The Rakes of Mallow's Voice of the Supporters

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lady Irish begin training/MLS survives in Champions League

First note I'd like to make is that the women's soccer team is on campus and begins training at 6 am (per @NDSoccer) The team is loaded to the gills, retaining 88% of goals scored and 80% of starts made from last season's semi-final run. Not to mention 3 U-23 USA players. Be prepared for some fireworks as this team marches on to victory.

Meanwhile in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders FC nearly blow their 1-0 aggregate leads, only to storm back. Toronto FC went down 1-0 real fast. So fast that I was just loading up the stream after getting back from Chipotle and I heard "ITS IN THE NET." The first half was pretty dull, but the second half made it worth the while. Toronto decided to attack and it opened the match up. DDR scored on some quick passing early in the second half and it looked as if Toronto was through, but then the Honduran club struck back with former TFC midfielder Amado Guevara scoring his second goal on the night in the 64'. This sent TFC reeling as chance after chance was loaded into the box and it seemed like a matter of time before TFC's luck would run out. TFC instead got even more lucky. In 79' striker Chad Barrett of TFC got the ball a good 30 yards and ran at the back line. Now this seemed a routine defensive play, the problem became poor communication and a bad touch by a defender gave Barrett the ball with 20 yards to goal and only a keeper to beat and beat the keeper he did. His goal sent Toronto FC into the group stages for the first time with a 2-2 draw, 3-2 on aggregate.

Seattle, meanwhile didn't seem too inept. On a pitch that looked like the La Brea Tar Pits, Seattle played on the worst pitch ever. It had rained nonstop since 3 pm local time to 8 pm match time. Metapan looked to have a simple strategy, score on the long ball, play lots of defense, and pray for a shootout. Metapan's lone goal came on goal kick which the Sounders' defense looked lost on. They basically surrounded the player receiving the ball in the box and did nothing to prevent him from heading it in on the cross. At best the Sounders seemed lazy and relaxed and it took them a good half to figure out that Metapan wanted the 1-1 draw. Then the World Cup Semifinalist Alvaro Fernandez came off the bench. Him, Montero, Alonso, and Jaqua opened the match up for the Sounders. A cross into the box found Fernandez and he headed it home to give them the lead on aggregate and a two goal mountain for Metapan to climb. As the game went on the fresh legs of Fernandez and Jaqua began to run and pass around Metapan's defense. From what I saw of Fernandez, I don't know why he didn't play more at a club level, he was dominating. In the end Seattle won 2-1 on aggregate and advanced to the group stages.

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