Archive | June, 2008

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Ince may be ready to move for Bradley

Posted on 30 June 2008 by ASN Staff

Blackburn Rovers’ new boss Paul Ince will “reopen files” on Michael Bradley, according to the Mirror. Bradley reportedly hurt his market value with a poor performance in the U.S. national team’s game against England last month but could still move for around £3million, the Mirror reported.

Middlesbrough, West Ham United and Sunderland were previously said to be mulling bids for the 20-year old Bradley, who is still under contract with Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen.

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Gomes a goner

Posted on 30 June 2008 by ASN Staff

The Colorado Rapids announced Friday, June 27, that it had waived midfielder Rafael Gomes.
Gomes, who was signed by the Rapids March 3, appeared in seven matches for Colorado with two starts. Playing 282 minutes with the first team, Gomes tallied one assist vs. FC Dallas on June 1. He also recorded 290 minutes of action in four Reserve matches and 122 minutes in the Rapids’ two U.S. Open Cup “play-in” contests, scoring during the team’s penalty kick shootout loss against the Kansas City Wizards.

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United run over LA, 4-1

Posted on 30 June 2008 by Chris Snear

Neither a little heat and humidity nor the Los Angeles Galaxy were enough to slow down DC United’s potent attack nor their ascension up the Eastern Conference table as they rolled to a 4-1 victory on Sunday.

Officially it was 82 degrees at the odd noon Eastern Time start with the normal high humidity that accompanies a late June day in Washington, DC. The game was the opening act of a nationally televised double header with the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany, which Spain won 1-0.

However, with the two highest scoring teams in MLS and the leakiest as well, what the opening act lacked in glamour, it made up for in excitement.

United (7-7-1) have now won four in a row and are unbeaten in their last six.

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Luciano Emilio scored twice to raise his season total to 10, with eight in his last six games.

In a surprising turn of events, United’s Ben Olsen saw his first action of the season, playing the last quarter hour after coming on for the effective Jaime Moreno. Olsen has been out with yet another ankle surgery.

The match was played at a breakneck pace from the onset despite the sultry conditions. United maintained most of the possession and consequently created more scoring opportunities throughout the entire match.

Despite the disparity in the possession, United Head Coach Tom Soehn downplayed his team’e effectiveness early on in the match, “I thought the first half we didn’t do a good enough job with the ball. We had stretches where we had good possession and it really opened them up. I thought we could have done a little bit better job keeping the ball instead of going right for it. That probably would have taxed them a little more.”

“It’s a difficult climate for those guys (LA) to come into,” Soehn continued however. “They are not used to the humidity and the heat and it really got to them more than it did us. We did a good job making sure we knocked it around a little more. When you are chasing the ball, you expend a lot of energy. It’s a lot easier when you have the ball. That really hurt them.”

Was it too much heat or too much United that doomed the Galaxy, who are still on top of the Western Conference? The loss is just the Galaxy’s second in their last seven matches.

“Mostly too much United,” said defender Chris Klein. “It was hot but it was hot for them too. They were more adaptable because they did a very good job today of keeping the ball so when you have the ball it’s not as tiring. We had a pretty good first half and then came out flat in the second half.”

“Well, it’s 9:00 am for us,” added an obviously tired Landon Donovan.

“It was hot out there but that affects both teams, although after all they train in it week in and week out,” added David Beckham. “Though, that it wasn’t just that today. Of course, like I said it was hot but we didn’t play a good game – we didn’t play well enough.

“We didn’t challenge hard enough and the best team won on the day. I can obviously blame the humidity, obviously it was hot out there, like I said, but it was more than that today.”

United capitalized on a critical mistake in the 5th minute by Ante Jazic who pushed Santino Quaranta in the back as the Baltimore native dribbled into a fairly innocuous spot in the penalty area. Moreno, who started the sequence with a simple ball from the right flank to Quaranta, stepped up and easily beat goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who guessed the wrong direction. The goal was Moreno’s 6th of the season and his 4th on a penalty kick.

The Galaxy equalized after a comedy of errors by United around their penalty area in the 26th minute. After Donovan’s strong run toward the penalty area from the right flank and subsequent hopeful ball toward Edson Buddle in the area, a perfectly positioned Gonzalo Peralta wiffed on a clearance attempt and Devon McTavish and Bryan Namoff collided and fell to the ground. Buddle’s subsequent right footed flick beat Zach Wells from merely yards out to equalize the score and deny United their first shutout in league play this season.

Both Donovan and Emilio scored apparent goals in the first half but both were correctly ruled offside.

Just prior to the goal, Moreno was fortunate referee Jair Marrufo did not issue a caution for a hard tackle on Beckham on the left flank.

However, the battling #10’s were both issued yellow cards by Marrufo for an altercation in the 42nd minute in front of the Galaxy bench. Gallardo, who had possession of the ball with Donovan on his back, swung his elbow violently striking Donovan in the nose. After Donovan’s retaliation, and a quick conference with the fourth official, Marrufo issued the dueling cautions.

Emilio had scored five minutes prior capitalizing on a Galaxy turnover in the midfield to make the score 2-1 and restore momentum in United’s favor, which the Galaxy had turned around in the preceding 15-minutes after their goal.

After the turnover, Moreno’s floater across the penalty area from the right flank was collected by Marc Burch, who in turn slung it back into the goal area for Emilio, whose fall away header beat Cronin just inside the left post.

“There’s a better understanding with the attack right now especially with Luciano,” said Gallardo through an interpretor. “Earlier in the year, we didn’t have that good chemistry but right now the player who’s up top for us, there’s a better understanding between him and I think that’s why we’re getting more goals.

“Jaime and I are coming back to the midfield to help build the attack and it’s important for Fred and Santino [Quaranta] to attack on the wings and right now we’re doing a good job all together finding Luciano up top because he’s the lone forward and we’re scoring on the chances that we create.”

Gallardo contributed a goal of his own, burying his second scoring chance in less than five minutes to make the score 3-1. Gallardo beat Sean Franklin in the penalty area and slipped a shot passed Cronin in the 60th minute.

Five minutes earlier, Gallardo’s right footed blast from inside the box sailed high and wide after he got a ball from Emilio. Marc Burch started the sequence lofting a rare right footed ball from the left flank over the Galaxy defense to Emilio in the penalty area.

The goal upset Los Angeles coach Ruud Gullit by the fact he felt Gallardo should not have been on the field after the incident with Donovan.

“He scored the third goal and he’s supposed to be off the pitch,” said a mildly frustrated Gullit. “Gallardo excused himself to me because he knew he was lucky to stay on the pitch. There was blood coming out of his (Donovan’s) nose. I blame also the 4th official because it’s ridiculous, it’s right in front of him. If he has no authority, what is the point of having him there.”

Gullit conceded however that his team was spent after playing a good first half.

“I think it was a totally different team than from the beginning,” he said. “You want the ball to do the work. I think in the passes in the first half we did that excellently and that could have resulted in a 2-1 lead. In the second half I think you saw the players really suffered from the heat; they were exhausted and they said it also in the locker room.”

United won ball after ball throughout the entire match, further demoralizing and breaking down the tired Galaxy.

“They won every secondary ball,” Klein said frankly. “They were first to all of those and once they got them they kept them. I think that was a big difference in the game. At this level you don’t want to say they wanted it more but it sure looked like it.”

The Galaxy’s resilience showed well only seconds later however as Donovan dribbled around multiple United defenders, starting on the left side of the penalty area and finishing on the right, but his right footed shot was denied by a sliding Wells in the 62nd minute.

Burch countered that with a rocket left-footed free kick from 36-yards out that thumped the cross bar and sailed in the air before coming down out of bounds.

Emilio put the game out of reach, scoring one of the easier goals he will score all season in the 69th minute to make the score 4-1. After Gallardo played a ball wide right to Fred, who was close to an offside position on the right flank, the swift Brazilian raced into the penalty area, laying an easy ball around a committed Cronin, to a wide open Emilio who pushed the ball into a wide open goal.

The Galaxy didn’t shut down however as Donovan had perhaps his best opportunity in the closing seconds of the match but his left footed blast from 12-yards out was deflected away on a great reflex save by Wells.

Emilio’s bid for his second hat trick of the season was denied moments later by an equally great save by Cronin.

THe otherwise exciting game fizzled out as referee Jair Maruffo took the hint from the players, blowing full time as United held the ball without attacking for the final minute.

Scoring Summary:
DC — Jaime Moreno 6 (penalty kick) 5
LA — Edson Buddle 10 (Landon Donovan 7) 26
DC — Luciano Emilio 9 (Marc Burch 2, Jaime Moreno 7) 37
DC — Marcelo Gallardo 4 (Luciano Emilio 2, Gonzalo Martinez 1) 60
DC — Luciano Emilio 10 (Fred 3, Marcelo Gallardo 3) 68

Los Angeles Galaxy — Steve Cronin, Chris Klein, Sean Franklin, Abel Xavier, Mike Randolph, David Beckham, Ely Allen (Josh Tudela 46+), Alvaro Pires (Alan Gordon 64), Ante Jazic (Joe Franchino 61), Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan,

