Terrence Boyd RB Leipzig 1

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Terrence Boyd opened his 2. Bundesliga scoring account with a brace, Aron Johannsson ended his goal drought, and more in this past weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

MarceloSarvasLAGalaxy2-SeattleSoundersMLSCupPlayoffs2014 (USATODAYSports)

Galaxy deny Sounders, take one-goal lead into second leg

The LA Galaxy built a one-goal aggregate lead in the Western Conference finals through a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders.

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Late Jones winner leads Revs to road victory over Red Bulls

Jermaine Jones’ 87th minute winner led the New England Revolution to a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.

Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Terrence Boyd RB Leipzig 1By FRANCO PANIZO

On the scoresheet and in the headlines. That was where Terrence Boyd was this weekend.

Boyd helped push RB Leipzig to victory on Sunday, bagging a brace that opened his scoring account in the 2. Bundesliga and included the winner in a 4-1 triumph over St. Pauli. Both of Boyd’s goals came in impressive fashion, as he first headed a powerful header home from a difficult angle in the opening half before firing in a rocket of a shot in the second stanza. The goals gave the 23-year-old Boyd three across all competitions, and gave Leipzig their first win in three matches.

Not to be too outdone, fellow forward Aron Johannsson also netted his first of the season to lift AZ Alkmaar to a win in the Eredivisie. Johannsson scored via a snap header on Saturday, giving AZ a 1-0 victory that extended their league unbeaten streak to four games. Johannsson’s 14th-minute goal was his first since last April.

While the goal-scorers shone brightest this weekend, a pair of young centerbacks also made some noise. John Brooks earned his first Bundesliga start since Sept. 19 for Hertha Berlin in Saturday’s 2-1 win against FC Cologne, and Ventura Alvarado earned a rare nod for Club America in a 2-1 defeat to Edgar Castillo and Atlas that same day.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

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Sunday European Rewind: Milan-Inter battle to draw; Liverpool falter at Crystal Palace; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Neither side picked up a win, but the first Milan Derby of the season lived up to its billing.

In front of more than 79,000 fans inside an electrified San Siro, AC Milan and Inter Milan battled to a gritty 1-1 draw that leaves little separating them in Serie A.

Brief moments of quality that included goals from Milan’s Jeremy Menez and Inter’s Joel Obi were diamonds in the rough of a tight Milan Derby. Inter grew into the game after their opponents just edged the first half, though both left plenty of chances to take all three points on the field.

In the Barclays Premier League, Selhurst Park has become a house of horrors for Liverpool who fell, 3-1 to an efficient, counter-attacking Crystal Palace. The Reds’ struggles in front of goal continued, with Rickie Lambert’s first goal at Liverpool in the second minute only an isolated moment of attacking prowess.

Yannick Bolasie’s play provided both the equalizer and the winner for Palace, leaving the Reds with just two wins in the last nine league outings.

In similar fashion, Levante got a surprise 2-1 win against Valencia at home in La Liga. Hamburg won the battle of the bottom dwellers, 2-0 over Werder Bremen, to climb out of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, Marseille took back top spot in Ligue 1 thanks to an 85th minute winner from Andre-Pierre Gignac.

Here’s a closer look at all of Sunday’s action in the top European leagues:

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Galaxy deny Sounders, take one-goal lead into second leg

MarceloSarvasLAGalaxy2-SeattleSoundersMLSCupPlayoffs2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. – It’s always the question after the opening match of a two-game aggregate series: “will it be enough?”

The LA Galaxy held serve in the first leg of the Western Conference finals, downing the Seattle Sounders at home, 1-0, before a sold out crowd of 27,000 on a cool and sunny afternoon at the Stub Hub Center.

Marcelo Sarvas found joy when he collected an A.J. DeLaGarza back pass just inside the area and fired a shot at the far side netting. The ball took a slight deflection off the foot of Seattle center back Chad Marshall, and it was enough to wrong-foot Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei and give the Galaxy the lead.

“It puts us in a good position,” Galaxy captain Robbie Keane said after the match. “I think the most important thing today was not to concede a goal, and we did that. And we managed to get one. So overall, not a bad day.”

The Galaxy dominated possession and the stat sheet on the day, holding the ball for 61 percent of the match, and firing off 20 shots to the Sounders ten.

“Keeping that team scoreless is not easy,” Landon Donovan after the match. “Getting the goal was important. We were a little unlucky, and not quite sharp enough to get the second. But we’re confident.”

Despite the dominance on paper, the Galaxy had to rely on several quality saves from their goalkeeper, Panamanian international Jaime Penedo, to maintain the advantage.  Penedo’s most sparkling sequence came in the 20th minute, when first Martins, then Dempsey, both had quick clean looks at the Galaxy goal from inside the six yard box, and both of which were stuffed by a sprawling Penedo.

