Toronto throw away the points late, again; Houston scores in stoppage time for 1-1 draw in Canada

Leave a comment

Toronto FC can throw away points at the end like no other MLS team.

It happened again Saturday, and it really must be so very painful to the BMO faithful.

The Reds were so tantalizingly close to a win over Houston that would have left Ryan Nelsen’s team, at least temporarily, fifth in the Eastern Conference.

It’s certainly early to say something like this – but we have historically been able to say it so very little about Toronto: If the playoffs had started immediately after a 1-0 Toronto win Saturday, the long-suffering Reds would be in! How about that!

Alas, we won’t say that. Because TFC didn’t win … never mind taking a 1-0 edge at home, playing a man up, into the 93rd minute Saturday at BMO Field. Rather, the Dynamo will walk away happily with a 1-1 draw at BMO.

Jeremy Hall’s 58th minute strike had given Ryan Nelsen’s team the lead. Jermaine Taylor’s ejection four minutes later (we’ll get back to that one on another post) had put the visitors a man down for the game’s final 30-or-so minutes. And that is hardly a recipe for success, especially for a Dynamo team that looks so very different than the swashbuckling outfit that simply does not lose at home.

Houston didn’t have much at all in the way of attack Saturday. In fact, the Dynamo directed just two shots on target all afternoon.

Thus, TFC was that close to its first win at BMO Field since last July. (The Reds did win in Toronto earlier this year, but that match was indoors, before the Reds began their schedule of matches along Exhibition Place.)

(MORE: Injuries dampen the afternoon worse for Houston)

But Irish center back Darren O’Dea, who has been such a steady defender for Nelsen’s men this year, erred late, giving the Dynamo a corner kick rather than a throw-in. Yes, a corner kick; providing one of those to Houston is just asking for it.

Sure enough, Warren Creavalle (pictured above) was unchallenged to flick home the unlikely, late, late, late equalizer. The Dynamo will gladly take a point – while TFC will add this to the list of late points thrown away.

Here is the full highlight pack, including Creavalle’s late, game-tying goal.

.

MLS Snapshot: Philadelphia Union 3-0 Columbus Crew

AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less)Goals from Ilsinho, CJ Sapong, and Marcus Epps led the Philadelphia Union to a 3-0 win over the Crew, who had not one but two players sent off in the loss. Jonathan Mensah saw red in the 35th minute for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and Lalas Abubakar was sent off for violent conduct with about a quarter hour to play. Sapong had two assists and Ilsinho added a helper too. Philly pulls to within five points of sixth-place Columbus, and have played one less game.

Three moments that mattered

20′  — Overhead pass gets deserved finish — Ilsinho made Zack Steffen’s diving attempt look feeble with a blast after Sapong’s bike-like ball across the box.

38′ — Alberg PK denied — Did we mention it could’ve been worse for Philly? Roland Alberg was stopped by the left hand of the law, er, Steffen. The left hand of the Steffen.

81′ — Epps puts it to bed — The man was credited with eight shots on the night, as 22-year-old Marcus Epps has his first MLS goal (He has scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup).

Man of the Match: Sapong.

Conte questions Spurs ambitions: “You must buy expensive players”

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Like most Spurs fans, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has noticed that Tottenham isn’t spending during this summer transfer window.

He’s also heard the remarks of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who said the spending from many other Premier League clubs is “unsustainable.”

Conte’s reply? Maybe not winning’s okay to you, Dan.

[ WATCH: Neymar scores vs. Man Utd ]

The Chelsea boss defends the massive money being doled out on players by, essentially, saying ambitious clubs have to keep up with other ambitious clubs. And without digging into the profit margins of Spurs and other PL clubs, perhaps he has a point.

Also, you can’t help but appreciate the subtle dig at Liverpool, as if to say, “Yeah, maybe they care.”

From the BBC:

“If [Spurs] don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy. If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League and go down against Gent, it’s not a tragedy.

“Maybe for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and – I don’t know – Liverpool, it is a tragedy. You must understand this. You must understand the status of the team.

“Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or try to win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple. My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?”

Again, we’re not poring over the financials of these clubs, but it is saying something that Spurs have not bought any new players and sold Kyle Walker to Man City for $59 million. If the market says players are worth that, than the logic goes that Spurs cannot improve without investing that sum into players.

And look, Mr. Levy, you spent $40 million on Moussa Sissoko and close to $30m on Vincent Janssen. It’s not like we’re talking about a totally new world here.

It wasn’t all negative, or passive aggressive negative, from Conte, who said Harry Kane is the top striker worth buying in the world, and valued him at more than $131 million.

FOLLOW LIVE: Lineups as the USMNT goes trophy hunting

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Levi’s Stadium is the scene as the United States men’s national team looks to wrestle the Gold Cup back after Mexico claimed the 2015 championship.

Jamaica is the opponent, and an incredible story all things considered, as the Reggae Boyz hope their second-straight tournament final is the occasion for their first Gold Cup crown.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Stats, scores from Gold Cup Final ]

Kickoff is slated for about 9:45 p.m. ET, with the pageantry from California getting started at 9:30.

There are no real surprises in the XI, aside from Bruce Arena’s continued use of Graham Zusi at right back. Omar Gonzalez pairs with Matt Besler in the heart of the defense, with Michael Bradley, Kellyn Acosta, Darlington Nagbe, and Paul Arriola combining for an industrious midfield.

Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris are up top, while Jorge Villafana fills out the lineup at left back with Tim Howard in goal.

Clint Dempsey is on the bench, perhaps awaiting another super sub performance.

WATCH: Neymar dizzies Valencia, gets Suarez pick to score vs. Man Utd

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

All three parts of the MSN trident helped Barcelona produce an International Champions Cup goal against Manchester United on Wednesday, though not in the most traditional of fashions.

Lionel Messi’s through ball was off target, and Neymar rushed onto it before spinning toward goal. Luis Suarez literally shoved Chris Smalling out of contention to stop the Brazilian, and Neymar did the rest with a finish past David De Gea.

[ REPORT: Barca confident of Coutinho deal ]

Say it with me, “It’s preseason for the officials, too, you guys.”

Neymar’s goal has given Barcelona a 1-0 lead over United, and the match is at halftime. Obviously, he hasn’t been sent to Paris Saint-Germain.