USA Qualifies for Brazil World Cup

US Men's National Team managed to find their mojo again after a devastating loss to Costa Rica just four days earlier. The momentum against Mexico swung completely in the Americans' favor after Eddie Johnson scored a header off a corner kick to give the US a 1-0 lead. For insurance, with just over 12 minutes remaining in the match, Diskerud kept a short throw-in alive in the box and put his head up to find Donovan at the far post to poke home the second goal of the match. Dos-a-cero became the slogan after the match against a defeated Mexico team.

The USA, which moved back into first place ahead of Costa Rica, officially
qualified for the World Cup for the seventh straight time after Panama lost to
Honduras an hour after the final whistle of its win.

"This is a huge, huge evening for all of us," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann
said. "It's a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup."

Costa Rica, which beat the U.S. 3-1 on Friday and played to a shocking draw
with Jamaica earlier Tuesday, is in second place. Honduras is currently in third
followed by Panama in fourth Mexico in fifth.

The top three CONCACAF teams qualify for next year's 32-nation competition in
Brazil, and the fourth-place finisher will play in a one-game playoff with
Oceania winner New Zealand.

"This a team that could and should play better," said Mexico head coach Luis
Fernando Tena, who took over for Jose Manuel de la Torre on Saturday. "It has to
take a step forward if we want to make it to the World Cup."

The U.S. was without arguably the region's top player, Michael Bradley, who
sat out for the second straight game with an ankle injury. Three additional
Americans also missed the match because of yellow card accumulation: forward
Jozy Altidore, midfielder Geoff Cameron and defender Matt Besler.

Ahead of the game, Klinsmann called in four additional players, including
Clarence Goodson, who started in place of Besler in central defense along with
Omar Gonzalez. Fabian Johnson shifted from midfield to the back line opposite of
left back DaMarcus Beasley. Jermaine Jones, Clint Dempsey, Donovan, Alejandro
Bedoya and lone striker Johnson filled out the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Mexico opened the match with a different feel from Friday, when the team had
a late second-half collapse at home against Honduras for its second loss in the
Hexagonal that ultimately led to the firing of De la Torre. Hours later, he was
replaced by Tena, who put star striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez back in the
starting XI despite the striker coming off a hamstring injury.

After shifting much of their lineup from the Costa Rica loss, the Americans
looked a bit unsettled after kickoff. Mexico was on the attack early, forcing
goalkeeper Tim Howard to make a diving save on an attempt from Christian Giménez
in the 18th minute for the first scoring opportunity from either side in the
first half.

But after the nervy moment, Klinsmann's men calmed down and had some chances
of their own, with both Dempsey and Donovan getting into the box for shots that
were blocked by Mexican defenders. Johnson nearly had the opener off a corner
kick in the 32nd minute, but Mexico keeper Jesus Corona saved the attempt on the
goal line.

The teams entered the half scoreless. But that wouldn't last long.

Playing with a sense of urgency in front of a raucous crowd, the U.S. came
out of the locker room much like Mexico did to open the game. However, the Stars
and Stripes were able to capitalize off of their surge when Johnson used his
head to slip one into El Tri's goal.

Johnson, who has reinvented himself on the U.S. national team after rejoining
MLS last year, sneaked into the middle off a corner kick delivered by Donovan,
beat Corona to the ball and headed it in to help the Americans move one step
closer to stamping their passports for Brazil.

Later in the half, Johnson was forced to leave the game with a head injury
after taking a nasty fall on the pitch while going up for a header midway
through the second half. He was replaced by Mix Diskerud, but it turned out the
loss of the team's best offensive player on the night wouldn't cause any

For insurance, with just over 12 minutes remaining in the match, Diskerud
kept a short throw-in alive in the box and put his head up to find Donovan at
the far post to poke home the second goal of the match.

With just seconds left to play, Dempsey nearly made it an even worse night
for the visitors but he was unable to convert on a penalty kick that flew to the
right of the goal. But the mission had already been accomplished.

"We're continuing the growth of the game here in the sport, we're improving,
getting better and we've got to make sure we do well in Brazil to keep it
going," Dempsey said.

The U.S. improved to 24-0-2 in home qualifiers since losing to Honduras in
September 2001 at RFK Stadium in Washington, and is now 38-1-7 in qualifiers at
home since losing to Costa Rica in 1985.

