The addition of an extra playoff match also added one more layer of yellow card jeopardy; players were thusly afforded one extra opportunity to collect that dreaded, second post-season yellow card earlier in the process.
As for the contest in Houston today, this might be the one and only area where we make the call for “advantage D.C. United.” Here are the players who have been cautioned once already, who will miss the second leg if they are booked at BBVA Compass today:
- Houston Dyanmo: Corey Ashe, Calen Carr, Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia, Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie
- D.C. United: Andy Najar, Lionard Pajoy
Clearly, United has done well in avoiding the cards, a real achievement considering the white-knuckle nature of the series triumph over New York.
Houston had that extra match (the elimination contest up in Chicago) in which to collect a booking. Davis (pictured), for instance, picked up a silly and unnecessary card for grabbing a shoulder in a situation that really wasn’t so threatening, as his club held a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute. So Houston’s dead ball expert, who is also so critical in helping the men in orange keep possession, must be extra careful today in Houston.
Not having Andy Najar to deal with will assist Davis is this regard.
(MORE: Thinking through the Najar suspsension)
Hall, Houston’s starting goalkeeper, collected a wholly unnecessary caution for stalling against Chicago – and he was. Stalling that is. So he’s got to get on with the goal kicks today, no question about it.
Important to remember: The players are more or less in the clear after today’s match. Bookings are wiped out after the conference finals. If any of the names listed above are cautioned in the second leg, they’ll not sit out the final.
(MORE: match preview for today’s contest at BBVA Compass)
It’s a incredibly early kickoff for the third place game of the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament, at least here in the States, where West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace duke it out at 6 a.m. ET. in Hong Kong.
West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.
[ LIVE: Stream PL Asia Trophy here ]
Palace fell 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal.
The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.
[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]
CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.
[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]
The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.
Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.
Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.
NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.
The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.
Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”
Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.
The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.
Three moments that mattered
36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.
39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!
86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.
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Man of the match: Brad Guzan
Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)