Tag Archive | "Jimmy Nielsen"

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Sporting KC Dominate DC United

Posted on 12 August 2012 by Kyle Alm

If you were expecting a let down after Sporting KC played 120 minutes against Seattle Sounders FC in the US Open Cup, you couldn’t have been more wrong. No physical or emotional fatigue were apparent against DC United as the two sides squared off with a shot at first place in the Eastern Conference on the line.

Sporting would draw first blood in the 13th minute as Teal Bunbury would connect on a Graham Zusi header on a corner kick. Sporting won the corner on a long throw in from Matt Besler, a common occurrence. Bunbury had came very close moments before on an cross in open play that was barely too high to connect. Bunbury managed to get inside on Bill Hamid, but the DC United goal keeper was able to catch the cross.

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Photos by Tommy Theis Courtesy of Sporting Reporting

DC United would only see 30% of the possession at the half, but they were able to convert a chance when Andy Najar took a speculative cross into the box that Nick DeLeon was able to get a touch on, Michael Harrington lost sight of the ball and got turned around, DeLeon was able to take a touch and place his finish past Jimmy Nielsen for the equalizer.

DC United made one substitution at halftime, Branko Boskovic for Marcelo Saragosa. DC had been dominated in possession and scoring opportunities in the first half and did not find much offensive rhythm.

The second half did not improve for DC United, in fact they were able to maintain their meager amount of possesion from 37% to 44%, but they were not able to turn possession into scoring chances.

Although the score was 2-1, the game was clearly dominated by Sporting KC. They had numerous scoring opportunities, got quality shots of Besler throw ins, and were quite unfortunate that they hit the frame multiple times, Graham Zusi was victimized twice before he was able to put one away. Sporting were able to play the entire width of the field, Kei Kamara showed exceptional range end to end and sideline to sideline.

There was a bit of a scuffle when Perry Kitchen was backing into Nielsen who was coming out to punch the ball away. Nielsen appeared to try and kick Kitchen, clearly annoyed that he was challenged by the United midfielder.

After the match Peter Vermes gave DC United a compliment on their strategy, “They didn’t come to pack it in tonight and that’s rare when we play teams at home.” Given the personalities of the DC coach, it would have been shocking if Ben Olsen hadn’t played for the win with top of the Eastern Conference table at stake.

When asked about his team’s return to form Peter Vermes replied, “The season is very long in MLS, I think sometimes what happens is you can ride the wave, you can fall off the wave, the big thing is how fast you get back on it. I think that, if anything, we never lost any confidence in ourselves.”

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Seattle Sounders Fall in Shootout to Sporting KC

Posted on 09 August 2012 by Kyle Alm

A hot and muggy Kansas City afternoon gave way to a thunderstorm that delayed the started of this much anticipated match for over 30 minutes. Lightning within 2 miles of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park means a 30 minute delay from that strike.

Sporting KC had control of the match early in the first half, in the second minute Teal Bunbury received a square ball near the top of the box, had he allowed the ball to continue rolling Kei Kamara was unmarked on Sporting’s left wing. Bunbury put his shot over the bar, Kamara certainly had the better position for a scoring opportunity.

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© 2012 Denise McCooey & Prost Amerika

Sounders struggled to to creat chances and possess the ball in offensive poistion, seemed to have difficulty making accurate passes, and to make matters worse Osvaldo Alonso was given a caution in the fourth minute for dissent following a challenge on Kei Kamara that sent certainly appeared to be embellished. Alonso was booked for dissent when Referee Ricardo Salazar had something to tell Alonso.

Michael Gspurning was called into action for his first save of the night in the sixth minute on a header in the box from Kamara on a throw-in but went straigh at Gspurning. Sounders gave up another scoring opportunity on a throw in the 26th minute, a shot from distance that went off of the crossbar.

Sounders had their first shot on goal when Eddie Johnson connected with a Mauro Rosales corner kick in the 30th minute that Jimmy Nielsen managed remarkabley managed to save.

Kamara set the crowd alight with a rocket of a shot that hit the side netting in the 38th minute. The crowd thought it was a goal, the confetti operator thought so as well. Once again it was a throw in that lead up to the shooting chance.

Sporting started the second half well, Teal Bunbury had another shot on frame that Gspurning saved. Sporting were much more the aggressor in the second half and had the more dangerous chances throughout the match. Sounders made two substitutions in the 69th minute, bringing on veteran Brad Evans and DP Christian Tiffert for Andy Rose and Alex Caskey, two rookie Sounders.

Controversy struck in the 84th minute when Pat Ianni was whistled for a handball in the box for a penalty. Replays were inconclusive, none of the press seemed to be able to tell who the handball was actually on. It seemed more of a case of the ball playing the hand, usually not given as a penalty. Kei Kamara would step up the spot, send Gspurning to left and went right.

Sounders showed their resilience and drew level two minutes later when Zach Scott headed home a corner kick in the 86th minute to draw level and send the match to extra time and eventually a penalty shootout. Both sides seemed content with their chance in that scenario. Schmid would sub Fredy Montero for Marc Burch in the 107th minute of extra time. An extra defender turned out to be exactly what Sounders needed when ten minutes later Patrick Ianni was sent off in the 118th minute for a reckless tackle he was yellow then red and Sounders were left with ten men to finish the match and managed to kill off the rest of the time without conceding a goal.

Ricardo Salazar made two controversial calls, the penalty kick on a phantom handball and allowing Paulo Nagamura to take a second penalty kick after Gspurning had made a save on his first attempt. To Salazar it appeared that Gspurning moved off the goal line before the shot was taken, it’s rarely called in most penalty kick situations because it’s dificult to see the line when the ball is being struck and every goalkeeper is taught to anticipate the kick.

In the end Sporting KC had the better opportunities to score, Gspurning did an admirable job keeping them out of his net, but they were unlucky not to score a few of their chances. Kei Kamara’s shot off the crossbar definitely stands out. Gspurning made more saves than Jimmy Nielsen did in the shootout, the final shootout tally was 3-2. Ultimately it was unfortunate that there is so much speculation about officiating in a Cup Final.

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Fifteen

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Week Fifteen’s Best XI has several new inclusions as we hit the halfway point of what has proven to be a very interesting season. Kansas City, however, looking lost for the past several weeks, rode the quality play of their shotstopper to a much-needed week of results. The Union found more late game dramatics to secure three points at PPL Park, led by a fan favorite who just celebrated an impressive milestone. The battle for Player of the Week in the end went against the grain and to someone that has kept his squad in a match more times than any of us could count.

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Fifteen

GK: Jimmy Nielsen, Kansas City, 8.5, ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK

An absolute rock in goal as Kansas City grabbed four points out of this past week. It’s clear nobody in Kansas City is clamoring for the old days of Kevin Hartman as Nielsen continues to pile up Man of the Match worthy performances. He singlehandedly shut down an active Columbus Crew offense midweek, ensuring a clean sheet and three big points.

DEF: George John, FC Dallas, 7.5

Second year George John’s inclusion in this week’s Best XI is more of a reward for consistency as the Hoops sit near the top of the Western Conference. A big 2-0 win over in-conference rivals Real Salt Lake was engineered by new guy Milton Rodriguez but it was John and veterans like Ugo Ihemelu and Heath Pearce that helped solidify the win. FC Dallas’ backline has been a huge work in progress and John is a big part of that, looming large centrally and forming a great partnership with fellow centerback Ihemelu.

DEF: Danny Califf, Philadelphia, 8

It’s hard to believe that this is Califf’s first inclusion in a Best XI this season. The Philly captain, however, has really calmed himself down over the past couple weeks making few glaring mistakes and evening out a relatively spastic Union backline at times. Califf’s performance vs. Toronto FC was borderline game-saving as he swallowed up and real chances the Reds create up front with Chad Barrett.

DEF: Sean Franklin, Los Angeles, 7.5

Franklin haggled the right flank in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over DC United at RFK and it paid off. He outmanuevered United left-back Jordan Graye to provide Edson Buddle with competent service. The determined Buddle stuck with it in the middle of the box and finally slid one under United goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Franklin continues to hold down that right flank for the Galaxy and has developed into one of the better – if not the best – fullbacks in this league.

MID: Andy Najar, DC United, 8

Many see Najar’s exclusion from the All-Star roster as an outright snub. A bright spot for an otherwise dejected looking United squad, the 17-year old provides a creativity that not many MLS players can match these days. He was all over the field vs. Los Angeles and bagged his fourth goal of the season. Coach Curt Onalfo even concedes that he may be their best player right now. United had fight this week but they still fell twice at home, entrenching themselves firmly in the basement of the Eastern Conference.

MID: Guillermo Barros Schelloto, Columbus, 8

He started up top with Emilio Renteria and helped generate the dominance that was the Crew over Thierry Henry’s new team. Schelloto had his hand in both goals and probably should have had assists on a couple of others. The only downside was the Crew’s midweek letdown vs. Kansas City (although with Jimmy Nielsen not in goal, it probably would have been a 2-1 Crew win).

MID: Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia, 8.5

Justly rewarded with his first All-Star bid, Le Toux provided the dramatics this past weekend with a 94th minute penalty kick that he sent straight into the roof of the net. The Frenchman is proving to be every Union fans favorite player as he continues to find space, create chances, and take on defenders. At 7 goals and 7 assists on the season, we’re pretty sure that nobody in Philadelphia thought he’d be this good when his name was announced in November.

MID: Brek Shea, FC Dallas, 7.5

Shea was on the scoresheet with a goal and an assist but teammate and debutant Milton Rodriguez should really share this place on the Best XI with him. Regardless, it was Shea that powered home a rebound off a Rodriguez shot to put the Hoops In the lead. As if to return the favor, a lot of the reason Rodriguez was finding so much time on the ball was because the Salt Lake defense was keeping close tabs on Shea. He still was able to help create Atiba Harris’ clincher.

FWD: Teal Bunbury, Kansas City, 7

The rookie started his quest to become a better striker than his father, former KC Wizard, Alex Bunbury, securing his first Major League Soccer goal in a huge 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew. Several days later, the former Akron Zip impressed – though goalless – in the Wizards 1-1 tie with a tough Colorado squad. It was certainly his best week in a Wizards uniform.

FWD: Claudio Lopez, Colorado, 7.5

He was the reason the Rapids came back late against his former squad, Kansas City. His entrance into the match propelled the Rapids offense forward with splitting through balls and veteran vision. Must make Kansas City fans a bit queasy thinking about what could have been if Lopez was still a Wizard? Oh well, they have Omar Bravo now.

FWD: Emilio Renteria, Columbus, 8

Crew boss Robert Warzycha continues to keep Renteria in the starting XI and the Colombian repays him greatly each time out. The work of Renteria and Schelloto together has driven the Crew forward and their partnership was evident in a dominant 2-0 win over the Red Bulls. He’s workmanlike, speedy, and converts his chances – three qualities that endear him to Crew fans. Even in a midweek loss to the Wizards, Renteria was dangerous throughout the course of the match.

Le Toux’s heroics beat out Nielsen’s heroics for Major League Soccer Player of the Week honors. Do you agree with Nielsen’s selection?  What do you think about MLS’ newest phenom, 17-year old Andy Najar?

We will have our midseason Best XI up near the end of the week as well as plenty of coverage of tomorrow’s Union/Manchester United friendly! Keep checking back.


Week 14, Best XI

Week 13, Best XI

Week 12, Best XI

Week 11, Best XI

Week 10, Best XI

Week 9, Best XI

Week 8, Best XI

Week 7, Best XI

Week 6, Best XI

Week 5, Best XI

Week 4, Best XI

Week 3, Best XI

Week 2, Best XI

Week 1, Best XI


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