Tag Archives: MLS

Seattle Sounders 1-0 Portland Timbers

Seattle Sounders starting XI: Gspurning; Gonzalez, Yedlin, Scott, Hurtado; Evans, Alonso, Joseph (Rosales 56′), Neagle (Traore 90′); Dempsey, Johnson (Carrasco 90′)
Subs: Hanhemann, Ianni, Burch, Traore, Zavaleta, Carrasco, Rosales

Portland Timbers starting XI: Ricketts; Harrington, Powell (Zizzo 81′), Jean-Baptiste, Kah; Nagbe, Valeri, Alhassan, Jewsbury (Zemanski 86′), Wallace; Johnson (Valencia 61′)
Subs: Kocic, Evans, McKenzie, Miller, Zizzo, Zemanski, Valencia

This latest installment of the Cascadia cup was a little bigger than the previous ones as new Seattle Sounder designated player Clint Dempsey made his home debut after making two appearances on the road in Toronto and in Dallas. But this match up had a bigger picture in line as the Portland Timbers were ahead of their rivals in the Western Conference standings for the first time ever this late into the season.

The match kicked off in front of over 67,000 fans, which was one of the highest attendances in the world this weekend, and the second largest attendance in Major League Soccer history. It started with a blistering pace as both clubs were going back and forth in what was a pretty open field, surprisingly, as the Timbers are usually pretty sound defensively. Kah was throwing his weight around all night and it started early in the 7th minute as he caught American international Clint Dempsey. Valeri was probably the best player in the first half as he was constantly threading passes to Nagbe, Johnson, and the lot, but the Portland Timbers could not produce the final movement that they so desperately needed.

Both goalkeepers came up huge multiple times throughout the match. Sharlie Joseph had two free headers in the opening twenty minutes but he did not produce the angle required and Ricketts saved both of them easily. The Argentine midfielder, Diego Valeri, released Will Johnson and was clean through, but Gspurning came off of his line quickly to collect the ball off of the feet of Ryan Johnson. The Austrian goalkeeper had little to do in the second half as the Seattle Sounders controlled the tempo of the match and were really in control for the final hour, but especially after the hour mark.

It was a very physical encounter as both teams were really going after one another, and the ref was letting them, despite some dangerous tackles. One of the key players in this was Kah who had plenty of rough challenges and one very dangerous tackle on Eddie Johnson late in the match in which he should have been shown a red card for persistent fouling, but instead was only shown a yellow. The league though should definitely look into some of the challenges Kah had throughout the match and really discipline him like he should have been during the match by the referee, as Alonso should be for his multiple fouls on Nagbe.

Seattle started the second half very narrow and could not break down the defense of Portland, but when Rosales came on around the 60 minute mark, he created a more offensive spark and really changed the whole outcome of the game. He came on for Joseph, who did not have the best of match in a Seattle jersey but Joseph was very sound defensively in the middle of the field for the first hour or so. The only goal of the match came off of a set piece where Rosales whipped in a cross from the left hand side with pace and Eddie Johnson got his head onto the end of the ball and directed it into the back of the net.

With this win, the Seattle Sounders are now in the final playoff spot in a highly contested Western Conference and this is their 10th straight win at home in which there is more than 40,000 people in attendance in the last 10 matches.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Robbie Rogers Story

robbie rogers
Los Angeles Galaxy winger, Robbie Rogers retired from professional football in February, way too early. That month, he openly announced to the British media that he was in fact, gay. However, just two months later, he wanted to return to Major League Soccer to continue his playing career, but he did not want to go to the Chicago Fire who were, at the time, owner of his rights. The MLS works a little differently than the rest of the world, clubs own the rights to a certain player, and then another club will have to trade for them, with either compensation or for another player. This is how Major League Soccer is continuing to be financially stable for the most part.

