Sunday, July 31, 2016

It Happened in America: FC Dallas extends Shield lead, Red Bulls salvage point at Fire

With only one match yesterday, MLS took full control of this Sunday afternoon and evening with nine total matches, including two national TV features, to keep us entertained all day long.

Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Portland Timbers
Instead of insane heat plaguing this match, we were gifted with torrential downpours throughout the first half. The conditions certainly affected play. The sloppy pitch led to inefficient passing and players slipping instead of making attacking runs. Portland's quick transition game was more or less nullified. SKC wasn't able to even get a shot on target in the first half. The second half livened up quickly. Sporting Kansas City started to pounce on the Timbers' unfamiliar defensive partnership of Amobi Okugo and Jermaine Taylor. Their lack of communication with each otehr was the reason SKC was able to pull ahead. A free kick from Dom Dwyer found Jacob Peterson for the opening goal of the match in the 50th minute. The only thing keeping this match at 1-0 was SKC's inability to bury a perfect shot and Jake Gleeson's heroics between the sticks. Portland had some chances of their own, the best coming just into stoppage time when Jack McInerney chipped a shot off the crossbar. Nothing was going for them and their poor road form continues to keep them out of a playoff spot.

Seattle Sounders 1-1 LA Galaxy
Seattle's playoff chances are rapidly shrinking as they play their first ever MLS match without Sigi Schmid in charge. Seattle actually looked the better team for much of the match. they didn't score in the first half, but did grab a goal early in the second. Cristian Roldan fired home his second career MLS goal in the 49th minute with a shot that banked off Brian Rowe and into the goal. They then proceeded to squander every chance they had for the rest of the match. Whether it 
was newcomer Nicolas Lodeiro missing a couple sitters or Jordan Morris continuing his reputation for poor finishing, Seattle couldn't buy a second goal. They paid the price for their inability to build their lead in the 78th minute. Sebastian Lletget slipped past his marker and tapped in from extreme close range to equalize. It was his first goal of the season for the Galaxy. Seattle put more pressure on after conceding, but once again their finishing left a lot to be desired and they had to settle for a single point, which doesn't exactly help their playoff odds.

FC Dallas 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
FC Dallas was looking to build on their Supporters Shield lead on a particularly hot evening in Dallas. The first half was scoreless, but Dallas was on the front foot for just about the entire 45 minutes. They broke the deadlock with two goals in quick succession early in the second half. First, Kellyn Acosta put them on the board in the 56th. Maxi Urruti doubled the lead with a breakaway in the 59th. This was a fantastic result for Dallas. They open their Shield lead to six points over the second place Rapids, who were all sorts of mixed up yesterday at Yankee Stadium. This on the day they received the news of Fabian Castillo's transfer to Turkey falling through, no less.

DC United 1-1 FC Montreal
After scoring MLS's lone goal in the All Star Game, Didier Drogba took his Montreal Impact into DC with the aim of putting a little more pressure on the New York sides atop the East. It was Patrick Mullins getting his first goal for DC United, however His 20th minute goal gave the home team the lead. The match retained an uncertain state until the 81st minute when DIdier Drogba took his team just about out of it. An aggressive challenge and furious response to the referee got the Ivorian star sent off straight away. Montreal would not go quietly. An 86th minute corner fell to Hernan Bernardello for his first of the year and the equalizer tonight. United had plenty of time, and chances, to develop a winner, but nothing came through for them and they settled for a disappointing point.

Chicago Fire 2-2 New York Red Bulls
You would think that one of the East's best taking on the East's worst would result in a simple win for the favorites. However, even though the Fire conceded a 16th minute own goal, the underdogs would claw back and lead at the break. David Accam levelled in the 35th and Matt Polster, the provider of the earlier own goal, put them in front deep in first half stoppage time. Despite intense pressure from the Red Bulls, it looked like the Fire would hold on for the win until the final minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips was the savior for New York by banging home a 90th minute cross. 

Philadelphia Union 1-2 Real Salt Lake
After a sad, sad showing last weekend against Montreal, the Union were looking to pick up the pieces and move forward with a home match against Real Salt Lake. They got in front late in the first half after Aaron Maund took down CJ Sapong in the penalty area. Roland Alberg converted from the spot to give the Union a half time advantage.the second half would belong to Real Salt Lake, however. They came out and stormed to a quick equalizer. Joao Plata was the goal scorer in the 48th minute. They took the lead six minutes later through Javier Morales. The Union tried to get back on level terms, but none of their chances paid off and they fell to their Western foes.

Orlando City 3-1 New England Revolution
The first couple times these two played saw lots of late drama. New England wanted to do their best to avoid that and got themselves in front through Kei Kamara in the 19th minute, Orlando would turn things around in the second half. Cyle Larin equalized within a minute of the restart and Kevin Molino had them in front in the 64th. Molino collected an 83rd minute brace to avoid any late drama from arising.

Toronto FC 3-0 Columbus Crew
Sebastian Giovinco is the key to all of Toronto FC's success, and he proved his worth again within ten minutes tonight. His eighth minute blast found the back of the net after bonking off the head of Tsubasa Endoh, who got credit for the accidental goal. Giovinco would score one of his own (without the accidental assistance from a teammate) in the 24th to double the lead. Jozy Altidore, in his first match back from injury, added the third and final tally (assisted by Giovinco) in the 87th. Columbus is pretty much done for in the East. They sit a point out of the basement and seven back of a playoff spot.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes
The struggling Dynamo were trying to dig themselves out of last place and thwart San Jose's attempts to claw back into the playoff race. A quiet first half finished with Alex weaving into the penalty area and smashing home in the second of three first half stoppage time minutes. San Jose was able to get back even just before the hour mark. Chris Wondolowski provided the close range volley after slipping his marker collecting a pass. After the equalizer, the teams would trade half chances with little consistent possession for the remaining half hour or so, but as the match drew closer to the end, San Jose looked more like they were playing not to lose instead of to win. It worked out, they earned the point, although a win probably would have been the better result for them.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Green notches hat trick in ICC action

Yesterday's Scores
MLS

New York City 5-1 Colorado Rapids
(Lampard 28')


Full match recap

Liga MX
Querétaro 2-1 Puebla
(Villa 28', 37')-(Navarro 80')

Atlas 1-0 Veracruz
(Lopez OG 82')

Cruz Azul 1-1 Monterrey
(Funes Mori 22')-(Benitez 21')

Pachuca 1-0 Necaxa
(Medina 38')

Club America 0-3 UANL
(Aquino 38', Gignac 59', Sosa 90+4')

NASL
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1-0 Jacksonville Armada
(Santos 88')

Ottawa Fury 2-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Roberts 2', Mkandawire OG 36')

New York Cosmos 3-0 Puerto Rico FC
(Dias OG 16', Arango 84', Mkosana 90+2')

Miami FC 2-1 Indy Eleven
(Cvitanich 4', Martinez 85')-(Zayed 89')

Rayo OKC 2-2 Minnesota United
(Sandoval 60', Danso 90+3')-(Davies 71', Ramirez 90+2')

USL
FC Montreal 0-1 Charlotte Independence
(Martinez 49')

FC Cincinnati 1-1 Charleston Battery
(Cummings 52')-(Cordoves 70')

