And we’re back…
– Weird concert at half-time with a song called “American Boy.” Interesting as this game is taking place in Canada against an English side.
– Harkes and Dellacamera spoke in the first half about possible MLS expansion to Montreal and/or Vancouver, mentioning Steve Nash as a big supporter of the Vancouver idea (and apparently maybe a financier?). With two teams already coming in the next two years (Seattle and then Philadelphia) can the league really afford to spread out any more? For more on this, check out The Stormy Present and the comments section.
– Is there anything more depressing than seeing ads for Arena Bowl, especially now that ESPN owns the league?
– Turns out Ashton’s shorts were just long enough and socks just high enough to make it look like tights. He’s not wearing anything unusual, though it appears he and Beckham are the only players wearing long sleeves. Beckham always does, which I don’t understand.
– Donovan and Angel are in fact starting the second half, not sure who’s off in their places yet.
– Did Ashton change to a short-sleeve shirt? Why am I spending so much time devoted to Ashton’s shirt? Or his balding?
– Another Beckham corner lands outside the net without much of a threat.
– Remember when Pablo Mastroeni got the red card against Italy in the World Cup? That was bullshit.
– Sideline interview with Cooper, he looked and sounded like he was all but done with MLS. “MLS has been really good to me,” sounds a lot like goodbye.
– West Ham free kick just outside the box…saved pretty easily by Reis.
– Bornstein sends a really nice cross into the box that somehow doesn’t get deflected by Angel or any West Ham. Could’ve been an own-goal, lucky (I guess) for West Ham it wasn’t.
– Interesting to hear John Harkes talk about Harry Redknapp and Frank Lampard Sr. being coaches when he was at West Ham in 1995/96 and saying that Lampard Jr. and Rio Ferdinand were in the youth program when he was there.
– Faubert fires from the left, but saved by Reis. Really strong shot.
– Wow, volley shot from Ashton, saved by Reis.
– Beckham literally bends one a little too far to the left, misses an open shot.
– Cole just off to the right on a shot for West Ham. Pace finally picking up for the offense, shots coming left and right.
– Jim Brennan and Dwayne De Rosario are subbed in, two Canadians. Get a huge ovation.
– Beckham free kick from the left side, 25 yards out…wow, just bends it a little too much, falls to the left of the net.
– You can really see the difference between the American-born players and the international players. The Americans sit back and wait for the ball while the English and Latin American players make moves to the ball and have much better first touches. For the most part, anyway.
– Ashton blasts a shot from just outside the box, takes a deflection off of Jimmy Conrad’s head and goes right into the net as Reis had no chance. Weird, 2-2 out of nowhere. Completely caught the announcers off-guard.
– Great ball from Angel to De Rosario who earns a penalty as Neill is again in the middle of it.
– De Rosario makes one of the weirdest penalties I’ve ever seen. Looks way too high but hits the underside of the crossbar, bounces off the ground, off the underside of the crossbar again, and finally crosses the line. 3-2 MLS!
– Wow, Angel scores an awesome goal but it’s called back for offside. Really really close call, great finish by Angel.
– Beckham corner crosses dangerously in front of the face of the goal, but nothing doing in the end.
– Another really strange segment with Rob Stone on top of the stadium with a hawk that is supposed to keep seagulls away.
– Ashton subbed out, probably a good move by West Ham. He’s a great player but no reason to have him get hurt in this game. And he’s already scored twice.
– Harkes is right on about other MLS cities learning from Toronto being on display this week for the All-Star game. Great stadium, accessible via mass transit, perfect place to host this kind of event, not to mention day-to-day MLS life.
– 40 year old Pat Onstad in goal for MLS, another Canadian.
– Donovan has done nothing for MLS. He keeps dribbling too long and missing easy passes.
– Parker earns a free kick for West Ham just outside the box in the 87th minute…Boa Morte gets a foot in the face, ouch. No blood, but that had to hurt.
– Parker gives a great great ball to Boa Morte but his shot just misses the back post by inches. West Ham players showing genuine despair upon the miss, that’s interesting.
– Another Beckham free kick pending in the third minute of extra time…actually it’s taken by Donovan and it’s deflected out.
– And that’s it, 3-2 final, MLS wins yet another game with an English club side.
– Good display for MLS but for me personally, I’m glad to see the Premiership just over the horizon.
– And if you’ve actually read through all of this, you’re quite bored. Cheers.