Monday, August 8, 2011

Jedi Soccer August Report

This past week all four sides that we follow here at Jedi Soccer were in action, and all of them here in North America.  The much-anticipated matchup in Miami between FC Barcelona and Chivas de Guadalajara on August 3rd drew more than 70,800 spectators, the largest attendance ever for a professional soccer match in South Florida.  David Villa scored first for Barca in only the second minute of play, and for a moment it seemed that a rout might have been on.  But Marco Fabian tied the match in the 60th minute with a blast from 30 yards out, and two minutes later Omar Arellano's centering pass from the right wing found Fabian open near the far post. Fabian jumped and converted on a scissors kick from eight yards out, for his second goal of gthe night.  Then, Chivas went ahead 3-1 on Giovani Casillas' goal in the 72nd minute. Jesus Sanchez sped past the Barcelona backline and centered a pass to an open Casillas, who beat Pinto with a shot just inside the 6-yard box.  Jose Luis Verduzco scored Chivas' fourth goal in the 90th minute, and that was the match, an impressive 4-1 victory for Chivas over the best club in the world at the moment.

In MLS action, DC United tied Toronto FC in a wild match this past Saturday that saw United goalkeeper Bill Hamid sent off in the 7th minute for an agressive challenge outside of the box, and then United coach Ben Olsen was also ejected in the second half for dissent.  Reserve keeper Steve Cronin, who hadn't played a match for the first team at all this season, was forced into action.   And then, there was a six-goal barrage, culminating in a crazy goal - countergoal sequence just before full time which saw Toronto take a 3-2 lead, only for United star Dwayne De Rosario to complete a hat trick from the penalty spot two minutes later to equalize a memorable short-handed draw against Toronto.  This outcome brings United to sixth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, with the season now 2/3rd complete.

A more positive outcome was achieved this past weekend in NASL action by the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who defeated the NASL league-leading Carolina Railhawks 2-1 on Saturday.  Goals in the 38th minute by Walter Restrepo and a late goal in stoppage time by Martin Nunez, were enough to power the Strikers ahead for the win.  This outcome brings the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to sixth place in the 8 team leage, ahead of the scandalously bad but-MLS-bound Montreal Impact, and the dreadfully named Atlanta Silverbacks.

Finally, the Charleston Battery has lost twice in the last week to the USL-PRO leading Orlando City Lions.  On Wednesday the Battery faced the Lions in Orlando and lost 1-0, then just three days later the team faced the Lions again in the Citrus Bowl, losing 2-1.  This win gives the Orlando City Lions the first two of three possible titles this season:  the USL-PRO American Division Championship; and the USL-PRO Regular Season Championship.  They now will enjoy home-field advantage throughout the USL-PRO playoffs.

It's not often that all four of my teams are in action on this side of the pond, so it was a good week in the land of Jedi Soccer.