Football Americana Week 15: Landon who? (just kidding!)
Wow, what a week for American football! The national team rose from the dead in South Africa to stun Spain and Brazil in the Confederations Cup, eventually running out of steam in the final against Dunga's men. Make no mistake, it was an historic tournament for the USA - but while Landon Donovan was impressing us all with some fine performances for Bob Bradley, the Galaxy did some impressive business without their talismanic captain.
A truncated week was made all the more stunted by a Wednesday start. Two games took place, with two goals apiece. In Canada, struggling New York Red Bulls
went down 2-0 against Toronto FC
. Pablo Vitti opened the scoring, nodding over a stranded (through his own fault) Danny Cepero, and Dwayne DeRosario
sealed the win with a delightful lob.
The points were shared at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, where David Ferreira
put FC Dallas
in front, dinking the ball over the goalkeeper against the run of play. The first half hour saw some excellent goalkeeping by FCD's Ray Burse
. The in-form Omar Cummings
missed a sackful of chances for Colorado Rapids
, but finally equalised with a more difficult opportunity with six minutes to go.
On Saturday, New York and Toronto were back in action. The Red Bulls travelled to Ohio to face Columbus Crew
but were beaten 1-0 thanks to Chad Marshall
, who headed in a corner on the stroke of half time.
Toronto were also on the wrong end of the result, slumping to a 3-0 hiding by Real Salt Lake
at Rio Tinto. RSL took the lead with a a cool Yura Movsisyan
finish after he pounced on a stray backpass. Dreadlocked captain Kyle Beckerman
made it two before half time, and Clint Mathis
killed off Toronto by driving in a third.
The Rapids were back in action on Sunday, travelling to Qwest Field to face Seattle Sounders
. Fredy Montero
took the credit after glancing in a Nate Jaqua
header, but he more than made up for it. First he acted as the wall in a one-two which Jaqua finished for 2-0, and then mis-controlled to tee Jaqua up perfectly to thump in his second. Cummings had missed a penalty for the Rapids at 1-0.
But it was Los Angeles Galaxy
who provided the week's big surprise. With skipper Landon Donovan putting in a couple of brilliant shifts for the national team, the Galaxy still upset league leaders Houston Dynamo
in Carson. Todd Dunivant
won it, turning a Mike Magee cross past Pat Onstad and into the corner to earn all three points for the Galaxy.
The Dynamo remain at the top, looking down on the rest of the West on 28 points along with Chivas USA on 27. DC United lead the East with 23 points from Columbus Crew who move up to 22. The next four are Seattle (West, 25), Toronto (East, 22), Colorado (West, 21) and Chicago Fire (East, 21). RSL and LA closed the gap on the Rapids, while Toronto's weekend defeat leaves them vulnerable to the Fire and Kansas City.
Full results and standings here
For more great football writing by Chris Nee, visit TwoFootedTackle.com
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