CCL night 2! What a night it should be. We have 2 MLS teams in action. Who will advance? What will happen? Will there be red cards? Lets go! Santos vs Houston
Estadio Corona! Almost packed. You can see some green seats here and there but this is almost a full house for a midweek game against Houston. Good work Santos Laguna fans. You love your CCL and that means I love you.
Santos controls possession early. A nice run from their winger looks good but no one is able to get a shot on the ball before the Dynamo clear.
5th minute: Houston with their first set piece of the evening and a weak header is hit right at the goalie! A golden opportunity that Houston could have finished. Any goal from Houston means that Santos has to score 3 to advance. So big.
10th minute: Estrada hits a blast from long range right at Tally Hall. Lucky break for the Dynamo. Houston keeps turning the ball over. In the span of typing this they have had 3 turnovers. Oribe Peralta looks exceptionally dangerous tonight. He is getting into dangerous positions already. Houston is going to need to tighten that shit down if they expect to advance tonight.
The Houston backline looks all discombobulated right now. Some lazy defending from Boswell forces Jermain Taylor to get back and get a clearance in.
Entering the 15th minute and Santos is hovering near a 75% possession statistic. Yeah that is going to be a problem for Houston if that is allowed to continue. The Dynamo desperately need a spell of possession. It looks like they have the start of one and an AMAZINGLY STUPID LONG BALL is hit that clearly has no chance for Bruin to run onto. Mother of Christ this is going to be a long fucking game for Houston if this pathetic offensive play is allowed to continued.
Oh my god 'Jose Murinho mold' was just uttered by the normally decent FSC commentator (whose name is escaping me and hasn't been on a graphic in a few) about the new Santos coach Pedro Caixinha (who just happens to be Portuguese because all Portuguese coaches are in the Jose mold because XENOPHOBIA). Jesus Fuck man this is CCL stop talking about Europeans. Can't we just say he is like Javier Aguire or something? Can we please love our own region for a couple nights out of the year?
Santos isn't exactly battering down the Houston goal. Of course with all this possession one can't blame them for getting a bit over confident. The Houston defensive shell is solidifying as we get deeper into this game. You can see them working out the kinks and starting to smother the space of the Santos midfielders.
22nd minute Oribe Peralta goes down and it is a PENALTY. Warren Creavalle massively fucks up as he just tackles Peralta on the service into the box. Tally Hall steps up and fucking saves the penalty but the ball goes straight into the air off the bar but his fucking lazy ass defenders don't get there in time and Juan Pablo Rodriguez, the man who took the penalty, manages to bury the rebound. Tally Hall should chew those lazy ass fucks out in front of him. The minimum you expect is some of your guys charging in, you can see several guys standing there after he makes the save. Stunning really.
26th minute, Houston set piece, Save from Osvaldo Sanchez off a great header from Rico Clark (?). Moffat ends up with the ball outside of the box and blazes a shot just over the ball. Houston is awake everyone! GAME ON.
28th minute. Hilarious fuck up from the Houston defense. Bobby Boswell inexplicably waits for Tally Hall to come outside of the box to clear the ball WHICH DOES NOT WORK. Hercules (AMERICA FUCK YEAH) Gomez fucking puts the shot into the back of the net while Boswell just stands there looking like a fool. How embarrassing. LOL Houston LOL.
Houston is now trying to stop the bleeding. Their normally compact and physical defense looks incredibly confused. 33rd minute they can't even properly clear the ball and Gomez ends up with the ball at his feet and blazes a shot above the bar. Herc might get three tonight just because he can and you know he is up for this game.
Boniak Garcia just stops on the foot of Mares in what is a hilariously bad challenge. Somehow Garcia DOESN'T GET CARDED (as a long time CCL fan I'm scratching my head right now) but Houston is melting down like a drunk bro who lost his Affliction t-shirt right now.
36th minute Rico Clark fucks up and turns the ball over but he hustles all the way back as Peralta just takes a fucking decade to get a shot off allowing the former Bundesliga 2 staple to get back and make a play. Off the ensuing corner Balloy rips a shot but its right at Tally Hall. MOTHER OF CHRIST HOUSTON PULL YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
Boswell is fucking terrible tonight. His passing from the midfield is shockingly bad. Just lobbing balls forward to no one in particular. MAYBE HE HAS BEEN BOUGHT OFF BY THE VIETNAMESE MAFIA GAMBLING RING.
39th minute: Quintero drives down the field rips a pass to Estrada who then puts a "cross" in that is right at Tally Hall. The big Houston goal keeper is fucking earning his paycheck tonight. Also it would be nice if his teammates started giving a shit (If you can't tell I think Tally Hall is super awesome).
40th minute. Rico Clark does some weird physical sliding thing where he almost hurts himself and the other player. No foul called or anything I just like making fun of Rico Clark's awkward plays.
44th minute: Santos pinging it around and getting it to a wide open Estrada AGAIN. This time he blows his cross wide. He had ALL OF THE SPACES. Hard to believe the cross was that bad.
45th minute: Quintero with a cross since no one bothers to close him down. Gomez is the target man and while there is a bit of contact Herc dives in pretty sad fashion. I give that a 2 out of 1o on the Blanco scale.
Halftime: Oddly well reffed half by CCL standards. Houston has to gain some possession in the second half and earn more freekicks where they have been predictably dangerous. Need to use their size and physicality to their advantage. I expect Kinnear to make a smart tactical change. He's good yo.
46th minute: Oribe Peralta is off. Huge substitution. You would think this opens the door a little bit for Houston as Peralta is a high quality player.
53rd minute: Calderon wide open in the box and he limply hits the ball right at Hall. So sad at how weak that was. The replay shows he was going for the chip but completely mishits it. I should note that Houston is holding possession a bit better here in the second half. Clearly some coaching was done at half time.
55th minute: Santos turning the ball over in the midfield. Haven't seen that much tonight. Don't worry, Garcia promptly returns the favor.
56th minute: Will Bruin opts to shoot and skies it over the ball. Should have looked at his options. He had options.
57th minute: This time it is Boniak Garcia shooting the ball above the bar. Good Houston movement to create the opportunity. Dom Kinnear is placid on the sidelines. He is downright calm. IS THIS THE POD PERSON VERSION OF KINNEAR?
62nd minute: There is significantly less important action this half than last. Just trust me on this. Kofi Sarkodie is fouling people but like I need to tell you that.
67th minute: Brian Ching on for Giles Barnes. Not shocking. Ching is still dangerous and is one of the best American divers in history so he should be able to earn some free kicks for the dangerous Houston set pieces.
71st minute: Ching's first dive is in the box. It was a good dive in that it didn't look like a dive or like he was begging for a penalty. That is the secret sauce to being a good diver. Make it look like your not. Ching is so good at it especially outside the box. Houston is really starting to hold possession and beginning to look dangerous on offense. Maybe something will happen in the final 20 minutes.
75th minute: Andrew Driver is in for Warren Creavelle. Driver is on loan from Hearts which according to a scarf of theirs I have Is the greatest team the world has ever known. So this guy should be pretty good right?
76th minute: Boswell makes a terrific tackle on Gomez. Boswell takes the ball right off his foot as he is shooting. Nice play
77th minute: Santos score! SHITTY DEFENDING ONCE AGAIN. Unmarked at the back post is Marc Crosas who fucking puts it past Tally Hall at the near post. The guy from Hearts decided to not mark his man. Apparently he is not with Hearts for a reason.
80th minute: Corner for Houston. They need to score right now. Well there were several opportunities but Osvaldo Sanchez pushes it out for another corner. Rico Clark hilariously tries for a bike and fails. FAILS MISERABLY.
84th minute: Driver hits a cross to no one. He misses Ching by what I conservatively judge to be two million meters.
86th minute: The mohawked Jason Johnson on for Brad Davis. Kinnear clearly saving his star from any late game nonsense. Good move.
89th minute: Ching blows an open header!?! Sweet Christ how does he not put that away. Retirement is indeed nigh.
90th minute: Some screeching about a handball on Santos but that would have been incredibly harsh to award a penalty there. Ok this game can end. I'm bored.
Tally Hall with another save. It is a good one. Seriously final whistle any moment now. It might help out Hall. He needs a break.
Mercifully the final whistle blows. Thank God. Santos with a deserved win and advance to face Seattle.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs Herediano:
LA and Herediano is at 0-0 going into the second leg in Los Angeles. The HDC is fucking EMPTY. Fuck you Galaxy fans. Christ US Soccer fans in general are god damn horrible. You'll fucking go to a pub and drink your ass into stupidity while watching fucking teams from Europe play in a competition that is essentially meaningless to your region. But when it comes to an actual tournament in YOUR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY you can't even bother to buy a $15 ticket.
Here we go!
2nd minute: Keane has requested the ball at his feat. I suggest someone get him the ball there as he was wide open on the flank.
3rd minute: Blast from Mike Magee that careens off a defender. Juninho picks up the rebound and blasts it way wide. So very wide.
6th minute: Magee again in a dangerous position and this time earns a corner. Nothing comes of it but you can already see how LA is up for this game.
7th minute: Free kick awarded just outside the box. Ruiz earns it as he tries to split the central defenders. Cudicini saves the free kick. He calmly just tips the ball over the bar. Ensuing corner results in another corner. The next corner results in nothing.
11th minute: Yay looks like we are in for a boring first half as Herediano is stuck in deep into their defensive shell.
12th minute: Keane hilariously asks for a handball. That call is not happening in this tournament.
Sidebar: This game isn't exactly riveting so far. I'm finding it difficult to care. Maybe this has to do with it being the 4th game I'm recapping. Look LA is so far the better team but nothing is really happening. Well LA is shooting at goal and stuff but it just isn't all that interesting. The build up is pedestrian and the shooting is god awful horrible. No one seems to hate each other in this game. I will say that the LA fans that at the game are LOUD. Bully for them.
