Archive | May, 2008

Revs come back to tie DC

Posted on 30 May 2008 by ASN Staff

dubehappylead.jpg
In three career MLS starts Kheli Dube has already given Revs fans plenty to smile about. He had a part in both goals in last night’s dramatic comeback against D.C., assisting the first and scoring the second.

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Revs show up late, steal point from DC

Posted on 30 May 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

After ending the first half a goal down to an invigorated DC United, the New England Revolution fought back in a fractious second half to gouge out a 2-2 tie. DC United, powered with winning combinations by Marcelo Gallardo, Fred, Jaime Moreno, and Luciano Emilio, surged forward from the first minutes, sending the Revolution scrambling around its back half and forcing Matt Reis to make five major saves.

“They caught us off guard,” said Adam Cristman, who entered in the 39th minute and scored first for the Revs in the 59th. “Maybe we expected them not to come out like they did, considering their position on the road and their standing right now in the [Supporters’] table. They have a lot of good players. They’re still the same team from last year. They won the Supporters’ Shield minus a couple guys.”

With Kenny Mansally on national team duty for Gambia, coach Steve Nicol tried yet another starting formation, with Sainey Nyassi and Kheli Dube on top, but it didn’t generate plays or produce results.

Fred kicked the game up a notch in the tenth minute and powered through the field, challenging Shalrie Joseph and Reis, who stopped two dangerous shots. Five minutes later, Emilio headed the ball into the back of the net for his third goal this season. Fred scored again for DC early in the second half.

“They got a few guys that can place change,” said Chris Albright. “When you’ve got guys that are talented, can keep the ball, and can change places, it makes it difficult to get a hold of them because you wind up chasing guys and opening up gaps behind you. They’re difficult in that sense. Next time, if we make it more of a fight from the beginning as opposed to a soccer game, that’s maybe a better way to at least start the game.”

Considering the number of one-on-one challenges he faced, Reis produced arguably his best performance so far this season. “We came in at half time and Stevie let us have it, and told us how bad we are and it’s time for us to mentally check ourselves and decide whether we want to play for a win or just curl up and go home. And we tried and we played, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if we got out of here with three points, but we fought back and showed a lot of resolve and heart and got one.”

The Revolution turned the tables on United in the second half, and Dube produced the equalizer in the 72nd minute – his third goal in as many MLS starts. “Even if we’re losing, we keep on going,” he said after the game. “I think that helped us a lot today.”

Next Friday the Revolution host FC Dallas in a doubleheader featuring the crowd-drawing Brazil-Venezuela match. Veteran defender Jay Heaps wants to make a better showing then. “It’s going to be important for us to rebound. If you ask anyone in here, we’re real disappointed we gave them a 2-0 head start and had to tie that game. We had a couple losses here at home and that’s not the kind of team we want to be. The crowd will help us, everything going to help us get back to where we want to be on Friday.”

Match Facts

New England Revolution vs. D.C. United
May 29, 2008 – Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium)

Scoring Summary:
DC – Luciano Emilio (unassisted) 15
DC – Fred (unassisted) 53
NE – Adam Cristman (Kheli Dube) 59
NE – Kheli Dube (Jeff Larentowicz, Steve Ralston) 72

Lineups
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Chris Albright, Mauricio Castro (Khano Smith 64), Shalrie Joseph, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson (Adam Cristman 39), Steve Ralston ©, Kheli Dube, Sainey Nyassi (Amachi Igwe 88)

Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren (GK), Argenis Fernandez, Gary Flood, Chase Hilgenbrinck

STATS: Shots 13; Shots on Goal 6; Saves 8; Corner Kicks 3; Offsides 0; Fouls Committed 15

D.C. United: Zach Wells (GK), Domenic Mediate, Gonzalo Martinez, Devon McTavish, Bryan Namoff, Fred (Marc Burch 88), Clyde Simms, Santino Quaranta, Marcelo Gallardo, Luciano Emilio, Jaime Moreno © (Rod Dyachenko 78)

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Carvallo (GK), Ryan Cordeiro, Quavas Kirk, Franco Niell, Dan Stratford

STATS: Shots 16; Shots on Goal 11; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 6; Offsides 1; Fouls Committed 22

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Wells Thompson (caution) 25
DC – Santino Quaranta (caution) 34
DC – Gonzalo Martinez (caution) 75
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 78

Referee: Abi Okulaja
Referee’s Assistants: Gregory Barkey (SAR), Steven Taylor (JAR)
Fourth Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Clear and 74 degrees
Attendance: 8,159

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Reeling RSL hope to get on track

Posted on 29 May 2008 by kali

Real Salt Lake will certainly be happy to be home this Saturday when it takes on the San Jose Earthquakes. Jason Kreis’ team will be looking to regroup after a road trip that resulted in three consecutive losses, including a 2-1 defeat at Dallas last Saturday and a 2-0 loss at Columbus on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup qualifying. Rice-Eccles Stadium certainly seems to be the perfect place to start over, as RSL is undefeated at home so far in 2008.

Meanwhile, San Jose will be hoping to gain some momentum in the Western Conference standings. As an expansion side, the Quakes struggled early in the season but earned a critical win last Thursday, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-1 at home.

Although Salt Lake and San Jose have not yet met in league play this season, they aren’t wholly unfamiliar with each other. RSL defeated the Quakes 4-0 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match in April, but neither team used its full starting lineup in that contest.

Real will be without defender Ian Joy, who was suspended after being sent off in the loss at Dallas. Tony Beltran, who had taken Joy’s place while Joy was injured, was away on U.S. U-23 duty but will likely return to the starting lineup against the San Jose. Meanwhile, reserve goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who also played with the U-23s in Toulon last week, is “on call” for the senior U.S. team during its run of friendly matches over the next several weeks.

Injuries have also hit Salt Lake hard over the last several weeks. Striker Yura Movsisyan and midfielder Nathan Sturgis are still recovering from long-term injuries and are both out for Saturday’s match. Meanwhile, midfielder Javier Morales, striker Fabian Espindola, and defender Jamison Olave are struggling with minor issues but are considered probable.

San Jose strikers Jean Philippe Peguero and Gavin Glinton are both out with injuries, while defender Jay Ayres is still recovering from the facial fracture he sustained in Salt Lake City in April. With striker Kei Kamara away with the Sierra Leone national team and Ivan Guerrero with the Honduran team for World Cup qualifying, Quakes coach Frank Yallop will be forced to make some lineup adjustments. Jovan Kirovski, who was recently acquired from the Colorado Rapids, and Ryan Johnson, a former Salt Lake player who normally plays in midfield, are likely to start up front.

The game begins at 7 pm MT and will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel.

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Women’s National Team Finally Plays at Home

Posted on 29 May 2008 by Merrill

The U.S. Women opened the 2008 season on foreign soil, taking three tournaments without suffering a defeat. For compensation, they returned home for a domestic series, three games in 13 days. Playing under coach Pia Sundhage for the first time in the U.S., they won all three, not without close calls and excitement, giving Sundhage a 13-0-1 record as the team works its way to the August Olympics.

The sequence also gave U.S. fans the first chance to see the team in its latest incarnation. While the action was located in North Carolina, Alabama and D.C., fans across the country were finally able to see the team, and make some more detailed evaluation of how things are going, when the middle match was televised.

The last of the series was against Canada, the team that had produced the only scratch on the U.S.’ 2008 record. The two teams had played to an overtime 1-1 draw in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico less than a month before they met at RFK Stadium. Then both teams had already qualified for the Olympics and the match was simply for the title: which the U.S. ended up winning 6-5 in a penalty kick shootout.

The return was nothing like that hard fought draw in Mexico. Canada collapsed completely in the second half, allowing five goals to go with the single U.S. tally in the first half. Canada took only two shots for the entire match, none on target. The U.S. simply ripped them to pieces from start to finish.

Although the string for Canada, rated 9th by FIFA, will be played out in China, it does look as though the time for the Canadian federation to retire Even Pellerud as coach is at hand. The team is simply not making progress in its aim of matching up with the U.S. Canada’s record against its southern neighbor reached 3-35-4 after the blowout. When a team with Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang can only take two shots in a match against their most important opponent, something, or someone, needs to go.

Nothing like that is true for Australia. Coach Tom Sermani – who like Sundhage was first an assistant coach in WUSA and then moved up to a head-coaching slot in the final season, Sermani with the New York Power and Sundhage with the Boston Breakers – has turned Australia into an interesting an dangerous opponent. Under Sermani, they overcame their boring past in the 2007 World Cup, making it into the quarterfinals and pushing Brazil to the limit before they went down. Australia soccer decided to abandon Oceania, where they were virtually guaranteed qualification for all major tournaments, and to compete in the Asian group. The competition is much stiffer there and Australia failed to qualify for this years’ big show. Compared to Canada, however, they certainly appear to have deserved a place.

Both of their matches of the just concluded series on U.S. soil were nail-biters for U.S. fans, requiring last gasp goals to win each of them, 3-2 in the first, 5-4 in the second. Displaying their reputation as a never-say-die team, they scrapped back late in the first match with goals in the 86th and 88th minute to tie it up 2-2, only to have Carli Lloyd score late in extra-time. It took the U.S. even longer in extra-time in the second match to get the winner: Angela Hucles scored a brilliant goal at, officially, 94+ which followed three consecutive second half Australian goals to knot the match at 4-4 which made it look as if the Mathilda’s could earn, at last, a result.

What can U.S. fans learn about their team from these three matches one of which was televised?

The team really has undergone a huge re-orientation in style in the less than six months that Sundhage has been in charge. This is now an attacking team. Greg Ryan was a defense first coach – Sundhage is not. The ball is played on the ground and to feet. It is no longer just Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly. Everyone except the center backs – and when Cat Whitehill is on the field she too is included – are in the attack.

Sundhage wants the team to be the classiest attacking team in the world. She doesn’t think they are there yet but then the full display is not due for another three months. After the Canada match: “I’m thrilled. We talked about changing up the rhythm in the attack. My dream is to take this game to the next level and I think we can do it. We’re halfway there. The way we played today, there were so many good things I could stand here for an hour just talking about how good it was. And still it could be better.”

I don’t recall how many games Ryan’s team went without giving up a goal. His assistant Bret Hall’s defensive practices were the centerpiece of training. The aim was to be so integrated at the back that no one could score. The offensive aim was to win the ball high up the field and get the ball to Wambach as swiftly as possible.

The present team gave up six goals in the past three games and perhaps could have surrendered more had Canada made better use of its world-class players. Is Sundhage worried? “We have to work on that [giving up so many goals], including possession just outside our box and the pressure on the ball has to get better. It’s not a big deal, and we just have to work on it.”

There was one significant shift in structure against Australia and Canada. The team had been alternating its mid-field structure previously: for one half of a match, Lindsay Tarpley would be pulled inside along with Carlie Lloyd and Shannon Boxx leaving the team without a wing on the left to match Heather O’Reilly on the right; for the other 45 minutes, Tobin Heath would replace Tarpley and split wide left. Sundhage stopped that alternation in these matches. She went with a left wing.

But she also put Tarpley out there, an assignment she had not had for quite some time, and perhaps rarely on the left side. Tarpley of course responded: she ended up with 3 goals in the 3 matches. I would guess that that will be a fixture from here on giving the team a major presence ton the left to match that of O’Reilly on the right.

Further, it became obvious from being able to watch the one game that Sundhage had pushed Lloyd further back into a tandem with Boxx: the team is now playing what used to be called ‘wind-shield wipers’ at the defensive mid-field. Ryan used that organization quite a lot in the past WC with Leslie Osborne replacing Lloyd. But he gave it a purely defensive twist.

Sundhage is playing a much more contemporary brand of pairing two central mid-fielders. They are both supposed to attack, although not simultaneously. Boxx is notably getting into the box in the run of play much more than she has been used to. Perhaps it is the matter of obtaining greater coordination between the two, plus not having Tarpley in the central mix, tjat is what Sundhage was talking about when she made light of the defensive problems.

Otherwise she is quite pleased with how they are playing. “The way they play in both attacking and defending is international high class. Certain things that Lloyd does are very unique, but at the same time don’t forget about Shannon Boxx. I like to play these two at the same time, and they’re doing very well.”

The roster for the Olympics is getting near settled. “We’ll pick out 18 in June. Overall, I feel we have the core of the team and I’m pretty happy about that.” Since the Olympics allow a roster of only 18 and since the squad currently contains about 27, there is some cutting to do.

But not only is the core set but there seem to be only a few peripheral matters to settle. I was not impressed by Briana Scurry in the second half of the middle match. It wasn’t that she gave up the three goals – it is just that she did not seem commanding in the box. On the other hand, Nicole Barnhart is having a quickie arthroscopic surgery on a knee: she is supposed to be back soon.

Heather Mitts made an impressive return in these three matches. I would guess that her play has earned her a spot on the small roster, putting Rachel Buehler on the bubble.

I would also have to guess, given her limited playing time, that Leslie Osborne is likely to be dropped for the Olympics with Angela Hucles remaining. I have never been a Hucles’ fan but I must admit that her last second goal against Australia in the second match was fantastic. Some of the credit has to go to Wambach for the flick which worked. Girls teams even early in their soccer playing days like to play that flick much more than males. I’m not sure that I have ever seen it work but this time there was not only a runner but a perfectly placed flick followed by a super shot. While Osborne got the final goal against Canada, that may not have been enough to secure her a trip to China.

The women will take a break of a couple of weeks, reassemble at the Home Depot Center for a two-week camp and then set off, perhaps with the full Olympic roster, for the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. It should be a good test: they have drawn Australia once again, Brazil, coming out on the world stage for the first time this year, and Italy, always a physical opponent, in group play. It will be a really good warm-up for the Olympics.

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DCU guardedly optimistic ahead of New England trip

Posted on 29 May 2008 by Chris Snear

The relief and satisfaction among the DC United players after their 3-2 come from behind win against Toronto last Saturday was tempered with guarded optimism. The win was their first in five games and only the third overall against competition who would not be considered the murderers row of MLS.

“Belief and relief,” abruptly said United head coach Tom Soehn. ‘’There was some relief but there is also belief in each other. That continues to grow. The group has always stuck together and I see them all together. There is the relief but yet there is still the belief that we can get through this and be a really good team in our league.”

United heads into a pivotal stretch of three matches in 10 days starting tonight in New England. They get the weekend off before facing the defending MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo next Wednesday then pack up for a match in Chicago next Saturday. Chicago and New England sit atop the Eastern Conference with 19 points in a three way tie with Columbus.

All of United’s wins have come against either Toronto or Real Salt Lake, who they have faced 4 times this season and were the league’s 2 worst teams a year ago,. Two of their other games were against Kansas City and Chivas USA, who are only 2 points ahead of United in the overall table.

The win did however provide a glimmer of light out of the conference cellar as they generated several opportunities against a vastly improved Toronto side. However, shoddy marking, indecisive tactical decisions and poor finishing around the penalty area are lingering problems for the league’s highest scoring team a year ago.

“Relief but at the same time, that game could have been over in the first half because we created so many good chances,” said forward Jaime Moreno, echoing Soehn’s thoughts. “We were moving the ball and created chances…it was definitely frustrating. I think the ice broke last Saturday. Now I think the most important thing is to keep the same balance; to keep the same performance and maintain the same level. I think that’s the key.”

All three of their upcoming opponents are physical and defensively solid, especially Chicago, who have given up just 6 goals in 9 matches. United conversely, is the only team in the league giving up an average of 2 goals per match.

“Definitely not,” said defender Bryan Namoff about whether he ever would have envisioned giving up goals at such an alarming rate. “Especially with the individuals, the type of talent we have in the back. It’s completely surprising and unexpected and we all know that and we are looking at the areas that we are breaking down and if they do happen, we make sure they don’t happen again.”

Soehn was pleased with the improvement against Toronto however. “They were pretty solid except for a couple of plays,” Soehn said. “We still have to sort the situations out when we are either getting countered or situations when we are in the attack and we don’t have our shape.”

United have consistently made the wrong choices defensively, putting themselves in position where their shape has been compromised, they are numbers down, and on many occasions they have been punished.

“It definitely is a relief to win,” added Namoff. “Everybody just wants to make it right ands wants everything to work. Sometimes we try to force it and take a step back and realize what we need to do.

“It’s not perfect yet, there are still situations that we are looking at that cause mistakes and lead to goals and our most important factor is not letting as many goals go in. We are going to work on that until we can consistently put zeros on the board.”

Niell on the Rocks

After not being included in the available 18-man roster for the home-and-home series against Toronto last week, Argentine forward Franco Neill’s days with DC United could be numbered. The diminutive forward has not scored in an MLS match and has not met the expectations on the field to warrant his $152,500 salary, a figure higher than many of United’s starting eleven.

“Yes of course, I think any player in this situation would be not only discouraged but very worried,” said the 5-foot-4 Niell, who is on a one-year loan from Argentinos Juniors. United have the option to purchase his contract at the end of the season.

“We are discouraged too; we expected more,” echoed coach Tom Soehn regarding Niell. “It’s not any given performance; it is what you put in on a daily basis in training and that’s the same standard for everybody and we try to reward the guys who make a difference every day in training…It’s how you compete, are you productive are you doing the things we ask of you and that is the same for everybody.”

Niell played in 7 of United’s first 8 league matches, starting 3 and had the game-winning goal in their victory against Pachuca of Mexico in a CONCACAF Champion’s Cup match. With Francis Doe away on Liberian National Team duty and Moreno potentially away for Bolivian World Cup qualifiers, he could get another opportunity to prove his value in short time.

Niell admitted he has trouble adjusting to the style of play in MLS. “Not so much of a difference in the physical aspects of the defenders but in the physical demands of having to run for each and every ball and having to do that work, where in Argentina it’s more tactical, you don’t run as much, you find here that you do have to run quite a bit more,” said Niell.

“I am the type of player that basically runs forward and I haven’t had to run back in a defending capacity, which is something that I have had to get used to here,” he continued. “I feel I am making progress toward that and ultimately it is the coach’s decision to include the players and (right now) he’s got players that are good for what he needs and right now, I find myself on the outside looking in.”

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Battle of the Bottom-Feeders

Posted on 29 May 2008 by mdiamond

San Jose hopes to take momentum from first home win

By Gabe Diamond
Nine days after the San Jose Earthquakes claimed their first home win, the team travels to Real Salt Lake Saturday to play a team unbeaten at home.

Last Thursday against the Dynamo, San Jose was temporarily relieved of its offensive struggles, resulting in their third two-goal game of the season. Unfortunately, the Quakes have not scored in any other game. The Quakes’ measly six goals are by far the least of any team. No other side has netted less than ten. This has pushed the Quakes into a last place spot in the Western Conference. Many predicted the expansion Earthquakes would have paltry offensive production.

General Manager John Doyle and Head Coach Frank Yallop have attempted to solve their scoring woes. Yallop favors young forward Kei Kamara, who has started every game. Kamara leads the team with two goals. Gavin Clinton has been Kamara’s most consistent counterpart at the other forward position. However, these two players have had consistent trouble keeping possession of the ball at an advanced position on the field. The addition of Peguero Jean Philippe to the team did not help much either.

Last Thursday versus the Dynamo, Yallop was forced to shuffle the lineup a bit because of injuries to Glinton and Jean Philippe. He started Ryan Johnson, a midfielder/forward who made an impact as a substitute with a goal in the match against the Columbus Crew. Johnson’s impact against the Dynamo was also noticeable working quite well with outside midfielders Ronnie O’Brien and Ivan Guerrero. In fact, most of the San Jose offense ran through Johnson who was able to receive and control long balls played to him. He provided exactly what the Quakes were lacking on offense.

Yallop must make some lineup changes again for Saturday. Both goal scorers from the previous game will be absent due to international obligations. Kamara has been called to the Sierra Leone national squad for World Cup qualifiers and Guerrero the same for Honduras. This should mean that Johnson will have a spot in the starting lineup again. Guerrero’s absence may give the start to Shea Salinas, an energetic young winger who has shown promise as a substitute. Newly acquired veteran Jovan Kirovski could also get his first nod as an Earthquake in a forward position. San Jose hopes that Johnson can continue his quality play and create chemistry with Kirovski.

Salt Lake comes into the game with considerably less momentum than San Jose. Last Saturday Real finished a three game road trip that yielded three losses. The final game was particularly backbreaking. Real traveled to Frisco, Texas to play FC Dallas. Each team had a man sent off in the first half. Salt Lake took a second half lead against the run of play. RSL substitute Fabian Espindola scored on an impressive running goal on a one two play with midfielder Javier Morales. That was Real’s first shot of the second half, and the team would only register one more in the game. However, Salt Lake still looked poised for victory until Dallas substitute Dominic Oduro netted two goals in the final ten minutes to give the Hoops the victory.

This ensured that Real remained winless (and tieless) on the road. Their 0-5-0 away record is the worst in the Western Conference. Real has consistently struggled offensively away from home, netting just three goals in five matches. But for all of their road struggles, their home performances have kept them afloat.

Though winless on the road, Salt Lake has remained unbeaten at home. Their 2-0-2 home record has accounted for all of their league points. In just four games at home, they have amassed nine goals. They’ll need every bit of offensive firepower to overcome a strong Earthquakes defense led by captain Nick Garcia. Real has oft relied on midfield assistance in the attack with central midfielder Kyle Beckerman tied for leading scorer on the team, and Andy Williams and Morales also contributing many shots from their midfield positions. Espindola’s play is also crucial; his speed and finishing ability could provide problems for the Quakes’ defense.

Given Real’s previous match results, they will be looking to push the pace of the game in order to gain some momentum. With a game in hand on the Earthquakes, Salt Lake is only one point ahead of last place San Jose. The outcome of this game could decide much of these teams’ remaining seasons. Real could forget its road woes with a victory on Saturday and vault itself back into the tight Western Standings. However, should they lose, it would be an extremely discouraging result after the winless road trip. If the Quakes win and continue their momentum, their confidence would skyrocket. A win at Salt Lake would be their second straight, and a perfect platform to begin a league run and climb out of expansion obscurity.

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Haunted by Houston, Again

Posted on 29 May 2008 by pwoodruff

It must seem like this movie has been replayed a thousand times to FC Dallas fans: once again a stoppage time goal by the Houston Dynamo disappointed the north Texas side. In front of 8,541 fans at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Tex., Houston midfielder and captain Dwayne De Rosario scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time to lift Houston to a 2-2 draw against their in state rivals.

In a game that grew increasingly testy, both sides finished with 10 men when Houston’s Eddie Robinson got his second yellow of the game in the 80th minute and FCD’s Andre Rocha was given a straight red when he got involved in the Robinson-Marcelo Saragosa spat. Saragosa also was given a yellow for his role in the fracas.

