Archive | Match Reports

RSL beat Galaxy, Progress to Conference Finals

Posted on 08 November 2013 by Aowabin Rahman

RSL knocked out reigning MLS Cup Champions LA GAlaxy at home  (2-0 in 2nd leg, 2-1 aggregate) and progressed to Western Conference Finals. Sebastian Velasquez scored in the first half to level the aggregate score, followed by Chris Schuler’s winner in extra-time.

The host did have a formidable task at hand from the get-go, looking to overturn a Sean Franklin goal that they conceded in the first leg. They were also hoping to address the psychological block of not scoring a single goal in the last 335 minutes in MLS playoffs.

RSL were missing key midfielder Ned Gravaboy due to a hamstring injury, but were welcoming back Joao Plata on the bench.  Galaxy fielded a strong XI, with the forward duo of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane sharing  an impressive 28 goals between them.

RSL started the game with a high tempo, going direct to forward Alvaro Saborio and trying to beat the Galaxy midfield to the second ball. However, it was the away team with the first chance of the match in the 4th minute, as Galaxy winger Gyasi Zardes broke free from Tony Beltran to set up Landon Donovan. The forward’s curler from the edge of the box went over the bar.

RSL found themselves with a great opportunity to take the lead in the 15th minute, when Kyle Beckerman found Saborio in the box, but the Costa Rican headed wide from close range. Galaxy were breaking with pace down the flanks with winger Robbie Rogers producing a fine ball from the byline. However, there was no white shirt in the box to slot it home.

Robbie Rogers again found himself in the box in the 28th minute following a Galaxy corner.  The winger’s scuffed effort went wide.

RSL took the lead in the 36th minute when full-back Chris Wingert’s cross found Sebastian Velasquez in the box. The young RSL midfielder made no mistake from close range to pull RSL level on the aggregate. The goal was really well-engineered by Javier Morales, whose excellent vision switched play to the left, with Wingert in plenty of space.

Galaxy was quick to shift gears and pressed forward after going a goal down, winning a flurry of corners before the first-half ended. The home team, however, was able to hold till the whistle.

The LA outfit continued where they left off, but it was RSL had the first clear-cut chance. A Morales set-piece in the 53rd minute beat the traffic in the box and forced Jaime Penedo to make the first real save of the game.

A frantic one-minute period at the 65th minute saw Rogers’ low cross spilled by Rimando, following which a desperate RSL defense was barely able to keep away Donovan’s left-footer from fairly close range. Following a Chris Schuler clearance, Saborio was able to hurry the Galaxy defense into conceding a corner within a space of a few seconds.

As the game progressed, RSL began to get a stronger hold of the game. In the 75th minute, Chris Schuler headed into the crossbar following a Morales free-kick. Luck again denied RSL as Saborio hit the crossbar again from the edge of the box in the 78th minute after good hold-up play from substitute Olmes Garcia.

RSL would finally find the back of the net in the 83rd minute when a Morales free-kick went untouched in the box and found the Galaxy net. However, the referee controversially disallowed the goal, supposedly for some infringement in the box. RSL would consider themselves unlucky, as the goal appeared legit in the replays.

The 90th minute saw another scrap near the LA goal following a Luis Gil Cross. Garcia seemed to have the final touch, but Penedo was able to hold on to the ball.

RSL carried on with their momentum into extra-time and took a long overdue two-goal lead in the 12th minute of extra-time when another Morales set-piece found Schuler at the far post. The veteran defender slotted in home from close range.

The Galaxy keeper and defense have dealt with Morales’ set-pieces poorly throughout the game and it seemed inevitable that the Argentine would eventually make them pay.

More controversy followed as a Donovan goal was ruled offside due to what appeared to be a foul on Nat Borchers. RSL had even more disconcerting matters to attend to, as Alvaro Saborio went off injured after coach RSL coach Jason Kreis used up all of his substitutions. The home team were forced to  defend their narrow lead with only 10 men in the last 10 minutes.

The last few minutes saw desperate goal-mouth action in RSL box  substitute Jose Villareal, Gyasi Zardes and Sean Franklin all had chances to level the tie. However, the men in claret-and-cobalt were able to see out the nervy final minutes.

The final whistle sent a raucous home crowd into jubilation, as their side take on Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Final.

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Incredible Garcia sinks Galaxy

Posted on 09 June 2013 by Aowabin Rahman

A late brace from Olmes Garcia gave Real Salt Lake (8-5-4) a crucial home victory over LA Galaxy (6-5-4)  on Saturday. The other goals came from Khari Stephenson and Landon Donovan, both in the first half.

The hosts came into the game with better form than their opponents, having convincingly beaten San Jose Earthquakes in their previous game. Galaxy, on the other hand, were still recovering from a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of New England Revolutions, a record loss in their club history.

The visitors, however, did have history on their side: having put RSL 2-0 away in their previous meeting in April and winning the last four games in all-time series. RSL were missing Alvaro Saborio and Luis Gil due to international duty, whereas the Galaxy coach Bruce Arena had Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzales unavailable.

