25 August 2008

Football Week in Review - 18-25th August

With another great week in football that saw its end with a great match between Manchester United and Portsmouth, I look back at all that made it special.

This week started early with a game between DC United and the New England Revolution. This match comes after New England lost to San Jose 4-0 and DC beat Colorado 1-0. A very hard fought battle by both sides, but it seemed like The Revolution wanted it more. DC ended up losing 2-1 with Jamie Moreno scoring the lone goal for United. The one issue I saw that I hoped the team could rectify was finishing inside the final 20% of the field. DC held possession for a majority of the game, but could not put the ball in the net.

The next game that was on was the US Women's Gold Medal match against Brazil. I missed much of the game and was only able to catch the overtime. It turned out not to matter as the only goal scored in the game was scored in the 96th minute and the US Women took home the gold. The final 15 minutes were extremely tense and the game could have gone either way, but the ladies held out.

After getting back to Blacksburg my days of seeing live DC United matches comes to an end, but now I get to see the Virginia Tech team live. Friday night the Hokies took on VCU in an exhibition game before the season starts. The game ended in a 1-1 tie because of an amazing free kick from VCU. Tech had problems sticking the ball in the net because they would just pass in front of the goal over and over until the ball was taken away. One other time a player tried to fake out the goalie instead of taking an easy shot. With the loss of Patrick Nyarko to the Chicago Fire there is a gap left for a pure goal scorer and that role has not been filled. Only time will tell if Tech can get it together and try for a repeat of last year's Final Four appearance.

Saturday morning was the start of the second week of EPL. I didn't get to see many games this week, but the few that I did get to watch were really exciting. The first one was Tottenham against Sunderland. Amid turmoil with trying to figure out the Berbatov situation Tottenham was not on their best game and ended up losing 1-2 to Sunderland. Berbatov did not play in the game and most likely will not play until he is transfers or otherwise acts to the organization's preference. The game seemed likely to end in a tie until a beautiful late goal to give Sunderland the three points. A great turn around after last week's 1-0 loss to Liverpool for the club. Tottenham is still searching for their first point.

Next up would be my match of the week. If you failed to watch Fulham's win over Arsenal then you really missed out. With a struggling Arsenal side, Fulham rallied together to beat them 1-0 is an extremely close game. Fulham seemed to gain strength out of their Week 1 loss to Hull City while Arsenal played as poorly as they looked against West Brom. Wegner is going to have to get their squad in much better shape if they hope to finish in time to grab a Champions League spot by the end of the season.

One game I didn't see which would have been even better than Fulham's win over Arsenal was Stoke's 3-2 win over an extremely surprised Aston Villa squad. I'm not sure where these Championship teams came from but if the first two weeks are any indication they won't be going back down any time soon.

Later Saturday night we switch from English football back to MLS. DC United played their third game in 7 days, but did not look fatigued in the least. They put an impressive 3 goals in Colorado's net while letting none in their own. DC's keeper Louis Crayton secured his second shutout in three starts and looks to be United's choice for the rest of the season. The three goals came from two new United players, Joe Vide and Quavas Kirk, while the third was scored by Santino Quaranta. Joe Vide's goal seems to be a lock for goal of the week in MLS and word's cannot accurately describe how great it was. Hopefully DC can ride this great win into next week's match against New York.

The only game on Sunday I wanted to watch was West Ham against Manchester City. However, after a red card to the Hammers and 2 quick goals by City I had to turn off the game in disgust. The game ended up being a 3-0 win for City who have recovered from their 4-2 loss to Villa in the first week.

The last match of the week was Manchester United facing their Community Shield foes Portsmouth. After getting Tevez back and the lads on United playing superb football, there was never a doubt that they would win the match. They seemed to have the same problem with putting the ball in the net that DC United had earlier in the week, but the duo of Ferdinand and Vidic kept the chances for a comeback close to zero. Once United get Ronaldo back or finally sign Berbatov they will have no problem winning games when they can get a plentiful amount of goals.

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