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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 9: A Braun-y win for Chivas USA

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

It was a Western Conference dominated week in Major League Soccer. Chivas USA registered the upset of the week and possibly the season over Theirry Henry and the Red Bulls, thanks to their hero of 2010 (as well as this week’s Player of the Week). FC Dallas took six points, showing worrywarts that they’ll be good no matter what. Los Angeles was just a shade behind, grabbing four points but more importantly, the play of Beckham, Donovan, and Angel continues to gel, a welcomed sign for Galaxy fans. Last but not least, Frank Yallop and San Jose unleashed a statement performance against Columbus with 2010’s Golden Boot winner Wondolowski at the center of the action. Will the Eastern Conference bounce back?

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 9

GK: Matt Reis, New England

Shalrie Joseph converted the games only goal and Vancouver’s woes continued but that’s not to say they didn’t put up one hell of a fight. Reis made a clutch save on Omar Salgado late in the game to preserve the three points. His performance, in concert with the play of a younger Revs backline featuring Alston, Soares, and Barnes, extended the Whitecaps winless streak to 10 games.

DEF: Mamadou Danso, Portland

It was deja vu for Timbers fans. Danso, the hero against Philadelphia, reprised his role – this time to equalize – in the first Cascadia derby. Portland continues to show a knack for putting away set pieces but more importantly, their defense has shored things up after a shoddy start to the season. Danso is a big part of that, keeping – for the most part – tabs on Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero and ensuring that the Timbers come just a little bit closer to shedding that “expansion” tag once and for all. This is Danso’s 2nd consecutive selection in the Best XI.

DEF: George John, FC Dallas

After a little hiatus, John is back and he certainly deserves to be. John was a key man in the Hoops double dose of shutouts in Week 9. First, a midweek 1-0 shutout over Toronto FC in which John and the last line of defense, Kevin Hartman, kept Plata and company at bay. The Union then came to town and the 2nd year central defender neutralized the threat of last year’s biggest surprise Sebastien Le Toux.  John has been selected to the Best XI three out of the last four weeks.

DEF: Nat Borchers, Real Salt Lake

Played a big role in the defensive deadlock, helping to shut down Houston’s rookie on fire Will Bruin. Salt Lake is having a bit of a offensive crisis right now but the defense is still incredibly solid. Borchers and Olave are arguably the best central defense pairing in the league and their good play will help Salt Lake weather the shock of losing Javi Morales and the CONCACAF Champions League.

MID: Corben Bone, Chicago

Probably his best game in a Fire shirt, it’s clear that more playing time has done Corben some good. The second year midfielder finds himself selected for the first time after a spirited showing against Toronto FC, pulling the strings in the attack. He had a hand in both goals and if the Fire defense can tighten things up, Chicago should bound out of the Eastern Conference basement.

MID: Ryan Johnson, San Jose

There are very few in the league that can match Johnson’s work ethic and determination, two skills that worked wonders against a previously staunch Crew backline. The Jamaican ruled the left flank and served in several killer crosses, one finding Wondolowski for the first goal of the game. The Quakes then rattled off two more goals making it 3-0 in just over 12 minutes, a scene Frank Yallop would welcome more often.

MID: Chris Wondolowski, San Jose

We’re well past the stage where Wondolowski can be treated as a Major League Soccer reserve player but, to many, people wonder how he continues to score. He brought his total up to five for the season with the gamewinner in a resounding 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew. He’s a true poacher now and as the Quakes hit their stride, it’ll be hard to keep him away from double digits in the scoring department for a second straight season. It’s his second appearance in the Best XI this season.

MID: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles

Once Donovan catches fire, it’s hard to cool him off. The veteran, now linked with a move to AS Roma, hit for two more in a 4-1 romp of Sporting Kansas City. He was everywhere, picking apart a tough working Kansas City midfield and blowing open a game that was 1-1 at the half. Midweek, Donovan scored the opener in a 1-1 tie at PPL Park, a game that Bruce Arena and Donovan’s Galaxy teammates felt hard done not to win. Surprisingly, this is only his second time in ASN’s Best XI in 2011. So far, that is.

Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

FWD: Justin Braun, Chivas USA *ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK*

Braun made the statement of his young career. After suffering a long scoring drought to start the season, Braun exploded for a hat-trick against the New York Red Bulls to help Chivas USA win 3-2 away from home. Last year’s revelation for the Goats, Braun opened things up early on before answering two equalizers and securing the upset. If Braun is to make this a long-term thing, Chivas USA may make their way up the table.

FWD: Joao Plata, Toronto FC

One of the better players on the field midweek vs. FC Dallas, Plata is quickly making a name for himself in Toronto and beyond. His performance against Chicago, however, continues to accelerate that trend. TFC fans can thank Jon Conway for one of the goals but Plata’s productive performance (a goal and an assist) put him on the Best XI for the second week in a row.

FWD: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas

There is no way one can fully replace the services that a David Ferreira provides. The young Castillo, and fellow Colombian, is trying his hardest though. A goal and an assist against Philadelphia’s stingy defense is the perfect way to dull a reality that undoubtedly is still sinking in for Hoops fans. FC Dallas themselves, however, haven’t been too worried – racking up four wins in their last five games.

Bench: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Andre Hainault (Houston), Alvaro Fernandez (Seattle), Simon Elliott (San Jose), Shalrie Joseph (New England), Cory Gibbs (Chicago), Chris Pontius (DC United), Perry Kitchen (DC United), Steven Lenhart (San Jose), Chad Barrett (Los Angeles)


MLS Best XI, Week 8

MLS Best XI, Week 7

MLS Best XI, Week 6

MLS Best XI, Week 5

MLS Best XI, Week 4

MLS Best XI, Week 3

MLS Best XI, Week 2

MLS Best XI, Week 1

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SuperLiga SuperRevs!! Revs Advance On PK’s, Stay Perfect In SuperLiga

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution advanced to the SuperLiga finals for the second time in three years as they defeated Mexican side Puebla FC 5-3 on penalty kicks.

Kenny Mansally scored the only goal for the Revs in regulation and drove home the winning tally on the Revs fifth and final penalty after Puebla’s Edgar Lugo’s shot was saved by New England keeper Matt Reis, who was easily man of the match.

The two sides ended dead locked at 1 – 1 after 90 minutes of what can only be called sloppy football in which both sides missed multiple chances and struggled to take hold of the game.

Despite playing their second game in 5 days, with a third game against rival DC United this Saturday, Steve Nicol played most of his regulars, sticking with his core group of Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, and Marko Perovic, as well as Barnes, Alston, Osei, Niouky, and Nyassi.  Seth Sinovic started in place of Cory Gibbs, and Khano Smith took the left midfield position over Chris Tierney.  Kenny Mansally partnered with Perovic up top, leaving rookie Zack Schilawski on the bench.

Puebla easily dominated the opening minutes, pressuring the Revolution in the their attacking end of the field.  In the first 6 minutes Puebla had a number of chances from set pieces that failed to connect.  Puebla’s Gabriel Pereyra, arguably their best player, sent in three dangerous crosses into the box that repeatedly tested the Revs, who had not been scored upon in the SuperLiga group stages.

However, Pereyra’s corner in the 6th minute gave the Revolution some concerns, as it was well met by Puebla Defender Joaquin Velasquez, who rose above the revolution to head the ball towards frame, but just missed over the crossbar.

The Revs seemed to strengthen their resolve and began to get more into the game.  In the 13th minute, Marko Perovic, who has enjoyed a recent spell of good form during the last 5 matches, had an opportunity to score in his third consecutive superliga match and fifth consecutive game for the Revs in all competions with a free kick awarded in the 13 minutes, well within striking distance.  The ball curled toward the near post, but Puebla goalkeeper Hernandez was well positioned to make the save.

Hernandez also arguably made a key stop as he came out to the top of his area to challenge Kenny Mansally.  Hernandez seemingly made contact with Mansally, who lost control of the ball when he fell to the ground, but no penalty was given, despite the fact that the Mexican keeper was the last man between Mansally and the goal.

Steve Nicol was forced to make an early substitution and bring in Zack Schilawski when Marko Perovic went down in a collision in the 33rd minute.  Perovic’s presence in the middle of the pitch was missed as Puebla began to reassert themselves in the last part of the second half, but the Revs defense was up to the task and managed to get out of the half without conceding a goal.

Second half substitutions were made on both sides of the field, with the Revs’  Cory Gibbs coming on for Sinovic, and Puebla using three of their four substitutions, taking off Acosta, Garcia and Sanchez in favor of Roberto Juarez, Orlando Rincon, and Edgar Lugo.

While Puebla may have had the edge in the first half, the second half was for the most part dominated by the Revs.  Matt Reis continued his excellent run of form making save after save while the Revs got more into the attack.  Schilawski had the best first chance in the half for the Revs with the keeper beaten, but his strike was cleared off the line by a Puebla defender.

It was the smart play of Kevin Alston who set up the first goal of the match, finding Shalrie Joseph in stride.  Shalrie then played a perfect through pass to Kenny Mansally, who beat the defense and struck the ball well past the arms of the diving keeper into the back of the net.

However, Puebla would immediately strike back with a goal of their own, but not without controversy.  As the ball was played in to Puebla’s star player Pereyra, it appeared to hit his hand as he turned on Revs defender Darrius Barnes.  No call was given and Pereyra struck the ball inside the near post, just beating Matt Reis, ending the Revolution’s SuperLiga shutout streak.

The Revolution had the better of the chances in the remainder of the match, again with Mansally, with the keeper beaten, somehow missing the open net.  Minutes later Sainey Nyassi found Schilawski in front of the net with a perfect cross that he headed just wide of the post.  The last chance for the Revolution came in the 89th minute with a well stuck ball from Mansally, but Hernandez saved the ball off the near post for a corner kick, and the game went on to penalties.

From the penalty spot the Revolution took care of business, with Matt Reis making the key save (as well as converting a penalty) and Kenny Mansally striking home the clincher.

Unfortunately, Referee Roberto Moreno of Panama became the center of attention as the match went on.  A number of challenges and hand balls were miscalled or not called, and two yellow cards were awarded to revolution players for dissent.

Having the best record in the competion, the Revs will host the SuperLiga 2010 final against either the the Houston Dynamo and Monarcas Morelia (semifinal winner TBD Thursday, August 5) at the end of the month (date also TBD).

Scoring Summary:
NE – Kenny Mansally (Shalrie Joseph) 56
PUE – Andres Olivera (Gabriel Pereyra) 58

Penalty Summary:
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Goal)
PUE – Andres Olivera (Goal)
NE – Matt Reis (Goal)
PUE – Roberto Juarez (Goal)
NE – Chris Tierney (Goal)
PUE – Felip Ayala (Goal)
NE – Pat Phelan (Goal)
PUE – Edgar Lugo (Save)
NE – Kenny Mansally (Goal)

Revolution win on penalty kicks, 5-3

New England Revolution: Reis, Sinovic (Gibbs 46), Barnes, Osei, Alston (Phelan 64), Smith (Tierney 69), Joseph,  Niouky, Nyassi, Perovic (Schilawski 33), Mansally

Substitutes Not Used: Shuttleworth, Murray, Linck

STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 8; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 14

Puebla: Hernandez , Velasquez, Ortiz, Acosta (Juarez 46), Garcia (Rincon 46), Olivera , Ayala, Gonzalez (Zarete 58), Gonzalez, Pereya, Sanchez (Lugo 46)

Substitutes Not Used: Rulfo, Rivera, Garmendia

STATS: Shots: 15; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 15

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 25
PUE – Roberto Juarez (caution) 61
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 72
NE – Kenny Mansally (caution) 87

Referee: Roberto Moreno
Referee’s Assistants: Daniel Williamson, Jamie smith
Fourth Official: Niko Bratsis
Weather: Cloudy and 88 degrees
Attendance: 5,854

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