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The Good, The Bad, The Coyote Ugly

A look back at MLS's weekend.....

THE GOOD

*Javier Morales's free kick through the parting Columbus wall to help RSL move into -- gulp! -- first place in the miserable Western Conference.
*Houston's demolition of Atlante.
*Chris Rolfe's wonder strike against Toronto.
*Gonzalo Pineda's free kick, Luciano Emilio's turn and goal, Zach Wells's saves and Ernesto Michel's stop on Jaime Moreno's PK during Chivas's 2-1 victory over DCU.
*The series of saves by Toronto's Greg Sutton at Chicago and Colorado's Bouna Coundoul at San Jose.
*How to go 110 yards in seven seconds: Nick Rimando's goal kick, Kenny Deuchar's flick, Robbie Findley's finish.
*Toronto teen Abdus Ibrahim becoming the fifth youngest scorer in MLS history behind Freddy Adu, Santino Quaranta, Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore.
*John Thorrington's dramatic game-winner.
*Sainey Nyassi's cross, Steve Ralston's subtle touch, Kheli Dube's finish for New England.
*Former Hokie Patrick Nyarko gets a goal and two assists in Chicago's 3-0 reserve victory over Toronto.
*The Wizards, using mostly reserves, beat Mexican club Atlas, in preseason form, 2-1, with an added-time goal.
*Mexican national team coach Sven-Goran Eriksson takes in SuperLiga matches at RFK and Gillette.
*MLS awards the 2009 All-Star Game to RSL. Let's hope the league comes up with a more intriguing opponent or format than this year's West Ham visit to Toronto.

THE BAD

*Luciano Emilio hitting the left post, Devon McTavish hitting the right post, Sacha Kljestan hitting the crossbar and Claudio Suarez hitting the left post with a PK in DCU and Chivas USA losses.
*DCU's sloppy defending on Chivas's first goal.
*The yellow card given to San Jose's Kei Kamara, who was simply attempting a diving header in front of Bouna Coundoul.
*Only 10,000 spectators at Foxborough.

THE COYOTE UGLY

*No rain, thunder or lightning in D.C. on Saturday. Nonetheless, the lights go out and cause a 19-minute delay in the second half. Anyone got a bulldozer?
*Juan Pablo Rodriguez's elbow to Sainey Nyassi's face, leaving Santos Laguna short-handed for 50 minutes.
*Several fights in the RFK stands.
*RSL Coach Jason Kreis suspended again.
*Quakes Coach Frank Yallop is sent off after Colorado equalizes. "I kind of went a little crazy," he said.

What else?

By Steve Goff  |  July 14, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

Emilio and McTavish both hitting the post is certainly "The Bad". Also, I think you ought to add DC's FK off the keeper's error. How you can't score from that close to the keeper is beyond me. At least force a save from the keeper.

Finally, Moreno missing a game-tying PK after not having missed in so long is "Ugly". No?

Posted by: Bart | July 14, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

DCU's sloppy defending on the first goal... why not add the sloppy pass from Martinez that led to the free kick and second goal? His kamikaze attacks on attackers to win the ball works a lot better in MLS than it does against the more skilled attackers on the Mexican teams. They put it by him leaving the rest of the defense wide open.

Posted by: SpikeFC | July 14, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The Bad: Without Gallardo, DC United have no other set piece options than Burch. (Don't we have someone else that can "Bend it like Beckham"?)

The Bad: DC United's roster depth.

Posted by: TCompton | July 14, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The Ugly:

I went to the Superliga last year at RFK against Club America, way too many fights in the stands and too many Mexicans booed the American National anthem, it was ugly.

Posted by: JP | July 14, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

MLS attendance has been getting better at some stadiums where it has been a problem this season. Even Chivas, though attendance is still bad there. It is very discouraging to see NE lose ground attendance-wise. They are a quality side, and should be drawing 20k+ for just about every game.

Posted by: Ron | July 14, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@ JP: Really Ugly: Back in 1981 at RFK I noticed some poor behavior at a Dips match . . .

Anyway: The Good, Moreno's game overall. He showed he is up to this level of play, unlike, say, Fred.

Posted by: gringo | July 14, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good- Razov's finish for Chivas' goal in the superclassico


Bad - Moreno and Suarez missing critical penalties in Superliga

Posted by: Mike in LA | July 14, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The Good: The level of play in the 3 SuperLiga games not involving Atalante. Exactly what the fans pay to witness.

The Bad: That America could never segregate the seats for an international match because it would appear racist, xenophobic, and scream for the ACLU to rear its head.

However, I'm MORE than OK with that idea having been the victim of fan violence as a result of being within the vicinity of other idiots.

