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Island Magic

For the second consecutive night, a non-U.S. club from USL1, the second tier of the U.S. pro system, claimed victory in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. On Wednesday, it was Montreal. Tonight, it was Puerto Rico, which came from behind in the final 17 minutes to stun visiting Marathon, 2-1. Former D.C. United forward Nicholas Addlery made his debut by scoring the equalizer with a glancing header in the 73rd minute and the Islanders went ahead on Kendall Jagdeosingh's deflected shot eight minutes later. Away goals do count, however, so Marathon's score could go a long way toward deciding the series in the return leg next week.

Home video:

By Steve Goff  |  February 26, 2009; 9:58 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , USL  
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Next: Friday Kickaround

Comments

thanks for the update Steve, couldn't find a feed in the normal haunt...

Posted by: DadRyan | February 26, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

That was a fun game to watch. Congratulations to the Islanders.

Posted by: Curious99 | February 26, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow Goffer, didn't waste time getting this one out. It was great to see Marithon go down. I only hopoe the Islander's can complete the revenge for the rough matches with United!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | February 26, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

To complete our revenge they would need to take out the referees

Posted by: StewartDC8 | February 26, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

That second goal seemed like it could have been called off from off-sides before. Did anyone catch the replay to see whether he was off when Jagdeosingh took off after the ball? Regardless, it was a nice individual effort.

You've got to wonder whether these teams (Santos, Marathon, Olimpia, Atlante, etc) are underestimating Montreal and San Jose because they're not from traditionally strong soccer nations/leagues. It's like they're not as familiar with them, so they don't think they're as good as they are. Whereas when they play MLS teams, they come in expecting a tough fight because of the US National Team's CONCACAF strength.

Posted by: TCompton | February 26, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

TCompton: Or maybe the best teams in USL1 (Montreal, Puerto Rico, Vancouver) are better than some of the worse teams in MLS (NE and especially us)

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 27, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

So DCU just beat PR what, like 5 days ago? How drunk are you?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

So DCU just beat PR what, like 5 days ago? How drunk are you?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 12:08 AM

Not fair. That was a friendly. We beat Celtic 5-0 in a friendly.

Posted by: vivzig | February 27, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Not fair. That was a friendly. We beat Celtic 5-0 in a friendly.

Posted by: vivzig | February 27, 2009 3:37 AM
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Oh, I think that 5-0 stomping of Celtic was a totally legit score. We're absolutely five goals better than them! ;)


christopher_a_metzler: I, in no way, implied that MLS teams are better than USL teams. I said that their opponents underestimated them because of where they come from, and as a result, are not mentally prepared for the matches.

Posted by: TCompton | February 27, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game in PR last night and what a finish. The first half the teams seemed equal as PR had a flurry of chances that the Marathon keeper did well in denying goals at least 3 times. As the first half started to die out it became obvious the Marathon forwards were just flat out faster than our defenders... one guy looked like that BOLT guy from Jamaica he was so fast. They scored late second half and I was not feeling too good about us coming back in the second.

Second half, wow, PR with some late game heroics sending the crowd in a frenzy. There were about 20 Hondurans in the crowd and they were feisty when their team was ahead but once they went down the PR crowd turned on them. I believe the municipal police stepped in at one point after the second goal because something happened with their group and the Islander fans that caught their attention... nobody was kicked out though.

As a long time Islander fan I was sad by the turnout for both the DC game and this one. I was not at the DC game but it was reported only 1,500 showed up which is small. Then this important game only around 4,000 show up, they were loud for sure, but 4k still is not exactly a great crowd for such a game. I don't know if its advertising that is lacking or what but I had this game marked on my calendar since last year!

Posted by: elfelixg | February 27, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh as for the crowd turn out someone said something that made some sense and could be the case. The economic downturn has hit the island pretty hard as we are going through a much longer recession than that of the US mainland. PR has been going through an economic crisis from some time now and it may be taking its toll on more people than we'd like to admit. With that said, the Caribbean Baseball Classic is almost sold out as the best teams from the DR, CUBA, PR, etc. will be playing. That probably has more to do with it actually hehe.

Posted by: elfelixg | February 27, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

The guy working the camera did a pretty decent job.

I think the vast majority of USL players could play in the MLS and fill roster holes, but they indiviual strength. Correct me if I am wrong (which people have no problem doing apparently) I can't think of any USL players that became major stars.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Kendall Jagdeosingh -- Gotta be a stage name. Awesome.