Substitutes Not Used: Vito Higgins, Brandon McDonald, Troy Roberts, Greg Vanney

D.C. United — Zach Wells, Bryan Namoff, Devon McTavish, Gonzalo Peralta, Gonzalo Martinez, Santino Quaranta (Marc Burch 27), Marcelo Gallardo, Clyde Simms, Fred (Rod Dyachenko 77), Luciano Emilio, Jaime Moreno (Ben Olsen 75),

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Carvallo, Ryan Cordeiro, Francis Doe, Quavas Kirk

D.C. United Los Angeles Galaxy
Total shots: 22 (Luciano Emilio 7) 10 (Edson Buddle 4)
Shots on goal: 13 (Luciano Emilio 6) 6 (Landon Donovan 3)
Fouls: 5 (5 tied with 1) 11 (3 tied with 2)
Offsides: 3 (Luciano Emilio 2) 4 (Landon Donovan 3)
Corner kicks: 3 (Marc Burch 2) 4 (David Beckham 3)
Saves: 5 (Zach Wells 5) 9 (Steve Cronin 9)

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Marcelo Gallardo (caution; Game Disrepute) 42
LA — Landon Donovan (caution; Dissent) 42
LA — Josh Tudela (caution; Reckless Foul) 51

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner; Kermit Quisenberry
4th official: Hilario Grajeda
Time of game: 1:50
Attendance: 35,979
Weather: Cloudy -and- 82 degrees

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DC United run over LA Galaxy, 4-1

Posted on 29 June 2008 by Chris Snear

morenoleaplead.jpg

Neither a little heat and humidity nor the Los Angeles Galaxy were enough to slow down DC United’s potent attack nor their ascension up the Eastern Conference table as they rolled to a 4-1 victory on Sunday. The game was the opening act of a nationally televised double header with the Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany, which Spain won 1-0.
Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio (2x) and Marcelo Gaillardo all scored for the resurgent home side, which has not lost in its last five games.

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Revs hang on to beat TFC, 2-1

Posted on 29 June 2008 by ASN Staff

©ASN/Tony Biscaia, Revsnet

The New England Revolution played a game of possession, and came up with a decisive 2-1 win over Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium Saturday night. Revs captain Steve Ralston scored both close-range goals to become the Rev’s lead scorer with six tallies on the season. The win also placed Nicol and technical staff as the coaching team of the MLS All-Star game for the second year in a row.

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Ekpo strike sinks Rapids

Posted on 29 June 2008 by ASN Staff

©ASN/Taylor Birkos

A sizzling shot into the lower right hand corner of the net completed a dazzling 50 yard solo run by Emmanuel Ekpo to win the game for the Columbus Crew against the Colorado Rapids at Crew Stadium Saturday. “That’s got to be a goal of the week candidate,” said Crew coach Sigi Schmid. “Not just the finish — it was a good finish, he struck it well — but also the turn at midfield, flicking it on to himself and then going into that space.”

Following a scoreless first half, Guillermo Barros Schelotto opened the scoring for the Crew in the 53rd minute from the penalty spot. Alejandro Moreno drew the penalty when he was judged to have been fouled by Pablo Mastroeni–a call Mastroeni later said called “subjective. I think Moreno sold it and the referee bought it.”

After Nick LaBrocca equalized for Colorado in the 60th minute, Crew midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo’s first career goal 10 minutes later proved to be the game-winner.

©ASN/Taylor Birkos

Defender Danny O’Rourke made his first start of the season at left back, while Andy Iro assumed O’Rourke’s regular spot as Chad Marshall’s partner in central defense. Iro admitted he was “a little bit surprised” at being given the start. “But I think Sigi came out with a game plan knowing that they were going to cross the ball, knowing that they had big guys in the air, and I think it paid off. I think we limited their chances a lot, with me and Chad cleaning up all the head balls.”

Schmid agreed with this rationale. “When you look at [the Rapid’s] attack, their attack was free kicks into the box and long throw-ins, so having the two big guys in the middle really helps us.,” he explained. “They won a lot of headers.” At the very end of the game, Schmid made a final tactical adjustment to defend the lead. “We went five in the back and put Danny [O’Rourke] in the middle of those two in case anything came over the top.”

Crew keeper William Hesmer made seven saves in goal. The Crew has now earned seven points in its last three games (2-0-1). The team is now 5-2-0 at home this season and maintains its hold on second place in the Eastern Conference standings and the league’s second best record overall (8-4-2, 26 pts.).

With New England’s 2-1 victory over Toronto Saturday, the Revs retained their league-leading points-per-game average, making their head coach Steve Nicol the MLS All-Star Game coach. Crew head coach Sigi Schmid finished second.

The Crew returns to action Saturday, July 5, against Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire at Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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Match Facts

Colorado Rapids (5-8-1) at Columbus Crew (8-4-2)
June 28, 2008 — Columbus Crew Stadium

Scoring:

CLB — Guillermo Barros Schelotto 3 (penalty kick) 53
COL — Nick LaBrocca 2 (Conor Casey 1) 60
CLB — Emmanuel Ekpo 1 (unassisted) 70

Discipline:
CLB — Emmanuel Ekpo (caution; Professional Foul) 19
CLB — Andy Iro (caution; Pushing, Holding) 87

Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul, Ugo Ihemelu (Herculez Gomez 87), Jordan Harvey, Facundo Erpen, Nick LaBrocca, John DiRaimondo (Mehdi Ballouchy 75), Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Terry Cooke, Tom McManus (Omar Cummings 77), Conor Casey

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Burciaga Jr., Nico Colaluca, Kosuke Kimura, Preston Burpo

Columbus Crew — William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro, Danny O’Rourke, Emmanuel Ekpo (Steven Lenhart 77), Brian Carroll, Brad Evans, Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Ryan Junge 90), Alejandro Moreno.

Substitutes Not Used: Cory Elenio, Duncan Oughton, Jason Garey, Jed Zayner, Andy Gruenebaum

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Sean Hurd
4th Official: Mikael Lundqvist
Time of Game: 90:00
Weather: Cloudy -and- 71 degrees
Attendance: 12,254

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Decisive win over Toronto keeps Revs top of league

Posted on 29 June 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

©ASN/Tony Biscaia, Revsnet

The New England Revolution played a game of possession, and came up with a decisive 2-1 win over Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium Saturday night. Revolution Captain Steve Ralston scored both close-range goals to become the Rev’s lead scorer with six tallies on the season. The win also placed Nicol and technical staff as the coaching team of the MLS All-Star game for the second year in a row, this year against English Premier League side West Ham United, to be played at Toronto’s BMO Field on July 24.

Accounting for his productivity, Ralston said, “I’ve just been in the right place in the right time on a bunch of occasions – getting rebounds, some tap-ins, the ones I like. As a team, we’ve created a bunch of chances and I just happened to be there to put them in.”

For the first time in weeks, coach Steve Nicol praised his players instead of beating them up in the post-game press conference. “Tonight we passed the ball as well as we’ve done all season . . . [Ralston] reads it well, he doesn’t just take for granted it’s going to go in the net or go wide, and he follows up and that’s just experience. And the second [goal] was just experience. Cool head, people diving in – he stays calm and puts it away . . . Shalrie [Joseph] and Jeff [Larentowicz] did a great job for the majority of the evening – either winning the challenge or getting the second ball and getting the second ball wide early. We’ve got real pace wide on the right, and obviously Castro’s got a great brain on the left, so you don’t want to play against that as well.”

Mauricio Castro appeared more confident in his left wing role, showing distinctive style in holding the ball up against larger, faster defenders and moving it into the top third of the field. Said Larentowicz, “He’s a confident guy on the ball. When we’re in possession, he’s one of the guys we look to be able to keep it and move it for us. He played well. He was serving balls in, and he was committed up and back down the flank.”

Danny Dichio threatened as the lone TFC striker in the first half, but the Revolution dealt with the attacks with a new composure and shorter, more technical passes. “I think we possessed the ball tonight,” said defender Chris Albright. “Whether they let us do that or whether we did a good job of it, we possessed the ball. You know, when you go into someone else’s place and you’ve got to chase the ball it makes it tough, so we made it tough on them in that respect.” Said Matt Reis, “Dichio is definitely a challenging player with his size, but we limited his service and the opportunities he had to hurt us. Guevaro is a great player and he’s very calm on the ball, but we limited his opportunities. In the end we scored on ourselves, so if we eliminate that we’re in great shape.”

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A good win game at home was strong motivation for the team, who feel they’ve let their fans down this spring. According to Larentowicz, “Everybody was on the same page tonight, and this was something we’ve been looking for out of a home game for a while . . . Before the game, we said we were going to be more patient, we were going to make sure that as soon as we got it we weren’t going a hundred miles an hour forward. We knew this was a team that wanted to play and it wasn’t going to be a kick-and-run type game.”

Toronto’s only score came in the 78th minute, when the Revs appeared distracted by the crowd’s roar as Taylor Twellman approached the sideline as a substitution for Kheli Dube. Originally attributed to Maurice Edu, assisted by Amado Guevara, the goal was later determined to be an own goal by Joseph. TFC tried to take advantage of the momentum, with Jarrod Smith and Jim Brennan launching frenetic attacks that the Revs repelled with long balls, killing the remaining minutes to hold the lead in the remaining 12 minutes.

Sainey Nyassi’s pace up and down the sidelines kept TFC fully occupied, but he’s proving to be an easy read for the opposition. His possession continues to deteriorate, largely due to his inability to look for a teammate and release the ball before cornered by defenders. In the final moments another breakdown occurred, and Michael Parkhurst recovered to head Brennan’s shot out of the net from the goal line, and Reis was forced to make a point blank save on the rebound. Joking about the Revs’ dependence on Reis for critical saves, Ralston quipped, “We want him to be goalkeeper MVP, right? We have to give them those opportunities to make those saves. We can show highlights of him making saves.”

Although Twellman only got 10 minutes on the pitch, his presence animated the match. Said Ralston, “I know their defenders noticed him when he came on the field. It was great to see him back out there. He’s worked really hard to get back, fighting through the injuries. Mentally for him, it was important he got there and got kicked a couple times and his ankle is okay. So hopefully he’ll be there next week.”

Next Saturday, the Revolution visit the LA Galaxy, Albright’s former team. “It’ll be good to be back,” he remarked. “Obviously, every time you leave a place, you want to go back in and win, but I’m not looking at that. We need to keep building our points, try to keep staying in first spot, and keep momentum going in the SuperLiga because that’s our next focus after the LA game. They attack with a lot of guys and they attack with a lot of talent guys. They’ve obviously scored the most goals in the league for a reason. I think we’re going to get our chances and we’re going to get our goals – if we can do a good job in the back. Otherwise it could be a long night.”

Match Facts

New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC June 28, 2008 – Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium)

Scoring Summary:
NE – Steve Ralston (unassisted) 12
NE – Steve Ralston (unassisted) 59
TFC – Own Goal (Shalrie Joseph) 78

New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Chris Albright, Mauricio Castro (Wells Thompson 75), Shalrie Joseph, Jeff Larentowicz, Sainey Nyassi, Steve Ralston ©, Adam Cristman (Kenny Mansally 61), Kheli Dube (Taylor Twellman 79)

Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren (GK), Chase Hilgenbrinck, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney

STATS: Shots 9; Shots on Goal 4; Saves 3; Corner Kicks 3; Offsides 3; Fouls Committed 15
Toronto FC: Brian Edwards (GK), Jim Brennan ©, Tyrone Marshall, Marco Velez, Marvell Wynne, Laurent Robert (Jarrod Smith 64), Carl Robinson, Maurice Edu, Rohan Ricketts (Julius James 65), Amado Guevara, Danny Dichio (Jeff Cunningham 56)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton (GK), Nana Attakora-Gyan, Kevin Harmse, Andrea Lombardo

STATS: Shots 8; Shots on Goal 5; Saves 2; Corner Kicks 4; Offsides 8; Fouls Committed 19

Misconduct Summary:
TFC – Laurent Robert (caution) 46+
TFC – Maurice Edu (caution) 77
TFC – Tyrone Marshall (caution) 85
TFC – Amado Guevara (caution) 93+

Referee: Tim Weyland

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Chivas, Red Bulls battle to 1-1 draw

Posted on 29 June 2008 by ASN Staff

©ASN/Craig Bennett, 112575 Photos

The New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA fought a pitched battle at the Home Depot Center Saturday night, with the visitors managing to hold off a late onslaught largely thanks to the goalkeeping heroics of Jon Conway. New York grabbed the early lead before a defensive blunder led to former Metro Ante Razov (here against Dane Richards) equalizing on the stroke of halftime.

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Late self-goal gives Wizards elusive victory

Posted on 29 June 2008 by khowell

arnaudlead.jpg

Eighty-nine long fruitless minutes after Saturday night’s opening whistle, Davy Arnaud looped a free kick over Real Salt Lake’s defensive wall that bounced off defender Tony Beltran and into goal, for the match’s only tally. With the 1-0 victory, the Wizards break a seven game winless streak that stretches back two months and, perhaps finally, get themselves back on track.

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Ekpo strike sinks Rapids

Posted on 29 June 2008 by ASN Staff

ekpolead.jpg

A sizzling shot into the lower right hand corner of the net completed a dazzling 50 yard solo run by Emmanuel Ekpo to win the game for the Columbus Crew against the Colorado Rapids at Crew Stadium Saturday. With the 2-1 victory, the Crew has now earned seven points in its last three games to maintain its hold on second place in the Eastern Conference standings and the league’s second best record overall (8-4-2, 26 pts.).

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