An exciting MLS weekend was highlighted by a questionable penalty kick call in the DC United-LA Galaxy match. The call came in the 89th minute, as Charlie Davies streaked into the box and fell down as Omar Gonzalez's hand barely grazed Davies' chest. Davies then calmly stepped up and chipped the ball right down the center of the net, converting the penalty kick. The goal allowed DC United to tie up the game at 1-1, which ended up being the final result.
Here is the Davies "flop" followed by his penalty kick goal...
Here are the match highlights....
Here is Omar Gonzalez's reaction to the play...
"I put my arm out and he just flopped."
Davies thought it was a good call, he said....
"I was definitely going to be by him until he threw out his arm and put it right into my chest and knocked me off-balance."
Also, Donovan made this hilarious tweet about the Davies play....
“I got @CharlieDavies9 some gear in case he decides to dive again. Couldn’t find a scuba mask though.”
Side-Note: Landon Donovan did not play because of a knee bruise
Ok, Davies flopped, but everyone has to calm down. First of all it's part of the game. Second, Davies is just doing whatever he can to win. Is this any different than a wide receiver falling down after a corner back barely touches him to draw a pass interference call or if an NBA player falls to the ground when little contact was made hoping the ref will call a charge. Those are often considered cagey, veteran moves by US fans. If anything as a fan, I want my players to do whatever is in their power to win. If you want to get mad at someone, it's the referee you should be yelling at. It's his responsibility to monitor the game and to make that call. The ref is the one that messed up, not Davies.
What do you think of the Davies play? Share your comments below...
It was a great weekend for US players, who play in Mexico's Primera Division, as Herculez Gomez netted two goals for Pachuca while Edgar Castillo scored a game tying goal for Puebla in stoppage time.
Here's a quick breakdown of how US players performed in Mexico.....
Herculez Gomez scored two goals off the bench, playing only 28 minutes in Pachuca's 3-0 win over Chiapas. Meanwhile, Jose Torres started for Pachuca and played 62 minutes.
Pachuca vs. Chiapas Highlights, which include Gomez's two goals....
That second goal by Gomez was filthy; great free kick strike.
Edgar Castillo also made a great impression off the bench. Castillo came on in the 86th minute and scored a stoppage time game tying goal for Puebla, who tied Toluca 1-1. Castillo collected a loose ball at the top of the 18 and beautifully fired a shot into the lower right corner of the net.
Here is Castillo's screamer (start at the 1:20 mark)....
Another dirty goal; it's really great to see US players stepping up and scoring big time goals.
In another match, Jonathan Bornstein came off the bench for Tigres and played 36 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Pumas UNAM on Sunday.
Also, Sammy Ochoa did not dress for Estudiantes Tecos in their 0-0 draw vs. Queretaro.
US U-20 player Adrian Ruelas did not dress for Santos Laguna, who tied Monterrey 1-1 on Saturday.
Jozy Altidore finally found the back of the net, as he opened up the scoring for Bursaspor in a league match vs. Antalyaspor. Altidore did a great job latching on to a cross and heading the ball into the corner of the net. Despite the goal Bursaspor lost the match 3-2 and are now 11 points out of first place.
Here's the highlight of Jozy's goal in supersonic speed....
Nice to see Altidore score a league goal. It's so important for Jozy to build on this goal and to find his goal scoring form. After watching the Argentina and Paraguay friendlies you can tell that there is something missing from his game. The lack of playing time in Villarreal definitely set him back, but he has a great opportunity here in Turkey.
Alejandro Bedoya also scored a league goal today. Bedoya scored the lone goal for Orebro SK in a 1-0 win over Syrianska FC. In the 61st minute following a corner kick, the ball bounced around the box until Bedoya smashed the ball home on a beautiful volley. The win makes Orebro perfect so far this season, as they have 2 wins in 2 matches played.
Here is Bedoya's beautiful volley.....
FC Twente was embarrassed yesterday in their first leg match of the Europa League quarterfinals vs. Villarreal. The Dutch champions lost by a score of 5-1, which all but eliminated them from the tournament. Twente decided to implement a 3-man backline, which backfired horribly as Villarreal exploded for 5 goals, led by Nilmar's brace.
Oguchi Onyewu played a big role in Twente's defensive struggles as he started and played 90 minutes on the road for a backline that conceded a whopping 5 goals.
The second leg match between the two sides will take place on Thursday, April 14th at Arke Stadion in the Netherlands.
Here are the match highlights...
This wasn't pretty if you were a Twente or Onyewu fan. No matter how you look at it, Twente was overwhelmed by the dynamic Villarreal attack. Rossi and Nilmar have been doing this all season to La Liga defenses and in Europa League competition, so it was no surprise when they put up a 5 spot. I think this victory will propel Villarreal all the way to the Europa League finals.no comments
The U-20 US Men's National Team lost to Guatemala in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Championship last night and as a result failed to qualify for the U-20 World Cup. A victory would have sent the US to their 8th consecutive U-20 World Cup.
The U-20's lost 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion. Derby County forward, Conor Doyle, tied up the game in the 66th minute with a clever chip over the goalie's head on a breakaway. However, the US saw their goal quickly get erased as the host nation once again took the lead 3 minutes later. Gale Agbossoumonde got tangled up with a Guatemalan forward, which left an open chance for Henry Lopez at the top 18. Lopez easily scored, sliding the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. That goal was all Guatemala needed to secure the upset over a highly regarded US side.
Here are the match highlights....
Here was the starting lineup:
1-Zac MacMath; 4-Moises Hernandez, 5-Perry Kitchen (capt.), 2-Gale Agbossoumonde (16-Moises Orozco, 82), 3-Zarek Valentin; 8-Sebastian Lletget, 14-Amobi Okugo, 10-Kelyn Rowe; 13-Greg Garza (17-Omar Salgado, 77), 9-Conor Doyle, 7-Joe Gyau
Subs not used: 18-Cody Cropper, 6-Dillon Powers, 8-Sebastian Ibeagha, 12-Sacir Hot, 15-Korey Veeder
Not available: 20-Eder Arreola, 11-Bobby Wood
This was a tough one to swallow. A U-20 team with this much talent should not lose to Guatemala. I realize that Guatemala fed off the energy of the home crowd, which is a huge disadvantage for the US, but the U-20s needed to step up and frankly they failed to do so.
Should Rongen be fired? To answer this question you have to weigh two factors, developing talent vs. results? If you take a look at the players that Rongen has brought into the US pool, you have to be impressed. His squad features not only top MLS talent, but guys who are playing professionally all over the world. Also, most of these players actually have a choice of which country to represent at the international level (i.e. Conor Doyle, who plays in the Championship division in England for Derby County...he could have chosen to play for Ireland over the US). However, from a results perspective, Rongen clearly failed by not getting this team to the U-20 World Cup. It's a bigger deal than you think. In my opinion, the US has to be in this World Cup if they want to consider themselves a world power.
So what do you think, should Rongen be fired? Share your comments below.
Andy Najar finally made his international decision today and it wasn't good news for Bob Bradley and the US Men's National Team. Najar chose to represent Honduras, his home country, at the international level. The 18-year-old forward made the announcement at a press conference today at RFK Stadium. He reportedly had no contact with either the US or Honduran federation before making his decision.
Najar was born in Honduras, but moved to the US at 13 and said that family was a big reason for his decision. Also, Najar does not have US citizenship yet and thus would have needed to wait a couple of years before gaining eligibility to play for the US.
Najar said this about his decision,
"It was a decision that my heart told me. It came strictly from my heart."
"I wanted to finish my high school studies to make a decision, but from the beginning I was leaning toward Honduras."
Najar is eligible to play for Honduras in this summer's Gold Cup and could also play in the U-20 World Cup this summer if Honduras qualifies.
This was inevitable. Najar was born in Honduras, so he had all the pressure of his family and country. This pressure coupled with the fact that Najar was years away from getting US citizenship, made his decision an easy one. It would have been really nice to have a young midfield/forward combo player like Najar in the US pool though. I guess we just have to hope Agudelo or Bunbury becomes that stud goal scorer.
Welcome to the new home of US Futblog! We have made an upgrade in order to cover the US Men's National Team in a new and exciting way for our devoted followers. US Futblog will still bring you all the breaking news on the National Team and US players, peppered with some insightful analysis from our writers, but we will do so on our new, beautifully designed site. We hope this platform enhances the fan experience and leads to increased debate over the latest issues facing US Soccer.
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UPDATE: Yesterday US boss Jurgen Klinsmann added Jermaine Jones to the January Camp roster. Jones, who plays in the Bundesliga for Schalke 04, reported to camp today. The primary reason for Jones' late inclusion to the roster is due to his recent Bundesliga suspension. Jones was suspended for 8 weeks after stomping on an opponent's foot while the player was lying on the pitch in pain. Klinsmann further articulated Jermaine's current situation.
"Obviously this is a very difficult moment for Jermaine. He regrets the incident and has apologized to the player, his coaches and his teammates. He respects the decision of the German Federation and accepts the punishment," said US manager Jurgen Klinsmann
"While an unfortunate situation, it provides me the opportunity to call him in and continue to get him integrated with our system as we prepare the team for qualifying this summer. I have spoken with the coach at Schalke and Jermaine, and we all agree this is what's best," Klinsmann added.
The moment we have all been waiting for has finally come. Klinsmann has just released the 20 man roster for the January training camp. The group is relatively new to the National Team and will look to take advantage of this experience that runs from January 3-26. The camp will be an exciting one as the second line of US soccer talent will learn what Klinsmann expects of them and hopefully put up a solid showing against Venezuela on January 21st and Panama on the 25th.
A majority of these players represent the MLS but Klinsmann diversified by selecting a couple guys playing in Europe and a US Soccer Developmental Academy alumnus. Here is the 21-man-roster....