Richmond Kickers 2-1 New York Red Bulls II
(Imura 11', Eskay 90')-(Allen 10')

Wilmington Hammerheads 1-4 Pittsburgh Riverhounds
(Lynch 62')-(Kerr 45', Hertzog 45+2', Okai 70', Thompson 90+3')

Louisville City 1-2 Orlando City B
(Abend 13')-(Turner PK 90+3', Smith 90+7')

Saint Louis FC 0-0 OKC Energy

Rio Grande Valley 0-0 Sacramento Republic

Swope Park Rangers 2-1 San Antonio FC
(Kelly 71', Gonzalez 84')-(Reed 30')

Orange County Blues 2-0 LA Galax
y II
(Caesar 19', 60')

Arizona United 1-2 Tulsa Roughnecks
(Mata 3', 90+3')-(Schafer OG 62')


Headlines
Antonio Conte spoke after today's International Champions Cup match with Real Madrid. Following the 3-2 defeat, he had many comments about various players on the squad. He says he was happy with the play of Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi. He's focused on building a team atmosphere that was sorely lacking in last year's Jose Mourinho led squad. He was also asked by ESPN's Jeff Carlisle about Matt Miazga and his status on the squad. Conte would not give many details, just that a decision on the American defender will come after the tour in the United States.

Some sadder news yesterday came from former USMNT player and current member of New England Revolution Charlie Davies. The 20-year-old revealed that he has was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. Not many details were given. Just that Davies has a cancer called liposarcoma and that he is now in remission. He last featured for the Revs on April 28, where he came on as a sub in a 1-1 draw with Portland. 

Bayern Munich and American kid Julian Green had himself a day in International Champions Cup action. The youngest American to ever score in a World Cup bagged himself a hat trick in the first 35 minutes of Bayern Munich-s match with Inter Milan in Charlotte. Bayern went on to win 4-1 and Green played the whole 90 minutes. 

Today's Matches
MLS

Sporting Kansas City v. Portland Timbers- 2pm- FOX
Seattle Sounders v. LA Galaxy- 4pm- ESPN
FC Dallas v. Vancouver Whitecaps- 6pm
DC United v. FC Montreal- 6:30pm
Chicago Fire v. New York Red Bulls- 7pm
Philadelphia Union v. Real Salt Lake- 7pm
Orlando City v. New England Revolution- 7:30pm

Toronto FC v. Columbus Crew- 7:30pm
Houston Dynamo v. San Jose Earthquakes- 9pm

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM v. Leon- 1pm- Univision Deportes
Chiapas v. Toluca- 6pm
Santos v. Morelia- 7pm- Univision Deportes

NASL
FC Edmonton v. Carolina RailHawks

USL
Bethlehem Steel v. Toronto FC II- 4pm- YouTube

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Solo Saturday MLS: NYC hangs five on league's best defense

New York City 5-1 Colorado Rapids
With the MLS All Star game only two days behind us, most games are put off until what will certainly be a busy Sunday. Today, we were only gifted one match, although it looked to be a great one on paper. The shocking New York City FC, the top team in the Eastern Conference welcomed in the West's second best team in the Colorado Rapids to Yankee Stadium.

Colorado has the fortune of having MLS's top defense on the season, but that didn't stop New York City from getting on the board early and often. Frank Lampard, of all people, seems to be making up for the plethora of criticism shoved his way since arriving in MLS a year ago. He sure silenced his critics today with an impressive hat trick against MLS's defensive leaders.

His first goal came in the 28th minute. He got open and tipped in a Thomas McNamara cross from inside the six yard box. His second finished off a counter attack at the 80 minute mark with a wonderful curling effort from the top of the box. The hat trick came a few minutes later from the penalty spot.

Tony Taylor and Steven Mendoza added goals to supplement the former Chelsea star's masterful afternoon.

Skelshan Gashi provided the Rapids' consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time to ruin the NYC shutout.

Colorado's situation was made much worse by Michael Azira picking up two yellow cards in the first half and forcing his team to play a man down for the majority of the match.

New York City will certainly take this statement victory, especially considering David Villa was still resting from his All Star Game appearance just two days ago. They stretch their lead atop the East to five points over suburban rivals New York Red Bulls.

Colorado, for their part, were without Jermaine Jones. They had enough of their main cast in that it should not have mattered. Their defense is not used to conceding this much. Their 15 match unbeaten run comes to a close thanks to this poor showing. They are still within three points of Dallas for the Supporters Shield lead with a pair of matches in hand.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Man City send final offer for Stones

Liga MX
Tijuana 4-0 Guadalajara
(Moreno 19', 29', Hauche 40', Caraglio PK 71')

USL
Harrisburg City Islanders 1-1 Rochester Rhinos
(Jankouskas 90')-(Totsch 88')

Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
(Gonzalez 47')-(Levis 55')

Headlines
Manchester City have been relentless in their pursuit of Everton's John Stones. After having multiple bids rejected, they have put in a final offer for £40 million. Manager Pep Guardiola will not allow this potential deal to hold up his entire transfer season. With Everton potentially holding out for at least £50 million, he may have to move on rather quickly.

USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan has a new Premier League home. Newly promoted Middlesbrough has signed the former Aston Villa backstop on a free transfer. He will compete with former Barcelona keeper, and fellow Boro summer signee, Victor Valdes for the starting job.

Brayan Jimenez, former Guatemalan football chief, has pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and wire fraud. He faces 20 years in prison for each count. Jimenez reportedly took six digit bribes related to the selling for television rights for the World Cup in Guatemala.

Today's Matches
MLS
New York City v. Colorado Rapids- 3:30pm

Liga MX
Querétaro v. Puebla- 6pm- Univision Deportes
Atlas v. Veracruz- 8pm
Cruz Azul v. Monterrey- 8pm- Univision
Pachuca v. Necaxa- 8:06pm- NBC Universo
Club America v. UANL- 10pm- Univision

NASL
Fort Lauderdale Strikers v. Jacksonville Armada- 7pm- ESPN3
Ottawa Fury v. Tampa Bay Rowdies- 7pm- ESPN3
New York Cosmos v. Puerto Rico FC- 7:30pm- ONE World Sports
Miami FC v. Indy Eleven- 8pm- beIN
Rayo OKC v. Minnesota United- 9pm- ESPN3

USL
FC Montreal v. Charlotte Independence- 3pm- YouTube
FC Cincinnati v. Charleston Battery- 7pm- YouTube
Richmond Kickers v. New York Red Bulls II- 7pm- YouTube
Wilmington Hammerheads v. Pittsburgh Riverhounds- 7pm- YouTube
Louisville City v. Orlando City B- 7:30pm- YouTube
Saint Louis FC v. OKC Energy- 8:30pm- YouTube
Rio Grande Valley v. Sacramento Republic- 8:30pm- YouTube
Swope Park Rangers v. San Antonio FC- 8:30pm- YouTube
Orange County Blues v. LA Galaxy II- 10:30pm- YouTube
Arizona United v. Tulsa Roughnecks- 10:30pm- YouTube

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Arsenal down MLS All Stars

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
MLS All Stars 1-2 Arsenal
(Drogba 45+2')-(Campbell PK 11', Akpom 87')

The MLS All Stars took on a mostly B or C level Arsenal side for their annual showcase. A dubious penalty in the opening minutes gave the Gunners the lead, but Didier Drogba, who always scores against Arsenal, even in glorified MLS exhibition games, leveled right before half time. Arsenal's winner was a tap in from Chupa Akpom while mostly reserve players and/or potential loan targets were on the pitch.

