Kick Off: Backe won't easily forget Rapids toasting

Kick Off - Hans Backe

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The most resounding result from last night in MLS league play had to be the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids’ trouncing of the New York Red Bulls 4-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Just days after losing Conor Casey for the season, Sanna Nyassi stepped up to score a hat trick and his blazing speed gave the Rapids a statement win if there ever was one.

“We haven't beaten any of the top three in either conference [until now]," said Rapids manager Gary Smith. "To beat New York in an emphatic fashion, and for Sanna to hold the flame, it was incredible."

Nyassi, who called the match “the best game of my lifetime,” is poised to give more than one team headaches this season at forward, if Smith was paying attention to what he said after the match: “I prefer playing up front, rather than midfield, because of the pace I've got to get behind defenders.”

The Red Bulls were left scratching their heads: “It’s just one of those things that happened, even though it’s not supposed to,” said Jan Gunnar Solli.

If Red Bulls striker and MLS All-Star Juan Agudelo appeared to have a subpar game, don’t blame him says manager Hans Backe: “It was a difficult game for Agudelo, because we made so many mistakes between each other. … I haven't seen that many in one and a half years with this team, probably.”

Another All-Star, FC Dallas winger Brek Shea, scored one of the best-ever goals scored at BMO Field, according to the local media that watched Toronto FC lose 1-0 at home to FCD. With the debut of five new players, including those of Designated Players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans, TFC manager Aron Winter “saw a lot of good things.”

A missed penalty kick by D.C. United forward Charlie Davies — his first this season — was the turning that got the New England Revolution believing they could get their first win in nine matches. Revs goal scorer Stephen McCarthy was especially buoyed: “I felt like this was it. … We got that [break], I think the whole team was like, ‘This has to be the one.’”

Davies said that he couldn’t remember the last time he missed a PK: “I hit it good, I just leaned back and it went over. … It was pretty painful to see that go over the bar.”

The most entertaining league match of the evening took place at Buck Shaw Stadium where the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps tied 2-2. Chris Wondolowski scored two goals and he is quietly up to eight on the season.

“Frustrated," the 2010 Golden Boot winner said. "If we would have won 1-0 on an own-goal, I would have been happy.”

Although Eric Hassli scored two goals for Vancouver, Shea Salinas was the catalyst with his first two assists of the season which have Whitecaps manager Tom Soehn feeling good: “He was a handful and he can do that every game.”

The Galaxy stayed unbeaten for their 13th consecutive MLS match as they downed the visiting Columbus Crew 1-0 at the Home Depot Center on Sean Franklin’s first-ever MLS goal. It came off a disputed free kick, one of numerous set pieces LA enjoyed on the night. Here’s what David Beckham had to say about it:

“We can say we had 16 corners and we had chances. They had a couple big guys. Unfortunately, when you have big guys in the middle like that, it is hard for our players to find space.”

Turns out Beckham’s 14 corner kicks were the most by any player against the Crew in Columbus team history.

On the same day the Vancouver Whitecaps announced expanded seating for their home match against the LA Galaxy on July 30, Beckham got a stoppage-time yellow card and will be suspended. Here’s what Whitecaps GK Joe Cannon thinks about the development: "I don't care about him. It's Landon [Donovan] I'm good friends with. … Vancouver fans will be upset, but that's great for us. He just scored [directly] off a corner kick.”

While Cannon isn’t losing sleep over the Beckham suspension, Galaxy manager Bruce Arena is feeling a little differently: “If there's ever [a yellow card] that should be rescinded — or at least make the referee pay the fine ... it makes zero sense.”

What a way to stoke the flames for Sunday’s World Football challenge match against Manchester City: Beckham stated that the Citizens “are never going to be Man. United.”

The Philadelphia Union registered the only win of the night by an MLS team against EPL opposition when they downed Everton 1-0 on a goal by an academy player in the 87th minute. The 17-year-old high school junior, Christian Hernandez, reacted this way to his goal: "It felt like a dream. When I was running it felt like I was floating.” No wonder manager Peter Nowak was telling him to keep his feet on the ground.

The Portland Timbers’ 3-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion was also decided in the final stages of the match on “a strike that you see once in a blue moon.” But Portland manager John Spencer still has a spectacular first-half performance from his club to look back on: “I stood back in amazement at times with the passing, movement, touch and technique.”

It was a tale of two halves in nearby Seattle, where the Sounders went down 7-0 to Manchester United with six of the seven goals scored after a rash of subs were made in the second half by manager Sigi Schmid: “I need to apologize to our fans because I thought we embarrassed ourselves in the second half … we wanted to reward all the guys on the team, wanted to play everybody. I think in retrospect that was a mistake.

The Houston Dynamo’s 2-0 loss to Bolton Wanderers was overshadowed by news of a potential trade that reports claim will be announced later today. And two players names are specifically mentioned.

The heat may have been the story in the 0-0 draw between Sporting Kansas City and Newcastle United. But the more newsworthy item came in the postgame press conference in which Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said that LIVESTRONG Sporting Park “would easily get in the Top 10 stadiums in our country.

Speaking of stadiums, Vancouver’s waterlogged temporary grass surface at Empire Field which caused the postponement of their match with Real Salt Lake on Saturday has ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas believing that RSL should now host the match.

The next time RSL and Vancouver meet, Jason Kreis will have a new forward in tow. They signed a young, speedy attacker on Wednesday.

ESPN analyst and 1999 World Cup winning manager Tony DiCicco tackles the question of whether Hope Solo could ever be a goalkeeper for an MLS club. Read what he says on the topic.

The only soccer film festival in the United States kicked off on Wednesday in New York City. Find out what’s on show.

Lastly, it took detailed production to recreate the game-tying goal against Brazil on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

HIGHLIGHTS: Real Madrid prevail 3-0 against CD Guadalajara in World Football Challenge

Brek Shea answers Schellas Hyndman’s call for a game-breaker

Italian side Napoli interested in US midfielder Michael Bradley


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