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
MLS Cup '06: Soccer America Report Card
November 12th, 2006 10:44PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

HOUSTON 1 NEW ENGLAND 1 (Houston wins 4-3 on penalties.)

PLAYER RATINGS
(1-low; 5-average; 10-high)

New England: Reis 6, Heaps 5, Parkhurst 6, John 6, Dorman 5, Ralston 6, Hernandez 5, Joseph 6, Franchino 6, Noonan 5, Twellman 6. Subs: Smith 6, Dempsey 6, Larentowicz NR.

Houston: Onstad 6, Barrett 6, Robinson 6, Cochrane 6, Waibel 6, Serioux 6, Davis 5, Mullan 5, DeRosario 6, Ching 7, Dalglish 4. Subs: Moreno 4, Gray 6, Holden NR.

GAME ANALYSIS

Both teams were deprived of vital starters. Adrian Serioux filled for suspended Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark. Revs attacker Clint Dempsey conceded his place to Andy Dorman, with Revs coach Steve Nicol using Daniel Hernandez and Shalrie Joseph in the middle.

The Revs lacked precision in the final pass and for much of the match couldn't keep possession. Joseph won numerous balls but few of them were smartly exploited. Dorman triggered several promising sequences, including a wide ball to Joey Franchino for a perfect cross that Taylor Twellman headed strongly but too close to Houston keeper Pat Onstad, who saved it. Dorman also pushed forward up the middle and fired a shot that was deflected for a corner.

Houston nearly scored in the first minute, when midfielder Brad Davis raced to the back post and shot into the side netting from a sharp angle. The Dynamo controlled most of the play for the first 20 minutes; the rest of the first half was even and not particularly crisp. Dwayne DeRosario fired a low, first-time shot that Matt Reis pushed past the near post late in the half, after Onstad's reflex save thwarted Twellman, and Brian Mullan fired way over the bar from the edge of the box to squander good service from Wade Barrett.

Houston changed from its traditional 4-4-2 late in the first half, pushing into a 3-5-2 to combat New England more effectively in midfield. Stalemate ensued. Dempsey's insertion for Dorman in the 62nd minute livened up the game at both ends; Onstad stopped a shot from Steve Ralston and Dempsey just failed to reach a ball Pat Noonan drove within two yards of the far post. Matt Reis stood his ground to block a point-blank shot that reached Barrett after Brian Ching had whiffed on it.

Nicol had sent on Khano Smith early in the second half yet Houston kept his rampaging runs up the left flank fairly well contained until the 112th minute, when he came inside and played a great through ball that Twellman let bounce off his ankle before firing it low just inside the far post. Right from the kickoff, Mullan pushed up the right and his cross deflected off Avery John and Ching peeled away from Jay Heaps to head it in.




No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Revs' locals ready to make history    
The New England Revolution enters MLS Cup with the worst record in league history. It's lost ...
Charlie Davies' comeback reaches a milestone    
On the field, in the locker room, on the podium during a press conference, Charlie Davies ...
Previewing Saturday's Women's World Cup draw     
Students of the World Cup draw know all about the intricacies of the process and history ...
Specter of Alonso looms over Sounders-Galaxy showdown    
The best two MLS teams in the regular season meet to decide which of them will ...
The German connection, college edition    
Just as the U.S. national team has taken on a German influence with a German, Jurgen ...
Cahill in the crosshairs for crucial second leg    
Bradley Wright-Phillips out, Tim Cahill in starts just about every discussion of the Revs-Red Bulls showdown ...
Three takeaways from LA Galaxy-Seattle    
The Western Conference finalists are separated by just one goal heading into the second leg in ...
Three takeaways from New York-New England    
The New England Revolution made it three wins in three playoff games with a 2-1 win ...
My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann    
I'll begin by saying Project Klinsmann is too big to fail, so Jurgen Klinsmann is going ...
Three keys that could decide New England-New York series    
New York hosts the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals against New England Sunday, more ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives