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The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

Before we get started with the MLS roundup, an update on the playoff outlook:

EAST
(1) Columbus vs. (4) New York
(2) New England vs. (3) Chicago
WEST
(1) Houston vs. D.C. United*
(2) Chivas USA vs. (3) Colorado
*Fifth in the East
THE CHASE
DCU 33 points, K.C. 32, Real Salt Lake 31, Dallas 30, San Jose 29, L.A. 29.

THE GOOD
*Landon Donovan's hat trick, including two superb finishes in the first half, plus an assist to rejoin the MVP discussion.
*Jeff Cunningham's two goals, increasing his career total to 103.
*Juan Pablo Angel's perfect free kick and Robbie Rogers's stunner at the start of the second half.
*The final game at Rice-Eccles, one day before the close of Yankee Stadium. Oh, the symmetry.
*Peter Vagenas's fine volley.
*Terry Cooke's service, setting up Colin Clark's goal.
*Aaron Pitchkolan and Bruno Guarda scoring on one-timers from a few strides out, the latter getting the first of his career.
*Boyzzz Khumalo's first MLS goal.
*Kevin Souter, who earned a roster spot through a tryout, scoring his first career goal as Kansas City improved its home unbeaten streak to seven (5-0-2).
*26,000-plus for RSL's last game on concrete.

THE BAD
*Is this really a red card? "An absolute travesty," Tom Soehn says.
*Colorado's marking on New England's set-piece goal.
*Chicago's seven-year drought without winning the Brimstone Cup, given to the winner of the season series with Dallas.
*Kevin Goldthwaite's red card hacking at Columbus.
*D.C. and N.Y. a combined 3-16-6 on the road with 20 goals scored and 50 allowed.

THE COYOTE UGLY
*The collision between Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando that led to Alecko Eskandarian's goal in the Rice-Eccles finale.
*DCU's defensive effort, which increased the club's goal-against figure to 43 and dropped the club's goal differential to minus-two.
*Toronto's 1-8-4 rut, including 0-4-2 in the last six outings.
*Chicago conceding four goals at home -- it had allowed eight in its first 11 games at Toyota Park -- to fall to 5-5-2 in Bridgeview. Previously this year, the Fire had not allowed more than two in a match. "This game should serve as a wake-up call," Coach Denis Hamlett said. "It seems like we have taken our foot off the gas, we are not in the playoffs yet and if we continue to play like this we will not be in the playoffs."

So what did I miss?


By Steve Goff  |  September 22, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: No Moreno in Honduras

Comments

GOOD:

Louis Crayton's 7 saves, many of which were great reaction saves.

Posted by: Ohboyohboy | September 22, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

BAD:

That Louis Crayton had to make so many saves.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 22, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

denis hamlett needs a wake up call!

Posted by: kaca | September 22, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Anything worse than Coyote Ugly? DCU last week. Terrible lineups. Terrible organization. Terrible performances. Terrible soccer. Somewhere in there, there has to be less than good coaching.

Posted by: DWE4 | September 22, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Loius Crayton made a lot more saves than that! Man of the Match in my book. Khumalo is pretty up there with Crayton, loved the singing into the corner flag after the goal!

Posted by: kris | September 22, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Khumalo really puts himself about, gets involved. What is or should be his best position to keep meaningful minutes?

Posted by: JkR | September 22, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Goldthwaite's red card was ridiculous.
That guy is a complete hack; I don't understand why he's a starting MLS defender.

He kicked the back of Roger's heels two or three times before really rearing back and hammering him. i saw that red card coming.

Posted by: AndrewK | September 22, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Again - I'm not going to lay the blame on Tommy. While I feel he could do a better job managing this team through it's serious calendar stretches, I feel bad for the guy. He's been playing well and getting better results than he should have given that nearly half the team has turned over (or so it seems) since the beginning of the year and most of it has been played with a lineup that has to deal with more fixtures against a higher average pay per player.

That should be a tie-breaker in MLS going into the future - forget goal differential, let's reward teams who get more points at lower pay grades.

Seriously MLS - just like in 1999/2000 when you made some heavy moves to align the game with soccer, make that next set of moves, and I'm more than sure your policies/rules/fixture congestion/roster limits/et al ad nauseum will be less the Coyote Ugly every week.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 22, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully a wake up call for the Fire front office.

Posted by: guillermo | September 22, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Manchester United's new sponsor logo - Good or Coyote Ugly?

http://newsburglar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/rooney2.jpg

;-)

Posted by: Kev | September 22, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If a team keeps having the same problem (lack of effort) in the same area of the field (defense), who's to blame? The players or the coach? Unless this is really not a lack of effort but a lack of ability? Maybe our defenders just plain suck and all this "lack of effort" is just an excuse.

Posted by: Bart | September 22, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I have new respect for Beckham for giving the official an earful after Burch's sending-off. That really was class.

In truth, he is partly to blame for the red, for selling the foul by going down like a bag of hammers. But at least he stood up and said "That's not a red."

Posted by: Str8red | September 22, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I've seen that collision before, except it was between Rimando and Bobby Boswell when they both wore DC United uniforms. With all his experience, it's a pity Nicky still doesn't communicate effectively when he comes out for a ball.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | September 22, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Houston? again?

early exit.

DC just doesnt get a break what so ever! but we will see. There are some games left it can all change!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 22, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ugly:
CO v. NE the referee's end of match whistle while Colin Clark was on a breakaway going in solo on Matt Reis 19 yards from goal.

Posted by: wahleyed | September 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Not questioning you, but I couldn't tell at all from the video - is that really what Becks was up there saying?

I did think he and Burch had a nice exchange there at the end, but couldn't really clearly tell that it was Becks saying "he got it wrong."

But, I hope you're right. Though had Burch been carrying a yellow, that surely should've been the second. Poor play on his part, no doubt.

Posted by: KLB | September 22, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid that there is no way that DC United makes it to the playoffs this year. Don't worry about an early exit!

Posted by: Albert Hall | September 22, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Ugly: Colorado v. NE -- the final whistle being blown while Colin Clark was on a breakaway 19 yards from goal.

Posted by: wahleyed | September 22, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Man U's new logo should read "US Tax Payers"

Posted by: Susan | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not questioning you, but I couldn't tell at all from the video - is that really what Becks was up there saying?

---------

In my game story, Beckham said he told the referee that he didn't think it should've been a red.

Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In teh Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was callign for a local broadcast it woudl ahve been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In the Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was calling for a local broadcast it would have been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In teh Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was callign for a local broadcast it woudl ahve been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In the Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was calling for a local broadcast it would have been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In teh Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was callign for a local broadcast it woudl ahve been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

In teh Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was callign for a local broadcast it woudl ahve been absurd... but to be an annoucner on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Our D is terrible. All those rushes Crayton is making off of his line in addition to the crazy saves is because he is losing confidence in that strange set of characters that stand infront of him. Nothing boils my bubbles more than to watch our defenders backing into the 18 giving strikers all the time and space they need to do something nasty. The prosecution presents...the motorcade access given to Huckerby, the strange soft goals conceeded against Saprissa, oh and who can forget the time and space that was given to Donovan to blast that GOTW on us as he was on his way to posting another hat-trick on us.

Actually I lied, what burns more is when they cheat too far up field and get fried on a ball over the top...no speed whatsoever. This D sucks, as it has sucked for years, ever since we lost Nelly if I recall correctly. They kind'a lack rocks too. I mean where are the cards and the warning shots to put some fear into attackers. Nope. Instead they get stupid cards in the wrong places on the field.

Crayton ain't seen nothin' yet. Wait until we face a Mexican squad with this D. He will see more quality shots on his goal than he has seen anywhere in his lifetime.

TS has felt my wrath, so has Emilio even Tino. Now it is the D's time to taste my ire. THIS D SUCKS, LACKS ROCKS AND IS STRETCHED FOR TALENT. BLOW IT UP AND START ALL OVER ALREADY. Give the young'ins some time so that they can show these posers what heart and hunger really is.

Posted by: Kosh | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Our D is terrible. All those rushes Crayton is making off of his line in addition to the crazy saves is because he is losing confidence in that strange set of characters that stand infront of him. Nothing boils my bubbles more than to watch our defenders backing into the 18 giving strikers all the time and space they need to do something nasty. The prosecution presents...the motorcade access given to Huckerby, the strange soft goals conceeded against Saprissa, oh and who can forget the time and space that was given to Donovan to blast that GOTW on us as he was on his way to posting another hat-trick on us.

Actually I lied, what burns more is when they cheat too far up field and get fried on a ball over the top...no speed whatsoever. This D sucks, as it has sucked for years, ever since we lost Nelly if I recall correctly. They kind'a lack rocks too. I mean where are the cards and the warning shots to put some fear into attackers. Nope. Instead they get stupid cards in the wrong places on the field.

Crayton ain't seen nothin' yet. Wait until we face a Mexican squad with this D. He will see more quality shots on his goal than he has seen anywhere in his lifetime.

TS has felt my wrath, so has Emilio even Tino. Now it is the D's time to taste my ire. THIS D SUCKS, LACKS ROCKS AND IS STRETCHED FOR TALENT. BLOW IT UP AND START ALL OVER ALREADY. Give the young'ins some time so that they can show these posers what heart and hunger really is.

Posted by: Kosh | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Houston? again?

early exit.

DC just doesnt get a break what so ever! but we will see. There are some games left it can all change!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 22, 2008 11:20 AM

------------------------------------------

What do you mean "doesn't get a break"? If we finish in the final playoff spot, we have to play the best team -- that's how it works, no breaks involved either way. If we don't want to play the best team, we need to finish higher up the table!

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not questioning you, but I couldn't tell at all from the video - is that really what Becks was up there saying?

---------

In my game story, Beckham said he told the referee that he didn't think it should've been a red.

Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Not questioning you, but I couldn't tell at all from the video - is that really what Becks was up there saying?

---------

In my game story, Beckham said he told the referee that he didn't think it should've been a red.

Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

In the Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was calling for a local broadcast it would have been absurd... but to be an announcer on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The Coyote Ugliest would be the phantom goal credited to Reading (even if you have to bend the format to go abroad).

To repeat what I posted in the thread about that game:

I think this incident will prove to be a watershed moment. I liken it to Dan Pastorini's touchdown pass to Mike Renfro, which was mistakenly ruled out of bounds, during the 1980 AFC championship game. Or the series of bad calls on home runs in baseball this year. These were incidents so egregious that the lords of the sport had to break down and institute instant-replay systems to review such calls.

Football/soccer cannot ignore such a huge error. The pressure will build to put in some kind of electronic monitoring or instant replay review, so that this will not be repeated.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

So IF we make the playoffs, I'd rather finish in 5th than in 4th. Agree or disagree?

I think I like our chances more against Columbus than Houston in the first round. But then if we do manage to advance, if we finish 4th in the east then we'd get stuck playing one of our usual nemeses Chicago or New England. If we finish 5th and somehow manage to dethrone Houston in a home-home series, then we'd earn a second round matchup against Chivas or Colorado (or RSL or Dallas), who are all very beatable in my book.

Posted by: DCUMD | September 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is going on? Even Goff is double (actually triple) posting!!

Posted by: DE | September 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean "doesn't get a break"? If we finish in the final playoff spot, we have to play the best team -- that's how it works, no breaks involved either way. If we don't want to play the best team, we need to finish higher up the table!

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM
__________________________________________

funny statement cause even the worst team still will beat us, i.e. the last match.

so it goes either way kid

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Max Bretos' voice goes up three octaves when the Galaxy scores...

Posted by: RK | September 22, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

THE CHASE
DCU 33 points, K.C. 32, Real Salt Lake 31, Dallas 30, San Jose 29, L.A. 29.
...........................................

Goff: Where do these teams stand in terms of tiebreaking criteria? Thanks.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 22, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

THE COYOTE UGLY - DC United letting LandyCakes get a hat trick. How awful.

Posted by: bob | September 22, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What do you want Goff to do, a massive flowchart for all of the possible combinations?

Posted by: RK | September 22, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

What do you want Goff to do, a massive flowchart for all of the possible combinations?

Posted by: RK | September 22, 2008 1:01 PM
..........................................

I wouldn't complain if he did, but a simpler presentation would show where each other team stands with respect to DCU, but not where each other team stands with respect to all the others. That would indeed be quite involved.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 22, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Man, you're killin me. Five games left, too early to think about tiebreakers. Nonetheless....

First tiebreaker is head to head.

Unless I'm mistaken: DC is 1-1 with KC, 1-1 with RSL, 0-0-1 with Dallas, 1-1 with LA, 1-1 with San Jose.

Next tiebreaker is goal differ over the entire season. See mls standings for all the numbers.


Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Galaxy fan, so take it for what it's worth, but I can see how it ended up being a red card. Obviously, if Beckham said he lost his balance and that contributed to the fall, then it probably wasn't a red card offense. But if you kick a guy's legs and shove him in the back (which happened) and he falls down hard enough to hit the hoardings, don't be surprised to get a red.

Unfair? Probably. "A travesty." No. A travesty is awarding a goal when the ball never entered the net (see Reading this weekend.)

(Let's hope this doesn't triple post.)

Posted by: Jon E | September 22, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Max Bretos' voice goes up three octaves when the Galaxy scores...

Posted by: RK | September 22, 2008 12:30 PM
---------------------------------

So let's bring back Jack Edwards.

Posted by: Ron | September 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

What I've not seen mentioned in any post is what a leader Crayton has become and the joy he shows in playing. Running after balls out of play, being aggressive in goal (true...sometimes too aggressive). Never throws his teammates under the bus, even when they've let him down (remember the animated conversations on the field between Wells and the defense early in the season).

Posted by: BillyBob | September 22, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope DC ends up 5th in the East. At least we will not have to see Chicago knock us out of the play-offs again.

Posted by: Jeff F | September 22, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@Fisch Fry

Absolutely right about instant replays. Long overdue. Even the best referees (I have to assume they are the best - when honored to officiate Euro 2008) make glaring mistakes. Its just too hard to be everywhere and see everything even if you are a saint genius.

In the best leagues of the world, soccer/futball/football is a BIG business. I think it is less economical hurdle to have an official watching every camera feed than traditional soccer inertia.

There are computers watching faces in the crowd now (for better or worse). I am sure an X-Prize type award for technology to watch a ball crossing the goal-line or an offside - are very much doable.

Posted by: Tolik | September 22, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The Ugly:

Lets give some acknowledgment to Alecko Eskandarian's read of the collision between Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando.

Alecko's full on sprint is leading him to the right side of the field. As Rimando approached, Alecko read the situation, slowed his run, and then shifted to the left (behind the collision) placing him in a perfect position to pick up the ball and score.

If he continues his run to the right, he has to back track to get to the ball, and the defender/goalie has time to get up and put themselves between Alecko and the goal.

Nice job Alecko!

Posted by: PocketKings | September 22, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Coyote Ugly: Hurricane Ike and the postponing of the Houston-San Jose match.

Posted by: Nathan | September 22, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Love Rogers' goal -- should be goal of the week. I wonder one thing, though: It seems to me that 99 times out of 100, a pro player in Richards' position will deliberately bump Rogers, to knock him down and stop the play -- the so-called "professional foul". He might or might not get a caution, but the foul would be applauded for stopping an open-field run. Instead, Richards starts to go in, but pulls out and even pulls his arms back to avoid a foul call. I guess it's not great defense, but I prefer it. I hate the so-called professional foul because it's just too cynical. It's why there are too few good scoring chances. I won't applaud Richards, but I'm curious what others think...

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 22, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

In the Coyote Ugly Category... Max Bretos.

Even if he was calling for a local broadcast it would have been absurd... but to be an announcer on a neutral national broadcast and conduct himslef like that is disgusting.

I think the final straw before the vomitting started was his line "For your beloved Galaxy"


Posted by: WC | September 22, 2008 12:01 PM
_________________________________________

Oh my goodness, they (both he and Christopher Sullivan) were just in loooove with Landycakes. Every time he did anything, they just gushed. When he scored his first goal and Bretos said "Yesssss!" (in that way that he does), my hubby said, "He didn't do that when McTavish scored." The outright adulation only got worse from there. Nice objective broadcasting job, guys.

Posted by: HarkesyRules | September 22, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely not a Bretos fan, but what's he supposed to do, downplay a hat trick? First two goals by Donovan were high quality. He was the best player on the field, easily.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Landon was exceptional. No way he was offside on the third goal -- it just looked that way because he is so fast and was left so alone. Watch the replay on MLSnet, it is clear that not one but two defenders played him onside at the moment the pass left Klein's foot. In fact, if you freeze the video when the pass is well into the air, you see Landon is still onside.

