Morning Ticker: Howard leads Everton past MLS, TFC falls to Puerto Rico and more

Tim Howard (Reuters)

U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Tim Howard put on a show on Wednesday night, making a handful of spectacular saves before stopping a pair of penalty kicks to give Everton a victory against the MLS all-stars in the 2009 MLS All-Star Game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Goals from Brad Davis and Louis Saha left the score tied after 90 minutes, leaving the sides to settle the match on penalty kicks. The shootout pitted legendary U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller vs. current U.S. No. 1 Howard and it was Howard who came away with bragging rights, stopping penalty kicks from Brad Davis, Davy Arnaud and Freddie Ljungberg to hand the MLS All-Stars their first loss to an international club since the league adopted the current MLS All-Star Game format.

For those of you who missed the action, here are the highlights:

TFC drops CCL opener

Toronto FC's first CONCACAF Champions League match in history was a forgettable one as the MLS club lost a 1-0 decision to USL side Puerto Rico Islanders.

Kendall Jagdeosingh scored the lone goal for Puerto Rico, which will take a 1-0 edge to the second leg of their home-and-home series, in Puerto Rico next week.

Alonso submits transfer request

Liverpool midfielder Xavi Alonso has submitted a transfer request, the first major step toward a transfer move to Real Madrid.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez stated recently that he had no desire to sell Alonso, but now the Spanish international looks eager to leave the English club and become the latest big-money acquisition by Madrid.

Set Pieces

Elano has left Manchester City, and has signed with Galatasaray.

Patrick Viera may return to Arsenal.

Lyon make move for St. Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis.

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That's all for now. What did you think of the MLS All-Star Game? Is Tim Howard your favorite soccer player? Feeling a little more confident about Aug. 12 after watching him work his magic? Starting to dread another MLS flop in the CONCACAF Champions League? Think Alonso is the player Real Madrid needs?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, Major League Soccer, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Morning Ticker: Howard leads Everton past MLS, TFC falls to Puerto Rico and more

  1. tedhill says:

    James Vaughan: Worst. Penalty. Ever.

  2. Aaron says:

    Landon is on another planet right now. If he keeps this up he could really be the driving force to a win at Azteca.

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Before the alledged purists dismiss the all star game…it was fun. I enjoy the format and the game was entertaining. I also think that the mid field collision between Kyle Beckerman and Marouane Fellaini had to be the worst hair moment in the history of sports.

  4. Seemore says:

    HAHA TFC lost. We probably could have used DeRo last night. I loved how into the game Ljungberg was.

  5. Blake says:

    Tony in Quakeland is right. Even if MLS is disappointed to lose, that was far and away the most entertaining All Star Game I’ve watched in any sport. And really, isn’t that the only point?

  6. Lord Goldenballs says:

    Coolest POV for penalty kicks EVER.

  7. BossTweed says:

    XABI Alonso… Xavi Hernandez is on Barcelona.

  8. Tilly says:

    Very enjoyable game with the MLS overall being much better. But, how great was it seeing Keller and Howard being the stars of the penalties – just the way it should be. I thought the whole experience was great.

  9. Smacking says:

    I enjoyed the game more that I expected. I really enjoyed watching Howard and Keller go save for save. What a great ending.

  10. Dman says:

    Give Tim Howard the US Captain band

  11. Eric K says:

    Please do not change the All-Star game format back to East v. West or something like that. Listen to Landon’s comments – these games against an outside opponent are competitive and entertaining for all. It’s so much better than the games that the NBA, NFL, and NHL put on. A lot of the players do consider it an honor to be chosen (look up Angel’s commments the last 2 years and how much he enjoyed it). And yeah that camera angle for the PK’s was cool. It made you realize that as big as the net is, at this level with players that good it’s still tough to score. The ones that were scored still tended to have to be very well placed with enough pace to get past guys like Howard and Keller.

  12. Luke in NC says:

    from the USMNT perspective…..Howard was a beast and LD, though he went long stretches without the ball, was a madman out there. Ya cant say the boy doesnt work hard!

  13. inkedAG says:

    G-d, please have Patrick Viera come back to Arsenal! PLEASE!!!

