Sylvae MLS News

23Sep/120

Chris Rolfe Leads Chicago Fire to a Comeback Win Versus the Columbus Crew

The Chicago Fire can win the MLS Cup! That was my proclamation after witnessing their come-from-behind victory against the Columbus Crew Saturday night. Over 19,000 fans jammed Toyota Park and watched Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson give a goal away on an errant pass. But there was no doubt that they would come back and win the game. The ill-timed pass Johnson intended for defender Arne Friedrich went instead to an awaiting Jairo Arrieta, who caught Johnson out of position to score the goal in the 15th minute of play. Instead of sulking, the Fire raised their intensity level and went on the attack offensively. Fire forward and Kettering, Ohio native Chris Rolfe tied the match in the 23rd minute of play. Sharp passing by Sherjill MacDonald set up Rolfe’s goal beautifully. As the crowd roared, Rolfe proved he was not finished, adding a go-ahead goal three minutes later. The goal ended up the game winner. Fire coach Frank Klopas praised the effort of the team following the match in his post-game press conference: “Yeah, obviously another great win for our team. Being here at home there is a fantastic atmosphere tonight from our fans. And I thought we had a very good start to the game. We made ...
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22Sep/120

5 Things the Chicago Fire Can Do to Win the MLS Cup

Chicago Fire fans must be excited about the Fire’s chances at earning a spot in the MLS playoffs. Having gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, the Fire have the look of a championship contender. Overall, the Fire have a record of 15-8-5 with 50 points. They are peaking at just the opportune time. After their 3-1 win against the Montreal Impact, Fire forward Patrick Nyarko spoke to reporters about the team’s goals at the beginning of the season. When asked about how many points he and his fellow Fire teammates were shooting for, Nyarko responded with “60 points.” The Fire currently have 53 points.  With five games remaining, after defeating the Columbus Crew 2-1 this past Saturday, 60 points is well within reach. So is winning the MLS Cup. Here are five things the Fire can do in order to finish the season as MLS Cup champions. This does not include defeating the Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City club next Friday.    Begin Slideshow
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19Sep/120

Los Angeles Galaxy: Depth Is Key to Success in CONCACAF Champions League

After a disappointing CONCACAF Champions League campaign earlier this year, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy look to bounce back this time around. The key to success for the Galaxy during their CCL run is quality roster depth. Even Landon Donovan agrees that winning the CCL has a lot to do with a team’s roster depth. In an interview with L.A. Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano, Donovan said, "The most important thing is having a number of players that can contribute because you can’t play the same 11 guys 45 or 50 times a year." Starting with the defense, the Galaxy have not changed much at all. The championship backline of Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Sean Franklin is still intact.Through the 2012 MLS supplemental draft, the Galaxy added some much-needed depth in Bryan Gaul at left-back. Although Todd Dunivant is much better defensively at this position, Gaul is a solid backup. What makes Gaul so unique as a left-back is that he’s 6'5" and played forward for a year in college. As for the midfield, Bruce Arena tends to send out the likes of Mike Magee, David Beckham, Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. With the recent addition of Swedish international Christian ...
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16Sep/120

Thierry Henry Scores Directly from Corner Kick, Leads Red Bulls to Win (Video)

Thierry Henry: Proponent of va va voom. Scorer of beautiful goals. Master of understatement?Henry, the man and myth who became a legend with Arsenal and France for scoring classics like this, this and this, knocked in another memorable strike Saturday night. With his New York Red Bulls leading the Columbus Crew late in the second half of an MLS match, the 35-year-old Henry curled a corner kick directly into the Crew's net.So, a big-time goal demands a big-time statement afterward, right? Um, nope. Here's what Henry said, via the New York Daily News:“I’ve scored some OK goals in my career. But I have to say, this one is not a bad one.”Indeed, Thierry. It wasn't bad at all.This shot, known in Latin America as an olimpico, requires the shooter to overcome a basically impossible angle. But as Henry has shown repeatedly throughout his career, the laws of physics and the universe don't necessarily matter when scoring is possible.So, then. Did Henry mean it? Was he actually going for goal?As Dirty Tackle points out, the Crew's keeper was backup Matt Lampson, and he had just entered the match moments earlier. From the footage, it looks like Henry had planned on taking ...
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15Sep/120

Christian Wilhelmsson: How Chippen Will Help the Los Angeles Galaxy

On September 5, 2012, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy signed Swedish international midfielder Christian “Chippen” Wilhelmsson. The signing greatly improves the roster of the Galaxy as they near the end of the Major League Soccer regular season and look to repeat as MLS Cup Champions. One of the Galaxy’s only glaring weaknesses is the right midfield spot. Recently, Arena has played 23-year-old Hector Jimenez on the right. Although Jimenez plays the role decently, he is young and still has a lot of room to grow. Christian Wilhelmsson will no doubt be a major upgrade. As a true winger, Chippen will be able to add width to the Galaxy and provide excellent service to Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane up top. The only concerns with the Swede are his age and fitness. The 32-year-old Wilhelmsson is by no means past playing quality soccer, especially if you compare him to his fellow midfielder, David Beckham. However, playing on the wing in MLS means that Chippen will encounter some speedy players such as Dane Richards and Steve Zakuani.  Christian’s fitness is also somewhat of a concern. He was last with a club team six months ago but played three matches in the Euros. It is ...
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15Sep/120