Headlines
The word on the street is that Manchester United have agreed to a transfer fee with Juventus for Paul Pogba. Jose Mourinho will send €120 million to Italy in order to bring Pogba back to Manchester. The move isn't quite official yet, but this was probably the biggest hurdle left to jump. All that's left are agent fees and a medical.

After bringing in Uruguayan international Nicolas Lodeiro, Seattle has now signed Alvaro Fernandez, who returns to the Sounders after leaving the club in 2012. In the mean time, Fernandez has bounced around between Chicago, Qatar, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Today's Matches
Liga MX
Tijuana v. Guadalajara- 10pm-

USL
Harrisburg City Islanders v. Rochester Rhinos- 7pm- YouTube
Colorado Springs Switchbacks v. Vancouver Whitecaps 2- 9:30pm- YouTube

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Seattle, Portland, with a couple signings

Yesterday's Scores
NASL
Ottawa Fury 2-0 Carolina RailHawks
(Haworth 8', Beckie OG 49')

FC Edmonton 2-1 New York Cosmos
(Ledgerwood 79', Fordyce 90+1')-(Arango 6')

Rayo OKC 1-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Forbes 43')

Headlines
One day after firing their only manager in MLS club history, Seattle Sounders have signed Uruguayan Nicolas Lodeiro as a designated player. The midfielder arrives from Boca Juniors after having scored six times in 30 matches. He also was a regular feature in Uruguay's disappointing Copa America Centenario run over the summer.

Portland Timbers wasted little time filling the hole left by Nat Borchers injury. Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor is set to join the club. The 30-year-old defender has no spot in Rafa Benitez's Newcastle side, thus allowing the Timbers to swoop in and take him. His injury history is a little concerning, but Portland will take any help they can get on defense right now.

Today's Match
MLS
MLS All Stars v. Arsenal- 7:30pm- ESPN

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Sounders fire Sigi Schmid

Yesterday's Scores
None

Headlines
The big story from yesterday was the Seattle Sounders parting ways with long time manager Sigi Schmid. The writing was on the wall for this as early as Sunday when the Sounders gave FS1 viewers one of the more apathetic looking performances in recent memory. They were two minutes plus stoppage time away from becoming the first MLS team ever to not record a single shot in a game.

That was merely the final straw for Sounders brass. The team has been a shadow of its former self this season and they look to be out of the playoffs for the first time in team history. Brian Schmetzer will take over as interim manager until a full time replacement can be hired.

I am reluctant to play all of the blame on Sigi here, but he probably could have done much better. The loss of Obafemi Martins has proved too much to overcome. Jordan Morris is just not at his level yet. There's also the aging of Clint Dempsey and other important Sounders players. Overall, though, Schmid hasn't done enough to prepare this team for MLS action this year. Sunday's showing was more than enough to justify a firing.

Across the pond, Napoli have, at long last, sold Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus. The Italian champions activated his expensive release clause of €90 million. This makes the Argentinian forward the third most expensive transfer of all time and the most expensive transfer for a player to remain in the same country.

The FA announced that clubs in the FA Cup quarterfinals and beyond will be allowed a fourth substitute in extra time. This procedure was trialed in Copa America this summer and now England is giving it a go.

Bad news for Arsenal fans as Per Mertesacker will miss a few months after picking up a knee injury last week in a friendly against Lens in France. This rules their likely captain out for the beginning of the Premier League season. Needless to say, he is not in California for the upcoming MLS All Star Game or the friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara.

Today's Matches
NASL
Ottawa Fury v. Carolina RailHawks- 7pm- beIN
FC Edmonton v. New York Cosmos- 9pm- OneWorld Sports
Rayo OKC v. Tampa Bay Rowdies- 9pm- CBS Sports Network

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Former DFB president banned

Yesterday's Scores
None

Headlines
Former DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach has been banned by FIFA for one year. Niersbach is guilty of ethics violations during the 2006 World Cup bidding process, which Germany won. He helped claimed "political responsibility" large payments to FIFA to buy votes for the rights to host the tournament. FIFA nailed him for failing to report this misdeed, hence the ban.

The Portland Timbers lost a big, hairy, part of their back line. Nat Borchers will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He went down awkwardly towards the end of the first half of Sunday afternoon's 2-1 defeat to LA Galaxy. After failing to put any weight on the injury, it was clear that bad news would follow. Borchers will have surgery to repair the damage with the hopes of returning to action next year.

Dom Dwyer was the target of a lucrative transfer to Europe. Greece's Olympiakos offered Sporting Kansas City $3 million for the 25-year-old striker, but the club has rejected the bid. WIth SKC struggling to score goals, it's clear why they would want to hold onto Dwyer. He bagged a brace in Sunday's 3-0 win over Seattle. Add in the fact that Dwyer and his wife, USWNT standout Sydney Leroux, are expecting their first child soon, and you get a player and club that are happy with the status quo.

Finally, Arsenal are not so secretly pursuing a striker to solve their goal scoring issues. Their latest target is Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette. They offered €35 million for him, only to have that shot down. Lyon called their star irreplaceable, but I'm sure Arsenal can come up with several more million euros to further entice them, if Arsene Wenger feels like breaking with tradition and spending big.

Today's Matches
None

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Chinese Manchester Derby cancelled

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
New York Red Bulls 4-1 New York City
(Wright-Phillips 20', 70', Zubar 23', Kljestan PK 41')-(McNamara 43')

Sporting Kansas City 3-0 Seattle Sounders
(Dwyer 21', 79', Peterson 45+3')

Full MLS recap

Liga MX
Puebla 3-2 Tijuana
(Garza 5', Bermudez 35', Escuerdo 45+2')-(Rodriguez 37', Hauche 47')

USL
Bethlehem Steel 1-1  Rochester Rhinos
(Jones 20')-(Forbes 57')

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 2-1 Sacramento Republic
(Bustos PK 21', Sanner 90+3')-(Iwasa 14')

Orlando City B 2-2 Wilmington Hammerheads
(Cox PK 27', Rocha 82')-(Fairclough 48', Miller 90+3')

Seattle Sounders 2 1-0 Portland Timbers 2
(Morley 89')

North American League tables

Headlines
The International Champions Cup is a series of glorified friendlies that teams use to warm up for their upcoming league seasons. It's also a method for clubs to grow their brand in emerging markets, like the USA, China, and Australia. Well, Manchester United and Manchester City were supposed to play a match in Beijing this week, but it has been cancelled due to poor pitch conditions. Heavy rains have butchered the field at the 80,000 seat Bird's Nest Stadium, where the match was slated to take place. Although it was a non-competitive fixture, it was supposed to be the first match in the reignited rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

Today's Matches
None.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday MLS: Red Bulls roll City for New York Derby win

New York Red Bulls 4-1 New York City
The rubber match of the Hudson River Derby crossed state lines into Harrison, New Jersey's Red Bull Arena. City was hoping to solidify themselves as the Eastern Conference leaders while their rivals were looking to get back into that top spot conversation. Early on in the match, it was New York Red Bulls taking control. Amidst a powerful atmosphere and high heat in suburban New York, Bradley Wright-Phillips giving Red Bulls a 20th minute lead. It took all of three additional minutes for the second to show up. Ronald Zubar was able to fight his way to a corner in the 23rd minute for the headed finish. Without discipline and organization, City was in danger of repeating the 7-0 drubbing at the hands of their arch rivals from earlier this year.

