Saturday, April 30, 2011

United Crushed, but Strikers Tie and Battery Wins

Still basking in the glow of this weeks El Clasico victory over Real Madrid, yesterday was a mixed day in the world of Jedi Soccer as local side DC United was decisively crushed, with the day being redeemed only the Division II sides we follow.  For DC United, the once-and-future champions of Major League Soccer, it was a dismal day against the Houston Dynamo as 21 year old rooke Will Bruin emerged from obscurity in the 4th minute, to score the first of a hat trick of goals for his side.  With a second in the 39th minute, his third in the 59th minute, and a final insult-to-injury goal by Cam Weaver in the 63rd minute, Houston scored four goals in a fine showing.  United's lone goal was provided by Marc Burch in the 39th minute.  DC United has now lost three of its last five matches.

Moving on from this debacle, our Fort Lauderdale Strikers battled to a 2 - 2 tie against the Puerto Rico Islanders in NASL action, letting three valuable points from a road win slip away in the closing seconds.  In the 36th minute Strikers forward Aaron Wheeler was fouled in the box, leading to Eduardo Coudet's third straight goal on a penatly kick in as many games.  In the 75th minute, the Islanders evened up with a pretty header shot by Nicholas Adderly, setting up the dramatic final minute of the game.  In the 89th minute, Strikers substitute Scott Gordon slotted home a shot to the lower right corner of the goal, and the Strikers pulled ahead, only to surrender the win just moments after the restart, with Gregory Richardon's breakway run and shot on goal after the restart.

The sole Jedi Soccer victory of the day was from the Charleston Battery, who defeated the Evangelical Eagles (that is, the Charlotte Eagles) with a dramatic come-from-behing 2 - 1 victory.  Charlotte forward Josh Kish opened the scoring the 21st minute for the Eagles, but after that Battery Keeper Keith Wiggans recorded five saves, including a point-blank shot on goal.  And then the tide shifted and it was the Battery firing all the salvoes.  In the 31st minute Charleston's Gambian forward Seedy Bah scored from a Battery corner kick to tie, and then in stoppage time the Battery was rewarded a free kick just outside the box, leading to Nicki Patterson's superb Bend-it-Like-Beckham shot around the Charlotte wall for the game winner.  This was a fine display of football character for the Battery, and the win brings them to second place in the USL-PRO American Division.

The Battery returns to action tonight against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, while the Strikers next show is on May 7th at Minnesota.  DC United's next up is Wednesday May 7th against the Seattle Sounders FC.