Compared to their previous meeting, RSL looked much more impressive in the early minutes, with runs from deep from Joao Plata and Robbie Findley keeping Galaxy defenders on their toes. It wasn’t long before the first chance of the game fell to Joao Plata. The forward’s shot from a tight angle was spilled by Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe. Luckily for the youngster, there was no RSL body at the spot to capitalize.

The first-half was evenly-contested, with chances falling to either side. Khari Stephenson came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock after Javier Morales was clipped by Michael Stephens in the 25th minute just outside the box. The visitors soon experienced their own share of bad lack in the 29th minute, as a long range left-footer from Jose Villarreal hit the woodwork.

Galaxy started to get a better hold of the game as the half progressed, with a ball almost falling for Landon Donovan near RSL goal. The forward was then clipped outside the box in the 35th minute and the resulting free-kick from Villarreal was saved from top-left by Nick Rimando.

Khari Stephenson broke through for RSL just at the stroke of half-time, as good possession from the home side allowed the Jamaican to take a shot from outside the box. The ball went past the reach of Rowe and the young Galaxy keeper might’ve felt he should’ve done better.

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The home side’s lead was momentary, however, as the goal sent the dying minutes of the half into a frenzy. In first-half injury-time, a cross from the left flank fell kindly for Donovan at the edge of the box. The forward’s well-placed volley beat Nick Rimando and leveled the score for the visitors.

The second half started much the same way as the first, with RSL taking early control. After Javier Morales was clipped in the 48th minute, the set-piece ball from Chris Wingert from well-outside the Galaxy box almost found its way past Rowe.

The gamed opened up a bit more as the half progressed. Following a Galaxy attack, Javier Morales found Robbie Findley. The forward’s shot from the box came at a comfortable height for Rowe. A brilliant lay-off from substitute Olmes Garcia in the 64th minute set up Morales from an acute angle. The Argentine lost his footing and his effort went wide.

The electric home crowd were not disappointed, however, as Olmes Garcia gave Real Salt Lake a well-deserved lead in the 84th minute with an incredible gliding header in the box. The Galaxy box was loaded as the cross came in from Morales from the left flan, but the forward still had work to do to convert the chance. Garcia was posing Galaxy all kind of problems after checking in and the goal proved that the forward has skills to go with his pace and power.

The night got better for Garcia, as in injury time Morales’ through ball found Galaxy with numbers down at the back. The young Columbian capped off his performance with a neat finish past Rowe.

The win puts Real Salt Lake on 27 points and as a legit contender for the Supporters’ Shield. Galaxy will look to regroup as they welcome Portland Timbers at home on June 19.

RSL XI (4-4-2 diamond): Rimando; Beltran, Borchers, Kwame, Wingert, Beckerman, Grabavoy, Stephenson (Velasquez 70), Morales, Plata, Findley (Garcia 61)

LA Galaxy (4-4-2) Rowe; Franklin, Meyer, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Sarvas, Stephens (Jiminez 84), Juninho; Zardes, Villarreal (Rogers 71), Donovan


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DC United falls 2-1 to Philadelphia’s tighter play

Posted on 07 June 2012 by Steve Long

To judge from post game comments by DC United coaches and players you might think the team’s major problem was that they didn’t work hard enough. That description of events doesn’t quite capture what really happened. While Philadelphia may have played marginally harder than DC, the real key was execution. The Union’s was poor and United’s was worse.

As is typical of US Open Cup matches, this one was a war and Philadelphia prevailed. As DC United Coach Ben Olsen put it, “They wanted it, they fought, and it’s just a poor overall execution from the team and myself.”

The intensity of Open Cup matches is especially evident in battles for midfield control and it was there that the Union was stronger. Under siege as soon as they got the ball, United’s players displayed an appalling error rate as passes more often than not found opponent’s feet.

Philadelphia responded in kind, displaying a nearly identical ineptitude in pass completion. The apparent sloppiness in both teams’ offensive efforts may be laid in part to the frenetic play and some actually sharp defending. The desire was there from both teams, the accuracy was not.

Olsen was willing to take some blame, conceding that his own preparation should also be examined, “I’ll look at myself first and our staff first, but we have to realize that that’s not good enough. Too many guys were on their own page today. We were cute all over the field.”

While players made a fair number of runs to open up space or to free themselves to receive passes, the actual passes were usually a few degrees off or just a bit too hard to reach. Most of that is simply a weak response to a hard working opponent and it can only be fixed with well-structured practices and disciplined player attention to the rhythm of the game.

The cliché says that one should work smarter, not harder. In reality, the team that prevails will be the one that works both smarter and harder. Olsen intends to work himself harder to become smarter, and then apply what he learns via good training, “I have to get working harder, and the guys are certainly going to work harder.”

He considers the result as a wakeup call, “All the little things that got us success up to this point – we forgot about tonight. There were signs that we were forgetting about that over the last couple games and we have been squeaking by. Tonight we didn’t squeak by and it’s a good thing.”

Midfielder Perry Kitchen agrees with him, “Our last few games we were kind of dying down. This can end up being a good thing for us because we have to realize that we aren’t where we want to be at, and if we don’t play well, we’re going to lose.”

