Tuesday, March 20, 2012
With everything that he had accomplished throughout his career, former U.S. international Jay DeMerit still hadn’t achieved one thing in Major League Soccer. On Saturday, though, the former Chicago Fire Premier defender scored his first goal in MLS, leading the numerous former USL alumni to another standout week in North America’s top division.
DeMerit’s goal was an important one for Vancouver, giving the club its first victory since moving into the top flight last season with a 1-0 win against CD Chivas USA. Off a corner by Camilo in the 68th minute, DeMerit finished with a diving header at the far post to give his side victory. The Whitecaps’ captain, whose rise to prominence after his stay with the Fire Premier was chronicled in the movie “Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story”, ensured his side would start the season with its second consecutive victory.
Former Los Angeles Galaxy Super-20 standout David Estrada also had a memorable weekend, helping the Seattle Sounders bounce back from their elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League with a hat trick in their 3-1 victory against Toronto FC.
A rookie from UCLA, Estrada opened his account for the Sounders in the first leg of their CCL match-up with the Mexican Primera Division’s Santos Laguna last week at Century Link Field. After the trade that saw Mike Fucito and former Charleston Battery standout Lamar Neagle head to Montreal, Estrada is helping fill the scoring gap early this season.
While Estrada stole the headlines, Toronto FC’s Ryan Johnson had a strong week as well. After recording a goal and assist in the Reds’ surprise 2-1 win on the road at the Los Angeles Galaxy in the CCL, the former Cape Cod Crusader added another goal this weekend in Seattle. After bouncing around MLS for most of his career, the Jamaican may have found a home on Aron Winter’s roster.
Sporting Kansas City’s PDL ties were on show again in their 3-0 victory against the New England Revolution, with former Orange County Blue Star standout Kei Kamara, Reading United forward C.J. Sapong and IMG Bradenton Academics midfielder Graham Zusi each finding the back of the net for their second consecutive victory.
Elsewhere, former Richmond Kickers Future standout Dominic Oduro opened his account for the new season for the Chicago Fire, helping his side take a 1-1 draw against Montreal. Meanwhile, former Cleveland Internationals standout Darlington Nagbe claimed his first goal of the season, accompanied by a rousing celebration from Coach John Spencer, earning the Portland Timbers a point on the road against FC Dallas.