18th minute: OMAR GONZALEZ SCORES WITH HIS GIANT CABESA. Yep that just happened. You know when you are playing defense on a corner you may want to mark the biggest guy on the field. Just a thought.
20th minute: Robbie Keane is into this game. He keeps letting everyone know how he wants to ball and where. He is really embracing his captain's role on this squad. If they give that thing back to Landon when he comes back they are dumb. So dumb.
25th minute: Keane does JAZZ HANDS! Apparently this is how he communicates with DeLaGarza.
27th minute. Gigantico save from Cambronero on Sean Franklin. That would have finished things.
31st minute: Robbie Keane is a genius. He pirouettes in the middle of the field and makes a gorgeous pass towards Magee who is just beaten to it by the very brave Cambronero (who takes Magee's feat in the chest for his efforts).
35th minute: Sliding defense snuffs out LA chance in the box. Wow. Herediano hasn't gotten enough credit for being an exceptional defensive team. Tactically very sound and they have an excellent keeper. They snuff out plays they have no business stopping. Offensively they are a bit challenged but even if they get knocked out tonight this has been a great run for the Costa Rican squad.
43rd minute: Yellow for Juninho. He earned that one as he makes a tactical foul. Good professional move. This game is full of respectable professionals.
Mercifully we are at halftime. LA has clearly been better but Herediano is plucky and professional. Both teams are classing up CCL right now and I'm not sure how to react. Even Guatemalan referee Walter Lopez is having a fantastic night.
Second half is now underway. I hope there are goals and some hate. There has been to much respect so far.
50th minute: Robbie Keane is creating for his teammates along with being a dangerman and a kick ass captain. WORTH ALL THE DOLLARS.
51st minute: Mike Magee tries something fancy. It doesn't work but it was pretty damn audacious.
56th minute: Great save from Cambronero. It wasn't really a shot but he beats Magee to the ball. Also this Keane/Magee pairing is going to torture people all season. Everyone is going to realize how awesome Mike Magee actually is.
58th minute: Herediano has some nice interchange at the top of the box but the LA defense snuffs it out.
65th minute: Mike Magee somehow fucks up being in the box and sort of open. WHAT IS UP MIKE?
68th minute: Keane adjudged to be offside. It was ridiculously close but in real time he looked to be offsides. EVEN THE LINE JUDGE IS ON POINT. What is going on here?
69th minute: EXCELLENT FUCKING GOAL! Villarreal (the player) scores. He spins around two players like he is going around trafic cones. He then hits a beautiful shot into the corner that beats Cambronero.
71st minute: Its your first bad tackle of the night as Sean Franklin is hit with a studs up two leg challenge of sorts. It only earns a yellow for Salazar. Of course that is not surprising considering that Herediano has brought all the class tonight. I don't have an issue with just a yellow. Tackle could have been worse and he was certainly going for the ball. Brian Dunseth is screeching on my TV. Fuck you Dunseth, go make more hoodies.
75th minute: Ruiz gets a yellow for DIVING. WHAT PARALLEL UNIVERSE HAVE WE ENTERED. He went down easy but Gonzalez does get his back leg causing him to fall down. I felt that yellow was harsh for diving, by CONCACAF standards it was a miracle that diving was even considered. It wasn't a peno but it wasn't a yellow for diving.
77th: Any time Brian Dunseth wants to shut up he can. Fucking brutal to listen to this guy and his monotone voice (not to mention his stupidly phrased opinions). HOW MANY MORE GAMES DO I HAVE TO DEAL WITH HIM. THIS IS THE THIRD IN 2 DAYS. My ears can only handle so much.
82nd minute: Keane offsides and a Herediano defender shows you how the dark arts of defending work with a perfectly timed jersey pull.
83rd minute: Don't worry Keane makes that guy suffer by receiving a clever ball from Mike Stephens at the near post. He then blasts the ball far post to finish off Herediano once and for all. Robbie Keane is so fucking good.
84th minute: Herediano score and it is a beauty! Elias Aguilar blasts a left footed shot with his back to the goal, past the outstretched hand of Cudicini. Great goal. Fantastic work. Herediano saying WE AREN'T DEAD YET. Even though they are. Pride goal if I've ever seen one and well deserved. Hard working, professional team.
87th minute: Another shot on goal from Herediano. This time off the volley. Cudicini goes down well to save the shot.
89th minute: LA gets a yellow for time wasting. Come on guys don't act like fucking jerks.
89th minute: Oh shit things are starting to pop off. Come on everyone lets just keep it together you've played a terrific 89 minutes of soccer. Yes it is a shitty challenge but no reason to act like a dick about it since you didn't really get hurt.
I've been watching FSC for so long my cable box checked if I was still alive. God please let this game end.
91st minute: McBean has a wide open shot on goal but is stopped by Cambronero.
93rd minute: Quick free kick and Jack McBean curls one into the upper net. Fantastic shot and a great goal. After dinner coffee goal is what that was.