July 12th! US soccer action from all of the big leagues for your big eyes.
CONCACAF conducted the schedule draw for the 2018 World Cup final stage of qualification last week. They only drew the schedule for the semi-finals, as the group stage has yet to complete yet (check back in September). If we assume the boys win group C, this sees them traveling to Mexico (winner of group A) and then facing Costa Rica shortly after.
We’ve done it once, we can do it again.
A bit of controversy this weekend in the Women’s game. Let’s start off with the better news.
The USWNT hosted South Africa in a friendly on Saturday, at Soldier Field in Chicago. A good showing for the women but only came away with one goal, via Crystal Dunn.
With the 1-0 win, Hope Solo became the first ever keeper to record 100 shutouts in the game. A surprising stat, very impressive.
Now for some controversy. NWSL teams Western New York Flash and the Seattle Reign FC faced off Saturday at an interesting venue. The match was to be held at the normal location, Rhinos Stadium but was booked for a 90s throwback concert featuring TLC. Fair enough, I suppose.
The game was moved to Frontier Field, a baseball stadium in Rochester, NY, home to Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate). Okay, should be fine, as we know a few teams that play in baseball stadiums.
The field turned out to only measure 100 yards ling by 58 yards wide, smaller than the 70-yard wide minimum. An exception was given from the NWSL because no other venue could be found, a decision that commissioner Jeff Plush and Co. publicly regretted.
It’s a day that the new league surely won’t forget.
This is shocking, disrespectful & such a shame that we as professional players, are expected to play on this surface pic.twitter.com/5uLx36WHm6
— Ali Krieger (@alikrieger) July 10, 2016
— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) July 9, 2016
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) July 10, 2016
In a change of pace, the MLS went off without a hitch this weekend, all fields with regulation width. Imagine that.
San Jose Earthquakes 0 FC Dallas 1
Western Conference leaders FC Dallas, who have looked the best over the past two years compared to any other team (where’s the consistency?), traveled to San Jose to face the Earthquakes who can hardly manage a goal nowadays, four goals in there last eight games.
The ‘Quakes saw more chances in the first half, but Maxi Urruti had the breakthrough for Dallas in the 51st minute with the goal of the weekend, a stunning bicycle. He could have had three, hitting the post two other times. He’s coming into great form in the past few weeks (see his US open cup winner). Dallas held on, #DallasStrong.
Seattle Sounders 0 LA Galaxy 1
Robbie Keane’s second home is in Seattle. His seventh goal in 10 appearances at CenturyLink Field was the difference in this West Coast battle between two teams who (like I always seem to say) should be doing better this season. Although on paper LA sits in 4th, they started this week eight points back and only two points from 8th (okay, okay, two games in hand from 1st as well).
Gyasi Zardes found Robbie Keane in the 15th, for a shot Stefan Frei couldn’t stop. His sixth this season. He could have another a few minutes later when Seattle gave the ball up and he was free on goal and looked to be pushed over in the box before his strike…no call. Okay. Seattle had a pretty good chance in the 53rd when Jordan Morris beat keeper Brian Rowe, had a free shot on goal until AJ De La Garza sacrificed himself and took it int he body. Woof of the week. Seattle into LAST PLACE in the West, LA in 4th.
New England Revolution 3 Columbus Crew SC 1
Battle of the Kamara’s, we’ve all been waiting for it. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this one was a battle for eighth place, and the tears were shed. The Revs started off hot in the third minute through Lee Nguyen and his sick volley. Will Trapp got the next…for New England. Kei Kamara’s cross found his feet on his attempted block, which went right past Steve Clark. Columbus grabbed some hope in the 42nd when Toni Tchani found Ola Kamara with a nicely weighted pass whose shot (which should have been saved) snuck under the Revs keeper. That’s eight in eight for him.
Kei got his in the 71st. A weird incident when Francis and Barson collided to clear the ball, which left a wide open strike for the former Columbus striker. Check his post-game interview here.
Toronto FC 1 Chicago Fire 0
Sixth place Toronto faced up to 10th place Chicago, the Fire looking for their FIRST AWAY WIN IN TWO YEARS. Bruh, what? One of the biggest arguments for #ProRelForUSA out there. Anyway…It didn’t take long for youngster (and St. Ignatius alum, shoutout to Cleveland) Justin Morrow to get the goal, assist from Sebastian Giovinco. Toronto came away with the win despite being without Altidore, Bradley, and Will Johnson. Also, Giovinco became Hulk.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 10, 2016
Sporting KC 3 NYC FC 1
Soccer Sunday, you know what it is. Sporting has been on the way up, into 5th this week with NYC FC back in their early season form, first in the East. Beni Feilhaber started us off with the easy tap in after Jacob Peterson’s attempt hit off the bar, taking Saunders off of his line. “Super” Frank Lampard responded just six minutes later after some great build up play, most likely inspired by Patrick Veira, from Matarrita’s cross. But, it was all SKC from there.
Jimmy Medranda struck a ball from outside of the box, beating Josh Saunders WAY too easily, and it went downhill from there. You could see that easily allowed goal took it out of the boys. Ike Opara, who was pretty offside, got the third after a failed corner.
Sporting KC still in fifth with the win, NYC FC still in first with the loss, with a lead of one over Philadelphia.
Week two of the “Fall Season”, let’s see just how well the teams are doing based on attendance. (Stats via /u/TheChosenJuan99 on reddit.
As you can see, some team doing better than the Fall opener, some not. Let’s keep an eye on these.
Carolina Railhawks 4 Tampa Bay Rowdies 1
The Railhawks broke their seven game winless streak in the league (before which they looked like they could have been Spring Season contenders), taking down the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Despite Joe Cole returning for the Rowdies, their only goal came from a penalty in the 20th minute, converted by Georgi Hristov.
The Railhawks struck first before Hristov’s equalizer, with Nazmi Albadwi feeding Matthew Fondy for the finish. The Railhawks saw three more in the second half, a double from Albadwi (one being a pen.) and a penalty converted by Brian Shriver. Carolina grabbed the points they need to make a run for the fall season, while Tampa Bay started slow, with one point through two.
Indy Eleven 1 Minnesota United 0
Quite possibly the most heated match of the weekend between two of the Fall title favorites. Dylan Mares put the late goal in for Indy, giving them the three points. Two red cards after the whistle, Indy’s Lovel Palmer and Minnesota’s Tiago Calvano show just how feisty this one got.
Erich Marscheider, former Houston Dynamo signee and Charlotte Independence keeper (who never made an appearance for either), sent out this tweet that gained a bit of traction the other day.
Trialing in 5th division Germany, easily the highest level I have been at since MLS. This is a step up in quality from USL.
— Erich Marscheider (@ErichMarscheide) July 10, 2016
It makes you wonder, how good is the USL? Or rather, is it really that bad? Well, not many Americans have any first-hand experience in the 5th German division, but I really liked the point /u/DariusBieber made.
Anyway, let’s see the results and goals from Week 16.
To continue our narrative from last weekend, FC Cincinnati lost and won in the past week, Louisville won and tied. Still close.
Now, gimme dem goals.