Lots of catching up to do.
USA 3:2 El Salvador (22 February)
I managed to tune in to one match in the 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, this quarterfinal match. It was odd to watch what looked like a high-school game (albeit highly-skilled) played in a mostly empty stadium in Jamaica. It got to a rocking start with each side scoring within the first 10 minutes. Then it slowed down until the 95th minute when Mario Rodriguez put the USA up 2-1. Another goal by Marc Pelosi in the 112th minute seemed to seal the deal for the USA. Then it got weird. Three players (2 USA, 1 El Salvador) got sent off in the final minutes and El Salvador capitalized on a penalty kick, but the USA held on for the win. I didn’t watch any of the rest of the tournament but the USA U17 team won the semifinal versus Jamaica 2-0 and the championship versus Canada 3-0.
Ajax 2:0 Anderlecht (24 February)
The Europa League duel of the Low Country capitals continued with another easy win for Ajax who won 5-0 on aggregate. This competition is derided for being meaningless but the fans at Amsterdam ArenA were having a great time. Ajax advanced to the Round of 16 versus Spartak Moscow where alas they would lose 0-4.
Everton 2:0 Sunderland (26 February)
Everton continued a successful spell with an easy victory over Sunderland.
Mallorca 0:3 Barcelona (26 February)
Despite missing some key players, Barcelona won another easy game on the road with goals by Messi, Villa, and Pedro.
PSV 0:0 Ajax (27 February)
The Amsterdam side had a chance to gain ground in the Eredivisie but failed to do so in this dull, scoreless tie.
Manchester City 1:1 Fulham (27 February)
There was a soap opera plot regarding former City/current Fulham manager Mark Hughes, but the drama was pretty apparent on the field in this tense match. Damien Duff earned a point for Fulham with his late first half equalizer.
Everton 0:1 Reading (1 March)
After the high of defeating Chelsea in the the FA Cup replay and some good wins in league play, Everton’s anemic attack and loss at home to Championship side Reading was a huge disappointment. Now Everton doesn’t have much to play for the rest of this season, except to avoid relegation.
Ajax 4:0 AZ Alkmaar (6 March)
Willem II Tilburg 1:3 Ajax (13 March)
L.A. Galaxy 1:1 New England Revolution (20 March)
The Revs kicked off their 2011 MLS season in an uncharacteristically wet and windy Southern California against the defending Supporters Shield champion LA Galaxy. Shalrie Joseph put the Revs on the board in the first three minutes and then the Revs mostly defended against a relentless Galaxy attack. New England also benefited from the referees calling back three goals on LA, but the refs called it right on at least two of them. A nice scrappy point well-earned against one of the top teams in the MLS.