Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Clock strikes midnight

The upstart USL sides are no more.

New England beat Carolina 2-1 while FC Dallas just finished off Seattle 2-1 in the US Open Cup semifinals. The Revolution will visit FC Dallas in early October to play for the Dewar Cup while the RailHawks and Sounders are left to ponder what might have been.

Neither USL team played lightly as both matches went into extra time. But it was in extra time where both unraveled. Actually, Carolina finished regulation with 9 men but the Revolution scored early in extra time and held on.

FC Dallas, meanwhile, also scored early in extra time, added a penalty-kick goal and staved off a final charge from Seattle which included a goal from the hosts.

It's tough for both USL sides to come this far only to fall apart in extra time. From what I saw of the Seattle-Dallas match, the Sounders played strong but their final touch inside the box let them down. Adrian Serioux was a beast in the back for Dallas, though. He was seemingly around every ball and disrupted Seattle often.

Looking toward the final, FC Dallas will finally host the final that eluded them the last two years. In some ways, it's like 2005 for the Galaxy in how the Galaxy failed to reach MLS Cup when it was here in '03 and '04 but won the double in '05. Not saying FC Dallas will reach MLS Cup but now they have a chance to play for a title at home in front of their fans after having failed miserably to do so when they had the chance the last two years.

For the Revolution, it's a chance to go to Pizza Hut Park and actually win a final. While FC Dallas didn't reach either MLS Cup final in Frisco, the Revs made both, but lost both in heartbreaking fashion.

It should be an interesting final but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want one of the USL teams to upset one of the big boys. Oh well.

EDIT: Carolina actually finished regulation with nine men while New England had 10 at the end of 90 minutes.


Bryan said...

Was at the NE-CAR game. Just a minor correction, Carolina finished with 9 men and New England finished with 10. Joseph (NE) and Edozien (CAR) received matching red cards in the first half, and Stokes (CAR) got his late in the 2nd half.

L.B. said...

You're right, Bryan. Thanks for pointing that out.

Carolina did finish with a man less.

What was the match like? Good atmosphere at all?

Laurie said...

I was at the Seattle-Dallas game. The first ninety minutes were beautifl soccer and the game could easily have gone either way. As you said, Seattle was let down by their final touch -- LeToux wasn't the magical finisher he's been in other USOC games.

Extra time on the part of Dallas and the ref was enough to make me cynical about the game. Dallas played some of the sleaziest, diving-est soccer I've ever seen in any game, ever, and they were aided by unbelievably one-sided reffing.

The ref wasn't great in regulation time, but in extra time it was as if he'd been ordered to send Dallas through.

As for Dallas, I knew I hated them but had forgotten why. What scumbags. Six-year-olds show better sportsmanship. (And for once Ruiz was not the worst offender.) I don't see how they can be proud of winnning this kind of game.

Anonymous said...

Typical unclassy Shittle Flounder fans, not gracious in defeat nor in victory. Too bad you couldn't buy your usual refs from your local adult rec leagues from Tukwilla.

Bryan said...

Luis, as I overheard one of my fellow Midnight Riders say: "That was the best high school soccer game I've ever seen."

That pretty much sums it up. The pitch looked GREAT, much much better than I was expecting. We had the goofiest PA announcer EVER, but luckily he knew not to talk during the run of play.

RailHawks used the locker-room under the stands, while the Revs used their Peter Pan bus.

As for the game, very, very chippy play by the RailHawks. Something I've come to expect when an MLS side plays a USL side.

Ref was horrible, had no control over the match whatsoever. And the ARs need to be told about the new Passive Offside rule. Blew those calls over and over again.

Overall though, I had a blast down in New Britain. Sadly I won't be able to make it to Dallas, but I'm sure we're going to have a pretty decent sized group of people heading down that way.

L.B. said...

Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Reading about the atmosphere brought back memories of Chivas USA's disastrous loss to Roma FC in Santa Barbara in 2005.

The game was, well, a disaster for Chivas, but the whole night just had a strange feel to it.

The girl botched the anthem before the game and that set a tone for the night.

They played the game at the college stadium there which was decent but the announcer was pretty bad, and he couldn't get Sacha Kljestan's name right. We kept expecting them to announce 50/50 tickets.

Anyway, congrats to the Revs.