Thursday, September 2, 2010

Exciting Night, All Around

4 wrap-ups for you tonight. Whew.

First, SuperLiga:

New England was outclassed by Morelia and lost 2-1 in the SuperLiga finals. Revolution needed a couple great saves from Matt Reis (and a few from the post) to keep the game that close. Towards the last 25 minutes or so New England looked much better, but it was too little too late as they couldn't find a second goal to match Kevin Alston's in the 79th. I encourage you to check out the highlights though, if only to see Miguel Sabah's wonderstrike on the second goal.

Second, a friendly:

Philadelphia closed out their friendly schedule with a match against Chivas de Guadalajara. The Goats' attack was potent but backup goalie Brad Knighton was up to the task stopping all of Chivas's 8 shots on goal. Meanwhile, all it took was one deft touch from my boy Jack Mack to send the Illadelph to a 1-nil win at home over the Mexican giants. Enjoy these highlights, as they are much easier to watch than the last set.

Finally, 2 US Open Cup games:

First let me congratulate all four teams for rolling out first-team talent for these games. MLS Commission Don Garber stated at the SuperLiga match that he wanted MLS to take the Open Cup more seriously and hopefully this is a sign that other teams are thinking that as well. A chance to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League and bring home a trophy to your fans should be something worth fighting for.

The Columbus Crew prevailed in the first game with a 2-1 win at DC United, a matchup that will be revisited in 3 days in MLS league play. United looked poised to make another Open Cup final, despite being a down a man after the 59th minute and restore some shine to an extremely disappointing season. However, an own goal off Marc Burch in the 89th minute tied the game at 1. The Crew would hold off a number of spirited counter-attacks by DC United and Guillermo Barros Schelotto's goal from the penalty spot in the 98th minute would be enough to earn them their first trip to the finals since 2002.

Seattle Sounders hosted Chivas USA in the second game, and summarily dispatched the visitors 3-1 off a pair of goals by Nate Jaqua and another by Fredy Montero. Jaqua is now tied for the golden boot of the 2010 US Open Cup with 5 goals scored.

I'm honestly not sure who to make MOTM for Seattle. Steve Zakuani was a monster on the left side, tracking the game endline to endline, wreaking havoc on the defense, and earning a number of the dozen or so corners Seattle enjoyed. But this game was also the prototypical example of "as Alonso goes, so goes Seattle."

I mean this as much more of a compliment than it will sound, but Osvaldo Alonso is a poor man's (ok, maybe a lower-middle-class man's) Rafa Marquez. He offers a ton of support to the defensive line tracking back and they all know they can trust him to distribute the ball and get the attack started after making a stop. It seemed like he was in on every challenge in the midfield tonight, with the best example came late in the game with him tracking down Justin Braun in the center circle and just taking the ball away from out of nowhere.

Things are all set for the final now on October 5th at Qwest Field. Complicating matters a little bit, both teams will have CCL games on September 29th and league games on October 2nd, but I think we can expect to see them roll out the big guns for a chance at some silverware.

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