Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This Week In Soccer

Hall of Fame Voting
Three US soccer pioneers were voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Induction will be held in Oneonta, NY on August 29th.

Defender Marcelo Balboa earned 128 caps and scored 13 goals with the National team between 1988 and 2000. Balboa played in the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups. His seven-year MLS career was almost exclusively spent with the Colorado Rapids. Balboa played in 152 MLS matches, notching 24 goals, including the 2000 Goal of the Year on an incredible bicycle kick vs. Columbus.

John Harkes was the first American to play in England's hallowed Wembley Stadium, with Sheffield Wednesday in 1991. A midfielder, Harkes scored 6 goals in 90 appearances with the National team between 1987 and 2000. Harkes played for the US in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, but was inexplicably cut from the 1998 team weeks before the competition by coach Steve Sampson. Harkes played for DC United during its early dominance of MLS, and helped the team to titles in 1996 and 1997. He also played for New England and Columbus, appearing in 167 league games overall, and scoring 16 goals.

Tab Ramos may have been the most talented player ever to wear the US shirt. His National Team career spanned from 1988 until 2000, including 81 caps and 8 goals. Like Balboa, midfielder Ramos appeared in the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Cups. On July 4, 1994, the US faced Brazil in the '94 World Cup round of 16 at Stanford Stadium. With the match tied in the first half, Brazilian midfielder Leonardo cracked Ramos with an elbow to the side of the head, forcing him to leave the match (Leonardo received a red card). Without Ramos in the lineup, the US fell to 10-man Brazil, 1-0. Ramos, the first-ever player signed to an MLS contract, spent his career exclusively with the MetroStars, though frequent injuries prevented him from playing more than 25 matches in any one season. Ramos appeared in 112 league matches, scoring 8 goals.

The First MLS Derby
In soccer parlance, a derby is a match between two teams from the same city. This week, the first MLS derby will be held with Chivas USA playing "at" the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, which both teams call home. LA has been bolstered by the arrival of Landon Donovan, who had 2 goals in his team debut two weeks ago. Chivas is struggling out of the gate, with an 0-2-1 record after three matches.

This Week's MLS Schedule:
Friday, April 22nd:
Chicago @ MetroStars, 8pm, ESPN2

Saturday, April 23rd:
New England @ DC United, 7:30pm, FSC & HDNet
Real Salt Lake @ FC Dallas, 8pm
Columbus Crew @ Colorado, 9pm
Chivas USA @ LA Galaxy, 10pm, ESPN2

Last Week's MLS Matches:
DC United 0-1 Columbus (Buddle 26)
Colorado 0-1 Real Salt Lake (Dunseth 81)
Kansas City 2-2 MetroStars (Jewsbury 20, Klein 31; Galvan Rey 43, 60)
San Jose 1-2 Chicago (Moreno 82; own goal 58, Thiago 91+)
FC Dallas 3-1 Chivas USA (O'Brien 40, Ruiz pk 85, Johnson 94+; Martins 44)

Standings after Week 3:
MLS East (Club PTS, GD)
Columbus 6, +1
New England 4, +3
Kansas City 4, +1
DC United 4, +1
Chicago 4, 0
MetroStars 2, 0

MLS West
FC Dallas 7, +3
Real Salt Lake 4, -1
LA Galaxy 3, -1
San Jose 2, -1
Colorado 1, -2
Chivas USA 1, -4

No comments: