Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
2. MLS PLAYOFFS: D.C. United & Dallas celebrate road wins; Chivas & Chicago down visitors
October 23rd, 2006 1:14AM

MOST READ


By Ridge Mahoney

Two home teams held serve and two didn't in the first leg of the MLS conference semifinals, and the two that didn't need monumental efforts to overturn their series next weekend.

Yet the performances of Colorado, a 2-1 loser to FC Dallas, and the New York Red Bulls, toppled 1-0 by D.C. United, had little in common other than the expected outcomes of the No. 4 seeds failing to beat the No.1 seeds in their home legs.

The matchups of the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, on the other hand, were just about as tight and hard-fought as anticipated. New England, beaten 1-0 in Chicago, and Houston, nicked 2-1 by Chivas USA, have realistic hopes of reversing those deficits in the return matches.

HIGH DRAMA AT HOME DEPOT. Along with D.C., Houston and Chivas USA are regarded as the most skillful teams in MLS, and they generated some magical moments and not a few controversial ones in Chivas USA's 2-1 win. Brad Guzan saved a Dwayne DeRosario penalty kick that would have tied the match 2-2 with five minutes to play; that PK was questionable, but perhaps it was a make up for a flying Guzan challenge on Brian Ching that was ignored by referee Jorge Gonzalez.

Ching had narrowed the deficit to 2-1 by stinging home a low Brian Mullan with 15 minutes left. A darting header by Francisco Palencia gave substitute Sacha Kljestan an assist with his first touch, a swerving free kick that Palencia nailed just inside the near post for the 2-0 lead.A nicely curled free kick by Ante Razov as the first half was about to expire completely befuddled Houston keeper Pat Onstad.

FIRED UP. New England held a 12-8 edge in shots yet the Fire's Chris Rolfe and Andy Herron buzzed the Revs' goal often in the Fire's 1-0 win.

The Revs could rightly claim luck didn't go their way. Clint Dempsey inadvertently blocked a Jay Heaps header from a fine Ralston cross, and later Dempsey hobbled off with a sprained ankle incurred while shooting just wide as C.J. Brown crunched him.

BULL SESSION. A moment of brilliant interplay between Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno produced the only goal at the Meadowlands, but the sequence was set up by a typical piece of gritty work that is a staple of United's game yet often gets overlooked.

Ben Olsen dug the ball out of a tangle, got it under control, and stroked it to Gomez, whose give-and-go with Moreno sent him clear to tap a shot into the Red Bull net with 13 minutes to play for D.C. United's 1-0 win. Alecko Eskandarian pierced the Red Bulls' back line several times and his mobility and aggressiveness opened up space for his teammates to exploit.

BIG 'D' FOR DARIO. The Rapids dynamic frontline duo of Nicolas Hernandez and Thiago Martins ruthlessly exposed the Dallas defensive deficiencies as they outshot their foe 17-6, but keeper Dario Sala stonewalled Colorado enough times that the other striking partnership -- Carlos Ruiz and Abe Thompson, with a goal apiece - carried Western Conference champion Dallas to its 2-1 victory at Invesco Field.

Click here for more on the MLS quarterfinal, first-leg games.
For MLS quarterfinal lineups, scorers, attendance, cards, click here.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Lack of playing time worrying for bubble players    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] With only four weeks at most for most players before the end of their ...
Three games to watch    
[MLS: Week 7] Real Salt Lake and Portland face off for the first time since meeting ...
Ref thwarts hidden ball trick    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli of Swedish club Hammarby tucked the ...
What They're Saying    
"This is going to be the foundation of the World Cup. It's a dry climate. It's ...
Howard's extension 'incredible moment' for Everton    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton has signed U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard to a two-year extension that ...
NYCFC affiliates with eight New York area youth clubs    
[MLS 2015] MLS expansion club New York City FC (which will announce on Monday plans to ...
What They're Saying    
"You should never underestimate the allure of daytime drinking. If you're in a bar at 7 ...
Injured World Cup hopefuls set to contribute    
[MLS: The USA 20] There is good news on the U.S. national team front regarding MLS ...
De Grandpre returns to Red Bulls    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Marc de Grandpre is back with the New York Red Bulls, having been hired ...
U.S. U-20s sweep group play with win over Tigres    
[DALLAS CUP] The U.S. under-20 national team beat Tigres of Mexico, 1-0, and moved into the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives