Photo by Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports
By MARK EDWARD HORNISH
CARSON, Calif. – Despite the compelling narratives heading into the game – Landon Donovan’s final home match, the two titans of the Western Conference even on points with two games left – nothing was decided in the first leg of the Supporters Shield Showdown, as the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders battled to a 2-2 draw before a sold out crowd of 27,424 at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday night.
Seattle battled back from 2-0 down to earn a road point and set up the regular season finale needing only a draw against the Galaxy next week to secure the club’s first Supporters Shield.
Obafemi Martins showed why he is as much a candidate for the the MVP as his counterpart Robbie Keane, as he engineered both Seattle second half goals, the first to Clint Dempsey, the second to Lamar Neagle, to quiet the home crowd and spoil the Landon Donovan send-off party for the Galaxy faithful.
“We took goals at the worst possible time. We took goals right before halftime, and right after halftime” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said after the match. “But then I was really proud of the character of our team, being able to come back and lock it up at 2-2, and be knocking on the door to take the win.”
Seattle opened the scoring in the 69th minute when Martins hooked a DeAndre Yedlin cross with his outstretched foot and redirected it to Dempsey, who suddenly found himself alone with the ball at the Galaxy six-yard box. Dempsey easily punched the ball past a helpless Jaime Penedo, and suddenly the Sounders, who had been held in check for the first 68 minutes, were back in the match.
By DAN KARELL
David Villa’s post-World Cup break hasn’t slowed him down in front of goal one bit.
The on-loan forward from New York City FC scored for a second consecutive game for Melbourne City, scoring a late equalizer in Melbourne City’s home opener. It was Villa’s first start since the World Cup and he went the full 90 in the 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.
With time winding down, Villa helped play a role in the move that led to the goal as Melbourne City attacked down the left wing. A ball crossed into the middle in the 87th minute was poked towards Villa, who rifled home a right-footed strike past Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti to tie the score.
Villa’s first goal on Oct. 11 for his loan club was also of the equalizing variety, in a match that ended 1-1 at Sydney FC.
Watch a video of Villa’s goal against the Newcastle Jets (after the jump):
Photo by Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
In a matchup that could turn out to be a potential playoff preview, the Columbus Crew appeared to be a team with all of the makings of a true postseason threat.
The Crew overwhelmed the Red Bulls, 3-1, Sunday at Red Bull Arena, as Ethan Finlay picked up a goal and two assists to deal the Red Bulls their first home loss in eight games. With the win, the Crew moved up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Red Bulls, and leave the Crew tied on points with third-placed Sporting Kansas City heading into the final week of the season.
After exchanging chances throughout the first 17 minutes, Crew forward Aaron Schoenfeld opened the scoring with a finish from close range to give the visitors the lead.
Schoenfeld benefitted from the service of Finlay, who found the lanky forward in the center of the box with a cross from the right side. After muffing his first touch, Schoenfeld recovered in time to fire a shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to put the Crew ahead.
“I feel like I’ve been knocking on the door for a couple weeks now,” Schoenfeld said of the goal, “and I was just glad to finally break through.” Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Return from injury. Make regular season debut. Deliver solid performance.
Geoff Cameron checked off all those boxes for Stoke City on Sunday, as he contributed 28 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 victory over Swansea City. Cameron entered the game with the score at 1-1, but he helped make the difference in his first Premiership appearance of the campaign by picking off a pass that led to the Potters’ winner. The versatile veteran, who just recovered from a hernia issue, was deployed in a defensive midfield role and his impactful showing there could pave the way for more playing time in the near future.
Cameron was not the only American to make his season debut this weekend. Having also just returned to full health after dealing with an ACL injury, Terrence Boyd was inserted into RB Leipzig’s clash with FC Nurnberg on Friday. Boyd played 29 minutes in his club debut, but was on the losing end as he and Leipzig were blanked, 1-0.
While Boyd and Cameron provided a quick jolt of energy to an Americans Abroad contingent that had been growing a bit stale in recent weeks, there were some negative developments involving two returning U.S. Men’s National Team players. Jozy Altidore did not make Sunderland’s 18-man roster for a humiliating 8-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday, and Joe Corona suffered a foot injury as a substitute in Club Tijuana’s 2-1 win vs. Queretaro on Friday.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:
The Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy are down to two regular season meetings between them to determine not only the top seed in the MLS playoffs, but the winner of the 2014 Supporters Shield.
The first of those two meetings takes place today, with the Galaxy playing host to the Sounders at Stub Hub Center.
In the MLS Eastern Conference, the New York Red Bulls play host to the Columbus Crew in a clash of teams with aspirations of jumping past Sporting Kansas City for third place in the East. The Red Bulls can move past Sporting KC with a victory today, while the Crew would pull even on points with Sporting KC with a victory.
In Europe, Inter Milan faces off against Napoli in a key Serie A battle. Both teams have had somewhat disappointing starts to their domestic campaign, but a win could push them back toward the Top Five.
In the college ranks, SBI No. 1 Indiana takes on perennial powerhouse Maryland in a key Big Ten clash.
In Brazil, Internacional faces Corinthians in what should be an entertaining affair.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):