2010 Goal of the Year Voting Day 7: Nowak Bracket - #1 Collins John (9/4 vs. LA) vs. #4 Freddie Ljungberg (9/29 at San Jose)
Yesterday’s Result: In the second of three head-to-head matchups between Brian McBride and Marco Pappa this week, #1 McBride (10/23 at Chivas USA) defeated #4 Pappa (4/17 at DC United) to even their tournament series at 1-1. The result was ironic if only because on the day Pappa won Major League Soccer's 2010 Goal of the Year for his strike on April 10 against San Jose (still alive in the bracket), he lost for one of his lesser works -- it was still a great goal, Marco!
The result advances the final goal of the legendary American striker’s career to the Klopas bracket final where he’ll take on #3 Steven Kinney (9/29 at San Jose) next Tuesday, November 23. The first-round rubber match between McBride and Pappa will come Friday when the Guatemalan international’s #2 seeded goal on June 9 vs. Colorado goes up against #3 McBride’s header from April 17 at DC United.
Today’s Matchup: Nowak Bracket - #1 Collins John (9/4 vs. LA) vs. #4 Freddie Ljungberg (9/29 at San Jose)
#1 Collins John (9/4 vs. LA) - Who could forget the atmosphere at Toyota Park on September 4 as the Fire welcomed the league-leading LA Galaxy to town? Having to play a man down for nearly 70 minutes after Gonzalo Segares was sent off in the 21st minute, the Fire seemed to rally behind Sean Johnson’s penalty stop on Landon Donovan following the foul.
Sustaining pressure throughout the match, Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos brought on Collins John in the 82nd minute looking to steal the game late. John’s opportunity came in the 88th minute after John Thorrington was fouled just outside the area. The Dutch striker perfectly bent the ensuing free kick around the Galaxy wall and inside the opposite post, beating Donovan Rickets to give the Fire a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, the hosts had to settle for the draw as Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez headed home the equalizer from a Donovan corner kick.
#4 Freddie Ljungberg (9/29 at SJ) – Having just come off a disappointing 1-0 loss to former side Seattle Sounders FC at Toyota Park, Ljungberg had one of his most impressive performances in a Fire strip at San Jose, scoring this goal and assisting on the other two in the club’s 3-0 victory over the Earthquakes.
It all came from three touches… In transition, the Swede ran on to a square ball from Patrick Nyarko down the left. After taking a touch to settle the ball, Ljungberg’s second split two defenders and put him into the box where his third was a chip over former Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch to put the visitors ahead 2-0 in the 71st minute.
Today’s winner will take on the aforementioned goal from #3 seed Marco Pappa (6/27 at New England) in the Nowak championship match next Wednesday, November 24.