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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Chelsea is looking to secure a fourth English Premier League title, while Hertha Berlin seeks Bundesliga safety in some of the Sunday’s best action.


Rapids surprise Galaxy to nab road draw

Alan Gordon’s header with 15 minutes left salvaged a draw for the LA Galaxy against the Colorado Rapids.

Cosmos vs Ottawa0883

Cosmos embrace playing in Brooklyn and compare surface to current home

On Saturday night, Coney Island had an attraction unfamiliar with the theme parks of yesteryear: soccer.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

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What seemed inevitable for months may finally become official by the end of today in the English Premier League.

Chelsea can secure it’s fourth Premier League title with a win against Crystal Palace in a London derby to start of the day’s action. The Blues triumphed, 2-1, at Selhurst Park last time they met in October, but since then Palace has bounced back to move up to 12th place.

Hertha Berlin can take a big step toward safety in the Bundesliga, but it must come at the expense of Borussia Monchengladbach who is chasing down a Champions League spot.

Genoa’s faint hopes of securing a Champions League spot in Serie A hinge on a trip to the Stadio Olimpico to face Rome.

In Liga MX action, 11th place Pachuca and 12th place Cruz Azul face off with both teams looking for one final push toward the top.

If you will be watching any of today’s action, feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (today’s soccer on TV schedule after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 4 Comments

Rapids surprise Galaxy to nab road draw


Photo by Kelvin Kuo / USA Today Sports


CARSON, Calif. — Perhaps thinking a game against a last place team was a chance to rest his veterans, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena waited until deep into the second half to send out his starting lineup.

Alan Gordon and Stefan Ishizaki subbed on in the 70th and 72nd minute, and three minutes later, combined to rescue a point for the defending champions against the Colorado Rapids, 1-1, before 16,676 on a beautiful balmy Southern California night.

Gordon’s goal came in classic fashion, muscling both Rapids center backs out of the way before beating goalkeeper Clint Irwin with a sharp header to the far post off a curling Ishizaki corner kick.

“Ishi played a great ball, first and foremost” said Gordon after the match. “Most of these goals I score, I don’t have to do much, just get my head on it, and hope it goes in.

It was not the first time the Rapids had seen there hopes dashed by late Gordon heroics.  Last season, Gordon netted twice in the second half of two games games against the Rapids. Once to preserve a draw, once to grant the Galaxy a come from behind win.

“I don’t know what the secret is,” continued Gordon when asked about his knack for late goals. “I’m in the right place at the right time. I don’t want to say it’s all me, because it’s not.  I’ve been lucky.”

Colorado played an aggressive high pressure strategy throughout the night, attacking the Galaxy passing lanes, and were rewarded for their hard work in the 41st minute. Gabriel Torres stole a deflected square pass and found himself alone in on goal, as the entire Galaxy back line was nowhere to be seen, his only pursuer midfielder Rafael Garcia.  Torres banged home the breakaway and gave Colorado an unlikely advantage heading into the half time locker room.

Arena started the match with a very youthful, experimental lineup, pairing seventeen year old prospect Bradford Jamieson IV up top with Gyasi Zardes, and starting Rafael Garcia and rookie Ignacio Maganto in the midfield.

“We’re gonna need those guys, not only this month, but June and July” said Arena when asked about selecting so many young players to his starting XI. “We have a very heavy schedule coming up. I think it’s important for our whole team to be ready to play.”

The moves did not pay off, as the Galaxy looked flat for most of the evening until Arena finally brought on his starters with twenty minutes left.

“I think they did a good job” continued Arena when asked about the performance of this three subs, all of whom – Juninho, Ishizaki, and Gordon – are in the starting lineup more often than not. “We pushed to try to win the game, not only to get the equalizer, but then a second goal. But Colorado did a good job.”

It was enough to salvage a point for the Galaxy, but no more. Galaxy were off target on more shots than found the frame on the evening, ending the night with nine attempts, but only three on goal. The pairing of Jamieson and Zardes did not produce dangerous attempts, and the two young players rarely linked up with one another.

“We just didn’t see the ball enough tonight” commented Zardes on his and Jamieson’s ineffective play.

Arena agreed. “We didn’t play well enough to get them involved as much as I’d like, partly attributed to Colorado doing a good job defensively and closing down passing lanes. But they can certainly play better as a pair.”

It was the Rapids’ third straight 1-1 draw, the second this week, flying from New York to Los Angeles to play two of the league’s premier clubs on three days’ rest. After Gordon’s equalizer, Colorado was happy to see the game out and head home with a hard-earned point. The Rapids will host San Jose on Friday night.

The Galaxy head into a difficult stretch of the season, with three consecutive road games on the schedule in the space of two weeks. It appears more and more likely that they will have to do so without the services of captain and MLS MVP Robbie Keane, who has now missed four consecutive matches with a groin injury and was not in the locker room tonight.

The Galaxy will play at Rio Tinto against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, and then to Dallas on Saturday, before heading to Orlando for a matchup with Kaka, Brek Shea, and the league’s newest team on May 17.

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- LA Galaxy | 1 Comment

Timbers squander chances in scoreless draw with Whitecaps


Photo by Jaime Valdez / USA Today Sports


PORTLAND, Ore. — A penalty kick and the return of Diego Valeri weren’t enough to help the Portland Timbers best their Cascadia Cup rivals in a rematch Saturday.

In their second matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps this season, the Timbers were again winless despite having the lion’s share of chances, forced to settle with a 0-0 draw at Providence Park.

The Timbers squandered a chance to take an early lead when Darlington Nagbe knocked a penalty kick off the woodwork in the 31st minute. Alvas Powell struck Pa-Modou Kah’s arm on a cross in the box, drawing the call, but Nagbe’s low rolling shot bounced off the right post, even as he had goalkeeper David Ousted diving the wrong way.

Valeri, the Timbers’ top scorer the past two seasons, made his first appearance of the year after an ACL tear in October, replacing Ishmael Yartey in the 52nd minute. He tried a volley two minutes after coming on, his first shot of the year, but it was blocked. Valeri slid into a Jorge Villafana cross in the 78th minute that rocketed just wide.

“I thought possession-wise, build-up wise, we were very good,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “I thought we created enough to score. You’re not going to create a ton when a team sits like they did, but we created enough to score.”

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Posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps | 1 Comment

Cosmos embrace playing in Brooklyn and compare surface to current home

Cosmos vs Ottawa0883


For over a century, the attractions of Coney Island have provided entertainment for the city of New York. From the famous Cyclone and Wonder Wheel to the hod dogs at the original Nathan’s, Coney Island has long had a flavor all its own.

On Saturday night, the area had an attraction unfamiliar with the theme parks of yesteryear: soccer.

The New York Cosmos played their first home game in the borough of Brooklyn Saturday night, taking down Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0, at MCU Park in Coney Island.

Away from the friendly confines of Hofstra and Shuart Stadium for the first time, the Cosmos’ foray into Brooklyn provided a new experience, one that head coach Giovanni Savarese was quick to embrace.

“I think it was an exciting night to play in Brooklyn in a stadium that was an interesting set-up with all of that stuff going around,” Savarese said.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, if it happens again, to be able to play in this place again.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, NASL, New York Cosmos | 2 Comments

Keita winner against Scorpions keeps Armada undefeated at home

Armada Scorpions 05022015

Photo by Jacksonville Armada FC


Thanks to a heroic stoppage-time winner from Jacksonville Armada FC substitute Alhassane Keita, the defending champion San Antonio Scorpions remain winless five weeks into the NASL Spring Season.

The two took jabs at each other in the opening moments, as Marcos Flores assisted Pascal Millien in the third minute, giving Armada FC the early lead.

However, once again, the NASL offered fans a splendid goal, and this time, it came from the effort of Omar Cummings. The forward found the immediate answer in the eighth minute for the Scorpions after hitting an acrobatic scissor-kick, which found its way through many Armada FC defenders.

After two halves of physical play, which saw a total of eight yellow cards dished out on the night, the decider finally came in extra time, and Keita was the man of the moment in Jacksonville. Continue reading »

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Silverbacks hold Strikers to preserve draw on the road

Strikers Silverbacks 05022015

Photo by Fort Lauderdale Strikers


The Atlanta Silverbacks exited their game against Fort Lauderdale Strikers with a point on Saturday, thanks in big part to Steward Ceus.

Ceus’ four saves preserved the shut-out on a night when the Strikers looked slightly better in attack. The result leaves the teams locked on seven points each in the middle of the NASL spring season table.

The Silverbacks defense pitched in with two blocked shots to keep the Strikers quiet in front of a home crowd. While they produced six shots of their own, two on target, it was difficult to look dangerous in a conservatively played game. Continue reading »

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D.C. United off to best start ever after beating Crew


Photo by Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports 


WASHINGTON — The month of April was very kind to both D.C. United and Columbus Crew.

Both teams were undefeated through the last four weeks. Columbus’s attack has been scintillating. D.C. United started a season better than ever in franchise history.

For the Columbus Crew, April had to end sometime.

First half goals by Fabian Espindola and Sean Franklin gave D.C. United a 2-0 win Saturday night at RFK Stadium, where they now haven’t lost in sixteen consecutive games.

As expected, the Crew began the game on the front foot, hoping to ride the offensive wave the team had enjoyed over the last few weeks. However, D.C. United’s defense was up to the task, preventing Columbus’ attack from ever fully developing. Despite not seeing many clear opportunities on goal, Columbus did have a number of corner kick opportunities early on.

D.C. United had them right where they wanted them.

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- D.C. United | 6 Comments

Davies, Bunbury push Revs past Red Bulls

Agudelo-Davies-Bunbury Revs-Red Bulls 2015 (USA Today Images)

Photo by Greg M. Cooper / USA Today


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Their regional rivalry is usually reason enough to pay attention to games between the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls; however, Saturday’s match at Gillette Stadium was also a meeting of two squads riding extended unbeaten streaks.

The host Revolution got the upper hand early on a ninth-minute header from Charlie Davies, and led the rest of the way in a 2-1 win over the Red Bulls in font of 18,296. The Revs copied their efforts from last season’s Eastern Conference final series to take an early-season advantage.

“I know that there’s a little bit feelings,” said the Revolution’s Jermaine Jones. “You can see it the same in baseball with Red Sox and Yankees, so maybe we have that with New York Red Bulls. In one point, I say it’s nice. You want that game. And I like that game.”

Davies scored the go-ahead goal off of a right side in-swinger from emerging right back London Woodberry, diving to get in front of Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga and powering his header past goalkeeper Luis Robles.

“I remember a couple of games back he was a little bit down when he didn’t start,” Jones said. “I told him, ‘Keep going, you played a good season last season and you’re really important to the team. You get the chance, you will score and you will come back.’ And that’s what he did.”

The hosts made it 2-0 in the 60th minute on a finish by Teal Bunbury, but the lead-up was the impressive part. Davies, Juan Agudelo, Scott Caldwell and Lee Nguyen all had a touch on the ball in the seconds before Bunbury banged it inside the right post. Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls | 5 Comments