CHIVAS USA: In all honesty, there are a few things to like for Robin Fraser’s Goats, even in Saturday’s game, one dragged down by soggy conditions. The defense and possession was better – but there’s no getting around two consecutive shutouts at home. They need a win. Or at very least a doggone goal, if only to help temporarily allay those growing attendance concerns.
Panic quotient: small backyard grass fire
NEW YORK RED BULLS: Only in New York or Los Angeles would two road losses to quality sides raise such a ruckus. But these are the Red Bulls, and history says if any Major League Soccer club can take a whole bunch of talent and manage, somehow, against all odds, to mangle it into mediocrity, it’s this one. Hence, Hans Backe’s team appears on the debut ProSoccerTalk MLS Panic Quotient (®). Wilman Conde’s return to the back line could help, although Temmu Tainio’s ankle injury and potential midfield absence pushes the PQ slightly higher, because this week’s home opener against Colorado is a “gotta have.”
Panic quotient: Oxygen masks falling in the main cabin; captain says “just a precaution.”
PHILADELPHIA UNION: Peter Nowak’s “worry list” is growing by the day. His young goalkeeper’s confidence must be at low ebb. His veteran center back, Danny Califf, can’t figure out why he was left out of last week’s lineup, a troubling situation, indeed. (And Califf keeps looking for that knee injury Nowak insists the center back has.) The Union just lost a rare home match, and now talented right back Sheanon Williams has been summoned to the Olympic qualifying effort. That’s all against the backdrop of a smoldering angst over Sebastien Le Toux’s unpopular trade and further fan acrimony over Roger Torres’ limited role. Besides all that, things look completely hunky-dory around PPL Park.
Panic quotient: “Your test results are in. The doctor would like to see you immediately.”
Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.
Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.
The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.
The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.
While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.
NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.
As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.
Rog and Davo break down Leicester City’s 3 – 1 win at Manchester City, marvel at Spurs going second in the table, and talk about the headlines surrounding the mid-table clash between Chelsea and United.
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West Brom is the last team through to the FA Cup fifth round with a penalty win over Peterborough United after a 1-1 draw in their replay at ABAX Stadium.
Down 1-0 10 minutes after the halftime break, Darren Fletcher scored the equalizer in the 71st minute, and that scoreline lasted through regulation and extra time. Fletcher missed a penalty in the shootout, but Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster saved twice to put West Brom through.
[ MORE: Full schedule for every PL club ]
Other than the penalty shootout, things were quite even throughout the match. Posh actually lead slightly on possession, and had an 8-5 shots-on-target advantage as well. Jon Taylor was the man to score for Peterborough, putting them 1-0 ahead shortly after halftime. The 23-year-old midfielder also scored in the 2-2 draw at The Hawthornes in the original matchup.
West Brom will now take on Reading in the fifth round, a team that hammered Walsall 4-0 in their fourth round meeting. Reading currently sits 15th in the Championship table
With USMNT World Cup qualifying not far away, Jurgen Klinsmann will certainly look to club performances to find out which of his players are grasping club opportunities by the horns.
One US national teamer in great form is Alejandro Bedoya. The 28-year-old has scored four times across all competitions since January 23rd, and his latest is a massive one. Bedoya sent Nantes to the quarterfinals of the Coupe de France with a 118th-minute winner against Bordeaux.
Bedoya has been a lightning rod for Nantes the past two or three seasons, but something he struggled for occasionally is consistent game time. Not anymore. The American has started five of their last six league matches, and since returning from some time off due to illness, Bedoya has featured in the starting lineup in nine of 11 Ligue 1 matches. What’s more, he’s finished the full 90 minutes in seven of those.
Klinsmann has looked to Bedoya in the past for a combination of electricity and defensive ability on the wing. Now, he may bring both endurance and a goalscoring threat to international competitions, which would go a long way in raising his national team stock.