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Oct 252013

Huddle for Web Sporting KC advances to quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League
(October 23, 2013) — Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw against CD Olimpia on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. Sporting KC will await the results from Thursday night’s CCL matches to see which team they play in the next round of the tournament.

Sporting KC finished first in their group with a 2-0-2 record (8 points). The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2014.

Sporting KC can finish no higher than sixth place in the overall standings. The top four teams have home-field advantage which means Sporting KC would host their opponent in the first leg of the quarterfinals at Sporting Park and head on the road for the second leg.

Wednesday night, Sporting KC controlled 68% of the possession but were unable to beat Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. The Honduran national team goalkeeper recorded five saves on the night, including two on Jacob Peterson in the first half.

In the second minute, Peterson cut to the middle and laced a left-footed shot on target. Valladares reacted well and tipped it over the crossbar for a corner kick. In the 29th minute, Seth Sinovic curled in a ball from the left flank. Peterson darted to the penalty spot and headed the ball cleanly to the near post, but Valladares knocked the attempt away with his fingertips.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made one save on the night for his third shutout of the tournament. The veteran goalkeeper finished the group stage with only one goal allowed in four games played and has allowed only two goals in six games played this year in all competitions.

Wednesday’s match was a physical affair, as the two squads combined for 35 fouls. Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin picked up a yellow card in the first half and will be suspended for the first match of the quarterfinals due to yellow card accumulation.

Sporting KC will return to League action on Saturday with their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sporting KC is currently one point back of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. Saturday’s match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on the NBC Sports Network.

The Kids Are Alright

 Posted by on August 30, 2012 at 12:35 am  CONCACF Champions League, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS
Aug 302012

 The Kids Are Alright




No Beckham. No Keane. No Donovan…. No problem.

Fielding a reserve side featuring 10 changes from their CONCACAF Champions League opener, the LA Galaxy defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders 4-0 Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center.

With 18-year-old Jose Villarreal as the only player return to the starting XI from last weeks 5-2 win over Isidro Metapán, LA avenged a defeat to the Islanders in the qualifying stages of the 2010 CCL with goals from Tommy Meyer, Villarreal, Jack McBean and Michael Stephens.

The Galaxy opened the match’s scoring less than 10 minutes in when Meyer’s bullet header from the left side of the 6-yard box found the back of the net off a corner kick. The eventual game winner was the defender first goal since be drafted in the first round by the Galaxy before the start of the season.

Just minutes later, Villarreal almost made it two when his cross into the box was redirected by an Islanders defender and narrowly saved by the Islander goalkeeper. Applying pressure with excellent movement and passing through the midfield, the Galaxy would continue to press the Islanders throughout much of the first half but still fail to find a second.

They would not be waiting long however.

Almost directly from the match’s restart, Hector Jimenez’s long ball found the head of McBean just beyond midfield. The Galaxy forward’s flick-on header picked out the slashing run of Villarreal, who muscled his way between two defenders and toed the ball past Islander keeper Richard Martin in the 46th minute. The goal would be the youngster’s final contribution on the night though as a knock on the head received in the process led to his substitution in the 51st minute. LA were far from finished though.

McBean would turn recipient after setting up Villarreal’s goal when his second attempt at a Jimenez cross was fired into the upper left corner in the 79th minute. And rounding out the night’s revenge and capping his MOTM-like performance, Stephens added LA’s fourth with an incisive run through the middle of the Islander’s defense and a cool right-footed finish in the 81st.

The win distances LA from the rest of the pack in Group 5 with six points from two matches and an impressive plus-7 goal differential.

The Galaxy will travel to finish out group play starting with the return leg in Puerto Rico on Sept. 19, before closing out the group away to Metapán in October. And Saturday, the Galaxy will be back in MLS play, when they counter the team directly below them in the standings, the Vancouver Whitecaps, in a match with potential playoff implications.


Aug 242012

The CONCACAF Champions League rolled into town with a bang on Thursday night with its usual array of goals, cards and refereeing gaffes galore. Luckily for the Galaxy, while on the wrong side of the discipline, a red card to Robbie Keane and Bryan Gaul’s conceding of a late penalty, they managed a 5-2 victory to open their group play. This game was a bit erratic towards the end and LA really looked the better side, but why not just have the highlights do the talking:

The Galaxy are now top of Group 5 with another home match on Tuesday against Puerto Rico Islanders. An LA win will put the Galaxy head and shoulders above the competition and go a long ways before having to undertake long trips to El Salvador and Puerto Rico to close out the group. But before diving back into the CCL circus, LA face FC Dallas back in MLS play at home on Saturday.

Problems You Like Having

 Posted by on October 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 142011

Sunday the LA Galaxy will be taking on their “rivals” from across the hall, Chivas USA, in the final home game of the 2011 MLS regular season. And with the Supporter’s Shield already wrapped up and the Galaxy’s survival in the CONCACAF Champions League riding on a match the following Thursday in Honduras, it’s very likely this match means next to nothing, even if it is the Home Depot Center “SuperClasico”.