Attendance -- Not 55K plus, sure, but assuming the 4k that were there were vocally into it, that's ok.

Quality -- Seems like around CONCACAF any team from any of the top X levels in a given country might prevail over another CONCACAF opponent. Many factors play into this, but I have to assume that overall the level of play is increasing throughout, such that the disparity between the top level and lower tiers has decreased over time. If that means a deeper talent pool, excellent. If that means that the top teams are just "playing down" then that's a disappointment.

Regardless, Allez Montreal and Vamos Islanders!

Posted by: 22206no1 | February 27, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

different set of highlights

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvMWezE5xRI

very enjoyable game.

Posted by: OWNTF | February 27, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

TCompton: I never said you did. It's just a thought I wanted to throw out there, especially since it's seemingly received wisdom around here and on B.S. (cf. DadRyan's response) that it's just not possible for any USL team to be better than any MLS team -- because . . .well, it just isn't. Not that that was your claim, not at all -- but it's certainly some people's claim.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 27, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

it's cup play. anything can happen in cup play (which is why, of course, they play the games and it's so exciting to watch. there's a reason why it's called "march madness" on any given day, especially at home, almost any professional team can beat another professional squad. look at the Carling Cup: final four were Man U (expected) Tottenham (defending champions, so not unexpected) Derby freaking County (the worst top division side in recent memory last season, and sitting in 15th in the Coke, and Burnley (eighth in the Coke) were these really the four best teams that entered the cup? in fact, why bother playing the final? ManU is obviously a better squad than Tottenham, given the 13 place difference between them in the League table...

cup games, especially ones with the away goal rule, are open to complete randomness, teams going on great runs, teams stinking up the joint. over a season, those random factors even out. but in a cup? one lucky shot, one unlucky bounce, and you crash out to a team two leagues below you.

same thing happens in March Madness. you should beat a team by 25 points, and nine times out of ten you do. but in that one game, one guy gets incredibly hot and makes ten threes. all of a sudden your 25 point lead is a 5 point deficit. are you still a 'better team?' sure, over the season, but not on that day, which is all that counts. I hope both teams keep going, it's good for the tournament.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | February 27, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Compliments to the cameraman/video editor/sound mixer. He must have worked pretty hard through the night to get that done.

Addlery is Jamaican and Jagdeosingh is Trinidadian. Goals for Islanders by islanders.

An all-USL, non-US team final is Hollywood material. OK, it's soccer, indie film material.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 27, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

To clarify, I'm not saying a USL couldn't be "better" than an MLS side... Just not "our" MLS side!!!
Better than the Revs? Sure. Better than DCU? Hell no chris_a_meltzer! I know you're hoping just as much as I am that this upcoming season will have some sort of redemption in it from last season, and will eventually be forgotten, or remembered for the positive things that came out of it...
Can't wait for the season to start !
Go!Go!United!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Correct me if I am wrong (which people have no problem doing apparently) I can't think of any USL players that became major stars.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 8:01 AM

Keep your eyes on Cam Weaver. I'm not making any predictions. I'm just sayin'....

Posted by: fischy | February 27, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I can't think of any USL players that became major stars.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 8:01 AM
===============

If you include pre-MLS era players, then Brian McBride of the Milwaukee Rampage. But I'm guessing you didn't mean that. In the MLS era, the other Brian (Ching) comes to mind. He qualifies as a major (American) star, no?

I get your drift though. It doesn't appear to be a stepping stone to stardom.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Interestingly, no one has yet seen fit to start an argument about whether a team from Puerto Rico is a "non-U.S." team.

Posted by: universityandpark | February 27, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's a good thing I am color blind and did not get the complete intensity of the colors.

It was like watching FC Lifesavers against Beechnut United.

Green (I think), dayglow orange, yellow... I could have had a seizure if it was in HD.

Posted by: IamAM | February 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Addlery's goal was smooth. Always liked him when he was here.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | February 27, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"Kendall Jagdeosingh -- Gotta be a stage name."

Trinidad is full of people with Indian surnames and English/western first names - a product of colonization, immigrant labor, and mixed-ancestry marriages. We have similar incongruous juxtapositions of names in the US.

Incongruous Juxtaposition would be a good name for a punk rock band.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It wasn't always pretty but General Clarke and the boys got the job done.

It would have been really nice to be headed to Honduras with a 2-0 lead but hey, I'm happy that we got a "w".

The Islanders' missed opportunities were painful to watch. The muchachos did a great job to pull out the win after giving up that horrendous goal.

Posted by: yankiboy | February 27, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of any USL players that became major stars.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 8:01 AM
-------------------------------------------

The Seattle Sounders once had a pretty good player named Harcus Hahnemann I think he played goalie or something... :)

Posted by: yankiboy | February 27, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I get your drift though. It doesn't appear to be a stepping stone to stardom.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 27, 2009 10:19 AM

Well, no, but that's hardly fair either--our league is in no way structured like Euro leagues that would enable such things to occur.

And for what it's worth, DCU has done pretty well by Richmond, given Richie Williams and Clyde the Glyde.

Posted by: vivzig | February 27, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Dwayne De Rosario came to MLS in 2001 from the Richmond Kickers.


Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 27, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

TCompton:

Jagdeosingh was kept onside by Marathon's left back Bonilla, who was also the first person with his arm raised. It was very close, but when played through he was actually a half-step from being even, much less offside.

2-1 was a fair score. Marathon created some chances, but I felt this wasn't the same team that played throughout Group A (not just against DCU, but Saprissa and Cruz Azul as well). They were missing a few regulars, and I think that had something to do with it. The chances that Marathon generated were either on the break or down to defensive mistakes from the Islanders, who looked like a team still in preseason in the back.

Puerto Rico used a slightly more attractive style of play than they did in the group stages. They weren't Barcelona, but improvement is improvement. I think having a target forward who doesn't only look to run onto balls over the top helped. Addlery's lack of technique was exposed playing for DC, but he could be an MLS player in the right system. His physical strength and ability to win headers factored into PR not just hoofing the ball into the box and hoping for the best, as was often the case in the group stage.

As for whether a USL-1 team can be better than an MLS team, it's obviously possible. However, if you put the current DC United side and how I'd expect them to play against Puerto Rico at a neutral site, I'd predict DC would win 6 out of 10 matches, and draw a couple as well. That leaves PR with about a 20% chance of victory.

I think the main reason the USL-1 sides have had success in the CCL is style of play. For CONCACAF teams used to physically smaller opponents playing the ball on the ground, a team like Montreal (who unabashedly skips midfield and strives to make sure every game has a physical edge) is totally unfamiliar. Note that the only MLS team that didn't disappoint was Houston, by far the most physically imposing and direct of the league's 4 entrants.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of any USL players that became major stars.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 8:01 AM
-------------------------------------------

Brian McBride and Tony Sanneh started with Milwaukee in the A-League.

Kerry Zavagnin played for Lehigh Valley in 1997.

Posted by: IamAM | February 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Dwayne De Rosario came to MLS in 2001 from the Richmond Kickers.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | February 27, 2009 12:45 PM
-------------------------------------------
That guy was pretty good.

I guess that we want to put an asterisk by Maikel Galindo's name:

He signed with the USL1 Sounders out of (and this is a bizarre concept in not just today's sportsworld but the "real" world of today, as well--) a sense of loyalty after they helped him with all of his post defection paperwork.

If he gets back to good health, he is one of the better strikers in MLS.

That guy isn't in DeRo's class yet but dudw has potential...

Posted by: yankiboy | February 27, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

While Jagdeosingh is indeed an Indian / Sikh surname, that guy doesn't look anything like a desi. Was he adopted or where did the Indian bloodline come from?

Posted by: Charisma_Man | February 27, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I meant post-MLS players coming from the USL. DeRo and Ching I would call domestic stars. I'd imagine Hahnemann was pre-MLS, but I could be wrong there. Regardless that's still not very many players. Only one of them has the quality to be on a major team if you call Blackburn a major team. I see the USL more as a dumping ground for MLS washouts than developing talent.

Posted by: bighungry | February 27, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The victory of the PR Islanders is even more sweet if you consider that the team is barely starting training. This team had only a few friendlies the last 2 weeks and players are still joining the side. They lost the friendly against DCU but they put a 2-0 against Columbus Crew. There is no measure to gauge how good the Islanders are right now except that they are a wining team in USL league play reaching the finals and making quaterfinals in the Champions league. Basically this team have lost a handful of games in the last 17 appearences which is prety good at any level.

Posted by: lcruz1 | February 27, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Brian Ching was a Sounder...

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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