MLS Daily Sweeper, 03.24: Resources, Riots, and Goal-Scoring Mysteries

Again…most go quickly…no photos, etc.

Climbing the Ladder – god bless ‘im – posted something wonderful: expected starting elevens for every team in Major League Soccer (MLS), broken down by conference (Eastern and Western).  I will be using those for my upcoming conference previews (Tuesday? Wednesday? just some time before Saturday)…unlike the, um, previews I’ve been saving for the past two weeks.  Also, go vote in his MLS survey.

MLS Rumors picked up reports of fan/security misbehavior during last week’s CONCACAF Champions Cup quaterfinal between Deportivo Saprissa and Atlante FC.  If you don’t trust MLS Rumors, there’s video in the post as well as a link to an article from Medio Tiempo…unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish and don’t have time for (the ever-comical) Babelfish, so will just pass it on and let you make of it what you will.  Assuming it’s all accurate, it’d be interesting if Saprissa got slapped with a stadium ban for the semifinal v. Houston.  It will also be interesting if they don’t.  Suppose that makes this win/win, right?

– This one is just a little fun.  Who scored the winner in the Kansas City Wizards’ win over Real Salt Lake?  Was it Jimmy ConradScott Sealy?  Drum-roll, please…by a score of two sources to one, Conrad has it!  The more surprising thing is how anyone confused Sealy and Conrad…

– Finally, fans of the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC: click those links and enjoy your gloom.  Hmm.  Not there yet?  Well, try this, Toronto fans!  And this, Chicago fans!

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MLS Daily Sweeper, 3.21: Seeing to my CCC08 Duty; Beckham’s Clause

This will be quick:

– Holy crap!  Deportivo Saprissa mugs Atlante FC and steps over the battered body into the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals.  All right, Dynamo, don’t you get to relaxing because the Mexican team crashed out; Saprissa are recent champs after all.  Credit to My Soccer Blog for carrying my water.

WVHooligan, among others who shall go unlinked, got wind of an alleged (this is 60 Minutes reporting), very special clause in David Beckham’s contract: an option to buy an MLS club at the end of his contract.  There’s something devilish in that, but I don’t object either. He’ll still be famous then, so what’s the harm?

Have a good weekend, people.  I kicked my own ass today.

CCC08: Atlante FC 2-1 Saprissa – Tournament’s Best?

Again outwitted by VCR programming – this time, due to neglect to keep the time current; damn thing started recording at 9:00 p.m.  I’ll spare you the full, profanity-laden story.

The upshot, though, is that I didn’t see this whole match – only enough of it to know Atlante FC was a little better than good for the win.  How good?  I started watching after the half and was able to turn it off around the 80th minute, thoroughly secure in the knowledge that the Costa Rican club (Deportivo Saprissa, for the record) would never equalize.  They created their chances, even made Atlante’s show-boat ‘keeper use all his tricks, but Atlante kept Saprissa on the back-heel with strong tackling and an impressively speedy attack.

Still, cracking goal from Saprissa’s Walter Centano.

Getting back to the Mexicans, how they attack is worth noting: they poured forward in a way you don’t often see, with players running ahead of the ball into gaps that allow short, diagonal forward passes to their feet.  Either it was something they Saprissa allowed through zonal marking, or Atlante is just that proficient at their game.  The won on a pretty goal, one involving this quick little bugger named Bermudez, but it was the vision and precision of the final ball that most impressed me.  They tackled hard in the middle as well, imposing themselves on the game generally.  Tough customers, these guys, perhaps even the class of the tournament.

The Costa Ricans know how to play as well.  Seeign what they can do on the return leg should prove interesting….not Houston v. Municipal interesting, but this quarterfinal seems more evenly matched than the other two.

For the record, though, if it’s a matter of who gets through to the semis, I’m definitely pulling for the Costa Ricans.  Unless, they had a banner day, I’m not liking the Major League Soccer clubs’ chances against these guys.