2013 Women’s Euro- Group Play Ends with Surprising Results
2013 Women’s Euro- Group Play Ends with Surprising Results avatar

Group play of the 2013 women’s Euro in Sweden concluded yesterday, and the teams emerging out of the dirt and drama to continue in quarterfinals July 21-22 consists of the usual suspects and some unexpected contenders. Sweden (Group A), Norway (Group B) and France (Group C) rule the roost, but one country you won’t see is England, who surprisingly were not in their best form during group play. Germany, the reigning Euro champs, also slipped a bit, finishing in second behind Norway in Group B.

Russia were the lowest ranked team in the tournament - yet they got a point a piece from both England and Spain. (Getty Images)

Russia were the lowest ranked team in the tournament – yet they got a point a piece from both England and Spain. (Getty Images)

The top two teams from each group automatically progressed along with the two third-placed teams with the highest number of points. Iceland finished third in their group with 4 points and qualified. However Denmark and Russia finished third in their group, level on points and therefore a draw was held between the two, which saw Denmark grabbing the last golden ticket.

Group A

Sweden and Denmark kicked things off on July 10, and Denmark looked like they were in it to win it, with Mariann Knudsen opening scoring minutes into the first half. Sweden’s Nilla Fischer equalized off a header soon after, ending the game in a draw with all eyes on Denmark’s hero of the day- goalkeeper Stina Peterson, whose two courageous penalty saves against Sweden’s star striker Lotta Schelin in the 67th minute and Kosovare Asllani minutes later, held Sweden at a 1-1 draw.

Swedish forward Schelin missing her spot kick. (Getty Images)

Swedish forward Schelin missing her spot kick. (Getty Images)

It wasn’t the glorious win anticipated for host Sweden, but head coach Pia Sundhage kept her signature positive outlook.

“It is a long tournament and we have two more games. The fact we couldn’t score from two penalty kicks, that’s not the best situation, Sundhage tole UEFA. “But at the end of the day we played in front of a big crowd, we have started the first game and now we are in the tournament. Yes, I am satisfied.”

Sundhage proved her critics wrong and led her team to top group A. (Getty Images)

Sundhage proved her critics wrong and led Sweden to top group A. (Getty Images)

Sundhage came under a bit of fire, as some began to compare her team’s performance to that of the U.S. WNT back when she coached them. Nonetheless, they received the confidence boost they needed against Finland three days later, with a runaway victory 5-0. They wrapped up group play with a 3-1 win over Italy on Wednesday, putting them at the top of Group A with 7 points.

Italy advanced to the quarterfinals with a second place finish in group A. They opened against Finland July 10 in a scrappy game that saw more tumbles and tackles than anything else. Needless to say, both moved on with a 0-0 draw.

Italy and Finland opened the tournament play with a very (Getty Images)

Italy and Finland opened the tournament play with a very lacklustre match. (Getty Images)

Italy needed points, and earned it with a 2-1 win over Denmark three days later. Constant attack and two quick goals in the second half from Melania Gabbiadini and Mia Boggard gave them some breathing room.

Denmark needed those points badly as well, and after Italy’s upset were able to garner one point more with their final match on Tuesday when they tied 1-1 with Finland.  They got their third place ticket to the quarter finals after a drawing was administered between them and Russia.

Group B

Group B teams got their opening day fix on July 11, with Iceland drawing 1-1 with Norway. It looked like Norway would take the cake, with a an early 26th minute goal from Kristine Hegland after she collected a long ball from Ingrid Hjelmseth and beat an attack from Iceland’s Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir. But, Iceland had some last minute tricks. Margret Lara Vidarsdottir equalized from the penalty spot with only three minutes remaining in the game.

Germany struggled in the group stage and haven't really come to life yet. (Getty Images)

Germany struggled in the group stage and haven’t really come to life yet. (Getty Images)

A 0-0 draw between Germany and the Netherlands on July 11 was a shocker, as reigning champ Germany looked nervous and the Netherlands- more determined than ever.  But German coach Silvia Neid was not at all worried about the outcome of the first group B match.

“We musn’t look at everything negatively as there were some good things but I’ll definitely show the players some incidents from the game,” Neid told UEFA. “We’ll try to make the perfect analysis, and we’ll brief them about the Iceland team so that we’re perfectly prepared. All the teams in the group have a point so there is no reason to panic or feel bad.”

Norway seems to be showing signs of regaining their powerhouse status. (Getty images)

Norway seem to be showing signs of regaining their powerhouse status. (Getty images)

Germany fired back three days later with 3-0 shut out against Iceland, but faltered in the final round, losing to Norway 0-1. Germany ended in second place, while Norway heads the group with seven points. Norway had great success, starting with a draw for the opener and adding two wins against the Netherlands 1-0 and as mentioned, Germany. The Netherlands are out of the tournament with one point.

Group C

After Groups A and B produced all draws for opening games, France set the precedent with the first win, which not only shot them to the top of standings, but foreshadowed a French takeover for the remainder of group play.

France were the first team to qualify for the quarters after their second match victory over Spain. (Getty Images)

France were the first team to qualify for the quarters after their second match victory over Spain. (Getty Images)

Marie-Laure Delie scored a brace and Euginie Le Sommer added the final touch to defeat Russia 3-1. Delie scored consecutive goals, the first in the 21st minute and the other just minutes after, easily brushing past Russian defense, and prompting Russia head coach Sergi Lavrentyev to switch up his backline. France continued to keep a firm grip on the game, and despite a goal by Russia’s Elena Morozova in the 84th min, it was clear who would win.

France added two more victories: the next 3-1 against Russia on July 12 and the final blow to England yesterday 3-0. Elodie Thomis played a vital role for France, with unparalleled speed, she was able to break away with the ball numerous times, and although she lost composure when it came to scoring, she was one of the most dangerous players for any opposition.

Spain's injury time winner over England stunned the Lionesses. (Getty Images)

Spain’s injury time winner over England stunned the Lionesses. (Getty Images)

Spain played incredibly hard, earning a second place spot in the quarterfinals. They took on England for their first match on July 10, ending in one of the most thrilling games with goal action up to the very last second.

