Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mid-Week Post Game

Wondo Scores Again
First of all, I’m exhausted. Five games in one night and tweeting out during all of them.  Thanks to my followers for putting up with must have seemed like soccer ADD. It was an enjoyable experience and one I look forward to again. Now, on to the games.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Philadelphia Union 1 (MLS League Play)

Landon Donovan continued a fine run of form scoring another goal in front of an announced crowd of 19,178 at PPL Park.  Donovan’s tally ranks him as fourth leading scorer all time in MLS, tying Jason Kreis. Faryd Mondragon was incredible in the net for the Union as the Galaxy pressured his goal throughout the game. He looked to take a knock and tweak his groin midway through the second half but he persevered.  The Galaxy clearly missed David Beckham’s presence as the star midfielder was left home for ‘fatigue’.  It was Danny Mwanga who played hero though for the Union as he controlled the ball in the box and showed composure to beat Donovan Ricketts and drill the ball into an open net to save a point for Philadelphia.
Video after the jump.

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FC Dallas 1, Toronto FC 0 (MLS League Play)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Midweek games should not be allowed in Dallas. It’s just not fair to the players or the fans. The team for whatever reason cannot seem to get fans out to their stadium (could be the long distance from, you know...Dallas).  Nonetheless this game was played in front of a seemingly empty stadium.  8,145 announced attendance gave witness to FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez firing a PK into the back of the net. Ultimately the game was a sleeper and ended 1-0.
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San Jose Earthquakes 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 1 (MLS League Play)

This game was played in miserable conditions at Empire Field. Rain hammered the players and the dedicated fans that braved the weather. The first half showed some good soccer on display with 2010 Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski scoring a well finished goal to put San Jose up early. Ryan Johnson certainly made his case for a starting spot as well. The mercurial attacker made several dangerous runs and ripped a shot from outside the eighteen that forced Jay Nolly to parry it away. Steven Lenhart was a workhorse throughout the game. Of all the games on the night, I enjoyed this one the most. Fast paced, end to end and very physical. Wondlowski’s goal was pretty and Vancouver’s equalizer came in the 91st minute. San Jose has got to feel they let this one go. Highlights here:

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I’d love to give you a great recap of what happened, but the video feed on UStream was so grainy and difficult to see it was hard to make out who was who. I’m exaggerating a bit, but I can tell you this: Montreal clearly put more effort into this game than New York. This should come as no surprise though. The Impact were on display for 12,568 of their home fans in a prelude to next season when they make the jump to MLS. Furthermore New York used this game to bring in several reserves including Hot, Lassiter and John Rooney. Canadian Dwayne De Rosario played a full half as did Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez.  Ali Gerba deflected the ball into the net with his head to give Montreal the lead in the 37th minute. The goal stood up to be the game winner as the Impact took this one 1-0.

Lastly in what will hopefully become a regular bit of coverage we have :

The Railhawks continued an impressive run of soccer their win over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers as they improved to 4-1-1. The Railhawks went down eight minutes in before going up 3-1through the course of the game. Possession and run of play seemed to oscilate between the two teams as rhythm was lost by both sides. The Railhawks were given a scare in the latter minutes of added time when the Strikers scored a rather impressive goal courtesy of Santamaria. However, the Railhawks bounced immediately back…and I mean immediately.  Less than a minute later the Hawks pressed and found the back of the net to make it 4-2. The Railhawks are riding a three game win streak and look every bit a challenger in the early bit of the season. It has to be said that new goalkeeper Brad Knighton has a lot to do with that. He has been stellar thus far this season. The game was played in front of two thousand fans. Not bad for a midweek game in the early part of the season.