Archive | October, 2008

Chivas, Dynamo share points in possible preview of Conference final

Posted on 27 October 2008 by tbruce

With their playoff places already set, Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA, played only for the three points, but came away with a share of the spoils instead tying 1-1, Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Houston’s Dwayne De Rosario scored on a controversial penalty kick in the 50th minute and the Red and Whites’ defender, Jim Curtin, tied the game in injury time.

Read it here.

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Wizards top Revs, 3-1

Posted on 26 October 2008 by ASN Staff

With the assistance of two red cards, the Kansas City Wizards clinched the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the New England Revolution 3-1. Both teams played a clean game of possession until Claudio Lopez fell lightly in the box under a touch by Gabriel Badilla. Although Chris Albright remained the last man standing, referee Kevin Stott decided Badilla interfered with a clear scoring opportunity, sent him off the field and gave Lopez a penalty, which he converted in the 28th minute.

Read the match report here.

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Nine-man Revs fall 3-1 to Wizards

Posted on 26 October 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

With the assistance of two red cards, the Kansas City Wizards clinched the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the New England Revolution 3-1. Both teams played a clean game of possession until Claudio Lopez fell lightly in the box under a touch by Gabriel Badilla. Although Chris Albright remained the last man standing, referee Kevin Stott decided Badilla interfered with a clear scoring opportunity, sent him off the field and gave Lopez a penalty, which he converted in the 28th minute.

“It wasn’t a red card, everybody knows it wasn’t a red card,” said Badilla in his native Spanish. “Claudio fell in the penalty box and I don’t know why the referee made that decision because it was legal play . . . [This Thursday’s match with the Fire] is a very important game for us and of course I want to be there. We didn’t expect this and we need time to figure this out to prepare. We’re happy to be in the playoffs and we need to come back and win the next game.”

“To send Badilla off just shows a lack of understanding,” said Nicol, “and we really shouldn’t be too surprised because the last time [Referee] Kevin Stott was here, he did the exact same thing – he showed a lack of understanding – on Shalrie Joseph. If I never see Kevin Stott again it won’t be too soon.”

Despite playing a man down, the Revolution continued to show the best form they’ve had since August. Although Matt Reis claimed the Wizards “didn’t really pressure us that much, they let us have the ball basically,” the Revolution appeared to easily control the match. Their chances diminished in the 42nd minute, however, when Khano Smith punished Hercules Gomez with a vicious cleats-up tackle and was shown red. Shalrie then earned a yellow for sharing his opinions with Stott.

“The guy ended Ralston’s season for the rest of the year and he didn’t get a yellow – he didn’t get suspended or fined or nothing,” explained Shalrie post-game. “We knew coming in today we definitely wanted to give him payback and make him know we didn’t appreciate what he did to Ralston, our teammate [who suffered a broken leg].”

“It was reckless,” agreed Nicol. So reckless in fact, the foul could earn Khano more than the mandatory one-game suspension.

Two men down and in torrential rain, the Revolution prevailed until the 54th minute when Davy Arnoud collected a cross and lofted a long volley for his seventh goal of the season and then Michael Parkhurst deflected an Ivan Trujillo cross into his own net for the third score. Jeff Larentowicz responded by killing the shut-out in the 90th minute with a shot that deflected off Jimmy Conrad past Kevin Hartman for the final 3-1 tally.

But even through the downpour of cards, luck, and rain, the Revolution looked different, like they came out the other side of the wall they hit in August. Taylor Twellman and Parkhurst made an unusual appearance in Nicol’s post-game press conference and the three directly addressed the loss, the controversial 4-4-2, and the upcoming playoff match with the Chicago Fire this Thursday.

“It’s actually going to be refreshing for us just to come in Thursday and know the slate is clean,” said Twellman, “it doesn’t matter what the hell you did earlier on.”

Nicol appeared to have shaken off the loss and moved on. “I ain’t going be crying between now and next Thursday. I’ll moan about it tonight with you guys straight after the game, but after tonight is gone we start again and keep going.”