England didn’t have their usual pizzazz, and Spain put on the pressure with dogged determination. Spain’s Veronica Boquete opening scoring in the fourth minute, but England was quick to respond. Eniola Aluka equalized in the 8th minute, and it was obvious that this game would be a nail biter. Spain pulled ahead again with a goal scored by Jennifer Hermoso in the 86th minute, but there was England close behind, with Laura Bassette’s equalizer in the 89th for a 2-2 score. As stoppage time commenced, it looked like a draw would be the result, but Spain persevered, adding a surprise goal by Alexia Putellas to clinch the tight win.

England shocked fans by not making it to quarterfinals after drawing with Russia 1-1 and losing to France.

Anita Asante looks dejected as France celebrate Le Sommer's goal in the first half. (Getty images)

Anita Asante looks dejected as France celebrate Le Sommer’s goal in the first half. (Getty images)

“We’re disappointed,” midfielder Anita Asante told UEFA.com after their final game against France. “But of all the three group games we played, this is probably the one we’ve performed the best in. We’ll take a lot of lessons from this, and try to improve again for the future. All the players left everything they had out on the field, and really showed heart and passion to try and stay in it.”

Final Standings

Group A (Host country: Sweden)

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Sweden 3 2 1 0 9 2 7 7
Italy 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
Denmark 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2
Finland 3 0 2 1 1 6 -5 2

Group B (Host country: Sweden)

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Norway 3 2 1 0 3 1 2 7
Germany 3 1 1 1 3 1 2 4
Iceland 3 1 1 1 2 4 -2 4
Netherlands 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group C (Host country: Sweden)

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
Spain 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
Russia 3 0 2 1 3 5 -2 2
England 3 0 1 2 3 7 -4 1

Quarter-finals

  • 21 July: Sweden v Iceland
  • 21 July: Italy v Germany
  • 22 July: Norway v Spain
  • 22 July: France v Denmark

 

 

 

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USMNT – On To the Gold Cup Quarterfinals
USMNT – On To the Gold Cup Quarterfinals avatar

Jurgen Klinsmann has made the maximum four player changes available to him under the new Gold Cup rules at the end of Group play, while no other country made more than one.

Eddie Johnson will get his opportunity to shine in the Gold Cup..(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Eddie Johnson will get his opportunity to shine in the Gold Cup..(ISI Photos/John Todd)

The four players added to the squad for the knockout stages are center back pair Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler and attackers Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon. Gold Cup 2013 has ended for Oguchi Onyewu, Herculez Gomez, Corey Ashe and Jack McInerney.

It had been widely speculated that Klinsmann would turn to his presumptive first choice central defense team at this point and although Clarence Goodson and Michael Orozco played very well against Costa Rica, drawing praise after the match from their coach, that speculation proved correct. Besler will be in camp for Sunday’s quarterfinal tilt versus El Salvador in Baltimore, although Gonzalez won’t be available until the semi’s, should the U.S. do the expected and qualify.

Onyewu started just the opener against Belize, where he is reported to have picked up an ankle sprain. Gooch leaves the national team with his club situation still in limbo. The well traveled Onyewu remains on the books at Sporting Lisbon, although he spent last season on loan at Malaga, where he essentially never played. The powerful center back will need to make a wise career decision, one that nets serious playing time, if he is to have any chance at forcing his way into Klinsmann’s plans for Brazil 2014.

Gomez hasn't been given as much playing time as he would have liked. (Getty Images)

Gomez wasn’t given as much playing time as he would have liked. (Getty Images)

Herculez Gomez joined Tijuana in Mexico over the summer and heads to his new club to get acclimated. Gomez had a somewhat frustrating Gold Cup, taking a backseat to Chris Wondolowski and his goal scoring exploits. Gomez still figures to be ahead of Wondo on the depth chart, as Johnson and Gordon come in to stake their claims’.

McInerney and Ashe leave the team without having seen a minute of Gold Cup time. Both are young players just getting their feet wet in international soccer, but it would have been nice to see McInerney get even a brief run against a weaker team such as Belize.

Now, before we move on to the quarters, let’s take a look back at the Group stage, position by position, and see who helped themselves going forward, and who didn’t.

Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid

Rimando was the clear number one in this group coming in. The RSL man has been singled out in the past by Klinsmann as his third keeper, behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, and Rimando did nothing to lose that designation against Belize and Cuba. The U.S. did surrender a goal to each of the underdogs, although the keeper could not be faulted for either and his overall play was solid.

Nick Rimando put in a solid performance for the U.S. (ISI Photos)

Nick Rimando put in a solid performance for the U.S. (ISI Photos)

Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise when Sean Johnson started against Costa Rica, a match that Klinsmann had dubbed the real start of the Gold Cup for this team. After seeing little action for much of the match, the Chicago Fire number one came up huge late in East Hartford. It was Johnson’s brilliant save from a Carlos Johnson header, off of a Costa Rica corner kick, that led to Brek Shea’s winning goal.

Will Klinsmann go back to Rimando the rest of the way, or will Johnson get the nod? One thing seems certain is that Hamid is out of the loop for now, in the battle for the first spot at the Gold Cup, and the number three job in Brazil.

Right fullback: Michael Parkhurst, Tony Beltran

Parkhurst (R) (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Parkhurst (R) will be hoping to get more game time. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Parkhurst is the more experienced player and started two of the three games so far. Beltran was solid in his only start versus Cuba. Most commentators felt that neither showed much going forward, although I thought that Parkhurst made some good crosses and I expect to see the Augsburg man on Saturday.

Left fullback: DaMarcus Beasley, Edgar Castillo

DaMarcus Beasley earned his 105th cap for the U.S. and has looked dangerous down the wings.(Getty Images)

DaMarcus Beasley earned his 105th cap for the U.S. and has looked dangerous down the wings.(Getty Images)

The captain is far superior to Castillo defensively and still flashes the speed that earned him one of the great all time soccer nicknames, Run DMB. Beasley showed that speed more than once against Costa Rica, beating his man to the endline and getting in his cross. Beasley is beginning to look more like a full time fullback, rather than a fill in, as he gains experience in the position. He took a bad blow to the head against the Ticos on Tuesday night, but Beasley played on and appeared fine after the game, so hopefully there will be no ill effects.

Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, Stuart Holden, Mix Diskerud, Jose Torres, Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Brek Shea

Shea did what he does well in the last game by running at the defence. (Getty images)

Shea did what he does well in the last game by running at the defence. (Getty images)

Midfield is the one field position unaffected by the four changes, so they must be doing something right in Klinsmann’s eyes.

Shea is the only pure winger in the group, and he bounced back nicely from a personal horror show versus Cuba, to score the winner off the bench against the Ticos. Graham Zusi did not get a call-up, it may be that Klinsmann is happy with the SKC man and wants to see what this group can provide.

Corona, Shea, Torres and Bedoya can all play the wing and all have had their moments in this Cup. Corona’s pass to Donovan led to Shea’s goal and the Tijuana man will see more time going forward.

The central midfield battle has been intriguing and that should continue. Holden and Diskerud started versus Costa Rica. Torres has started both centrally and out wide in the Gold Cup, working as winger on Tuesday. Beckerman has been good so far, but got a DNP in Connecticut. Holden filled Beckerman’s d-mid role with Diskerud playing a bit more forward. Diskerud’s vision and passing make him a tempting option, either from the start or off the bench.

I could see Klinsmann going back to Beckerman and pairing him with Holden against El Salvador. Donovan is nominally a central midfielder in this setup, but in reality he has been operating as a withdrawn forward.

Forward: Landon Donovan, Chris Wondolowski, Will Bruin, Eddie Johnson, Alan Gordon

Donovan looks rejuvenated after his sabbatical. (Getty Images)

Donovan looks rejuvenated after his sabbatical. (Getty Images)

Donovan has described every game as an audition for him. If so, he appears to have passed. Donovan has played every minute of the first round and looks deserving of an “A” team re-call. Wondo scored a bunch of goals against the two minnows, but none versus Costa Rica. Will Bruin never left the bench and there’s a good chance that he won’t for the duration of the Gold Cup.

Johnson provides speed, goals and can play wide. Gordon brings toughness and his heading ability makes him a good late option off the bench when a goal is needed.

So who will we see on Sunday? How about this.
Johnson, Parkhurst, Goodson, Besler, Beasley, Beckerman, Holden, Corona, Torres, Donovan, Johnson.

Sean Johnson's quick play from his save led to the U.S.'s winning goal against Costa Rica. (Getty Images)

Sean Johnson’s quick play from his save led to the U.S.’s winning goal against Costa Rica. (Getty Images)

Why? Just a hunch on Johnson. If he does get the call, a good game from the younger Johnson could propel him ahead of Rimando for the third slot.

If Besler starts, and why bring him in otherwise, the veteran Goodson could lead the defense. As a bit of a wildcard, Orozco plays mostly at fullback for his club, but Klinsmann probably won’t make that move at this point. Corona was excellent against Cuba and had that key pass on Shea’s goal. Torres isn’t really a wing, but he was good against Costa Rica. Shea and Bedoya are good options off the bench. Up top it is Donovan and whoever. I like Johnson’s speed paired with Donovan and Wondo’s best hope for a World Cup spot would be as a supersub, so why not have a look at him in that role now.

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KYSA Announces Winners of Gompper Scholarship
KYSA Announces Winners of Gompper Scholarship avatar

kysanewKentucky Youth Soccer Association announced the winners of the $9,000 Gompper Scholarship on July 2 after weeks of review. The selected student athletes will receive the financial support they need facing expensive college costs.

“After reviewing each application in depth, we were amazed to learn more about the young people in our organization and how they are making a positive impact both on and off the field in their communities,” stated Tim Turney, Kentucky Youth Soccer’s President in a press release. “We believe that the lessons players learn in the youth soccer system – teamwork, dedication, discipline, passion, and a sense of pride – help to build a strong foundation for all of our kids regardless if they continue playing soccer at the next level or not.”

Congratulations to the winners below, and for the full story please visit the KYSA website.

Male:

  • Cameron Boone (Lexington – Denison University)
  • Logan Sizemore (Lexington – University of Kentucky)
  • Mark Banta (Crestwood – Indiana University Southeast)
  • Walker Andriot (Shelbyville – Xavier University)
  • Zach Jones (Henderson – Western Kentucky University)

Female:

  • Libby Leedom (Florence – University of Dayton)
  • Mary Gorham (Nicholasville – Bellarmine University)
  • Silvia Radulescu (Lexington – Hamilton College)
  • Morgan Riggs (Louisville – University of Kentucky)
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International Champions Cup: Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy
International Champions Cup: Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy avatar

Courtesy of AYSA

Courtesy of AYSA

Arizona Youth Soccer members, you aren’t going to want to miss this- On August 1, Real Madrid will take on LA Galaxy at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale for the inaugural International Champions Cup match of the summer!

Check out seating options below, and to purchase please visit the AYSA website.

 

General tickets: AYSA members save 20%

On-Field Dream Seats: Includes on field seating, access to pre-game VIP hospitality area, club level access and post game on field photo opportunities

Front Row VIP: Includes front row seating. Club level access

VIP End line (South): Includes access to pregame VIP hospitality area, post game on field photo opportunities

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U.S. Youth Soccer U13 Psychological Sessions
U.S. Youth Soccer U13 Psychological Sessions avatar

U.S. Youth Soccer announced that there will be a free youth sports psychological education session for adults held at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, KS July 22.

There will be two, hour long sessions focusing on the U13 age group that was added to the championship for the first time this year. Parents, coaches, team managers and administrators can learn how to keep a sports environment fun for kids and learn proper motivation techniques to alleviate stress associated with high level competition.

The sessions will run from 9am-4pm at the Sheraton hotel and will be hosted by Mayo Clinic sports psychologist Max Trenerry.

For more information please visit the U.S. Youth Soccer Association website.

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Team Redemption Moves On to The Quarterfinals
Team Redemption Moves On to The Quarterfinals avatar

Jurgen Klinsmann’s Team Redemption won their USMNT record eighth game in a row Tuesday night in Hartford with a goal scored by Brek Shea and set up by Landon Donovan. One player, Shea, who was coming off, perhaps his worst game in a national team jersey and another, Donovan, a humbled superstar who is just happy to be one of the gang again.

Brek Shea showed was he is capable of doing. (Getty Images)

Brek Shea showed was he is capable of doing. (Getty Images)

Both spoke to reporters in the corridors under Rentschler Field after the game, with Donovan saying of Shea, “he’s been great. He’s helped us a lot when he’s come in and we’re very happy for him.” Shea said, “you couldn’t ask for a better ball,” than the one Donovan put on a platter for the Stoke man’s first international goal.