Things only got worse for the visitors, though. A 40th minute handball against Frederic Brillant allowed Sacha Kljestan to make it 3-0 to Red Bulls from the spot. The threat of another New York Derby blowout was very, very real at the time. It took a wondergoal from Tommy McNamara minutes later to give City a smidge of hope at the break.

The second half began with back and forth action that resulted in Red Bulls having a penalty shout denied and a shot off the crossbar. McNamara drilled the corner of the woodwork himself in a shot that was eerily similar to his goal in the first half. Read Bulls were able to restore their three goal lead with a wonderful counter attack in the 70th minute. A long ball from Luis Robles took a touch off a Red Bull head and to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who juked through the flummoxed City defense for his second of the day.

The match was over at that point, but that didn't stop tempers from flaring at the end. Frank Lampard's frustration showed with some pushes and shoves. Sacha Kljestan retaliated. Cards were handed out. Ethan White was sent off for a second yellow. City accrued a few yellow card suspensions for next weekend against the Rapids. It wasn't a pretty ending.

The win lifts Red Bulls to second place, two points back of New York City.

Sporting Kansas City 3-0 Seattle Sounders
The Sounders season is more or less in shambles. Sporting Kansas City is sitting below the red line as well. What was thought to be a sexy matchup before the season started instead had little to offer on paper. SKC was in control for the first part of the match. They had solid possession and a couple of nice looks. The hard work paid off in the 21st minute when Seattle lost track of Dom Dwyer in the penalty are and gifted him a wide open header for an easy goal. Kansas City continued to dominate all over the pitch. In the final seconds before half time, Jacob Peterson lofted a shot into the top corner with no Seattle defender in the area to defend him.

Seattle's first half was pretty rough. They failed to get a shot off in the opening 45 minutes and spent much of the time chasing the ball. Their defense looked mostly asleep as they allowed too much space for SKC's attack to operate.

The Sounders did come out with a little more bite in the second half. That's exactly what it was, though. A little more bite. Kansas City still ruled the run of play while Seattle continued to look generally apathetic. It wasn't exactly easy to watch. SKC players were still routinely finding wide open shots from threatening positions. Their lack of finishing ability was the only thing keeping this a two goal game. They did get a third goal in the 79th minute after a lazy, lazy pass was intercepted by Dom Dwyer in the Seattle penalty area for an easy finish.

Fair play to Sporting Kansas City for getting the win, but Seattle should be rightly criticized for the lack of effort today. they didn't get their first, and only, shot until the 88th minute and it was five yards wide of the goal. Their defending was absentee at best. They may as well have just not shown up to the stadium today, because they certainly weren't there mentally.

SKC clearly won't care. This win takes them above the red line and into fourth place in the West. Seattle is a single point clear of last place in the Western Conference and ten points back of a playoff spot.


Hooligan's Wake Up: Mahrez latest Leicester departure rumor

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
Portland Timbers 1-2 LA Galaxy
(Valentin 42')-(Keane 7', Zardes 11')

Columbus Crew 2-2 Orlando City
(Tchani 20', Kamara 45+6')-(Kaka 72')

Montreal Impact 5-1 Philadelphia Union
(Drogba 19', 42', 52', Piatti 87', Mancosu 90+1')-(Pontius 72')

New England Revolution 1-0 Chicago Fire
(Watson 85')

Toronto FC 4-1 D.C. United
(Giovinco 21', 39', 90+1', Delgado 29')-(Jeffery 24')

Colorado Rapids 1-1 FC Dallas
(Hairston 44')-(Ulloa 82')

Houston Dynamo 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Full MLS recap

Liga MX
Chiapas 0-2 Pachuca
(Medina 66', Morelo 90+2')

Cruz Azul 0-0 Pumas UNAM

Morelia 2-2 Queretaro
(Ruidiaz 45+1', Valdes 58')-(Forlin 68', Cardozo 90+3')

UANL 0-0 Atlas

Leon 0-0 Necaxa

Guadalajara 1-0 Monterrey
(Calderon 67')

Club America 3-1 Toluca
(Peralta 15', 49', 65')-(Esquivel 28')

NASL
Jacksonville Armada 0-2 Ottawa Fury
(Stewart 37', Haworth 60')

Indy Eleven 1-0 FC Edmonton
(Janicki 13')

Puerto Rico FC 1-0 Rayo OKC
(Ramos 53')

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-20 New York Cosmos
(Garcia Perez OG 85', Cole PK 90+6')-(Arango 53', Duk 67')

Minnesota United 3-1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Banks 14', Ramirez 23', Jome 70')-(Paulo 54')

USL
New York Red Bulls II 2-3 Charleston Battery
(Bonomo 55', O'Toole 61')-(Chang 9', Williams 29', Cordoves 64')

FC Cincinnati 2-0 Louisville City
(Wiedman 39', Okoli 59')

Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0-3 Charlotte Independence
(Calvert 30', Hilton 43', Herrera 90+3')

Richmond Kickers 3-0 Toronto FC II
(Aguilar 11', Imura 49', 70')

St. Louis FC 2-1 Colorado Springs Switchbacks
(Musa 35', Herrera 44')-(Maybin 55')

San Antonio FC 2-3 LA Galaxy II
(Castillo 3', McCarthy 84')-(Villarreal 5', 35', McBean 19')

Swope Park Rangers 3-0 Orange County Blues
(Kelly 43', Gonzalez78', Grant 81')

OKC Energy 3-0 Tulsa Roughnecks
(Thomas PK 45', Dalgaard 51', Bonner 89')

North American League tables

Headlines
Arsenal failed to land Jamie Vardy, so now they are going after another Leicester star. Riyad Mahrez is the latest Fox to be courted away by a high level club after Vardy decided to turn the Gunners down and N'Golo Kante left for Chelsea. For what it's worth, Claudio Ranieri is confident he will stay.

Sunderland lost Sam Allardyce to the England job and now they have their replacement manager. Former Everton and Manchester United leader David Moyes will step into the role for this season. His number one goal is to keep the team out of the relegation conversation, where they have been for the past three seasons. He is Sunderland's sixth manager since November 2011.

35 year old Kolo toure is departing Liverpool for Scotland. He will reunite with former Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers at Glasgow Celtic. Toure featured 26 times for the Reds last season and will not have the chance to play in the Champions League with the defending Scottish champs.

