Vancouver’s Manneh from heaven was just one more late, great MLS goal

There are worse things to be plagued by than late-match drama, but in a turn that hints at a new level of parity in Major League Soccer, Saturday’s slate provided another set of late, game-changing goals.

Our normal co-pilot Graham Parker highlighted the phenomenon before, but on Saturday the plague reached delightfully epidemic proportions. Across an exhausting nine-match day, seven goals were scored after the 75th minute, six of them changing the way points were distributed.

The most dramatic result may have been in Columbus, but thanks to a beguiling decision from referee Juan Guzman, the Crew-DC United rematch gets its own section below. Besides, the extent to which Hctor Jimnez’s late winner beats out the two late goals at BC Place is debatable. With Kekuta Manneh’s 86th-minute goal pulling back the lead Robbie Keane gave LA in the 77th, the Whitecaps were able to take a point from the visiting Galaxy, even if Bruce Arena’s side continued to impress with its new midfield diamond.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest

In Dallas (Blas Prez, 88), Salt Lake (Ned Grabovoy, 78), and Los Angeles (Obafemi Martins, 81), late goals broke prolonged standoffs, allowing the Western Conference’s best to turn one point into three.

More broadly, however, it’s worth considering whether this is part of a larger trend. In theory, if parity truly is on the rise, closer games would increase the probability of dramatic goals. If equality buy canada goose jacket online canada means teams are more likely to stay within one goal over 75 minutes, late scores have a better chance of changing outcomes, even if those goals are not necessarily more frequent.

It’s a phenomenon that would also be reflected in the standings. If play is more even, there are going to be more draws best canada goose, something we have indeed seen through the season’s first seven weeks. Less than a fifth of the way through the season, MLS’s draw rate has increased dramatically, from 22.6% in last year’s 646 games to 40.3% in 124 matches this year.

In an era where the financial divide between haves and have nots is more than a whispered concern, it’s an unexpected and potentially encouraging change. It certainly hasn’t hurt the product on the field. Still, we’re only seven weeks into the season. If the draws and late goals are pouring in come July, we can consider whether stereotyped parity of MLS is starting to manifest itself in a different form.

No place for Law 12 in Columbus

Facebook buy canada goose parka cheap Twitter Pinterest

While it may have been the most dramatic of Saturday’s goals, Hctor Jimnez’s late equalizer was also the day’s most controversial, and not because of anything related to the actual goal. From Wil Trapp’s forced turnover, to the ensuing diagonal out wide, to Jimnez’s cut on to his right foot, Columbus’s 90th-minute goal was well executed if uncontested, and it gave an Andrew Dykstra little chance to secure DC United’s third-straight win.

Instead, the controversy came 17 minutes earlier, with referee Guzman turning his back on the obvious goalscoring opportunity guidelines to leave Giancarlo Gonzlez on the field.

Gonzlez may be in his first season in MLS, but he has been capped 31 times by the Costa Rican national team and the 26-year-old defender knows the rules. He knows pulling down an opponent in that situation is going to be a red card, just as he knows, down 1-0 in the 73rd-minute, it’s probably a decent sacrifice to make. Columbus had a better chance of claiming a point down one and playing 10-on-11 than down two playing at even strength.

Thanks to Guzman’s generosity, however, Gonzlez’s choice turned out to be a false one. Inexplicably, given Fifa’s guidelines, Gonzlez was only shown yellow, even though Eddie Johnson’s position, direction, and control met all the “DOGSO” criteria:

The distance between the offense and the goalThe likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ballThe direction of the playThe location and number of defendersThe offence that denies an opponent an obvious goalscoring opportunity may be an offense that incurs a direct or an indirect free kick

The criteria are not included to explain a situation we can judge without Law 12 in hand. They are included to highlight the inanity of Guzman’s choice, an indiscretion exasperated by Jimnez’s equalizer. Losing Bernardo A?or to a dangerous play foul later in the half, the Crew were playing 10-on-11 when Jimnez scored. Playing 9-in-11? They probably don’t draw the game.

These are not the types of decisions the Professional Soccer Referees Association needs, coming off a labor dispute. If MLS and the Professional Referee Organization’s implicit contention was that PSRA was not worth what the union best canada goose jacket womens was demanding, the referees have failed to prove otherwise. Between this, Houston defender Kofie Sarkodie’s second yellow card for time wasting (during a 0-0 in Philadelphia, mind you), and Ricardo Salazar’s red card of David Horst three weeks ago, MLS’s referees are still in preseason form.

Seattle’s stars living up to their price tags