Chris Wondolowski tied a record that has stood since the inaugural season of Major League Soccer on Saturday. Roy Lassiter of the Tampa Bay Mutiny was the only person to score 27 times until Wondo tied him on a controversial penalty kick. Wondolowski scored 14 goals at home and 13 on the road with 15 in the second half and 12 in the first. Most of his goals came from inside the penalty box. The San Jose Earthquakes already had the Supporters’ Shield and kept trying to feed the striker in the 1-1 tie with Portland. Regardless of the tying strike, it was quite the season for the fringe National Team player.
While the Wondolowski story may have been the biggest coming into Saturday there were plenty of U.S. players in action around the world.
Barclays Premier League
Brad Guzan was the story as he preserved a draw for Aston Villa against Norwich. Villa was down to ten men after Joe Bennett was sent off. Guzan did allow a late tying goal to Michael Turner, but the result could have been much worse for Villa. Guzan made nine saves in the draw. Eric Lichaj came on as the first sub due in part to the red card.
Geoff Cameron started at right back for Stoke City in a 0-0 tie with Sunderland. It was the sixth tie of the year for both teams. Cameron set up a couple chances including one in the 70th minute to Charlie Adams, who lost his footing on the shot attempt. Stoke out shot Sunderland 11-7 but the draw seemed inevitable. Maurice Edu was not in the 18 for Stoke.
Schalke 04 won for the third time in a week besting Nürnberg 1-0. Jermaine Jones played the full 90 for Schalke, as did Timothy Chandler for Nürnberg. Schalke did earn the win with a 77th minute goal having better chances all match. Jones earned a yellow card in the 52nd minute. He also had two shots, but one sailed well into the stands. Chandler was 28 for 37 in passing, but Nürnberg is hovering just above a relegation spot.
Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson sit just above Nürnberg after Hoffenheim were on the wrong end of a 3-0 match against Mainz. Williams received a yellow card in the second half while Adam Szalai capped off a hat trick for 05. Williams was 21 of 26 on passes and both U.S. players went the whole match. Another German-American Fußball player made his debut today for Mainz as 19 year old Shawn Parker came in just prior to stoppage time. Parker has played for the German Youth Team.
Parts of Germany had snow on Saturday so they opted for the special soccer ball.
Major League Soccer
Aside from the Wondolowski watch, playoff positioning was to be determined on the last regular season weekend for MLS. The New York Red Bull played a wonderful match with Kenny Cooper scoring twice. New York would win 3-0 over a Phildelphia squad without Freddy Adu. It brought into question the former teen star’s place with the Union although the team says no decision has been made.
Union manager John Hackworth contacted me this evening to say that no decision has been made on Freddy Adu’s future: is.gd/sRVAwD
— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) October 28, 2012
This result and the draw between the Chicago Fire and D.C. United set the Eastern Conference playoff seeds. The Fire now have to play in the knockout round as the fourth seed thanks to a great performance by United keeper Bill Hamid.
Chicago will play host to Houston on Wednesday in the knockout round with a match against Sporting KC on the line. New York will host the first match against D.C. on November 3 or 4.
In the West, Vancouver and Los Angeles will play on November 1 to advance to play San Jose. With Real Salt Lake playing to its third straight 0-0 draw, Seattle needs a draw or win to clinch second place in the west. The two teams will place each other regardless.
North American Soccer League
The final match of the NASL season took place late tonight and the champion was crowned via penalty kicks after extra periods provided no answer. The Tampa Bay Rowdies would tie 3-3 on aggregate and Jeff Attinella, the Tampa keeper, would take over the shoot out. Attinella would make three penalty kick saves against Minnesota. Tampa overturned a 2-0 deficit after the first leg by taking game two 3-1. It was a great effort by Tampa Bay, perhaps only eclipsed by their kits.