Brad Davis converted a pair of penalty kicks to help give the Houston Dynamo a crucial 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake on Thursday night, but the bigger story was an injury to forward Brian Ching that could jeopardize his World Cup chances.
Ching pulled his left hamstring during the match, and was forced to leave, and while the initial prognosis was a hamstring strain, Ching's injury looked more serious than that.
With just six weeks to go before the U.S. national team begin training camp for the 2010 World Cup, Ching could be racing against time to be fit.
The Dynamo still managed to pull out the victory in its home opener thanks to a pair of Davis penalty kicks earned on fouls committed by Real Salt Lake's Jamison Olave.
Here are some other stories from this morning and Thursday as Friday rolls on:
FULHAM WINS, LIVERPOOL FALLS IN EUROPA LEAGUE
Goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff helpedFulham pull off a Europa League quarterfinal first-leg victory against German champions Wolfsburg, but an Alexander Madlung header made the final score 2-1 and gave Wolfsburg a vital away goal.
In other Europa League quarterfinal action, Liverpool fell to Benfica, 2-1, after Ryan Babel was red carded for making contact with Benfica defender Luisao. Hamburg also won 2-1, downing Standard Liege in its home leg.
The only quarterfinal not to finish 2-1 was Atletico Madrid's 2-2 tie vs. Valencia. The result puts Atletico in the driver's seat heading into the return leg next week in Madrid.
ONCE CALDAS, CORINTHIANS ROLL IN LIBERTADORES
Former New York Red Bulls manager Juan Carlos Osorio watched his new club, Once Caldas, record a vital 1-0 victory against Paraguayan club Nacional to move into first place in its Copa Libertadores group.
The victory helped Once Caldas secure a place in the tournament's Round of 16, and also means that Once Caldas can win its group if it ties or beats Sao Paolo on April 21 in Brazil.
Ronaldo continued his goal-scoring ways, netting the first of Corinthians' two goals in a 2-1 win vs. Cerro Porteno.
In the day's other Libertadores action, an Ivan Hurtado penalty kick helped give Deportivo Quito a 1-0 victory against fellow Ecuadorian side Emelec.
NEWS & NOTES
Bolton manager Owen Coyle remains confident that Stuart Holden will be back before the end of the season, with this report suggesting he could be back in two weeks.
In case you missed it on Thursday, Cesc Fabregas is set to miss six weeks with a broken leg.
As if things couldn't get worse for Arsenal on the injury front, William Gallas could be done for the season.
What do you think of these developments? Hoping Ching's injury isn't that serious, or do you think it opens the door even wider for Herculez Gomez? Starting to believe Fulham can win the Europa League? Surprised Osorio is doing so well in Libertadores?
Share your thoughts below.