His best play was not any of the 3 goals but rather the pass to Vagenas. All US fans should be grateful to watch that sort of creativity and skill, rather than carping about "Landycakes" and going on about how he never did that in the Bundesliga!

I'm not a fan of either LA or DC, and Beckham doesn't do all that much for me (or even my wife). But the red was justified. No way Burch is going to get the ball there -- it was already out of bounds. Blame the young man for making a stupid play but don't blame the ref for that one.


Posted by: Furia Yanqui | September 22, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@ Furia -- You're spot on about Donovan's performance. He showed mad skills.

You're wrong about Burch, though. Did he foul Becks? Sure. Was that a red card foul? Hardly. It was nothing like the mean-spirited kick by Goldthwaite. You don't have to say it was a fair play to acknowledge the ref made a bad call with the red card. I think Becks gave himself to much credit. It looks to me like he was complaining to the ref -- especially about McTavish's tackle, which preceded Burch's chippy play. Then, he expressed more exasperation with the linesman because he called for a throw-in rather than a free kick. I'm sure that Becks told Burch the card wasn't deserved, but I doubt that he said that to the refs.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The controversy over Donovan's third goal is over the issue of whether Buddle played the ball or not while it was on its way to Donovan. Buddle appears to try to flick the ball with his head, but it is not at all clear (to me anyway) whether he actually played or even touched the ball. If he did, the play is offside. If not, then it was not offside. I personally do not think Buddle touched the ball though he tried, so the play was, sadly, onside.

Posted by: Ron | September 22, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Unless I'm mistaken: DC is 1-1 with KC, 1-1 with RSL, 0-0-1 with Dallas, 1-1 with LA, 1-1 with San Jose.

Next tiebreaker is goal differ over the entire season. See mls standings for all the numbers.

Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 1:29 PM
.........................................

Thanks for the info, Goff. It looks as if goal differential may be important. To that extent, it is never too early to think about tiebreakers. For instance, a stoppage-time goal that turns a 4-2 loss into a 5-2 loss may come back to haunt a team. Every single goal scored (and given up), not to mention every sitter that is missed, counts from here on out.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 22, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@ Ron -- I take back my comments with respect to that last goal. While Donovan did well in scoring it, the play WAS offsides. I hadn't realized this until you raised the point. I thought it was just one long pass. Buddle definitely changes the flight of the ball. He did get his head on it, after Donovan broke past the defensive line. I thought it was arguably a good goal, until I just watched the replay to look at Buddle. The officials missed the call.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | September 22, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Donavan was so far the hell off-sides on that 3rd goal.. me sitting in the stands at the Toolbox was more on side.

The Redcard on Burch was not. No where near a red. but there should have been a red issued on Beckham for 2nd yellow, either because of driving, dissent or slapping the linesman's hands away.

Posted by: Shannon in LA... | September 22, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan, I had to delete another one of your comments. It's getting tiresome. Come on, dude, clean it up. Please.

Posted by: Goff | September 22, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

on the red card, maybe a little harsh, but not a "travesty." Burch hooks Beckham's foot with his, and then pushes him over, pretty hard. If it were just a push, maybe just a yellow (still a clear caution), but combined with hooking the foot for the trip and then just gratuitously shoving Beckham down, I can live with the red. Burch shouldn't be so stupid--problem here isn't the ref, it's Burch's dumb play. The ball's going out of bounds no matter what, so why is he committing such a boneheaded, obvious foul in the first place?

Posted by: macheath | September 22, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Ugly: Colorado v. NE -- the final whistle being blown while Colin Clark was on a breakaway 19 yards from goal.
____________

Yeah, it was a weird time to stop the game, but it sure looked to me like Clark settled the ball with his arm anyway.

Regardless, even those who think the lowly west is beatable should look at what Colorado's new coach has done. He's a brit who came up thru Colorado's team-up with Arsenal. The team is completely different than it was under the previous incredibly awful coach. Against New England they looked organized and worked hard... the guy also has both Gomez and Erpen riding the pine, thank goodness.