  14. Marc says:

    Agree a nice game. Everton lookd over matched for much of the game, but it is preseason and having lived in the Salt lake City area the heat, humdidity and altitude takes a while to get used to in the summer. Also agree that Donovan looks world class right now. Best zone I have ever seen him in. Just from watching him and Howard last night has my lips wet for 12 August in Azteca. I think we win and even better put another nail in their coffin for World Cup qualifying. They are 2-4 thus far in this qualifying round so they have been far from world beaters.

  15. Il Consigliere says:

    I do not like the armband to be worn by the goalkeeper. He cannot run down the field to speak to the referee about a decision. It should stay with a field player.

  16. inkedAG says:

    Tony, I dig Felliani’s hair. How many caucasian dudes out there can rock an Afro? :)I wonder if he’s jewish because it does have that Jew-fro look to it.

  17. MVK says:

    That games was very entertaining; ending in PK’s was stupid though. loved the Keller quote when he was talking about what him and Howard were saying, something like “why are we doing this”.

    I was rooting for the MLS but was happy with whatever as long as Blanco didnt score on Howard, loved the finger shake gave Blanco when Blanco made a sorry attempt at chipping him.

    I thought Ljungberg was the best player on the field. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite players to watch in the MLS. What isnt to like about his game?

  18. gmonsoon43 says:

    The camera work/andgles was great for the free kicks during the match and the view for the PK’s was incredible.

  19. kpugs says:

    Howard was amazing, but let’s be honest. Everton barely had a handful of subs and the MLS team wasted twice as many chances as Everton even had on goal.

    Bottom line, it should have been something like a 4-0 victory from MLS. Not to pick on Donovan alone (there were plenty of sad wasted chances) but how do you hit the effing post from oh, 18 inches away from the goal?

    Anyway, take away Holden’s perfect pass to Saha for the Everton goal, and take a couple of the MLS players heads out of their a$$es and we would have been watching a romping shutout of Everton, too bad it turned out like it did. Not a good result for this league.

  20. alfonso says:

    If Beckham had have played, MLS would have won.

  21. alfonso says:

    j/k

  22. Erik says:

    The trophy at the end is annoying and obviously lame to Phil Neville.

    The all star game is fun in this format and should stay this way. But bring in someone from South America, or Club America. Change up the English only preference.

    What about Bayern, Porto?

  23. BlueWhiteLion says:

    allstars looked rough for the first 10 or 15 minutes, then progressively got better. Our passing is improving but still a weak point

    Ljunberg was hammered several times from behind last night. Man.

    Love the format, always have, always will. And it will work for a long time, until: A) we win a world cup or two, B) our clubs win a world championship, and C) our best talent starts choosing to stay here. Once US soccer is not the step child, once the world respects us more, the edge of these all-star formats will soften. Until then, it rocks!

  24. Tony in Quakeland says:

    inkedAG: Dude, Fellaini looks like he’s audtioning for a revival of The Mod Squad! It was a shame he was subbed out for Jo – if the two of them collided in the feild it would have been like seperating velcro!

    Kidding aside, he was the Everton player who impressed me most.

    kpugs: Why is it not a good result for the league? The result of the game meant nothing, by your own admission MLS completely outplayed Everton and the only reason Everton won was because an ex-MSL product had a brillaint perfromance.

  25. Piney O says:

    In Houston next year its going to be Club America as an opponent, maybe it should be against the mexican national team since they aren’t going to have a busy summer!

  26. mwc says:

    I have always hated the soft chip down the middle penalty shot. I put it in the same category with the stutter step shot and other attempted PK trickery. Ljungberg penalty = fail.

  27. Loho says:

    Anyone know if Howard will start for everton on the 15th against aresenal with aztec a couple days earlier?

  28. DC Josh says:

    The camera angle on the penalties was unbelievable. I loved it. If there was a way to get that close to the action on set pieces and penalties all the time, soccer on television would reach new heights. It’s a very intimate game, seeing the passion on the player’s faces and body language, it would only help it more.

    ESPN could easily use the sky-cam to do this, getting directly behind the kicker to give an uncanny vantage point on the play, then switch to their normal tele cam after the kick.