Donovan, the all time U.S. leader in goals and assists, famously took some time off and now concedes that, “the reality for me is that every game’s an audition.” For years he was the most automatic of automatic selections. Now Donovan sounds like any player trying to impress his coach when he says, “I don’t want to get too high with a good performance and too low with bad ones.”

Donovan has been involved in at least one goals in each of the four games he has played.(Getty Images)

Donovan has been involved in at least one goals in each of the four games he has played.(Getty Images)

Donovan has used this Gold Cup as a platform to put himself firmly back in the picture for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, earning praise from Klinsmann for his leadership. “Landon with his experience is so valuable for us,” the coach said at his post game press conference. “He can guide the front line there, first with Wando up front, then Herc coming in.” “He was always communicating,” Klinsmann pointed out. Then turning to Donovan’s play the coach said, “he played the perfect ball.”

“His leadership in that moment,” Klinsmann adds, “is very, very important to the team and he understands that moment.” “Things that we asked Landon to do,” the coach summed up, “he did them.”

Center back has been a position in flux until recently when Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler have seemingly locked down those berths. On team redemption, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco and Oguchi Onyewu have all tried to make a case that this battle is not done yet.

Goodson and Orozco manned the crucial positions last night and were very good individually and as a pair. The two spoke after the game with Goodson saying, “I thought it went very well.” “Michael is a very good player,” and Goodson reminded, “I’ve said all along that we have a lot of very talented center backs and I think that a lot of guys are capable of going in there and doing a good job.”

Michael Orozco has looked comfortable in the back for the U.S. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Michael Orozco has looked comfortable in the back for the U.S. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Orozco said of the partnership with Goodson, “it felt good. Clarence is a good guy that’s always talking to me, positioning and being strong in the back and that’s really helping me a lot.” Orozco, sometimes known as Orozco-Fiscal, is happy to throw his hat into the ring for the center back job. “I’ve been working hard and these opportunities don’t come around the corner very often and I’ve got to take advantage of it.”

For Donovan taking advantage of that opportunity means that, “I want to be consistent, I want to be someone that can be relied upon.” The greatest American soccer player ever says, “that when my number’s called I want to be ready and I’m taking it that way, I really am.” “I’m happy to be part of this,” Donovan said, “and I want to keep this going.”

The captain of this team, DaMarcus Beasley, earned his 105th cap on Tuesday, a mark that looked beyond his reach not very long ago. Beasley showed courage and leadership ability when he shook off an early blow to the head and played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica. The U.S. Gold Cup captain seemed fine speaking to reporters after the win and commented on serving as national team captain.

“It feels great,” Run DMB said. “It’s a great honor.” Beasley admits, “I never thought I would captain my team, but it feels good. It feels great to lead the team out for your national anthem and to be one of the leaders of this group,” and Beasley says, “to try and win something great.”

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Shea’s late goal leads U.S. to victory
Shea’s late goal leads U.S. to victory avatar

East Hartford, Connecticut – Brek Shea’s first U.S. goal in the 82nd minute saw the U.S.A. beat rival Costa Rica 1-0 in a hard fought game to finish on top of Group C and set up a quarterfinal match against El Salvador, while the Ticos get Honduras.

With a game time temperature of 93 degrees, there would be no Snow Bowl 2 tonight in Connecticut. With the quarterfinals already ensured for both teams, the pressure valve was loosened and so was the play, leading to an open first half.

The U.S. were able to keep a clean sheet. (Getty Images)

The U.S. were able to keep a clean sheet. (Getty Images)

Coming on the heels of Cuba’s thrilling 4-0 win over Belize that propelled Cuba into the quarterfinal, both the U.S. and Costa Rica knew that a win would see them play El Salvador, while a loss would get them Honduras.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup had a few surprises, whether through injury or choice. Few predicted Sean Johnson in goal for Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman’s absence was a real shocker, leaving the U.S. with a virtually new midfield. Alejandro Bedoya and Jose Torres joined Diskerud and Holden in attack minded group, with Landon Donovan in the center midfield/withdrawn forward role, while Chris Wondolowski looked to keep his goal scoring streak going.

DaMarcus Beasley earned his 105th cap for the U.S. tonight in the Gold Cup. (Getty Images)

DaMarcus Beasley earned his 105th cap for the U.S. tonight in the Gold Cup. (Getty Images)

Costa Rica withstood some early U.S. pressure, mostly from a hard charging DaMarcus Beasley, before exerting some pressure of their own. With Beasley chasing back back after a Tico steal, the captain got tangled with Rodney Wallace and fell, taking a knee and a kick to the head.

Beasley stayed down for a while, before heading to the sideline. He was quickly back on the field and attacking. When the first half came to a close, it was surprisingly deadlocked at zero’s.

The second half opened with a flurry of U.S. scoring chances, mostly falling to Wondolowski. The first came from a Diskerud throw. Tico keeper Patrick Pemberton went down after contact with Wondo, earning the free kick.

Pemberton was in the middle of things again in the 55th minute when he handled outside the area from a Wondolowski shot. A red card seemed likely, but the ref pulled out a yellow. The Americans weren’t happy, but Jose Torres’ free keep, barely kept out by Pemberton would have made the home team happy.

Shea celebrating his goal against Costa Rica in the Gold Cup. (Getty images)

Shea celebrating his goal against Costa Rica in the Gold Cup. (Getty images)

New York Red Bull Roy Miller took a high kick in the chest from Bedoya minutes later and had to be carried off, replaced by Christopher Meneses in the 68th minute.

The game was turning scrappy after the U.S. dominated the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Good intelligent passing from orres and Bedoya had put the U.S. on the front foot, but a poor pass from Bedoya nearly led to trouble for the Americans. The giveaway led to a corner and then two more before the threat was finally quelled.

Klinsmann went to his bench in the 77th minute, turning to two players who had rough games last time out against Cuba, Brek Shea and Herculez Gomez. Moments later Bedoya headed for the bench, replaced by Joe Corona.