Anyway the team that wins is the team that's hot at the end.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 22, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The Good: the jukebox at Finn MacCool's was turned up loud enough to drown out Max Bretos.

Posted by: garbaggio | September 22, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

The Good: The Columbus Crew getting a combined four points out of a possible six -- even with Schelotto's injury -- and maintaining their lead for the Supporters' Shield (and 2009-10 international play).

The Bad: The Columbus Crew's attendance.

The Coyote Ugly: The Columbus Crew's potential attendance numbers in next year's international play.

As I've said before, the problem with the Crew in Columbus is that they're not wearing scarlet and gray, with little buckeye leaves for each goal scored or assist.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | September 22, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Gotta say, Shalrie's been red carded for less . . .

Posted by: Tim Crawford | September 22, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I knew I was going to draw the red card for *MY* indecency... Sorry Steve, but you have got to admit that the sound of Max's exalting of Donovan's goals in particular had a toe curling effect.
Maybe in your seat you didn't have to hear it, or maybe you did. Obviously some people above noticed it. I know that you don't have an emotional attachment to United, but for some of the folks that do Breto's game call only made that joke of a legit game that much more ridiculous.
Thanks for calling me out, though Goff. It is your house after all.

Posted by: dadryan | September 22, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Hacksaw:

Colorado is undoubtedly better under Smith than they were under Clavijo, but they're still not particularly good. They're more organized, but they still basically attack through 2 players (Cooke and Clark). I also think that Smith's biggest move has been starting Petke over Ihemelu and Erpen. Petke may not be as fast or strong as Ihemelu, or as willing (if not able) to play the ball as Erpen is, but he's much smarter and much more reliable.

That said, there are only 2 teams in the West that have a shot at going to MLS Cup, and they're Houston and San Jose. The reformed Earthquakes are only lacking a truly menacing forward (Sealy's alright, but he's not exactly Emilio or Angel), and they mask that with Huckerby's goals. Everyone knows why Houston is probably joint favorites alongside Columbus to win it all. RSL is awful on the road and is still weak on the flanks, Colorado's attack is one-dimensional, Chivas is beat up and has never presented an answer as to how they'll succeed without Galindo (who, for all the praise showered on Suarez, Razov, and Kljestan last year, was obviously their key player), Dallas lacks in midfield and defensive quality, and LA is the worst defensive team in MLS.

Tim Crawford:

Like coming in at speed, studs up, and over the ball to crack Ben Olsen?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 23, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Bretos is a homer for LA (and our Dave Johnson is not a homer for DC United?), but at least Bretos is not a catatonic, monotonic droner like so many other MLS and international announcers are, to wit:

Rivellinho............................
...to Pele............................
............to Falcao.................
...who scores.................

ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Puh-lease.

And at least Bretos is a soccer announcer instead of a baseball announcer retread. At least he gets the fact that soccer is supposed to be fun. True its less fun when your team is losing, but still it is a game and its supposed to be fun. And his analyst is pretty good.

True, if you hang on every word he says and analyze his every utterance ad nauseam, you'll find some things to object to. I don't do that. I am busy watching a soccer game. Some of you need to decide whether you are going to be a media critic or a soccer fan. Yeesh.

Just get over whoever the announcer is and watch the game.

Posted by: Ron | September 23, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

"Football/soccer cannot ignore such a huge error. The pressure will build to put in some kind of electronic monitoring or instant replay review, so that this will not be repeated."

If I remember correctly, this technology does exist in form of chips under the leather of a ball that could set off a light somewhere near the goal, ala hockey. Fifa simply declined to use it in WC06, and I haven't heard much more about it since then.

Posted by: Jacob | September 23, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@Ron:you're right, I couldn't care less who's announcing, I'd honestly rather hear a spanish broadcast anyday. DC's loss @ the Galaxy was awful because of the no-calls on a small handful of offsides, and Beckham's princess treatment. The WWE announcer was just the rotten cherry topping it all off.
If I had been at home I probably would have cut the sound and thrown on a Melvins record...

Posted by: dadryan | September 23, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Donovan's third goal was offside. Buddle did flick it on - he admitted as much afterward. Seemed like 2 L.A. goals were offside, and both of them were from the same linesman who prodded the ref for Burch's RC. Pro game just over his head it seems.

Posted by: Troy | September 24, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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