A deal was eventually made, but, of course there was a lot of media drama and coverage surrounding this deal. But, you know, it is Los Angeles, and you know we love this sort of stuff in my hometown. When the trade was finally confirmed by the two clubs, myself, and others, were all in shock and in a state of confusion as to what the final trade actually was. Mike Magee, midfielder, was the one that had gone to Chicago. I asked myself, being the huge LA Galaxy supporter that I am, why several times that day as he had been one of our best players this season so far. I, like many others, needed answers, and quickly, too.

We got our questions answered, slowly, but we did get them. Magee was traded to the Fire because he wanted to go back home. He had tried previous times, but they never panned out. Mike Magee helped explain his decision to go back home in a recent interview with NBC Sports ProSoccer Talk. He stated, “It’s been on my mind pretty much since I left. I tried to get back [here] a couple times in the past and then I think throughout the process with Robbie Rogers, that whole saga with him trying to get to LA, it crept in my mind that somebody had to go to Chicago. And I raised my hand.” In the end, it all eventually made sense, even though I still was unsure of the trade.
So there it was, Rogers was officially a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Rogers grew up in my hometown in California called Rancho Palos Verdes, although he went to a private high school about an hour away or so and was a two time High School All-American. After his last year in school, he decided to join USL Premier Development League side, Orange County Blue Stars, but made just three appearances before attending the University of Maryland over on the east coast of this country.

He played superbly his first year there and gained attention from Dutch club, SC Heerenven. Sadly for Rogers, he did not make a single appearance with the first team during his time in Holland and was released the following summer on a mutual termination agreement. Robbie came back to the United States and was shortly signed by the Columbus Crew before the 2007 season had started.

Robbie Rogers was sensational during his time with the Crew. Rogers did not get much of a look in in his first season, but managed to score three times and get one assist in just ten appearances. The 2008 season, would be a totally different story. He was named in the starting XI time after time again and eventually the dividends starting paying off. His first goal of the season came in a four to three victory against Chivas USA on April 13th, 2008. Rogers would go on to start in all four playoff matches for the Crew and was named in the MLS Best Starting XI and picked up the Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the club with the most amount of points at the end of the regular season, as well as the MLS Cup.

Robbie ended his career with the Columbus Crew in December of 2011 when it was announced that he would not sign a contract extension. During his time in Ohio, he made 138 appearances and scored 17 times. Despite not having the highest goal tally ever recorded, he was still an integral part of the attacking department with the club. The next part of his journey took him to England, where he would sign with Championship side Leeds United, after being heavily linked with the club, who had originally been given a trial with the club thanks to the US Men’s National Team. He made his first start for the club in 2012 in a 1-0 against Peterborough United, after making his first appearance for the club coming off as a sub the previous week. He unfortunately picked up an ankle injury late in the season was ruled out for the rest of the season.

The next year, Neil Warncok had taken the role of manager. Rogers had recovered in time for Leeds preseason matches and scored a couple of times during the summer. Unfortunately, he was placed on the transfer list in August to make room for a new striker at the club, along with another player. He went on loan to League One side, Stevenage, who was being managed by former Colorado Rapids manager, Gary Smith, who had been a fan of his during his time in the States. Robbie made his debut, just two days after the loan move had been completed, coming on as a substitute against Oldham Athletic. However, he was struck by injuries most of the time he was in England and did not really get much first team football overseas.

Not many people have the guts to do what Robbie did back in February and that took a whole lot of courage to do so. “Are people coming to see you because you’re gay? Would I want to do interviews every day, where people are asking: ‘So you’re taking showers with guys — how’s that?” Robbie Rogers said during an interview with the Guardian back in March.

Since his arrival to Los Angeles, I have grown fond of the explosive winger that is Robbie Rogers. His ability to take on defenders one on one is superb and I am sure he will be one of my favorite players to have played for the Galaxy before all is said and done. And no matter what your ideology is, you can appreciate the hard work and dedication that he puts in to the game.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: