Can anybody stop the United Soccer League?
The USL improved its record in the CONCACAF Champions League to 6-0-4 after the Montreal Impact defeated Honduran side CD Olimpia, 2-1, on Wednesday night.
Panamanian striker Roberto Brown delivered both goals for the Impact, which improved to 2-0-1 in the Champions League, good for first place in its group, four points clear of second-place Atlante, which has a game in hand.
So did MLS finally break out of its own winless rut in the Champions League? Not so much.
D.C. falls to Cruz Azul
Desperate to turn around its recent rut in MLS play, D.C. United benched several key starters in its CONCACAF Champions League match against Cruz Azul at RFK Stadium on Wednesday. The result was a predictable 1-0 loss to the Mexican club, a defeat that dropped D.C. to 0-3 in the competition, and Major League Soccer to 0-6-3 in the tournament.
With Jaime Moreno the only D.C. star in the lineup (He is set to serve a two-game MLS suspension for the elbow sandwich he delivered to the face of FC Dallas midfielder Andre Rocha) D.C. kept Cruz Azul off the scoreboard until the 56th minute, when Mexican youth international Cesar Villaluz mis-hit a shot that ricocheted off teammate Pablo Zeballos before bouncing past D.C. goalkeeper Zach Wells.
Poland could be forced to forfeit qualifiers
FIFA has warned the Polish government that if it does not re-instate the country’s soccer assocation, Poland could be forced to forfeit its upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.
For those who missed the story earlier this week, the Polish FA was suspended amdist government investigations over corrupution connected with the country’s hosting of the 2012 European Championships. The FA has been replaced by a government-appointed administrator.
What does this mean? It means Poland could wind up surrendering 3-0 forfeit losses to the Czech Republic and Slovakia if the matter isn’t resolved by the FIFA-imposed Oct. 6 deadline. Poland is currently tied for first place with Slovenia in UEFA’s World Cup qualifying Group Three with a 1-0-1 record.
Zenit St. Petersburg fumes at bribe claims
Reigning UEFA Cup champions Zenit St. Petersburg have categorically denied a Spanish media report that claims a German judge is looking into ties between German club Bayern Munich and the Russian mafia, ties that suggest bribes may have played a part in Zenit’s 4-0 UEFA Cup semifinal victory against Bayern last spring.
Really? Bayern Munich? How do you bribe FC Hollywood when the club practically prints money in Germany?
The reports in question seem to be based on what could have been the dishonest claims of some Russian gang boss on a wire tap.
What do you think of the above stories? Has the latest Montreal win convinced you that the Impact are actually a very good team that could hold its own in MLS? Is D.C. United doomed to have its year end early? Do you really think there’s any truth to the Zenit bribe claims? Think FIFA would really force Poland to forfeit World Cup qualifiers?
Share your thoughts on these, and any other stories from the morning, in the comments section below.