On a day that saw MLS clubs go winless in CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage matches, the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas lost crucial home games on Wednesday night.
The Rapids were defeated 2-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park by Honduran side Real Espana on a pair of goals from Carlos Pavon. The former Honduran international's first goal was negated by a finish from Andre Akpan, but a defensive miscue by Colorado allowed Pavon to break free on goal and finish clinically. Colorado is now in last place in Group B with four points in four games.
FC Dallas was also dealt a blow in its hopes to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament, allowing Pumas UNAM to score two late goals in a 2-0 victory for the visitors. In a game that saw both teams reduced to 10 men late in the first half, Eduardo Herrera scored in the 84th minute and David Izazola doubled the lead a minute into stoppage time. The result at Pizza Hut Park put Pumas in first place of Group C and FC Dallas in second based on goal differential.
What do you think of FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids' losses? Should the Rapids turn their full focus towards the MLS season? Still see FC Dallas making it through to the quarterfinals?
Share your thoughts below.
By ADAM SERRANO
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica — The Los Angeles Galaxy were made painfully aware that earning road points in the CONCACAF Champions League is no easy task, falling 1-0 to Alajuelense at the Estadio Alejandra Morera Soto.
Pablo Gabas’ free kick goal in the 28th minute of play handed the Galaxy their second straight defeat in group stage play. It was a difficult night for the Galaxy, who battled an abysmal turf field, a frenzied crowd and a talented Alajuelense side that proved to be too much.
The defeat sets up a must-win matchup next Wednesday against Monarcas Morelia at the Home Depot Center. It's a result that Los Angeles will need to earn without David Beckham, who is suspended due to yellow-card accumulation. Whereas last week's deficit to Morelia was chalked up to questionable officiating, this time the Galaxy could simply admit the obvious — they simply did not handle the conditions well.
"We didn't play well. The field was really difficult to play on," head coach Bruce Arena said. "Our opponents were more comfortable, not to use it as an excuse, but it's a terrible field to play a competition on. We played equally as poor and our opponent played better from start to finish. They played with a lot of energy and a lot more confidence on the surface than we did."
By FRANCO PANIZO
It's no secret that Arsenal is in need of some reinforcements, and manager Arsene Wenger has already identified one possible target for the winter transfer window.
Wenger is hoping to bring in Fiorentina winger Juan Manuel Vargas, the Peruvian international which had been linked with Arsenal during the summer transfer window. Wenger is reportedly prepared to cough up the necessary $15.4 million to acquire Vargas, who would bring some much needed grit to the Gunners.
Arsenal will appear to have competition for Vargas' signature, as Juventus is also interested in signing him to a deal.
Vargas, who can play anywhere along the left side, helped Peru to a surprise third-place finish at this past summer's Copa America.
Here are more stories to get your Thursday going:
photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
If things weren't bad enough in New York Red Bulls land, Rafa Marquez has gone and made them worse with his latest public comments.
Speaking through an interpreter after New York's dismal 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, Marquez criticized his teammates, saying they were not on his level.
"I'm focusing on really performance at my highest level. That doesn't mean that the whole backline can perform at that same level, so that’s a problem," Marquez told the NYDailyNews.com. "I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn't an equal level between my teammates and I."
Marquez, who was booed by fans at Red Bull Arena nearly every time he touched the ball on Wednesday, has come under much scrutiny in recent weeks as New York has won just one of its last 10 matches, leaving the Red Bulls on the outside of the playoff picture.
What do you think of Marquez's comments? Is he right?
Share your thoughts below.
By FRANCO PANIZO
It took 15 years, but finally another member of the U.S. men's national team has started a Serie A match.
The man responsible for accomplishing that feat is Michael Bradley, who got the nod and went the distance in Chievo Verona's surprising 1-0 win over Napoli on Wednesday. Bradley's start, which came just three days after he made his debut for Chievo, makes him the first U.S. international to earn a start in Italy's top flight since Alexi Lalas did so for Padova back on February 25, 1996.
Another player to earn his first start with his new club was Alejandro Bedoya, who made his official Rangers debut in the club's Scottish League Cup game against Falkirk. Bedoya played 59 minutes before being subbed off in a match Rangers lost 3-2, a result that eliminated the reigning champions from the competition.
Here's how the Americans Abroad performed on Wednesday:
By JOSE M. ROMERO
Winning was what they wanted. Losing was what they absolutely could not do. But a draw was what happened for the Portland Timbers Wednesday night at Jeld-Wen Field, a difficult result to take since Portland let its lead in the game slip away.
The Timbers drew with the San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 and moved into the 10th and final playoff spot in MLS with five matches left to play in the regular season. Portland's 37 points (11-12-6) put it ahead of the New York Red Bulls by a point at the end of play Wednesday night, and the two teams meet Saturday night at Red Bull Arena for a pivotal match.
The Timbers led 1-0 for almost 70 minutes, a goal by Kenny Cooper in the ninth minute standing up for that long. Khary Stephenson got the equalizer for the Quakes, who needed a win worse than the Timbers. Stephenson took a pass at the top of the 18-yard box, turned and fired a low shot that beat Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins in the 70th minute.
Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By MIKE NASTRI
HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls are a sinking ship.
New York, after a gutsy win in Dallas on Saturday, had a chance to strengthen its playoff hold. Real Salt Lake was without suspended midfield rock Kyle Beckerman and traveled cross country after a hard-fought win against Sporting KC on Saturday. But any doubt that RSL would collect their fifth win a row was erased almost immediately.
RSL scored three goals in the opening 21 minutes to roll to a 3-1 victory and deal a heavy blow to the Red Bulls' postseason hopes.
In the eighth minute, Andy Williams spun a perfect corner to the head of Alvaro Saborio. The Costa Rican Designated Player beat Teemu Tainio to the ball and finished for the early 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, RSL continued it's scoring ways and the Red Bulls continued their sloppy play. Jan Gunnar Solli, back off a suspension, played a simple ball back to Tim Ream. The U.S. international centerback played a sloppy, short pass toward goalkeeper Frank Rost that was easily picked off by Fabian Espindola, and the Argentine easily finished the gift to give Salt Lake a two-goal lead.
"Obviously we have a lot of stars and good players," said Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Marquez. "But if we cannot gel together that doesn’t mean anything.
Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com
By AVI CREDITOR
WASHINGTON — Juan Pablo Angel's resurgent night was nearly offset by a questionable decision at the worst possible time for Chivas USA.
That is, until Dan Kennedy came to the rescue.
The Chivas USA goalkeeper saved a Dwayne De Rosario penalty kick in stoppage time, and Angel scored twice in the second half to lift Chivas USA out of a two-goal hole and carry the Goats to a 2-2 draw with D.C. United in front of 14,849 under steady rain at RFK Stadium Wednesday night.
Angel nearly turned from hero to goat in the playoff-implications-filled match after referee Chris Penso awarded a penalty to De Rosario, who made it appear that Angel had pushed him from behind in the area in the 93rd minute even though replays showed De Rosario embellished. Kennedy read De Rosario's ensuing spot kick perfectly, though, diving to his left to stop the low attempt without yielding a rebound.