Today's Matches
MLS
New York Red Bulls v. New York City- 1pm- FOX
Sporting Kansas City v. Seattle Sounders- 3pm- ESPN

Liga MX
Puebla v. Tijuana- 7pm- Univision Deportes

USL
Bethlehem Steel v. Rochester Rhinos- 4pm- YouTube
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 v. Sacramento Republic- 5pm- YouTube
Orlando City B. v. Wilmington Hammerheads- 7:30pm- YouTube
Seattle Sounders 2 v. Portland Timbers 2- 8pm- YouTube

It Happened in America: Colorado, Dallas, draw to stay atop standings

Portland Timbers 1-2 LA Galaxy
The Timbers season is beginning to heat up, again. Their nine match unbeaten run would be tested against LA Galaxy at home. The Galaxy were on the front foot nice and early with a surgical passing move to cut through the short handed Timbers defense. Gio Dos Santos provided the final ball for Robbie Keane's easy seventh minute tap in. A quick move down the left flank provided Zardes with a similar tap in in the 11th. With the early two goal lead in the bank, LA was more or less content defending thought the rest of the first half. They had another good chance on the counter, but the Portland defense was able to scramble and prevent Zardes from another easy goal. The Timbers managed to pressure enough to find a goal before the break. Zarek Valentin, of all people, cut across the center of the box to hammer home the opening goal for the home team.

The second half was more tame. Portland had lost Nat Borchers to an unfortunate looking leg injury just before half time, but LA wasn't particularly interested inn penetrating the ever weaker defense. Instead, the Timbers threw resources at the Galaxy like there was no tomorrow. Their best chance came in the final minute oven a free kick that glanced off Fanendo Adi's head and wide. No equalizer came and Portland suffered their first loss in ten matches.

Columbus Crew 2-2 Orlando City
Jason Kreis isn't yet in charge, but Orlando City's new boss. Toby Tchani hammered home the opener for Columbus 20 minutes in. Just before half time, Kevin Molino conceded a penalty and allowed Ola Kamara to double the Crew lead. Orlando clawed back into the game after that. Within six minutes they had the site equalized. First it was Kaka in yore 65th and then Cyle Larin in the 70th tied it to earn his side a share of the points.

Montreal Impact 5-1 Philadelphia Union
Another weekend, another test for the East contending Philadelphia Union. Instead of the Union pressuring the conference lead,  it was Montreal's foreign star running the show. Didier Drogba scored for the Impact in the 19th minute. His double arrived in the 42nd. H e grabbed that hat trick in the 52nd. The Union cobalt decided to show up after Drogba has rub a train on them. Chris Pontius provides a consolation goal inn the 72nd. That was only dashed hope, though. Ignacio Piatti added a fourth in the 87th and Matteo Mancosu scored in stoppage time to round out the romp.

New England Revolution 1-0 Chicago Fire
New England needs a win in this very winnable match in order to keep their playoff position stable. A lifeless goal free draw was livened by Je-Vaughan Watson in the 85th minute. It was sort of an accidental goal. Sean Johnson failed to punch a corner and it fell right onto Watson's head and into the ned. That remained the only goal of the match and the Revs would hold onto the sixth spot in the East.

Toronto FC 4-1 D.C. United
Toronto would need to survive yet another match without Michael Bradley in the midfield. It wasn't affecting then early on when Sebastian Giovinco curled a free kick on at the 21 minute mark. D.C. United. The goal fest continued through Marky Delgado five minutes later. Giovinco banged another free kick in the 39th. After a bit of a lull, another Giovinco goal finished the 4-1 scoreline in second half stoppage time.

Colorado Rapids 1-1 FC Dallas
Easily the best match of the weekend heading in, Colorado's stout defense would face off with Dallas and their high profile attack. Colorado was able to get the jump on Dallas just before the break. Marlon Hairston got the Rapids in front in the 44th minute. Despite Colorado still controlling much possession, Dallas was able to get plenty mores shots away. It looked like the Rapids defense would hold on for the duration, at least until Victor Ulloa's rocket from outside the box tied the score in the 82nd minute. In the end, the two best sides in MLS failed to separate themselves and Dallas holds their three point Supporters Shield lead.

Houston Dynamo 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
Vancouver is on the edge of the Western Conference playoffs, and a road trip to muggy Houston would be a tricky place to find a win to bolster their chances. They Dynamo were getting more of the chances throughout the match, but were unable to score as this match stayed scoreless throughout. That gives the Caps a two point buffer on a playoff spot, at least until Sporting Kansas City plays on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Atlanta signs Argentinian winger, Crew bring in young American keeper

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
Real Salt Lake 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes
(Mulholland 64')-(Wondolowski 9')

Liga MX
Veracruz 2-0 Santos
(Penalba 18', PK 89')

NASL
Carolina RailHawks 3-3 Miami FC
(Fondy 30', Shriver 61', Bravo 78')-(Chaves 7', 80', Poku 37')

USL
Real Monarchs 0-3 Arizona United
(Cortez 49', Blackwood 57', Tan PK 86')

North American League tables

Headlines
Atlanta United have added another player for when it begins play next spring. Tito Villalba will join the side from San Lorenzo in Argentina. With Atlanta not playing a game until March, the winger is heading out on loan, likely to Tijuana in Mexico. He joins fellow MLS players Ignacio Piatti and Gonzalo Veron as players who led San Lorenzo to the 2014 Copa Libertadores title.

Columbus Crew also made a roster move today. they brought in American goalkeeper Zack Steffan from Freiburg of the Bundesliga. The American U-20 international was slated to be the third string keeper in Germany. Instead, the University of Maryland product can backup Steve Clark in his homeland.

Steve Bruce did not get the England gig and now he is without a job overall. Bruce has left his post at newly promoted Hull City. He had been with the Tigers since 2012. It is possible that he returns to Sunderland, where he coached from 2009-2011. Or he may take up an assistant role to Sam Allardyce at England.

Today's Matches
MLS
Portland Timbers v. LA Galaxy- 3:30pm- ESPN
Columbus Crew v. Orlando City- 7:30pm
Montreal Impact v. Philadelphia Union- 7:30pm
New England Revolution v. Chicago Fire- 7:30pm
Toronto FC v. D.C. United- 7:30pm
Colorado Rapids v. FC Dallas- 9pm
Houston Dynamo v. Vancouver Whitecaps- 9:30pm

Liga MX
Chiapas v. Pachuca- 6pm- Univision Deportes
Cruz Azul v. Pumas UNAM- 6pm- UniMas
Morelia v. Queretaro- 8pm
UANL v. Atlas- 8pm- UniMas
Leon v. Necaxa- 8:06pm- Univision
Club America v. Toluca- 10pm- UniMas

NASL
Jacksonville Armada v. Ottawa Fury- 5pm- beIN
Indy Eleven v. FC Edmonton- 7:30pm- ESPN3
Puerto Rico FC v. Rayo OKC- 7:30pm- ESPN3
Tampa Bay Rowdies v. New York Cosmos- 7:30pm- ESPN3
Minnesota United v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 8pm- ESPN3

USL
New York Red Bulls II v. Charleston Battery- 4pm- YouTube
FC Cincinnati v. Louisville City- 4pm- YouTube
Pittsburgh Riverhounds v. Charlotte Independence- 7pm- YouTube
Richmond Kickers v. Toronto FC II- 7pm- YouTube
St. Louis FC v. Colorado Springs Switchbacks- 8:30pm- YouTube
San Antonio FC v. LA Galaxy II- 8:30pm- YouTube
Swope Park Rangers v. Orange County Blues- 8:30pm- YouTube
OKC Energy v. Tulsa Roughnecks- 8:30pm- YouTube

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Spain hire Del Bosque replacement

Yesterday's Score
USL
Bethlehem Steel 0-1 Harrisburg City Islanders
(Jankouskas 75')

Headlines
England weren't the only European power searching for a new manager. Spain was also in the same boat after legendary boss Vicente del Bosque retired after the European Championships. The Spanish have named Julen Lopetegui as del Bosque's successor. He was a goalkeeper on both sides of El Clasico and most recently managed for Portuguese giants FC Porto.

One of the few bright spots on Newcastle's relegation bound squad last year was Dutch international Giorginio Wijnaldum. He has now been sold to Liverpool for £25 million. He played in all 38 matches for the Magpies last year while scoring 11 goals.

Barcelona have splashed the cash for Portuguese international Andre Gomes. They sent Valencia €35 million for his services, but the total compensation could reach as much as €55 million if certain performance incentives are reached. Gomes had played at Valencia since being loaned from Benfica in 2013, having scored nine times over that time span. 

Today's Matches
MLS
Real Salt Lake v. San Jose Earthquakes- 11pm- UniMas

Liga MX
Veracruz v. Santos- 10pm- Univision Deportes

NASL
Carolina RailHawks v. Miami FC- 7:30pm- CBS Sports Network

USL
Real Monarchs v. Arizona United- 9pm- YouTube

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Allardyce to take over England

Yesterday's Scores
US Open Cup- Quarterfinals
New England Revolution 1-1 Philadelphia Union (4-2 in penalties)
(Watson 44')-(Herbers 90')

Chicago Fire 3-0 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
(Accam PK 5', de Leeuw 35', Thaim 51')

Houston Dynamo 0-1 FC Dallas
(Castillo 90+1')

LA Galaxy 4-2 Seattle Sounders
(Gordon 17', Dos Santos 77', Lletget 85', 88')-(Farfan 4', Gomez 58')

Fort Lauderdale Strikers become the last MLS team to get eliminated in their defeat to the Chicago Fire. They will take the small financial boost, for sure. Their struggles to pay players and staff have been well documented of late.

USL
FC Cincinnati 1-2 New York Red Bulls II
(McLaughlin 60')-(Bilyeu 82', Valot 86')

Toronto FC II 1-1 Rochester Rhinos
(Thomas 77')-(Volesky 27')

Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1-1 Swope Park Rangers
(Seth 61')-(Molano 90')

Headlines
All the Steve Bruce stuff from yesterday was total bunk. Instead of Bruce, Sunderland's Sam Allardyce will be named England's new manager. He had only been with the Black Cats for nine months before accepting this more high profile gig. He did help them stave of relegation yet again, so it isn't like his brief tenure was without any accomplishment. He's a seasoned Premier League veteran, only Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, and Harry Redknapp have managed more matches in the top flight. He was also interviewed for England's job after the 2006 World Cup, but Steve McClaren won out over him. His first competitive match will be a September 4 World Cup Qualifier against Slovakia. The news should be made official today.

Another big story is Manchester United trying to throw big money towards Juventus for Paul Pogba. The club has agreed on personal terms with the Frenchman, but still is yet to agree to an astronomical transfer fee with Juventus. They are reportedly in talks for a deal north of £100m.

The Premier League announced some new red card worth offenses yesterday. Now, aggressive verbal confrontations with the referee can result in a straight red card. Abusive language towards the red and physical contact with him are specifically mentioned. Less offensive responses to a referees decision can get a player yellowed as well.

Today's Matches
USL
Bethlehem Steel v. Harrisburg City Islanders- 4pm- YouTube

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Kreis signs with Orlando City

Yesterday's Scores
None

Headlines
Orlando City has their officials Adrian Heath replacement. As was rumored earlier this week, Jason Kreis will oversee the Lions' efforts to jump back into the playoff picture this season. The former New York City and Real Salt Lake manager signed a deal with last season's other expansion club yesterday. He will not be on the touchline on Saturday when Orlando takes on the Crew, though. He will take over after.

England's search for a new manager is sticking close to home, so far. Steve Bruce, currently in charge of recently re-promoted Hull City, is reportedly in talks to take charge of the Three Lions. It doesn't seem like anything has reached the formal stage of negotiations yet, but this certainly points to Jurgen Klinsmann staying at his USMNT post, which he is likely to do anyway.

Speaking of international management jobs, if you have experience and results in world football, a proven track record in imparting tactical knowledge on top level players, and a proven record to work with leading world football experts, among other things, you have a shot at becoming Belgium's next coach! If this fits your profile, head over here to apply before July 31.

Today's Matches
US Open Cup- Quarterfinals
New England Revolution v. Philadelphia Union- 7:30pm
Chicago Fire v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 8:30pm
Houston Dynamo v. FC Dallas- 8:30pm
LA Galaxy v. Seattle Sounders- 10:30pm

USL
FC Cincinnati v. New York Red Bulls II- 7pm- YouTube
Toronto FC II v. Rochester Rhinos- 7:30pm- YouTube
Colorado Springs Switchbacks v. Swope Park Rangers- 9pm- YouTube

One other match to keep an eye on is part of the early stages of Champions League Qualifying. Last week, Gibraltar's Lincoln Red Imps scored a 1-0 home victory against Scottish champions Celtic. The second leg of the tie is today. Although it is highly unlikely the semi-pro club from the tiny British dependency near Spain is looking to pull of a shocking upset.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Kreis close to Orlando City job

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
Portland Timbers 3-1 Seattle Sounders
(Valeri 44', 50', Adi 64')-(Marshall 59')

Montreal Impact 1-3 New York City FC
(Shipp 55')-(Villa 35', Harrison 45+2', Lampard 85')

Philadelphia Union 2-2 New York Red Bulls
(Sapong PK 67', Pontius 68')-(Kljestan 27', 44')

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM 1-0 Guadalajara
(Pereira OG 56')

Santos 0-0 UANL

NASL
FC Edmonton 1-0 Ottawa Fury
(Ledgerwood 82')

USL
Wilmington Hammerheads 1-4 Louisville City
(Perone PK 88')-(Abend 12', Hoffman PK 64', 80', Quinn 69')

Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-2 Harrisburg City Islanders
(Hertzog 60')-(Barril 32', Leverock 29')

North American League Tables

Headlines
Jason Kreis, who managed New York City FC for their opening season before being sacked, is reportedly close to becoming Orlando City's new boss. The Lions dismissed their only manager in club history a couple weeks ago and are supposedly in advanced discussions with Kreis. Before taking the reins in the Big Apple, Kreis was in charge at Real Salt Lake from 2007-2013, winning MLS Cup in 2009 and losing in the CONCACAF Champions League Final the next season.

Arjen Robben might miss Bayern Munich's season opener. The Dutch winger is out for six weeks with an abductor muscle injury suffered in their preseason opener. The oft injured 32-year-old only played in 15 matches last season for the German champions. He will be touch and go to make Bayern's season opener on August 26 against Werder Bremen.