I love that Chivas fans came with passion for the club. I love that the game on the field was worthy of the atmosphere inside the stadium. What I don't love is that some of the activities inside the stands at RFK will be remembered more for their ethnic differences and that both groups of fans cannot be proud of their club and proud of the effort of both teams in the end. It was a good match, played well, and the result can't be argued too much.

More than sagging salaries handicapped by a paltry salary cap, more than unfit venues for the game, more than obscene marketing efforts that attempt to mar the reason people pay for tickets in the first place - the one thing that will TANK MLS faster in the minds and opinions of the biggest voices against the sport in this country would be an outbreak of racial violence or fan violence at a game that proves the sport doesn't belong in a "civilized nation". I won't mind if my season tickets are moved a little to a comparable seat to make sure that we avoid some ugly scenarios that threaten the viability of this great game.


Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 14, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Bad: Mysterious foul on Simms that leads to Pineda's beautiful goal.

Bad: Mysterious foul on Emilio that erases clear goal.

Just beat Atlante, and all will be forgotten

Posted by: Gianniculus Jones | July 14, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The Good
1. US WOMEN 1 - BRAZIL 0
2. DCU reaching the finals at the SUM17 but losing in PKs. Great effort!

The Bad
1. Dyachenko
2. Zach Wells
3. DCUnited's long list of injuries

The Ugly
1. Dinho heading back to Barcelona today to look for an amicable way out of his club
2. Blanco. He should be a permanent fixture to the ugly for several reasons.

Posted by: juanma | July 14, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Goff, I saw something on another blog somewhere suggesting that Chivas fans were to blame for the lights going out at RFK... I wasn't sure whether to take it seriously, but do you know if there's anything to that rumor?

Posted by: jrnail23 | July 14, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am all for segregated seating and selling less seats to the visiting team fans. It would take care of the problem of being out cheered and also ease the tension of being outnumbered at home.

The good (for Chivas) is the off the ball movement their team displayed on attack.
The Bad (for DC) is the lack of off the ball movement on attack.

I believe playing in the summer, in 90 degree heat, has slowed MLS down to a mental crawl because players are trying to reserve energy to last the game. Night game MLS, STOP PLAYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!!

Posted by: Felix | July 14, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Emilio was definitely The Good against Chivas. I won't complain about him hitting the post, because he did really well to create that shot, he was hitting it left footed, and he still almost beat a pretty good gk on the near post. Even when Emilio was scoring bunches of goals last year, I don't remember seeing him be as aggressive and as active as he has lately. (I think Rongen said something like that on Saturday's broadcast... I agree...) Too bad it took him months to find this form, we could have used a forward during champion's cup and the first part of the mls season.

Posted by: stairs | July 14, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@Felix:

Agree 100%. Stop the daytime game madness.

Posted by: JkR | July 14, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

THE COYOTE UGLY

*Juan Pablo Rodriguez's elbow to Sainey Nyassi's face, leaving Santos Laguna short-handed for 50 minutes.

Ugly for the elbow, or ugly for the red? Because that elbow was less intentional than the hit Gallardo gave Donovan the other week.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | July 14, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

re: fights

the two fights I witnessed had nothing to do with race.....

and more to do with beer....

and can you really refer to our mexican cousins as another race??? now that's bigotry at its bestest!

Posted by: myt | July 14, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I dunno Jay, Nyassi had Rodriguez beaten hands down (made him look foolish on the play actually) and was making a move to get to the ball when, correct me folks if I saw this with Wenger-esque vision, Rodriguez appears to reach behind with the elbow to catch Nyassi.

For the Gallardo comment, I'd judge the intention of Gallardo's hit as "paling in comparison" to Donovan's attempts of a daylight mugging (oh I'm sorry that's pronounce "professional foul").

Posted by: Kosh | July 14, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Are these (likely beer-fueled) fights in the stands at RFK when Chivas de Guadalajara come to play DC United, and different than what is seen in the stands when NFC East teams and fans travel to away venues?

Posted by: Sport and Passion/Stupidity/Violence | July 14, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Are these (likely beer-fueled) fights in the stands at RFK when Chivas de Guadalajara come to play DC United, any different than what is seen in the stands when NFC East teams and fans travel to away venues?

Posted by: Sport and Passion/Stupidity/Violence | July 14, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I went to the Club America match last year. I didn't see any fights; just an instance where the Club America fans tried to intimidate our 12th man drummer and another time when la Aguilas fans thew stuff at our La Norte supporters group

Posted by: Bill in Md. | July 14, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

re: beer, fights & NFC

I don't watch throwball, I would not know....

Posted by: myt! | July 14, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Ugly: Reynoso's (#4) obvious dive in the second half when Moreno tried to poke the ball away.

The coyote ugly: The ref actually making the call.

Posted by: GoUnited | July 14, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Ugly - Moreno executing a penalty shot just like he does in practice against ZACH WELLS...

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I am all for segregated seating and selling less seats to the visiting team fans. It would take care of the problem of being out cheered and also ease the tension of being outnumbered at home. Posted by: Felix | July 14, 2008 10:17 AM
===============
Absolutely FOR three seating sections. DC United Fans, Opposing teams supporter, and the neutural section. It is not a segregated seating situation but rather fans will have better experiences being in a comfortable zone not to metion show case on TV. As far as the fights goes, I think there will more chances in the mixed up seats than separates. I was proud of the securities to catch those idots immediately after the incidents though.
As for selling less opposing team supporters tickets I don't think MLS would go for that specially dealing with selling tickets.

Posted by: arlington4united | July 14, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Sport and Passion/Stupidity/Violence,

Having been to NFC East games and the occasional Ravens vs Steelers game - I'd say no.

No it's not any different and no it's not caused by the international match.

The only thing I could potentially contend that would separate it, is the underlying current of dislike between US and Mexican national teams, relations between WASPy America and Latin Immigrants, and the EXTRA desire of both groups to prove their dominance, if not on the field, then certainly in the stands.

I just fear the headline that comes from some massive display of violence from the spectators that gives sports writers and talking heads alike all the Kerosene, Gasoline, Diesel, Lighter Fuel, Jet Fuel, etc to throw on their burning rejection of this great game. It won't take a catastrophy the size of Heysel, Ibrox, or Hillsborough for the reaction to hurt interest.

And my other $0.02 is that, I felt the attendance for this contest could have been higher, but I'm willing to bet that a great deal of those that usually come to games, passed on this one because they knew the crowd would be particularly fierce and not the environment they would want to enjoy.

It's a shame - they missed a great game of football - and I'm not bashing the level of the supporters - it's just that without some dedicated options, I'd find it tough if I were a parent to bring a child to that match.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Also, I think you ought to add DC's FK off the keeper's error. How you can't score from that close to the keeper is beyond me. At least force a save from the keeper.

Posted by: Bart | July 14, 2008 9:29 AM

Really? Do you realize that was an indirect free kick? The moment that ball was touched the Chivas wall raced forward to block the shot. Indirect free kicks from inside the box are difficult to score from unless the first touch is made before the defense gets to setup. If that ball had been shot on frame on the first touch, the keeper would have just let it go into the net.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | July 14, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The BAD - A great Mexican fan base in DC and no Mexican player in DCU's roster...

Can you imagine Oswaldo Sanchez in a DCU kit?

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The Good: 14,500 (plus/minus) in attendance for Chivas USA-Pachuca.

The Bad: 14,000 of those being Pachuca fans.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | July 14, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sir Goff,

Welcome back, any news on Brad Guzan's future.

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The BAD - A great Mexican fan base in DC and no Mexican player in DCU's roster...
Can you imagine Oswaldo Sanchez in a DCU kit?
Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:22 AM
==============
If we can get aleast a couple guys from Mexico to DC United I agree it would draw a lot of new DC United fans. I do see a lot of them already supporting DC United though.

Posted by: arlington4united | July 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the Cienfuegos effect...

Posted by: RK | July 14, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The real ugly is not the DC game but the 15% MLS teams get for winning the superliga, DC should send out the reserves! Concentrate on the US Open Cup, Champions, and the League.
That is all.
SuperLiga is just hype and worthless!!! That is the real ugly in this case.
Whos with me!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | July 14, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The BAD - A great Mexican fan base in DC and no Mexican player in DCU's roster...

Can you imagine Oswaldo Sanchez in a DCU kit?

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:22 AM

I would not want that guy in a United uniform. He is such a punk. I wouldn't mind seeing Ramon Morales in a DC United kit. He is pure quality.

Posted by: GoUnited | July 14, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The BAD - A great Mexican fan base in DC and no Mexican player in DCU's roster...

Can you imagine Oswaldo Sanchez in a DCU kit?


Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 11:22 AM
-------------------------------------------
GoUnited already beat me to it. I can't freaking stand that guy.

Seriously, I'd much rather not imagine it. I think that I dislike him as much as Blanco. I not looking for "perfect saints" but he's not on any wishlist of mine except for the "He's such a great player--I really wish that he would get some CLASS". Just say "No".

Posted by: yankiboy | July 14, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Good: Baltimore Bays U18 Academy team beating Chicago Fire Academy team 4-1.

Hopefully, Baltimore against LAFC for the U18 championship on Friday night at 11pm on ESPN2.

