Heineken Rivalry Week did not disappoint. 


It started with a bang on Wednesday, as the New York Red Bulls beat D.C. United in a wild match that included a Wayne Rooney red card. Then Carlos Vela gave us a goal of the season candidate, and LAFC and the LA Galaxy combined for one of the best games of the season (again) to cap matters off. 


Doyle has you covered on analysis as per usual, so be sure to check that out. Now for the Highs and Lows: 


That Aged Well Quote of the Week: Gyasi Zardes


Zardes, as you may remember, had a few chances to win the first Hell is Real derby. Twitter definitely remembered; the internet is forever, particularly so when Zardes is involved. 


"You have to forget about it," Zardes said of his missed opportunities after Columbus' 2-2 draw against FC Cincinnati earlier this month. "I'm not going to make excuses. Just got to bury it next time."


Even in this budding derby, salvation can be sought and achieved. Zardes hit a first-half brace against Cincy, pacing a 3-1 Crew victory and perhaps his best 45 minutes of the season. 


Not only did he score two goals, they were two well-taken finishes. Not only did he deliver two well-taken finishes, he consistently had a positive and integral role in possession. Notice his control, hold-up play and layoff at the start of his first goal: 

“I remember those misses,” Zardes admitted after the game. Now he can forget about them. 


Mostly out-of-context quotes


  • "Blood runs through my veins. I've always characterized myself for having blood and not water running through my veins." San Jose Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda on ... anatomy
  • "I am so tired, but my parents said they saw me and I just responded. They are happy, but they are so far, they stayed up late, there it’s like 2 am. They are tired too and they need to go to sleep." FC Dallas striker Zdenek Ondrasek on ... time zones
  • "I think it all starts in the brain and some players, their emotions decide what they do, but you have to use their brains, too." Cincy coach Ron Jans on ... rivalry games
  • "We played out of the back and played the game. We didn't fall under the kick ball game because they were pressing us.” New York City FC midfielder Keaton Parks on ... playing styles
  • "We hate to lose to Seattle." Portland Timbers coach Gio Savarese ... on rivalries
  • “Well, I mean, we need every game." Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer on ... needing a win


Altruistic Act of the Week: Honest Zlatan!


Oh so rarely does Zlatan Ibrahimovic admit he is anything but a deity, yet after the Galaxy's 3-3 draw against LAFC, Zlatan acknowledged that, just like us mere mortals, he gets tired sometimes. 

And an apology?!?! After El Trafico?!?!

Carlos Vela, in his divine season, also showed a rare moment that he might also be an earthborn human. He exited with an apparent hamstring tweak, a substitution he was very much not happy about. Bob Bradley has downplayed how long his talisman could be out.


You the Real MVP: Cobra


Not just his two goals, but because he regularly does fun things like this:

Zdenek Ondrasek is content machine. It's been a season in the making, but Cobra is slithering into the Dallas lineup. 


Also: Do we call him Cobra almost exclusively because it's a dope nickname, or because we're all afraid of spelling/pronouncing Zdenek Ondrasek?