Kick Off: LA teenager's stunner highlights wild Wednesday
Yep, the kid is alright. So is the old man.
Eighteen-year-old LA Galaxy striker Jose Villarreal and 35-year-old New York star Thierry Henry dominated the conversation at the end of a wild Wednesday of action.
Villarreal, making just his second-ever appearance, turned heads with his stunning late equalizer in the Galaxy’s comeback 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. “Bruce Arena just told me to go out there and, 'Do what you do, just score,’” he said afterward.
Vancouver DP Barry Robson finally did what he’s supposed to do, too, scoring his first MLS goal to give the ‘Caps a two-goal lead in the first half. A lead that didn’t hold up. ''Anytime you're 2-0 up and you tie 2-2, it feels like a defeat — that's obvious,'' head coach Martin Rennie said.
LA’s other goal came from David Beckham — his sixth of the season, an MLS career high — who also got involved in a shouting match with Robson. “When you're on a football pitch, I'm sure he doesn't care who anybody is, and I don't care who anybody is," Robson said.
All the shouting at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday was about the midafternoon heat and about Henry’s searing left-footed volley as New York topped Chicago, 1-0. "I hadn't scored in a while, so I needed to do something to win the game," Henry said.
For all of Henry’s heroics, it was speedy rookie Connor Lade who sparked the Red Bulls when he subbed on in the 61st minute. “For me, he’s the player of the season so far with Brandon [Barklage],” Henry said.
Recently acquired Toronto forward Andrew Wiedeman’s goal on Wednesday can’t compare with Villarreal’s or Henry’s, but it did complete TFC’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday. “It was definitely a poacher’s goal,” Wiedeman said.
The win was Toronto’s third in a row, though in the first half it didn’t look like the Reds were going to get anything from the game. "I gave them both barrels at halftime," said head coach Paul Mariner.
The Rapids have now lost six of their last seven matches and slipped to 7th place in the West. “It’s impossible not to be frustrated at the moment,” head coach Oscar Pareja said.
There’s little frustration in San Jose these days. The Supporters Shield frontrunners extended their lead at the top with a 2-1 win at home to Dallas. However, it wasn’t easy: FCD got a late goal from Hernan Pertuz and then Jair Benitez put the potentially equalizing penalty over the bar in stoppage time.
But the key moment came when Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski had to retake a penalty after Justin Morrow was adjudged to encroach in the area. Wondo's second attempt was saved by Kevin Hartman. Afterward, Morrow apologized to Wondolowski for his “bonehead move.”
On the Dallas side, head coach Schellas Hyndman was more than pleased with his side’s performance, but, he said, “this game is very cruel.”
In Houston, Sporting KC midfielder Peterson Joseph was shown a red card for a cruel tackle that will might get a second look from the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Up a man, the Dynamo came out on top, 2-1, thanks to two goals from Calen Carr. The result extends Houston’s unbeaten home run to 18 games.
The same scoreline saw the Montreal Impact past the New England Revolution. Sanna Nyassi struck a nice volley to secure the club’s 7th win of the season — one more than either Toronto or Vancouver had in their expansion seasons. "I think there's disappointment overall at the results because, within the group, there's a feeling that we're a good team," head coach Jesse Marsh said.
Still, big-money striker Marco di Vaio is still waiting to open his account for Montreal, and the pressure is building. "The pressure is something I put on myself," he said. "To score for the team, not for myself, that's the pressure I feel."
Everyone on the Timbers is feeling the pressure, even more so after they fell for the third time in a row, 1-0 to Chivas USA in a Wednesday matinee. “We lacked a little bit of energy, we lacked imagination, we lacked creativity," interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson said.
The Goats are now in sixth place in the West, four points behind 5th-place LA Galaxy with three games in hand. "I wouldn't say patience is a word that's used in our locker room very much right now," Fraser said. "Urgency is the word."
MLS was not the only action on Wednesday. The Herbalife World Football Challenge kicked off at CenturyLink Field, where the Seattle Sounders fell to Chelsea, 4-2. Check out the highlights.
The Sounders’ goals came from Fredy Montero, who appears no longer in the coach’s doghouse. In fact, Sigi Schmid seems glad to help Montero achieve all of his goals, including a possible move to Europe.
Roger Levesque’s move is guaranteed: The longtime Sounders striker officially retired after the Chelsea game.
Lastly, Premier League side Aston Villa pulled off something no other international club had done: Beat the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
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