26 February 2012

Disney Day 3: Quiet afternoon

Sunday's games lacked the compelling storylines of Friday and the in-stadium atmosphere of Saturday, with all four teams putting out lineups laced with reserves. With a threat of rain hanging over the afternoon, we arrived to call the Houston-Vancouver opener and worried a bit about what would happen if it started to rain - more worried about the technical equipment from the broadcast than anything else - but thankfully didn't have to worry about it.

The first game saw Vancouver's second squad - still a very strong group that included Sebastien Le Toux and others with significant MLS experience - take on a very young Houston team that included Andre Hainault and Cam Weaver but saw the Dynamo line up in an abnormal formation. Not surprisingly, Vancouver controlled the first half. Long Tan was fouled to win his second and third penalty kicks of the tournament, but when he finally got to take one - Le Toux converted the first - Tan tried a chip up the middle that Houston's Tyler Deric easily stopped. Deric also had to scramble to save a shot from midfield by Gershon Koffie that nearly found net.

The Dynamo improved their game in the second half and brought on a number of starters in the final minutes but never forced Brad Knighton into a save. Perhaps the funniest moment of the game came from Knighton in the first half, when he handled a clear passback and, when the whistle blew, looked around wondering what it was for. Fortunately for Knighton, the chance came to nothing.

The broadcast was challenging in that there was no atmosphere to speak of, but we did our best to call the game while also pointing out relevant storylines that made the on-field action significant. Not as much of a high as Saturday night, but an important outing nonetheless.

In the second game, Montreal's second squad - so to speak, since clear starters are hard to pin down - looked much better than its Friday lineup, albeit against Kansas City's reserve lineup. There was yet another penalty kick in the first half, but Soony Saad fired his attempt off the left post. No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wenger started in midfield for Montreal but moved to forward partway through the first half and immediately became a difference-maker. He turned a seemingly innocuous long ball from Shavar Thomas into a dangerous break, feeding Mike Fucito for a tap-in to give the Impact a 1-0 lead.

Reserves or not, Kansas City did control the game (as it did against Houston on Friday), finally tying the game when Ryan Thomas whipped in a cross that Saad corralled (perhaps with an element of luck) and toe-poked underneath Evan Bush.

My favorite part of the second game was watching 19-year-old Montreal defender Karl Ouimette, who is here more for experience than to compete for a spot. The right-footed Ouimette, normally a center back, started on the left and had a few shaky moments (his own left mid, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, was not shy about telling him so) but adjusted to put in a steady performance. He also got to move to his usual center back for the final few minutes.

All in all, kind of a blah afternoon and perhaps the lowest-key day of the tournament, but still some fun moments and some important minutes for players trying to earn playing time or earn a roster spot. You know it's nerve-racking for those guys.

After a couple days of MLS broadcasting meetings, we'll be back at it with three more doubleheaders on MLSsoccer.com, starting Tuesday night, before the tournament final and third-place game on Saturday.

Houston Dynamo (0-1-1) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-0-0)
February 26, 2012 – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL

Scoring Summary:
VAN -- Sebastien Le Toux 2 (penalty kick) 15 

Houston Dynamo -- Tyler Deric, Warren Creavalle, Nathan Sturgis, Andre Hainault, Oscar Recio, Macoumba Kandji (Alex Dixon 71), Josue Soto (Luiz Camargo 71), Emerson Sato (Calen Carr 71), Colin Rolfe (Brad Davis 57), Eder Arreola (Brian Ownby 57), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Erich Marscheider, Tally Hall, Colin Clark, Will Bruin, Adam Moffat, Corey Ashe, Bobby Boswell.

Vancouver Whitecaps -- Brad Knighton, Greg Klazura, Michael Boxall, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey, Lee Nguyen (Russell Teibert 46), Gershon Koffie (Bryce Alderson 46), Matt Watson, Michael Nanchoff (Bilal Duckett 75), Long Tan (Darren Mattocks 82), Sebastien Le Toux (Caleb Clarke 67, Jun Marques Davidson 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Callum Irving, Sean Melvin, Bryan Sylvestre, Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit, Atiba Harris, John Thorrington, Young-Pyo Lee, Martin Bonjour, Davide Chiumiento, Eric Hassli, Camilo.

Misconduct Summary:
HOU -- Tyler Deric (caution) 28
VAN -- Jordan Harvey (caution) 44
HOU -- Warren Creavalle (caution) 54

Referee: Ted Unkel
Referee's Assistants: Brian Poeschel; Mark Cahen
4th Official: Andres Pfefferkorn
Attendance: n/a
Weather: Cloudy-and-66 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

Montreal Impact (0-1-1) vs. Sporting Kansas City (0-0-2)
February 26, 2012 – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL

Scoring Summary:
MON -- Mike Fucito 1 (Andrew Wenger 1) 37
KC -- Soony Saad 1 (Ryan Thomas 1, Kevin Ellis 1) 70

Montreal Impact -- Greg Sutton (Evan Bush 46), Calum Mallace, Hassoun Camara (Jeb Brovsky 78), Shavar Thomas, Karl Ouimette, Andrew Wenger (Aaron Schoenfeld 80), Bryan Arguez, Collen Warner, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Gerson Mayen 60), Lucas Acosta (Justin Braun 71), Mike Fucito (Steven Miller 54).
Substitutes Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Tyson Wahl, Felipe, Patrice Bernier, Eduardo Sebrango, Davy Arnaud, Lamar Neagle, Josh Gardner, Miguel Montano, Evan James, Gienir Garcia.

Sporting Kansas City -- Jon Kempin, Michael Harrington (Kevin Ellis 68), Cyprian Hedrick, Sacir Hot (Lawrence Olum 46), Korede Aiyegbusi (Shawn Singh 74), Paulo Nagamura (Mozzi Gyorio 62), Michael Thomas, Konrad Warzycha, Jacob Peterson, Soony Saad, Dom Dwyer (Kyle Miller 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Stefan Antonijevic, Eric Kronberg, Steve Spangler, Scott Angevine.

Misconduct Summary:
KC -- Cyprian Hedrick (caution) 41
MON -- Calum Mallace (caution) 56

Referee: Andres Pfefferkorn
Referee's Assistants: Eric Proctor; Steve Taylor
4th Official: Ted Unkel
Attendance: n/a
Weather: Cloudy-and-68 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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