}.   Thanks to Jim’s Jerseys Game-Worn MLB Jerseys {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim page)}.

June 17, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 5:43 pm

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Below:  Los Angeles Dodgers Auxiliary Chart, featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise…established in 1883 in the American Association (I) as the Brooklyn Atlantics (II) (1883-1884) / Brooklyn Grays (1885-1887) / Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1888-1898, with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms joining the National League in 1890) / Brooklyn Superbas (1899-1910) / Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers (1911-1912) / Brooklyn Dodgers (1913) / Brooklyn Robins (1914-1931) / Brooklyn Dodgers (1932-1957) / Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-2009).
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Brooklyn Dodgers team history with photos, at Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.   Los Angeles Dodgers team history with photos, at Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here (set at Brooklyn Superbas/ Robins/ Dodgers)}. 

Thanks to the contibutors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Los Angeles Dodgers page)}.   Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site, featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Brooklyn Dodgers, 1936-1944)}.   Thanks to the MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Baseball Fever site {Brooklyn Dodgers thread, here}.  

Thanks to the contributors,  particularly “pedrooch”,  on this thread from Answers.Yahoo.com {click here (the pertinent information is about halfway down the page,  where it goes into great detail about the persistance of the Dodger nickname despite the ball club being officially known as the Brooklyn Robins in the 1920′s)}.   Thanks to this page on artist Willard Mullin {click here}.  

Thanks to BallParkTour site: http://www.ballparktour.com/Ebbets_Field.html 

June 16, 2009

2009 US Open Cup. 2nd Round (16 teams).

Filed under: Soccer NASL/MLS/USL/NWSL — admin @ 4:30 am

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2009 US Open Cup Bracket {click here}.    All 8 matches in the 2nd round are on Tuesday,  June 16.  On the map,  at the top,  center-right,  I have included a small bracket for the 2nd round and 3rd round match-ups (MLS teams enter in the 3rd round).  I have also included kits of all the teams in the 2nd round.

U.S.OpenCup.com site home page,  which will have a scoreboard and Twitter updates for games Tuesday evening {click here}.

Thanks to Albion Road site {click here}.

June 13, 2009

Spain: the 3 promoted clubs in the 2008-’09 season, from the Segunda Division to La Liga.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Spain — admin @ 4:02 pm

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One more weekend remains in Spain’s Segunda Division,  but all 3 clubs at the top have clinched promotion…CD Tenerife,  Xerez CD,  and Real Zaragoza. 

CD Tenerife are the most successful football club from the Canary Islands. The club plays in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the second-most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands. It’s metro-area has a population of 399,000 (2008 estimate).  CD Tenerife count a significant amount of English expatriates as supporters;  see this site { http://www.armadasur.com/cd-tenerife-football-supporters-club/ }.  CD Tenerife have spent 12 seasons in La Liga. Tenerife’s second-to-last spell in La Liga included two impressive UEFA Cup runs (making it to the round of 16 in 1992,  and to the semi-finals in 1995),  but they were relegated in 1999.  Tenerife gained promotion two seasons later,  but were relegated the next year.  They drew 16,684 in 2001-’02,  their last season in La Liga.  Tenerife will probably surpass that figure in 2009-2010,  seeing as how they drew in the high 15,000′s this season in the 2nd division.     

Xerez CD are from Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia,  57 miles from Gibralter.  The region got an early start in football,  in the late nineteenth century (owing to the sherry production in the area,  which drew an English presence),  and Xerez Fútbol Club was founded in 1909.  This club merged with Club Deportivo Jerez in 1947 to create Xerez Club Deportivo.   The club has never been in the first division.  Xerez drew 9,110 per game in 2008-’09.

