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The 2007 Soccer Year in Review

Published 12/22/2007 8:57:40 AM by staff from dallas
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There were no world championships for US national teams, but you can't say 2007 wasn't without excitement, drama and successes.  It was a year when Bob Bradley coached his way from interim mens national team head coach to having the interim tag removed.  Meanwhile, US womens national team coach Greg Ryan coached his way out of a job.

Bradley's 10-0-1 start in leading the US men to a CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship, beating Mexico in the final, was an unqualified success.  Ryan's run in the FIFA Womens World Cup was ultimately a failure as the team lost to Brazil 4-0 in the semifinal. It was a yo-yo year, one of ups and downs.  The glow of the Gold Cup success was quickly extinguished weeks later when the US took a younger and more inexperienced team to Venezuela for Copa America.  Against Argentina, Columbia and Paraguay the US was 3 and out.

The US Under 20s had an excellent run in the Under 20 World Championships, beating Brazil, Poland and Uruguay before losing to Austria in the quarterfinals.The Under 17 men were expected to be better at the Under 17 World Championships, but were beaten by Germanyin the second round.  They had only one win to show for the tourney.

Major League Soccer's 12th season ended with the Houston Dynamo winning its second consecutive MLS Cup title, and the New England Revolution losing its third straight final.  The Dynamo and Revolution were the best two teams at the end of the year while the regular season top two, Chivas USA and DC United, failed to reach the final.

The 2007 season will be remembered for the signing of David Beckham, who came to the league injured in July.  He played a handful of games, but spent most of his time on the bench or in the training room.  Even with that, his coming into the league created a buzz that generated media attention and increased league attendance.  It was just a prelude to 2008 when a healthy Beckham takes the field for the Galaxy.

Beckham's signing was a result of a new ruling that allowed each team to sign a designated player outside the salary cap.Columbian Juan Pablo Angel and Claudio Reyna were signed under that ruleby the Red Bulls.  Angel notched 19 goals. DC United signed Brazilian Luciano Emilio and he led the league with 20 goals.  Cuauhtemoc Blanco, a love him or hate him veteran from Mexico, was signed from Mexico and he helped lead the Chicago Fire to the MLS semifinals. MLS grew by two teams in 2007 when the San Jose Earthquakes were announced a return for 2008 and Seattle was awarded a franchise for 2009.

So we take a break for a couple of months, but all eyes are turning to the coming year.  the Olympics in China next fall and qualifying for South Africa 2010 are ahead.



Label: soccer, 2007 soccer
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