The New York Red Bulls flew West last week and found ‘goal’. Two goals instigated by Jamaican international Dane Richards led the New Yorkers to a 2-0 victory over the Western Conference leaders Los Angeles Galaxy (15-6-5, 50 pts.) last Friday night in MLS play at The Home Depot Center in Carson (CA).
The win put the Red Bulls (13-8-5, 44 pts.) in a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Columbus Crew.
Richards smartly planted himself in the right position at the right time to score the Red Bulls’ winning goal in the 36th minute: midfielder Joel Lindpere broke free down the left side of the goal and blasted a hard shot that rebounded off the crossbar to the well-positioned Richards for his third goal of the season and the 1-0 lead for his team.
Los Angeles – with the league scoring leader Edson Buddle, U.S. international Landon Donovan and former England international David Beckham making his first start of the season – fought back in search of the equalizer. Buddle produced a shot that ended up just skidding past New York’s goalpost just before the half.
Los Angeles continued its search for the equalizer well into the second half, but it was the speedy Richards who further influenced the outcome in the 60th minute when he sailed past Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall, who fouled the Jamaican winger in the penalty area to put Juan Pablo Angel at the penalty spot. The Colombian increased the score to 2-0, to put closure to the game with his 13th tally of the season.
In other MLS games last week, FC Dallas beat the Kansas City Wizards, 3-1, on Saturday. Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham’s goal in the 82nd minute was his 131st of his career, one short of D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno’s record. Marvin Chavez (4th) and Milton Rodriguez (12th) scored in the win as Dallas extended its home unbeaten streak to 17 matches. Earlier in the week on Wednesday, Dallas played to a 2-2 tie with New England and Kansas City defeated Houston, 4-3.
Chris Wondolowski scored a hat trick to lead San Jose to a 3-2 win at Toronto. The visitors scored in the third minute from the penalty spot when Toronto defender Dan Gargan fouled Bobby Convey. Dwayne De Rosario and Maicon Santos scored for Toronto. In Salt Lake, Nat Borchers’ header in stoppage time gave Real Salt Lake a 1-1 draw and helped the hosts to extend its regular-season home unbeaten streak to 24 MLS matches. Conor Casey scored for the Rapids.
Swedish international Blaise Nkufo scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute to lead the Seattle Sounders to a win over the Chicago Fire. Nkufo latched on to a pass from Steve Zakuani and scored from 12 yards when his shot deflected off Chicago defender C.J. Brown. Houston scored a 3-1 win over hosts D.C. United as Geoff Cameron and Dominic Oduro scored for the winners; an own goal was Houston’s third tally. Teenager Andy Najar scored for D.C. United.
Hosts Philadelphia Union got goals from Alejandro Moreno, Fred and Sebastien Le Toux to beat Chivas USA, 3-0. Le Toux leads the team with 12 goals; and at Foxboro (MA), New England blew a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 tie with Columbus. Pat Phelan (2nd) and Shalrie Joseph (56th) scored for the lead, but Columbus hit back through Steven Lenhart (62nd) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (80th).
S. Korea wins
South Korea beat Japan, 5-4, on penalty kicks to win the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago last Saturday. Spain beat defending champion North Korea, 1-0, at the same venue to win the third-place prize.
According to all news reports, a good turnout of 12,983 fans, most rooting for Japan, witnessed an exciting game which ended in a 3-3 tie in regulation and after two overtime periods and the first round of penalties, before a sudden-victory period in penalties yielded the result.
FIFA Praises Trinidad
The exciting finish to the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup wasn’t the only good news to report. The FIFA Organizing Committee heaped praise on Trinidad and Tobago for its successful staging of the women’s tournament. “(It has been a very, very good success. Very, very good, from all reports,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter told a media gathering. “We’re extremely proud and from every single report, it has been a very good tournament.”
Blatter further stated that the tournament in Trinidad and Tobago has proved a “great idea” and that it will help give women’s football (soccer) in Trinidad and Tobago more recognition and exposure. Blatter also said that he felt the tournament has shown women’s football is steadily improving.
Oliver Camps, president of the Local Organizing Committee, said that he was proud of Trinidad and Tobago’s “success” in hosting the World Cup. “I want to express my pride and joy that the FIFA committee is satisfied with the tournament,” said Camps, who is also president of the local soccer federation.
Camps’ deputy on the committee, Nataki Kerr, also chimed in. “Although there were several challenges,” Kerr said, “we felt very proud that our FIFA colleagues are satisfied (with our hosting of the tournament). What our FIFA colleagues were most impressed with is even though we had some problems, we quickly found solutions for those problems.”