Man of the Match: Both Impact center backs had good matches, but Matteo Ferrari offered more Saturday in the way of leadership and composure in dealing with Danny Koevermans and the TFC attack.
Packaged for take-away:
- Impact manager Jesse Marsch changed out half his starting lineup for this one following his team’s mid-week loss to Real Salt Lake. On the outs: defender Josh Gardner, midfielders Davy Arnaud, Jeb Brovsky and Justin Mapp and forward Justin Braun. Arnaud, by the way, is the team captain.
- It was a good-sized gamble from Marsch, considering the experience that guys like Arnaud and Mapp bring. But both teams had reason to be tired. The extra midfield pep provided by fresher legs helped the Impact control possession through most of the match, a spell here or there in the second half notwithstanding.
- Arnaud and Mapp did come on late to help nurse home the result. In fact, Matt’s ball out of the back, wise, precise and early, spring Andrew Wenger for the game-winner.
- Lots of firsts for Montreal on Saturday. Let’s see: first win, first goal for No. 1 MLS draft pick Wenger, first career win as a head coach for Marsch. That about covers the most important ones.
- It was very nearly the first shutout for l’Impact de Montreal but for Koevermans’ clinical finish two minutes from the end.
- Koevermans can clearly score, but getting the ball to him in good spots near goal is a real chore right now for TFC. The side’s shape and passing through the midfield is a mess. But we’ve said that before.
- Montreal right back Zarek Valentin inserts himself into good spots in the attack, but his crossing really isn’t passing muster. Put a big check mark next to “lots of room for improvement.”
- On Logan Emory’s 66th minute red card, which left the visitors to playing 10 on 11: Referee Hilario Grajeda got most it right. The foul on Sanna Nyassi was just outside the penalty area, and Emory definitely had “stop at all cost” in his mind as Nyassi sped toward goal. You do wonder if a yellow card might be sufficed here, as Grajeda could have made a case that defensive cover was close enough (i.e., that Emory wasn’t clearly the last defender involved in the sequence).
- Toronto attacker Ryan Johnson always looks like a winger trying to play the midfield when Aron Winter uses him on the inside. He was behind the striker in the side’s 4-2-3-1 Saturday.
- For all the trouble with TFC’s attack right now, the sides biggest problem continues to be lack of quality center backs. Emory got himself thrown out and Ty Harden simply must be better in critical moments. He didn’t deal well at all with the situation that turned into Wenger’s game-winner.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.