It all comes down to whether Olsen learns the right things, applies them in hard training, and thereby helps his players play both smarter and harder. He can count on one thing; his next opponent, the Philadelphia Union (at Philadelphia on June 16th), will be working just as hard. Peter Nowak saw the same game and knows that his own players will need to execute better.

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Sounders FC vs Jaguares de Chiapas Photo Gallery

Posted on 01 March 2012 by dlindsay

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Sounder FC completed their preseason undefeated by beating Mexican squad Jaguares de Chiapas 2-0 at CenturyLink Field on February 29, 2012.

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Committed DC United goes down swinging as 1-1 tie falls short

Posted on 20 October 2011 by Chris Snear

Nearly every DC United player collapsed to the soggy RFK Stadium turf at the final whistle knowing that their 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers was not good enough to keep their playoff hopes alive. To their credit, United left everything they had on the field as a dramatic but often maddening push throughout the second half got the equalizer but was simply not good enough to forge the home side ahead.

“It’s funny; it was basically my pre-game speech. Let’s go down swinging; let’s show the people that we are completely committed out there and we’ll need to push it to the limit to get this result,” said United Head Coach Ben Oslen.

United will now miss the playoffs for a club-record fourth consecutive year.

Dwayne De Rosario, with his right ankle heavily taped and noticeably limping after being kicked in the first half, scored his league leading 16th goal of the season for a brilliant equalizer in the 73rd minute after Kenny Cooper had given the Timber the lead with an easy header in the 24th minute.

“It was disheartening. It is but it isn’t in the sense that we showed some fight,” De Rosario said. “Yeah it was basically both teams having chances at the end. We definitely had some great opportunities, and if we had a little more hunger and a little more fight, we finish those chances. Those are things we really need how to learn – to commit to that final ball and get your body behind it.”

After taking a good ball from Josh Wolff, De Rosario drifted to left side of the penalty area, took a turn and beat former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins with a definitive strike to the near post.

“If Dwayne De Rosario doesn’t get MVP of the League there’s something wrong. Plain and simple,” said Timbers coach John Spencer, who coached De Rosario during his time as an assistant in Houston. “For the last three months of the season since he came here he’s been the best player in the League by far – a country mile. He needs to win MVP.”

United thought they had what would surely have been a season saving goal in the 89th minute but Blake Brettschneider header was disallowed when he was correctly ruled to be in an offside position. Perkins came out to play the original shot and ended up going past Brettschneider thus leaving just one defender as the cross was played in.

Cooper’s goal was much simpler, as he slipped between McDonald and Ethan White to nod home an equally simple but perfect cross from another former United player, Rodney Wallace, from the left flank.

Regardless of the implications, the game was apparently destined to be played in wet conditions. The match was originally scheduled for August 25 but was postponed due to Hurricane Irene and on this day, a steady rain all day drenched the Washington metropolitan area but stopped shortly before kickoff.

Despite United’s comprehensive attacking posture with De Rosario playing behind Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies, neither team managed to create more than a half chance through the first 20 plus minutes with one exception. McDonald rifled a header just over the bar off a Santino Quaranta corner kick that disturbed the netting enough to cause an unfounded roar from the home crowd in the 10th minute.

Andy Najar made a strong run with his usual touch of flair down the left flank in the 34th minute, but his right footed shot targeted for the near post from inside the penalty area was not equal to the quality of the run.

Quaranta had an even better opportunity in the 42nd minute but that also went awry. After a strong cut back dribble around Lovel Palmer at the top left corner of the penalty area, his left footed attempt across the face of the goal somehow bounced over the extended foot of a charging Wolff and then skidded just wide of the far post.

But the real drama and thrills did not come until after the break.

“It was a bit of a blur those last 20-30 minutes, and the whole second half,” said Oslen. “But I am extremely proud of the guys tonight – I can’t believe nobody scored down that stretch. The amount of chances that were going on was pretty remarkable. I have to look at it, but it seems that we had the better ones. It just wasn’t our night. Troy [Perkins] came off with a couple of saves, and they did well to put their bodies in front of us on some and we didn’t do well with some finishes as well.”

Knowing it needed a goal quickly in the second half, United formulated significant stretches of coordinated attack but could not find the final idea or execute the final ball to get through Portland’s solid defensive structure.

When White’s lay off for De Rosario in the penalty area was woefully off the mark, the Timbers counter nearly produced the sure clincher in the 60th minute but Kalif Alhassan’s late-contested whistler from the top of the box went just wide of the right post.

Shortly thereafter, hobbling or not, De Rosario muscled his way around a much bigger Mamadou Danso but as another defender closed down the space, he got bumped and fell to the turf but not enough for referee Jair Marrufo to point to the penalty spot.

“It felt like a schoolyard game at the end,” said Quaranta. “Every time we got the ball going forward I felt like it was going to be a chance to score.”

Portland thought they had the go ahead goal just seconds later but Brian Umony’s attempt from close range hit under the crossbar and came straight down but clearly did not cross the goal line.

Umony scampered into the penalty area uncontested seconds later but Bill Hamid came up with a tremendous save to keep United’s hopes alive in the 85th minute. Hamid made an even better reflex save a minute later to deny Bright Dike who fired from with in a crowd but straight away from 14-yards.

