Los Angeles opened the 2011 season in front of Major League Soccer's largest-ever home crowd (36,433) with a 1-0 win over Seattle in a back-and-forth affair.
There were a lot of things to take away from the game: ESPN actually seemed to care about covering the sport in a professional and entertaining package (FSC, are you taking notes?), Adrian Healey is a definite upgrade as lead announcer, David Beckham played fairly well for his FIRST MLS season opener, pairing Taylor Twellman with Alexi Lalas is a win, it does rain all the time in Seattle, soccer shouldn't be played on turf and Fredy Montero is our early candidate for worst-haircut of the year.
It was actually a fairly scintillating game between two sides who were definitely not their strongest. Los Angeles was missing a designated player in Juan Pablo Angel (who was ill) and Seattle was missing a designated playerBlaise Nkufo (who was cut hours before the game).
Who had the goal for LA? None other than midfielder Juninho -- who just so happens to be on my fantasy team in theFull 90's fantasy league.
Consider the fantasy smack talk officially on.
That wasn't the most important game featuring an MLS team, however. Real Salt Lake took a 2-0 edge over Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. The return leg to San Jose, Costa Rica is April 5. RSL is the only American side left.
CT. The United States will face Guadeloupe and Panama takes on Canada in a doubleheader on June 14.
The fourth episode of our podcast, Stoppage Time, is now live. I'm joined by James Starritt of The Sporting Times and we discuss (as best we can) the shape of Sporting Kansas City's roster. Get it viaPosterous, RSS
The Champions League saw two more teams progress to the quarterfinals last night, withManchester United scrapping a 2-1 victory against Marseille behind the boot of Javier Hernandez
andInter Milan tipping Bayern Munich 3-2 in a great back-and-forth game.
There are two more Champions League games on the slate for today, the last of the Round of 16: Chelsea vs. Copenhagen (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) and Real Madrid vs. Olympic Lyon (2:45 p.m., Fox Sports Net and Fox Soccer+).
Just a short kickoff today, The Full 90 is headed out to training for the first time in a while this morning (we'll Tweet about it live probably). Coming up later today, Pete Grathoff's new "Beckham Experiment" (Oh my, is it interesting) and the first interview with KC's new announcer, Callum Williams.