Morning Ticker: Puerto Rico rolls, Wizards tie Chivas and Graham sidelined

PuertoRicoMarathon (AP) 

The United Soccer Leagues moved one step closer to having two teams in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals after the Puerto Rico Islanders posted a 2-1 victory against CD Honduran club Marathon in the first leg of their quarterfinal series.

Second-half goals from Nicholas Addlery and  Kendall Jagdeosingh helped Puerto Rico erase a 1-0 deficit and provided the difference in the home leg for the Islanders, who must travel to Honduras next week to finish off the current Honduran league leaders.

Puerto Rico's victory pushed the record for USL teams in the CONCACAF Champions League to 9-3-6.

Here are some other soccer news items to get your day started:


Wizards tie Chivas de Guadalajara

Rookie midfielder Graham Zusi continued his strong pre-season form on Thursday, scoring the lone goal for Kansas City in the Wizards 1-1 tie vs. Mexican power Chivas de Guadalajara.

Zusi, who has compiled two goals and five assists this pre-season, delivered the equalizer in the second half when he took a Josh Wolf pass and beat a pair of defenders before blasting a 15-yard shot past the Chivas goalkeeper.

The Chivas squad the Wizards faced was hardly made up of pushovers. The Guadalajara lineup included Jared Borgetti, Edgar Solis and former Chivas USA midfielder Francisco Mendoza.

Graham suffers broken foot

Seattle Sounders defender Taylor Graham looks set to miss an extended period of time after a scan revealed a broken bone in his foot during the Sounders' pre-season tour of Argentina. The former New York and Kansas City defender had been projecting as a starter for the Sounders, but could see his push for a starting role hurt by the injury, as well as the recent arrivals of Tyrone Marshall and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

What do you think of Puerto Rico's victory? Impressed? Surprised? Are you starting to think the Wizards found a second-round steal in Graham Zusi? Are you among the many who think Seattle's defense is going to have serious problems this season?

Share your thoughts on these, and any other soccer stories from this morning and Thursday, in the comments section below.

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27 Responses to Morning Ticker: Puerto Rico rolls, Wizards tie Chivas and Graham sidelined

  1. Will says:

    Puerto Rico and Montreal are getting it done, big time. I thought after all that time off, they wouldn’t fair so well.

  2. Joeking says:

    Awesome that a US League is doing so well in the tourny… but this is my question:

    Is it better for US soccer as a whole for a USL team to win, or an MLS team to win?

  3. zoran says:

    It is funny that mlsnet.com hasn’t mentioned Montreal or Puerto Rico. LOL!

  4. Turtle says:

    Off topic but…i would love to see that picture of Ozwaldo Sanchez to the first thing I see on the site for at least a week. It really makes me laugh everytime I see it. I just accidently scrolled down far enough to see and it made me smile.

  5. northzax says:

    why would MLSnet mention USL clubs, except for when the context involves MLS? do you often see competitors mention each other on websites? did USL have a nice writeup of MLSCup 08?

  6. Collin says:

    As a huge Wizards fan, I’m thrilled about Zusi. Depending on how Hirsig pans out, we may need Zusi to step in and play substantial minutes for a contender.

  7. brett says:

    zoran- as northzax stated, why would MLSnet.com post something about the USL??

    they have intl’ news, but i see euro as the dominant takers of that space….

    —————————————-

    im glad to see the USL and MLS do well in any event…. of course id rather see MLS do better, but i think any success from US/Canadian teams are great and build on the improving reputation of the sport in the states….

  8. Robert says:

    Last night’s win by USL’s Puerto Rico Islanders means it is not at all impossible that we can see two USL squads make it all the way to the Concachampions semis. Either MLS needs to step up its international play or there should be a stronger relationship with USL. I’m not going to blame Houston’s form on the fact that they’re not playing “competitively” right now. Montreal and PRI aren’t in-season at the moment either. As a side note, I’m looking forward to watching a USL-1 (local team Carolina Railhawks) team take on an MLS team (Revolution) live, even if it is pre-season.

  9. christian says:

    Ives:

    That Chivas team was primarily made up of Tapatio players from Primera A (Second division, mostly players under the age of 21) while Solis and Mendoza are barely 1st team material.

    Borgetti played because he doesn’t play much for the first team and Omar Arellano is getting back to fitness afer his injury.

    Still, not a bad result for KC.

  10. yankiboy says:

    Puerto Rico Islanders…

    Even after squandering a ton of chances against a storied side, the Orange Troop showed that we did deserve to play our way into this tournament that that we aren’t an easy win for any side that makes the trip to the JRL–Even during what is our preseason.