In extra time, De Rosario beat Perkins to a bouncing ball but his shot toward the open net was blocked by an alert Eric Brunner.

De Rosario sent another ball across the face of the goal seconds later that Joseph Ngwenya got onto but his foot was clipped by a Portland defender and the weakened result was knocked away by Perkins and Blake Brettschneider’s desperate follow up was blocked.

United will conclude this year’s efforts against conference co-leader Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

Scoring Summary:
POR — Kenny Cooper 8 (Rodney Wallace 2) 24
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 16 (Josh Wolff 7) 73

Portland Timbers — Troy Perkins, Lovel Palmer, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace (Mike Chabala 79), Eric Alexander (Brian Umony 63), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Kalif Alhassan, Kenny Cooper (Bright Dike 84).

Substitutes Not Used: David Horst, Jorge Perlaza, Steve Purdy, Jake Gleeson.

D.C. United — Bill Hamid, Chris Korb, Ethan White (Joseph Ngwenya 89), Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard (Austin Da Luz 71), Andy Najar, Perry Kitchen, Santino Quaranta, Charlie Davies (Blake Brettschneider 51), Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff.

Substitutes Not Used: Stephen King, Kurt Morsink, Clyde Simms, Joe Willis.

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Brandon McDonald (caution; Tactical Foul) 58
POR — Bright Dike (caution; Reckless Foul) 85
DC — Austin Da Luz (caution; Reckless Foul) 90

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: -C.J. Morgante; Frank Anderson
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Rain-and-68-degrees
Attendance: 14,317

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Sloppy United gives away 2-2 tie

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Chris Snear

DC United scored twice, for them in the unlikeliest of fashion, but in what has become the painful story of this season, couldn’t close the game out, squandering a two goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA at cool but soggy RFK Stadium Wednesday night.

Juan Pablo Angel continued to haunt United regardless of the shirt he wears, scoring twice in the second half to bring the game to level terms after United extended a first half lead just a few minutes into the second half.

“There is a mentality to this game right now that some of our guys don’t have. You have to have it for 90-minutes and you have to have it game-in-and-game-out and we don’t have it. Part of it is youth and part of it is complacency.

“It’s the way we fade in and out of games as a group, the way we take breaks; it’s the reason why we haven’t won two games in a row in three years. It’s a mentality that after you do well then it’s okay now and we can afford to let down.”

United have not won consecutive league matches since early June of 2009, a span of over 70-matches, and those also represent the last successive home wins as well.

United (8-8-11, 35 points) not only frittered away this game but an opportunity to leapfrog New York (7-7-15, 36 points) in the tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race, as the Red Bulls were dumped at home by Real Salt Lake.

“I don’t know if we should have been up 2-0 but we were and to tie that game is absolutely ridiculous,” Olsen continued.

Chivas had lost four in a row coming into the match and are now winless in their last seven games. United pounded Chivas 3-0 in at Home Depot Center just 11 days earlier but this was not the same team that United faced that night.

Dwayne De Rosario scored his 10th goal of the season with a rare header to give United the lead in the 39th minute with Ethan White adding another in a seemingly rarer fashion, off a corner, to give United a two goal cushion shortly after halftime.

De Rosario was awarded a less than deserved penalty kick to possibly win the game in the 93rd minute but in what could be deemed poetic justice or just plain fair, the kick was saved by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

As De Rosario was aiming to get onto a weakly floated ball into the penalty area, Angel barely got his hand on the back of the Canadian international. When De Rosario flopped to the turf, Referee Chris Penso bit, and pointed to the spot for the late game gift.

In the first half, De Rosario had snuck through a crowd of players to nod home Andy Najar’s free kick after Jorge Flores carelessly handled the ball just outside the top right corner of the penalty to give United the lead.

Other than an early deflected shot by Marcos Mondaini that challenged United keeper Bill Hamid, the goal was the most compelling moment in an otherwise listless first half where neither team looked ambitious enough to take hold of the match or worthy of a playoff spot.

Chivas had been very diligent in quickly double teaming any United player that received the ball in a dangerous position.

“We played like boys and not just the second half; I thought in the first half we played soft,” said Olsen. “We are up 2-0 and we think the game is easy; we think we don’t have to tackle, we don’t have to win second balls, let’s just roll the dice and hope we get lucky. It’s absolutely gonna stop, it has to stop or we will not be going to make the playoffs it’s that simple.”

On United’s second goal, De Rosario got into another good spot, flicking a short range shot that Kennedy did well to get flare out his right hand and knock away. But no one bothered to mark Ethan White on the follow up and he knocked it home with authority to make the score 2-0.

Charlie Davies had a good chance to tack on another one and possibly put the game out of reach in the 53rd minute with a left footer from a step right of the penalty spot but Kennedy was well positioned to deflect it away to safety.

“When it’s 2-0 in the second half you have to take those opportunities to kill off the game whether it’s getting that third goal or shoring up things around the field and we lost that urgency on the defensive end after we got that two goal lead and thinking it was going to be a little easier to close out the game,” said Josh Wolff.

“We have to do the little bit of extra work that closes the game down and makes it difficult for the other team. There is a lot that goes into that but at that point, our general makeup has to play with a little more bite, a little more urgency and not give anything away.”

