Major League Soccer

Soccer Sunday: Your running commentary

Good morning all. There will be plenty of action today, including a match with a trophy on the line and some key matches in Spain and Italy.

The Chelsea-Tottenham Carling Cup final is the match of the day and hopefully it’s a little more competitive than the other final played on Sunday. Gamba Osaka thoroughly destroyed the Houston Dynamo, 6-1, in the Pan Pacific Championship. Luckily for the Dynamo and Major League Soccer, most people were asleep when it happened.

If you are going to watch matches today, or have already watched some of the early matches, then feel free to post your views on the action at the bottom of this post. Whether some play-by-play or just your opinion on a match, share your thoughts below.

  • Garret

    I ended up watching the Australian Cup Final second half, switching back to the PPC match. It was 2-1 for one minute, then 20 minutes later it is 5-1. Crazy.

    The Australian match was really exciting. Very poor passing, horrible finishing, but fast as hell. Great to watch. Did anyone else watch it? I thought the ball looked like something was wrong with it. Seemed really light and the players could kick is too far than normal.


  • beckster

    It’s not looking good for Reading nor for Convey who didn’t dress for the losing effort.


  • David W

    I didn’t watch the PPC game (no ESPN Classic), but does anyone think that Houston’s substitutions inserting inexperienced players played a role in the final margin?

    The way that the tournament has played (with all the extra substitutions) seems to confirm that this tournament is no different than the other friendly matches/competitions that MLS teams enter during the preseason.


  • beckster

    Convey had injection after Mexico game. He played 90 minutes Tuesday for the reserve team so is ok. He wasn’t named to squad for the Everton game the weekend before Mexico – before the injection. Seems to have been dropped from first team.


  • emanon

    Carling Final is getting interesting … after a PK its tied up 1-1 with 20 minutes remaining


  • AlexS

    @ David W:

    No, Houston was beat with an almost full strength side. I mean, as full as missing Eddie Robinson, Brian Mullan, and Dwayne DeRosario gets you.

    The reason Houston lost was that he singlehandedly made the Ianni-Boswell pairing look like U-15s playing a friendly against Argentina’s full strength national squad. Well, maybe the Argentina U-20s. He just ran over Ianni who didn’t adjust and play deeper against him. Onstad wasn’t happy with them either, he let them know quite loudly his displeasure in their play. They’re both young and both have some learning to do. You don’t face a forward like Bare often.


  • Houston Schooled by Japanese Team

    Wow… this one was ugly.

    Gamba Osaka just picked Houston apart in beating the 6 to 1.

    Forget about comparing the J-League to MLS, these guys did not seem to be playing in the same age group…

    The Brazilian duo up front for Gamba scored 5 of the goals and showed that we have a long way to go in MLS…


  • Brant

    How soon before you guys thing fists will start flying in the Blackburn-Bolton game? Every time I check it (I’m watching Bayern-Hamburg) it seems there’s another shoving match going on.


  • WonsanUnited

    J.League is waaaaaaay ahead of MLS and the A-League. They have the support, money, and players. In all honesty, J.League can match up with leagues like the Eredivisie or even Ligue An. But no one follows J.League because it’s in Japan. It’s not European.


  • Ives

    How about Mark Van Bommel getting a second yellow when the ref catches him giving him the “Up yours” salute. The slow mo replay is hilarious because you know Van Bommel didn’t expect him to turn around.


  • Tim K



    Great game, the better team won!


  • Amit

    I believe that the J- League is better than MLS. This tournament didn’t really show me by how much. The MLS teams had too many key injuries.


  • Gaelen

    I think the j-league may be better as gamba was missing 7 players, but I think fitness was a big issue. After 60 minutes, houston had couldn’t get enough ball pressure from the midfield and the goals started flying in.

    Maybe this will be a wake-up call and MLS will increase the salary cap sooner rather than later seeing the disparity with the j-league.


  • bobz

    —“Maybe this will be a wake-up call and MLS will increase the salary cap sooner rather than later seeing the disparity with the j-league.”—

    ha, yeah right.


  • Ted

    “How about Mark Van Bommel getting a second yellow when the ref catches him giving him the “Up yours” salute. The slow mo replay is hilarious because you know Van Bommel didn’t expect him to turn around.”

    That was one of the funnier on-pitch moments I have seen in a long time. It’s Youtube-worthy.


  • good ridance

    Now you see why we traded BobbyBoswell.com for a very capable young goal keeper. The same one responsible for the majority of Houston’shutouts.

    Enjoy the sun Bobby.


  • JJ

    The main difference I saw in the Dynamo-Gamba game was in the strikers and finishing for Gamba. Most of those chances get botched by MLS forwards.

    It was a preseason game and the run of play was not as bad as the score line, but the top end talent for J-league squads is just better.

    Boswell looked lost and slow out there.


  • Mike O

    Wow, what a dismal disappointment on all levels that Pan-Pacific Championship turned out to be. I must admit I’ve never seen J-League soccer before but I certainly wasn’t expecting THAT kind of dominance. It’s such a shame because the global game and the various leagues around the world are so much better positioned to compete than the MLS for the best talent in the world. Pre-season or no 6-1 is an unprofessional score to let up, especially for the back to back defending league champs. What a humiliation. I’ve had such hopes that the MLS would continue to improve after seeing the overall quality of play jump over the past few years and the Beckham windfall. I certainly hope that this is a wake-up call for the league that they’re going to need to focus on the salary cap and building the product on the field before sprouting franchises on the cheap all over North America. The MLS competes with the WORLD and the degree to which top young American talent continues to flood out or not even consider the MLS (and I’m sorry but the talent coming IN just doesn’t match up) will determine whether or not this league and American soccer remains relevant.


  • Chris

    Regarding WonsanUnited’s comment that nobody watches the J-League because it’s not European, its partly true as they’re also, like MLS, a relatively young league so don’t have the tradition yet that the Euro clubs do to attract followers, but a big obsticle they’ll have in getting people from this country to watch their matches is the time difference. Tough enough to get people to watch a small tournament like the one we just had, let alone a full season of their league.


  • chrisLA

    and everyone said the Galaxy was making the MLS look bad at the PPC…

    by the way, the Galaxy won the 3rd place game


  • michael

    Houston’s back line was horrible in that game, and Bare was nasty. I tend to think it was a little experimental at the back and they thought they could get away with doing so, since the Gals only lost 1-0 to Gamba.

    But by this logic the Gals are better than Houston because they only lost by one goal. We know this isn’t true.


  • eric

    I’m really starting to enjoy the work of Cassano at Sampdoria, he almost single handedly sunk Inter, and is another solid reason to enjoy Serie A these days. I don’t know what is better, the thought of him still in the Roma line-up or tossed on a team that I wouldn’t care about watching otherwise. He reminds me a lot of Elano at Man City.

    Also, enjoyed watching Brad Friedel’s day, he made a number of huge saves while the score was close before Rovers rolled.

    After hearing about Eto’s hat trick, I was going to say that with all four of their attacking stars going full force they might be ready for a deadly run. But that had to be the easiest hat trick of the year. But how in form do you have to be as a striker when Messi and co are making the game that easy?


  • Bob

    Real Madrid has lost three of their last four in La Liga. Man, this is getting ugly. Without Robinho, Barca is going to make a good run at the title. This is why I don’t buy it when people talk about Real Madrid “running away” with the title. Despite the fact that Real and Barca are always near the top, any team in La Liga is capable of beating any other.


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