Kick Off: Sporting end Houston's unbeaten home streak in wild weekend of action
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. STREAK IS OVER
After 36 games in all competitions and almost two years, the unthinkable happened … the Houston Dynamo finally lost at home. On Sunday, Aurélien Collin’s header was enough to grab Sporting KC a 1-0 win at BBVA to end Houston’s record unbeaten streak at home. Sporting’s Twitter feed – and their players – had a little fun about ending the streak, but SKC head coach Peter Vermes saluted the Dynamo’s achievement: “These men here, with the record that was standing, that was a tremendous feat.”
2. UNSTOPPABLE TIMBERS
Unbeaten in nine, Caleb Porter’s side are on a roll. Sweeping aside Chivas USA 3-0 on Sunday, Portland sit second in the West. But Porter isn’t taking anything for granted: “We’re on a very good path towards our ultimate goal – nothing more, nothing less.” Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace shone for Portland while Chivas continue to struggle as their good early season form evaporates.
3. GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
There were plenty of spectacular goals this weekend. So what was your favorite? The free kick by Mauro Roslaes, Russell Teibert’s smash from the edge of the box and Will Johnson’s curler, plus more, can be enjoyed here in the MLS Goal Timeline.
4. SEATTLE STUN SAN JOSE
If you speak to any Seattle Sounders fan, player or coach, this day was coming. A 4-0 thrashing of the San Jose Earthquakes breathed new life into the Sounders' season, as the offensive breakout they’ve been threatening all season finally happened. “We learned our lesson now and hopefully we have this in mind so we don't fall back into bad habits," ‘keeper Michael Gspurning said.
5. MONTREAL MAGNIFIQUE
Launching a remarkable late comeback, the Montreal Impact stunned RSL to win 3-2 at Stade Saputo on Saturday afternoon. Matteo Ferrari’s last-gasp winner sees Montreal keep up with the leading pack in the East. “We showed a lot of will,” head coach Marco Schällibaum said. “That’s why I love this team: not only do they play good football, but they’ve learned to show character, which is very important.”
6. 'CAPS RECORD FIRST-EVER WIN OVER GALAXY
The Vancouver Whitecaps needed this win, big time. Canadian winger Russell Teibert came up big with his first two goals in MLS to seal Vancouver’s impressive 3-1 win over LA. The win was their first since the second week of the season, with coach Martin Rennie a relieved man: “We took our chances when they came along. In the end, it was a fantastic win for us.”
7. SUEÑO WINNERS CELEBRATE
Fourteen-year-old Alexander Soto won the prestigious Sueño MLS 2013 title, after wowing onlookers with his talents. Soto, who is the youngest winner of Sueño since it began in 2007, is staying grounded after his dazzling display. “My gosh, man, I'm happy,” Soto said. “I just keep being humble, look forward, chase your dreams, and my dream is to be a professional player.” While Luis Aranzazu took home the top ‘keeper award, citing extra training in Colombia as the difference.
8. BALL BOY INCIDENT IN TIMBERS WIN, SHOULD THE JOB STILL BE GIVEN TO YOUNGSTERS?
Another skirmish with a ball boy occurred this weekend, as Chivas USA’s Mario de Luna tried to grab the ball from a Timbers ball boy on Sunday. El Chelís handled the situation superbly but de Luna was booked for the incident. Of course this follows on from the Eden Hazard incident with a Swansea City ball boy a few months ago. So the big question is: Are youngsters the best candidates for the job? Discuss.
9. NO THIRD-TIER TEAM FOR TACOMA?
The Seattle Sounders reserve squad took on Orlando City this weekend, and the Sounders lost 2-0 in Tacoma, Wash. The game was being played at Cheney Stadium and acted as a valuable learning experience for Seattle, as they feel out plans to start up a USL PRO franchise and base it in Tacoma. “I think we believed before the game — and I think we still believe — that Cheney Stadium probably is not the right long-term solution,” Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said. Where next?
10. US REACH BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP FINALS
The US beach soccer team reached the World Cup finals in Tahiti this September, after defeating Costa Rica 4-2. The US were losing 2-0 but fought back and will now take part in the World Cup for just the fourth time in their history, and first time since 2007. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be held Sept. 18-28 at To'ata Stadium in Papeete, Tahiti.
11. ESPINOZA WINS FA CUP
From winning the US Open Cup to the FA Cup, it’s been an incredible few months for Roger Espinoza. The ex-Sporting KC midfielder put in a tremendous shift on the left hand side as Wigan caused a huge upset to defeat Manchester City 1-0 on Saturday, as Espinoza became the first-ever Honduran to lift the famous trophy at Wembley: “I feel rewarded from seeing all of the fans that came to the game, their support was incredible and at the end they got what they deserved.”
12. DEMPSEY STARS AS SPURS FIGHT ON
Clint Dempsey may have struggled at times during his first season with Tottenham Hotspur, but now he’s firing on all cylinders. The US national team star scored a sublime equalizer and set up the winner in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Stoke, that puts them two points ahead of Arsenal in the Champions League race with one game to go. However, the Gunners have one more game to play, against Wigan on Tuesday. Tim Howard kept a clean sheet as Everton won 2-0 against West Ham and plenty of other exports were in action.
13. SIR ALEX SAYS GOODBYE
Sir Alex Ferguson said an emotional goodbye to Old Trafford and Manchester United during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Swansea. In typical United fashion, Rio Ferdinand scored a late winner to mark Fergie’s last home game in style. Watch it all here. The end of an era for United and global soccer.
14. BECKS WINS FRENCH LEAGUE WITH PSG
David Beckham became the first Englishman to win a league title in four different countries this weekend. The ex-LA Galaxy star played in Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 win over Lyon that sealed their first French title since 1994. Becks looks to be staying on in Paris, with talks about a contract extension in the works. Are you pleased for the ex-LA man?
15. WATFORD REACH CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF FINAL IN DRAMATIC FASHION
You have to see this to believe it. In what has been one of the most enthralling end of season playoffs ever witnessed in the lower tiers of English soccer, it looked as if Watford’s EPL dream was all but over in the 96th minute against Leicester City on Sunday, with the Foxes a penalty kick away from the final. Watch on in disbelief and witness one of the greatest finishes to any game, ever.
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