Oh boy do we have some action from last week in US Soccer. A look at the USMNT youth on fire, a dramatic week in the MLS, and action from the USL and NASL. Let’s get it.
After their successful friendlies against Columbia, the women put their focus on their club play as well as the Olympics this summer. Oh, and Nike fucked up.
— The Women's Game (@TheWomensGame) April 14, 2016
Wow, the youth really showed up this week. The boys from the USMNT really looking to make a name for themselves with their performances recently. Let’s check out America’s future.
Christian Pulisic: Okay, so we know how well he did against Schalke last week, but surely he wouldn’t shine after BVB’s heartbreaking loss at Liverpool last week, right? The 17 year old grabbed his first Bundesliga goal against Hamburg. All aboard the hype train!
Haji Wright: Who is he? 18-year-old youth USMNT member. After spending his youth career with the LA Galaxy, he signed for the New York Cosmos last March. Schalke announced his signing this past week on April 15th, since he didn’t resign with the Cosmos. He scored a brace on his debut with the U19 S04 squad. Gotta love the Americans in Germany.
Gedion Zelalem: Wait what? Another German-born American youth international? You bet. Gedion netted a penalty for Rangers against historic rivals Celtic this weekend to put Rangers through to the Scottish Cup final. Oh did we mention he’s on loan from Arsenal? Put a sticky not on this one.
Bobby Wood: Let’s stick with the German theme. Bobby Wood, a name Americans have become familiar over the past year, is lighting up the Bundesliga 2 with Union Berlin. Another goal and win. Shouts for him to start up front this summer?
Ethan Finlay: A few run-ins with the USMNT but has been lacking consistency with the Columbus Crew this season, although he somewhat showed up this weekend. More on him soon.
Jermaine Jones: Yes, he’s back. Not the youngest, but our favorite explosive midfielder blessed us this weekend on his debut with the Rapids. We’ll see him soon.
Jordan Morris: Talk about the hype train, where has he been since he returned from mother Germany? He grabbed his first MLS goal for 10-man Seattle in their win over the Union served up with a beautiful ball from Ivanschitz. The home crowd needed this.
Deandre Yedlin: It’s been hard to judge his career and potential based on his inconsistencies, but the 22-year-old former Sounder, current Spurs man, and loanee to the Black Cats has found some serious form for the relegation facing Sunderland squad. He’s started five games in a row and hasn’t made any huge blunders. He stayed strong this weekend in the relegation battle between Sunderland and Norwich. What does Big Sam say? “Whether that’s because there’s better players around him and they’re helping him a bit more, I’ve been really pleased with his performances at right-back…Hopefully he’ll maintain those.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Matt Miazga: He hasn’t had the best start with Chelsea, but this could easily be influenced by the apathetic/disappointing season Chelsea has undergone. Here he is against Swansea (yeah, this is from last week, but clips of these quality are few and far between). We all want to love him but it’d help if he had a solid, stand-out performance. Granted, HE IS a 20 year old in the premier league.
(shout out /u/shbooms)
Okay, enough about our favorite Americans, at this rate we’ll have plenty next week too.
Week 7 and MLS is still MLS. Blown calls and retroactive punishments, only the American way. Let’s get the latter out of the way. Remember Nigel De Jong’s dangerous tackle on Nagbe last week? The MLS hit him with a three-match ban and a fine. Nagbe is already back in training. Situation handled.
Columbus Crew 3 New York City FC 2
First things first, Columbus grabbed their first win of the season. Over the hump! It didn’t take long to get started as Justin Meram charged in the box to the by-line, played his ball back across goal which was knocked into the path of Ethan Finlay to strike and grab the deflected 7’ goal. Deflected, but still counts for the young American. David Villa struck back in the 15th with a well-placed header back across goal from an Andoni Iraola cross. You gotta blame the centre back Parkhurst for this one. He should never allow that space for Villa for an easy header; shout out to the cross of dreams though. Columbus kept threatening and in the 49th, Meram found Kei Kamara and, with the space and time he had, he wasn’t (and shouldn’t be) missing. Finlay found Meram for Columbus’ third, in the 79th. Admittedly, a very well placed ball for the Iraqi international. It only took 86 minutes for this one to get weird.
