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Kick Off: "Goal of the Year" candidate had an accomplice

Kick Off - Brad Evans

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The highlight of the weekend was arguably Eric Hassli’s equalizing goal for Vancouver with five minutes left in the match against the Seattle Sounders. But Seattle midfielder Brad Evans feels his own side bears responsibility for setting the stage by giving the ball away to the Frenchman. Evans says of the strike: “It should have never happened. That's the bottom line. Period.”

Read more reaction from the Cascadia battle, including what Sounders manager Sigi Schmid had to say about the referee awarding a PK for the Whitecaps and not whistling one for Seattle: “I can't talk to the referee [Mark Geiger] when he runs off the field and he's afraid to talk to me … he knew I wanted to talk to him and he just walked away, so obviously he must have felt bad."

That wasn’t the only refereeing controversy in the Northwest. Portland Timbers manager John Spencer was beside himself in his criticism of referee Abiodun Okulaja: “The referee was getting tired, he couldn’t cover the ground … poor, poor performance by the referee.”

The Portland manager also had words to dish out to the fourth official, who played a part in having the Scotsman ejected: "The fourth official, he's a nobody that’s trying to be a somebody. And he's a somebody tonight."

Spencer had one of the most memorable lines of the weekend – “Give me the fine. I’ll do the time.” – but another quote of the weekend came from Los Angeles, where ex-Galaxy player Alan Gordon came off the bench to score twice against his former club, including a golazo. “I have 75 percent of my goals against former teams,” he said after the match.

It was not a good weekend for home teams in MLS. Columbus Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer admits he couldn’t face his fans in the Nordecke after a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on Sunday: “I walked straight to the locker room.”

Of the two teams that won on their home field this weekend, the Dynamo scored their winner off an own goal by a Chivas USA defender. But they’re not apologizing for the victory: “It was kind of a fluky goal and a little bit of luck touched us, which we haven’t had in a while.”

Who needs luck when you have the Farfan brothers? Michael Farfan delivered again with an assist on Philadelphia’s goal on Saturday. His manager, Peter Nowak, says when it comes to picking either Michael or his twin brother to the lineup “it’s a matter of rock, paper, scissors.”

There was no luck in Graham Zusi’s performance on Sunday night at Pizza Hut Park. His long-distance bomb, a shot he credits teammate Davy Arnaud for encouraging him to take, was just one of his goals on a productive night. “This is something we knew Zeus had in him,” his manager said.

While Peter Vermes has been under some pressure to win in Kansas City, especially after the opening of new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, there’s no coach under more pressure than US men’s national team boss Bob Bradley. Here’s one columnist’s take on Bradley’s position ahead of the must-win Gold Cup match against Guadeloupe on Tuesday. Soccer America’s Paul Gardner piles on Bradley, too.

Meanwhile, in other Gold Cup action, Mexico continue to mow down their opponents, this time dispatching former coach Ricardo La Volpe and Costa Rica 4-1. El Salvador also routed Cuba, 6-1 to put themselves in good position to advance as one of two third-place teams. Watch the highlights from Sunday’s action here, including goals by NY Red Bulls’ Rafa Márquez and Real Salt Lake’s Arturo Alvarez. (VIDEO)

Tonight will mark the Group B finales from Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Both matches will be televised on Galavision, beginning with Guatemala vs. Grenada (6:30 p.m. ET), followed by the match which will decide the group winner: Jamaica vs. Honduras (9 p.m. ET).

At Red Bull Arena to cheer on his native Honduras will be reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar of D.C. United, who will be donning his Honduran jersey in the stands. (SPANISH)

Cuba lost a player on Sunday as 27-year-old forward Yosniel Mesa defected. The player, who has family based in Florida, says he escaped from the hotel fire escape in Charlotte, N.C. and he had a glass in his hand with a ready-made excuse in case he was caught: “I was out looking for ice.” Here’s a video interview with the player. (SPANISH)

FIFA has come out in support of Chuck Blazer and current CONCACAF executives after former acting president Lisle Austin obtained an injunction from a court in the Bahamas.

In other international news, could Manchester United’s American owners be taking the club public again and listing it on the stock exchange? Experts say the move alone would double the value of the club.

Finally, back to Portland Timbers manager John Spencer, who is a natural for TV. He gets right into the spirit when asked to star as an airline steward in this Alaska Airlines TV spot. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Player grades after US national team’s 2-1 Gold Cup loss to Panama

FC Dallas’ Schellas Hyndman says loss to Sporting is “embarrassing moment for coaches and players”

San Jose Earthquakes hail hat-trick hero Steven Lenhart


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