Sunday, April 24, 2011

Football Americana Week 6: Zakuani and Ferreira injuries mar the weekend

A relatively low key week of Major League Soccer action saw the debut of New England's Benny Feilhaber but was overshadowed by a serious injury to Seattle star Steve Zakuani.

New York Red Bulls began the weekend by waltzing into DC United's back yard on Thursday evening and thumping them 4-0. Typically, Thierry Henry followed last week's goal with a quickfire double at RFK, his first coming after 12 minutes and once again with his head and his second from close range eight minutes before half time. Joel Lindpere broke away before finishing off a lovely goal with quarter of an hour remaining, and teenage phenom Juan Agudelo capped off the win with yet another stunning finish. Branko Boskovic hit the woodwork twice as United created some chances, but RBNY were imperious and DC's defence almost non-existent.

Friday's match was spoiled by a double leg break suffered by Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani (pictured). He suffered fractures to his fibula and tibia after less than five minutes at the hands of Colorado Rapids' Brian Mullan, whose X-rated tackle was utterly sickening. Mullan got a straight red - hopefully only the beginning of his punishment - and Fredy Montero's goal saw the Sounders to a 1-0 win. Matt Pickens should have stopped it.

Chivas USA became the final team to earn their first 2011 victory with a comeback win over San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Chris Wondolowski put the Quakes ahead early, nodding home in the 16th minute. Alejandro Moreno's glancing header in first half stoppage time drew Chivas level and a second half tap-in from Mariano Trujillo won all the points for the Rojiblancos.

The Dwayne DeRosario trade took Tony Tchani from New York Red Bulls to Toronto FC, and he took centre stage as his side drew 1-1 with Columbus Crew. He smoothly fired home a ball over the top, but then jumped into the crowd to celebrate and was rewarded with his second yellow card. The Crew equalised a few minutes after the restart with a stooping header by Emilio Renteria.

Vancouver Whitecaps lost at home for the first time, falling to a 2-1 loss at the hands of FC Dallas. They went ahead through a Alain Rochat header from Davide Chiumiento's cross, but couldn't hold their lead even with Dallas missing a penalty. Two minutes after the goal Rochat was punished for a handball in his own area and FCD's David Ferreira saw his penalty swing wide of Jay Nolly's goal. George John headed the equaliser even as Ferreira was receiving treatment on the touchline for what turned out to be a broken ankle, and Eric Avila driving in the winner with six minutes left on the clock.

Sporting Kansas City continued their goal-heavy road trip but it was New England Revolution who emerged victorious with a 3-2 win at Gillette Stadium. Marko Perovic opened the scoring for the Revs, curling in from the edge of the D after a lay-off from debutant Benny Feilhaber. Kei Kamara crashed home the equaliser a couple of minutes later and put Sporting in front with a confident penalty 20 minutes from time. Shalrie Joseph headed in the equaliser to make it 2-2, and the game got away from Sporting when Aurelien Collin was sent off. Rajko Lekic headed home the winner, leaving Jimmy Nielsen stranded with a pinpoint finish.

Chicago Fire (in a fetching white kit with dull green socks) and Houston Dynamo split the points at Toyota Park, sharing a 1-1 draw. Diego Chaves blasted in the opener after some determined and somewhat fortunate work by Marco Pappa, but Bobby Boswell popped up inside the last ten minutes to head in the equaliser.

In the final game of Week 6, LA Galaxy thumped Portland Timbers 3-0. They raced out into a 2-0 lead, with Chad Barrett scoring after just three and a half minutes with a fantastic strike from outside the area. Landon Donovan was held back just outside the area three minutes later, but the penalty was given and Donovan rolled it in without any fuss. He doubled his tally in the middle of the second half, heading in Juan Pablo Angel's chipped pass across the goalkeeper.

That win took LA to the top of the West, although second-placed Real Salt Lake have four games in hand as they aim for CONCACAF Champions League success. Seattle are now level on points with Colorado, who've lost three consecutively. Chivas haven't lost in four and are now above the Whitecaps and the Earthquakes.

New York now lead the East, a point clear of Philly, who have a game in hand. Houston are up to third, but Kansas city and Chicago are struggling at the bottom.

No comments :