    And it wasn’t even raining…

  11. MVK says:

    good to see Zusi doing well, I am a Wizards supporter but even behind my rose colored glass most people would agree that the roster is looking pretty strong

  12. CSD says:

    Jagdeosingh’s goal was nasty last night. Marathon had no answer for his runs. He reminded me of what Kandji used to look like in USL before his transfer to NYRB.

  13. Tom says:

    I wonder if Montreal and Puerto Rico’s success is somewhat counterproductive to the USL as a whole. If a player can’t (or prefers not to) crack MLS, wouldn’t there be a significant incentive to sign with Puerto Rico, Montreal, or Vancouver since the odds of continental play are much higher than they are with the U.S. based USL teams (which can only qualify through the Open Cup).

  14. KCB says:

    As a KC supporter, I am excited to see Zusi produce in the pre-season. He is going to add some serious depth to the KC roster and be a real threat off the bench, unless he breaks the starting XI of course. I’m feeling good about this season.

  15. yankiboy says:

    wonder if Montreal and Puerto Rico’s success is somewhat counterproductive to the USL as a whole. If a player can’t (or prefers not to) crack MLS, wouldn’t there be a significant incentive to sign with Puerto Rico, Montreal, or Vancouver since the odds of continental play are much higher than they are with the U.S. based USL teams (which can only qualify through the Open Cup).

    Posted by: Tom | February 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    ——————————————–

    Tom, I wouldn’t use the word “counterproductive”, I would say that it adds another dynamic. We have had guys play for the Islanders since CCL play that have left to go to other US Based USL1 sides. Vancouver has had guys leave. Montreal as well, I believe.

    With the Charleston Battery making their USOC run and giving DC United a good match last September, and with the new possibility of to qualify for CCL, US based clubs have more reason to “dream” than ever.

    Now that Seattle has made the move, I think that it will still be a very difficult task. The Sounders had very good USOC runs in the last couple of years.

  16. Jared Montz says:

    Congrats to P.R. for the win! I look forward to seeing them keep their run going all the way to the final! Colin Clarke is a great coach and he will have his boys prepared.

    On side note that pic could be a good write the caption contest…

  17. fenel says:

    what happen to fabrice noel? Addlery is wearing his number 11.

  18. Isaac says:

    Funny that Nicholas Addlery does well when he LEAVES D.C. United.

  19. Marc Silverstein says:

    What was the attendance last night in Puerto Rico? I tried emailing the club, no response. I tried newspapers…nothing!

  20. Marc Silverstein says:

    To Fenel…

    Radio Vision Nouvelles announced that Fabrice Noel has signed with FC Nantes in France

  21. Tom P says:

    The question to me is there something in the USL direct style of play that makes them tougher for these Mexican/Caribbean/central American teams to deal with? I watched both of these games and they both not only won but physically dominated. I was impressed especially considering they have not played in a official match since early October. Maybe the USL champ should meet the MLS playoff champ in a one off match the week after MLS Cup?

  22. stevenb says:

    There MUST be a game between the MLS and USL champs. Ultimately (like AL and NL in baseball and the NFL) the two leagues should merge.

  23. NoName says:

    USL is better. Period. The only thing MLS has is the money. USL has a better product, and it is showing.

    Down with MLS. UP with USL!

  24. mike says:

    There MUST be a game between the MLS and USL champs. Ultimately (like AL and NL in baseball and the NFL) the two leagues should merge.

    Posted by: stevenb | February 27, 2009 at 06:39 PM

    —————-

    Why? There is nothing in it for MLS. Why play against a USL team in a game like that?

    ——————

    USL is better. Period. The only thing MLS has is the money. USL has a better product, and it is showing.

    Down with MLS. UP with USL!

    Posted by: NoName | February 27, 2009 at 07:38 PM

    —————–
    Head to head match ups the last few years in the Open Cup say otherwise, while upsets happen, MLS teams still win and advance the majority of the time.

  25. Skatta says:

    Hey Zoran, look here. You’re wrong:
    link to web.mlsnet.com

  26. meh says:

    USL feels more like individual club soccer, and makes me want to root for PR even more. I like certain MLS teams because of geographic affinity, but club-wise, it’s just like the league is one big club. It’s hard to see separate identities among them. “Hey my Best Buy had better sales than your city’s Best Buy”

  27. Jonathan says:

    So who’s the top US league? ;)

    The CCL has shown how a misleading paint job (marketing) could present the MLS as the “top” league. It’s interesting how a little tourney could expose the ability (or lack of) of this region’s clubs.

    Meh, good points.