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Larentowicz’s playoff-clinching blast

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The New England Revolution secured the eighth and final playoff berth in Major League Soccer on Sunday by virtue of its 1-0 win vs. Columbus and the goal that did the job was a worthy strike.

Jeff Larentowicz blasted this free kick to set up a New England-Chicago playoff series and finish the 2009 MLS regular season off on style:


  1. harkes, who is a premiership alumnus and who knows about well taken strikes from the edge of the box, got the analysis right, and “brent”, who is perhaps NOT a premiership alumnus, gets it wrong. meanwhile, i, a one-season MLS alumnus say this: larentowicz, inspecting the gap, knew he could score if he hit hard and high. the hardest strikers of the ball know that from the edge of the box keeper reflex reactions are only even odds for the keeper, if they have to reach arms’ length. even in practice conditions you can beat your keeper a percentage of times if you pulverize from the edge of the box and you’ve got a leg like larentowicz. soccer footballs are not puff balls, and pace can and will beat a keeper’s reflex reach from that short distance. larentowicz standing over the ball in that situation, as i have done, picks the gap and hits it as hard as he can with good confidence he can beat the keeper. this particular keeper did react a hair slow, but even a better keeper doesn’t get to that strike most of the time.

  2. I don’t know what everybody is bellyaching about…. it was a hand ball and the call was given. If it had been reverse and the free kick was awarded to the Crew you wouldn’t be complaining. Some people say bad call – I say BRAVE call…

  3. kpugs: nice one. Larentowicz is a toughie and picks up a handful of yellows and the occasional red per season for his efforts, but he’s hardly in the league of Atiba Harris, Jesse Marsch, or hall-of-famers like Simo Valkari and Hristo Stoichkov.

    The handball that led to the FK looked like it could’ve gone either way on the TV replay. I’m not losing sleep over it at any rate, since the Revs were denied a clear PK just a few minutes later when Joseph was dragged down in the box.

    Lots of cynical play from Columbus. I love Ale Moreno and Schelotto’s game, but they need to cool it on the diving.

    In general, I think bad officiating has cost every single team in the league at least one game this season. It’s something that the fed really needs to address.

  4. Well I would rather the Revs in the playoffs than the Rapids. And I would rather than RSL play columbus rather than chicago. So a win-win situation for me all around.

  5. Poor defensive setup on the free kick. I don’t think Larentowicz has ever attempted a bending shot over a wall. Why was the keeper cheating to the near post? Whatever, Go Revs.

  6. Bad Keeping you are crazy. That was an absolute rocket and I would have been scared for any player in the wall if they had gotten a head on it. The goalie doesn’t see it until it goes through the wall and by then he is cooked.

  7. Bro, (IMO:) the pace and power on that was insane. Very much like the power of the Zlatan’s goal in the Barca game (see above post above 2:20). The difference is Zaragosa’s guy had a more distance to react and was able to get a touch. I would blemae the keeper at all. Most of us would have hit the ground to take cover from a rocket like that.

    Larentowicz murdered that ball.

  8. I wont take anything away from Larentowicz’s strike, it was well-hit. But for the ‘keeper to not even get a finger on it, the ball was hit right at him. Terrible reactions.

  9. the shot was great. the call that gave him the chance was horrible. I was there. Mark up another one in a bad year of officiating. I desperately hope the officials won’t be a pall over the playoffs.


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