Monday, June 13, 2011

United and the Battery Lose, but Strikers Win Big

For the fourth time this season, DC United has surrendered four goals enroute to another humiliating dissapointment and defeat.  Despite United's recent victories, their losses are becoming spectacular crash-and-burn episodes, and Saturday's performance against the San Jose Earthquakes is a typical example.  Although United went into the half tied with San Jose, in the second half the wheels came off, as United's young defensive line fell apart and the Earthquake's Steven Lenhart posted a hat trick of goals, plus an assist to teamate Chris Wondolowski for the fourth goal.  All in all it was a humiliating performance by United, made worse by being at home in front of the United faithful.

It was a similar story for Jedi Soccer's chosen division 3 side, the Charleston Battery.  Playing in Pennsylvania aginst the oddly-named Harrisburg City Islanders (the Puerto Rico Islanders is a name I can understand... but the Harrisburg City Islanders?), the Battery failed to score any goals enroute to a 1-Nil defeat.  This defeat drops the Battery to fourth place in the USL-PRO league American Division standings.

The sole joy for the weekend in the land of Jedi Soccer, came from our beloved reborn Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who downed the NSC Minnesota Stars 3-0.  As with United's match this weekend, the first half was scoreless, but in the second half the Strikers lit up the scoreboard at Lockhart Stadium.  Early in the half the Strikers winger Yoximar Granado made a run down the sideline, cutting into the box to receive the ball and send it into the net for the first score of the evening.  In the 64th minute substitute Brian Shriver came on the pitch and just 30 seconds later he received a pass from Cristian Arrieta on his chest, which he then volleyed into the net for the second goal of the night.  Then, in the 77th minute, Strikers defender Lance Laing was shown a straight red card for a two-footed tackle, leaving the Strikers a man down and in danger of letting the Stars back into the match; but in the 87th minute the victory was sealed when Abe Thompson and Brian Shriver combined for a brilliant short-handed goal, the first short-handed goal this season for the Strikers I believe.  With that, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers move to fourth place in the NASL, behind only Carolina, Minnesota and Edmonton in the league standings.

I admire the Charleston Battery but I am not so emotionally invested in them, that a loss hurts too much.  But the 4-0 thumping of DC United at RFK stadium is a painful outcome, rendered bearable only by the Strikers consolation win.  Many thanks to the Strikers for salvaging some happy news from an otherwise dreadful weekend of soccer.