Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Report

In addition to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, this past weekend also saw MLS, NASL and USL-PRO league action involving all three US-based Jedi Soccer sides.

In MLS action, DC United managed to post a 2 - 2 tie with the Houston Dynamo.  The first score was in the 31st minute, when United took the lead from a Dax McCarty-Josh Wolff-Chris Pontius sequence, with Pontius finishing with a blast that sailed past a sprawling Tally Hall.  Unfortunately, 10 minutes later Houston tied it up with a Penatly Kick awarded when United Keeper Bill Hamid accidentally caught Houston's Brian Ching's foot in the box.

For much fo the rest of the match Houston dominated, but United held on and managed to post another goal in the 83rd minute, when Andy Najar danced past Houston defender Colin Clark for the score.  Regrettably, Houson posted the equalizer five minutes later, when Brian Ching took a crossed ball from the wing and put it away to even things up.  And that was the match, a 2 - 2 draw for DC United.

In NASL action, our beloved Fort Lauderdale Strikers managed also posted a draw for the weekend, a 1 - 1 affair agaisnt the Puerto Rico Islanders, despite a generally poor performance overall.  Puerto Rico scored first in the 65th minute off a header from Jonathon Fana, the first goal allowed by Strikers Keeper  Matt Glaeser in 309 minutes of play.  But in the 79th minute, the Strikers evened things up with a goal from Martin Nunez off a beautiful crossed ball from Cristian Arrieta.  Nunez, the shortest player on the team, calmly put away the header and that was the match, 1 - 1.  Despite allowing in a goal, the Strikers Matt Glaeser was named the NASL player of the week.

Fort Lauderdale's next opponent is Tampa Bay FC, AKA 'the team that should be named the Rowdies,' in the re-start of the interstate rivalry that was rescheduled from a rain out earlier this season.  Fort Lauderdale has announced a sold out stadium for the match, it should be a good show.

The final Jedi Soccer action of the weekend was in the USL-PRO league, where the Charleston Battery incredibly played two consecutive matches in two days.  Against the Wilmington Hammerheads on Friday night, the Battery was crisp, scoring two goals enroute to a nice road win; but the three hour bus ride back to Charleston was obviously not enough rest, as the next day they fell to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.  Just 6 minutes into the match, Jason Yeisley punded a shot off the crossbar, which was rebounded into the net by the unmarked Matt Tuttle.  Then, in the 64th minute the Riverhounds forward Harada collected the ball just outside of the box, quickly turning and firing for the winning goal.

This outcome is not surprising; having a team play two matches in two days is unreasonable and I cannot help but wonder how this unusual scheduling came  to pass.  But at least the Battery won their match against the Hammerheads.

DC United is now 4-5-6 on the season, in fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers are now 3-7-2 on the season, and in 5th place in the league.

The Charleston Battery's weekend campaign brings them 7-6-3 for the season, and third place in the USL-PRO American Division.