Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Florida Derby Postponed, But DC United Ties Rapids

Although more than 6,400 fans had purchased tickets for Saturday's renewal of the Florida Derby, regrettably the restart of the old rivalry between the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (or FC Tampa Bay... whatever), was postponed due to lightning and hazardous playing conditions at Lockhart Stadium.  The lightning delayed kickoff for several hours, and then the match was finally called off due to inclement weather.

Strikers President Tim Robbie issued the following statement about the cancellation:  "We are obviously disappointed that we couldn’t play tonight but we can’t control mother nature.  We’re looking forward to playing Tampa at a later date with the kind of crowd that was ready to turn out tonight. We appreciate our fans who braved the elements and we know they’ll be back for the rescheduled contest."

Let's hope so, and lets hope this cancellation does not diminish fan enthusiasm for the renewal of the old rivalry.  Based on the respectable ticket sales--which exceeded the Strikers season opener-- the reborn Florida Derby is showing every sign of becoming the premier derby of the new NASL, so the league really needs to get this show going.  Give me something to write about !

Meanwhile, in MLS news... our beloved DC United managed to post a tied score against MLS league champions Colorado Rapids.  The first half was a wet and sloppy affair in which both sides seemed listless and unmotivated.  Colorado scored first on a dead ball free kick, yet another example of United surrendering a goal on a set-piece play this season.  Fortunately, in the second half United looked like a completely different team, mounting an aggressive attack that finally paid off when Chris Pontius was pulled down at the edge of the box, resulting in the equalizer PK goal by Pontius.  United then had several more chances to score but was unable to convert, resulting in a 1 - 1 tied score.  Considering that the match was against last year's MLS Champions, I suppose this is an acceptable if uninspired outcome for United.

DC United has a friendly later this week against Dutch powerhouse Ajax, another one of my favorite sides and a clear candidate for inclusion in the stable of 'Jedi Soccer' teams that this blogsite tracks.  But with both Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff out due to injuries, this could prove to be a very difficult match for United.

Luckily, friendlies don't count in the standings.