CJ Sapong Nets Dramatic Equalizer, Sporting Kansas City Draws 1-1 with Houston

Despite again dominating the possession battle and setting a new all-time high in shots with 28, Sporting Kansas City needed a dramatic equalizer from C.J. Sapong to rescue a draw with the Houston Dynamo in front of 19,877 fans at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.Sapong's header in the third minute of stoppage time canceled out a strike by Houston captain Brad Davis just short of the hour mark.Houston coach Tim Hanley, who manned the sideline in the absence of Dominic Kinnear, said the late goal made the game feel like a loss. In the postgame press conference I attended, Hanley said:"It feels like a loss when it isn’t, because it was at the very end. I think for Sporting KC it probably feels like a win. I think that they pushed so hard and they are such a good team at home. They are always knocking on the door, but our guys did well."Sporting KC captain Jimmy Nielsen didn't see it that way. In the locker room after the game, Nielsen said:"If [Houston] had left here with all three points, they should have been arrested for robbery. We were lucky to score at the time we did—I ...
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8Sep/120

Matt Fondy Makes Impressive First-Team Debut for San Jose Earthquakes

His breakthrough chance for the San Jose Earthquakes had arrived in a fit of finger-snapping immediacy on Thursday night, for a reason no player would ever want.Sercan Guvenisik, a half-time substitute for forward Steven Lenhart, lasted just 19 minutes in San Jose's friendly with Mexican Premier League (Liga MX) side San Luis FC before hobbling off the field with what would later be diagnosed as a hamstring problem.Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop beckoned to Fondy, who as recently as May had been plying his trade for the Los Angeles Blues in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) before being brought in as a guest player for a recent string of games.It's the sort of audition that can spark a career, should the managerial staff come away impressed with the string of performances. But that couldn't have been farther from his mind when the call came to spell Guvenisik.Maybe that was best. It's hard to get nerves when you don't have time to fall prey to worry.The 23-year-old furiously shed his warmups and filtered out onto the field, where he paired with All-Star forward Chris Wondolowski at the top of San Jose's 4-4-2 formation. It was a fun change from 19 months ago, ...
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6Sep/120

San Jose Earthquakes Prove They Are Far More Than a “One-Man Team” in 2012

He'd notched a goal via penalty against the Montreal Impact on Aug. 18, giving him the return rate of 18 goals in just 22 league games (one goal every 1.2 games).It's the sort of proficiency, and consistency, normally resigned for the video-gaming realm, where games flash by and goals flow in.For San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, however, it was merely the latest goal-scoring exploit in a season that has been chock-full of them.For a while this summer—particularly following a hat trick against Real Salt Lake on July 14, which had sprung his tally to 17 goals in 18 games, there had been serious talk of Wondolowski surpassing Roy Lassiter's league record of 27 goals scored.Following that RSL match, one journalist even asked "Wondo," as he's affectionately known in the Bay Area, whether he would like to break the record with Lassiter in attendance.Then, it had been a question readying entry into the "when" category, rather than "if." Nothing quite so captivates an American audience as a record chase in summer, after all.But there is a dilemma in affixing such a powerful spotlight upon Wondo. As he'll be the first to tell you, this season—heck, his entire career—has never been ...
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3Sep/120

San Jose Earthquakes Break Single-Season Goals Record in 4-0 Win over Chivas USA

Since returning to Major League Soccer in 2008, San Jose had won just one of its 10 previous encounters with Chivas USA, their opponents on Sunday night. The run included this season’s May 13 draw (1-1) at Buck Shaw Stadium. But as has so often been the case this season, San Jose has a very bad habit of turning scripts on their heads. They did so again on a Sunday night that started off with a sweltering 6 p.m. PT kickoff, cutting Chivas to shreds as they took their chances, surging to a 4-0 victory. Frank Yallop made just one change from the side that defeated Colorado Rapids 4-1 last weekend, with Victor Bernardez replacing Justin Morrow at center-back. Bernardez and forward Steven Lenhart had both missed the game while serving a one-match suspension stemming from incidents in an Aug. 18 encounter with Montreal Impact. Morrow, who usually features as a left-back but had played some central defense this season—most notably last weekend against the Rapids—had played every minute this season for the Quakes. At 2,340 minutes, he’s tied for sixth-most among all MLS players, and it was deemed that he could have a rest. The fourth goal—sent in quickly ...
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3Sep/120

Patrick Nyarko’s Quick Goal Helps Chicago Fire Race Past Houston Dynamo 3-1

The Chicago Fire and their coach, Frank Klopas, came into Sunday night’s game needing a win. Less than one minute into the game, they were well on their way. A Patrick Nyarko goal off a Dynamo turnover got the fans happy barely after the opening kick. The Fire’s second-fastest goal (47 seconds) in team history was just the beginning of what they had in store for the Houston Dynamo in their 3-1 win. An excited Toyota Park crowd of 17,007 watched one of the Fire’s most aggressively played games to date. If Nyarko’s goal struck a match, a following goal by Daniel Paladini in the 19th minute of play ignited the flame. Paladini used a deke to get Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall out of position for the score. The goal was set up with a crisp pass from the active, though unlucky, Alvarez Fernandez to put the Fire ahead 2-0. The Fire never looked back. During the first half, the Fire attacked on every possession; their passes were effective and they showed patience to set up for additional scoring opportunities. One of those opportunities came when Fernandez received a well-placed pass from forward Sherjill MacDonald. The midfielder proceeded to set ...
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