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Eastern Conference Notes: SKC enjoys home cooking, NY questions PK & more


 Photo by Michael Janosz/ 


It may have only been a U.S. Open Cup qualifier, but Sporting Kansas City's 5-0 win in Overland Park, Kan., over the New England Revolution on Wednesday was a very welcome sight for the sore eyes of coach Peter Vermes, whose team has struggled to a 1-6-1 start on the road while waiting for the June opening of Livestrong Sporting Park.

"That was a big deal for us tonight," Vermes said of the home-field advantage. "Everywhere we go, we’re the enemy and we never really have anyone there. The guys rewarded the fans and the fans rewarded them."

Here is some more news from around the Eastern Conference:


With playmaker Marco Pappa set to miss at least three MLS games while playing for Guatemala at the Gold Cup in June, his void will open up opportunities for players such as Davis Paul and out-of-form speedster Patrick Nyarko to break through into the starting 11.

"Marco is an important player for the team," Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos told "But this is something that happens to a lot of teams, and for that reason we have other players who we will have an opportunity to see."


One of the most surprising inclusions on the U.S. Gold Cup roster was Crew winger Robbie Rogers, who has enjoyed a solid but unspectacular start to the MLS season and seemed to be behind the likes of Alejandro Bedoya and Brad Davis in the U.S. outside midfield pecking order. But as Rogers noted, national team roster selection can be very unpredictable.

"I thought I had a chance for it," Rogers told "To be honest, you never know. Soccer is so weird. Look at a guy like Edson Buddle, who wasn't with the national team for awhile [and] then goes to the World Cup. There's so many ups and downs."


United received a boost ahead of its trip to Portland for Sunday's match against the Timbers when forward Josh Wolff was upgraded on the injury report to probable. The veteran suffered a groin strain in D.C.'s 1-1 tie against the Colorado Rapids on May 14 but seems ready to go after sitting out a 2-1 friendly loss to Ajax this past weekend.

His partner up top, Charlie Davies, remains listed as doubtful with the hamstring strain that likely knocked him out of consideration for the U.S. national team's Gold Cup roster and forced him to miss D.C.'s friendly against Ajax.


After his side dropped a 1-0 contest at Los Angeles on Wednesday, Houston coach Dominic Kinnear identified some issues that plagued the Dynamo's normally prolific offense. Entering Wednesday's fixtures, Houston's 15-goal haul was good for second in the league, but the Dynamo had no answers against the Galaxy.

"Going forward, we didn't do enough in and around the box," Kinnear said. "Our passing out of pressure, relieving pressure, is a thing we probably could have done a better job of."  


After the Revolution suffered a 5-0 U.S. Open Cup qualifying loss to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, New England coach Steve Nicol said his team failed to adapt to the narrow pitch and the game's cold, rainy conditions.

"It was a small field, and with the weather, possession of the ball was difficult," Nicol said. "We started off trying to play the wrong game. We should have been hitting the front guy instead of trying to play it through the middle of the park where it was all congested."


The penalty kick given to Colorado in the 27th minute of the Rapids' 2-2 tie against New York on Wednesday has become the latest in a long line of questionable calls affecting MLS results this season. New York left back Roy Miller took down Colorado's Andre Akpan, but the Red Bulls argued the foul occurred outside the penalty area.

"I told [the linesman] on the field it wasn't a penalty from where I was," striker Thierry Henry told the New York Post. "I saw the guy was outside of the box. We don't need that type of thing right now against us because we're having our troubles already to defend some goals against us."


After scoring three goals in 350 minutes during this rookie campaign, forward Jack McInerney, the seventh-overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, has been limited to 107 minutes this season. The 18-year-old hasn't been able to take on an increased role largely because of the Union's depth up front, something McInerney is certainly aware of.

"We have so much talent on this club at every position, and up front we have [Sebastien Le Toux], Carlos Ruiz and Danny Mwanga among others, so there’s a lot of players looking to play,” McInerney said to "When they call my name, I'm ready. I got some very good experience last season as a rookie. I'm confident and ready to play when the technical staff calls my name."


Since the combination of lightning and a water-logged pitch canceled the second leg of the Canadian Championship with Vancouver holding on to a 2-1 aggregate lead over Toronto FC, the match will now be replayed in its entirety, starting with the teams again tied 1-1 on aggregate. After the cancellation, Toronto coach Aron Winter acknowledged the stroke of luck for his side.

"I know it's not nice for Vancouver," Winter said. "But I'm following the rules and, at this moment, the rules are good for us." 


  1. This year I’ve been seeing some calls that are so, so bad, even the players on the benefiting team are incredulous. Stadiums go quiet because fans aren’t booing or cheering, they just literally can’t understand what they are seeing. Who the hell picks these refs? It’s US Soccer, right? Not MLS? Either way, why hasn’t anyone stood up and done anything about it?

    I’ve always been curious as to why refs aren’t reprimanded for making obvious, repeated, certifiable and verifiable bad calls. I’m not being facetious or trying to take a jab, I’m seriously curious. Is it corruption? Incompetence? What’s up?

  2. Nicols seems like quality. I wonder why a better coaching spot is not offered to him. I bet he would take it. If he had some talent to work with I bet he would do wonders.

  3. the dude blew thge call, he has a head set on for a reason. it is the man in the middles’ responsibility to make the call, if he needs help he could have asked for it.

    brutal call, the official was terrible all night, both ways. the first 15 minutes there was at least 4 fouls that should have been called against NYRB and the Rapids were losing their minds. I thought this game was going to end with 3 reds and Mastroeni getting escorted out of the arena by NYPD

  4. funny, I don’t see it as an excuse, I see it as ‘we were dumb, we didn’t adjust as well to the conditions as the other team did’. He states outright they could have chosen to do something different, but they failed to do so. If he’d said ‘it was impossible to play soccer in those conditions’, or ‘the type of game our squad is built to play can’t work on a small and/or wet field’ or something like that, I would term that an excuse, but that’s not what he said. He’s probably just saying what he told his team, ‘that’s not how we should have played’.

  5. Yes sir Mr. Rogers, you never know with call ups under Bradley… He may just kick a few right out of the park when no one is expecting it…

  6. Yeah that call really breaks me up, especially when I remember the blown non-call on the offside Espindola that gave RSL 3 points over Colorado earlier this season in Rio Tinto.


  7. Gee…the rain and narrow field didn’t seem to bother SKC much, Mr. Nichol. It’ll be the last time you can use the “narrow field” excuse when visiting KC. Coaches will have to find another excuse… 🙂

  8. Just to go on record:

    I was sitting directly perpendicular to the 18 on what would be the same side of the stadium as the cameras.

    it 100% looked to be in the box watching it real time as it happened. Do not fault the ref at all for the placement but it was the linesman on the farside who would have been looking at the play from behind who actually called for the penalty.

    He went down easy, but it wasn’t an egregious call by any means, it just wasn’t really a foul given the way the game had been officiated to that point, which speaks to the greater point of inconsistency. A similiar and more physical mid air collision for a headball wasn’t whistled as a foul moments before, and later in the game the same linesman made at least to calls for very minimal contact, then didnt flag for obvious infractions.

    we lambaste the center officials without sometimes consider the quality of the crews as a whole effect the game even more.


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