With the game starting to look like a 0-0 tie a Costa Rica corner kick was brilliantly saved by Johnson. The ball fell to Corona, barely on the pitch and the Tijuana man found Landon Donovan. Donovan hit a perfect first time cross field pass to Shea. The Stoke City winger composed himself and took his chance for his first international goal. Shea’s big moment came one game after what was likely his worst game for the stars and stripes, justifying Klinsmann’s confidence in the pacey winger.

Some late game heroics from Johnson allowed the U.S. to get to the final whistle for the hard won victory.

Scoring Summary:    1      2      F
USA                            0      1      1
CRC                            0      0      0

USA – Brek Shea (Landon Donovan)          82nd minute

Lineups:

USA: 12-Sean Johnson; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 21-Clarence Goodson, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 11-Stuart Holden, 8-Mix Diskerud; 20-Alejandro Bedoya (6-Joe Corona, 80), 10-Landon Donovan, 16-Jose Torres (23-Brek Shea, 77); 19-Chris Wondolowski (9-Herculez Gomez, 77)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Nick Rimando, 2-Edgar Castillo, 3-Corey Ashe, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 13-Tony Beltran, 14-Kyle Beckerman, 17-Will Bruin, 18-Jack McInerney, 22-Bill Hamid
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

CRC: 18-Patrick Pemberton (capt.); 16-Carlos Johnson, 3-Giancarlo González, 4-Michael Umaña, 15-Junior Diaz;8-Kenny Cunningham, 17-Yeltsin Tejeda, 5-Celso Borges, 19-Roy Miller (14-Christopher Meneses, 68); 20-Rodney Wallace (10-Osvaldo Rodriguez, 71), 22-Jairo Arrieta (9-Alvaro Saborio, 77)

Subs not used: 1-Leonel Moreira, 2-Kendall Watson, 6-Juan Madrigal, 7-Mauricio Castillo, 11-Michael Barrantes, 12-Yendrick Ruiz,13-Ariel Rodriguez, 21-Esteban Granados, 23-Luis Torres
Head Coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 7 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 8
Offside: 5 / 3

Misconduct Summary:

CRC – Patrick Pemberton (caution)           55th minute
CRC – Kenny Cunningham (caution)         56
USA – Stuart Holden (caution)                 60
CRC – Jairo Arrieta (caution)                   76
USA – Michael Parkhurst (caution)            90+2

 

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Oklahoma City FC vs. Houston Dutch Lions
Oklahoma City FC vs. Houston Dutch Lions avatar

Courtesy of OSA

Courtesy of OSA

Oklahoma City FC fans, get your tickets now!

This Saturday, July 20, the Oklahoma City FC men will take on the Houston Dutch Lions at Stars Field in Oklahoma City. The game will kick off at 8:30 pm.

Come root for the men as they are currently 7-4 in the Mid South Division in third place behind first place Austin Aztex and second place Laredo Heat.

For more information and to purchase your tickets please visit the Oklahoma Soccer Association website.

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NTSSA 2013-2014 ODP Tryouts
NTSSA 2013-2014 ODP Tryouts avatar

Courtesy of NTSSA

Courtesy of NTSSA

North Texas Soccer has announced the dates for the 2013-2014 ODP tryouts for girls and boys in the 97-03 pools. Please take a look at the schedule below and for more information you can visit the North Texas Soccer website.

Open tryouts for 97-01 Boys/Girls will be held Sunday, August 4 and Sunday, August 11 at McInnish Fields in Carrollton, TX.

The cost to attend is $50.

  • 2001 Boys & Girls: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
  • 2000 Boys & Girls: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • 1999 Boys & Girls: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • 1998 Boys & Girls: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • 1997 Boys & Girls: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Open tryouts for the 02-03 boys and girls pools will be held Sunday, August 18, Sunday, August 25 and Sunday, September 1 in Arlington, TX.

The cost to attend is $75

  • 2002 & 2003 Boys: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • 2002 & 2003 Girls: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
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Two Indiana Ref’s Chosen for U.S. Youth Soccer Nationals
Two Indiana Ref’s Chosen for U.S. Youth Soccer Nationals avatar

Courtesy of ISA

Courtesy of ISA

Congratulations to Indiana refs Kyle Costa and Ali Banane, who have been chosen to officiate the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, KS July 23-28.

U.S. Youth Soccer chose 88 referees after reviewing performance at the state and regional level. According to a report by ISA, “referees are an integral part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series and they play a key role in its success and advancement to the next level. Being invited to the national level is a great honor for these referees who are dedicated to promoting fair play and furthering their development.”

Kyle and Ali will represent Indiana as they step up to the plate as vital assets to the National Championship. For the full story, please visit the Indiana Soccer Association website.

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MYSA Players Named to 2013 ODP Holdover Pool
MYSA Players Named to 2013 ODP Holdover Pool avatar

Courtesy of MYSA

Courtesy of MYSA

 

Congratulations to the 22 players that have been named to the 2013 Region II ODP Holdover Pool in the 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 boys and girls age groups. These players will be held over for continued training and development by Regional staff and from this pool, the Regional Team will be chosen.

Please visit the MYSA website for more information.

 

1996 Boys

  • Blake Brockhaus – St. Louis, MO (Lou Fusz SC)
  • Joseph Delbert – St. Louis, MO (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC)
  • Marcus Griggs – St. Louis, MO (Lou Fusz SC)
  • Matt Hampton – St. Louis, MO (Sporting STL Rangers)
  • Robert Kelly – Kansas City, MO (Futura FC)
  • Tarneu Tyler – Columbia, MO (MAC United)

1996 Girls

  • Reighan Chlders – Lone Jack, MO (Futura FC)
  • Kaylin Williams-Mosier – Pleasant Valley, MO (Futura FC)
  • Kacy Jacobs – Des Peres, MO (Panathinaikos FC)

 1997 Boys

  • Ben Parsons – Cape Girardeau, MO (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC)
  • Hector Solorio – Kansas City, MO (United Soccer Club)
  • Howard Miller – St. Louis, MO (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC)

 1997 Girls

  • Carly Wikenheiser – St. Louis, MO (Lou Fusz SC)

 1998 Boys

  • Chris Roggenburg – Wildwood, MO (Lou Fusz SC)
  • Michael Creek – St. Louis, MO (AC Porta Via)

