MLS Snapshot: San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 DC United

1 Comment

One game, 100 words (or less): Ew. Yucky soccer. Yucky. A sloppy mess graced Buck Shaw Stadium, and in the end only Bill Hamid came out of it with a gold star, but DC United came away with three points.

Gobs of midfield giveaways, poor defending, and missed chances ruled king, and only an early surge put DC United through. San Jose has a lot of work to do if they wish to get off the bottom.

Three moments that mattered:

12′ – Johnson buries a penalty – Pretty simple one here. A long ball fell to Chris Rolfe on the left edge of the box, and he ripped a shot on net from a tight angle. Brandon Barklage was out of position, and in his attempt to get back and defend, Rolfe’s shot crashed into his outstretched arm while the defender was midair. It was a clear penalty decision and it was given, and Eddie Johnson buried the chance for a 1-0 DC United lead.

25′ – Hello, San Jose defense, please wake up – Lackadaisical defense leads to goals. A Busch mistake led to Rolfe with the ball again on the left and Atiba Harris barely even attempted to keep up, and the DC attacker had all kinds of space to send in a low cross. Luis Silva beat Clarence Goodson to the near post with a run, and he connected with Rolfe’s open cross to touch past Jon Busch for a 2-0 lead. It was some terribly shoddy defending, but also another good attack for DC down the left.

39′ – Wondo’s back! With his team trailing 2-0 and looking listless, their first good attack saw some luck. A left-footed shot from Chris Wondolowski took a healthy deflection which planted Bill Hamid on the ground and the ball splashed into the back of the net.  It’s goal #85 of his MLS career, and gave his team some life.  It’s also the team’s first goal in four games. Yes, four.

Three lessons going forward:

1. DC United is for real – If you weren’t already convinced, you should be. They’ve challenged the top teams and beaten the ones they should. This team has a solid back line, a hard-working midfield, and in-form strikers.  It’s hard to get much better than that.

2. The Earthquakes need to wake up – The second DC goal was a face-palm moment. There were way too many players not plugged in, and they were beat. If this team is going to get back on their feet, they need to avoid moments like this, at both the front and back.

3. When a team is struggling, a goalkeeper’s even more important – Bill Hamid. Wow. DC United was on their heels all second half, and he came up with no less than three miraculous saves and nine overall, each better than the one before.  The biggest came in stoppage time when Alan Gordon had the net gaping but his header was pounced on by Hamid as it looked like San Jose would level. Hamid was clearly Man of the Match.

Where this leaves them:

  • DC United extends its surprising lead on the Eastern Conference, surging to 31 points, five clear of Sporting KC with 18 games played.
  • The Western Conference bottom spot remains with San Jose, 16 points which is four below Chivas USA on 15 games.

Report: Man City, Guardiola to discuss new contract this summer

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City does not want to let Pep Guardiola start the third year with the club without signing on for longer term.

Guardiola enters the third and final year of his deal in August, and the BBC reports that Man City plans to negotiate a new deal with the Catalan wizard this summer.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given City’s outstanding sophomore season under Guardiola.

Unbeaten City has an 11-point lead on the Premier League table after 18 weeks, with one draw and a PL record 16-straight wins. They have 56 goals scored, conceding just 12.

They’ve won five of six UEFA Champions League matches, only losing a match their opposition needed and they did not, 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. City faces Basel next, and visits Leicester City in the League Cup quarterfinals Wednesday.

Lanzini charged by FA for fooling ref with dive

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manuel Lanzini dove to earn a penalty in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium, and he may pay for it.

Lanzini, who also posted an assist in an influential performance, drew the penalty converted by Mark Noble when he hit the deck under minimal contact from Erik Pieters.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

He could miss two matches for “successful deception of a match official,” the same penalty given to Everton’s Oumar Niasse for a similar offense.

West Ham pulled out of the drop zone with the win, but has three bottom-half battles coming up over the festive fixtures: Saturday versus Newcastle, Dec. 26 at Bournemouth, and Jan. 2 versus West Brom.

Griezmann backtracks over ‘insensitive’ blackface tweet

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has apologized for any offense caused after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday.

Griezmann, who is white, was also wearing a wig and holding a basketball in the photo which had “NBA 69 ALLSTARS” on the jersey.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

The photo on his official Twitter account was accompanied by the message “80’s Party” followed by basketball and laughing emojis.

One response called the photo a “bad idea” with others urging the France forward to delete the tweet.

Griezmann at first reacted to the criticism by tweeting: “Calm down friends, I’m a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of this great era… It’s a tribute.”

He later tweeted an apology to those he had offended.

“I recognize that’s it’s insensitive on my part. If I offended some people I’m sorry,” he wrote.

The 26-year-old Griezmann plays for Spanish team Atletico Madrid but has been linked to a move to Barcelona.

Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Female POY, Navas wins Male POY

Twitter/@alexmorgan13
1 Comment

CONCACAF awarded some of its finest players and coaches on Sunday night, and two familiar faces took home the evening’s most notable awards.

[ MORE: Making sense of table in Man City’s world ]

U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) and Keylor Navas of Costa Rica and Real Madrid each earned Female and Male Player of the Year honors, after boasting tremendous 2017 seasons.

Morgan who primarily plays for Orlando in the NWSL, was also a member of Lyon, who went on to win the Women’s Champions League this past season.

Navas, on the other hand, played a key role in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League run, as well as Los Blancos’ La Liga title.

For Morgan, the award is her third since CONCACAF began handing out its annual awards in 2013. Meanwhile, Navas has now won Male Player of the Year on two occasions.