Today's Matches
None

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday MLS: Timbers rule Cascadia, NYC asserts itself in first

Portland Timbers 3-1 Seattle Sounders
The first match between these two bitter northwest rivals was loud and intense early on. The Timbers looked to be doing better with the ball in the opening quarter hour. They saw a (weak) penalty shout and Lucas Melano missing an absolute sitter as their early chances. Seattle countered nicely and Jordan Morris mysteriously missed a point blank shot in the 17th. Portland's dominance was rewarded in the 44th minute when Melano did something right for the first time in the match. He won a 50-50 ball along the touchline in midfield, worked a give and go with Diego Valeri, then picked out Valeri again for the low shot inside the far post and the Timbers had a half time lead.

Seattle's second half mission was to make a little more of their possession advantage and to slow down the quick and dangerous Portland counterattack. They wasted little time in creating chances for themselves. Jake Gleeson had to make a couple nice saves within the first three minutes of the restart. It was Diego Valeri making the noise, though. The Timbers' maestro somehow looped a shot over Stefan Frei, off the far post, and into the net in the 50th minute. It was an impossibly goal, even for Valeri's standards.

A series of corners in the 59th minute would produce the Sounders' first goal.  Their tenth of the afternoon finally beat Gleeson thanks to a rocket header from Chad Marshall. Portland would extinguish that flame all of five minutes later. In the 64th minute Melano spearheaded a counter attack with a box to box run with the ball before picking out Fanendo Adi for the easy finish. That more or less ended it for Seattle. Portland was able to use their drive and the general apathy from the Sounders to tidily sew this match up into three points in this massive rivalry.

The win puts the Timbers over the red line into sixth place and leaves the Sounders in the Western basement, nine points back of a postseason spot.

Montreal Impact 1-3 New York City FC
New York City might actually be a good team. They went into Montreal and took it to one of their fellow Eastern favorites. David Villa opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a nifty move past the Hassoun Camara at right back and taking a well placed shot into the far corner. Rookie of the year candidate Jack Harrison doubled the lead seconds before the half time whistle with a stunning move to take down Ambroise Oyongo and sniping a shot past a helpless Evan Bush.

Montreal gathered a little bit of life in the 55th minute. Harry Shipp with a long range shot that Josh Saunders would really love to have back. The goal didn't provide the morale boost that the Impact were hoping for. Instead, they failed to really get much going and eventually conceded an insurance goal to Frank Lampard. The former Chelsea star was just in the right place at the right time to knock the ball home and seal three points for the still first place NYCFC. Montreal is lagging behind in fourth, but still in the race for the top spot in the East.

Philadelphia Union 2-2 New York Red Bulls
A nationally televised game agaisnt one of the proven powers in the Eastern Conference was enough to bring a large crowd to Philadelphia for the first time in recent memory. That capacity crowd was a little disappointed at half time, though. The New York Red Bulls asserted their authority early on in the match. Sacha Kljestan was the harbinger of that disappointment. His first half brace included a 27th minute goal after a careless turnover by Philly in their own end and a deflected free kick just before the break.

The Union would storm back in the second half. A pair of goals in as many minutes leveled the score for a fantastic final finish. First, a penalty allowed C.J. Sapong to capitalize from the spot in the 67th. Chris Pontius would equalize in the 68th to get the crowd really back into the match. The momentum seemed to take a hit in the 72nd when Ilsinho was sent off for violent conduct in the 72nd, but ten men Union carried on and kept the pressure on their superior numbered foes. The pressure lead to chances, but no goals and the sides shared an exciting point.

That keeps the Union three points back of New York City atop the East, but they do have a game in hand. The Red Bulls are two points back in third.

Hooligan's Wake Up: Back from vacation

After a week in the Smoky Mountains, I'm back and ready to blog some soccer!

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
Columbus Crew 1-1 D.C. United
(Kamara 63')-(Espindola 89')

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
(Hairston 78')

FC Dallas 3-1 Chicago Fire
(Urruti 23', Diaz 41', Rosales 90+2')-(Alvarez 90+1')

Real Salt Lake 0-0 New England Revolution

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Orlando City
(Mezquida 35', Kudo 43')(Baptista 14', Larin 50')

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Toronto FC
(Amarikwa 30', Dawkins 70')-(Morrow 44')

Full MLS Recap

Liga MX
Querétaro 2-0 Veracruz
(Villa 70', Valencia 81')

Atlas 1-1 Toluca
(Barragan 54')-(Triverio 85')

Monterrey 1-1 Puebla
(Pabon PK 9')-(Canelo 72')

Pachuca 5-1 Leon
(Lozano 22', 40', Urretaviscaya 76', Medina 80', Jara 87')-(Montes 25')

Club America 2-0 Chiapas
(Quintero 50', Romero 90')

Necaxa 0-0 Cruz Azul

NASL
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0-1 Carolina RailHawks
(Shriver 23')

Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-0 Puerto Rico FC
(Cole 10', Avila 25', Heinemann 90+3')

Miami FC 1-0 Jacksonville Armada
(Chavez 90+2')

Minnesota United 2-0 Indy Eleven
(Ramirez PK 3', 6')

Rayo OKC 3-0 New York Cosmos
(Michel PK 49', 65', Samaras 90+3')

USL
Portland Timbers 2 1-4 LA Galaxy II
(Clarke 35')-(Nishanian 6', Rebellon 18', Mendiola 39', McBean 75')

Charlotte Independence 1-2 New York Red Bulls II
(Davidson 48')-(Bonomo 15', Metzger 63')

Rochester Rhinos 3-1 FC Montreal
(Volesky 32', Dos Santos 49', Fall 79')-(Mkungilwa 13')

OKC Energy 2-1 Orange County Blues
(Thomas 22', Wojcik 34')-(Caesar 25')

San Antonio FC 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
(Castillo PK 64', Tayou 90+3')

Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1-0 Sacramento Republic
(Greer 83')

Arizona United 2-3 Seattle Sounders 2
(Cortez 29', Tan 36')-(Jones 25', 56', Schweitzer 45')

North American League Tables

Headlines
Chelsea have done what Arsenal could not and have captured a signing room Leicester City. N'Golo Kante will head to West London after the Foxes sold him for around £30 million. He is Antonio Conte's second major signing in charge at his new club, having captured Michy Batshuayi earlier in the summer.

Tomorrow's Matches
MLS
Portland Timbers v. Seattle Sounders- 3pm- FOX
Montreal Impact v. New York City FC- 5pm- ESPN
Philadelphia Union v. New York Red Bulls- 7pm- FS1

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM v. Guadalajara- 1pm- Univision
Santos v. UANL- 7pm- Univision Deportes

NASL
FC Edmonton v. Ottawa Fury- 4pm- ESPN3

USL
Wilmington Hammerheads v. Louisville City- 6pm- YouTube
Pittsburgh Riverhounds v. Harrisburg City Islanders- 7pm- YouTube

It Happened in America: Caps debut 15-year-old in draw against Orlando

Columbus Crew 1-1 D.C. United
The Crew were more or less their usual selves for this match. They had plenty of possession, but failed to do much with it. They got a goal from a guy named Kamara, too. Ola Kamara was able to direct a Harrison Afful cross in the 63rd minute to give them the lead. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to hold on when all was said and done. Afful was sent off for a soft studs up challenge with a quarter hour to go, which started their decline. United ruled the game after that and were rewarded in the 89th minute with an equalizer from Fabian Espindola. 

