Evening Ticker: Grella’s goals propel Leeds, St. Louis names team and more

GrellaM1 (GettyImages) 

Mike Grella has had his ups and downs since signing with English League One side Leeds United out of Duke University, but his performance on Tuesday will certainly qualify as the highlight of his young career.

Leeds came on as a substitute in overtime and promptly scored two goals to help Leeds run away with a 5-1 FA Cup victory against Kettering on Tuesday.

The victory advances Leeds to the third round of the FA Cup.

Grella has struggled for steady playing time since joining Leeds, but he has enjoyed solid performances in cup competitions, making the 22-year-old one of the more promising young American prospects currently plying their trade in Europe.

Here are some other stories from Tuesday:



The new club set to begin play in St. Louis in 2010 will be called AC St. Louis, club organizers announced on Monday. Whether the team actually has a league to play in is still being sorted out.

St. Louis also introduced its new head coach, Frenchman Claude Anelka, brother of Chelsea start Nicolas Anelka, as well as the team's director of player development, former Manchester United Academy director Francisco Filho.

AC St. Louis will play in the newly-formed North American Soccer League, but not before the new NASL is formally recognized, either by U.S. Soccer or the Canadian Soccer Federation. As it stands, the on-going battle between the new NASL and the USL continues.

For the latest news on the NASL-USL tug-of-war, be sure to check out Inside Minnesota Soccer and The 24th Minute, which have been on the forefront of coverage of the battle.


The Canadian national team will have to wait at least until 2014 to have World Cup aspirations, but the underachieving soccer country has found the man to lead it toward the goal of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.

Stephen Hart was introduced on Tuesday as Canada's new head coach. He has spent most of the current year as Canada's interim head coach.

Hart will look to rebuild a Canadian side that saw its 2010 World Cup hopes dashed when it could not escape CONCACAF's qualifying Group of Death, which including World Cup qualifiers Mexico and Honduras, as well as Jamaica.


What do you think of these stories? Excited to see Grella have such a great game? Like the name AC St. Louis? Starting to wonder if the USL and NASL will ruin each other, leaving North America without a second division?

Share your thoughts below.

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62 Responses to Evening Ticker: Grella’s goals propel Leeds, St. Louis names team and more

  1. Joe says:

    Wow, that sounds mighty impressive developments with St. Louis. That is great news.

    Regarding Canada–they’ll never make the world cup with 2nd tier coaching and the current structure of the CSA (including the cronies that run it) ends up pissing off domestic players rather than nurturing them.

  2. afc says:

    Pittman has 6 goals so Grella is really catching up. I would love to see them called up at some point in their careers. They are still young (23 and 22).

  3. Miami FC duros! says:

    Nats 2014.

  4. Jason says:

    If Leeds sells one of their strikers, Grella will surely get more PT

  5. wilbur06 says:

    Why was Grella able to go play overseas so easily? Does he have a UK passport?

    (SBI-Italian passport through his family.)

  6. Katatonia says:

    simeon jackson and junior hoilet will get Canada to Brazil 2014.

  7. Brett says:

    He’s got an Italian passport.

  8. jig says:

    can someone with greater knowledge of the stl situation than myself provide some insight as to what they are thinking by hiring anelka to be their manager?

    it seems that filho has quite an impressive resume in terms of player development, but claude anelka as head coach? Isnt he an agent? I really hope he’s just a figurehead that will be used to lure some of his buddies over from europe, because this guy surely has no real managerial abilities.

    from the guardian’s list of top 10 worst managers, may 2008:

    Claude Anelka – In 2004, tired of engineering transfers for his restless brother Nicolas and fed up with ‘the crazy things’ he saw managers do, agent and DJ Claude Anelka decided he wanted to be a boss himself. With a ‘mystery’ backer, he offered £300,000 to any lower-league club who would let him be manager, and got a bite at Raith Rovers, in Scottish Division One. Citing Cruyff, Wenger and the boss of Chinawhite nightclub as influences, his philosophy and signings – some from the Paris seven-a-side leagues – brought Rovers just one point from 24 before he stepped aside.

    hahahahahaah come on!

  9. Goalscorer24 says:

    Do some of these young guys like Grella get called up for the MNT? I mean Altidore (19)is playing for the MNT,and he is not scoring for his club team.

  10. simms21 says:

    Just thought everyone should know Eddie Johnson scored a goal today against the Arsenal reserves… It was a penalty… Don’t know whether I should feel happy for him or sad that he can find some amount of form against a bunch of kids…. Minus the kids that are going to Greece for champions league tomorrow.

  11. Jerome says:

    i heard The Philly Union have agreed to share their new built stadium with a womens soccer team(Philly independence). Is this true? If so, Shouldent MLS have the Independence team pay some rent? like MLS teams had to do in the NFL stadiums?

  12. strider says:

    Yes, the Jozy Altidore that was playing well in MLS and is now playing, at least somewhat regularly in the EPL. Grella is having more trouble getting playing time than Jozy in the English 3rd tier for heaven’s sake! Maybe he’ll develop into something in time, but he has to do a lot more than score in Cup matches for a League 1 side.

  13. afc says:

    The kids going to Greece didn’t play in the reserve game. It was a depleated reserve side.

  14. John Nichols says:

    Donovan to Everton?

    link to guardian.co.uk

  15. CrispyST3 says:

    not sure u missed it buuuuutt, “Minus the kids that are going to Greece for champions league tomorrow”

  16. CrispyST3 says:

    That would be NICE!!! Maybe he can get signed permanently afterwards, but i would like to see him in La Liga

  17. Aaron in StL says:

    The blogger for the local paper said earlier this week to look out for a “big name”. I believe it is just a ploy to work any possible connections, because I can’t see any other reason as he doesn’t seem qualified.

    Filho seems like a great pick up for a DII pro side here. We’ll see how it goes, but I imagine most players will just be coming from the midwest.

  18. DC Josh says:

    All three stories are great news.

  19. Pete says:

    Any talk of KC moving to St. Louis again?

  20. timmy_u says:

    Last I heard Jerome, the Independence have contracted to play at the West Chester University stadium even further from the city than the Union. I know there were discussions about them playing there, and they may in the future, but i guess the independence wanted a contracted option in case the field isnt ready on time.

  21. Northzax says:

    AC St. Louis? What a stupid name. Or are there a lot of Italian speakers involved now? Why are all our names so derivitive? Yes, even my beloved DC Unites aren’t a united anything…

  22. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    What part of “Athletic Club” is Italian?

  23. Kevin says:

    I didn’t love the name when I first heard it, thinking it stood for associazione calcio. It actually stands for athletic club, which jives nicely with the women’s team name, Athletica. So while on the surface it seems like a straight-up copycat of a European naming convention, it’s something different. It could even be considered a slight tribute to the Italian community in St. Louis, where a lot of the 1950 World Cup team originated.

  24. Felix says:

    Canada is one of the great mysteries to me in world soccer. How they continually underachieve to such levels is beyond me. Now talent-wise, I’m not saying they should be a perennial world power, but they should be challenging Costa Rica, T&T, and Honduras for a WC birth every cycle, they haven’t even made it to the final hex since 1998.
    In order for CONCACAF to advance competitively as a collective region, we need national sides like Canada to progress and be consistently competitive.

  25. C. says:

    Why did they change the original St. Louis logo from the Soccer United site? It was so good. Everyone liked it and it matched the women’s side. They totally changed the logo and color scheme, separating themselves from the women’s team. I much prefer the blue/green and original logo.

  26. Wine=oh says:

    I was at the press conference and Jeff Cooper explained how everything in the logo and name had some sort of significance and link to St.Louis soccer history. The AC is linked to the Missouri Athletic Club in St.Louis which gives out the Herman Trophy to the top male and female division 1 player each year.

    Not that I agree with the name, but just FYI.

  27. Enoughwith3rd tier players says:

    ZOMG! Grella scored two goals against Kettering! TWO GOALS, Bradley should call him up now! We need a goalscorer like him! maybe pair him with that guy from Wycombe or Jemal Johnson, to have the least intimidating front line in World Cup history…..

  28. SrySnffy says:

    This is good if it’s ONLY A LOAN. Unless he does well, that is.

  29. Steve says:

    Except for the fact that he is playing for a League 1 team. Maybe in the future, but not now. I say use Cunningham while he still has his legs.

  30. ask says:

    It will be funny when england sees league one strikers opposite premier league strikers.

  31. Jerome says:

    isent MLS= leauge 1? i dont see a difference. you got 22-year old collge rookies in MLS the same they are in League 1(grella).

  32. Phil says:

    Obviously the name is playing off of the Italian initials, and one specific certain club. Never have I heard of an English-speaking club, association or group having “what they are” before the name and location in the US. Simply saying it means “Athletic Club” doesn’t take away from the embarrassing fact that it’s referencing Italian structure in an English-speaking (and occasionally Spanish-speaking) country. If it was St. Louis AC, then I wouldn’t be complaining.

    Maybe I’m overreacting and this will grow on me, but so far I’m grouping AC St. Louis with Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and Red Bull New York as painfully embarrassing American soccer names.

  33. WonsanUnited says:

    AC St. Louis has a very very nice logo. Are they going to be playing at that Budwiser stadium?

  34. A.S. says:

    “AC St. Louis”

    I hate, hate, HATE these moronic names that are meant to copy the names of European soccer clubs.

    If you are going to copy an Italian club, why not just go all the way and call the team Saint Juve or Inter Louis? Then again, I am partial to the EPL and thus think the teams should be named St. Louis Hotspur.

  35. Tim H. says:

    As a resident of St. Louis metropolitan area, I am SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED about the prospect of FINALLY!!!!!!! having professional soccer in the area. AC St. Louis is a pretty decent name I suppose. Can’t wait to make it into the MLS soon enough!

  36. Ian says:

    That is destined for failure. Might be one of the worst managerial appointments in the history of the game! I’m surprised I had to go this far to find a comment on that!

  37. Aaron in StL says:

    You are overreacting. Atheltic Bilbao is an “English” club…just in Basque country. Founded by Englishman. AC is just an abbreviation, cool your jets. Honestly, I’d take that name over Wizards, Crew, or any other high school “fighting mascot” some marketing/pr whiz comes up with. I find the “FC, United, Athletic, etc.” much less embarassing when I travel abroad. Try explaining a name like Galaxy or Mutiny to a Euro…they’ll get a chuckle.

    Also, there actually is a large contingent of Italians in the St. Louis area (see the Hill, incredible food/entirely Italian part of St. Louis) and the history of soccer in this city is incredibly tied up in the Italian-American population here.

    Either way, it’s just a NASL team, no need to get too caught up in names. Any possible move to MLS is years off, and a lot could change until then. Plus, we have a lot more to worry about than names, need to get a decent product on the field.

  38. Even says:

    This site has one of Grella’s goal up:
    link to watchsocceronline.blogspot.com

    Not a bad goal at all.

  39. gabe says:

    great story ives. i live in leeds and was at the eldon pub for the match. they went mental and chanted for him.

  40. fischy says:

    Please turn up your sarcasm detector settings….

  41. someone else says:

    Hart isn’t that bad of a coach. Whenever he’s been in charge, Canada plays quite well and is actually entertaining to watch. Whether he is the right person right now… we’ll see.

    The problem for us has always been the structure and leadership (or lack thereof). It’s constantly looked like amateur hour and things did’t really start to change until we got a Canadian team in MLS. Vancouver and Montreal have had solid programs in place for some time but it didn’t really become a national movement until TFC came to be. It’ll take awhile but things will change for the better. It wouldn’t have happened without the US/MLS so I guess you owe you guys… only time I’ll be saying that 😉

  42. Brian says:

    AC St. Louis? How many sports are in this “Athletic Club”? What an ugly a$$ logo too

  43. attenborough says:

    When are we ever going to embrace the uniquely American sports approach to soccer? Why do teams constantly insist on naming teams the way European clubs do? Are we that insecure with our identity relative to other domestic sports that we have to adapt to European custom at every new opportunity?

    FC this, AC that–we call it soccer here. Not football, futbol, or calcio. Let’s give it a shot.

  44. someone else says:

    I hope that is the last time I say that since I made a typo…WE owe you guys…

  45. Phil says:

    Simply taking “United” and attaching it to clubs SHOULD embarrass you. It’s like the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s baseball. Does it add credit to their team by completely biting the San Francisco franchise? No it just means they are insecure about their level of play.

    I don’t react heavily to Athletic or FC (well should be SC) that much, if used correctly. But you ask me how to explain the Galaxy…and I say that it refers to the city’s “stars.” It has a connection, but more importantly (now) it has a history. Can you explain how a club in Mormon country where Spanish is nearly outlawed, and there is no established monarchy, can obtain the title “Real”…or should we just be happy being bastard children of a giant?

    Having a strong identity is the best thing a club can ask for. Seattle recognized that. And, personally, there is nothing better in MLS than the hardworking connotation the Columbus Crew name evokes. What’s wrong with being American?

  46. greg says:

    I get what you’re trying to say, but as someone who has been to a few Tokyo Dome game nights over the years I feel obligated to point out that the Giants are only insecure about their level of play in the same way that the Yankees are insecure about not spending enough money.

  47. Martin says:

    I wouldn’t say Grella has struggled for time at all. Did you expect him to be starting alongside Beckford?

    The truth is Leeds are pretty stacked up front when healthy and Grella has been making regular appearances as an 80th minute sub. He seems to be on par for time with the likes of Kandol and Showumni but still behind Beckford, Becchio and Vokes which is stil pretty good.

  48. Ron says:

    Using team names common in soccer (not just European soccer) is better than perpetuating the ultra-stupid American practice of naming every team after some idiotic mascot or animal. We don’t need any more Bears, Bats, Wombats, Dingbats, etc. etc. I am so sick of that I could puke.

  49. Ron says:

    Also, remember where Americanm soccer has been in terms of team names. Washington DIPS. Chicago Sting. LA Aztecs. Dallas Sidekicks. New York Cosmos. Colorado Rapids.

    Blecccch. Dumb beyond belief.

  50. Good Stuff says:

    Yeah, imagine if a team called themselves the Spurs like San Antonio in that basketball league! Or instead of the Detroit Lions, Three Lions. Man that’s lame.

  51. Matt in Detroit. says:

    I agree. Aping europeans is absurd. I can’t think of a single person who sprinted off to purchase a season ticket to a soccer club because they decided to name the team “FC”.

    It’s idiotic. The reason why they get big crowds for soccer in Europe/Africa/Latin America is because they’ve been watching for 100 years and its ingrained into the culture. Not because naming it “Futbal” will make people want to watch 22 guys kicking a ball around.

  52. James says:

    You are overreacting. It’s a name and your thoughts mean zero. Get over it. You can name your team whatever you want.

  53. Ron says:

    So in your view what are good team names then?

  54. James says:

    Yeah, I’m sure the Yomiuri Owner had an inferiority complex about his team, in 1934. That’s nonsense.

  55. Martin says:

    Tottenham Hotspur Football Club: Founded 1882 as Hotspur FC

    San Antonio Spurs: Founded 1967

    Imagine that

  56. Joe says:

    I was not a huge fan of AC St Louis initially, but would have prefered the Steamers/ Stars, or something, but I will say it is growing on me. Linking it back to the Missouri Athletic Club is cool, especially for St Louis residents.

    I LOVE the colors, especially if you recognize they are the same as the old St Louis Browns baseball team. St Louis is all about tradition and I cannot wait to buy one of the first AC St Louis jerseys when they are available.

  57. Brett says:

    I’m fine with imitating European club names here. We still have our fair share of “American” style names. But as awareness of the game, and of European leagues, grows in the US we should reflect that in our leagues.

    The only one I disagree with is “Real”. What point is there to that? There is only one team in Salt Lake City. They could have just gone with “Salt Lake City” as the team name, following Manchester City, Hull City, etc. It also bugs me when commentators say “ray-al”. It’s an American team playing in America where the word is pronounced “reel”. Do they think saying “ray-al” makes it sound international and cool? News flash: it doesnt.

  58. Fred says:

    Too close to Angst St. Louis.

  59. Aaron in StL says:

    Dude…it’s DII soccer in the U.S. That seems a little over the top. All of us would probably be qualified, which isn’t saying much.

  60. Aaron in StL says:

    If that’s the explanation for the Galaxy, then yes I’d be embarrassed. No reason that soccer needs to conform to other American sports. Doesn’t have to get snobby, but pulling from where the game originated (Europe) is not that big of a deal to me.

    What gets me are the cookie-cutter names used in the NBA, MLB, NFL. Those shouldn’t cross over to the MLS or any pro soccer league here.