Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wednesday night recap, oh how sweat

Finally I can write a recap and not be embarrassed. I apologize in advance for any self-gratification I write, but who knows when I will be able to brag again. Away to the recap.

New England knew this was a game they had to win. If they could not beat a Real Salt Lake side missing Clint Mathis at home, they might as well stop playing. Real had to hope to not be embarrassed. Guess who is walking away happy? Clint Dempsey got things rolling for the Revs in the 11th minute by using is head to blast home a Jay Heaps's cross and just 5 minutes later the home side was up by 2 when Jay Heaps headed a comer kick to a wide open Taylor Twellman who chipped it in from about 3 yards out. At this point, the game looked bad for Real, but over the next 10 minutes they were able to put some good plays together and in the 31st they struck back when Jason Kreis boomed a free kick from the edge of the area into the right side of the net. Halftime came and everyone had orange slices.

Although New England could not break it open for the first 20 minutes or so, the second half belonged to them. They got goal number 3 off of Salt Lake's own Brian Dunseth. He was trying to head a header clear, but it ended up hitting the bottom of the bar and bouncing into goal. The final goal of the night came of a wonderful blast by Khano Smith, catching the keeper off his line. Final score New England 4 - Real Salt Lake 1.

On to RFK stadium and DC United vs. the MetroStars. The MetroStars' captain Amado Guevara showed why a great player has to be able to keep his or her emotions in check. He was fouled in the 10th minute, but the ref did not see, thus no call was made. In anger, he got up and put a hard tackle on DC's Dema Kovalenko. Guevara got a yellow card and DC got a free kick. What do you know, DC used this set piece to do a perfect pick and run on the Metro's defense. Christian Gomez put a near-post cross into the box that found an unmarked Bobby Boswell to setup the first goal of the match. This is a goal that did not need to happen. The rest of the half was very physical, yet DC managed to dominate. They had about 5 good chances to score, but could never finish. Then they got a break right before halftime. Guevara again made a dumb tackle (this time cleats first), which ended up earning him a second, yellow for the match. Bye bye. So at the half, DC was up a goal and a player.

The second half more or less started as the first had ended. DC was slicing through the defense, but unable to find net. The frustration started to show. In the 60th minute, it looked like the Star's were about to get even when Eddie Gaven broke free and had a one on one with keeper Nick Rimando. However, Jaime Moreno tackled him just outside the box in desperation, stopping the run, but earning himself an ejection. Both sides were level at 10; too bad the Metro's couldn't do anything about it. Instead of exciting the visitors, this ejection seemed to spark DC. The rest of the match was all DC. In the 76th, Dema Kovalenko got his second goal of the season by knocked a pass from Jamil Walker into an open goal. Joshua Gros added a third in the 87th. DC United 3 - MetroStars 0.

So what happened to Chicago? They were up by two before a lot of people found their seats thanks to Thiago, Chris Rolfe and Lubos Reiter who were buzzing around KC's goal like bees to honey. Thiago got one in the third and Reiter scored in the 6th, but then they just sort of coasted. Bad idea. KC got their legs back and in the 37th Josh Wolff raced onto a long through ball from forward Scott Sealy, and just beat Fire's net man Zach Thornton for their first goal. After some confusion in the box in the 42nd, KC got a corner kick that took a lucky bounce and ended up tying the game in the 43rd. The Fire looked defeated going into halftime and played that way for most of final 45 minutes. KC figured out they could beat these guys and in the 68th minute Josh Wolff stepped up for the second time and fired a Davy Arnaud pass high into the net. Chicago was done. Chicago 2 - KC 3

The final match of the night was the battle for LA as Chivas took on the Galaxy in front of 88,000 fans. Before you ask, there was a friendly between CD Guadalajara and Club America following the MLS match. The real interesting thing about this match is the way LA's Head Coach Steve Sampson used it to try a different lineup. Landon Donovan and Ugo Ihemelu started the game on the bench while Chris Albright moved to midfield and Cobi Jones went to the left instead of right side. Good show to Sampson. He realizes that his team is in a slump and is trying to come up with a way to get them out of it.

That said, LA still had their same problems. They were controlling the game, but were unable to get a goal. In addition, their backline let some really weak attacks go through, but luckily nothing ever came of them. All and all, if they were not playing Chivas, they probably would have been done a couple goals by the half. The only real chance Chivas had was in the 72nd when Orlando Perez was in the open in the Galaxy's area and nailed a shot into the upper area of the net, but Kevin Hartman got a finger on it and pushed it over the bar. So how did LA score? Some fellow named Landon Donovan. Donovan came into the match at the start of the second half but didn't really get a great look at the goal till the 83rd minute when Guillermo Ramirez passed to an open Donovan who was tackled by Chivas keeper Brad Guzan in the box. Penalty kick award and Donovan nailed it. He did a delay step that got Guzan diving before the shot and struck it to the other side of the net. And that was all it took to win the game. Chivas 0 - LA 1.

Now for the part I normally hate, the "how'd I do" look back.

My Guesses vs. Final Scores
Game (my guess) Final score
New England - Real Salt Lake (2-0) 4-1
DC United - MetroStars (3-1) 3-0
Chicago - Kansas City (1-2) 2-3
Chivas - LA (0-3) 0-1

Oh my, I went 4-0 last night. Maybe I should just stop here.

Total so far this season: 7-11


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