Monday, May 9, 2011

Jedi Soccer Roundup

This past weekend saw all of the teams we track here at Jedi Soccer in action at one venue or another, so here is a review of the Jedi Soccer action on two continents:


Yesterday, FC Barcelona defeated local derby rival Espanyol 2 - 0 to pull within one point of capturing the Spanish league title for the third consecutive year, which would make Barca the first Spanish league side to win the title three times in a row since 1993.  Even one point from a draw on Wednesday will be enough to capture the league title for Barcelona, but if they win all three remaining matches, they will tally exactly 100 points for the season--one better than the record of 99 they set last year.  Andres Iniesta scored in the 29th minute, and Gerard Pique scored in the 48th.  Barca now travels to Valencia to hopefully wrap up their well-earned title.

STATUS: One point away from the Spanish League Championship, and one win against Manchester United for the Champions League Cup.


Meanwhile, the day before DC United played to a scoreless 0 - 0 draw against FC Dallas in front of 11,500 fans at RFK stadium in MLS action.  The good news for United is that the defense showed fine consistency during the match, keeping Dallas out of the net.  The bad news was a lack of offensive firepower, exemplified by a scoring ball in the penalty area that was uncharacteristically mishandled by Charlie Davies.  Still, United has only surrendered one goal--on a penalty kick-- in the last two games, a fine achievement after having given up four goals in each of the two matches before the Seattle game.  I'm not sure what it means when a scoreless outcome can be considered progress, but there it is.

STATUS: 3 - 4 - 2 on the season, middle-of-the-pack in the MLS Eastern Conference standings.


A similar tied outcome was achieved by the Fort Lauderdale Strikers against the NSC Minnesota Stars in the third game of their four-game NASL road trip.  Eduardo 'Chaco' Coudet scored his fourth straight penatly kick of the season in the 35th minute, when Strikers forward Martin Nunez was fouled in the box by Minnesota defenseman Jack Stewart.  The Strikers were on track to win the game, until Minnesota equalized in the 89th minute.  Although in some ways this outcome was a dissapointment after having led for most of the match, the result is acceptable considering how long the Strikers have been on the road.  Fort Lauderdale has one more road match remaining this Wednesday against the Carolina Railhawks, after which they finally return to Lockhart Stadium to face their in-state rivals FC Tampa Bay (AKA 'The Team That Should Be Called The Rowdies'), in the latest rendition of The Florida Derby.  We hate them.

STATUS: 1 - 3 - 1, six points and middle-of-the-pack standing in the NASL.


Finally, the Charleston Battery ruined the prospect of a loss-free weekend for Jedi Soccer, by losing 0 - 1 to the Rochester Rhinos in USL-PRO League action.  The Rhinos managed to finally end a six year drought of home-opener losses when Tony Donatelli's 24th minute goal stood for the entire match, despite the Battery's best efforts.  A home crowd of over 5,000 watched the victory, Rochester's smallest-ever attendance for a home opener in the 16 year history of the franchise.

STATUS: 3 - 2 - 2, eleven points and middle-of-the-pack standing in the USL-PRO American Division.

The middle-of-the-pack standing of the three American sides we follow, is quite unsatisfying because its hard to see if they are contenders or not.  Hopefully the next few matches will bring some greater clarity to the world of Jedi Soccer.

Next updates after Wednesday's matches!