Martinez achieves legend status in record time for Seattle Mario Martinez and Will Johnson Photo Credit: Getty Images
SANDY, Utah – One goal. Already a Sounders legend.
Mario Martínez is used to playing the hero. He’d done it with Real España in the Honduran league. He did it this summer with the Honduran Olympic team in a run to the quarterfinals. And when he got the call-up to the full national team, he didn’t miss a beat, playing the hero there, too, in helping lead the Catrachos into the Hexagonal with a dominant performance last month in an 8-1 win over Canada.
But he hadn’t done it with the Sounders. Not yet.
Then Thursday night happened, and in a split second, Martínez carved his name into Seattle’s soccer lore, lacing home the winner in a 1-0 victory at Real Salt Lake to send his side into the Western Conference championship.
OPTA Chalkboard: Defense the name of the game until Martínez conjures his magic
“This is one of the most important ones,” Martínez said about his first Seattle goal through an interpreter afterward. “I have scored some that will always be soccer jersey supplierin my mind.”
American Exports: Jones tallies in 3-1 Schalke victory Jermaine replica soccer jerseys manufacturers Jones with Schalke Photo Credit: Courtesy of FC Schalke 04
AMSTERDAM – It was a mixed Saturday bag for Americans playing in Europe, highlighted by a Jermaine Jones winner in Schalke’s 3-1 home win over Augsburg.
Less than a minute past intermission, the midfielder galloped about 40 yards down the right channel before slotting his first goal in 30 Bundesliga games. Jones also struck the post midway through the second frame as the Miners clinbed up to second place through two rounds.
Around the league, Timothy Chandler had a solid outing at right back in FC Nürnberg’s 1-1 share with guests Borussa Dortmund. The result against the champs put Der Club level on points with Schalke.
Fabian Johnson went the distance and Daniel Williams was halftime sub as 10-man Hoffenheim sank to the bottom of the table with a 4-0 defeat to visiting Eintracht Frankfurt. The former lost his left back mark at the back post on the last minute capper.
At least some of the news for the Rapids, meanwhile, surrounds a young man who just graduated high school. The club on Tuesday unveiled new Homegrown signing Shane O’Neill, who signed a three-year deal with the team after starring at Fairview High School in Boulder.Said O’Neill: "I think once I get my first paycheck, that will be exciting.”
The Montreal Impact are back on the road after opening up Stade Saputo last weekend, and they’re certainly far from home. They take on Chivas USA (10 pm ET,stream onMLS LIVE) with an eye on a second straight win, and the key could be the man who on Tuesday was named the MLS Player of the Week: midfielder Patrice Bernier.
Bernier hasn’t exactly been a go-to guy for the Impact this season, but his resolve has left an impression on head coach Jesse Marsch: “He has handled himself extremely well, at the highest level of any player I’ve ever been around.”
The news on the Chivas USA injury front isn’t great heading into this one, as a number of players could miss the match due to various knocks. It appears forward Jose Errick Correa and midfielders Nick LaBrocca and Miller Bolañoslikely won’t play while sidelined with hamstring issues, and winger Ryan Smith could be a question after sustaining a possible concussion during a reserve game on Monday.
After arriving in D.C. in 2010, Boskovic struggled to find his feet in MLS during the Black-and-Red’s tortuous campaign. A torn ACL ruined his 2011 season, but over the past couple of months, he’s worked his way into the graces of manager Ben Olsen. Boskovic has appeared in 12 of 17 league matches this season, registering three assists in the team’s past four games.
His presence was evident in the recent loss to New York, when Olsen turned to the veteran with United down two goals. Boskovic came on and helped engineer one goal. the comeback fell short in the end, but Boskovic helped make it interesting down the stretch.
"He’s been a big part of some of the success we’ve had this year," Olsen told reporters. "The quality he brings is evident when he comes on the field. He makes us a better soccer team. But it’s not always about soccer in this league."
As the 2012 season started, Boskovic was seemingly in position to finally star for United on the field. Fully recovered from his ACL injury, Boskovic started the opener against Sporting Kansas City. But the team struggled early on, and Boskovic found himself as the odd man out in United’s crowded midfield. Injuries and fluctuating form from some players, however, allowed to him get back into the side recently, but his previous struggles played a part in removing the Designated Player tag from his new contract.
The American also scored three times in two matches against Heerenveen last season, including a brace in the 3-3 AFAS-Stadion draw. The Frisians have traditionally fared pretty well at AZ, but have won just once in the last nine there.
Molde FK v Vålerenga
Americans: Josh Gatt (Molde),Chad Barrett(VIF) – The young speedster replica soccer jerseys manufacturers was successful in his midweek injury return, so he should retain a place on right wing as the champs try to regain the summit against a team that has given them all sorts of trouble at Aker Stadion over the years.
After notching his first Tippeligaen assist in last week’s win, Barrett should hold his place up top for Vålerenga. The Pride of Oslo have won four of the last six at Molde, despite falling there – in part thanks to a Gatt goal – last season.
BEST OF THE REST
England:Tottenham (Brad Friedel) v West Bromwich Albion – Sat. 10 a.m. ET on Fox Soccer Plus/Fox Soccer 2Go
Germany:Hamburg v FC Nurnberg (Timothy Chandler) – Sat. 9:30 a.m.Borussia Monchengladbach v Hoffenheim (Jospeh Gyau, Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams) – Sat. 9:30 a.m. ET
All-Star Poll: Which Chelsea team is better – 2006 or 2012? Frank Lampard, Chelsea FC (July 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA – Depending on who you ask, you are bound replica soccer jerseys manufacturers to get a different answer.
Which Chelsea team is stronger: the one that lost to the 2006 All-Stars or the European champions who take on MLS’ best on Wednesday night at PPL Park?
Blues captain Frank Lampard (above) was part of both those teams and was asked that question at Tuesday’s press conference. And although he didn’t necessarily pick a side, he sees a distinct difference between the two squads.
“It’s literally two different eras,” Lampard said. “This year, we’re maybe a slightly different team because of the fact that we have some more young players coming in and there might not be the settled togetherness that we had on the pitch at that stage [in 2006] because we had been together a long time. But there’s an excitement about our team [in 2012] which is probably the main difference.”
Which Chelsea side is better?
“It’s not easy to get in the team at the moment, because they had four really good results before that so I have to bide my time. If it’s not Wednesday, hopefully it will be Saturday.”
While head coach Martin Rennie wasn’t willing to say one way or the other as to whether Robson will start, the club’s newest Designated Player will see at least a little time on the pitch by the sounds of it.
“He’ll be involved,” Rennie said. “Whether he starts or not we’re still not 100 percent sure, but he looked really good today and he has looked very good in training. His fitness is good. He understands the game well and he knows the time will come where he’s starting or making a contribution for us off the bench, but I think he’s very close to replica soccer jerseys manufacturers being ready to start.”
Robson admits he doesn’t know much about the Rapids, but is aware of the tough conditions teams playing in Denver must endure.
“I know that it’s hot, that it’s humid and that it’s high,” Robson said. “That’s what I’ve been told. We’ll wait and see how it is. It’s a learning curve for me as well. It’s going to be a tough game, but I’m looking forward to it, so fingers crossed we can win the game.”
The Crew, meanwhile, are looking for more production from the two attackers they brought in this year, neither of whom has lived up to expectations yet.
Toronto FC’s new coach, Paul Mariner, has no replica soccer jerseys manufacturers expectations at this point, but he’d surely love to get a win in his home debut as manager on Saturday against New England (5:30 pm ET, stream on MLS LIVE), where he was once an assistant. First things first: Stop conceding on set pieces.
The Revolution are fretting about the fitness of midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who was listed as “OUT” in the injury report earlier this week. But coach Jay Heaps warns not to rule him out.
The other matches this weekend include Philadelphia-Sporting KC (Saturday, 7 pm ET, MLS LIVE), Montreal-Houston (Saturday, 7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), and Dallas-Chivas USA (Saturday, 9 pm ET, Galavision).
In international news, the US national team announced that they will take on Mexico in a friendly at Estadio Azteca on August 15. It’s a renewal of what some call "a soccer rivalry like no other."
American Exports: Gomez, Cunningham closing on finals
Herculez Gomez (far left) Photo Credit: replica soccer jerseys manufacturers MEXSPORT
GUADALAJkid soccer uniformARA, Mexico – Only two players are left flying the American flag south of the border this weekend as the Mexican and Guatemalan championships come to a boil.
Herculez Gomez's Santos Laguna took on defending champions Tigres UANL on Thursday evening, coming away from the packed Estadio Universitario with a healthy 1-1 draw in the first leg of their semifinals.
Gomez came on for the last 15 minutes of the game and helped unsettle the Tigres defense as los Guerreros comfortably defended the 1-1 scoreline.
The 2010 World Cup veteran could become the first American to appear in a Primera División final in Mexico since José Francisco Torres in the Clausura 2009 finals. Santos Laguna will be attempting to make their fourth final in the last five seasons in Mexico when they host the second leg Sunday (9 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
Jeff Cunningham is back from injury and played five minutes on Thursday in Comunicaciones' 0-0 tie with archrivals Municipal in the semifinal first leg in Guatemala's first division.
The all-time MLS leading scorer is set to feature in the return leg on Sunday (7 pm ET). If Comunicaciones win the tournament, they qualify for the next edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Further south, Alejandro Meleán's Oriente Petrolero take on Nacional Potosí on Sunday in Bolivian league action (4 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. Contact him at email@example.com.
American Exports: Garza, Club Tijuana eye playoff berth Club Tijuana’s Greg Garza makes a tackle Photo Credit: Courtesy of Club Tijuana
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Fresh from making his first start of his short career at Club Tijuana, 20-year-old Texan Greg Garza is aiming for more minutes with los Xolos as they try to reach the playoffs of the Mexican Primera División for the first time in club history.
“The atmosphere in Tijuana is incredible,” Garza told MLSsoccer.com this week. “You walk around the city at day or night and people are congratulating you.”
The US Under-23 international shined during his full debut in Tijuana’s 1-0 victory over San Luis last Saturday, which pushed the team to within one point of a playoff spot.
A point against Pumas UNAM on Sunday (3 pm ET, Fox Deportes, Azteca America) would guarantee Tijuana and their three American first-teamers a postseason berth, as would Jaguares, Cruz Azul or Pachuca failing to win.
“A dream,” is how the bubbly left back described playing against San Luis, adding: “I think I took the opportunity very well and gave as much as I could, and thank God everything went well for me in the game.”