PORTLAND, Ore. — This time last year, Sigi Schmid was touting Michael Gspurning as Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year. Tonight, the normal Seattle No. 1 was on the bench as the Sounders looked to curb their slide against the rival Timbers.
That slide included nine goals allowed in losses to Colorado (5-1) and Vancouver (4-1), prompting Schmid to speculate a goalkeeping change could be in order after Wednesday’s loss to the Whitecaps. The Seattle boss decided to pull the trigger on Sunday, relegating one of Major League Soccer’s best goalkeepers to the bench in favor of the former U.S. international. It’s the first time a healthy Gspurning’s been dropped since signing with Seattle before last season.
For Hahnemann, who joined Seattle in the middle of 2012, it’s only his third start in MLS since leaving Colorado for England in 1999. There he spend 13 years with Fulham, Reading, Wolverhampton, and Everton before return to his city of birth, rejoining the team he played for in the A-League from 1994 to 1996.
Hahnemann allowed a goal to Kalif Alhassan toward the end of Sunday’s first half but make a strong read to come off his line and prevent Darlington Nagbe from converting on a breakaway earlier in the period. As Seattle went into halftime down 1-0, Schmid’s switch in goal had brought a reliability Gspurning had lacked over the last 180 minutes.
Regardless of how tonight’s match ends, Schmid is sure to be asked whether this was a one-night change or a move that Seattle will carry into the postseason. At this point in the season, there’s no time to have a full-blown competition for the Sounders’ No. 1 spot.
The Internet exploded at around 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday after Jamie Vardy — yes, Jamie Vardy — broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for most consecutive games with a goal.
[ WATCH: The goal | The game — Leicester City vs. Manchester United ]
Yes, an Englishman is back atop the charts. An Englishman who was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before heading to Leicester.
He’s perhaps the reminder, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted below, that the most unlikely of scenarios is still not impossible.
He did it. He actually did it.
Jamie Vardy made Premier League history on Saturday, scoring for the 11th consecutive game to become the first player in history to achieve that magnificent feat.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Tied with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy heading into Leicester’s clash against United on Saturday, it took Vardy just 24 minutes to set the new record as Christian Fuchs played a delicate ball in-behind United’s defense and Vardy did the rest.
[ MORE: Can Vardy, Leicester achieve unthinkable? ]
Watch the video below to see the King Power Stadium erupt as a truly memorable moment arrived.
Now, the next record for Vardy to break is from the 1931-32 English top-flight season, before the PL was formed. Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne scored in 12-straight games way back then.
Anyway, congratulations Mr. Vardy for making PL history.
This was an all-timer.
Bournemouth came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit only to watch Ross Barkley hand Everton a one-goal lead with a score in the final minute of stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Bournemouth 3-3 Everton ]
But after fans were cleared from the field, Junior Stanislas provided the dramatic answer for Bournemouth to force a 3-3 draw at Dean Court.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew tried hard not to throw shade on his former side, or at least put in a post-match press conference that choked down his passive aggression.
The Eagles thumped Newcastle United 5-1 on Saturday at Selhurst Park behind braces from Yannick Bolasie and James McArthur, as well as a tally from Wilfried Zaha.
[ MATCH RECAP: Crystal Palace 5-1 Newcastle United ]
And the former Newcastle boss held back, mostly, from further embarrassing his old side, instead heralding the starring role of former Sunderland forward Connor Wickham, who put in a Team of the Week performance despite not scoring himself.
“We caused problems everywhere,” Pardew said. “Connor Wickham gave a centre forward’s performance we always hoped he would. We were irresistible today.”
“We are sixth in the division because we are a good team, it was not about the opposition today. I have a lot of friends and family at Newcastle but I don’t want to say a lot about them because I get criticised whatever I say.”
Newcastle, for its part, was mostly useless after scoring early on a classy chip pass from Daryl Janmaat to Papiss Cisse. Could Steve McClaren be fired after just 14 games in charge? Newcastle’s 19th place status says it wouldn’t be unfair.
And after losing to Sunderland last week, Pardew doubled-down on his status as a Newcastle plague in the Northeast.