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Islanders and Dynamo Taste Continental Success

FMF apologists will complain about the condition of the pitch tonight in Bayoman, but the bottom line is the Islanders coming off three points last week versus Tauro FC and winning the Regular Season USL-1 title are in form and looked eager to get an early goal because of the conditions. Once Puerto Rico scored that goal the game opened up despite the conditions and the Islanders dominated until about minute 60. Santos then began to really play but also in scenes reminiscent of Superliga showed the chippiness and unsporting behavior which always occurs when a Mexican side losses to an American side. Colin Clarke’s longball tactics were perfect for tonight’s muck.

In Panama, the Dynamo played a good match, the best played thus far by an MLS side in this tournament. Much like the Cuban National Team against the US who had been cooped up for much of the previous few weeks due to Tropical Storms/Hurricanes, the Dynamo showed the affects of Ike early with some rust and lack of shape. I have to assume Houston did not train for the better part of ten days. However, as the game moved on the Dynamo settled in and in the 2nd half especially after DeRo came on, Houston was the superior side. A good point on the road for Dom Kinnear’s group.


Two time reigning MLS Champion Houston Dyanmo and USL Commissioner’s Cup winner Puerto Rico are in action tonight. Houston has a substantially easier match in Panama City against San Francisco while the Islanders remarkable run of success will end tonight no doubt in Bayoman against Santos Laguna, whom I consider to be the best club side in CONCACAF region. Stay tuned here for live commentary  as the elite teams in both of our US domestic leagues do battle tonight with some of the best from the region.

9:55 PM ET: Looks likely both results will hold. Pat Onstad and Peter Villegas have been the respective MOMs.  The Santos players are being chippy and are doing a good job of baiting the Islanders. Game over, Islanders win 3-1, Dynamo draw nill nill. A good night for American sides.

9:50 PM ET: Santos has really taken over this game the last fifteen minutes. The Islanders seem to have run out of gas. In Panama, the Dyanmo are doing MLS proud tonight with an awesome display of defending and counter attacking.

9:45 PM ET: Chippy play from San Francisco. They seem desperate and Houston could nick one at the end. Holden standing over a corner, sends a good ball in which leads to a nice header which could have spilled to DeRo.

9:40 PM ET: Colin Clarke making defensive switches. It’s 11 v 10 now and he has a two goal lead. Gbandi replaces Villegas, while the Santos manager has been sent off. In Panama, the Dynamo continue to hold steady.

9:35PM ET: GOAL SANTOS followed by a fight. Typical Mexican Football where the Santos players are trying to stir it up. A Santos player hit Bill Gaudette in the eye. He has been sent off. Now the Santos players are charging the ref again. #23 on Santos sent off. (Sorry don’t know his name). DeRo and Ching on in Panama.

9:25 PM ET: Houston still keeping its shape and looking solid. Puerto Rico getting more chances and in typically Mexican fashion Santos is starting to lose their cool. San Francisco has a free kick and just missed it.

9:20 PM ET: Houston still holding its own down in Panama.

9:15 PM ET: GOAL ISLANDERS. Miranda! 3-0 Islanders.

8:55 PM ET: Against a side like Santos, maybe the best team in the region, the Islanders have to take their opportunities and while they have two goals they should have at least two more. Still 2-0 in Bayoman, and 0-0 in Panama. Halftime in both games.

8:50 PM:  Puerto Rico should have a third and maybe a fourth by now. Oswaldo Sanchez playing as usual huge between the pipes. Houston and San Francisco still scoreless.

8:46 PM ET: GOAL! Puerto Rico. It’s Delgado. 2-0.

8:45 PM ET: Peter Villegas has a breakaway but cannot settle the ball and loses control of it! Then a great save by Oswaldo Sanchez and then another clearance off the line by Santos. Colin Clarke’s boys could be up 2-0 now. Boy they will regret not finishing in that sequence.

8:40 PM ET: Bill Gaudette goes down and looks badly hurt. The trainer comes on but he shakes it off and will continue. The pitch is now water logged. They should call the game but with the USL-1 side winning let’s hope they don’t!

8:35 PM ET: AGH! Jeff Cameron just a a bit wide of the far post.

8:30 PM ET: I’m glad to see Cory Ashe get a run out tonight. He’s the type of player who can really frustrate latin sides who try and slow the game down.

8:25 PM ET: American born Edgar Castillio flubs a shot on goal. Bill Gaudette was in good position, but Castillio did have the far post open. The rain has intensified in Bayoman and Puerto Rico’s early goal now is even more critical.

8:20 PM ET: GOAL! ISLANDERS! Not sure if that was Telesford or Villegas. Can you believe that Cinderella is still dancing?

8:15 PM ET: Osei Telesford beat Oswaldo Sanchez but he was offsides.

8:10 PM ET: Jorge Dely Valdes who once scored a ton of goals for the Rapids is now playing for San Francisco in his native country. Or is that is brother Juan Dely Valdes?

8:05 PM ET: No DeRo, or Ching for the Dynamo but still a formidable lineup except for the fact that the error prone Patrick Ianni starts.

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  1. José

    September 24, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    It was not my intention, but I'm glad for the reactions to my comment. Not because I agree with them (obviously, I don't), but because they show the complexity of the subject. This is the best we can hope from this format (comments to a blog).
    The central argument in Kartik's “Final Thoughts” is based on a link between Dynamo and the Islanders that consists of them being both on the “american side”, and Santos, Tauro and Cuba being on the other side. The debate raised by my comments show the flaw in that argument. Besides that, I find Kartik's statements about football excellent.

  2. huricano

    September 24, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    But they are a USL team, and as such we should be happy that they are mentioned within the realm of US soccer (maybe we can look at it as US soccer being within the realm of PR soccer, but there is no need to be divisive). Moreover, the relationship with USL is good for soccer on the Island, which otherwise would have to base from which to grow upon when faced with the popularity of basket y volleyball.

  3. gonzalez

    September 24, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    FWIW, the Islanders qualified in representation of the Puerto Rican Football Federation (FPF in Spanish), and NOT USSoccer.

  4. huricano

    September 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Puerto Ricans have American passports, and most on the Island want it to remain that way. The mayor of Bayamón supports statehood, so do many of the supporters.

  5. Ivan

    September 24, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Kartik, thanks for the post. I appreciate your support for our young team. Gret, you are right on. Jose, you do have a point, but your closing remarks can come off as divisive. I was also at the game and in case someone didn't notice this is a club tounament, not an international one. The splash of politics seem to always come into play (no pun intended). Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and with us Puerto Ricans being U.S. citizens, the Islanders can be correctly called a U.S. based club. However, in international sports competition Puerto Rico plays as a separate nation, in the same manner that Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland play as separate nations in international play and they are no doubt all UK teams. Attempting to negate Puerto Rico's intimate relationship with the U.S. seems like a sorry rant of denial because a few may wish it were not that way. Let's celebrate their success in Concacaf play, and hope that they and other USL/MLS clubs continue to provide us with exiting quality soccer (football). Thx.

  6. Lew

    September 24, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Jose, with the number of American players playing for Islanders thyey are basically an American side. I'm sure this why Kartik classifies them as such besides the obvious fact that they play in the American based Second Division. When the Islanders went with a purely Latin model they stunk. Now with Americans and good players from the Islands they are among the best teams in the region.

  7. Gret

    September 24, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Puerto Rico Islanders are a member of the USL First Division. Yes, we cheer for Puerto Rico because the Islanders are from Puerto Rico but hey, the Island is a non-incorporated territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Don't let politics ruin this guy's happiness for Puerto Rico Islanders. Lets celebrate!!

  8. José

    September 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Kartik: I respectfully ask you to take us (Puerto Rico) out of the “American side”. I am assuming that by “american” you mean US. If not, then the mexicans are as americans as we are and your statement would not make any sense. I attended the Islanders-Santos game and I didn't hear anyone cheering for “U.S.A.”.

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