Wednesday, November 21, 2012

[VIDEO] More Player on Referee Violence in Argentina

One of the latest incidents of players blowing up and attacking a referee occurred in a Jorge Newbery v. Huracán de Arribeños match down in Argentina:

No matter whether you agree with a call or not, this type of response is uncalled for and horrific. FIFA clearly needs to do more, have more draconian responses, to these types of incidents, but seeing how it seems incompetent to end racial abuse at the highest levels of the sport, it's unlikely to make much difference in unsportsmanlike conduct in the lower levels of the so-called beautiful game.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Houston Dynamo Advance to MLS Eastern Conference Final

Photo by Nigel Brooks

This morning, Sporting Kansas City and its fans are left pondering what it is that keeps enabling the Houston Dynamo to knock Kansas City out of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Last season the Dynamo beat Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Finals and back in 2007 the Dynamo eliminated the then Kansas City Wizards from the playoffs.

Although last night's match finished with a score line of Kansas City 1, Houston 0, the Dynamo came into the match with a 2 goal aggregate lead thanks to a 2-0 victory over Kansas City in Houston on Sunday afternoon. The two legged affair was essentially an elongated version of Houston's 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire in the MLS Knockout Round.

Not surprisingly, on Sunday the Houston Dynamo took advantage of the fact that they were playing at BBVA Compass Stadium and took the fight to Kansas City, a tactic that paid off first in the 18th minute when Adam Moffat fired the ball into goal and then in the 75th minute when Will Bruin did what Will Bruin does, scores goals.

On Wednesday, the Dynamo took a much more conservative, defensive approach, and although this caused some Dynamo fans to needlessly freak out and have anxiety attacks, the tactic paid off and the Dynamo held Kansas City to one goal, which was scored by Seth Sinovic in the 64th minute.

As of yet, the Dynamo do not know who they will be facing in the Eastern Conference Final because the RedBull New York - D.C. United match was postponed as a result of the Nor'Easter that hit New Jersey last night. That match was rescheduled for tonight.

In light of provisions in the collective bargaining agreement, an MLS team can not play two matches in three days; therefore,(and read this closely because despite the blatant announcements yesterday evening there was a great deal of confusion among Dynamo fans and person that cover the Dynamo) the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final will be at 3:00 p.m. central time on Sunday November 11th at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Houston Dynamo Eliminate Chicago Fire from MLS Cup Playoffs in a 2-1 Win

Photo by Nigel Brooks

It was treats for the Houston Dynamo and only tricks for the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Illinois on Halloween night as a Will Bruin brace gave the Dynamo a 2-1 win, eliminating Chicago from the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Bruin's first goal came in the 12th minute with a header on a set piece and then he picked up his second goal early in the second half. The fact that the Dynamo led throughout the match put the pressure on Chicago to attack instead of sitting back and waiting on opportunities to counter. With 19 shots, 7 of which were on goal, Chicago did not give the Dynamo defense much rest and a goal by Alex in the 83rd minute gave hope to Chicago and its fans that they had a chance to catch up with the Dynamo. But this hope proved to be false when referee Baldomero Toledo blew the whistle approximately 4 minutes after regulation time.

The Dynamo victory means that the Chicago Fire are done with the 2012 MLS Season. The Dynamo advance to a two-leg affair against Sporting Kansas City. The first match will be at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Sunday November 4th at 2:30 p.m. central time. The second match will be hosted at Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kansas on Wednesday November 7th at 8:00 p.m. central time. Sunday's match will be broadcast on NBC.

As Wednesday night's victory by the Dynamo suggests, when it comes to the MLS Cup Playoffs you can't look to the Dynamo's regular season results to predict how they'll fair in the playoffs. Prior to this victory, the last time the Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire was in 2010. The fact that the Dynamo did not have the best record against Kansas City this past season means nothing going into the Eastern Conference Semifinals.