Real Zaragoza bounces straight back to La Liga after one season in the Segunda Division.  The club is from the city of Zaragoza,  which is in the autonomous community and former kingdom of Aragon.  The city is the fifth largest in Spain, with a population of 682,000,  and a metropolitan population of 783,000 (2006 estimates).  The club has spent 54 seasons in the first division,  and the La Liga all-time table has Real Zaragoza in the 9th position {see this}.  The club could be described as cup specialists,  as they have never really challenged for the La Liga title (with just one second place finish),  but have won the Copa del Rey 6 times (most recently in 2004).  Zaragoza play at La Romareda,  which has a capacity of 34,596.  The club drew 30,711 in 07/08,  their last season in La Liga.   Here is an article on Real Zaragoza from the FourFourTwo site {click here}.

Thanks to  WorldFootball.net,  for Segunda Division attendance figures {click here}.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikimedia {click here (2009-2010 La Liga page)}.

June 11, 2009

MLB Ball Clubs and their Minor League Affiliates: the Milwaukee Brewers.

Filed under: Baseball Clubs/Farm Teams — admin @ 4:27 am

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Below:  Milwaukee Brewers Auxillary chart,  featuring selected uniforms and logos from the history of the Milwaukee Brewers franchise…established in the American League in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots (1969) / the Milwaukee Brewers,  established in the American League in 1970 (1970-1994) / the Milwaukee Brewers, established in the National League in 1995 (1995-2009).

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Brewers Team history with photos,  at the Sports E-Cyclopedia site {click here}.

Thanks to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” site,  featuring baseball uniforms templates drawn by Marc Okkonen {click here (set at Brewers, 1978-1986)}.   Thanks to Chris creamer’s Sports Logos Page {click here}.   Thanks to Brands of the World {click here}.   Thanks to the MLB shop {click here}.   Thanks to Jersey Express.com {click here}.

June 8, 2009

2009 US Open Cup. 1st Round (32 teams: 8 USL-1 teams, 8 USL-2 teams, 8 PDL teams, and the 8 teams which qualified via the USASA).

Filed under: Soccer NASL/MLS/USL/NWSL — admin @ 4:34 am

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This map was made in collaboration with the Albion Road site { http://www.albionroad.com }. 

2009 US Open, 1st Round Bracket  {click here}.

The American soccer pyramid has Major League Soccer at the top.  There is no relegation or promotion betrween this top tier and the second tier,  which is the United Soccer League First Division (USL-1).  There is movement of teams between the USL-1 and USL-2,  as well as between the lower levels,  but this is not based on performance,  but upon costs constraints of the teams themselves.  Sometimes teams volunteer to be relegated from, say USL-1 to USL-2,  as a cost-cutting measure.  [This pretty much sums up the hand-to-mouth situation of professional soccer in the USA.]  Teams can also move up the pyramid,  as have the Cleveland City Stars this year (from USL-2 to USL-1).   

The fourth level of the pyramid is shared by teams in the Premier Development League,  the National Premier Soccer League,  and the Pacific Coast Soccer League [note: no teams from the PCSL qualified this year for the cup.].  Premier Development League teams compete in a seperate sub-competition for qualification to the US Open Cup;  while NPSL and amateur teams compete in a different sub-competiton for qualification to the US Open Cup,  under the aegis of the United States Adult Soccer Association (the USASA) .

The US Open Cup was established in 1914,  as the National Challenge Cup.  In 1952,  the competition became the National Open Cup.  The present name was adopted in 1959.  This name was amended in 1999,  when US Soccer honored one of the most important architects of the sport in America,  Lamar Hunt,  the Kansas City Chiefs gridiron football team owner,  who went on to be instrumental in the formation of the MLS,  including his ownership of the Kansas City Wizards MLS team.  Hence the present-day official name of the competition:  the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Since Major League Soccer was established in 1996,  a MLS team has won the US Open Cup Title every season,  except 1999,  when,  I am proud to say,  my hometown team,  the Rochester Rhinos,  won the cup,  beating the Colorado Rapids 2-0,  before 4,555 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. 

Unlike most European nations’ cups,  which are modelled after the English FA Cup,  all top flight teams in the USA (ie, MLS teams) are not guaranteed a spot in the competition…only 8 of the 14 American MLS teams qualify [ ! ?.].  The 8 MLS teams get a two-round bye,  though,  and enter in the 3rd Round.  However,  the 16 American teams from the USL (USL-1 and USL-2) automatically qualify for the US Open Cup 1st Round.   