Traditional wisdom says that a match like this is of no consequence to a team that’s already claimed the league’s top-spot, and therefore, not worth fielding a top-rate side. And while I would generally agree, especially considering the must-win match in Central America on Thursday, there are reasons to the contrary.
First, it is the last home game of the season, and a rivalry or derby, you could say. While I’d argue a match against a squad that has failed to register a victory against you in years is not a rivalry, the fact remains LA shares the building with Chivas, and like a good sibling rivalry, it’s always nice to put a younger brother in his place.
Also, being the last home match, it is a chance for the Galaxy to complete something they started all the way back on March 20th: a season unbeaten at home.
Going into their 17th and final home game of the season, LA is 11 – 5 – 0 with 27 goals for and a paltry 7 against. To put that into perspective, the next lowest goals against at home is FC Dallas with 11, but FCD have only 18 goals for at home. Clearly, the HDC is a fortress for the Galaxy, and it must be nice for supporters to come to the HDC each and every match knowing a win is likely, a draw is maybe but a loss is unprecedented in 2011.
But all this is one of those nice problems you have when you are a great team.
Wrapping up the season early gives you the luxury of resting players heading into the MLS playoffs (though historically the playoffs have favored teams on form and playing at the highest level clear to the end of the season), even though the Galaxy will be idle in the playoff’s first weekend (probably busy finding a place to display their second straight Supporters’ Shield).
So, for all you Sounders and Timbers fans giddy and quick to point out the atmosphere of your ground blows LA’s HDC out of the water, Sunday we’ll be looking to add more points at home, while you can look back on your 8 – 4 – 4 and 9 – 3 – 4 records respectively at home and wonder how you could have chanted louder.

Toronto FC vs Tauro F.C. 09202011 (Win 1 – 0)

 Posted by on September 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 202011
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, ON, Canada
When: Tuesday September 20th, 2011 8:00 PM Eastern
Goals: ’40 Koevermans
TV Coverage: Sportsnet One
Competition: CONCACAF Champion’s League (Group Stage)
Team Nationality:  Panama

Live Blog:

Interesting to see Dunfield come in for De Guzman. Lot’s of attacking players on the field, Winter is not taking any chances. I’m thinking we may lack some width with this formation but we should be able to breakthrough even still.

First Half:

TFC came out of the blocks really well, putting Tauro under pressure for a solid 7 minutes or so. Morgan at one point almost floated a long ball over the keepers head and into goal but it breezed by.

TFC looked very composed on the ball and never really looked under pressure for large parts of the half. However, shots on goal were still elusive.

Tauro players did not look very fit and were sweating as they moved around the pitch.

After a while the TFC attack fizzle out to a series of battles in midfield. Frings and Eckersley kept the defense tight at the back while most everyone surged up field looking for the goal.

The game started to get more and more physical as Dunfield eventually picked up a yellow card.

In the 40th minute Koevermans kept up his legendary goal scoring status by flicking a header past the Tauro keeper. BMO erupted as Koevermans was berried by his colleagues in celebration.

It was a very professional and solid half by Toronto FC.

At the final whistle many of the Tauro players rushed the ref to complain about the Koevermans goal saying that he fouled the keeper.

Second Half:

Tauro changed their formation to a form of 4-2-4 in order to push for the equalizing goal. TFC played a dangerous game by starting with a sort of a 4-5-1 in order to sit on the lead.

In the 60th minute Winter brought in De Guzman for Soolsma in order to take back control of the midfield.

This seemed to have the desired effect as TFC started to retain possession again and catch Tauro on the break.

As the half wore on Tauro started to get sloppy and were awarded some yellow cards in succession.

In the 72n minute it was worrying to see Dunfield slip, fall and injur his shoulder. He had to be replaced with Stinson. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.

In the 78th minute Koevermans was replace with Yourassowsky. As Koevermans came off he was given a standing ovation by the TFC faithful. Good old Yourassowsky was yellow carded within a minute of coming on.

It was nervous times as Tauro enjoyed much of the possession and TFC soaked up the pressure. In the 92nd minute it was really nail biting time as Stinson fouled a Tauro player just outside the box. Luckily the free kick was deflected by the wall and the final whistle blew.

Three points well earned, let’s see if we’re in with a shout.

