• Montreal Earn Draw at Azteca
All of Major League Soccer rejoiced when the Montreal Impact advanced to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League against Club America. Then came the realization that the Impact would have to play the first leg of the tie at Mexico City’s infamous Azteca.
Damage limitation became the buzzword. In other words, try not to lose by an insurmountable margin. Then came the game, and Montreal damn near won the round outright.
After taking a 1-0 lead through Ignacio Piatti in the 16th minute the Impact nearly hung on for the win. Alas, Oribe Peralta ended that dream with a powerful headed goal in the 89th minute, forcing Montreal to settle for a tie.
2) GK Bush Out as Montreal Go for CCL Title
Montreal has lost its appeal of goalkeeper Evan Bush’s yellow card suspension, leaving Impact coach Frank Klopas in a goalkeeping quandary.
Throughout the league’s Soccer Sunday crazy rumors swirled that the Impact would acquire Sean Johnson from the Chicago Fire on a short term loan. It seemed vaguely underhanded, and today the league has said that this bit of chicanery was never in the cards. Good.
Klopas will have a hard time replacing Bush, Impact backup Eric Kronberg is ineligible having lined out for Sporting KC earlier in the competition. Next up would be Maxine Crepeau, but injury leaves FC Edmonton loanee John Smits as Montreal’s likely number one, unless the Impact manage to pull off a late trade or loan.
3) DP’s and Homegrowns
Should your friendly neighborhood MLS club build through youth, or via established, high priced stars? How about both?
Across the league this weekend the DP’s grabbed a big share of the headlines and the goals, but a few youngsters put in solids shifts too.
Among the DP’s to shine were Chicago’s David Accam, who scored the only goal in the Fire’s 1-0 win over NYC FC, as well as drawing a red card foul on NYC midfielder Andrew Jacobson.
Jozy Altidore scored twice to topple Orlando, with Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley pitching in to steady struggling Toronto. Clint Dempsey’s goal was difference against Portland and his DP teammates Ozzie Alonso and Obafemi Martins did their part in Seattle’s Cascadia victory.
And don’t forget Piatti. It wasn’t in league play, but Piatti’s goal against Club America was arguably the most important MLS goal of the week.
And what about the kids? Well, L.A.’s Bradford Jamieson IV made the biggest splash. The 18 year old scored his first career MLS goal, and it was a gem. The U20 U.S. international made Red Bull defender Chris Duvall look foolish before beating Luis Robles with a clean strike.
Jamieson IV’s U20 teammate Matt Miazga was solid in defense for the Red Bulls, and the 19 year old had the ESPN announcers singing his praises throughout.
Orlando fullback Tyler Turner is yet another U20 Yank who saw time on Sunday, the Orlando defender was solid in City’s 2-0 loss to TFC.
Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber is not a DP, nor is he a U.S. international these days. It’s just that for the past two seasons he has played like he should be both.
On Saturday Feilhaber’s second goal was an added time laser that was a little bit reminiscent of his 2007 Gold Cup golazo against Mexico.
Feilhaber always had that something special in his game, and since 2013, when he landed with Peter Vermes in KC, the Brazilian born Feilhaber has coupled that creativity with an admirable work ethic.
At just 29 years old, Feilhaber’s game has never been this complete, why not give him a look Jurgen?
5) MLS Soccer Sunday- MLS Soccer Funday
Yeah, pretty bad. But just the pun, Soccer Sunday itself has been a boon to fans that just can’t get enough MLS.
The league is hoping that fans will respond to having regularly scheduled MLS games, something new for the league this season. The three network deal, ESPN, Fox and Univision, has shown a ratings uptick so far, although it is early.
But if we can put ratings aside, the following smorgasbord of domestic soccer was available on Sunday for soccer fans to enjoy. First the N.Y. Red Bulls hosted the Los Angeles Galaxy, then star studded strugglers Toronto FC visited popular expansion side Orlando SC, before MLS provided a Cascadia nightcap featuring Seattle and Portland.
You may not have six hours of soccer viewing in you, but it is nice to know that it’s there.