Monday, August 15, 2005

MLS Week 20 Recap

This weekend showed me something. All season long the best soccer was played in the Western Conference. Over the weekend, the Eastern Conference changed all that. The East won all four matches played against the West and looked much better doing so. To the recap machine.

DC United continued to play excellent soccer in their 3-0 win against Chivas. Their ball control and one-touch passing let them dominate this match. Forwards Santino Quaranta and Jamil Walker were able to get two team goals late in the first half to knock Chivas to the mat. In the 64th minute, Dema Kovalenko scored off a perfect pass from Walker to the far post to make sure Chivas did not get up. DC might just be playing the best soccer in the league and look again like Champions. DC 3 - Chivas 0

FC Dallas has this great new home, but they have yet to treat it to a victory. That should change on Aug. 27th when Chivas comes to town, but it might not if they play like they did on Saturday. New England is a good team, but Dallas should have had the edge in this match. They are use to playing in the heat and humidity, but it seemed to wear them down more then the Revs. They looked good at the start of the second half when Carlos Ruiz tied it in the 56th minute, but then they just fell to sleep. They were not passing the ball around the field, they were not taking good shots on goal (only two were near the wood work) and they were being sloppy on defense. That sloppiness lead Shalrie Joseph's amazing strike in the 80th. FCD has got to be feeling low today. On the other side, New England did just what a great team needs to do on the road. Frustrate the home side and wait for an opening. FCD 1 - New England 2

Chicago tried to lose this match, but the Galaxy's luck away from the LA area continued nonetheless. The Fire was the team of the first half. They got things going early thanks to a bad foul in their penalty box by Michael Umana. This let Jesse Marsch get an easy goal off a penalty kick. In the 38th, Justin Mapp sent a great cross into the box that John Thorrington headed home, given the Fire their second goal. LA was hurting, but Chicago let their guard down in the second half. Peter Vagenas took advantage off an assist from Landon Donovan in the 63rd. When, just a couple moments later, Chris Albright found the back of the net, it looked like LA might be on to something, but what do you know, he had fouled Fire keeper Matt Pickens on his way to glory. No goal. Chicago was able to recover and hang on for the win. Fire 2 - LA 1

As noted before, Jason Kreis made history during this match, but Real Salt Lake was still unable to win. The Wizards are looking great these days but Salt Lake almost surprised them. By the time Real got on the scoreboard, Sasha Victorine, Scott Sealy and Chris Klein had all scored for KC. Jordan Cila sent a screamer into goal in the 63rd for Salt Lake's first goal in the 63rd. Then, in the 72nd, history happened. Jason Kreis got his 100 and put his team right back into the match. They played some good soccer over the next ten minutes, but when Sasha Victorine scored his second on the night, everyone knew it was over. Real Salt Lake 2 - KC 4

What happened in San Jose? Colorado had fallen three times to the Quakes already this season and they were playing on San Jose's turf, so it should have been over real early. Instead, the Rapids surprised everyone and walked away with a point. San Jose looked great at he start of the second half when Alejandro Moreno found Dwayne De Rosario who then slipped it to Ricardo Clark for a goal in the 48th. But that was all the offense they could get on the night. In the 57th, Kyle Beckerman smacked a long through ball to Jean Peguero who put the ball over the goalie Pat Onstad's head to tie the match. Peguero looked to be offside, but no call was made. Colorado almost got the game winner in the 64th, but Onstad got a touch on a great pass into the box that prevented any Rapids from connecting. San Jose 1 - Colorado 1

Finally, Sunday's match saw a few goals and a lot of rain. John Wolyniec got a goal for the Crew in the 12th putting them up by one for the next 90 minutes or so. Normally, that would be a great thing, but this long time in the lead had more to do with an over hour delay due to rain and not great defending. After the rain and halftime, Sergio Galvan Rey tied things for the Metros and in the 66th Youri Djorkaeff took a blocked shot and put it right into an open net giving the Stars a much needed win at home. MetroStars 2 - Columbus 1

So how did I do?

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
DC United - Chivas (3-1) 3-0
FC Dallas - New England (2-1) 1-2
Chicago - LA (3-2) 2-1
Real Salt Lake - KC (0-3) 2-4
San Jose - Colorado (2-0) 1-1
MetroStars - Columbus (3-2) 2-1

That makes me 4-2 for the week.

Total so far this season: 11-13


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