An un-comprehensive and un-objective look at the week that was:
I could spend a few hundred words brooding over the U.S. Gold Cup loss to Panama (Wondo, how did you miss that tap in?!) but let’s accentuate the positive. Guadeloupe is up next, and I’m told the U.S. could advance even with a shocking 1-0 loss, as long as Panama beats Canada. I had to ask about that “what if we lose” scenario, as Panama reminded us the U.S. is one of those teams that’s good enough to beat anybody, but bad enough to lose to anybody on any given day.
Back in MLS, just when you thought the trivalry in the Pacific Northwest couldn’t get any better, Vancouver travels to Seattle, gives up a couple of late goals to turn a 1-0 advantage to a 2-1 deficit, then has Erik Hassli slam home the Goal of the Year in the 85th minute to earn a tie for the Whitecaps. That has to feel like a Huge Win to Tom Soehn, who put the ‘Caps together as Vancouver’s director of soccer operations, and is now three games into his tenure as head coach. Hassli’s wonder strike has the Empire Field faithful talking about something other than the fact that their ‘Caps have not won since opening day, 13 long games ago.
By the way, Hassli’s goal, his sixth of the year, was also his first in the run of play since that opening day win.
The other vic-tie-ry of the weekend came at the Home Depot Center, where Alan Gordon returned to the place he called home from 2004-10. His new club, Toronto FC, fell behind in stoppage time to the Galaxy (thanks to Juan Pablo Angel) but Gordon responded with by scoring his second goal of the night seconds before the final whistle to even the score at 2-2.
More ties: Philly is still tied for first in the east (with a game in hand on the Red Bulls) and are tied for third overall after tying Salt Lake 1-1. Not bad for a franchise in year two. The Union is unbeaten at home, and attendance at PPL Park is so strong (over 18K a game) they’re thinking of various ways to add seats. They’ll start with expanding their current 18,500 to 20K (construction slated for 2014), and there’s talk of further expansions to 27K, then 30K.
Colorado had tied 6 straight, and 7 out of their last 8, but finally had a three point afternoon when Jay Moor scored in a stoppage time goal mouth scramble to break a lot of hearts in Portland, 1-0. That “no pity in the rose city” thing cuts both ways, Timbers fans.
As some one rooting for MLS as a league to succeed, I loved reading about the 11,000 season tickets sold in KC, and seeing the SporKCs open their shiny new stadium. Their first game at Live Strong Sporting Park was a scoreless snooze, but that stadium rocks. Besides the major league pitch and sight lines, it’s also packed full of wireless internet and video systems that you’d expect in a stadium located someplace like Silicon Valley. Kansas City has gone from being a joke -- the KC Wiz, playing in a cavenrous, empty NFL Stadium -- to being a model franchise.
I hope Lew Wolff and crew are taking notes on "do's" and "don'ts" of stadium building. For more on the latter...
After that long awaited home opener last Thursday, KC traveled to Dallas Sunday. On the field, more good news for KC. In the stands, no good news for FC Dallas. The Hoops had allowed all of three goals in their previous eight games combined to climb up the table to second overall in MLS, but KC sporked ‘em, 4-1, with Graham Zusi netting his first two goals of the season. Not that anyone noticed. The announced crowd of 10,450 looked closer to 1,045 to my untrained eye. Somewhere, there’s a (hopefully, former) FC Dallas executive who once said, “Yes, Frisco, Texas would be a great place to build a soccer stadium.”
Dallas should sign Zusi; he’s a human highlight real at Pizza Hut Park. Back in 2008, Zusi scored the game-winning goal for Maryland in the 2008 NCAA Championship game at that stadium.
Chicago broke their 11 game winless streak with a stoppage time goal from Cristian Nazarit, beating Columbus 1-0 at Crew Stadium.
Missing seven regulars and riding a six game winless streak, the Red Bulls got their first win since April 30, 2-1 over the Revs, thanks to Greg Sutton’s PK save and another Theirry Henry goal. Henry is in charge over there, and now has 7 goals, second only to Landon Donovan’s 8 in MLS play.
What a wild week, and there’s more to come. Time to go get my Gold Cup game face on, after I finish explaining to my pal that Guadaloupe is not something I’ll be serving with tortilla chips while we watch the game.