Toronto FC:

Kocic; Eckersley, Harden, Iro, Morgan; Soolsma (’61 De Guzman), Frings, Dunfield (’73 Dunfield); Marosevic, Koevermans (’79 Koevermans), Johnson

Subs: Frei; Henry, Yourassowsky, de Guzman, Stinson, Sturgis, Zavarise

Tauro F.C.:
A. Anzola, L. Moreno, C. Rodriquez, L. Parris, R. Herrera, J. Perez, J. Melo, J. Barrera (’63 G. Rios), M. Sanches (’46 A. Gallardo), P. Perez, V. Menietta Jr. (’72 D. Canali)

With the absence of Frei and Plata due to injury this to me is starting to look like the best XI we can roll out and I think we will definitely be rolling with our best XI.  I don’t think Winter will risk starting Davies but may introduce him off the bench.  Also, the left back position at the moment is Morgan’s to lose, good for him.  I’m going to say this will be a 3-0 game with most of the goals coming in the second half.

abBgcUZagn Toronto FC vs Tauro F.C. 09202011 (Win 1 0)


Pumas vs Toronto FC 0914011 (Loss 4 – 0)

 Posted by on September 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 142011
Venue: Estadio Olímpico de Universitario Coyoacán, Ciudad de México (D.F.), Mexico
When: Wednesday September 14th, 2011 8:00 PM Eastern
Goals: ’16 PUM Bravo, ’20 Velarde, ’32 Bravo, ’41 Bravo
TV Coverage: GolTV
Online Stream:
Competition: CONCACAF Champion’s League (Group Stage)
Team Nationality:  Mexico
Live Blog:

I have not yet been able to watch this one and provide a match summary but have updated the stats.  Stay tuned for the match summary.  It’s interesting as we got hammered 4 – 0 on the 1 year anniversary of Mo Johnson’s departure.

Toronto FC:

Kocic, Harden, Iro (’38 Viator), Henry, Morgan, Frings, De Guzman, Borman, Koevermans (’55 Dunfield), Johnson (’48 Marosevic), Soolsma


Patino, Veron, Velarde, Fuentes, Ramires, Cabrera, De Buen, Orrantia, Palencia, Cortez

Pre-Match Predictions:

I’m thinking Winter will go with a very similar starting XI that beat Columbus this week with the exception of starting Koevermans as he got some minutes under his belt as well as Kocic in goal as I don’t think Frei has yet recovered from his recent injury.  So we’re looking at Eckersley, Harden, Iro and Morgan at the back.  De Guzman, Frings and Avila in midfield with a front three of Johnson Koevermans and Planta.  Prediction will be a 1-1 draw.  Please note that there will be no live blog tonight but I will post a match summary at some point after the game.

abBdYEFacb Pumas vs Toronto FC 0914011 (Loss 4 0)


Nevio Pizzolitto Incident, we interviewed the victim.

 Posted by on July 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 222011
Canadian Soccer Association disciplinary committee acquitted team captain Nevio Pizzolitto from any blameworthy for the incident in Vancouver on May 4th, 2011 after 2nd leg match on Nutrilite Championship when Montreal lost the series in overtime.
More detailed information about the incident can be read by clicking: HERE
Who can forget that night when Ali Gerba hit the post on minute 119 missing the winning goal which would had allowed Montreal go to the final against Toronto creating an Epic series. My comments about that game can be read by clicking: HERE.
front nevio 2 Nevio Pizzolitto Incident, we interviewed the victim.
 After the game, Nevio Pizzolitto was there, frustrated, and Vancouver fans started to tease Impact players chanting “au revoir” when leaving the pitch.

The rest is the incident we all know, Pizzo spit a fan and walked away.

I managed to interview the victim, Ashley Perry, on behalf of Global Football Today and here are his comments.
GFT_MTL: Did you yell Au Revoir to other guys as well? What was their reaction?
A Perry: It was more of a chant, and a few hundred people were doing it as well. No swearing. Tsikarazide stuck his middle finger at us, but that was it. 
GFT_MTL: What was the players’ reaction after Pizzolito’s spit? 
A Perry: I was in shock after what he did, so I didn’t get a chance to see his reaction. He was pulled away by one of the coaches, but that was all that I saw.
GFT_MTL: Has Montreal Impact contacted you? What have they said? Do you have names?
A Perry: To this date I have had no contact with the Montreal Impact, or Nevio Pizzolitto. The CSA have been my only contact since the Whitecaps did their investigation. I am eagerly awaiting his eventual public apology. 
GFT_MTL: How far are you willing to go in this?
A Perry: That is a good question. Being a man of many connections, and versed in the ways of the footballing world, Mr Pizzolitto’s actions will not go unnoticed. I am a fair person though, I don’t hate the player but I do hate what he did. It takes an impressive person to stand up and say: “look I did spit on this guy, but here’s what I am going to do to make up for it”. That’s all that I really want. I’m not out to ruin anyone’s career, or tarnish his reputation but what he did MUST have consequences. If John Terry or Nemanja Vidic did this to an opposing fan, they would be heavily reprimanded. 
I want to give Mr Pizzolitto the benefit of the doubt. He made a mistake, but I want to see what his reaction will be. Here I am, six weeks later still waiting for even an apology. My patience is wearing a little bit thin.