Kick Off: No containing the celebrations in MLS this wknd
We have a competition on our hands … for best celebration of the year.
We start with the most recent entry: Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney scores a late game-winner on Sunday night against the New England Revolution and he does a Lambeau leap into the Sons of Ben — who then literally pull him up into the stands (watch it here). His teammates enjoyed the celebration more than he did.
The three points also must have been pretty satisfying for Philly after they fell behind 1-0 (watch the highlights here). The Revs had reason to complain about a couple of poor refereeing decisions, but they also wasted plenty of opportunities to add to their initial lead, which eventually allowed the Union to overturn the result and catch up to them in the East standings.
The second standout celebration from the weekend was “a friggin’ fairy tale”: Steven Lenhart gets a stoppage time equalizer to salvage a 1-1 tie for his San Jose Earthquakes on “Lenhart Wig Night” against Chicago (watch the highlights here).
The goal came in the 98th minute, just when the Fire thought their goalkeeper Sean Johnson had worked enough miracles to come out with a road win (watch all 10 of his saves here).
How were eight minutes added on? A red card, an injury and a crate of Gatorade thrown on the field will get you there, but the Fire were none too happy: “They get rewarded for [the Alan Gordon red card] and the coach wasting time. I don’t think that’s fair to us,” said Chicago’s Chris Rolfe.
It’s not fair if you’re facing Eddie Johnson these days. The Sounders striker is on a tear and after scoring the winner against Chelsea in the MLS All-Star Game in midweek, EJ got a goal and assist to power Seattle past Colorado (watch the highlights here). So which match meant more to him this week? Apparently, it was the Colorado game.
While Seattle are now undefeated in five, the result marked a club record-tying sixth straight loss for Colorado. Rapids manager Oscar Pareja is not hiding from the poor results: “The only one responsible is the coach. … We are, I’m going to say, embarrassed. Because [the fans] deserve more than this.”
Columbus Crew forward Jairo Arrieta probably deserves some consideration for the Player of the Week award after scoring both goals for his club in a 2-1 road win at Livestrong Sporting Park (watch the highlights here). And all of a sudden, Sporting Kansas City can’t win at home. “Obviously, dominating is not good enough,” said SKC’s Kei Kamara.
The result has one writer questioning whether Sporting KC missed the boat to bring in a finisher during the recent international transfer window. Even Kamara was caught replaying a late chance gone awry in the locker room.
In the absence of DPs Landon Donovan and David Beckham, it was LA’s Robbie Keane who served up the goal for Magee. Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman saw it coming: “When we had the ball, our center backs completely forgot about him. … He caused us a lot of problems, I don’t know if we ever got that right.”
The Montreal Impact got things right against the East-leading New York Red Bulls, registering a 3-1 win as DP Marco Di Vaio got his first MLS goal (watch the highlights here). The goal scored by New York DP Thierry Henry was also pure class (watch it here).
The chief reason for the big win, according to Impact manager Jesse Marsch was the fact that Nelson Rivas and Alessandro Nesta started alongside one another in central defense for the first time: “Those guys help settle the game down and make sense of things for us,” the manager said.
It’s all making sense for the Houston Dynamo lately. They registered another victory, this time their first in Canada against Toronto FC (watch the highlights here). And they may only be getting stronger: There’s talk of Ricardo Clark joining the Dynamo ranks once the Geoff Cameron deal is consummated.
The Portland Timbers could use some reinforcements after suffering their fifth loss in a row. They were swept by Chivas USA in their third and final game against the Goats this season, and they weren’t even playing on the road (watch the highlights here).
These Timbers are making news worldwide. They’re even talking about them at the Olympics.
Speaking of the Olympics, not sure what side you’re taking on the Hope Solo vs. Brandi Chastain spat. One veteran sports writer says Solo is the one who can learn a few things from Chastain. On a side note, today is Solo's birthday.
The story from the Olympics when it comes to soccer is Spain’s elimination on the men’s side. The architects of their downfall were CONCACAF side Honduras, who scored a goal made in MLS that arguably gave the Catrachos their biggest result in history. If you haven’t seen the goal by the Revolution’s Jerry Bengtson, here it is.
The best goal of the weekend? It arguably came during the Herbalife World Football Challenge match at RFK Stadium, where D.C. United played an excellent match vs. rising European powers Paris Saint-Germain. Zlatan Ibrahimovic did the honors only a couple of minutes into his PSG debut. Ibra doesn’t fool around. (VIDEO).
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