Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA Today Sports
By CLIFF STARKEY
WASHINGTON– After his team’s 2-0 loss last week against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, New Jersey, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen strongly criticized his players, their mentality, and basically everything about the game.
“It was [expletive],” Olsen said to reporters last week. “We were late to the game.”
Olsen’s players took his words to heart. And while Saturday night’s 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy may look good on paper, the fact is that a Galaxy side weakened by international call-ups gave D.C. United all they could handle until Chris Pontius’s 93rd-minute header broke the lackluster deadlock.
Nevertheless, Olsen and his team said that they spent the week leading up to the game correcting the deficiencies discovered against the Red Bulls.
“I was very happy with the effort and the response from last week,” Olsen said. “It’s a good group, and we talk about responding after negative events, and putting together positive streaks, rather than negative streaks.”
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By ADAM TROXTELL
There was no way past the Colorado Rapids defense for a Houston Dynamo side seeking goals.
The Dynamo were shut out for the second of three home games this season and settled for a 0-0 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston outshot the visitors 11-6 on the night, though the Rapids were on top of the goal attempts more often than not.
They blocked six of the shots, with Clint Irwin saving two more for a third scoreless draw in as many games this season. What the Rapids lack in scoring prowess so far this season, they make up for in defensive courage.
That’s not to say they didn’t have a golden chance to leave Houston with all three points. Late in the first half, Gabriel Torres flicked a ball on for attacking partner Marcelo Sarvas, putting him through on goal.
Somehow, Tyler Deric produced another jaw-dropping save in the Houston goal, getting his forearms low to deflect the shot inches over the cross bar.
As the game wore on, the Dynamo had the better opportunities but failed to capitalize.
The Dynamo will try to make up for those missed chances in Seattle next weekend, while Colorado hosts New England Revolution.
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By ADAM TROXTELL
An early FC Dallas red card was not enough to provide a short-handed Seattle Sounders attack with the necessary advantage.
Chance after chance went begging in the second half as the Sounders settled for a 0-0 road draw against the best team in the West though four games. Minus both Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, the Sounders were unable to find a good enough final pass to take advantage of the missing Kellyn Acosta.
FCD’s young defensive back was sent off in just the 18th minute for a high, dangerous tackle on Andy Rose, who was deputizing for the injured Dempsey just behind striker Chad Barrett. Seattle used the extra man to its liking much more in the second half.
But the lack of goals was simply a matter of poor finishing. Neither team recorded a single shot on goal through 90 minutes, though Barrett had at least three golden opportunities before he was subbed off.
Michel sent FCD’s best chance off the cross bar with a 27th minute free kick. The home side constantly looked to attack when possible, using Fabian Castillo to almost maximum effect.
By ADAM TROXTELL
The future of rising American star Haji Wright is becoming more clear, and it appears that future does not include MLS for the time being.
Wright, 17, is set to sign for the NASL’s New York Cosmos, according to a report from the New York Times. The Cosmos are expected to confirm the deal in an announcement as early as Monday.
Already considered a promising young player, Wright confirmed this even more when his goals helped the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team qualify earlier this month for the World Cup in Chile. He scored 18 goals in 22 outings for the U-17s last year.
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By AARON CRANFORD
Having now put together back-to-back victories over Eastern Conference contenders, the New York Red Bulls are on a roll.
The Red Bulls sit atop of the Eastern Conference table with seven points in three games after topping Columbus Crew SC, 2-1, at MAPFRE Stadium. Bradley Wright-Phillips added another goal to his tally on the year and was also credited with an assist on Mike Grella’s game-winning chip from well outside the box.
The goalscoring sequence was kickstarted by Lloyd Sam, who was taken down in the box by a challenge from Emanuel Pogatetz in the 48th minute, and Wright-Phillips fired in his second goal of the year. But Crew SC would respond.
Kei Kamara received a pass and danced around in the box before firing an attempt toward goal. Goalkeeper Luis Robles probably did not know too much of it as it whizzed toward goal, but it bounced off of him in 58th minute. However, the subsequent corner fell to the feet of Tchani, and he blasted it into the empty net.
The Red Bulls would not be outdone. Mike Grella jumped on a Crew mistake in the backline, and when he looked up at the goalkeeper’s position in goal, the NYRB substitute decided to chip a shot from quite a few yards outside of the box. It sailed past goalkeeper Steve Clarke and gave the Red Bulls the 2-1 lead in the 67th minute. Continue reading
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BY MICHAEL PENG
NEW YORK — New York City FC was fully aware of the possibilities, yet when push came to shove, they could not do anything to stop the connection between Matt Besler and Ike Opara for Sporting Kansas City.
Opara’s headed goal in the 13th minute off a long Matt Besler throw-in held up as SKC picked up their first victory of the season with a 1-0 result against NYCFC Saturday at Yankee Stadium in front out of a sellout crowd of 27,545.
“Matt Besler has very a long throw and Kansas City loves to take advantage of that at every opportunity. It was not a surprise to us,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said. “We talked about it yesterday in the preparation meeting, showed lots of videos about [Besler] and it’s also very clear that Opara is the target for them.
“We put our tallest guy on him to mark him and unfortunately Opara just beat him to the ball.”
Opara’s goal also snapped NYCFC’s 193-minute shutout streak and forced the expansion club to play from behind for the first time this season.
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Robert Earnshaw has been a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps for just three days, but the forward has already paid dividends for his new club in the form of three points.
The Welsh forward provided the winner as the clock ticked into stoppage time, leading the Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory over their Cascadia rivals, the Portland Timbers at BC Place.
With just added time remaining, Earnshaw, who had entered the game four minutes prior, found himself tiptoeing on the brink of being offside and on the end of a ball from Pedro Morales. Earnshaw responded by taking a touch before looping a shot over an onrushing Adam Larsen Kwarasey to seal victory for the Whitecaps.
The hosts originally opened the scoring in the 15th minute, as Nicolas Mezquida provided the game’s first goal in spectacular fashion. Continue reading
By AARON CRANFORD
After months of searching for a new home, Freddy Adu has signed with Finnish top division side Kuopion Palloseura.
The Finnish club announced on Saturday that Freddy Adu inked a one-year deal. The club will be the 11th of Adu’s career. The 25-year-old will join fellow American and former New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo defender Stephen McCarthy, who also signed with KuPS this year.
In February, Adu was reportedly close to signing a deal with an unknown team in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, but those talks fell through.
What do you think of Adu’s latest move? How will the midfielder fare with KuPS?
Share your thoughts below.