Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not The Strongest Follow Up

First happy birthday to my sister Katie who turned 24 yesterday. You can blame her for the lack of updates. And now, on to the pain.

Week 2 of the CONCACAF Champions League was not nearly as good for the MLS participants. Overall the teams went 0-4, including 2 stoppage time defeats in Mexico. Yikes.

Arabe Unido 1 - 0 Toronto FC

The refs did Toronto no favors in this game. Granted, the goal Arabe Unido scored was very well taken and deserved and Toronto didn't have any valid goals taken away (don't worry, we'll get to some of those later) but Salvadoran referee Marlon Mejia was still terrible. He handed out two awful red cards to Toronto players Nick LaBrocca and Faud Ibrahim that greatly influenced the game.

This is not to absolve Toronto of any blame for this loss. I'm pretty disappointed with the lineup that TFC rolled out down there. I was really hoping that they would take their best chance at road points seriously, but they were obviously playing to win this weekend and get in to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Oh well, to each their own. I can't find reliable number for how much advancing in CCL play is worth to teams, but I'm going to have to assume it's not enough to make Toronto focus on CCL instead of MLS playoffs.


Santos Laguna 1 - 0 Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew left 3 of their best players at home to prepare for a match this weekend against FC Dallas. Santos Laguna rolled out a mostly reserve squad. Really nice to see squads taking it seriously.

Still though, Columbus went ahead in the 22nd minute off a goal by Andy Iro. Or so it seemed. The referee waved off the goal because Edgar Renteria, who delivered the cross in, was wearing a shirt with no number.

Let's go over the series of events leading up to this:
1) Juan Pablo Santiago elbows Renteria in the head, drawing blood
2) Renteria goes over to the sideline, gets stitched and bandaged, changes shirts
3) Renteria is allowed back into the game
4) Renteria points out to the 4th official that he has no number
5) The 4th official tells Renteria it is okay and to go back to playing.
6) Renteria's assist is disallowed and he received a yellow card.

A-plus work CONCACAF referees.

Columbus was trying desperately to hold on in the last 15 minutes of the game but Santos eventually broke through. Watching the game you could see it was only a matter of "when" not "if" given the pressure Santos was able to provide and the trouble Columbus was having marking men in the box.


Cruz Azul 5 - 4 Real Salt Lake

Un. Buh. Leave. Able. As much as it hurts to lose, this was one of the most entertaining games you could ever see. RSL went us 3-1 in the 64th minute on a goal by Fabian Espindola. However, in the 67th minute Espindola was subbed out for Robbie Findley and then in the 74th minute Javi Morales was subbed out for Andy Williams. At that point, the floodgates opened.

RSL gave up 4 goals in the final 15 minutes of the game to give away the best chance any MLS team has had to win in Mexico. Jason Kreis needs to do some serious re-evaluation of which players are capable of contributing in continental play as clearly losing the Latin influence in attack devestated Real. Still though, it took a goal in the final minute of stoppage time to guarantee Cruz Azul 3 points.

Again in this game, there was a legitimate goal for the MLS team pulled back by the referee. Will Johnson clearly ran from an onside position to tap home a rebound in the 1st minute that was disallowed. To worsen matters, the goal Cruz Azul scored in the 5th minute should've been stopped because Cruz Azul never brought the ball to a stop after a foul was called to restart play.

You can see both of these in the first 30 seconds of the highlights below, but remember that RSL has only themselves to blame for what happened last night.


Seattle Sounders 0 - 2 Monterrey

Well, I guess we can go ahead and expect Seattle to pack it in for the rest of CCL. I hope they show up well for the home fans, because those guys are so loyal they don't deserve to be spited for the team's struggles, but they should be focusing on securing a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs now.


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