Kick Off: Henry explains why RBNY came out flat vs. Chivas USA
New York Red Bulls Designated Player Thierry Henry had warned before the match against Chivas USA that having an exhibition match in Montreal in midweek and conducting only one training session as a result was perhaps “not the right way to prepare [for] a game.”
The Frenchman proved prophetic following Sunday’s 3-2 home loss to Chivas USA and Justin Braun’s hat trick. After the match he reiterated in the last line of this article that the “flat” performance against the Goats was a byproduct of the friendly in Canada.
In Red Bulls camp, this is how they described “flat”: players being late to every ball, including on the goals. (VIDEO)
In San Jose, it was Columbus Crew rookie Rich Balchan arriving late to a few balls as the Earthquakes romped 3-0. His manager wasn’t shying away from what happened: "It doesn't matter what your record is. If you don't mark in the back, teams are going to punish you."
While some teams are processing plays from the weekend, other teams are sifting through injuries. D.C. United fans will be waiting with bated breath for news on the hamstring injury of star forward Charlie Davies. He didn’t stick around after Saturday’s match against Colorado to speak to media about it.
After the 1-1 tie against Portland in the Cascadia rivalry, Seattle manager Sigi Schmid is also dealing with more injuries to his squad. He says the problem is that they’re all in the same sector of the field. And goal-scorer and Designated Player Álvaro Fernández could soon be among the absences.
Timber Joey was not allowed into Qwest Field with his chainsaw, but that had little impact on the tifo display at Saturday night’s Cascadia match, which now takes the cake as the best of all-time in American soccer. This columnist was thoroughly impressed.
Here’s the photo of what the ECS pulled off: Decades of Dominance. Look away if you’re a Timbers fan. Meanwhile, here are the highlights of the march to the stadium by Sounders fans. (PHOTO and VIDEO)
It was a different weekend for Vancouver Whitecaps manager Teitur Thordarson, who rested several starters against New England with an eye toward the Nutrilite Canadian Championship finals first-leg matchup vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday. The club has made the trophy a priority and the players believe in the knock-on effects for their MLS matches.
After the Whitecaps and the Timbers, the expansion ranks may soon be joined by a team in Las Vegas. Reports say that MLS Commissioner Don Garber was on the phone with key Nevada lawmakers on the topic last week.
New England may have needed a penalty kick to scrape by on Saturday against Vancouver, but on the defensive side the Revolution registered another shutout. They admitted that three points and a clean sheet are good results from “a game where we didn’t play particularly well.”
As in the case of the Revs, it was also a mixed bag for Americans playing in Europe. Maurice Edu captured another Scottish Premier League title with Rangers but Oguchi Onyewu saw his Dutch club Twente Enschede fall short in the final match of the season while Jonathan Spector and West Ham suffered relegation.
American Robbie Findley will hope his dreams of playing in the EPL don’t fade today in the second leg of the promotion semifinal between Swansea and Nottingham Forest (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus).
They didn’t take elimination well in Mexico, where an all-out brawl followed the final whistle of the second-leg semifinal between Morelia and Cruz Azul. In fairness, the spark was provided by a local fan who invaded the field and taunted the Cruz Azul players. Morelia advanced and will play Pumas UNAM for the title. (VIDEO)
Dropping trophies off team buses is becoming a rite of celebration for teams around the world. This time it’s Ajax, winners of the Eredivisie title. Check the 30-second mark of this video to see the butter fingers of the club’s goalkeeper. (VIDEO)
That plate dropped as fast as Chad Ochocinco was dropped by his bull on Saturday night in his first attempt at rodeo. By comparison, his stint with Sporting Kansas City was a smashing success. (VIDEO)
Let’s see if shaving chest hair after winning a title also becomes a fad like trophy freefalling. That’s what Wayne Rooney did after Manchester United clinched over the weekend. He wanted to rub it in to Liverpool supporters, who are now second to the Red Devils as far as all-time domestic titles. (PHOTO)
If you think the chest hair number is gutsy, try this on for size. In front of teammates and 80,000 fans at the San Siro, Ghanaian international and USMNT nightmare Kevin Prince-Boateng celebrates the Serie A title by doing a Michael Jackson impersonation. (VIDEO)
Also from the weekend, Ronaldinho’s website was reportedly hacked by an Osama bin Laden supporter.
Ronaldinho’s former club, FC Barcelona, unveiled their new jersey for the next European season. Will be interesting to see how many American soccer fans will be caught wearing this one.
The feel-good story of the day comes from Seattle, where Osvaldo Alonso has reunited with members of his family from Cuba for the first time in four years.
Lastly, after ESPN’s E:60 featured the horror story that is the alleged murder in Brazil involving high profile goalkeeper Bruno, the network showcases the lighter side of the game and the goal-scoring celebrations of Icelandic club Stjarnan FC which similarly made headlines worldwide. If you're only familiar with the salmon catch, it's worth the watch. (VIDEO)
Timbers manager John Spencer says his club proved they’re “a bit of a lion”
Fabián Castillo emerging as the player that FCD’s Schellas Hyndman had expected
After scoreless tie, RSL admit that finding replacement for Javier Morales will take time
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