Referee Ted Unkel gave NYC FC a penalty for, according to MLS, a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. Except, the tackle wasn’t that strong in the box, and the defender sent off was Michael Parkhurst, rather than the guilty Tyson Wahl. I read that it potentially could have been a red for Parkhurst due to his attempted tackle before the penalty, and the ref was playing some straight red card advantage, but it’s hard to say. How can you not respect the unexplainable in MLS? Villa netted the penalty, but it wasn’t enough for the light-blues.
New York haven’t seen three points since their opener against Chicago, Vierra needs to light the fire under his legendary/geriatric squad. NYC FC in 6th in the East, Columbus up to 9th.
Colorado Rapids 2 New York Red Bulls 1
Colorado has been having a huge season compared to last year, the opposite for the Red Bulls. Our main man Jermaine Jones made his debut this weekend for the Rapids. Blizzard’s in Colorado (it’s April) delayed the start of this one but we fight on (with an orange ball). Jones got his debut goal in the 21st, a finish from inside the box delivered by Mekeil Williams and his low cross. Ronald Zubar equalized in the 60th following a corner via Klijestan’s cross to keep the Red Bulls in it.
Jones found Dominique Badji in the 82nd and put him through on goal with a lovely waited pass and Badji’s finish was pin point to the lower corner. Shouts for Jones as man of the match, an assist and goal on his debut. Some nice stops for Colorado keeper MacMath to give Tim Howard a run for his money when he arrives in the summer. But can you believe this? Red Bulls in last in the East, right behind Columbus. Rapids in THIRD. Wow.
Orlando City SC 2 New England Revs 2
A beautiful day for football in the Citrus Bowl, as well as soccer. It took 15 seconds for the first blown call as ex-Real Madrid/Arsenal striker Julio Baptista played big in the box and went down a little too easily, penalty given nonetheless. Kaka stepped up, 1-0 Orlando. The Revs threatened and in the 37th, Chris Tierney’s floating ball found the head of Gershon Koffie which fell kindly to Teal Bunbury for an easy finish. Game on.
When does the drama happen? Stoppage time of course. Kevin Molino put Orlando ahead 2 minutes into stoppage. Big suspicions of
Kevin Molino put Orlando ahead two minutes into stoppage. Big suspicions of handball, though, another missed call in favor of Orlando. But wait, let’s squeeze one more blunder into this one. Lee Nguyen’s cross from just outside of the box, three minutes into stoppage, found Carrasco’s shoulder, but the referee gave it as handball. But where was it??? The referee surely took his time. It looked to be called a free kick but, sure enough, Baldomero Toledo moved the ball to the penalty spot. Nguyen saved a point for the Revs, in front of the heartbroken Orlando City supporters. Orlando sit in third in the East, the Revs one point behind in fifth.
Week 3 in the North American Soccer League and the small but competitive competition is starting to show its stronger (and weaker) sides. The New York Cosmos came into this week top of the table to face middle table Indy Eleven. The Cosmos struck first in Indianapolis but the home side netted two 90’ goals to take the three points from the league leaders!
95min – Eamon Zayed again!! IND 2:1 NYC !! https://t.co/s86hWgVyOB
— Indy Eleven (@IndyEleven) April 17, 2016
Tied for the lead with the Cosmos, the Carolina Railhawks can’t stop won’t stop as they land their third win in a row. The game didn’t hold much, other than Tiyi Shipalane’s 47th goal to grab three for the home fans. Ottowa remain winless.
Jacksonville grabbed their first win, hosting Miami FC. Tampa Bay hosted FC Edmonton in a match that came down to the last kick. Tom Heinemann’s 73rd minute goal set up the home side for a win, but Edmonton were awarded a penalty four minutes into stoppage time. The big man behind the sticks, Matt Pickens, saved Tomi Ameobi’s shot to keep the clean sheet and win. Lastly, Minnesota United stomped the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (more like lack-there-of) by three goals to none at home.
Only the fourth week of action and we already have a record setter! FC Cincinnati set a record for regular season attendance of 20,497. This figure is better than some MLS turnouts this week, granted it was a beautiful Saturday night against a local rival, Louisville City FC. Louisville came out on top, with a first half hat-trick from Chandler Hoffman, but Cincinnati should stay positive knowing they can score goals and many supporters.
— USL (@USL) April 17, 2016
Sacramento, Colorado Springs, Real Monarchs SLC (what a name), Richmond, and Charleston all encountered their first loss of the season, making for an interesting league table.
The Wilmington Hammerheads have already matched their home win total of 2015 this season, landing a 2-0 victory over FC Montreal. It’s safe to say the league is very up for grabs this season.