--- Carlos Ruiz apparently suffered a fractured molar last week versus Columbus which had to be removed sometime during the week. That sounds painful. FUN FACT: 5 of the last 7 LA-Dallas games have ended in a tie. KICKOFF! NEXT! ESPN2! WOW!
FIRST HALF: HOLY SHIT ESPN2 QUIT TAKING COMMERCIALS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE START OF THE GAME! And we make it back in time! The game is on, but we miss the actual kickoff due to ESPN2's wonderful camera work. Dragon Stadium, the temporary home of the Burn, is one of those wonderful football stadiums that have the yard lines drawn out and confuse the hell out of me. Hey, at least the center referee won't have any trouble counting to 10. Speaking of the referees, what in the hell are they doing in BLUE? What the fuck is this? SMACKDOWN? O'Brien opens it up VERY early with the one-touch goal from about 23 yards out to put the Burn up 1. Looks like Hartman is beatable after all. Dallas gets another major opportunity in the 14th, but the LA defense manages to clear it out, even after Hartman is pulled off his line. Another chance just a minute later, and LA looks to be repeating their shakey first half performance from last week. Play is stopped briefly for a couple injuries on the LA side. Immediately following, O'Brien gets another shot on goal, but Hartman tips it up and over the crossbar. Dallas gets a direct free kick just outside the box at 20' but cannot convert. Dallas' Countess looks to handle the ball outside the box at 24', but there is no call, much to Ruiz's dismay. LA gets their first good shot in the next minute, but Countess makes the diving save. Dallas threatens again at 29', but the LA defense doesn't give them much of a chance to get a good shot off. Ruiz with the breakaway in the next minute, beats not one not two but THREE defenders, and we're tied at one. Kevin Hartman, of all people, nods the assist, the first LA assist of the year. LA's Piņeda Chacon gets a GREAT opportunity at 35'. Unfortunately, the one-touch sails wide to the left. O'Brien clips Elliott on a late foul at 36' but avoids the yellow. Don't think he'll be able to get away with it twice. Elliott gets pushed out over the endline at 38' and goes all the way over the advertising board. Commentators wonder if this is wrestling. Huh? Dallas gets a shot at 41', but Marshall manages to clear it out over the endline, saving Hartman any trouble. Flick header off the ensuing corner hits woodwork, and the Dallas fans have a collective heart attack. Little more activity in the box is eventually scooped up by Hartman. Lalas and O'Brien take a trip over the boards at 44' due to momentum. Commentators decide this is turning into NHL playoff action. That makes a bit more sense. Ruiz gets another chance at 45', but his shot is saved and cleared. Fourth official calls for one minute of stoppage time. The minute passes without another scoring opportunity. We remained tied at one after the first.
HALFTIME: OMG...shut up Veronic Paysee. Youth Soccer Spotlight is much more welcome, but oh is it short. First half highlights follow. And oh boy, this looks like fun. IT'S YOUR GAME with TOMMY SMYTH. Basically a quick run-down of the latest MLS news. I can't say no to that.
SECOND HALF: ESPN2 gets the kickoff on film this time. GO GO ESPN2! No substitutions over the break. Dallas gets the first serious chance at 49'. The cross is deflected over the endline for a corner, but it goes no where. Ruiz gets bumped in the box at 50', but the ref orders the play to coninue. Burn want a yellow for a dive and are refused, much to Morrow's chargrin. Bonseu gets off a nice shot at 53', but Hartman makes the diving save. Broome gets the first yellow of the game at 60' for a push down from behind. Jones gets a great opportunity at 63', but he's picked off by Countess for the heartbreak. Bonseu gets a yellow soon after for a hard foul on Marshall. No one got anything on tape. GO GO ESPN2. Dallas threatens at 70', but it eventually goes out for a goal kick. Ruiz gets a yellow at 71' for unsporty behavior and is not happy. First subs of the game: LA puts Moreno on for Piņeda Chacon and Dallas puts Johnson on for Rhine. Kreis goes down at 75' with an injury without any contact, and we have a stoppage. He walks off without any help. LA will play with a man advantage until Kreis returns or is replaced. He returns a few minutes later as Ruiz goes down, and play is stopped again. He looks to return as well and does so. Jones gets off a shot at 81', but it goes high. LA seems to be increasing the pressure as the game winds down. Johnson gets off a shot at 83', but it is saved by Hartman. Countess seems to pull a muscle in his leg while chasing a ball. Play is stopped. Substitution: Dallas - Stone for O'Brien. Countess stays in goal, but is still limping. Moreno is caught offsides. His attempt at the ball at the whistle collides with Countess. Cassar goes on as backup keeper as the crowd yells for a red. None is deserved, however, as the ball was in contact with both players and the contact was incidental. Kreis is caught offsides but takes a couple shots anyway, both saved by unnecessarily but beautifully by Hartman. Four minutes of stoppage time due to the injury issues of the half. Dallas threatens at 94+'. Hartman saves it. Regulation is over shortly thereafter.
FIRST EXTRA TIME: BONUS FOOTBALL BABY! Jones gets the first good opportunity, but it's wide left. During the break, Dallas subs Davis for Kreis. LA gets a direct kick just outside the box at 92'. Victorine tries for the goal but is high. Dakkas threatens in the next minute, but there's no one to finish. LA takes a 2-3 breakaway the other way at '94. The shot goes wide around the post thanks to Cassar. Ensuing corner sees a foul by LA, ending the threat. Period ends with no scoring.
SECOND EXTRA TIME: Who needs commercials when you can just recap the scoring before the next kickoff? Dallas earns a corner at 97' for their first opportunity. Ball is cleared by LA. Dallas right back on the attack, but an attempt by Davis to fool Hartman goes wide to the right. Another attempt by Dallas, but the ball crosses the endline before it can be crossed for a shot. One more chance for Dallas as time winds down. Ball sails high over the goal, and the game is finished in a tie.
LA improves to 0-0-2 with 2 pts. Dallas opens at 0-0-1 with 1 pt.
I wish I could see someone FUCKING WIN A GAME.
-------------------- COLUMBUS CREW 1:0 NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY METROSTARS
SCORING SUMMARY: CLB: Cunningham - 90' (1st of season, 49th of career)
-------------------- D.C. UNITED 2:3 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
SCORING SUMMARY: KC: Preki - 3' (1st of season, 66th of career) DC: Petki - 36' (1st of season, 6th of career) DC: Quaranta - 46+' (1st of season, 9th of career) KC: Klein - 61' (1st of season, 23rd of career) KC: Brown - 92' (1st of season, 14th of career)
Western Conference: TEAM....................GP......W.......L.......T.......PTS Kansas City.............1.......1.......0.......0.......3 San Jose................1.......1.......0.......0.......3 Los Angeles.............2.......0.......0.......2.......2 Dallas..................1.......0.......0.......1.......1 Colorado................1.......0.......1.......0.......0
Davis won't solidify his MVP candidacy until later in the season. Carolina started fast last year, too, then fell off the table. If they don't, then you know where to look. (Besides the D.) For now, I'm saying Manning. Hall, I dunno.