    Howard’s leg save was one of the best I’ve seen him make. I’ve said it many times before, and I stand by my belief that he is a top 5 goalie in the world.

  29. Southsound says:

    Whats up with Blue uniforms, couldn’t they have colors closer to RSL? If it was close to my home teams colors I would by a jersey.

    Great game, all time best USA goal keepers going at it. The camera angle makes you see what great saves they were. Howard was a stud in goal. Glad he’s on our USMNT.

  30. dgm says:

    inkedag – fellaini is belgian-born to morrocan parents. he is definitely not jewish… he is berber, like zinedine zidane.

  31. JGIB says:

    Was at the game it was an absolute blast i know some people are complaining about the PK’s or this or that. It was fun everyone in Rio Tinto had fun. The place was loud and energetic. as much as it hurts me to say this MLS did a GREAT job on everything………… That being said ljunberg goes down like a sack of bricks the second he is even barley touched. I thought the was going to go down when he was walking up to take his PK.

    PS TIM HOWARD WAS A GOD

  32. Reid says:

    I don’t think TFC gets this whole CONCACAF champions league thing. Where do they get off starting a near full strength team, and having a lot of people in the stands.

  33. Erik says:

    Milan gets smoked – Onyewu tries on the third, and don’t know where he was on the 4th.

    link to youtube.com

  34. KyleFeller says:

    Is it strange that NYRB is now the best chance for an MLS club to advance to the Concacaf group stages?

  35. BellusLudas says:

    “James Vaughan: Worst. Penalty. Ever.” Close but I know some Italians who would beg to differ…the pony-tailed Buddist broke some hearts so thoroughly that his miss will always remain “Worst. Penalty. Ever.” :-)

  36. CSD says:

    Nice PK’s until Keller decided he was over it and stood still on the last two.

    Next summer there is a little soccer event going on June 11th – July 11th that will cut into the European pre-season tours and thus the opponent option for MLS All Star game 10′. I would go with a Mexican League vs MLS All Star game format personally. That should sell out Reliant. 70k at an all star game in the MLS in the same year the NBA all star game will be getting 100k+ in Dallas. Texas will be the All Star game capital of the World :)

  37. The Gentleman Masher says:

    Conor Casey’s PK was money…I have to say that. If he could teach the rest of our guys to do that, we’d never miss. Low, in the corner, with pace…

    Don’t know if Sky Cam would work with soccer, just because there are so many balls travelling back and forth quickly in the air. If they could have a camera up high with a big zoom ratio to it, that would be cool.

  38. CSD says:

    No matter what the “drama queen” announcers say during a broadcast on FSC 1-0 is not some sort of insurmountable deficit to overcome. Max Bretos is a babbling idiot. TFC is down 1-0 with 10 minutes left in the first leg of a 2 game series and he is acting like all hope is lost. Every goal scored does not change the universe Maxi “pad the score” Bretos. Chill out idiot.

    By the way I keep hearing about TFC selling out every game and there being a need to expand their stadium but every game I watch appears to be half empty. Whats up with that?

  39. jig says:

    top goalkeepers in the world? I’d probably put Casillas, Buffon and Julio Cesar ahead of Howard. Possibly Reina, Van Der Sar as well.

  40. Korey Sutton says:

    Brad Davis needs to go play in the Championship. He would do well there.

  41. yankiboy says:

    Is it strange that NYRB is now the best chance for an MLS club to advance to the Concacaf group stages?

    Posted by: KyleFeller

    ——————————————–

    That is only because they haven’t kicked off yet. If Red Bulls sleep on W Connection they might find themselves with the worst chance for an MLS club to advance to the group stages… They had better get a good result tonight.

  42. Rob says:

    Ives or others-

    I’m a relatively new soccer fan, but find myself puzzled by the approach of MLS teams to the CONCACAF Champions League. It seems to me that it should be very important to MLS as a league to establish that MLS teams are the best in the region in order to make the case that the MLS is the best league in the region. A poor showing in this tournament has to be really damaging to the league’s reputation abroad, and contribute to making it difficult to attract top players. Why don’t MLS teams put more importance on these games?

