Thursday, August 17, 2006

MLS mid-Week 21 Recap

Columbus Crew 1-2 Real Salt Lake

The Crew is a 60-minute team at best. The first hour of a match, they will put up some good effort, but for the final 30, they just drop, drop, drop. They were able to get a lead off a, maybe that should not have been but the ref called it so it is, penalty kick in the 23rd. They then played even or better then Salt Lake till around the hour mark. After that, it was all Real.

You could just feel the momentum turn. Passes that the Crew were making 15-minutes earlier were now being intercepted which resulted in no pressure on RSL's defense. Again and again, Real would roll into the Crew's final third and blast a shot. Which brings us to Jeff Cunningham. He has been the player for Salt Lake, but it seems to be swelling his head. There were at least three times that he took difficult shots instead of passing the ball to a teammate who was open. With the Crew defense all over him, he should have been a little more giving.

His best give in such a situation resulted in the 90th minute goal by Carey Talley. It was a nice layoff in front of goal that Talley ran on to and put into the netting. Add this to the 'no one was marking him' goal Chris Klein got in the 75th and you have three points for Real and another disappointment for Columbus.

New York Red Bulls 0-0 DC United

For the third MLS game in a row, DC was not the better team on the pitch. United just could not get the ball to go where they wanted it to go, and when they did, New York's backline was more often then not there to break up the advance. DC had some good looks through out (the Brian Carroll blast in the 20th minute must still be stinging Tony Meola's hands), but all and all there were too few of them.

New York, on the other hand, was making passes and holding possessions. However, they just could not finish their chances (I seem to recall the US team having a similar problem). There were far too many balls in front of goal that should have ended up in the netting. Still, DC is lucky to be walking away with a point. Even luckier when you look at the handball that happened in their box in the 76th. That call is a 50-50 for a ref, so count that one on the happy side for DC.

In the end DC again did not look their dominant self. Still, to look poor and walk away with a point is a good outing. For the Red Bulls, if they keep playing like that, they will make the playoffs.

Chicago Fire 3-0 Kansas City Wizards

I had no access to this game, but it seems like it was the Justin Mapp show as he got assists on the Fire's first 2 goals and scored the last one. One now must wonder if the KC offensive explosion from the weekend was just an odd night for the team. If only they played the Crew every game.

Don't forget the US Soccer Carnival part IV.



Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

I saw what you saw, but have a deeper interest in one little-mentioned contest in this 2006 season: whether Columbus can top RSL's 18-game winless streak. There's nothing less at stake than history.

11:18 AM  

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