Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World 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
Clutch goals from key players
by Ridge Mahoney, September 20th, 2010 2:08AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] In playoff games and those played in a similar environment as the MLS postseason draws nearer, the pressure on attackers to set up and score goals intensifies. Some big-name offensive players responded in crunch games last week; others weren't so influential. Those performances affected greatly which teams gained ground, and which faltered.

Landon Donovan rallied the Galaxy past D.C. United, 2-1, by scoring two late goals, and Dwayne De Rosario drilled two spectacular free kicks in a 2-1 TFC comeback win in Houston. Kei Kamara scored one goal and set up the other for Kansas City’s first road victory against Chivas USA; Designated Player Blaise Nkufo thumped three into the net as the Sounders pummeled Columbus, 4-0; and the Conor Casey-Omar Cummings duo shared a pair of goals as Colorado routed New England, 3-0.

GALAXY GOES BACK ON TOP. By beating United, Los Angeles (15-5-5, 50 points) regained a three-point lead over Columbus and Real Salt Lake in the overall standings. Donovan pressured D.C. defender Dejan Jakovic and scooped up the ensuing loose ball to equalize in the 81st minute, and five minutes later got his head to a bouncing diagonal ball from Tristen Bowen to loop the winner over keeper Troy Perkins and under the bar.

In a postgame interview, Donovan said he wants to keep the MVP Award he won last year. He’s made a pretty good case by leading MLS in assists (14) and scoring seven goals for the league’s best team.

DE RO DELIVERS. Though Brian Ching opened the scoring by heading in a Brad Davis free kick, Houston’s careless defending provided a pair of free kicks that teammates touched for De Rosario to blast home. His 10 th and 11th goals brought TFC a victory in its first league game since director of soccer Mo Johnston and head coach Preki were dismissed earlier this week, and revived the team’s playoff hopes.

Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said after the game Houston’s playoff hopes are just about gone. If he’s proven right, he’ll miss the playoffs after nine straight coaching appearances: as an assistant to Frank Yallop in San Jose from 2001 to 2003, as the Quakes head coach in 2004 and 2005, and the last four years in Houston.

KEI’S KARMA. In preseason, when former Crew striker Stern John approached MLS about returning to the league, Kansas City expressed an interest. But once Coach Peter Vermes negotiated a new contract for Kei Kamara, he dropped his interest in John. On Saturday Kamara got a goal and an assist to keep Kansas City within six points of a playoff spot.

Kamara broke open a goalless game in the 70 th minute by lobbing a long cross from Michael Harrington over the head of defender Dario Delgado and then volleying the ball into the net for his ninth goal. In the 83rd minute he hit a ball up the right flank for rookie Teal Bunbury to take past defender Michael Umana and stick into the top corner.

SOUNDERS GET LOUD. Seattle moved back into a tie with San Jose (36 points) by pummeling the Crew, 4-0, in Columbus Crew Stadium. Nkufo scored from a goalmouth scramble in the third minute, glided past defender Kevin Burns to score with a low shot from a sharp angle six minutes before halftime, and rounded off the rout in the 75th minute by guiding a Steve Zakuani cross into the top corner.

Nkufo, who signed with MLS during the winter and arrived after the World Cup, hadn’t scored in five league games and missed some time with a knee injury. Coach Sigi Schmid and teammates had praised his touch, his range, and his effort while expressing confidence the goals would eventually come. They be right.

PERFECT TENS. Cummings and Casey each scored their 10th goals of the season, and former Rev Wells Thompson netted his first as the Rapids simply outclassed New England.

Cummings scored from a Jamie Smith through ball in the fifth minute and combined with Smith 10 minutes before halftime to set up Casey, who had hit the post midway through the first half. Thompson hit a low roller that snuck between keeper Matt Reis and the near post, with ex-Red Bull Macoumba Kandji earning his first assist for the Rapids. Ex-Dynamo Brian Mullan also made his debut for Colorado, which retained its hold in sixth place.

PLAYOFF SNAPSHOT.
The automatic spots for the top two conference leaders are held by last year’s MLS Cup finalists and Western Conference rivals Los Angeles (50 points) and Real Salt Lake (47), and Eastern leaders Columbus (44) and New York (41).

Then come the four wild-cards, all from the West: FC Dallas (42), Colorado (37), San Jose and Seattle (both 36). If the standings finish as they are today, San Jose and Seattle would cross over to play the Crew and Red Bulls. Los Angeles would play Colorado, and RSL would face Dallas. If teams are tied on points at the end of the season, they will be separated by tiebreakers, starting with head-to-head results.

In the chasing pack are Toronto (31), Kansas City (30), and Chicago (26). The Wizards and Fire have the most games remaining, seven, as does San Jose. Chivas USA (25), Philadelphia and New England (both 24), Houston (23), and D.C. United (18) are the stragglers, though only United has been mathematically eliminated.



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL Week 3: Results & Standings    
Whitecaps FC 2 won their first game in team history with a 3-0 road victory over ...
MLS Trade Central: Seaton headed on loan to Sweden    
D.C. United has loaned 18-year-old Michael Seaton to Orebro of the Swedish Allsvenskanliga for the 2015 ...
Video Pick: All 11 players in on England U-21 goal    
England beat Germany 3-2 in a U-21 friendly earlier this week. James Ward-Prowse scored the gamewinner ...
What They're Saying: Raheem Sterling    
"It's not about the money at all. ... I talk about winning trophies throughout my career. ...
What They're Saying: Florida state senator Jeremy Ring    
"My guess is every one of you has seen a coach, a parent-coach, on the other ...
MLS adds to Fred suspension    
For the second week in a row, the MLS Disciplinary Committee has added a game to ...
Mexico and Argentina friendlies average 56,500    
Just how strong is the U.S. market for international soccer? Mexico and Argentina both played two ...
Road to Russia: Kluivert's Curacao advances    
Former Dutch great Patrick Kluivert has led Curacao to the second World Cup 2018 qualifying round ...
Klinsmann, ever the optimist, refuses to buckle    
Another blown lead didn't prevent U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his players from finding positives ...
Video Pick: Soccer meets 'Game of Thrones'     
Does Brek Shea look like Brienne of Tarth? Lionel Messi like Bran Stark? You can be ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives