Earnie Stewart, Dutch-American, in Soccer Hall of Fame


Dutch-American soccer player Earnie Stewart was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Tuesday along with three-time World Cup veterans Eddie Pope and Cobi Jones.

Stewart, who was born in Veghel, the Netherlands, was a regular midfielder for the U.S. national team from 1990s until his retirement in 2005. He played 101 full international games for the United States with the first against Portugal in 1990 and the last against Grenada in June of 2004. He played in 3 World Cups for the USA and he scored the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Colombia that sent the Americans into the round of 16 at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

His 111 goals as a professional in the Netherlands makes him the highest-scoring American in international club play. In 2001 he was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. Stewart was born to an American father and a Dutch mother and holds dual citizenship.

Stewart is currently back in the Netherlands, where he is the Director of Football for soccer club AZ in Alkmaar.

D.C. United to host AFC Ajax in international friendly


Soccer club D.C. United announced that the club will play an international friendly against legendary Dutch Eredivisie side AFC Ajax on Sunday, May 22 at RFK Stadium. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two clubs from Washington, DC and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

AFC Ajax played in the RFK Stadium once before, in a 1-1 draw against the U.S. Men’s National Team on May 12, 1990.

“We’re excited to kick off our 2011 schedule of international games with one of the most honored teams in European soccer, Ajax of Amsterdam,” said United President and CEO Kevin Payne. “This match will be the first of several matches this season featuring top quality European opponents and we’re pleased that our season ticket holders will have the opportunity to attend each of these matches as a part of their package.”

“We are truly honored to be coming to the US and playing the most storied franchise in MLS history,” said Ajax manager Frank de Boer. “We are fully aware of the passionate D.C. United fans and we look forward to show casing our unique brand of Ajax football as we visit the States for the first time in many years.”

Update: AFC Ajax will also play the Portland Timbers in Portland, OR on May 25. More info here (Thank you, Dutch

D.C. United vs. AFC Ajax
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Sunday, May 22. Kick-off is set for 5:00 p.m. ET.

Dutch-American Bert Blyleven in Hall of Fame


Netherlands-born baseball player Bert Blyleven was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame today. Blyleven was born Rik Aalbert Blijleven in Zeist, the Netherlands, and he becomes the first Dutch-American to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.

Blyleven pitched in 22 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and California Angels and compiled a 287-250 record with a 3.31 ERA, 242 complete games, 60 shutouts and 3,701 strikeouts in 4,969 1/3 innings. Often considered to have the toughest curveball of his time, Blyleven threw two different types, the "roundhouse" and the "overhand drop", according to the Hall of Fame press release. "He gripped both like a fastball and used a balanced, full follow-through to get movement".

In 1996 he became commentator for Minnesota Twins. Blyleven was a pitching coach for the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

According to a biography by Professor Pegels, an expert on Dutch-Americans, Blyleven is a unique player: "Bert Blyleven was and still is the only native Dutchman to have made a successful career, as measured by quality of play, in American professional baseball".

Byleven and his colleague Roberto Alomar will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 24 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with executive Pat Gillick.

Watching World Cup soccer in the USA


2010 FIFA World Cup.The 2010 FIFA World Cup will start on June 11 in South Africa. The Dutch team starts the first round with games against Japan, Cameroon and Denmark.

The World Cup games will be broadcasted by ESPN and ABC. Check with your local Dutch club or to find other Dutch soccer fans watching the game.

Schedule for Group E:

  • June 14, 2010 @ 7:30 AM ET: Netherlands vs. Denmark
  • June 19, 2010 @ 7:30 AM ET: Netherlands vs. Japan
  • June 24, 2010 @ 2:30 PM ET: Cameroon vs. Netherlands

The timezone difference means that West Coast viewers will have to get up really early -- some of the games start at 4.30 am Pacific Time.

"A long history of self-destruction"

Not everybody is convinced that the Dutch will become World Champions this year. The Los Angeles Times writes: "The Netherlands has the personnel to make a serious run at the world championship, but Coach Bert van Marwijk's team will have to overcome the Oranje's long history of self-destruction in the biggest matches". ESPN has the following to say: "The same way Germany can be relied upon to overachieve, the Dutch can be trusted to eventually implode. They always do, without fail. Whether they succumb to penalties, arrogance, bad luck or simply run into a better opponent while having a bad day, things will end unhappily. Like death and taxes. The Netherlands will be loaded with offensive talent but find a way to screw it up".

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