I've been busy, but now I am back and blogging about my favorite topic - American soccer!
So much is going on right now, in the MLS playoffs. The wildcard matches ended exactly how so many had expected, with New York and Colorado advancing to the next round.
Conference Semifinals began yesterday where we saw the Seattle Sounders take on Real Salt Lake. Salt Lake easily scored three goals against Kasey Keller and the Sounders back-line. Alvaro Saborio scored twice and the coup de grace was scored by Ned Grabavoy in the 88th minute.
Today we saw three playoff games, but none were quite as hyped as New York Red Bulls vs LA Galaxy. The face-off between the MLS designated players: Beckham, Keane, and Donovan against Henry and Marquez. Mike Magee scored the game's less than stellar decisive goal in the 15th minute and this turned an already very physical game more dangerous. But the real action didn't happen until after the final whistle blew. After the game was over, New York defender, Rafa Marquez, threw the ball at Landon Donovan, this turned into a fight, which resulted in red cards for Rafa Marquez and LA Galaxy's Juninho. I for one, have had enough of Rafa's antics. For the money is earning, he isn't showing anything for it! Between badmouthing his own teammate Tim Ream, his consistent red cards and suspensions, and poor leadership skills, it seems as if Marquez may have seen his final days in the Red Bulls uniform. I would be shocked if Rafa is still playing for the Red Bulls next year especially if New York doesn't advance past the Galaxy on wednesday.The whole point of brining in such an expensive player is to make the fans happy and win games. It is interesting when so many fans, are unhappy with Marquez and prefer when he doesn't start for the Red Bulls. Not to long ago, the Red Bulls didn't win a single game when Rafa was starting. New York has to do some thinking about Rafa - and soon.
The League's most expensive DP's
(Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Rafa Marquez, and Thierry Henry)
On another note, I enjoy watching the Beckham vs. Henry MLS rivalry! It is lively and exciting fight to see the two highest payed players going at it. The former Manchester United and Arsenal men are giving the fans their money's worth.
While on the topic of the Red Bulls, Hans Backe has not been giving promising youngster Juan Agudelo any playing time. It is surprising that the young American star hasn't been given a chance to perform on the field. Some are questioning whether Agudelo is being punished by Backe. Many fans and pundits, myself included, are hoping to see Agudelo get some major playing time on Thursday. We will see what happens on when the two teams face off again in the second and final part of this series at the Home Depot Center back in LA where the Galaxy are unbeaten this year.
In other games, the Dynamo seemed to beat the Union at PPL park 2-1 with ease earlier. All three of the game's goals came in the first 30 minutes of the game. Calen Carr scored a quality goal for the Dynamo and Freddy Adu showed promise for Nowak's Union clearly deserving a start in Houston on wednesday. Sporting Kansas City took on last year's champions, the Colorado Rapids in today's final matchup. SKC's Teal Bunbury scored two goals, one of which was from the penalty spot to ensure Kansas City a much needed confidence booster and win.
The final round of the Conference Semifinals will be played this week, with the Conference championships coming Sunday, November 6th.
Please comment about your thoughts on what RBNY should do with Rafa Marquez, and who will win the MLS Cup this year.