Has hell frozen over all of a sudden? What magic and mystery has happened down in Mexico. Last week we saw FC Dallas achieve history with the first ever MLS victory on Mexican soil against UNAM Pumas. The big question that came out of this was whether the Seattle Sounders would have that same magic against the defending champions in Monterrey.
Once again it was only one single goal that took down the defending champions at Estadio Tecnologico as the Sounders made a big attacking run in the 38th minute. It was a well linked up goal as Pat Noonan threaded the needle to Alvaro Fernandez and once he was deep inside the area, Fernandez went top shelf into the net.
All second half you saw Monterrey fighting, scratching and clawing their way to the Sounders net and no matter how many chances they had to equalize, that ball never got over the goal line. Either the shots were wide or reserve keeper Terry Boss found ways to make big saves and made that one goal lead stand.
The last chance for Monterrey to preserve a draw was in the second of four minutes of second half stoppage time. A free kick from just outside the area and when the ball was crossed a big grab by Boss who put himself into the net, but found a way to keep the entire ball outside of the goal line.
After a big victory down in Mexico by the Sounders, it was the Colorado Rapids turn to try and steal three points in Honduras as they faced Real Espana. You have to admit that in the first half, the Rapids were playing very poorly and looked lost on the field.
But while looking horrible at the start of the match, the finish at halftime was a well worked goal and once again it was the magic of Jeff Larentowicz that kept the Rapids afloat. In the first minute of first half stoppage time that magic came through as Larentowicz walked into the pass from Ross LaBauex and snuck it inside the far post.
All match long Stewart Ceus looked shaky and somehow fortunate that he was able to keep the ball out of the net against Real Espana. He made poor decisions when he attacked the ball. He missed the ball on the header in the area that nailed the crossbar in the 54th minute.
He was in good position to make a save on a shot in the 66th minute but somehow he allowed the ball to go through his legs, but with luck struck the outside of the net. You can tell that Ceus was nervous at times and it cost the Rapids a win in the 87th minute. Julio Rodriguez was able to convert on a poor clearance by Kosuke Kimura to share the points.
So while the Sounders made it two for two with road wins down in Mexico, the Rapids end the perfect streak but MLS is still undefeated in Champions League play. So far this has been a magical start to the 2011-2012 campaign.