Monday, August 1, 2011

Big Jedi Soccer Weekend

Although FC Barcelona lost the heavily-attended exhibition match on Saturday against Manchester United at Fedex Field, our local American Jedi Soccer sides provided some excitement and satisfaction over the weekend.  Of note were the victories by both DC United and the Fort Lauderdal Strikers, which more than compensated for a loss by the Charleston Battery.

A pair of brilliant finishes by Dwayne DeRosario was all DC United needed to power past the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium, marking the first time the team has won in San Jose in 13 years.  As reported on the Potomac Soccer Wire:

"De Rosario took advantage of San Jose defender Nana Attakora’s slip to open the scoring in the 57th minute, latching on to an Andy Najar long ball and curling a ruthless shot past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.  The Canadian international’s second strike arrived nine minutes later and was even more impressive, as he drew several defenders out of position and combined with Chris Pontius along the left flank before meeting his teammates’ return pass with a fine one-timer into the top corner.  De Rosario, who began his MLS career with the Quakes, has now scored three goals since arriving in D.C. via a trade with the New York Red Bulls in late June, all of them strikes against former teams in San Jose and New York."

In addition to this brilliant performance, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Brian Shriver posted two goals and Abe Thompson added another, as the Strikers powered past FC Edmonton in NASL action.  Shriver combined with Thompson in the 14th minute to give the Strikers the lead, and then Thompson added another in the 29th minute to put the Strikers up by two before the half.  Shriver's second goal in the 76th minute sealed the win, bringing the Strikers to 6th place in the 8-team league.

Only the Charleston Battery's 0-1 loss on Saturday to the Rochester Rhinos kept our Jedi Soccer stable from a clean sweep for the weekend.  Rhino's substitute Drew Cost scored the game-winner, slotting home for the visitors at Blackbaud Stadium in the 68th minute for the only score of the game.  The Battery heads to Orlando, Florida next week for a pair of games against Orlando City on Wednesday and Saturday. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m.

So, on an action-packed weekend that saw Barca in Washington, United winning in distant San Jose, the Strikers scoring big at home, and the Battery coming up short against Rochestor, our weekend tally is 2-2 for Jedi Soccer.  But it was better than that-- how often does Barca play in Washington, even if Messi didn't play?  It was a good weekend.