Posted by: JSF | July 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

COYOTE UGLY:

Connor Casey pushing Jason Hernandez in the back with two hands immediately before scoring on his 'free header', causing Frank Yallop to go a little crazy.

Basically, the only way Casey will ever change a game as an MLS player is if some violation is involved.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | July 14, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Oswaldo = punk - agree
Oswaldo = No class - agree
Oswaldo = DCU shutouts - agree
oswaldo = More Ticket sales - agree

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

For the record I am not a Oswaldo fan but with Zach's performance lately I would not mind Oswaldo... is it feasible, I think not

Posted by: DCU Fan in Socal | July 14, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

regardless of pay for superliga which i think is to low . we need games like this for the prestige of the league if we ever want to get noticedby fans and players looking to come here.
we couldnt afford sanchez but he would be an amazing addition to the team.

Posted by: chris D | July 14, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

NE would draw better if it marketed it soccer fans. Soccer moms don't typically care one way or the other if the team is doing well or is quality. It's just a day out with the kiddies.

Posted by: The revs | July 14, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Donde estan la migra? Chivas hinchadas no tienes pantalones!

Posted by: Dick Cheney | July 14, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

actually the guy I wouldn't mind seeing in a DCU kit is Miguel (I've got bad-a$$ keeper 'tude) Calero.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 14, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely FOR three seating sections. DC United Fans, Opposing teams supporter, and the neutural section.
==========================================

In this case I gather that most of the Goats fans were not traveling from Mexico, but rather were expats living in this area who purchased their tickets at Ticketmaster like everyone else. You'd have to rely on their self-identifying accurately. Also, would Ticketmaster want to bother with this additional complication?

Posted by: tri-village | July 14, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely FOR three seating sections. DC United Fans, Opposing teams supporter, and the neutural section.
==========================================
In this case I gather that most of the Goats fans were not traveling from Mexico, but rather were expats living in this area who purchased their tickets at Ticketmaster like everyone else. You'd have to rely on their self-identifying accurately. Also, would Ticketmaster want to bother with this additional complication?
Posted by: tri-village | July 14, 2008 1:30 PM
==========
Seriously, MLS needs to work out with ticket masters. If they can do it all over the world why can't we?

Posted by: arlington4united | July 14, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

For the Olympic Qualifiers here in Tampa, TicketBastard divided the seating into three sections: pro-U.S., pro-opponent and neutral. Granted, only about 1100 people showed up for the games, but Honduran-on-Panamian violence was kept at a minimum :-)

Posted by: VascãoPaixão | July 14, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the ref screw up by giving United an indirect free kick inside the box? The rules state, "An indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team in its opponents' goal area is taken from the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred." That's a pretty basic rule that I thought was on the books for a long time (although I think when I was kid the spot was on the nearest point outside the goal area regardless of what line it was on).

Posted by: Terp | July 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Goal area=6-yard box.

Penalty area=18-yard box.

This incident took place inside the latter, but outside the former.

Posted by: tri-village | July 14, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely FOR three seating sections. DC United Fans, Opposing teams supporter, and the neutural section.
==========================================

In this case I gather that most of the Goats fans were not traveling from Mexico, but rather were expats living in this area who purchased their tickets at Ticketmaster like everyone else. You'd have to rely on their self-identifying accurately. Also, would Ticketmaster want to bother with this additional complication?
____________________________________________

They already have this capability. When I purchased my USAvsARG tix I had the choice of USA Supporters section, Argentina Supporters Section, or neutral. Granted they cannot police what people actually buy but if you are a DCU fan and purchase tix in the visitors section you get what you paid for.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 14, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Having sanchez on a dc jersey would be a disgrace and DC UNITED is will hopefully never become a sell out. And your right that international soccer does not have fault in the fights in the stands, but if you outline our international game sin the past 4 years, you will see that every game against our hated neighbor has caused not 1 but many fights some very serious. I remember seeing at least 3 fights or altercations for each match since 2005 I can say the same for the games against

olimpia
catholica
boca juniors
chelsea
bayern leverk
jamaican teams.

so you tell me if proofiling based on previous results. I am sure I will see 3 fights guranteed on tuesday, this is no myth its a FACT.

Posted by: dc fan | July 14, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I for one will say that the Chivas games is one of my favorite games to go to when we play them. I was surrounded by Chivas fans and all of them were actually very friendly. I used my broken Spanish to talk to a number of the Chivas fans, shared a beer with a Chivas fan, and even traded my old school United jersey for a Chivas jersey (yes the beer might have a played a part in that decision). It was by far one of the funnest experiences I've had at a United game.

Posted by: United017 | July 14, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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