MLS: It's a Kick

Hello again and welcome to this edition of "Wild and Wacky", a look at yesterday's Major League Soccer results, news and - well, anything else that might come up.

Like, for example, DCUnited fan's lunch.

The Districters coughed up three goals in three first half minutes against Houston yesterday, a collapse the likes of which I can't recall.

To be fair, the first one was a seeing eye, far post, out-of-nowhere Brad Davis strike that couldn't have been better placed if he'd been allowed to walk it over. Wicks never stood a chance and it's the kind of goal that's hard to blame on a particular defender. It's about as close to a no-fault goal as soccer gets:


The second, on the other hand, is a textbook example of flatfooted defending, terrible goalkeeping and, to be fair, a sterling one-touch release that set Brian Ching free:


After a second Ching goal a minute later, a reeling DC hit the lockerroom down 3-0 and looking remarkably corpse-like.

Yet, amazingly, it was the referee who decided this one when he awarded a second half PK to Houston on what, to me at least (and feel free to disagree) looked like a toss up:


It's close, to be sure, but either way that one turned out to be the death blow when a feisty DCU came up one goal short at the end, dropping a 4-3 match that could have fairly ended in a draw.

The real jawdropper yesterday was Jeff Cunningham's four goal performance for Dallas against a hapless looking KC side that seems utterly determined to miss the playoffs in a tight Eastern Conference race that finds them six or so points behind the DC/Toronto battle for third in the East.

The scoreline looks like a typo or a scrimmage summary or something:

DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 5 (Atiba Harris 3, David Ferreira 4) 39
DAL -- David Ferreira 3 (Brek Shea 2, Dave van den Bergh 6) 42
DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 6 (penalty kick) 66
DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 7 (Brek Shea 3) 75
DAL -- David Ferreira 4 (unassisted) 78
DAL -- Jeff Cunningham 8 (unassisted) 89

Cunningham has always been one of the league's biggest enigmas, a guy who'll score some goals but nobody really seems to want around. He's only 32 years old and has scored well over 100 MLS goals but is also on his fifth team since 2004 and, somehow, when the topic is Great MLS Goalscorers, his name never comes up.

If you had the misfortune to have thrown away two hours of your life watching the Columbus- Denver match, you have my sympathies. It was dreadful from beginning to end and, although both teams were missing key guys that doesn't entirely explain the awfulness.

The only item of real note is that the Crew has now won three straight games despite the absence of league MVP Guillermo Barros-Schelotto, who is more or less getting the same kind of "We're saying he's injured but really we're just giving him a break" kind of a deal that he got last year.

Meanwhile, in New England, Dwayne DeRosario hit one of the loveliest goals of the day:


The Revs matched it in the second half, aided by the fact that the Reds were playing a man down after Chad Barrett got a second caution.

DeRo's strike was particularly noteworthy in that it's the first goal TFC has ever scored in New England. (Last year's 2-1 scoreline reflected a Revs own goal).

Toronto remains 3 points clear of the Revs for fourth place in the East, but New England has three games in hand and will play four of their next five at home.

However, they'll likely play the next one sans Steve Nicol, who got a late game exit ticket from, apparently, fourth official Lee Suckle after "a difference of opinion".