Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MLS All Stars Win, Donovan Announces Retirement Plans - Weekly Recap

MLS All Stars Stun Bayern Munich, Landon Donovan Stuns EVERYONE

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan rallied the MLS All-Stars to an improbable 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game (yes, I know it was not Bayern's A side). But afterwards it wasn't Donovan's slick game winning finish against world class goalkeeper Manuel Neuer that had everyone talking, it was the fact that Landon Donovan, aka Captain America, announced that he would be retiring from the game of soccer at the end of the 2014 season. Let that sink in for a second... The U.S. Men's National Team's all-time leading scorer is hanging up his spikes at the tender age of  32. Apparently he doesn't have the passion he once had for the game, and he's ready to move on to the next phase in his life. Barry Sanders anyone? And you know what? Good on him. Soccer's a game, it's supposed to be fun. And while Donovan may have a few years left in him - he's obviously still playing at a high level - why should he do a job he doesn't love anymore? Landon Donovan has been playing professional soccer since 1999, and has logged upwards of 500 matches between MLS, Europe, and the U.S. National Team. Am I ready to see him go? No, of course not. But I respect his decision, and I'm thankful I got to see him play. Enjoy this last season, fans, it'll be a long time before you see another player like him.

Los Angeles 2 San Jose 2

The Landon Donovan farewell tour kicked off Friday night, but was spoiled by Chris Wondolowski and the Quakes. Wondo had a goal and an assist as San Jose shocked LA with a 2-2 draw despite being outshot 24-3. Gyasi Zardes found the net again for the Galaxy who also got a goal from Omar Gonzalez. Argentine Matias Perez Garcia, playing in his first game for the Quakes, also scored.

Philadelphia 2 Montreal 1

The Impact lost their seventh match in a row as the Union extended their unbeaten streak to 5 games thanks to a pair of goals from Frenchman Sebastien Le Toux. Philadelphia also welcomed back center back Carlos Valdes who missed all of 2013 and the first half of 2014 on loan to South American clubs Independiente Santa Fe (Colombia) and San Lorenzo (Argentina). Maxim Tissot scored the loan goal for Montreal.

Toronto FC 3 Columbus 2

Toronto got a goal and two assists from English striker Luke Moore as they held on for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew. Moore, who appeared in 87 matches for Aston Villa between 2003 and 2008, delivered the game winning strike after Columbus battled back to tie the match at 2 goals apiece. Federico Higuain scored for a third consecutive match in a losing effort.

FC Dallas 3 Colorado 1

Dallas jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they cruised to a 3-1 win over the Rapids in Frisco. Matt Hedges, Michel and Fabian Castillo all scored for Dallas and only a late penalty conversion by Gabriel Torres prevented it from being a shutout.

Real Salt Lake 3 DC United 0

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando set an MLS record with his 113th career shutout as Real Salt Lake cruised to a 3-0 win over DC United. Joao Plata scored his 10th goal of the season and defender Chris Schuler broke a scoring drought of over 50 games with a pair of goals to lead the offense. Javier Morales added a pair of assists.

Portland 2 Chivas USA 0

Diego Valeri scored his 7th goal of the season and Rodney Wallace added an insurance goal as the Timbers soundly defeated Chivas USA 2-0. Donovan Ricketts earned the shutout win for Portland, the 37 year old's second clean sheet this year and the 48th of his 6 year MLS career.

Chicago 1 New York 0

Mike Magee, the reigning MLS MVP, scored the game's only goal after following up his own missed penalty as Chicago celebrated Razvan Cocis's first MLS start with a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Sean Johnson made 4 saves to earn his 4th shutout of the season, and the second in his last three matches.

Vancouver 2 Sporting KC 0

Darren Mattocks scored for the fourth time in five matches and Vancouver was aided by an own goal in their 2-0 win over Sporting. Goalie Jon Kempin made his MLS debut in the second half for Sporting and turned in a flawless 45 minutes, but KC was unable to generate any offense against David Ousted and the Caps. Ousted's shutout was his second in a row, and sixth of the season.

Seattle 2 Houston 0

Marco Pappa and Gonzalo Pineda scored in the second half and the Sounders survived a late red card to striker Obafemi Martins to defeat the Dynamo 2-0. Houston had a chance to go up 1-0 early, but Stefan Frei denied U.S. National Teamer Brad Davis on a penalty kick midway through the first half. Frei earned his 7th shutout of the season and leads the league with 13 wins.

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