 1998 Girls

  • Abby Small – Bates City, MO (Futura FC)
  • Keelie Fothergill – Lee’s Summit, MO

 1999 Girls

  • Brionna Halverson – Springfield, MO (Boliver MS)
  • Kayla Deaver – Lee’s Summit, MO (Futura FC)

 2000 Boys

  • Mason Visconti – Lee’s Summit, MO

 2000 Girls

  • Isabella Henderson – St. Peters, MO (St. Louis Scott Gallagher SC)
  • Lauren Welker – Jackson, MO (Southeast Missouri SC)
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U.S. Take on Costa Rica in Shadow of the Snow Bowl
U.S. Take on Costa Rica in Shadow of the Snow Bowl avatar

East Hartford, Connecticut – “I’ve said this a thousand times,” Costa Rica’s coach Jorge Luis Pinto said for the one thousand and first time, “that match should never have been played.” “That match,” meaning of course, the Snow Bowl last March outside of Denver, when the U.S. beat Costa Rica 1-0 in a World Cup Qualifier.

USA's match against Costa Rica back in March(John Todd/Isi Photos)

USA’s match against Costa Rica back in March(John Todd/Isi Photos)

“If you talk around the world,” Pinto continued through a translator, “it was never justified to be played.” Costa Rica unsuccessfully protested the match, and although both of these teams are already through to the Gold Cup Quarterfinals, that game in March hangs over this this match, ironically expected to be played in blazing heat.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann conceded that, “obviously it was a very tough match in Denver a couple of months ago.” Klinsmann though feels that if anything, his team would have thrived in better conditions. “I think if the game is played on green grass and not the snow coming in, I think we have a clearer result.”

Wondolowski's has shone at this tournament. (Getty Images)

Wondolowski’s has shone at this tournament. (Getty Images)

Klinsmann also said he won’t use tomorrow to rest players. “We will get the best lineup, absolutely. We want to win this game, we want to send out a signal, we want to see where we’re at right now.” That best lineup will almost certainly include red hot striker Chris Wondolowski, who took questions alongside Klinsmann at the press conference.

With five goals in two Gold Cup games, the San Jose Earthquakes striker has made a compelling case for inclusion against Costa Rica. If Wondo can continue his goal scoring exploits against a team of the Ticos quality, his chances at a 2014 World Cup place will improve dramatically.

Klinsmann calls Costa Rica, “the first real test with this group that has been together for barely two weeks.” Wondolowski said that, “we’re really excited to play Costa Rica and we want to win this group.” Wondo added that, “anyone that steps out there on the field is chomping at the bit, and wants to go out there and make the most of that opportunity.”

Opportunity has been a theme of this Gold Cup so far for the United States, with some like Wondolowski grabbing it and others, particularly Brek Shea booting the chance like a wasted cross.

Nick Rimando has embraced the opportunity and has thus far put on a good show. (ISI Photos)

Nick Rimando has embraced the opportunity and has thus far put on a good show. (ISI Photos)

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando has embraced his chance to start for the national team, rather than serving in his more accustomed role as the number three keeper in the national team camp. “I definitely have a different role than when Timmy and Brad are in.” “I’ve just got to change my mentality a little bit and focus on games,” the Real Salt Lake number one explained, “and not so much preparing the other goalkeepers.” “I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Rimando, “for me to show Jurgen that not only I’m a good teammate as a third, but also that when he can count on me I’m good to go.”

Midfielder Stuart Holden has been doing his best to prove to Klinsmann that not only is he good to go, he’s good to go from the start. The Bolton midfielder, who Klinsmann has praised as a “pure giver”, is striving to to show the coach that he is back to his best after missing the better part of two years through injury.

“As a player you want to start every game,” Holden said before Monday’s practice at Hartford’s Rentschler Field. “Anyone that tells you differently is lying,” Holden confessed. Klinsmann has been rotating Holden, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud and Jose Torres and said today that he wants them to fight it out. Holden embraces that challenge.

Holden return has been much welcomed by media and fans.(ISI Photos.)

Holden return has been much welcomed by media and fans.(ISI Photos.)

“The competition in the middle and the level that everyone’s playing at kind of brings the team up as well. It makes you train harder, because you want to be out there, you want to be starting.”

The United States come into the game the hotter of the two teams, having scored 6-1 and 4-1 victories over Belize and Cuba to open Gold Cup play after walloping Guatemala 6-0 in a Cup tune up.

Chris Wondolowski and his extra W, to say nothing of his six goals in those three games, has been the story for the U.S. Costa Rica have been less impressive, but just as effective. They beat Cuba 3-0 after the Cubans provided plenty of first half resistance, as they did versus the Americans. The Tico’s narrowly avoided embarrassment against the predominantly amatuer Belize team, escaping with a 1-0 win on an own goal.

Beasley (L) has been solid since his re-call to the squad. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Beasley (C) has been solid since his re-call to the squad. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

So, who will start in Klinsmann’s “best” team? Rimando is set between the pipes, but his back four has seen some rotation. Look for Oguchi Onyewu and Clarence Goodson to man the middle, just ahead of Michael Orozco Fiscal, with captain DaMarcus Beasley reinstated at left fullback. Michael Parkhurst could also return, although Tony Beltran may have earned another game.

In the middle of the park Beckerman has one spot nailed down and I expect Holden to partner him, with Mix the first option off the bench. Edgar Castillo has been good going forward, not so good defending, so he will likely end up at left midfield opposite Joe Corona. Donovan and Wondo will be up top.

The U.S. have been hot, riding a seven game winning streak, tomorrow night expect it to climb to eight.

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NWSL Week 14- Seattle Nabs First Televised Win
NWSL Week 14- Seattle Nabs First Televised Win avatar

Chicago Red Stars Start Week 15 with 2-0 Win Over Washington Spirit

The Chicago Red Stars took on Washington Spirit Wednesday night in Boyds, MD, ending in a 2-0 clean sweep thanks to second half goals scored by forward Adriana Leon and forward Ella Masar.

Chicago's Leon got a goal and an asset and has looked sharp since her trade. (ISI Photos/Howard C.Smith)

Chicago’s Leon got a goal and an asset and has looked sharp since her trade. (ISI Photos/Howard C.Smith)

It was a close first half with the Red stars taking the lead with creating opportunities to score. Washington played back hard though, and forward Stephanie Ochs broke through Red Stars defense in the 14th minute. She was prepared to go head-to-head with Goalkeeper Erin McLeod, but was cut short by persistent Red Stars defender Taryn Hemmings, who blocked out the ball.

