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
3. MLS QUARTERFINALS: Four fight to overcome one-goal deficits
October 26th, 2006 11:03PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

MLS's 2006 semifinalists will be determined this weekend with the second-leg games of the quarterfinal series, which are decided on aggregate goals. Here's Soccer America Senior Editor Ridge Mahoney's take on the four clashes this Saturday and Sunday.

New England-Chicago
(Chicago leads, 1-0)
Saturday, 7:30 pm ET. TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Direct Kick.

The Revs are only one goal down but are also two players short, give or take a sprained ankle. Shalrie Joseph is suspended and Clint Dempsey is hobbling from the effects of a crunching C.J. Brown tackle in the first match in Chicago.

Andy Dorman is being justifiably ripped for turning away from Justin Mapp's free kick as it zipped into the net, yet had Taylor Twellman put away a header from a Dorman chip the teams would probably be tied, 1-1. Dorman's incisiveness can decide this match; he glided into good positions last weekend only to hit poor crosses or shoot weakly.

Without Joseph patrolling midfield, the task of tracking Chicago's busy attackers is difficult. Andy Herron, Ivan Guerrero, Chris Rolfe and Mapp will cause problems, as will 6-foot-3 Nate Jaqua.

Dallas vs. Colorado
(Dallas leads, 2-1)
Saturday, 8:30 pm ET. TV: Direct Kick.

None of the omens look good for the Rapids, who deserved at least a tie last week but were victimized by a few tough officiating decisions and their own ineptitude.

Thiago Martins terrorized the Dallas defense last week, but he's been suspended for throwing an elbow. Pablo Mastroeni replaced the suspended Mike Petke in the back line, and midfielder Kyle Beckerman responded with a solid two-way game. Somebody, though, needs to score goals or set up Nicolas Hernandez.

Without Martins, Coach Fernando Clavijo has few options up front, with Clint Mathis sadly ineffective, Jovan Kirovksi out of form, and Fabrice Noel extremely inexperienced. FC Dallas has more firepower, efficient goalscorers in Kenny Cooper and Carlos Ruiz, and on its home surface at Pizza Hut Park should be able to control the midfield.


D.C. United-New York Red Bulls
(D.C. leads, 1-0).
Sunday, 6 pm ET. TV: ESPN2.

First goal wins, if it's the home team, because if United gets the lead and goes into management mode, it's over.

United's Alecko Eskandarian's finishing looked rusty in the first leg; he'll be sharper in game two and should get chances to redeem himself.

The former Metros' magic triangle of Youri Djorkaeff, Markus Schopp and Amado Guevara is capable of a breakthrough, but not playing from two goals down. They have the talent to get the goals yet front-to-back don't have the personnel hold off a D.C. United playing for keeps unless the likes of Marvell Wynne and Seth Stammler play the best game of their young professional lives.

If the Red Bulls tie the series, 1-1, United should buckle down and squash the annoying pest, except that last year it was bounced out of the playoffs by Chicago, 4-0, at RFK. A team that misfired during the last month of the regular season could also seize up enough to keep the outcome in doubt. That isn't likely with Jaime Moreno and Christian Gomez on the field.

Houston-Chivas USA
(Chivas USA leads, 2-1)
Sunday, 8 pm ET. TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Direct Kick, HDNet.

The Dynamo should have come out of Home Depot Center with a tie, irrespective of one penalty kick not called and a dubious one that was called being saved.

Coach Dominic Kinnear has a tough call up front. Paul Dalglish is not a bad player but has yet to forge a consistent understanding with Brian Ching. Alejandro Moreno may not be as talented, yet he's quick, dangerous and aggressive, and has played several seasons not only with Ching but also with playmaker Dwyane DeRosario, who is due for a monster performance.

Brian Mullan's game last week conjured images of him scything past defenders and drilling balls into the box as he did a few years ago. If he repeats that effort, and left-sided Brad Davis stops hitting pretty balls and launches effective ones, Chivas USA's defense will be punctured.

The wild card is Jonathan Bornstein, a bit rattled perhaps in his first playoff game aside from a few good moments. He also had to chase Mullan for much of the game, a dynamic - no pun intended - that favors Houston.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
NASL will open 2015 spring season on April 4    
The North American Soccer League will open its fifth season with the first week of the ...
Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too    
It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the ...
U.S. Abroad: Midweek Hot (and Cold) List    
John Brooks scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season for Hertha Berlin to open the ...
Road to Vancouver: More to Brazil than Marta    
Marta, whose magnificent performance powered Brazil past the USA Sunday at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
TV Report: Fox plans unprecedented coverage    
The 2015 Women's World Cup will receive unprecedented coverage on Fox as it will air 16 ...
Klinsmann red-carded in starring role against Germany    
Jonathan Klinsmann's first international match against Germany, the country his father, Jurgen, played for and coached, ...
Olsen sees new D.C. stadium as one piece of grand plan    
He's D.C. United through and through, so head coach and former player Ben Olsen knows better ...
A decade later, D.C. United gets its stadium    
No MLS stadium deal has been a cakewalk, but no club spent so many years before ...
Lagerwey succession begins at Real Salt Lake    
General manager Garth Lagerwey is not even out the door -- his future home is reported ...
Gold Cup expands into Canada    
The 2015 Gold Cup will be played in many of the usual cities -- 11 of ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives