Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 14 Spotlight

Top XI

G: Joe Cannon Kevin Hartman
D: Bakary Soumare
D: Ramiro Corrales Claudio Suarez
D: Michael Parkhurst Frankie Hejduk
M: Emmanuel Ekpo
M: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
M: Steve Ralston
M: Marcelo Gallardo
F: Kenny Cooper
F: Brian Ching
F: Luciano Emilio

Coach: Tom Soehn went right after the LA Galaxy's defense and kept the pressure on one of the league's worst defenses and never really let the league's top offense get on track. Sure, most teams don't possess the offensive weapons DC has, but Soehn and DC showed how best to play against the Galaxy.

Steve Nicol: Nicol righted the NE ship and sealed the deal to coach the MLS All-Stars for the second straight year.

Player: Luciano Emilio. A combination of Emilio miscues and Steve Cronin saves kept the DC forward from scoring more than just his two goals. As it stood, though, last year's Most Valuable Player is on a tear right now.

Top save: Joe Cannon had a pair of stellar saves late in San Jose's 0-0 draw at Chicago; he turned away Justin Mapp and Chris Rolfe from close range.

Top goal: Emmanuel Ekpo's run through the heart of Colorado's defense and clinical finish from long range was the best of another batch of so-so goals.
Kenny Cooper pops in the goal with an untouchable header that wins "El Capitan" - he's proving he's not just good with his feet.

Many of San Jose's offensive woes can be traced to Kei Kamara. Saturday against the Fire, Kamara had a clear chance to bag what could have been a match-winner late in the game. Shea Salinas ripped a shot off the post and the rebound fell to Kamara. With Fire 'keeper Jon Busch woefully out of position, Kamara settled and had nearly half of an open goal to shoot at. Instead, Kamara pushed his shot wide. Seriously, are there no better options for San Jose? There has to be at least one capable forward in the USL-1, no?

San Jose's offense is lousy but for my money Kansas City has the worst attack in the league. When you consider their talent level (Claudio Lopez, Carlos Marinelli) and their output (11 goals in 13 games), KC's attack is easily the most inept in all the league. At least San Jose has an excuse; they are an expansion side, and expansion teams have struggled to score goals. What's Kansas City's excuse? The Wizards are a sad sack side that doesn't deserve to go back to the playoffs with their ineptitude up front.

The Western Conference continued to show their combined inferiority to the Eastern Conference. Western clubs combined for an 0-3-4 record this week with five goals scored and 10 goals allowed. Houston and FC Dallas tied 1-1 while the rest of the conference met up with Eastern rivals. Western leaders LA would be tied for fourth with Toronto in the Eastern conference and are the only Western teams among the top seven overall.

New York announcer Shep Messing on Kevin Goldthwaite's pass that led to Chivas USA's lone goal on Saturday: "That is one of the worst plays I've ever seen... Why in the world would you play a square ball during the waning seconds going into the locker room with the lead? That is sheer stupidity."

Brad Guzan didn't whiff on NY's free kick goal. He completely misjudged and missed the ball.

Tony Beltran's own goal in the 89th minute - a spirit-crushing moment for RSL that cost his team the draw.

Ante Jazic gave up a crucial PK - basically ran into an opponent from behind. Clumsy, clumsy.


iride_mybike said...

How could Gallardo's cheap shot on Donovan not make "lowlights"? That should have been a straight red and would have changed the entire match.

A.C. said...

I already mentioned that in the running blog. Actually, what I think was worse than the elbow was the announcers acting like it wasn't really a big deal. It's like they don't want to make the refs in MLS look bad when they're wrong, or they don't have the guts to say that it's a bad call.

Anonymous said...

KC's attack may be stunted, but at least get the fact that it's 11 goals in 13 games right.