This week has become known as hate week in both Colorado and Salt Lake City, and possibly for good reason. Both Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids have had a decent amount of history with some very physical games with each other, both of which have been winners of two of the last three MLS Cups. The Rocky Mountain Cup was created by the fans for the fans; a committee called the C-10 (made up of 5 supporters from each club) was established and still exists today.
From a supporter’s point of view this game is extremely important as each club battles to win the Rocky Mountain Cup (RMC) that of which Real Salt Lake holds a dominating command over the Rapids since ’07. The series results are one sided since Kyle Beckerman was traded from Colorado to RSL.
This season will have a three game set–two of which are in Salt Lake City. Both clubs understand the importance of these matches for their fan bases. In my opinion this rivalry is as good as any in the MLS and should be regarded as game of the week over Sporting Kansas City versus Los Angeles. It will also feature two of the best dressed coaches in the league in Oscar Pareja and Jason Kreis who know a little too much about each other from their playing days back in MLS 1.0.
Sorry it has taken me a while to write this post from last Saturday’s game but I’ve had a strange week.
The game was a game of two halves: the first was a disorganized mess. The second was just amazing.
I’m not sure what happened in that first half. It was messy and the ball was lost way too easily but with some minor groin strains I’m going to blame that.
The second was seeing all the parts just seem to work. The Kenny Cooper/Thierry Henry front line is just getting crazy. Dax McCarty had what is probably his best half in a Red Bulls shirt. The much maligned Mehdi Ballouchy scored an amazing goal and did our ‘wipeout’ as his goal celebration. So what do we take from this?
Major League Soccer is holding closed-door meetings today to discuss possible stadium locations for a 20th team to be based out of New York.
According to the New York Times’ Goal Blog, Pier 40 on the West Side of Manhattan is one of those sites, and one preferred site of Eric Cantona of the New York Cosmos group. The location puts it just blocks away from Christopher Street and a fifteen minute walk from the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that mark the beginning of the modern gay rights movement.
The site is currently used for athletic fields, including by Major League Soccer ahead of the 2011 All Star Game, and is ringed by parking structures. The location is adjacent to the Holland Tunnel, and a short walk from subway and commuter rail stations.
Pier 40 is not without drawbacks. Extensive work would need to be done to sure up the pier; and due to its size, a stadium at the site would be limited to 18,000 spectators.
Still, the idea of an MLS stadium so close to neighborhoods so rich with gay history and culture is pretty cool.
After a heated affair in Toronto last Wednesday, we’re ready for round 2 of the CONCACAF Champions League semi-final between Santos Laguna and Toronto FC. Much has been made of the officiating by the Mexican side, with the word “gringo” being thrown around like it was beads at Mardi Gras including at the American referee Ricardo Salazar.
Because Strong Bad knows that you only get the team real fruit smoothies if they win the game.
And the LA Galaxy hasn’t been winning the game. Yet David Beckham gets real fruit smoothies.
All joking aside, it does have people wondering: with a new two-year deal in place, is Becks’ focus more on underwear design and schilling for Pepsi and Burger King than winning games for the Galaxy?
Whether that’s the case or not, this silly commercial coming out right after the Galaxy’s performance Saturday night against the Revolution along with rumored Beckham drama at the game doesn’t make for a great narrative.
This weekend’s performance was definitely a heartbreaker for the Timbers with Real Salt Lake winning 3-2 with the final goal in the last minute of play. However, all was not lost in that game as most of the soccer players were dripping wet from the poring rain. And it was the debut of their retro third kits so they were soaking wet. I have to say I got distracted by all the good looking Timbers players throughout the game.
Another good thing was that throughout the game, the Timbers Army’s new pride flag was on display. It is great to see the Timbers Army have a great message last night in showing the red card to racism and homophobia.
On the heels of the Houston Dynamo’s first loss of the season to the Seattle Sounders, the Dynamo find themselves facing multiple suspensions and a civil lawsuit. If you have been keeping up with our coverage of the Colin Clark incident, you should already know that Clark has been suspended for three games, was fined an undisclosed amount and will complete additional sensitivity training. It is now being reported that midfielder Adam Moffat will also be fined and suspended for one game for a reckless challenge on Sounders Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso in the 35th minute of the game.
Colin Clark (according to reports) – right after the game went to the ball boy to apologize in person, apologized on Twitter within hours of the end of the game, and then accepted his punishment with remorse over his actions.
MLS – took down the video as a kneejerk reaction, took a few days to figure the right course of action, then gave out a perfect punishment with a statement that shows MLS will not standard for homophobic actions and words.
In addition, this is the first time a major league athlete has ever been suspended solely for homophobic actions or words. John Rocker went off about everyone and everything. Kobe Bryant was just fined. In addition, a 3 game ban in most soccer leagues is seen for extreme behavior hence why its the standard punishment for a very violent act on the field.
With all of that said, I am tired of trolling gay media sites and reading articles and comments that are SO off base its shocking.
As many of you have heard recently, Pablo Mastroeni has been withheld from several training sessions recently with ongoing headaches, a problem that stems from last season’s injury in the final match against RSL. Pablo Mastroeni has been a reliable player-one who doesn’t miss too many matches unless he is disciplined. The NFL in recent years has been trying to cut back the amount of brain injuries that occur to players, by thorough evaluations from the team’s medical staff. In soccer hits to the head occur often when playing 50/50 balls, something that cannot be changed in the game. Unfortunately Pablo has what seems to be a severe case of a concussion.
Now I am no doctor, but being withheld from 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs and missing several practices isn’t a good sign for any player yet alone one who plays at such an intense rate. Hopefully at some point Pablo gains full recovery from his symptoms regardless if he plays another game or not. A player’s health should not be jeopardized for any teams’ gain, as result it seems highly unlikely that he will play in the Rapids current trip to New York which would cause concern for the club. The question mark would then focus on the Rapids depth at mid field as they could be potentially starting two younger less experienced players.
Hopefully Pareja is thinking about the possibility of Pablo not returning, that way there he can have a plan b option. If Pablo can’t return I am hoping Pareja has a position open to him for coaching (Pablo recently obtained his coaching license). I am not ready to hang Pablos boots up yet, but if he cannot recover from these symptoms one of the Rapids more attractive players will be lost, and honestly who doesn’t have a secret crush on someone who is so passionate for something he loves? Be honest.
I cannot imagine the Rapids without a player who has done the club so proud-gone. So Pablo, I wish you the best in your recovery process and I hope your outstanding career could have at least one more match left in ya…
Jeremiah Oshan, SB Nation: “Let it be said that Major League Soccer got it right when it suspended Colin Clark three games, fined him an undisclosed amount and ordered him to attend sensitivity training after he yelled a homophobic slur at a ball boy in the 8th minute of the Houston Dynamo’s game against the Seattle Sounders on Friday. Let it also be said that he reacted appropriately by accepting the punishment.”
Aaron McQuade, GLAAD: “This action by MLS, and the corresponding statements from the Dynamo and Clark add up to one of the strongest statements against the use of anti-LGBT slurs we’ve seen in the sports world. Clark is believed to be the first major American pro athlete to be suspended for anti-gay actions since John Rocker more than a decade ago.”
Steve Davis, NBC Sports’ ProSoccerTalk: “MLS commissioner Don Garber needed to send a crystal-clear message and he certainly did: Be publicly reckless and unenlightened and your own risk.”