“Jaime’s been terrific,” said Donovan, when asked about his keeper’s performance. “At the end of the year, he gave up two or three goals that were relatively similar in the way they were created, and the way they played out. He and Matt Reis, the goalkeeper coach, have done a lot of work over the past three weeks on how to do better with those chances.

“Ironically, the chances we gave up today were very similar. Guys slipped in at angles, and he’s come out and made really good saves. He’s been very solid, and when we’ve needed him to make a big save, he has, and that’s how you win championships.”

That said, it was the Galaxy that consistently found time and space in the attacking third, breaking down the usually stalwart Seattle defense with their trademark short-passing game.  Finishing, however, was once again a concern for the Galaxy, failing to put away multiple opportunities, including a Stephan Ishizaki direct free kick that utterly fooled goalkeeper Frei but bounced off the crossbar and went uncollected but the Galaxy.

The match became increasingly chippy as it progressed, and referee Kevin Stott remained reluctant throughout the day to reach for his pockets.  Seattle captain Clint Dempsey found himself on the ground often in the first fifteen minutes, and despite earning an early yellow card, Seattle center back Zack Scott was whistled four more times for fouls involving blows to the back of the head of his opponent, without ever receiving anything more than a talking-to from Stott.

“As you can see, the officiating is important too,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “In these games, I don’t think we quite understand how to deal with this competition with the rules, with cards and everything. It’s been crazy. But it is what it is. Now we’ll have two teams going into the game Sunday with no one suspended, which I guess was the premise behind some of the decisions today.”

“The officials have made it clear that no one’s getting sent off,” added Donovan. “We have to make sure we’re aware of that next weekend, and we’ll play with that in mind, and I’m sure they will too.”

The Western Conference championship now switches to Seattle for the second leg, where the Sounders will have no less than 40,000 fans awaiting.  The Galaxy will bring to CenturyLink Field their legend, Landon Donovan, for what may be the last time ever, and a one-goal lead.  It remains to be seen if that will be enough.

“We’re confident,” Donovan stated. “We’ve been up there (Seattle) twice this year. We were thoroughly dominant in the first game, and we were the much better team for eighty six minutes in the second game. We’re full of confidence this year. We know they’re going to give it their best shot, and we look forward to it.”

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Seattle Sounders | 11 Comments

Late Jones winner leads Revs to road victory over Red Bulls

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Photo by Stew Milne/ USA Today Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

HARRISON, N.J – With time ticking away in a game that appeared destined to finish as a 1-1 draw, New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones ensured that his side would head back to the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium with a mighty big advantage.

In a chippy contest that saw 10 yellow cards, Jones scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to join Teal Bunbury on the scoresheet, as the Red Bulls knocked off the Red Bulls, 2-1, in Sunday’s Eastern Conference Finals opening leg at Red Bull Arena.

The Revs’ midfielder’s finish came against the run of play, as the visitors looked content to take a draw and away goal back home for the second leg. However, Jones finished a siding effort from close range on a pass from Bunbury to all but seal the Revs victory.

“I wanted to win,” Jones said after the game. “I think it was a good counter. I saw Lee (Nguyen), and he’s a guy that, with deep balls, he’s really good. I tried to come behind the line, but they closed it really good, so I still kept going.

“I didn’t score the chances that I had before, so I was really hungry to score a goal. Teal saw me and I don’t know if he wanted to shoot or pass, but at the end of the story, it was a goal and I’m happy.” Continue reading »

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Cahill slams refereeing, yellow card rules following loss to Revs

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Ever the competitor, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill has picked up one or two yellow cards in his time.

Cahill is no stranger to hard challenges, as the Australian star has built a reputation for being one of the most hard-hitting players in the league. However, following the Red Bulls loss to the New England Revolution, Cahill was irate at just how many cautions were shown to the pair of Eastern Conference foes, as Allen Chapman issued ten yellow cards in the Red Bulls’ 2-1 loss in a game that Cahill felt was marred by the referee’s decisions.

“I feel sorry for the supporters for having to watch a game that’s broken up, an intense game where you’re going to get challenged,” Cahill said. In my opinion, the game should be reviewed when you look at how many yellows there were. It’s ridiculous.

“You should be able to have a free-flowing game. I got sent off a couple of weeks ago for raising my left foot, not even my right. It’s debatable some of the calls that were made today, but that’s life. We’ve put up with it all season.” Continue reading »

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Red Bulls vs. Revolution: SBI Live Commentary

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Playoffs, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, Uncategorized | 12 Comments