In the last two weeks, Miami has gone through a coaching change, looking to change their losing ways. With Victor Pastora out as fast as he was in, The Blues looked to get back on track with bringing in coach Daryl Shore (who was an assistant at the Chicago Fire most recently) and assistant coach Pascal Bedrossian (also formerly of the Chicago Fire).
But even with the change, Miami drops yet another match, losing on the road to the Austin Aztex by a score of 3-1 to win the 4th “Battle for the Willie Nelson Guitar”, rivalry .
While the result isn’t exactly what Shore was looking for, he was somewhat pleased with their play.
“I don’t think the score was indicative of the way we played,” Miami FC Head Coach Daryl Shore said, according to the official website. “Once again we did well to keep possession, but possession doesn’t get you results.”
While Miami continues to tumble, the opposite is true for the high-flying Austin Aztex, who continue to dominate the USSF Division 2 standings. Austin came into the night with a two-point lead over the Rochester Rhinos. The win extended the lead to five points.
While Miami did play better, Austin was still the better team on the pitch creating the most of their scoring opportunities, forcing more corners, and moving the ball with ease. In fact, the only Miami goal was score due to a defensive breakdown in the Austin back line which saw a three-on-two opportunity for The Blues.
Austin’s Eddie Johnson was able to net a goal in this game, giving him nine on the season, just two shy of league leader, Portland’s Ryan Pore.
While Austin was able to secure three points, the same cannot be said for the rest of the league, as all the remaining games ended up in draws.
In Tampa Bay, things looked like it was going to get out of hand early for the slumping Rowdies, as Bright Dike scored in the 16th minute for Portland. But Aaron King was able to score his sixth goal of the season in the 27th minute to tie things up for the Rowdies.
In the second half, Tampa continued on the attack, and found their second goal from Ricardo Sanchez. And while Tampa were able to continue to outplay Portland, The Timbers were still able to get enough pressure on goal to eventually get the equalizer from Takayuki Suzuki. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, but Tampa has to be upset that they didn’t come away with three points out of this match.
In other matches, Vancouver were unable to separate themselves further from Carolina in the standings, as the Whitecaps drew against Carolina 2-2 in Cary, NC. Martin Nash scored Vancouver’s first goal from a penalty kick in only the 2nd minute. Thirteen minutes later, Phil Davies netted Vancouver’s second goal. But Carolina were able to draw up the match with two goals in the closing minutes of the first half from Mark Schulte and John Gardner.
In Friday’s final match, Montreal continues to look like a team that is far from MLS quality, as they only come away with one point in a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace Baltimore. Even down to 10 men, Montreal was able to control the ball just enough to keep the draw. Tony Donatelli opened the scoring off a PK in the 63rd minute. But Baltimore were able to come back and equalize off a Gary Brooks goal.
“Tonight, the two clubs were battling for a playoff spot so the first half was very even tactically. Both teams did not want to give up the first goal,” said Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos.
“But when you play the last 30 minutes with one less player, it makes things tougher,” added Dos Santos. “Thankfully, we were well-organized with 10 players and we were able to score the first goal. Unfortunately, we gave up another goal on a set play. This is our season. During our first 20 matches this season, we have allowed too many goals in similar situations and we have lost important points.”