United were duly punished for sloppy coverage in the 58th minute by one of the great finishers in MLS history. Angel easily beat Perry Kitchen to a simple, and uncontested, cross from Nick LaBrocca at the right edge of the penalty area to draw one back for Chivas.

Brandon McDonald had slipped on the wet turf, giving LaBrocca plenty of time of time and space to deliver the fruitful ball across the face of the goal.

Angel corralled Ante Jazic’s bouncing ball from the left side, took a step inside and blasted home a relatively easy finish from 8-yards for a player of his caliber to bring the game to level terms in the 69th minute.

Laurent Courtois nearly stole a win for the visitors but Hamid neatly blocked the Frenchman’s left footed shot from 13-yards after the Frenchmen inexcusably got behind Kitchen for a semi-break away in the 85th minute.

“I haven’t seen consistent, game after game, high level performances. It’s there – the talent is there, but talent is not enough. I have been on terrible teams that have won games because we had guys that would do anything – anything – to win a game,” said Olsen.

“And that means if they are tired, if they lose the ball, they don’t stop. If you have to run 40 yards as hard as you can to tackle or to help a teammate, you do it. And that part is missing, and it has got to stop.

“I don’t know necessarily how to instill it right now but certainly I am going to do my best to try and instill it.”

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Galaxy sign Robbie Keane

Posted on 16 August 2011 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy took a major step towards bolstering its at-times nonexistent attack yesterday with the addition of Ireland national team captain Robbie Keane.

The celebrated Irishman has spent most of his career in the English Premier League. It was at Tottenham Hotspur from 2002 until 2008 where Keane made a name for himself. Keane scored 80 goals in 197 matches for the London side, but has not been himself since a ill-fated spell at Liverpool during the 2008-2009 season. Keane returned to Tottenham shortly after, where he was loaned out to Scottish side Celtic in February 2010, where he scored 12 goals in 16 SPL matches.  Keane was again loaned out in the middle of the season this past January to another London club, West Ham United. Keane scored just twice in nine league matches as West Ham was relegated front he premiership. Recently, Keane played one match for the New York Cosmos against Manchester United in the testimonial match for Paul Scholes on August 5.

“Robbie Keane will be a great addition to our club. I have followed his career and have always respected his ability as a competitor and a goal scorer,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “I believe he brings qualities in and around the penalty area that we’ve been lacking. Hopefully, he will be another piece of the puzzle in our quest for the Supporters Shield and an MLS Cup championship as well as to advance out of the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League.”

Keane has also excelled on the international stage. The Irish captain has scored 51 goals in 109 matches, putting atop Ireland’s all-time goal-scoring list. Keane burst onto the scene int he 2002 World Cup, scoring three goals in four matches and leading Ireland into the round of 16 and a matchup against Spain. Keane penalty against the Spaniards forced the match into extra time, but Ireland eventually lost int he penalty shootout. Keane’s decision to play in MLS will have no bearing whatsoever on his international career, though Keane could miss a few Galaxy games while on international duty as he tries to help Ireland qualify for the European championships next Summer.

“I am delighted, honored and very excited to be joining the LA Galaxy,” Keane said in that same statement. “I have always wanted to come and play in MLS so it’s the perfect combination for me and dream come true. My family and I have already been made to feel very welcome in telephone calls from Tim Leiweke and Bruce Arena. Also when David Beckham came and trained at Spurs recently, he couldn’t speak highly enough about the Galaxy, their fans and the league in general, so I can’t wait to get over and get started.”

Keane’s deal with the Galaxy is believed to be at two years at around 3.5 million, putting him at the Designated Player threshold. Los Angeles though already possessed three DP’s in David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Juan Pablo Angel. Angel is apparently the odd man out, as he is set to cross the hallways of the Home Depot Center and thus join rival Chivas USA. Keane will join the Galaxy as soon as he receives his visa. Los Angeles is hoping he could arrive in time for the Galaxy’s Saturday night home tilt with its other California rival, the San Jose Earthquakes.

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Diego steals the show in loss to Chivas

Posted on 07 August 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution dropped another crucial 3 points as they lost to the visiting Chivas USA, but it was a night of new beginnings for the home town squad as they wasted no time in deploying their new Designated Player Milton Caraglio into the starting lineup, and also gave 16 year old Revolution Academy player Diego Fagundez his first major league appearance.

The Revs looked lively in the first half, creating multiple chances with some good ball movement and hold up play from Caraglio.  In fact, New England had three corner kicks and a free kick in the first 5 minutes of the match, but their first chance came from the run of play, when Shalrie Joseph served up a perfect cross to the far post for Ryan Cochrane, but the defenders header missed just wide.  DP Caraglio would register the Revs’ first attempt on frame with a low driven shot in the 10th minute, but it was easily gathered up by Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy.  Caraglio would again come into play in the 21st minute when he found himself on the end of a looping cross from Zack Schilawski from the right flank. Caraglio did well to get to the back post and head the ball across the face of goal but Chris Tierney could not get a foot on it to convert.

Alejandro Moreno broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, by beating Matt Reis to Nick LaBrocca’s cross.  LaBrocca received  a diagonal ball from Simon Elliott in the middle of the field, and fired it across the face of the net.  Matt Reis appeared to have the ball well in hand before Moreno snuck his foot onto the oncoming ball.

However the Revolution appeared to be undaunted as they continued to dictate the tempo of the game.  New England would continue their attack into the second half.  Benny Feilhaber, Kevin Alston, Sainey Nyassi and Shalrie Joseph were all very active as they pressed the Chivas defense. However, defensive lapses would get the better of the Revolution again as Nick LaBrocca would be sent through the back line into open space after Feilhaber lost control of the ball off of a poor pass from Alston.  Revs defender Darrius Barnes did well to get into position and block LaBrocca’s first attempt, but the ball fell right to LaBrocca’s left foot and he drilled it from point blank range into the Revs goal.

Kenny Mansally came on for Milton Caraglio shortly after the hour mark, and the Argentine got plenty of applause from the home crowd.  But the crowd really came alive when 16 year old homegrown academy player Diego Fagundez took the field in place of Zack Schilawski.

Diego had an immediate impact on the field, bringing a new level of energy to the field. Shortly after he came on, he found himself in an attacking position, and with the ball at his feet, he cut inside Chivas defender Heath Pearce, who clipped his trailing leg just inside the penalty box.  The Referee pointed to the spot and Shalrie Joseph converted, and the Revs had cut the lead in half.

Shalrie was very close to leveling the score at 2-2 in the 79th minute when he was able to put a headed ball on frame that appeared to have beat Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy, however he was able to get a hand to the ball and keep it out of the net. Instead it would be Alejandro Moreno who would give his team another goal, as he found himself in position to receive the ball in front of Ryan Cochrane and Chris Tierney, but was able to get around them and Matt Reis and tuck the ball away from the left channel and notch his second goal of the game.

The Revs were quick to take the attack once again, with Diego leading the charge.  Kevin Alston lobbed a long ball into the box from deep in his own end, and Diego was able to get around Chivas Defender Zarek Valentin and fire the ball into the opposite corner.

But there was no time for celebrating as the Revs were still down a goal with just minutes to play.  Shalrie was the focal point of the attack, and with just seconds left in the game the Revs captain had two chances to equalize and salvage a point, but to no avail after his first chance was well saved by Kennedy, and his second went over the bar.

The Revolution will look to find away to salvage some points on the road as they head to Columbus next weekend to take on the East leading Crew.

Scoring Summary:
CHV: Alejandro Moreno (Nick LaBrocca, Simon Elliot) 31
CHV: Nick LaBrocca (unassisted) 59
NE: Shalrie Joseph (penalty kick) 69
CHV: Alejandro Moreno (Ante Jazic, Justin Braun) 80
NE: Diego Fagundez (Kevin Alston) 86

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Darius Barnes, Ryan Cochrane (Pat Phelan 81), Shalrie Joseph ©, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney, Zack Schilawski (Diego Fagundez 66), Benny Feilhaber, Sainey Nyassi, Milton Caraglio (Kenny Mansally 62)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Zak Boggs, Ryan Guy

STATS*: Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 8 ; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 11

Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, Ante Jazic, Heath Pearce, Michael Umana, Zarek Valentin, Simon Elliott (Paulo Nagamura 76), Blair Gavin (Ben Zemanski 56), Jorge Flores (Laurent Courtois 66), Nick LaBrocca, Alejandro Moreno, Justin Braun

Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton, Michael Lahoud, Francisco Mendoza, Marcos Mondaini

STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 13

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:
CHV: Kennedy (caution) 68

Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Daniel Fitzgerald
Weather: Cloudy and 79 degrees
Attendance: 11,523

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DeRosario and team heroics salvage short-handed tie 3-3

Posted on 07 August 2011 by Chris Snear

DC United had not won a league home game since May 4th and Toronto FC had not won a road game since defeating United in last year’s finale. So something had to give as the two squared off in the humid and heavy air of RFK Stadium on Saturday, right? Nope. Not this year.

The 3-3 draw was a combination of each team’s altruistic ways and a heavy dose of unwanted chaos and drama. Dwayne De Rosario scored all three of United’s goals including the game tying goal on a penalty in the 88th minute that preceded 8-minutes of stoppage time and an earlier chaotic substitution situation that led directly to Toronto’s second equalizing goal.

“I don’t know what just happened,” said United Coach Ben Olsen, who did not want to discuss the substitution incident. “It was a pretty eventful game…Dwayne DeRosario should be the story and the heart of that group out there that got (jobbed) every which way tonight, didn’t get a call all night but they found a way to get a point and should have been three.”

De Rosario has scored all of United’s goals (6) over their last five games and with tonight’s tallies, he has scored against all three of his former teams (New York, San Jose, and Toronto) that United have played since his arrival.

The impending drama started just 7-minutes into the match and altered the game significantly as United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was ejected for a wild and reckless challenge on Eric Avila. With Avila’s last touch a bit heavy on a run down the right flank, Brandon McDonald had already cleared the ball away when Hamid inexplicably slid out with his legs slightly up, flipping the recently acquired midfielder head over heels and hard to the turf.