After autographing the foreheads of children with marker, Shalrie emerged in the rain recharged for the critical Thursday match with the red-hot Chicago Fire. “You saw what they did to New York on Thursday, so we know we got our work cut out for us,” he remarked, “ – but we’re the best team in MLS.”

Match Facts

New England Revolution vs. Kansas City Wizards October 25, 2008 – Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium)

Scoring Summary:
KC – Claudio Lopez (penalty kick) 28
KC – Davy Arnaud (Roger Espinoza, Claudio Lopez) 53
KC – Own goal (Michael Parkhurst) 88
NE – Jeff Larentowicz (unassisted) 90

Lineups:

New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Gabriel Badilla, Chris Albright, Khano Smith, Shalrie Joseph (Pat Phelan 60), Jeff Larentowicz, Mauricio Castro (Sainey Nyassi 46), Kheli Dube (Kenny Mansally 59), Taylor Twellman

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton (GK), Amaechi Igwe, Wells Thompson, Chris Tierney

STATS: Shots 6; Shots on Goal 2; Saves 2; Corner Kicks 4; Offside 2; Fouls Committed 14

Kansas City Wizards: Kevin Hartman (GK), Michael Harrington, Tyson Wahl, Jimmy Conrad ©, Jonathan Leathers, Kevin Souter, Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud, Herculez Gomez (Roger Espinoza 46), Claudio Lopez (Ivan Trujillo 65), Abe Thompson (Kerry Zavagnin 81)

Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg (GK), Aaron Hohlbein, Matt Marquess, Kurt Morsink

STATS: Shots 12; Shots on Goal 2; Saves 1; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 9; Fouls Committed 9

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Gabriel Badilla (ejection) 26
NE – Khano Smith (ejection) 42
NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 42

Referee: Kevin Stott

Attendance: 16,764

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Movsisyan magic clinches first-ever playoff birth

Posted on 26 October 2008 by ASN Staff

It took until the 90th minute, but Movsisyan got RSL even

With a 1-1 tie in front of 16,047 fans at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, Real Salt Lake earned its first trip to the MLS playoffs, retained ownership of the Rocky Mountain Cup, and ended the season for the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s Conor Casey lofted a shot over goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening goal in the 19th minute, but Rimando made five spectacular saves during the remainder of the game, and Yura Movsisyan put away a Bouna Coundoul deflection in the 90th minute to conclude the night and season for the Rapids.

Read the full story from ASN’s Pat Shea.

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Movsisyan magic ends Rapids season

Posted on 26 October 2008 by pshea

It took until the 90th minute, but Movsisyan got RSL even

With a 1-1 tie in front of 16,047 fans at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, Real Salt Lake earned its first trip to the MLS playoffs, retained ownership of the Rocky Mountain Cup, and ended the season for the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s Conor Casey lofted a shot over goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening goal in the 19th minute, but Rimando made five spectacular saves during the remainder of the game, and Yura Movsisyan put away a Bouna Coundoul deflection in the 90th minute to conclude the night and season for the Rapids.

Read it here.

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Movsisyan magic ends Rapids season

Posted on 25 October 2008 by pshea

It took until the 90th minute, but Movsisyan got RSL even

With a 1-1 tie in front of 16,047 fans at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, Real Salt Lake earned its first trip to the MLS playoffs, retained ownership of the Rocky Mountain Cup, and ended the season for the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s Conor Casey lofted a shot over goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening goal in the 19th minute, but Rimando made five spectacular saves during the remainder of the game, and Yura Movsisyan put away a Bouna Coundoul deflection in the 90th minute to conclude the night and season for the Rapids.

Four Rapids alumni started for Real Salt Lake (Nat Borchers, Clint Mathis, Chris Wingert, and Kyle Beckerman), and Colorado started with a steady flow of shots from the opening whistle. Nick LaBrocca missed one of the easiest opportunities for Colorado, a ball from Omar Cummings on the ground in the box that hit the near-post side netting in the second minute. LaBrocca worked hard to atone for the easy miss, registering five shots for the night, tackling tough in all thirds of the field, and retaining possession for the home side.

Casey also registered five shots for Colorado, and he was on the receiving end of the long balls served up front all night long. Tom McManus replaced Casey in the final minute with five minutes of extra time added to account for a double-casualty play when Will Johnson booted a fellow Salt Lake player in the head by accident and Javier Morales committed a yellow-card worthy foul on Colorado’s Kosuke Kimura. Although there were no ejections and only five cautions, it was a night of crunching tackles, tight marking, and crippling collisions.

Ugo Ihemelu miscleared a ball in the sixth minute, and Movsisyan hit the ball wide left, the first of four shots for the eventual goal-scorer. Although Ihemelu had a few unfortunate miscues, he also had the tackle of the night when he crunched substitute Andy Williams in the penalty box in the closing minutes of the game. Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis had special praise for Williams, who came on for Dema Kovalenko in the 54th minute. Williams has had a rough season, but he contributed to the momentum shift for Real in the second half, and his blistering shot in the 89th minute forced Coundoul to make an acrobatic deflection that Movsisyn tucked away.

Coundoul finished the night with three saves, beginning with a well-placed header from Mathis in the 42nd minute. Wingert found space on the right wing and placed a cross in front of Mathis, who fired a header low. Coundoul deflected the ball off the post, and Ihemelu cleared it to safety. Three minutes later, Wingert set himself up with a step-over and fired a left-footed blast on-goal that Coundoul controlled to safeguard the 1-0 lead going into halftime.

Neither team made changes at the break, but Kreis inserted three attacking players before Colorado’s Gary Smith made any substitutions. After Williams, Robbie Russell replaced Ian Joy in the 56th minute, and Robbie Findley came on for Wingert in the 72nd minute. For Colorado, Terry Cooke came on first, a swap for Cummings in the 75th minute, followed by Jacob Peterson for a limping Mehdi Ballouchy in the 80th minute, and McManus for Casey in the closing moments.

As the fouling increased in the second half, the tempo slowed to spastic fits and the visitors from Utah began to take control. But Colorado had plenty of chances to finish the game and give the Colorado faithful a chance to return to Commerce City to watch their team face Chivas USA next Saturday. Poor shooting and spectacular goalkeeping dashed those chances.

In the 87th minute, Cooke missed the final opportunity for Colorado. Peterson flicked a header in the midfield that fell to Casey’s feet. Casey raced up the left wing with the ball while Colin Clark darted up the middle. Casey pushed the ball square in the box behind Clark to Cooke’s feet. But the Englishman hit the ball high wide left, the final shot of the season for Colorado.

Match Facts

Real Salt Lake (10-10-10) vs. Colorado Rapids (11-14-5)
October 25, 2008 — Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Scoring Summary:

COL — Conor Casey 11 (Jordan Harvey 1) 19
RSL — Yura Movsisyan 7 (unassisted) 90

Lineups:

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert (Robbie Findley 72), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Ian Joy (Robbie Russell 56), Dema Kovalenko (Andy Williams 54), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Clint Mathis, Yura Movsisyan,

Substitutes Not Used: Tony Beltran, Kenny Deuchar, Chris Seitz, Nathan Sturgis

Colorado Rapids — Bouna Coundoul, Kosuke Kimura, Ugo Ihemelu, Mike Petke, Jordan Harvey, Nick LaBrocca, Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 80), Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Conor Casey (Tom McManus 89), Omar Cummings (Terry Cooke 75),

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Burciaga Jr., Preston Burpo, Christian Gomez, Facundo Erpen

Statistical Summary:
Colorado Rapids / Real Salt Lake
total shots: 20 (Conor Casey 5, Nick LaBrocca 5) / 12 (Yura Movsisyan 4)
shots on goal: 6 (Conor Casey 2) / 4 (4 tied with 1)
fouls: 10 (Conor Casey 3, Pablo Mastroeni 3) / 10 (Jamison Olave 3)
offsides: 2 (Conor Casey 2) / 1 (Yura Movsisyan 1)
corner kicks: 4 (Mehdi Ballouchy 3) / 4 (Javier Morales 4)
saves: 3 (Bouna Coundoul 3) / 5 (Nick Rimando 5)

Misconduct Summary:
RSL — Clint Mathis (caution; Dissent) 67
RSL — Javier Morales (caution; Reckless Foul) 69
RSL — Nat Borchers (caution; Reckless Tackle) 82
COL — Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 90
COL — Kosuke Kimura (caution; Reckless Tackle) 94+

referee: Alex Prus
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland; Jose Corro
4th official: Ben Chouaf
time of game: 1:53
attendance: 16,047
weather: Clear -and- 65 degrees

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Wizards visit for regular season finale

Posted on 25 October 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

The New England Revolution host the Kansas City Wizards for their last match of the regular season. The last time these two teams met the Wizards’ Hercules Gomez delivered an unpunished tackle on captain Steve Ralston – breaking his leg just before playoffs, for which both teams have qualified. The Revolution booked the third playoff berth and the Wizards hold one of the two undetermined wild card slots. The highest wildcard becomes the fourth seed of the Eastern Conference, the runner-up the fourth seed of the Western.

New England have won only one of their past eleven games and need to look dangerous before launching the opening playoff match against the Fire next Thursday. Taylor Twellman is looking for his 100th career goal and likely to get it any way he can, as he demonstrated Saturday by reaching well back into midfield. Mauricio Castro, who assumed some of Ralston’s playmaking workload, is also likely to factor.

Three-time MLS Cup winner Chris Albright feels that despite their inconsistent performances, they have the quality. “Absolutely, absolutely. It’s just about getting on our own and we’ve got the guys to do that.”

Although the Revolution’s veterans Shalrie Joseph, Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Matt Reis, Khano Smith, and Jeff Larentowicz have the credentials, their success may depend on the mettle of the newer players – Wells Thompson, Gabriel Badilla, Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally, and Kheli Dube.

“It’s a team game,” said coach Steve Nicol, “you need everybody to bring it all the time. It’s no good three or four guys be doing that, you need everybody to do that. That’s what it’s all about, particularly at playoff time. You want to have good form, but you need to be disciplined, you need to be mentally strong, your attitude has to be right, and most of all you need to make good decisions.”

A disjointed performance by the Revolution led to the recent 1-0 loss to the Wizards. “We just played them two weeks ago, said Wizards coach Curt Onalfo, “which is probably a good thing because it’s a very similar team we’ll see on Saturday. We know what they do extremely well – they have an excellent wing spirit and competitive attitude and we have to make sure we neutralize their strengths and make sure we capitalize on the opportunities we create.”

The Wizards will likely play without Josh Wolff, recently sidelined with a “fibular stress reaction” in his lower leg. An integral part of their attack, Wolff tallied three goals and three assists since he returned to Kansas City mid-July after a year and a half at 1860 Munich. The Wizards will depend on Davy Arnoud and defender Jimmy Conrad, who lead with six goals apiece, and designated player Claudio Lopez to lead the attack. Hercules Gomez is not likely to get a warm reception.

TV 38: Saturday October 25, 7:30 ET– Kansas City Wizards @ New England Revolution

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Playoffs secured, Wizards hit Beantown

Posted on 24 October 2008 by khowell

KC hopes to finish strong

The Chicago Fire thumped the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night 5 -2 and, for the first time since their 2004 cup run, the Kansas City Wizards will breathe easy entering the final weekend of Major League Soccer’s regular season. New York’s thunderous loss means Kansas City is in the playoffs for the second straight year.

Kansas City had better not breathe too easy, however. On Saturday they take on perennial Eastern Conference champs, the New England Revolution in a battle for that most precious of postseason commodities, momentum.

From a historical standpoint, both the Wizards and the Revs enter Saturday’s match in unfamiliar territory. In seasons past, New England played solid, consistent soccer all season long, crescendoing toward the final weekend and then peaking in the playoffs.

The Wizards, meanwhile, began the last three seasons with a hot start and then faded down the stretch, lingering until the last regular season match, where their playoff fate would be decided. Not so this year.

Kansas City will take the field in Foxboro with the winds of a late season resurrection blowing at their backs. The Wizards are 4-1-1 in their last six matches and unbeaten in their last three. They scored ten goals in those last six games, which is almost half their entire season tally.

Defensively, KC allowed multiple goals only once, garnering three shutouts over that same period. The Wizards may be sneaking into the playoffs through the back door but, with this kind of late season form, they may also be a giant killer waiting to happen. Saturday’s game against the powerhouse Revolution might be a chance to find out.

New England, on the other hand, will ride a downward spiral into Saturday’s match. Winless in their last five games, the Revolution appear to suffer most from the recent loss of Midfielder Steve Ralston. Without Ralston to direct the attack or feed Taylor Twellman the final cutting pass, the Revs’ goal production dropped off with only four in the last five games.

New England nearly righted the ship a week ago in DC, taking a one goal second half lead against United before DC Forward Francis Doe hit home twice to send the Revs home in defeat. New England won’t want to enter the playoffs with those memories fresh in their minds. Defeating Kansas City at Gillette Stadium would go a long way to clearing the air before their semifinal series with Chicago.

The Wizards may also be down a man on Saturday, with Josh Wolff possibly missing the rest of the year. The engine of Kansas City’s resurgence, however, appears to be in the midfield. Pairing Davy Arnaud with Jack Jewsbury in center midfield might not have seemed like a season saving move two months ago but give Coach Curt Onalfo, as well as Arnaud and Jewsbury, credit. The tireless midfield tandem produced stability and creativity where previously there was none.

More often then not, Hercules Gomez helped put the Wizards in the win column as well. True to KC and Onalfo’s attacking philosophy, Gomez is another weapon on the field, providing clutch assists and goals like the stoppage time header that won last weekend’s game against San Jose.

The best news for the suddenly resurgent Wizards, however, might be the equally sudden emergence of Claudio Lopez. As KC’s first designated player, much was expected of Lopez early in the season but little came of the signing and Lopez rode the bench for long periods over the season’s last few months. He turned it around fast, though, providing a goal and two assists in last weekend’s win.

The Wizards might have entered the ’08 season hoping to dominate the East, proclaiming their intentions of winning home field advantage through the playoffs back in March. That may not have happened but, as the season took a sour turn, the team never stopped scraping for points.

Now the rebuilt and reconfigured Wizards are back with a chance to make a splash in the playoffs. With one tough game left to go, however, KC had better not lose focus or they might find their hard won momentum going the same way as the Red Bulls.

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Playoffs secure, Wizards hit Beantown

Posted on 24 October 2008 by khowell

For the first time since their 2004 cup run, the Kansas City Wizards will breathe easy entering the final weekend of Major League Soccer’s regular season. The New York Red Bulls’ thunderous loss in Chicago means Kansas City is in the playoffs for the second straight year.

The Wizards had better not breathe too easy, however. On Saturday they take on perennial Eastern Conference champs, the New England Revolution in a battle for that most precious of postseason commodities, momentum. Kansas City will be without arguably its best player, Josh Wolff.

Read the preview here.

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Rolfe dominant as Fire trounce Red Bulls

Posted on 24 October 2008 by rpezold

The Fire entered their Thursday night match with the New York Red Bulls with very little to play for. Unable to catch Eastern Division leader, Columbus Crew, the only variable confronting the Fire was whether they would finish second in the Eastern Division or third. A win and the loyal Fire fans would be treated to at least one playoff game at Toyota Park.

New York began the match with more pressure, needing a win to guarantee a spot in the postseason. The prospects looked dismal, since the Red Bulls had managed only one victory on the road this season. To make matters worse, MLS suspended goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke on Oct. 18 for 10 games as a result of testing positive for performance enhancing substances.
From the opening whistle, the New York Red Bulls showed the urgency of their situation. With a steady rain and chilly temperatures, the Red Bulls dominated possession in the first 10 minutes. But then disaster struck.

Read on.

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