Thursday, March 15

Stories Of the Day: Eye Opening CCL Action

The CONCACAF Champions League definitely grabbed the headlines for the day.

SHOCKING Results: Part I - Sure, it is difficult to win in Mexico, but all the Sounders needed to do was earn a draw to win the series. Instead, Seattle became the first Major League Soccer team to allow six goals in a game under the new format of the Champions League, home or away, as they fell, 6-1 on the night and 7-3 in the series. In fact, it was only the fourth time an MLS club has allowed five or more in a game – see list below – and tied a Columbus group match as the worst margin in a loss.  

It was the 12th time a Mexican club, however, has tallied at least six in a game, reaching seven on two occasions. In knockout stages, however, it was only the second time in the four years of the event a Mexican club has run up such a large victory as Pumas drubbed Marathon of Honduras, 6-1, in the 2009-10 Quarterfinal second leg after a 2-0 road loss.

Part II – In general terms, Seattle’s loss to a Mexican club was not as surprising though as the Galaxy falling to Toronto FC. The Canadian club has definitely taken advantage of its MLS peers in Champions League play to reach the Semifinals. They downed FC Dallas, 3-0, in Frisco to close out the Group Stage in second. And although many would have expected the star-studded Galaxy to cruise, they needed to rally from two down in Toronto a week ago to keep the series level for the return leg. And tonight, an own goal was their only tally with a lineup featuring Edson Buddle, Robbie Keane, David Beckham and Landon Donovan – and that was just to level the series once again since Toronto had scored first again. In the end, the 2-1 result sends TFC onto to face what will more than likely be two Mexican powerhouses as they will take on Santos Laguna next. And in the Final they would face either Monterrey, who destroyed league peer Morelia 7-2 on aggregate, or the winner of the Pumas (MEX) and Metapan (El Salvador) series, which concludes Thursday with Pumas at home surprisingly trailing 2-1. 

Goals Not Only Thing Missing:
Following the match center on, I noticed something kind of surprising. I am not one who typically follows all of the nationalities of the players, but the little flags the site places next to the players made it extremely noticeable. Who would have expected years ago that an American MLS team would field a lineup of only three American-born players in a Champions League game against a Mexican club with a much greater percentage of domestic-born players.

I am not making any judgement on the situation. As far as I am concerned this comes with expansion, either the quality of play is either going to lag as the domestic talent pool adjusts or the overall talent pool widens with supplements from abroad. I discussed this quite often at USL in regards to what the Premier Development League offered its players. It is to the benefit of the younger developing players to play alongside and against better, more experienced older players. The same holds true in MLS. As the league expands, it is good for the American game that quality players are more prevalent in the league because that means with the relatively new Academy programs the younger players are battling with and learning from the foreign competition for places in the roster and for the game-day lineups.  

Kicked Out in Wisconsin: Overlooked in January 30, Eric Anderson reports on the revocation of the Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association’s membership in the US Soccer Federation, an extremely rare circumstance. While the organization is apparently free to re-apply, they now have competition from their youth equivalent, the WYSA. USSF would not disclose why, but one would have to figure it is largely over financial issues if they are being given the option to re-up (and/or pay the bills possibly) by the May 1 deadline.

Potential unknown financial issues aside, the WASA has not exactly been the most organized of state associations. Reportedly, the WASA is virtually non-responsive to media inquiries according to editor Josh Hakala. And last year, the state association embarrassed itself in US Open Cup qualifying, allegedly losing the check and application submitted by the Milwaukee Bavarians, regular participants, to play in the Open Cup. The organization subsequently forgot to submit the Bavarians, as the only team that applied, to the Region II management for inclusion in the regional tournament, denying them the opportunity to qualify for and play in the US Open Cup.


Major League Soccer Losses
Dallas 3-5 @ Tauro (PAN) Group 2011-12
RSL 4-5 @ Cruz Azul (MEX) Group 2010-11
Columbus 0-5 @ Cruz Azul (MEX) Group 2009-10

Mexican Primera Division Wins
Santos Laguna 6-0 v Isidro Metapan (SLV) Group 2011-12
Cruz Azul 6-0 v San Francisco (PAN) Prelim 2010-11
Cruz Azul 6-0 @ Arabe Unido (PAN) Group 2010-11
Santos Laguna 6-1 v Municipal (GUA) Group 2010-11
Cruz Azul 6-2 @ Herediano (CRC) Prelim 2009-10
Pachuca 7-1 @ Jalapa (GUA) Prelim 2009-10
Pumas 6-1 v Marathon (HON) Quarter 2009-10
Toluca 7-0 Marathon (HON) Group 2009-10
Cruz Azul 6-0 v Hankook Verdes (BLZ) Prelim 2008-09
Cruz Azul 6-0 @ Hankook Verdes (BLZ) Prelim 2008-09
Pumas 6-0 v San Francisco (PAN) Group 2008-09

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