June 2011: New York miss topping their table

The first competitive week in June for the US professional soccer league MLS was overshadowed by the international friendly between World Cup and European champions Spain and the USA. The 64,121 spectators at the Gillette Stadium at Foxboro were a record attendance for the US Federal State of Massachusetts. The superior Spaniards, who lined-up six World Cup champion players, won 4-0 and took revenge for the 2-0 defeat by the Americans at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. Santi Cazorla shone with two goals; Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Torres added the remainder. Jermaine Jones, the former German international, played one half for the US boys before he was replaced by the former Moenchengladbach player Michael Bradley. For the US selection the match was part of the preparations for the Gold Cup, the championship involving the 12 best teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, which will take place in the USA, parallel with the MLS, until June 25. The hosts will meet Canada (June 7), Panama (June 11) and Guadeloupe (June 14) in the preliminary round. The US clubs will have to play without their internationals during that time.

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Fernando Torres scores a goal during the 4-0 win by World Cup champions Spain over the USA. Goalkeeper Tim Howard has no chance. Steven Cherundolo is too late to help. (Photo: GettyImages)


At the same time as the Spanish extravaganza was on show at Foxboro, on June 3-4 the Major League Soccer experienced a succession of disappointments. There was some disputable evidence that the clubs missed their US internationals. The first weekend in June recorded five draws in nine matches; three encounters ended goalless, two in 1-1 draws. Two games resulted in 1-0 wins for the home teams. The remaining two matches were won 2-0. Just ten goals in nine games were not a convincing way of promoting the MLS.

The round started on Friday (June 3) with Los Angeles Galaxy’s home match against D.C. United. The 20,036 spectators, the largest crowd of the round, saw neither Landon Donovan, the top star leading the scorer’s list with eight goals, nor Donovan Ricketts who were both playing with the US team. And goals were missed also. The winning series by the team, including David Beckham, ended in a 0-0 draw, but Galaxy remained at the top of the Western Conference table with 30 points from 16 matches, followed by FC Dallas, also undefeated for five matches. However, with 25 points from 14 matches the Texans could catch the Californians if they win their two upcoming games. Seattle Sounders hold third place (21 points/15 matches), followed by Real Salt Lake (20/10) and reigning champions Colorado Rapids (19/14).

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Conor Casey, of US champions Colorado Rapids, scores a penalty against Faryd Mandragon to give Philadelphia Union a 1-0 lead. The final score was 1-1. (Photo: GettyImages)


Dallas and Vancouver are vying for titles in other sports

With their 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, the Red Bulls New York missed the opportunity to take over the lead in the Eastern Conference. Watched by 19,962 spectators, the guests, who hold fifth position, equalised in the 92nd minute, much to the aggravation of the New Yorkers. Philadelphia Union remain at the top of the Eastern Conference after their 1-1 away at defending champions Colorado, in front of 12,779 visitors. Former Bundesliga player Conor Casey gave the home team the lead from the penalty spot against former Cologne goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, but they recorded their sixth successive draw, a new record in the MLS. Danny Mwanga equalised.

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The sports fans in Dallas are focused on the Mavericks who are playing the basketball play-offs against Miami. The soccer team won 1-0 against New England Revolution, watched by 10,363 people. Marvon Chavez scored the winner. Real Salt Lake defeated the Western Conference bottom club Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 in front of a crowd of 15,174, with Jean Alexandre and Fabian Espinola scoring the goals. Just like the sports fans in Dallas, the Canadians from the 2010 Olympic city are currently focused on another sport. The Vancouver Canucks are playing the ice hockey finals against Boston. The Whitecaps now have a seriously poor record prior to their “derby” with Seattle -- just one win in 13 matches, six defeats and seven draws.

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Marvin Chavez (red shirt), goalscorer for FC Dallas against New England Revolution, tackles Andre Hainult during the encounter with Houston Dynamo (2-2). (Photo: GettyImages)

Former Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Kasey Keller was determined not to be passed for the Seattle Sounders in their away match against Chicago Fire. The encounter in front of 13,839 people ended goalless. Keller and Fire keeper Sean Johnson were the heroes on the day with some fantastic saves. Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City, both with a series of defeats in their last matches, also finished 0-0. Bottom club Kansas have played just six away matches as they await the completion of their own stadium. 

The lowest number of spectators was recorded at the match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo. Just 9,270 fans watched the Earthquakes’ 2-0 win, with Steven Lenhart and Simon Dawkins scoring the goals. Chivas USA defeated Portland Timbers in the bottom half of the Western Conference. Marcos Mondaini scored the winner in front of 14,076 spectators.