Monday, September 26, 2011

Barca Destroys Atletico, Strikers Fall to Rowdies

After dropping a heartbreaking mid-week match to Valencia to surrender two points in the standings, FC Barcelona came roaring back this past weekend in classic form.  Facing Atletico Madrid, the Catalans returned to their typically dominant form.  Jedi Soccer hero Messi wan Kenobi scored a hat-trick of goals, and David Villa added another.  Adding insult to injury was an own-goal from Atletico's Joao Miranda  to complete the scoring.  Early in the Spanish league season, Real Betis surprisingly stands atop the league standings chart with 12 points, with Barcelona and Levante tied for second with 11 points.  Arch-rivals Real Madrid are tied for third with Malaga at 10 points each.

Now that DC United is eliminated from the MLS Cup playoff contention, our attention turns to the last US domestic team that we follow at Jedi Soccer, which has a chance to win a trophy.  Regrettably, our beloved Fort Lauderdale Strikers dropped their match this past weekend against cross-state derby rivals FC Tampa Bay (aka 'the team that should be named the 'Rowdies').  As reported on the Strikers website, "Tampa Bay’s first and game-winning goal came at the 68 minute mark when Shane Hill found Keith Savage all alone behind the Strikers defense. Savage tucked his shot past Matt Glaeser to give FC Tampa Bay the 1-0 lead. 

The goal came 17 minutes after Strikers defender Cristian Arrieta was shown a straight red card for a challenge against FC Tampa Bay’s Tsuyoshi Yoshitake. The ejection forced the Strikers to play a man down the rest of the way and Tampa Bay was able to take advantage. FC Tampa Bay’s second goal came in second half stoppage time when Matt Clare was able to control a long pass and fend off his defender long enough to score his second goal of the season."

The Strikers thus finish in 4th place in the 8 team league, a solidly .500 side who now sneak into the playoffs based on the NASL's generous tournament fomula.  The Strikers next face FC Edmonton in the first round of the playoffs at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7:30p.m.  Go Strikers!