This year’s competition features regional draws for the 1st Round,  to save on costly travel expenses for the lower-level teams.  Here is the US Open Cup.com’s 2009 qualification page {click here}.

All sixteen games will take place Tuesday, June 9.  Here is the US Open Cup First Round schedule  {click here}

Thanks to Jeremy,  at the AlbionRoad.com site {click here}.  Jeremy wrote the USL-1, USL-2,  and PDL teams’ write-ups on the map.   Thanks to http://www.usopencup.com/ .   Thanks to http://www.aegeanhawks.com/ .   Thanks to Lynch’s Irish Pub FC site {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here,  set at 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup page)}.

June 5, 2009

Germany: the 3 clubs promoted at the end of the 2008-’09 season, from 2.Fussball-Bundesliga to Fussball-Bundesliga.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Germany — admin @ 5:47 pm

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The map shows the three clubs to win promotion to the German Bundesliga-1 for the 2009-2010 season. 

Bundesliga -2 winners in 08/09 were SC Freiburg,  a yo-yo club from the foothills of the Black Forest,  in far south-western Germany,  in the state of Baden-Würtemburg.  Freiburg has spent 10 seasons in the top tier in Germany,  their last in 2005-’06.

Second in Bundesliga-2 were FSV Mainz 05,  a club from Mainz,  which is 32 kilometers (19 miles) west of Frankfurt,  in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.  Mainz had never been in the first division before 2003-’04,  and were relegated in ’07.  Next season will be only the club’s fourth in Bundesliga-1.

The winner of the promotion/relegation playoff,  over Energie Cottbus,  was FC Nürnburg,  a club with a storied past.  Nürnburg won 6 German Titles in the era between the two World Wars;  they won another national title in 1948,  and they won one in 1961.  Nurnburg has won one championship since the Bundesliga began in 1963-’64…in 1968.   That is a total 9 German titles.  Nürnburg has also won 4 DFB-Pokal [German Cup] Titles,  their first two in the 1930′s,  one in 1962,  and their most recent in 2007.  Nürnburg plays in the 47,000-capacity Frankenstadion,  which was renovated for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.  In their last season in Bundesliga-1 (07/08),  Nürnburg drew 43,033 per game.  Nürnburg bounces straight back to Bundesliga-1 for the 2009-2010 season,  which will be the northern Bavarian club’s 18th season in the German top flight.

In a side note,  with Energie Cottbus’ relegation,  Bundesliga-1 will be without a club from the former East Germany for only the second season since German re-unification.  East and West Germany were united in 1990,  and for football clubs,  the best two clubs from the 1990-’91 DDR-Oberliga season were accomadated to Bundesliga-1 for 1991-’92  {see this}.  These were Hansa Rostock (who have now spent 12 seasons in Bundesliga-1) and Dynamo Dresden (who have now spent 4 seasons in Bundesliga-1).  The other season with no former-East German club-representation was in 2005-’06…Hansa Rostock had been relegated in 04/05,  and Energie Cottbus would gain promotion in the spring of ’06.

[Note: I didn't use a blank map for the base map on this post,  because I found a nice map that showed German cities with their metropolitan areas.  Here is a list of the largest cities/ urban areas,  from the CityMayors site (they don't list year of population estimate, but it's probably 2003,  like the list for France that I linked in my last Promotions map)  {click here}.]   

Thanks to the Maps of Germany site,  for the base map  {click here}.   Thanks to Subside Sports,  for kit photos {click here}.   Thanks to FanSport24.d, for kit photos {click here}.   Thanks to Jako.co.uk, for a generic white jersey for me to slap togather a rendition of the elusive 08/09 SC Freiburg away jersey {click here}.   Thanks to http://www.colours-of-football.co.uk .   Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Fussball-Bundesliga, 2009-2010 season)}.  Thanks to Bobby McMahon {click here} for pointing out the no-East German clubs-for-the-second-time angle.

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