A busy weekend of soccer around the world sees two stories from over in Europe enter our weekend recap, a look at Australia's struggles to have their league reach even the small heights of MLS, some familiar faces suit up for the Sounders U23 and MLS gets a firm #1 team.
In Italy, the passing of Piermario Morosini in middle of a match is a shocking tragedy. Italian officials postponed the rest of their matches for the day. It seems to be story that parallels Muamba's, but without the miracle at the end. There will be investigations and statements and procedural changes that should help reduce these chances in the future, but no change will bring a young man back to life.
Many of our readers will have watched the Chelsea v Tottenham match in the FA Cup semifinals. If not you will have seen the referee gifted goal. Much has been made about what a tragedy that was. First, hyperbole much? It's a goal in a soccer game, see above for tragedy. Second, at most it shifted the likely outcome by about 20%. Chelsea was already ahead. Not "earning" their second goal does not dramatically change the math. Chelsea is now on track to attempt winning a domestic cup, finish as high as 4th in the league and are still active in the UEFA Champions League. This "small" club will be in Seattle to face the Sounders and in Philly to face the MLS All Stars.
Peter Wilt is one of the top General Managers in MLS history. His success with the early Chicago Fire has yet to be replicated, though circumstances have shifted since that time. Wilt has dabbled in other forms of US soccer as well. Recently he decided to look over a different ocean to adopt a team with eyes on Australia rather than Europe. For SportsBizInsider of Australia he compares the A-League and MLS while sharing some ideas about how the A-League might be able to improve its standing in a nation even more sports varied and sports crazed than the USA.
The MLS scoreboard saw a team earn its first win, another earn it's sixth and the New York Red Bulls high octane offense is held to just two goals.
Peter Nowak dealt with an injury to his captain and defensive leader just prior to kickoff and managed to win. The Crew had a weak schedule and aren't winning.
Party boy Chris Pontius missed his chance against Seattle. The New England Revolution were not so fortunate as Pontius struck the late winner and D.C. United earn a win over their old northern rivals.
If you think Chivas USA are unusually good this year, that's because they are. This is their second best start in their history. Sure, they beat the winless Reds of Toronto 1-0, but again, a team can only play the schedule they are given.
Our southern neighbors seem to be win averse. Another game with a lead, another game with a late goal given up. David Beckham worked his magic and Juninho danced. The Portland Timbers did manage to get a trophy in their loss though. The LA Galaxy claw out of the bottom of the West with their 3-1 win.
Lineups: Sounders FC U-23 – 1, Ben Dragavon / 4, Mark Lee / 5, Dennis Sanchez / 6, Brandon Brockway (18, Balin Larson-80th min) / 7, Jamael Cox (13, Rory Agu – 68th min) / 8, Jamie Finch / 20, Darwin Jones (11, Esteban Reyes – 36th min) / 10, Mo Travis (16, Micah Wenzel – 51st min) / 12, Facundo Dipasquale / 14, Taylor Graham / 17, Cam Vickers (2, Jake Ambrozic- 85th min)