The nation has also defeated Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium for the fourth
straight World Cup qualifier after topping its biggest rival by a scoreline of
2-0 in 2001, 2005 and 2009. The Americans increased their undefeated run at the
MLS stadium overall by winning for the seventh time to go along with two

While the U.S. fans, led by the American Outlaws supporting group, left the
party atmosphere at the stadium, El Tri left with their heads down looking for
answers. Tena may find himself out after just one game in charge as the team
would need two wins in two games for any hope of reaching the World Cup on an
automatic bid.

“This isn’t the best moment to make decisions,” Tena said when asked if he'd
resign. “I have to analyze a lot of things.”


It's a bird, it's a, it's Jaime Penedo's Superman save against the Whitecaps on Saturday Night. It could well win the new Galaxy star MLS' Save of the Year Award for the 2013 Season. Bet on MLS Soccer.

Jaime Penedo SupermanJaime Penedo Superman
Jaime Penedo has been a Major League Soccer player for less than a  month, but he could take home one of the league’s high-profile annual awards. 

The L.A. Galaxy goalkeeper made a stunning save on Saturday night, which could very well win MLS’ Save of the Year Award for the 2013 season. It also preserved a victory for his surging team.

Penedo spectacularly preserved his team’s victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 82nd minute.

Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh shot from distance, causing Penedo to dive to his left. Manneh’s effort hit the post but fell invitingly to Jordan Harvey.

The Whitecaps defender appeared to have an open goal at his mercy when he 
tried to tap the rebound in from around eight yards out. But L.A.’s Panamanian 
goalkeeper had other leapt to his feet, dove to the right and batted Harvey’s 
shot away.

Landon Donovan, who scored the game’s only goal, said Penedo’s feat resembled
those of a certain superhero, according to

“In a game like this, you’re expecting to need one big play from a defender 
or a goalie, or someone’s going to need to make a play, because they were 
putting us under some pressure at the end.

“Fortunately, the first one hit the post. I was standing right behind it. 
I’ve played a lot of soccer games in my life, and when I see a play like that,
I can’t remember a time where a goal didn’t occur after [that kind of rebound].

“It seemed like he just came out of nowhere, kind of like Superman, and 
extended his arm and made an unbelievable save.”

After a strong Gold Cup with Panama’s national team, Penedo joined the Galaxy 
on Aug. 5 from Guatemala’s CSD Municipal. The 31-year-old looks might have 
supplanted Carlo Cudicini (a 13-year veteran of England’s Premier League)
as the Galaxy’s starting goalkeeper after appearing in his new team’s last three games.
If Penedo is indeed the Galaxy’s new custodian, he’s not acting like it.

“I’m not saying I’m the No. 1,” Penedo said after the game. “There are four 
goalkeepers that are working hard, and I have to work hard and learn. That’s 
what I have to do.”

Nice work, Clark Kent.

See Penedo’s “Superman” save in the video below.

Article by Marcus Kwesi O'Mard

Los Angeles Galaxy got their fifth win in a row after Landon Donovan scored early against the Vancouver Whitecaps to put them up 1-0 Saturday night. The two teams to watch in the Western Conference are the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy. Bet on MLS Soccer

Landon Donovan Scores Against WhitecapsLandon Donovan of LA Galaxy celebrates scoring early against Vancouver Whitecaps on 8/24
Vancouver, British Columbia - Landon Donovan scored in the third minute and the Los Angeles Galaxy held on to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Donovan got his fourth goal in the last three matches to help the Galaxy (12-9-4) secure sole possession of second place in the Western Conference.

Donovan scored after A.J. DeLaGarza's pass hit Whitecaps central defender
Johnny Leveron and came to him. The Galaxy captain planted a high shot in
the left corner of the net over Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted.

''It helps a lot when you're on the road,'' Donovan said of the early goal.
''It puts your team in a really good position, and even if they score a goal,
you're back where you started, so it's a nice way to start a game.

''We can play a little more cautiously and just worry about defending and
trying to counter - and it really played to our advantage tonight.''

Donovan needs four more goals to become the all-time leading scorer in MLS

Los Angeles goalkeeper Jaime Penedo recorded his first MLS shutout in only
his second career league appearance and third overall with the Galaxy.

''It was a grind-out road victory, one that we haven't had all year, so it
was good to get one,'' Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said.

The Whitecaps (10-9-6) lost their second straight overall and just their
second at home this season.

''It was obviously a bad start, the worst start you could have got, with the
goal so early,'' Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said. ''That was

''But after that, I thought that we played well. We got forward and created a
number of good chances.''

Usually prolific offensively at home, Vancouver struggled against Los Angeles.
Whitecaps striker Camilo, who entered the game tied for the MLS scoring
lead with 14 goals, began the game on the bench due to a slight groin strain
sustained last weekend against Colorado, and stayed there throughout.

''So that was disappointing,'' Rennie said. ''And, obviously, in a game like
that today that was really tight, a player like Camilo is someone who could make
a difference and could perhaps get us a goal.''

It ended Camilo's string of 17 consecutive starts in league games dating to
April 27.

Darren Mattocks, who recently returned from a knee injury that required minor
surgery, started in his place. It was the Jamaican international's first start
since the last meeting between the teams at Vancouver on May 11, when he scored.
But he did not do much this time, rarely touching the ball before he subbed out
in the second half.

The Whitecaps almost tied it in the 10th minute, but Gershon Koffie's shot
from about 30 yards sailed wide of the right post. Vancouver had another chance
in the 15th minute, but Mattocks' pass to Kenny Miller inside the box
inadvertently hit him in the hand, nullifying the opportunity.

Los Angeles had a chance to increase its lead in the 25th minute, but Keane's
shot off a throw-in went just over the crossbar. The Irish international had another
chance from just outside Vancouver's box after a giveaway about seven minutes later,
but his left-footed shot went just wide of the right post.


Donovan, Keane helped LA Galaxy defeat revered Juventus at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Even the Galaxy players were a bit surprised by their big victory over such tough opponents.

PictureLos Angeles Galaxy Players celebrate victory over Juventus
Los Angeles (08/04/2013) - When a pair of two-time defending champions in their respective leagues met at Dodger Stadium, even the Los Angeles Galaxy were a bit surprised to come out on top of mighty Juventus.

Landon Donovan scored the tiebreaking goal on a pass from Robbie Keane in the 60th minute, and the Galaxy beat Juventus 3-1 Saturday night in the International Champions Cup tournament.

Nobody from the Galaxy ascribed much importance to the result, but the Galaxy's fans got extra enjoyment from their club's first appearance at Dodger Stadium, the venerable 51-year-old Southern California landmark.

''Our team played well, (but) the result isn't going to change anything in this world,'' Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said. ''We played well against a very good team, but we understand it's an exhibition. I don't want to play them when
it really counts.''

Although the rest of the tournament schedule hasn't been announced, Los Angeles is expected to play in the third-place game in Miami on Wednesday night, likely against the loser of Chelsea's match with AC Milan on Sunday outside New York.

Do you think their dreamlike winning streak will continue? Tell us your thoughts in the comments and call (877) 251-3289 to place a wager.


Brad Pitt spent "Seven Years in Tibet" in the 1997 movie. Clint Dempsey spent seven years in the Premier League before announcing his return back home to the MLS to join the Seattle Sounders. Welcome back Clint!

PictureClint Dempsey is coming back to MLS Soccer to Join Seattle Sounders
Bringing back the USA's best player, who
started his career with the New England Revolution before joining Fulham, is quite the "get" for MLS. It will be interesting to hear what changed for Dempsey
in the last 12 months to bring him back to the league after seeming so focused on rising to new heights in Europe and if he plans on returning to Europe on
short offseason loans like Landon Donovan has done with Everton in years past before needing to take an extended break from the game.

When the U.S. played Panama in Seattle in June, Dempsey was very impressed with the huge crowds and passion for the game in the city.

From News Tribune:

"I’m good friends with [Seattle striker] Eddie Johnson and he always tells me
about what it’s like playing here in front of these fans. It’s an atmosphere
that’s comparable to playing in Europe. It’s crazy to see because when I first
started out in MLS, things weren’t like that, so it’s great to see that the game
is building. People have so much passion for the game. I almost felt like I was
in another country the other day when the Seattle Sounders game was on. I was
walking to eat dinner, and just as I was walking past the bar, the TV was on and
everybody was watching soccer. For me that was awesome."

So how good is Mr. Clint Dempsey? Well he is considered the best US player.
Dempsey has the ability to dribble with the ball, albeit in a rough, somewhat
out of control manner. He can score from distance. He positions himself so he
can poke it in from a couple of yards. He can play on the wing, in central
midfield or as a striker, with or without a partner. There is a strong argument
that he was the best at heading the ball in the Premier League.