Saturday, September 11

Possible new St Louis owner identified?

Earlier this evening, a possible name as a potential new owner for AC St Louis of the USSF Division-2 (NASL Conference) was seemingly prematurely released by Inside Minnesota Soccer. A post on the blog site was apparently created featuring the identity of a replacement owner as local real estate venture partner Ryan Woods, but has since been removed.

An accompanying tweet via the site's Twitter account @MinnesotaSoccer has also since been removed from the web, but traces of the blog post can be found in a Google search. Both are available below.

Woods heads Gateway Real Estate Partners and is with Lee & Associates Property Management. He is currently in the midst of brokering a large real estate development project in the area that has been slow to get off the ground due to financial and legal hurdles. Part of the project is reliant on the condemnation of, ironically, a construction company in the area, but the ownership of the business won a court order in January preventing the St. Louis County Circuit Court from utilizing a condemnation action against Waterhout Construction Co. As reported by the St Louis Business Journal... "Bell, who owns Waterhout, requested the appellate court action Dec. 22, claiming Richmond Heights no longer has the right to take the property for redevelopment since the city no longer has a valid redevelopment proposal, a statutory requirement of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Act [Full article]."

Friday, September 10

Coming Up Around CONCACAF

With the FIFA break complete, all the leagues around CONCACAF are back into full swing this week. A number of them feature some very intriguing contests of league leaders squaring off. The busy day, as usual, is Saturday, which will feature for only the second time this season all 12 USSF Division-2 clubs in action on the same day, including league-leading Austin traveling to face Champions League side Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is coming off a midweek upset, 2-1, at home to Montreal. Also in action midweek were four MLS clubs as Chicago and Toronto finished in a scoreless stalemate Wednesday with Real Salt Lake and Seattle doing the same a night later, putting RSL in a three-way tie atop the league. The MLS action for the week finishes up with all the remaining contests on Saturday, featuring a showdown between Eastern and Western Conference leaders - at the beginning of the week - Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy, who both enter the match level at 13-5-5.

In Mexico, the match of the week is one of the four matches across CONCACAF Friday evening (1 MLS, 2 Panama), featuring the preseason favorite Toluca hitting the road to face promoted darling Necaxa, which has gotten off to an impressive start despite having only one win (1-3-2). The following night, the league’s lone unbeaten, 3-3-0 Monterrey, will face arguably the stiffest test of the young season when the club visits Tigres.

Moving further south into Central America, several more fixtures feature top sides facing one another. The close-knit races in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will see some drama.

In El Salvador, the top five clubs are separated by just two points with Vista Hermosa traveling to meet Once Municipal in a meeting of two of the three clubs tied for third Sunday. Three clubs are tied for first in Guatemala, where after seven games, the top eight teams, amazingly, are within three points of one another in a league of parity that has three clubs tied for first. Two of those three, Comunicaciones and Juventud Retalteca square off Sunday.

The Honduran league also features no runaway leader yet as the top six are separated by three points. Four of them will meet in a pair of contests this weekend. Third-place Marathon Saturday hosts promoted side Necaxa, which is tied for first with Platense, which is on the road versus fifth-place Olimpia on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 8

TSB Power Rankings: Revs Climb In Quiet Week

With all but two Mexican clubs idle due to the FIFA break and both FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake posting 1-0 victories, there was little movement in the Top 10 of the TSB CONCACAF Pro Club Power Rankings.

The lone change in the Top 10 came with New York’s narrow 1-0 road loss to number four Real Salt Lake, dropping the Red Bulls two spots from their position at eighth.

Further back in the Top 25, Costa Rica’s Alajuelense posted a 3-1 win over Herediano, one of the other league leaders, to move up two spots to 13. A 1-1 draw between Chicago and Los Angeles closed the gap between the two as the Galaxy dropped three spots to 22 and the Fire rose five to 26.

The biggest move in the top half of the rankings was the climb from 42 to 32 by the New England Revolution, who downed the Seattle Sounders, 3-1, and narrowly fell to Morelia, 2-1, in the SuperLiga Final. Barrio Mexico of Costa Rica was not far behind, jumping from 44 to 37 as they were one of the lone top teams in Central America that avoided upset on the week. Also making a good-sized move were the Portland Timbers, who edged Puerto Rico, 1-0, to end the Islanders’ nine-game unbeaten streak, pushing them up eight spots to 41.

Among the movers in the second half of the list was Real Espana, which used a 3-2 win over Marathon in Honduran action to rise up to 60 from 74. Panama’s San Francisco handed Arabe Unido its first lost, climing from 86 to 76 and Victoria (HON) went from unranked to 84 with its fourth consecutive without a loss.

The other two clubs to move into the list with victories were Atletico Veraguense (PAN) and Vida (HON) with the Miami FC Blues (USSF-D2), Suchitepequez (GUA) and Universidad de El Salvador (SLV) sliding out of the Top 100.

Tuesday, September 7

Central America Round-Up

It was a good week for the leaders in Costa Rica, but an unfortunate one for those in Honduras and Panama, where Necaxa and Arabe Unido each suffered their first league losses of the season.

Monday, September 6

North America Round-Up

Although it was a designated FIFA international break, the action remained in full swing for Major League Soccer and USSF Division-2 while the Mexican Primera took the weekend off with the exception of one contest, which proved costly.

The race for the league lead tightened in MLS with leader Los Angeles playing to a tie while those close behind picked up points in the chase. The next tier saw the league lead change hands as Austin reclaimed the top spot. Meanwhile, three of the hottest clubs in the league squared off with Champions League side Puerto Rico making the trek to the northwest to face Portland and Vancouver.

A loss to Chivas Guadalajara Sunday resulted in the dismissal of Estudiantes Tecos head coach Miguel Herrera Monday after a 1-1-4 start to the Apertura campaign. Herrera had led the club since the eighth match of the 2008 Apertura campaign and guided the club to the quarterfinals twice. Luis Manuel Diaz will take the post on an interim basis until a replacement is named.