September 3, 2008

Soccer Night in America (and its territories)

I barely get into the house and it's 1-1 in the Open Cup final. Luciano Emilio scores for DC, and gets hurt. Charleston responds in the 10th minute with a nice finish after some sloppy defending. We have ourselves a match, ladies and gentlemen.

I bet Charleston would've done better in the CONCACAF Champions League than New England did. Or at least, they wouldn't do any worse...

Charleston is not sitting back and playing defensively, they're going right at DC. And they're doing it fairly well, they're a quality team.

Rod Dyachenko's presence in this game does not bode well for DC.

Alavanja hits the post, Charleston is looking really dangerous on the counter. Great ball from Armstrong. DC better get its act together.

Randi Patterson is a bit of a handful up front for the Battery. Osvaldo Alonso is also causing problems. In a one off, Charleston's talent is comparable to an MLS side.

Wow, this is the 11th tournament match for DC in 2008 (CONCACAF Champions Cup, US Open Cup, SuperLiga) with more to come in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage in the fall. I sure hope United can get healthy...

How long until United brings on a gimpy Fred or Gallardo?

Dyachenko with a stupid giveaway, shocking. He really needs to be on his best tonight for DC to do well. He has the ability, but the execution always seems to be lacking. I just don't think he's ready to be a contributor at this level, he hasn't proven it over a few seasons now.

Patterson is running between DC defenders far too often. United better get that under control with the quickness.

Sullivan is dead on, DC doesn't need to sending in crosses repeatedly against this tall Charleston defense. The aerial game is not United's specialty anyway. Keep the ball on the ground and let Moreno and Quaranta try to break the Battery down.

Yellow card for Gonzalo Martinez and a free kick in a dangerous spot. He got the ball, but it was after he went through Armstrong's leg to get it. Alonso's free kick is just over the bar.

Hudock saves a difficult spot from Moreno with no angle.

The Barra Brava has a "Thank You Joe Public" banner up and a Trinidad flag. The Revs' fans will love that.

Fred on for Joe Vide, who's off with a pulled hamstring. Let's see if his PERFORMANCE ENHANCING UNDERWEAR can spark the attack. The one good thing is that there's 4 subs in Open Cup play, so DC will still have options in the second half.

I really hope FSC's graphics were wrong and they're not showing the Cruz Azul game before the Puerto Rico game tonight.

Moreno with a great chip to Fred, but he flubs the finish and misses just wide. Guerrero with a great cross to Quaranta, but he heads it over the bar.

This second half should be interesting....

I need a ShamWoW. It's made in Germany, you know the Germans always make good stuff. Best endorsement line, EVER. I just love that Headset Guy works the booth at the flea markets where they sell this stuff.

Brian Namoff is the unsung hero for DC, he runs down Patterson to stop a break. The guy never gets enough credit for the amount of work he puts in.

It's amazing how different Charleston plays from the Silverbacks. I don't remember the Silverbacks holding possession for as long as the Battery just did.

FRED SCORES, DC IN FRONT 2-1. Can that kill off the pesky the Battery? Great ball from Simms, great dummy by Quaranta to let the ball run through, and a nice finish by Fred. I guess he's got the underwear on tonight, very nice.

Santino just took a free kick to the little Quarantas. Poor fella looks like he's in a lot of pain. That's never fun.

Fred breaks through again, but is cut off by a defender this time.

It's amazing how DC just plays around Dyachenko and doesn't involve him in their dangerous attacks. I don't even know what he's doing out there at this point.

Charleston is not done, McTavish blocks Alavanja's shot from 15 yards. Crayton saves a volley from Alavanja off the corner. The second corner is scrambled away. DC better not let up at this point. Alonso finds another second ball and shoots right at Crayton.

FSC better not be showing the Cruz Azul game before the Puerto Rico game, they just showed the graphic again. The website and my TV guide shows Puerto Rico at 11. Why do you want to show the second leg of a series that's 6-0 before the one that's 1-1? GET IT DONE, BRETOS! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO SEE THE ISLANDERS FIRST!

UGH, UGH, UGH!!! They just showed the crawl saying that there's bad weather in Puerto Rico and the game has been delayed, that's why Cruz Azul is being shown first. Not cool, not cool at all. It will be really interesting to see them slop through the puddles tonight in a HUGE game though.

Wow, former coed soccer teammate Dave makes his first appearance on FSC tonight. He's a trainer with the Battery now. Cheers, Dave!

The Battery look to be running out of gas, do they have anyone on the bench who can provide a spark?

SHOOT THE BALL, GONZO! He tries to cross inside the box, instead of shooting.

Lazo Alavanja is playing the game of his life tonight. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten another shot in MLS. Maybe he doesn't want it at this point...

Nice shot by Dyachenko, but it's just wide. Well played, Rod.

Darren Spicer, "handy in front of goal" according to Bretos, is coming on for the Battery. At least they didn't put in two central defenders...

Dyachenko doesn't let his early glories get to his head, he blows a 10 yard pass and gives away possession again.

I'm very impressed with the way Charleston is playing, very patient, very composed, and making good use of their opportunities. We'll see if they can find another goal though...

Gallardo comes on for Dyachenko. Always nice to sub for a sub, huh? I think the cheers are more for Dyachenko leaving rather than Gallardo coming in.

2 subs for Charleston, trying to find a spark. Armstong is off with cramps.

Props to Bretos for bringing up our boy Macoumba, still a shame that the deal didn't come off...

Even more props to the traveling Charleston fans, about 400 strong. That's really impressive for a USL team.

Charleston almost finds an equalizer, but Alonso's header is just over the bar. They've got about 5 minutes left to find it.

Kenga, the sub, with a REALLY driven cross. A little too driven, I think. I'm sure Wynalda jumped out of his chair with excitement anyway.

Hell of a game by Charleston, I'll give them a ton of credit. However, the depth of DC was just too much in the end. When you can bring in guys like Fred and Gallardo off the bench, it's hard for a USL team to compete with that.

HOLY CRAP, Charleston scores but it's called back. Wow, he wasn't offside. Sorry, Charleston.

DC WINS THEIR 12TH TROPHY and books their spot in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League.

Is this the first trophy United has won in front of their fans since the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup? I think so...

Great to see the DC owners celebrating on the field with the players. ECB asks where's Christian Laettner...

Crayton swaps jerseys with someone in the Barra Brava, awesome.

Tom Soehn is one of the few to win the US Open Cup as a player and a coach. Well done, Tommy!

Bonus points to FSC for planning on showing the trophy presentations. Francisco Marcos looks like he has his F-U face on for Don Garber. Lame music...

I'll say it again, what a performance by the Battery. They gave United all that they could handle, which is never easy for a second division squad to do.

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