After briefly consulting with the Assistant Referee directly in front of the play, referee Jasen Anno decided to dismiss the young goalkeeper.

“The initial play with Bill is not good enough. We made a meal of that play and we have to learn that that play hurts everybody. It kills the game and makes the guys do a lot of work,” Olsen said. “It’s too early in the game and we have to be tuned in every play whether it’s three minutes in or late. That play haunted us.”

Steve Cronin came on to man the pipes and midfielder Stephen King was removed. With the recent run of injuries among the forwards and players logging heavy minutes, including DeRosario, Olsen certainly did not want to use a substitute that early.

With Santino Quaranta making his first appearance since May 14 and the nagging left hamstring injury to Josh Wolff, the early red card put Olsen immediately in the trick bag. Austin Da Luz did come in for Wolff in the 60th minute but Quaranta played the full 90 despite Olsen’s intentions to limit those minutes.

“No,” said Olsen if he planned on playing Quaranta the entire match. “We didn’t know how long he could go so obviously making the early change postpones that second and third change especially when you are playing down a man.”

Regardless of the manpower situation, United took the lead as the rain had just started to fall in the 19th minute. DeRosario received a simple free kick from Quaranta, took one touch and cut loose a right footed blast from 25-yards out that got through Stefan Frei and into the upper left corner to give United the unexpected lead.

As the half progressed however, United settled at least eight, and often nine, men behind the ball in hopes of shutting the game down and getting into the break with the lead.

Toronto got the break they were looking for in the 52nd minute when Cronin’s punch of an Ashtone Morgan cross from the left flank deflected off McDonald to an unmarked Peri Marosevic, who tapped the ball into the wide open net to equalize.

De Rosario was the beneficiary of Tornoto’s Andy Iro’s benevolence, gifting United the lead again in the 64th minute. Iro let a dreadful Chris Pontius cross from the right flank skip right through his legs at the edge of the penalty area directly to DeRosario, who simply stepped around a committed Frei and slotted it home for a 2-1 United advantage.

The lead did not last long however as Toronto equalized on a goal similar to DeRosario’s first goal in the 70th minute but off a throw-in. Second half substitute Julian de Guzman took a simple ball from Morgan, near where Quaranta delivered the ball to DeRosario, and hit a right footed shot that Cronin got his hands on as well, and probably should have knocked away, that slipped into the left corner.

“It kind of dances all over the place on me and got by. That one I definitely regret,” said Cronin. “He hit a knuckle ball and if it’s wet at all, this ball does a lot of funny things. It’s a ball I should save.”

Prior to the throw-in however, drama gave way to chaos when Ethan White, a United defender, was coming on for the cramping McDonald. White was apparently waved on by Anno, who allowed play to continue without giving White ample time to get properly and fairly situated in a reasonable position. A boiling and incensed Olsen was subsequently excused from the bench after a vociferous tirade aimed at the referee.

“The play has to stop on a sub. It was unbelievable,” said White. “The fourth official is screaming at him to stop play and I just sprinted on the field because play hasn’t stopped. I took it upon myself to run on the field and by the time I took three steps the ball was already in the back of the net.”

“These are the decisions that continually impact games. I’ve never seen a referee ever flag on a sub without blowing the whistle and stopping the play and letting the defender get into his position,” added De Rosario. “I definitely didn’t hear a whistle and you could tell by our reaction we didn’t hear a whistle. You wait for a defender to get into his position — that’s just sportsmanlike and he (Anno) didn’t.”

It was Cronin’s turn to reciprocate the benevolence as he let a harmless bouncing ball get through his legs to give Toronto a surprising 3-2 lead in the 86th minute. Danny Koevermans took the innocuous shot and was given credit for the goal but the ball took a subtle deflection off Iro standing near the top of the 6-yard box.

Toronto’s lead lasted all of two minutes however as Da Luz broke free in the penalty area and was knocked down by Iro for the penalty. De Rosario easily converted the kick to get United back to level terms.

De Rosario could have capped the final scene of the night with a shocking game winner a few seconds later as he collected a long Cronin punt, took on a Toronto defender before playing it inside to the onrushing Pontius, who was taken down at the top of the box leaving the fans hoping for another penalty. After the penalty was rightfully denied however, De Rosario collected the loose ball only to have his low shot skitter just wide of the far post.

Scoring Summary:
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 7 (Santino Quaranta 1) 19
TOR — Peri Marosevic 2 (unassisted) 52
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 8 (Chris Pontius 3) 64
TOR — Julian de Guzman 1 (Ashtone Morgan 1) 69
TOR — Danny Koevermans 3 (Joao Plata 4) 86
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 9 (penalty kick) 88

Toronto FC — Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley (Matt Stinson 51), Doneil Henry (Peri Marosevic 46), Andy Iro, Ashtone Morgan, Torsten Frings, Eric Avila, Terry Dunfield (Julian de Guzman 55), Joao Plata, Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson.

Substitutes Not Used: Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Eddy Viator, Milos Kocic.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Joao Plata 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Danny Koevermans 2, Joao Plata 2); FOULS: 12 (Andy Iro 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (4 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Joao Plata 3); SAVES: 5 (Stefan Frei 5)

D.C. United — Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald (Ethan White 69), Daniel Woolard, Santino Quaranta, Stephen King (Steve Cronin 9), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff (Austin Da Luz 60).

Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Blake Brettschneider, Marc Burch, Charlie Davies.

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Dwayne De Rosario 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Dwayne De Rosario 4); FOULS: 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 2, Santino Quaranta 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Santino Quaranta 3); SAVES: 4 (Steve Cronin 4)

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Bill Hamid (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 7
DC — Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 79

Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee’s Assistants: -Brian Poeschel; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Andrew Chapin
Attendance: 11,684
Time of Game: 1:56
Weather: Cloudy-and-84-degrees

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Galaxy fight off FC Dallas

Posted on 07 August 2011 by iyeo

A battle royal between the top two teams in Major League Soccer was sure to feature some goals and a little bit of feistiness, though Landon Donovan might disagree slightly on the feistiness part.

“I didn’t think it was that chippy,” Landon Donovan said. “It was a good hard game between two teams that in my opinion are the two best in the league right now.”

Conferences not withstanding, the two teams standing first and second in MLS points wise strutted their stuffs at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night. The match lived up to its billing, as a combined 33 fouls and six yellow cards were handed out in this match.

FC Dallas certainly showed they were more that the equal of the Los Angeles Galaxy, but in the end, the Galaxy proved to have a little more in the tank. Los Angeles answered FC Dallas’ ninth minute goal with three unanswered and carried them through to a 3-1 win over the hoops.

“Our team showed a lot of determination,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We fought real hard for 90 minutes, and that’s something we needed to do to neutralize a team like Dallas.”

The win not only makes amends for a dreadful performance put on in Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss at the hands of the host Portland Timbers, but more importantly, it creates some breathing room between them and Dallas in the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles (13-3-9, 48 points) is now six points ahead of Dallas (12-6-6) for first place in the Western Conference.

“We knew we couldn’t come out like we did against Portland,” Galaxy midfielder Sean Franklin said. “We wanted to make sure we were going to set the tone tonight.”

Tied at a goal apiece at halftime, the Galaxy continued to go at FC Dallas throughout the opening minutes of the second half until finally breaking through in the 62nd minute. David Beckham sent in a free kick into the box, when it went off Gregg Berhalter and went backwards, fortunately to the foot of Juninho. The Brazilian midfielder unleashed his trademark long volley on frame, which bounced off the near post, then the far post before finally crossing the goal line for the go-ahead goal. Los Angeles put the match away in the 81st minute when Beckham’s corner found Mike Magee, whose header beat Kevin Hartman to the back net.

“Our character came through,” Beckham said. “We started fighting, and it was all there to see when we started fighting.”

FC Dallas looked like the assertive ones at the start of the match. Recently acquired forward Maicon Santos chased down a ball towards the box and back-heeled a ball to midfielder Marvin Chavez, who then let loose a shot for the far post that sailed past a diving Josh Saunders, bounced off the far post and across the goal line to put the hoops in front.

The Galaxy had to wait 24 minutes, but finally got their response in the 33rd minute. Beckham sent a free kick into the six, FC Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman attempted a collection, but not only did Hartman miss the ball, but his collision with teammate George John left an open net and Center Back Omar Gonzalez headed a ball point-blank to the back post area for the equalizer.

The Galaxy will have ten days off (well, everyone except Landon Donovan, who will be with the U.S. National team as they face Mexico in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Wednesday in Jurgen Klinsmann’s managerial debut.). Los Angeles then looks ahead to its first CONCACAF Champions League match on August 16. The Galaxy will host Honduran superpower Club Deportivo Motagua. FC Dallas meanwhile prepares for another big match a week from now, as they travel to Philadelphia to square off against the Union at PPL Park.

Los Angeles Galaxy 3, FC Dallas 1
August 6, 2011; Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary
FCD – Marvin Chavez (Maicon Santos) 9
LA – Omar Gonzalez (David Beckham) 33
LA – Juninho (Unassisted) 62
LA – Mike Magee (David Beckham) 81

Discipline Summary
FCD – Ricardo Villar (Reckless Tackle) 18
LA – David Beckham (Dissent) 25
FCD – Jair Benitez (Unsporting Behavior) 27
LA – Gregg Berhalter (Reckless Tackle) 35
FCD – Marvin Chavez (Reckless Foul) 68
LA – Michael Stephens (Reckless Foul) 94+

FC Dallas – Kevin Hartman, George John, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu (Bobby Warshaw 90+), Jair Benitez, Marvin Chavez, Bruno Guarda (Daniel Cruz 72), Daniel Hernandez, Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea, Maicon Santos (Eric Alexander 79).

Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Andrew Jacobson, Ruben Luna, Andrew Wiedman.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Josh Saunders, AJ DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 88), Adam Cristman (Juan Pablo Angel 78), Landon Donovan.

Substitutes not used: Brian Perk, Chris Birchall, Paolo Cardozo, Bryan Jordan, Miguel Lopez.

Referee: Michael Kennedy
Assistants: Jason Cullum, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Mark Decoulet
Attendance: 21,546
Time of match: 1:53

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