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
Colorado has grown increasingly passive as their surprisingly successful season has wore on. their strong defense is still there, but they seem to be struggling with concocting any sort of attack.With consistent pressure on the SKC goal, however, they did manage to get themselves a goal ahead goal from Marlon Hairston's perfectly placed curling shot in the 78th minute. That would be enough for Colorado's league best defense to hold on for their fifth straight win over Sporting Kansas City and their third clean sheet in their last four matches. It was also their first win in the Tim Howard era.

FC Dallas 3-1 Chicago Fire
As you would expect from the Supporters Shield leaders hosting one of the lower teams in the East, Dallas was in control pretty much from the start. They went in front with a 23rd minute header from Maxi Urruti, although it was really Fabian Castillo doing the dirty work with the Rabona pass to set him up. Mauro Diaz buried the second in the 41st. It didn't look like they'd have to do much to hold the lead until the closing seconds. Arturo Alvarez bent home a fantastic free kick in the first minute of stoppage time to give the Fire some hope, but hope was all it would be. A minute later, Mauro Rosales turned a shot into an open goal to seal the deal for FC Dallas.

Real Salt Lake 0-0 New England Revolution
This was a pretty even match that simply didn't produce anything. Both sides had plenty of looks on goal, but nothing was of the quality required to find a goal. Considering Real Salt Lake is challenging for the top spot in the West and New England hadn't won in Utah since 2007, this is a pretty solid result for the Revs. RSL, on the other hand, finds themselves ten points off the pace in the Western Conference.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Orlando City
The first half was rather busy in Vancouver. It didn't begin well for the home team though. David Ousted will certainly wand the opening goal back in this one. Julio Baptista managed to sneak a low bouncer past The Great Dane in the 14th minute. Nicolas Mezquida was able to pick him up by providing a 35th minute equalizer. Masato Kudo gave them the lead a couple minutes before half time by heading home a free kick among some very poor Orlando defending. The Lions would get back on the level just four minutes into the second. Cyle Larin out jumped the Vancouver back line to head home the equalizer. Things didn't improve for the Caps after that. Baptista worked hard to earn a penalty in the 59th minute, however, he skied the penalty in awful fashion to keep the game level. that was the best chance for either side to earn the win, although Ousted did have to make a big save to preserve the draw in the closing minutes.

A significant side note from the second half was the professional debut of 15 year old Alphonso Davies. He held his own against his fully grown competition and the kid certainly shows some promise at a young age.

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Toronto FC
San Jose hasn't scored in a couple games and they broke that spell in impressive fashion. Quincy Amarikwa slipped a side footed shot in off a pass from Fatai Alashe at the half hour mark. Toronto was able to tie the match up before the break, after San Jose had a man sent off. Justin Morrow bagged the goal in the 44th minute. The real fireworks came in the form of two San Jose red cards. Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero were both sent off for serious fouls before an hour had passed. The nine man Quakes had to defend the scary Toronto attack. They weren't really deterred by their inferior manpower. Simon Dawkins got them back in front with a thunderous goal in the 70th minute. Toronto looked more or less defeated at this point. They seemingly had no answers for San Jose's stout shorthanded defense, whose tactics amounted to recover the ball and boot it down the pitch as quickly as possible. Their heroism paid off and they took the full three points in this one.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Klinsmann might, possibly be talking with England

Yesterday's Scores
MLS
Orlando City 0-0 Houston Dynamo

San Jose Earthquakes 0-1 FC Dallas
(Urruti 51')

Full MLS recap

USL
Harrisburg City Islanders 0-3 Richmond Kickers
(Paulini 11', Jane 27', Callahan 75')

North American League Tables

Headlines
Take this with a grain of salt, but Jurgen Klinsmann might be in discussions with England to become their next manager. A former German colleague of his claims that he very well could be talking to the FA, but he offered no solid proof. Klinsmann lives in a fancy California mansion, has become quite Americanized, and is under contract for two more years. He has little reason to leave his relatively cushy job in the states for what would certainly be a more stressful gig across the pond.

Jurgen Klopp has signed a six year extension on his deal at Liverpool. The former Dortmund boss arrived at Anfield last fall and led the Reds to the Europa League final, where they lost to now three time champion Sevilla. He will now remain with the club until 2022, assuming he doesn't get fired first.

Leicester City have broken their record transfer free to bring Nigeria international Ahmed Musa on board. They paid CSKA Moscow £16 million for his signature. He scored 54 goals during his four seasons in Russia and 11 times in 58 international appearances for Nigeria.

Lower tier soccer in America has always struggled for financial viability. The NASL has long been privy to this sad fact. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers appear to be the latest club to undergo financial hardships and it's trickling down to the players and staff. Players have had paychecks bounce back for three pay cycles and have waited up to a week later to actually get paid. Same goes for club staff members.

Today'a Matches
MLS
Seattle Sounders v. LA Galaxy- 3pm- ESPN
Philadelphia Union v. D.C. United- 7pm
New England Revolution v. Columbus Crew- 7:30pm
Toronto FC v. Chicago Fire- 7:30pm
Real Salt Lake v, Montreal Impact- 10pm
Vancouver Whitecaps v. Colorado Rapids- 10pm

NASL
Jacksonville Armada v. Puerto Rico FC- 7pm- ESPN3
Carolina RailHawks v. Tampa Bay Rowdies- 7:30pm- ESPN3
Indy Eleven v. Minnesota United- 7:30pm- beIN
Miami FC v. New York Cosmos- 8pm- ESPN3

USL
FC Montreal v. New York Red Bulls I- 3pm- YouTube
Charlotte Independence v. Wilmington Hammerheads- 7pm- YouTube
Louisville City v. Charleston Battery- 7:30pm- YouTube
St. Louis FC v. FC Cincinnati- 8:30pm- YouTube
San Antonio FC v. OKC Energy- 8:30pm- YouTube
Arizona United v. Swope Park Rangers- 10:30pm- YouTube

Friday MLS: Urruti bike gives Dallas win, bigger Shield lead

Orlando City 0-0 Houston Dynamo
Orlando City was playing its first match ever, at any level, without Adrian Heath at the helm. Strangely, it was also the first match that his son, Harrison Heath, would start this season. Orlando was mostly in control of the ball for this match, although they never really did much with it. Houston certainly did mode with their limited chances, particularly as the match wore down. Although nothing paid off, they did hit a post in the 88th minute. In the end, it was a mostly dull scoreless draw. The point does put Orlando City into a playoff spot for at least a day.

San Jose Earthquakes 0-1 FC Dallas
After a somewhat chippy. but scoreless first half, Dallas got on the board thanks to an insane 51st minute bicycle kick from Maxi Urruti. Neither team had generated much offense before that. They only took four shots each before the wondergoal. The lack of potency in attack continued after Dallas took the lead, too, although the Quakes became more desperate in the final minutes. It didn't get them anywhere, though, and Dallas held on for the victory.

The win means Dallas extends their Supporters Shield lead to four points over Colorado. The Rapds have three extra matches still to play. so expect that lead to shrink as early as tomorrow. The Quakes miss a chance to leap into a temporary playoff position. They remain in eighth, two points back of the red line.