  43. Reid says:

    CSD – I thought the same when I would watch them on TV, and then I noticed when I went to the match this year that there is a very big number of fans that will sit and stand in the carlsberg beer garden all game.

    I really havent looked into if there is standing room only tix or if those people choose to stand/sit in the garden instead of going to their seats.

    If any TFC fans know what the seating deal is with the beer garden, seeing that it holds quite a few people.

  44. yankiboy says:

    Puerto Rico Islanders got the result with the same formula that is uses when facing superior competition on the road. Hard work, opportunism (converting limited chances), stellar goalkeeping and time wasting by Gaudette, the defense lost its shape at times and they benefited from a healthy dose of some good luck.

    With the exception of the semi-final lost in Estadio Azul and at Santos (where Clarke played a lot of reserves due to the USL playoff push), the formula has served them incredibly well. The difference in the Cruz Azul game is that they gave Cruz Azul too much respect and the caliber of players they faced was just too high.

    TFC has some very good players but the gap in the caliber between their rank and file and Puerto Rico’s players is smaller.

    The result and how the team played TFC was utterly predictable. The only thing that surprised me is how the Islanders played the first half. They were going forward.

    Even Cummings was like “I told the lads exactly what to expect”… TFC came out too slow and too laid back in the first half. They should never have allowed the Islanders to grow in confidence and hang around…

  45. Goalscorer24 says:

    Interesting to see some of the US gold cup players. Arnaud missed his penalty, and Holden had that horrible give away for a goal. Ouch!

  46. Joel says:

    Cameraman behind the penalty taker was AWESOME! I already knew the outcome and I was getting pumped up watching the highlights that way. I wonder if that is in option in competitive games? Even if the camera men aren’t allowed on the field this could be accomplished with the right sort of lens.

  47. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Rob, do you think TFC didn’t bother to try last night? They put out a first team lineup, they just didn’t play very well. There’s a difference.

  48. TFC4Life says:

    CSD “By the way I keep hearing about TFC selling out every game and there being a need to expand their stadium but every game I watch appears to be half empty. Whats up with that?

    Posted by: CSD ”

    I was at the game and it was a complete sell out, including a new section of about 300 seats they added. Not sure when the camera panned the crowd but Toronto fans are notorious for arriving 10 minutes late and the lines at half for the bathroom and beer are terrible so people usually miss the first 10 min of second half. Maybe that explains why you might have seen an empty seat.

  49. CSD says:

    Fair enough, thanks

  50. three11stu says:

    Props to TFC fans for the showing at the Champions League. At least one MLS team gives a crap about the tournament. If RSL were to make it to CL, i would be at every game.

  51. Jorge says:

    @jig,

    I gotta tell you. Every time I watch an EPL game and Tim or Brad is on goal, the English commentators always praise the American goalkeeper very highly.

  52. Jorge says:

    TFC4Life,

    You so right. About twenty minutes later, the whole stadium was packed.

  53. jloome says:

    IT started at 6 pm, which is when a lot of Torontonians get off work. So it’s actually props that they go even with the likely prospect of missing a third of the game.

  54. CSD says:

    Nice photo from All Star game on BBC.com

    link to news.bbc.co.uk

  55. Frank says:

    Please change the All-Star Game to a Canada vs US format. Nice to see Toronto lose…

  56. Travis says:

    Ljundberg had an oustanding game. I didn’t like his PK, however, he probably shouldn’t have even taken it. He was taken to the hospital following the game with blurred vision and dizzyness; possible precursers to a migrane. I think Freddie may have won over some new fans with his performance. It’s a shame he had to have his game tainted by the PK.

    I like the All-star format. It is a competitive game, yet still entertaining.

    And Frank, “Canada vs US,” really? Did you notice how many of the countries weren’t either of those two countries? Do you remember previous East vs West games when it was just a glorified pick-up game? I much prefer this, though, it would be nice to have a club with a few more big time players.

  57. Jo-Jo D'Hipster says:

    Keller ran out of gas.

    Howard always > Keller

  58. Les Impact says:

    Gaudette will be a premier keeper in MLS