Sunday, March 18
Stories Of the Day: Tragedy and Triumph
Football Takes Back Seat: It was a big day in English soccer. American eyes were on Bolton with Tim Ream on the roster. Ream would not see the pitch as the quarterfinal contest was abandoned just before halftime when his teammate Fabrice Muamba collapsed away from the play with an apparent heart attack. The situation was critical with dramatic efforts being made to save the 23-year-old’s life and after a lengthy delay, the match official Howard Webb made the decision, in consultation with both clubs, to abandon the match. That is not an easy decision to make, and it made me wonder: what would happen if something like this occurred in MLS, the lower divisions or the US Open Cup. Schedules are so sacred because re-scheduled matches are difficult to sell. And with the new format of the US Open Cup running rounds in consecutive weeks, how could you possibly replay a match unless it is the very next day.
Rave Green Beer Flows in Seattle: There was plenty to celebrate in Seattle on St Patrick’s Day just days after heartbreak at the hands of the green-and-white clad Santos Laguna in Mexico. Alvaro Fernandez and David Estrada seemed unstoppable on the night, playing a factor in all three Sounders goals in the 3-1 win. Estrada will be a front-runner for Player of the Week with the hat-trick while Fernandez, credited with two assists, was a key figure in all three tallies by his teammate.
Merit-orious Result Away from Vancouver: Last year, the Whitecaps were the first team since the 2009 New York Red Bulls to go without a victory away from home. It was a tough pill to swallow considering their Cascadian rival Seattle went 5-5-5 in their debut MLS campaign three years prior. This year, the club came out and decided to put an end to that status in its first road game of the year. It was not the most thrilling game to watch, but when David Chiumiento’s corner kick found the head of defender Jay DeMerit in the 68th minute, it looked like the Whitecaps knew that monkey was coming off their back. And it did as the American’s tally stood up for the 1-0 decision.