Lee Nguyen goes reverse Goonie, gives New England its first win of the season (video)

1 Comment

Capping an MLS Saturday that saw late goals change results in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Commerce City, Frisco, Seattle, and Santa Clara, New England may have pulled off the most remarkable theatrics of all. They out “Goonied” the Goonies. Finishing a counter attacker deep into second half stoppage time, Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen reversed the flow of a half that San Jose had controlled. In the process, he gave his team its first win of the season.

The game-winner wasn’t without controversy, though, as Charlie Davies, fouled on the play, failed to stop the ball before playing it to Scott Caldwell. It was a technicality fans held onto after, one pass later, Nguyen’s right-footed finish from the middle of the area beat Jon Busch inside the right post, giving the Revs a 2-1 win at Buck Shaw.

The goal was also New England’s first credited to one of its own players. The team came into the night having failed to score in its first three games but got on the board in the first half through Víctor Bernárdez. The Honduran’s 35th minute attempted clearance ended up in the back of his own net when his plant foot slipped while attempting to play the ball, giving New England a 1-0.

(ELSEWHERE: Djimi Traore’s game-changing red sends Seattle crashing against Columbus (video))

It’d be over a half-hour before the Earthquakes pulled that opener back, during which time the team slowly took control of the game. Up 1-0, New England began to setting into a more conservative approach, one reminiscent of last year’s team that was often for difficult to break down. In the 69th minute, however, the linchpin of last year’s defense, reigning Defender of the Year Jose Gonçalves, hit a poor clearance right to Chris Wondolowski, allowing the San Jose captain to equalize from close range.

The goal appeared to set Mark Watson’s team up for another trademark dramatic finish, but let on the losing end of Saturday’s last late-game heroics, San Jose was handed their first major setback of the season – a loss that ended the team’s 21-match home unbeaten run. That it came against a team that had failed to score in its previous 270 minutes puts their previous results in a new perspective. Though the Earthquakes looked impressive in games against Real Salt Lake, Toluca (twice), and Sporting Kansas City, they weren’t able to retain that form and claim their first win over the season.

(ELSEWHERE: Wake up call: Real Salt Lake sends Toronto to 3-0 loss (video))

Instead, that honor went to the Revolution, whose unexpected win continues the slow progress the team’s made since its embarrassing opener. But whereas results in Philadelphia and Vancouver had to be seen in terms of their silver linings, New England doesn’t have to explain this result.

Though there are still questions about the attack, those questions can be addressed from a new, victorious perspective. The Revolution is in the win column.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal field set

Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP
Leave a comment

The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is down to one non-MLS entrant after LAFC fought past Sacramento Republic’s dogged effort to make it two, twice equalizing en route to a 3-2 win.

[ MORE: TFC extends Bono ]

Louisville City won a battle of USL sides in Wednesday’s final day of fifth round action, knocking off Nashville SC by a 2-1 score.

Now attention turns to the quarterfinals, where USL champions Louisville City will face the Chicago Fire on July 18.

All four quarterfinals will be staged on that day, and the winner of Louisville-Chicago will face the winner of the duel between Philadelphia Union and Orlando City.

The other side of the bracket shows Houston Dynamo against Sporting KC, and LAFC against the Portland Timbers.

Chicago and KC have won the cup an MLS-best four times each, while Philadelphia has finished second twice.

The remaining quarterfinalists have not advanced to a USOC final.

Sprawling translated Emery interview talks PSG, Guardiola, more

AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Leave a comment

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has given a sprawling interview, translated by France Football News, in which he discusses his history and his philosophies.

The interview was conducted after Emery was dismissed by Paris Saint-Germain but before he was hired by the Gunners.

[ MORE: Sampaoli defends Messi ]

It’s a fascinating read, with Emery going deep into his relationship with Neymar, the need for PSG to get an “A-ha” goal for its history books, and much, much more.

The interview is with Marti Perarnau, the author of “Pep Confidential,” and there are plenty of good nuggets regarding the Manchester City boss, as well as Rafa Benitez, Zinedine Zidane, PSG, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

It’s fairly clear that Emery figured he’d be going to a new league, and he certainly seems like a guy fit for a project like succeeding Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. For one thing, he’s proud of his team’s style.

That’s something valued by the North London set, and Emery pointed out that Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid and Pep Guardiola at Man City had to fail before they succeeded.

Let me say this: PSG played well and won. Many people don’t value that enough and believe that it is easy. But what happened to us? We lacked competitiveness in important moments. Why? Because this team is not confronted with enough moments of adversity in the league. Being competitive also means being faced with adversity. One has to suffer like Simeone’s team to win. One has to suffer like Pep’s team to win in England.

My team had two basic principles: having possession and pressing. That was the basis. Having the ball, and winning it back as fast as possible. I should add a little nuance. I’m talking about having possession and not positioning because there are moments where you can win the ball through positioning, and others where moving out of position can surprise the opponent. And like Guardiola says, if you have to win with a long ball from the goalkeeper towards the striker and that the forward scores with his ass, then so be it! We work like that as well.

And here’s just a quick nugget on the importance of playmaking, and how good players make a coach look better.

During his first match against Toulouse at the Parc des Princes, we get corner. Neymar takes it quickly and Kurzawa scores. We hadn’t worked that at all with him. Afterwards, I told Neymar, “My work is limited to your strokes of genius.”

Love it. Arsenal seems like it’s in good hands. Read the full interview here.

Khedira laughs off Swedish reporter’s offer of tickets home

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
Leave a comment

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira brushed off a gesture from a Swedish reporter, trading a bit of banter ahead of Germany’s big World Cup match against Sweden on Saturday.

Germany fell 1-0 to Mexico in its opener while Sweden beat South Korea, leading a playful Swede to hand Khedira boarding passes for a flight home to Germany.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Khedira’s reply? He joked that Sweden won’t be a problem and he’ll use the tickets after the World Cup Final.

From Goal.com:

“After this bad start, we know that it’s super difficult, but we know that we are a strong team. We analysed the game, we saw Sweden play and we are sure that we are winning this game.

“I think we’ll need them [plane tickets] on the 16th of July.”

Report: Newcastle’s Clark knocked out on Spanish dance floor

Scott Heavey/PA via AP
Leave a comment

A wild story out of Spain says an Englishman knocked Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark unconscious at a night club.

[ MORE: Sampaoli defends Messi ]

Clark was on vacation in Spain, where he was spending time at Crystal’s Bar in Punta Ballena, Magaluf very early Sunday morning.

Clark and a man “in his 30s” got into an argument that saw the Irish defender knocked out, according to the BBC.

Clark was left unconscious and taken to hospital after an argument between him and the suspect broke out on the dance floor.

The 28-year-old suffered cuts and bruises to his face.

Clark, 28, scored twice in 20 Premier League appearances this season, his second at St. James’ Park.