Friday, September 23, 2005

Good Showing

To tell you the truth, I was expecting DC to fold easily last night after their red-eye to Santiago for their Copa Sud match vs. U. Catolica. I was pleasantly surprised after United took the lead on an early goal by Christian Gomez. When Jaime Moreno missed a penalty kick, though, I knew that the soccer gods weren’t smiling on DC. Then Gomez made me believe again when he scored on a freaky rebound of the post & the back of the Catolica keeper. Though DC led 2-1 at the half, two late goals by Catolica, the last coming in the 87th minute, sunk DC in their first-ever Copa Sud tie, 4-3 on aggregate. Despite the crushing loss, though, DC played well on the road and has a lot to be proud about. Hopefully United’s one-and-out experience won’t deter CONMEBOL from inviting another MLS club into next year’s competition.

DC’s exit from the Copa means that all Eastern clubs can focus 100% on the last few weeks of the MLS season. Heading into the weekend, only 12 points separate the first-place Revs from the fifth-place Metros, and the two will meet for the final time this season in Foxboro on Saturday night. With both DC and Chicago off this weekend, KC and the Metros could tighten things up even further for the final stretch.

The current Eastern Conference picture:
Team, Pts, GD, Matches remaining (H/A), Most Possible Points
1. New England 52, +18, (3/1), 64
2. DC United 47, +17, (2/2), 59
3. Chicago 45, +0 (2/2), 57
4. Kansas City 43, +10, (2/2), 55
MetroStars 40, +5, (1/4), 55
Columbus 31, -11 (1/4) 46

This weekend's matches of import:
9/24: NE vs. MET (7:30pm et, DK & FSC)
9/24: RSL vs. CMB (9:30pm et, DK & HDNet)
9/25: LA vs. KC (8pm et, DK)

Heading into today’s final first round-match of the FIFA U-17 World Championships, the US is one of three participating CONCACAF nations to qualify for the tournament’s quarterfinals. Costa Rica beat host Peru yesterday to win Group A, and the Mexicans have advanced out of group B despite yesterday’s 2-1 loss to Turkey. The US has already clinched their berth ahead of today’s match with Cote d’Ivoire (4:30pm et, FSC). Unfortunately, we can’t have an ’85 Big East-like Final Four, as Costa Rica will meet Mexico in the quarters on Sunday.

If El Guapo asked you if he had a plethora of matches to watch this weekend, he'd be right. Here's a sampling of what's on, and when:

Saturday 9/24
7:30am: EPL: Birmingham City-Liverpool on FSC
10:00am: GER: Werder Bremen-Bayer Leverjusen on FSC
10:00am: ESP: Real Madrid-Atletico Bilboa on GOL
11:30am: ITA: Parma-Juventus on GOL
12 noon: EPL Bolton-Portsmouth on FSC
1:30pm: ESP: Betis-Barcelona on GOL
3:00pm: EPL: West Ham-Arsenal on FSC
6:00pm: MEX: Monterrey-Tigres on Galavision
7:30pm: MLS: New England-Metrostars on FSC
10:00pm: MEX: Atlas-Chiapas on Telefutura

Sunday 9/25
9:00am: ITA: Cagliari-Roma on FSC
9:00am: ITA: Sampdoria-Chievo on GOL
11:00am: ESP: Alaves-Real Madrid on GOL
1:00pm: MEX: Pachuca-Chivas on Univision
3:00pm: FRA: Lens-Rennes on FSC
3:00pm: ITA: Inter-Fiorentina on GOL
5:00pm: U-17 Quarterfinal on FSC
5:00pm: MEX: America-Necaxa on Telefutura
7:00pm: USL-1: Semifinal on FSC
8:00pm: U-17 Quarterfinal on Galavision
8:00pm: MLS: Los Angeles-Kansas City on Direct Kick
9:30pm: BRA: Flamengo-Corinthians on GOL


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