The back lines battled, and the scoreboard remained untouched until the 63rd minute. Newly acquired Canadian international Adriana Leon made her mark with the Red Stars with some creative technical work, setting herself up for a shot at the goal and volleying the ball over Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

The Red Stars winner wasn’t too far away. Eight minutes after Leon opened scoring, Masar was subbed in and got right to it with Leon on the assist. Leon’s bicycle kick landed in front of a lone Masar, who took that opportunity to slam one home for the 2-0 win.

Scoring Summary

  • CHI- Leon 63’
  • CHI- Masar (Leon) 71’

Seattle Reign is on a Roll

Seattle had a successful and memorable week, starting with a great win against WNY Flash Thursday in Tukwila, Wash. as Reign took the close win 3-2.

It didn’t take long for the first Flash goal to hit the net by top goal scorer Abby Wambach. In the 10th minute, Wambach found herself in a face off with Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo, after defender Brittany Taylor delivered the ball with a lengthy field pass. Wambach slid a powerful shot past Solo for the 1-0 Flash lead.

Seattle's Fishlock got them on the scoresheet and helped lead them to victory. (ISI Photos

Seattle’s Fishlock got the opening goal for Seattle. (ISI Photos)

Seattle wasn’t put off by the first goal, instead they answered back four minutes later with a goal of their own. Midfielder Jessica Fishlock scored off an assist from forward Jessica McDonald to equalize, sending a left footed shot past Flash goalkeeper Adriana Franch.

Megan Rapinoe scored for Reign in the 44th minute to give them the lead going into the half. A scramble in the Flash’s back line led to Franch looking to clear the ball, but Rapinoe quickly stepped in before she had the chance, and the ball was in the net.

The Flash charged into the second half, eager to catch up. Wambach equalized just two minutes in off a penalty kick, leaving the remainder up for grabs.

The goal everyone was waiting for came in the 82nd minute. Seattle defender Elli Reed crossed to midfielder Christine Nairn, who was running up the far post. Nairn got the ball and blasted it in, sealing the deal for Reign 3-2.

Scoring Summary

  • WNY- Wambach (Taylor) 10’
  • SEA- Fishlock (McDonald) 14’
  • SEA- Rapinoe 44’
  • WNY- Wambach (PK) 47’
  • SEA- Nairn (Reed) 82’

Another epic win ensued with their second match against Washington Spirit on Sunday, defeating Washington Spirit 2-1 in front of a sold out crowd at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. Not only was it another solid win, it was the first NWSL game to ever be televised live on FOX Soccer. Reign forward Jessica McDonald scored the winning brace while Spirit midfielder Diana Matheson added a goal for her team.

Hard Fought Match Ends in Draw for Sky Blue and Breakers

Yurcak field in NJ was ablaze Saturday night as the Boston Breakers duked it out with league leader Sky Blue, ending in a 0-0 draw.

De Vanna (L) was unable to get on the scoresheet.(ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

De Vanna (L) was unable to get on the scoresheet.(ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

It was a game played with impeccable defense and careful goalkeeping by both sides. Sky Blue got close right off the bat, with a play by deadly duo Danesha Adams and Lisa De Vanna. Adams crossed into the penalty area and De Vanna snatched it up before shooting towards the net. It looked like it was going in, but determined Breakers goalkeeper Ashley Phillips made a diving save to keep the board 0-0.

The Breakers almost broke through in the 39th minute when striker Kyah Simon took a powerful shot at the top right corner of the Sky Blue net, but goalkeeper Brittany Cameron responded quick as lightning, jumping up and punching the ball away.  In the end, no one would move forward, and a draw was the ultimate result.

“When we play against a team like Boston, we expect it to be a tough match-up,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra told NWSL reporters. “Overall, there are some things we could have done better, but you also have to credit them for making it difficult for us.”

Scoring Summary

None

Thorns and Flash Settle for 1-1 Tie

Western New York Flash came back for a second match on Sunday, this time against the Portland Thorns at JELD WEN Field in Portland.

Wambach continues to score for the Flash..(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Wambach continues to score for the Flash..(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

After their loss to Seattle earlier in the week, Flash was looking for some points and were able to collect one with a 1-1 draw. They opened scoring in the 37th minute with a goal from, who else- Abby Wambach. Flash forward Samantha Kerr sent a cross into the middle of the box, and Wambach capitalized, skirting around Thorns defender Kathryn Williamson before volleying the ball over goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

The 1-0 lead was short lived however, as the Thorns responded just 90 seconds later. Midfielder Christine Sinclair made her way down the left side before passing the ball in to the penalty box. Midfielder Meleana Shim got her foot on the ball, hitting the inside of the right post before it found its place in the net for the equalizer.

Scoring Summary

  • WNY- Wambach (Kerr) 38’
  • POR- Shim (Sinclair) 39’

Another Tight Match Results in Draw for Red Stars and Kansas City

The Chicago Red Stars were the hero’s of the day; delighting fans at home in Lisle, IL on Sunday with a comeback against reigning Kansas City that ended the game in a 3-3 draw.

Chalupny has had an outstanding season for the Red Stars. (ISI Photos/Tim Bouwer)

Chalupny has had an outstanding season for the Red Stars. (ISI Photos/Tim Bouwer)

Kansas City opened scoring in the 17th minute after a scramble in front of the goal. Blues forward Melissa Henderson tried a shot, but Red Stars goalkeeper Erin McLeod was able to thwart the attempt. She wasn’t out of the red yet, as the deflected ball fell to Blues forward Lauren Holiday, who slammed the ball into the open net for the 1-0 Kansas lead.

It wasn’t until the 41st minute when the Red Stars equalized. Midfielder Julianne Sitch and forward Maribel Dominguez worked the play, ending in a long, 32 yard shot from Dominguiz that flew over Kansas goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart’s head. Kansas came right back though, with a goal from defender Taryn Hemmings in the 43rd minute to take the lead once more 2-1.

Then, in the 87th minute, it looked like Kansas would emerge victorious with a third goal scored by midfielder Erika Tymrak in the 87th minute. Things were looking daunting for the Red Stars, especially when Hemmings went down injured, and having used up their three subs, it was 10 players for the remainder.

But the Red Stars were far from finished. They earned a free kick in the 90th minute and forward Ella Masar was able to head the ball in over Barnhart to give Chicago a second goal.

Then, as stoppage time ticked off the final seconds of the game, the Red Stars made one final, determined play. McLeod sent a long ball across the field that was narrowly snapped up by Leslie Osborne. She flicked it over to forward Adriana Leon, then it went to Masar, who crossed to Lori Chalupny for the final shot. It went it, and the Red Stars cemented the 3-3 draw.

“I’m proud of the fact that they fought back and did what they did today,” Head Coach Rory Dames told NWSL reporters. “The team survives and competes because they depend on each other.”

Scoring Summary

  • KAN- Holiday 17’
  • CHI- Dominguez 41’
  • KAN- Hemmings 43’
  • KAN- Tymrak (Holiday) 87’
  • CHI- Masar (Fuss) 90’
  • CHI- Chalupny (Masar) 96+

League Standings- Week 14

# NWSL GP W L T PTS
1. Sky Blue FC 16 9 3 4 31
2. Portland Thorns FC 15 8 4 3 27
3. FC Kansas City 16 7 4 5 26
4. WNY Flash 16 6 4 6 24
5. Boston Breakers 15 5 5 5 20
6. Chicago Red Stars 15 5 6 4 19
7. Seattle Reign FC 16 4 9 3 15
8. Washington Spirit 15 1 10 4 7
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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

With a record 32 MLS players on Gold Cup duty, league play continues. This week’s big star is Brazilian born, but one day he hopes to play for Canada. They could use the help.

1) Camilo Scores 2 More for Caps

Camilo Sanvezzo flies a bit under the radar up in Vancouver, but that is changing as the Brazilian moves to the top of the league goal scoring chart. The soon to be 25 year old Brazilian added two more goals to his tally for 12, as the Whitecaps beat Chicago and Mike Magee for their fifth win in six games.

Camilo Sanvezzo (L) (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

Camilo Sanvezzo (L) has been unstoppable for the Whitecaps. (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

After scoring 12 goals in 2011, his inaugural MLS season, Camilo had five last year. This season, he has been unstoppable. Camilo played in Brazil, Malta and South Korea, before coming to MLS. He led the Malta Premier League in goals one year, but that doesn’t get you on the Brazil squad alongside Neymar and co.

With that in mind, Camilo reportedly has filed for permanent residence status, with an eye on representing Canada. You can be sure that Canada would be happy to have him.

2) RSL- No Rimando, Beckerman, Saborio or Beltran? No Problem.

Real Salt Lake figured to be one the teams hardest hit by Gold Cup absences. With their goalkeeper, Nick Rimando, midfield general Kyle Beckerman, top striker Alvaro Saborio and top fullback Tony Beltran all unavailable, RSL figured to be be trouble.

Kyle Beckerman (R) was one of the star pa (Getty Images)

Kyle Beckerman (R) was one of the stars missing from the Salt Lake squad. (Getty Images)

Traveling to Dallas should only have compounded their troubles. Instead RSL went into Frisco and came out with a 3-0 win, adding to their league high total of 37 points.

And they overcame another, in game loss, to do it. Josh Saunders replaced Rimando in goal, and played well. Saunders backstopped the L.A. Galaxy to consecutive MLS Cup wins, but he still got the boot from the Galaxy after last season. RSL picked him up and Saunders was playing well on Saturday before he was felled by a knee injury. No biggie. Number three keeper Jeff Attinella stepped in and stepped up. FCD peppered Attinella, but the 24 year old MLS debutant got the job done, completing the clean sheet.

3) Red Bulls Hammer Montreal

4-0 counts a hammering, right? I thought so. The Impact have slipped from first place behind SKC and now the Red Bulls have pulled level with Montreal on 31 points. The Impact have played two times less than New York and KC, but the Red Bulls showed the newcomers that they have work to do if they want to finish above them in the East.

Henry (C) got on the scoresheet again for the Red Bulls.(Getty Images)

Henry (C) got on the scoresheet again for the Red Bulls.(Getty Images)

Eric Alexander scored in the eighth minute after dribbling around half of the Montreal defense. Thierry Henry doubled that eight minutes later and the Bulls defense held Marco Di Vaio in check. Second half goals from Tim Cahill and Peguy Luyindula sealed the deal and things are getting tight at the top of the Eastern Conference.

4) Does the Regular Season Bore the Galaxy?

Jean-Baptiste spoiled the party for the Galaxy fans. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Jean-Baptiste spoiled the party for the Galaxy fans. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Sometimes it seems like it does. Coming off back to back wins it looked like the two time defending champs were about to get on a roll. Instead, a stoppage time goal cost the Galaxy a loss in Portland. Andrew Jean Baptiste powered home the late header and Portland had the home win as the Timber Army went predictably mad.

Former Galaxy keeper Donovan Ricketts kept L.A. from extending their early lead despite outplaying their hosts. Portland move to second place, three points and three places above the vanquished Galaxy. L.A. have Vancouver and Colorado up next on their schedule, before facing Real Madrid in Phoenix on August 1, in the International Champions Cup. That game should keep their interest.

5) Canada and their 8 MLS Players are Out of Gold Cup

Remember that record of 32 MLSers participating in the Gold Cup? Well take eight off of the list with Canada’s elimination. Canada failed to score in the Gold Cup, losing 1-0 to Martinique and 2-0 to Mexico, before finishing up with a dull as dishwater 0-0 draw with Panama.

Canada's Tosaint Ricketts (L) Martinique's Sebastien Cretinor (R) go for the header during their 2013 Gold Cup opening game. (Getty Images)

Canada’s Tosaint Ricketts (L) Martinique’s Sebastien Cretinor (R) go for the header during their 2013 Gold Cup opening game. (Getty Images)

Canada, with three teams in MLS, are the United States’ junior partner’s in Major League Soccer and performances like this do not reflect well on the league. One time Real Madrid manager Benito Florio now has the task of making something out of this team. For the sake of MLS, as well as Canadian soccer, we wish him good luck and a quick turnaround on Camilo’s paperwork.

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