The scoring started with FCD’s Kenny Cooper netting his team-leading sixth goal of the year which puts him in sole possession of second in the MLS Golden Boot race at the moment. On a great pass from Pablo Richetti Cooper, got just inside the 18 on the left flank and bent in a beautiful ball for the 1-0 lead.

Second half Houston substitute Corey Ashe scored in the 59th minute, the first of his MLS career, tieing the match 1-1. The goal was setup by some excellent play and passing from the Dynamo’s top two players, Dwayne De Rosario and Brian Ching.

FC Dallas took a 2-1 lead that they believed would net them the full three points when defender Drew Moor headed one home for his first goal of the year in the 69th minute. It came on a corner kick from Andre Rocha which was his fifth assist of the year.

But the Houston demons were not fully banished by the home side as De Rosario punched in the equalizer after Corey Ashe made a great cross from the right side to Brian Ching whose header was saved by FCD keeper Dario Sala and the crossbar but the rebound fell right at the feet of a lonely DeRosario.

Both teams were forced to make some changes to their normal starting 11. With usual team captain Wade Barrett unable to go because of a groin strain, Houston Head Coach Dominic Kinnear started rookie Geoff Cameron in the back and moved Richard Mulrooney to central midfield to take Ricardo Clark’s spot. Clark was in London with the U.S. Men’s National Team playing a friendly against the David Beckham led England squad. Also Kyle Brown got his first start at forward since joining the team on March 4 after being claimed off waivers from Colorado.

FC Dallas interim Head Coach Marco Ferruzzi tinkered with his starting 11 from the 2-1 win last Saturday over Real Salt Lake. Adrian Serioux returned in the back after missing the RSL game on red card suspension. Blake Wagner started after returning from the U.S. Under-23 team that played in the Toulon Tournament in France. Andre Rocha moved to the right flank to replace last weeks red card casualty Bobby Rhine. Juan Toja and Dominic Oduro both made it back into the starting lineups.

Both teams have a short week as Houston hosts New York at Robertson Stadium on Saturday night while FCD travels to Colorado to face the Rapids at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Sunday afternoon.Total Shots: FCD 9 (Kenny Cooper 3) Houston17 (Dwayne De Rosario 5)

Shots on goal: FCD 3 (3 tied with 1) Houston 5 (Dwayne De Rosario 3)

Fouls: FCD 15 (Juan Toja 4) Houston 15 (Stuart Holden 3,Richard Mulrooney 3)

Corner Kicks: FCD 2 (Andre Rocha 2) Houston 5 (Richard Mulrooney 2,Brad Davis 2)

Saves: FCD 3 (Dario Sala 3) Houston 1 (Pat Onstad 1)

Misconduct Summary:
HOU — Stuart Holden (caution; Reckless Foul) 18
HOU — Eddie Robinson (caution; Deliberate Handball) 57
DAL — Dario Sala (caution; Delaying a Restart) 74
DAL — Marcelo Saragosa (caution; Pushing, Holding) 80
HOU — Eddie Robinson (ejection; Second Caution) 80
DAL — Andre Rocha (ejection; Violent Conduct) 80

referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: Bill Dittmar; Eric Boria
4th official: Fernando Galvan

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DeRo rescues point in Texas derby

Posted on 29 May 2008 by ASN Staff

Dwayne DeRosario’s goal in stoppage time salvaged a 2-2 tie for the Houston Dynamo at Pizza Hut Park on Wednesday night. It was the second time Houston tied the game; on minute 59 Corey Ashe nullified Kenny Cooper’s lead goal from the first half. Drew Moor then put the hosts up by a 2-1 score with his first goal of the season in the 69th minute.

“I give our guys credit for the drive and determination to keep on pushing forward,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I think we attacked the ball well when we went in the box.”
The result marked the third game this season that FCD has surrendered a goal in the final six minutes of the game to come out with a draw, and the second time to Houston. The teams will meet once more on June 26 in Houston.

Match Report

Scoring Summary:
DAL — Kenny Cooper 6 (Pablo Ricchetti 2) 35
HOU — Corey Ashe 1 (Dwayne De Rosario 1, Brian Ching 2) 59
DAL — Drew Moor 1 (Andre Rocha 5) 69
HOU — Dwayne De Rosario 3 (unassisted) 93+

FC DALLAS (3-4-1-2): Dario Sala, Adrian Serioux, Duilio Davino (Aaron Pitchkolan 47), Drew Moor, Blake Wagner, Marcelo Saragosa, Pablo Ricchetti, Andre Rocha, Juan Toja, Dominic Oduro (Arturo Alvarez 72), Kenny Cooper (Abe Thompson 88).

Subs Not Used: Ray Burse (GK), Michael Dello-Russo, Eric Avila, Anthony Wallace.

Shots – 9; Shots on Goal – 3; Total Saves – 3; Fouls – 15; Offsides – 0; Corner Kicks – 2

HOUSTON: Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson, Geoff Cameron, Brian Mullan (Corey Ashe 46), Dwayne De Rosario, Richard Mulrooney, Stuart Holden (Chris Wondolowski 85), Kyle Brown (Brad Davis 58), Brian Ching.

Subs Not Used: Tony Caig (GK), Franco Caraccio, Mike Chabala, Patrick Ianni.

Shots – 17; Shots on Goal – 5; Total Saves – 1; Fouls – 15; Offsides – 2; Corner Kicks – 5

Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Stuart Holden (caution) 18
HOU – Eddie Robinson (caution) 57
DAL – Dario Sala (caution) 74
HOU – Eddie Robinson (second caution; ejection) 80
DAL – Marcelo Saragosa (caution) 80
HOU – Andre Rocha (ejection) 80

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Wembley wipe-out

Posted on 29 May 2008 by ASN Staff

England captain John Terry and Steven Gerrard scored on each side of halftime as the U.S. Men’s National Team fell to a determined England side at Wembley Wednesday.

The loss was the first for the U.S. in 2008, and broke their five-game undefeated streak going back to October of last year. It was also the USA’s first loss in four away matches after setting a team record of three consecutive victories outside their borders.

The U.S. was without midfielder Landon Donovan, who was a game-time scratch due to a strained groin which he suffered during the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 3-1 win against the Kansas City Wizards this past weekend. Without Donovan, who is just one cap away from reaching 100 international appearances, the U.S. struggled to create enough dangerous chances against the quality defensive line of England.

A compact U.S. defense did a good job of denying quality scoring chances throughout the opening stanza, and in particular keeping Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney from getting good looks at goal. The majority of England’s chances in the first half were created from the deadly foot of David Beckham, the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder finding numerous chances to whip crosses into the U.S. penalty area. England’s first real opportunity came in the 12th minute when Beckham’s service from the left flank dangerously skipped through the six-yard box before ending up harmlessly over the endline.

Along with Beckham, Gerrard proved dangerous all over the pitch as the Liverpool midfielder found open areas in the final third to exploit the U.S. defense. Beckham served in another dangerous kick in the 24th minute from just outside the area. Gerrard ran into the penalty box unmarked and pulled off a shot that was deflected by Carlos Bocanegra.

The U.S. got a look at the England goal two minutes later when Eddie Johnson held off his defender near the English endline on the right side of the 18-yard box and chipped the ball across the goalmouth. Michael Bradley was waiting at the far post but couldn’t stretch high enough to get a head on the ball.

Jermaine Defoe came close to opening the scoring in the 34th minute after a great build-up from the English team. David James sent a long ball to the feet of Wayne Rooney in the center circle. Rooney passed to Gerrard who sent a quick, sharp pass to Defoe. Despite being tightly marked by Pearce, Defoe managed to hit a shot that went wide left of the U.S. goal.

After missing a penalty kick for Chelsea in the Champions League final against Manchester United, Terry went into the match with a heavy heart. However, in the 38th minute the weight was slightly lifted when he put England in the lead by converting a trademark Beckham set piece. Handed a free kick on the right flank 40 yards from goal, the Galaxy midfield swerved in a dipping cross and the England captain rose above the crowd near the penalty spot to nod one home past Howard into the right corner.

The U.S. made two changes at halftime, swapping Brad Guzan for Tim Howard, and replacing Steve Cherundolo with Frankie Hejduk. The team came out of the locker room with a renewed sense of purpose, creating their most dangerous opportunity of the night in the first minute of the second half. Pearce advanced up the left flank and picked out Johnson making a run to the near post. The Sierra Mist Man of the Match hit a one-time volley toward goal that narrowly missed finding the inside of the left post.

Defoe once again created danger for the U.S. in the 53rd minute, taking an unbelievably swift first touch and turning on Pearce after collecting a free kick from Terry directly in front of the goal. The Portsmouth striker’s snap shot was well saved by Guzan, who maintained his composure in the face of a dicey scoring chance.

England doubled their lead in the 59th minute with Steven Gerrard showing his class. Manchester United defender Wes Brown played a ball to Gareth Barry in the middle of the park, who clinically spliced a ball between the U.S. defense and into the path of the perfectly timed run by Gerrard. The England number 10 made no mistake, calmly holding the ball at his feet long enough to draw Guzan out before slipping a shot across the goal into the lower left corner.

The U.S. continued to search for a goal of their own, getting two sniffs in the 66th and 68th minutes. On the first, Michael Bradley drove a ball into the area for Josh Wolff, but his diving header went well left. Dempsey followed that up two minutes later with a shot from 35 yards out, but the deflected effort fell harmlessly to James.

Bradley made three more changes to the U.S. lineup as Freddy Adu came into the match for Wolff in the 68th minute, along with Eddie Lewis, who replaced DaMarcus Beasley. Lewis put his experience to work with some fancy footwork along the right endline to get past English midfielder Joe Cole, then floating the ball to the back post. With U.S. captain Bocanegra ready to pounce, James managed to stretch a paw out and swat the ball out for U.S. corner. With the game in hand, England was able to keep the U.S. chasing until the final whistle.

The U.S. now travels to Santander on Thursday to prepare for their match-up with Spain on Wednesday, June 4 at Estadio El Sardinero.

“First, I would give credit to England,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “Overall, I thought that the first 30 minutes we dealt pretty well with the speed of the game. As we moved on in the half, certainly we hurt ourselves with giving away some fouls around the box to a dangerous team on set pieces, and they took advantage of that. In the second half there was an attempt to push a level up on our end, but we couldn’t sustain enough pressure, and in that regard England on the night was quite good. The second goal for them was excellent passing movement and I give them credit.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report

Match-up: USA vs. England
Date: May 28, 2008
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Wembley Stadium – London, England
Kickoff: 8 p.m. GMT
Attendance: 71,233
Weather: 57 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:
1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
ENG 1 1 2

ENG – John Terry (David Beckham) 38th minute.
ENG – Steven Gerrard (Gareth Barry) 59.

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo (27-Frankie Hejduk, 46), 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 12-Heath Pearce; 8-Clint Dempsey, 13-Ricardo Clark (26-Maurice Edu, 78), 4-Michael Bradley, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (11-Eddie Lewis, 68); 9-Eddie Johnson (14-Nate Jaqua, 89), 16-Josh Wolff (19-Freddy Adu, 68)

Subs not used 2-Dan Califf

Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ENG: 1-David James; 2-Wes Brown (13-Glen Johnson, 58), 6-John Terry (capt.), 3-Ashley Cole (14-Wayne Bridge, 83), 5-Rio Ferdinand; 7-David Beckham (17-David Bentley, 46), 4-Owen Hargreaves, 8-Frank Lampard (21-Gareth Barry, 57), 10-Steven Gerrard; 9-Jermain Defoe (25-Peter Crouch, 68), 11-Wayne Rooney (22-Joe Cole, 79)

Subs not used: 12-Joe Hart, 15-Stephen Warnock, 16-Jonathan Woodgate, 18-Phil Jagielka, 19-David Wheater, 20-Tom Huddlestone, 23-Stewart Downing, 24-Ashley Young, , 26-Dean Ashton, 27-Theo Walcott, 28-Gabriel Agbonlahor, 29-Joe Lewis

Head Coach: Fabio Capello

Stats Summary:
USA / ENG
Shots 9 / 16
Saves 3 / 2
Corner Kicks 5 / 4
Fouls 21 / 23
Offside 3 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Steve Cherundolo (caution) 44th minute.
USA – Heach Pearce (caution) 71.
ENG – Wayne Rooney (caution) 76.

Officials:

Referee: Kyros Vassaras (GRE)
First Asst.: Dimitrios Bozaizides (GRE)
Second Asst.: Dimitrios Saraidaris (GRE)
Fourth Official: Peter Walton (ENG)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Eddie Johnson

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Crew hope for reversal of fortunes

Posted on 29 May 2008 by Jim Baird

When the Crew and Chivas first met this season, it was a classic featuring nine cards, seven goals, two ejections and the home-side Columbus walking away 4-3 winners. This weekend is the sequel at the Home Depot Center.

The previous Crew victory over Chivas started a five game winning streak for the Black and Gold that catapulted them to the top of the league standings.

But a recent tough schedule has slowed their previously torrid point and goal pace.

The Crew have taken only one point in their last two games, including a 1-0 loss last Saturday at home against the Revolution. Their dangerous offense that features two of the league’s top scorers in Robbie Rogers and Alejandro Moreno has been held scoreless for 186 minutes.

The Crew are getting accustomed to playing away from home. The team is in the middle of playing five out of eight games away from the friendly confines of Columbus. This match up marks Columbus third road game during this road stretch.

Chivas enters the game on a two game win streak, including a victory last Saturday at Colorado. The team is lead by the ever dangerous Sacha Kljestan, whose four goals and three assists on the season fuel an offense that is the third highest scoring in the MLS.

Game Notes: Game Time 10:30 ET
TV: CSN, DK, MLSLiveTV
Radio: 610 AM WTVN (local)

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