October 21, 2009
With a final score of 1-1, the Puerto Rico Islanders closed their 2009 season and the Columbus Crew advanced into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The match was merely a formality for the Islanders as they had no possibility of advancing.
More on this later….
Game highlights from ESPN Deportes: (Thanks to Megadicto from HIAPR.org)
October 20, 2009
Tonight at 8pm, the Puerto Rico Islanders will face the Columbus Crew in their last game of the year. While the Islanders are out of the CONCACF Champions League (CCL), the Crew needs at least a tie to advance to the CCL quarterfinals. Beyond playing kingmakers, the Islanders also go into this match attempting to finish the year on a positive note after a disappointing season.
In the first match between these two teams in Columbus, the Crew proved adept at shutting down the Islanders and effectively defending against the team’s usually strong set pieces. The current MLS champions will probably look to score early in the match and then play a bit more conservatively against an Islanders team that is traditionally stronger at home.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to judge what kind of team we will see on the field tonight. Sandy Gbandi is still out, Marcelin and Noel have left the team as their contracts expired, and star goalkeeper Bill Gaudette is questionable for the match. Gaudette recently injured his left shoulder during a team practice and when we spoke with him yesterday his injury was still bothering him. With only one game in the season and without being able to train at all this week, it seems more likely than not that Gaudette will have to sit out this game.
October 6, 2009
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to sit down with Alexis Rivera and ask him some questions about the Islanders’ season as well as his future prospects. The interview was conducted before the USL-1 playoffs so it doesn’t reflect those results.
You can find the audio below: (in Spanish)
Interview with Alexis Rivera
One particularly interesting part is where Rivera mentions his dismay with the lack of minutes he’s had on the team in the past couple of seasons and his desire to move to another league or team if he can’t play regularly as part of the Islanders.
October 6, 2009
We recently sat down with Islanders defender Marco Velez for a one on one interview. Velez is captain of the Puerto Rico national team and recently rejoined the Puerto Rico Islanders after spending 2 seasons with MLS club Toronto FC.
With all the team news and commitments recently we hadn’t been able to upload the interview until now. As it was conducted a few weeks ago, the interview doesn’t touch upon the most recent Islanders news and events.
You can find the audio below (in Spanish):
One on One Interview with Marco Velez
In the interview Marco talks about being back with the Islanders, the lost trust in Toronto, future plans, and a couple of things he thinks Puerto Rico needs in order to continue developing soccer effectively on the Island.
If you would like an English transcript, please let us know.
October 6, 2009
After a couple of days of reflection, it’s time for some sober thoughts on the disappointing end to the Puerto Rico Islanders’ 2009 season.
The Islanders came into the match a goal down after losing 2-1 in Montreal last Thursday. To advance to the USL-1 Finals, the Islanders needed to win by 2 goals or at least tie it with 1 goal and send it into overtime. Instead of winning, Puerto Rico lost 2-1 (4-2 aggregate) in Bayamon against Montreal to end their USL-1 season earlier than anticipated.
Colin Clarke’s men came out looking show once again their usual dominance at home, but instead found themselves 2 goals down just 2 minutes of play on Sunday. A confusing play where Islanders’ defender Henry was fouled twice led to a save by Gaudette that found its way to the feet of an Impact player who managed to make it 1-0 in the opening minutes. The second shot was so awkward and strange that Scott Jones couldn’t manage to properly deflect it out as the team took an unexpected early hit.
While the fouls that took Henry down should have been called, thus preventing the confusion that in part led to the goal – the Islanders still had 88 minutes to mount a come back. Yet the same team that defeated Rochester 4-1 during the quarterfinals couldn’t manage a single goal against Montreal until the last few minutes of play; and then only via a penalty shot.
October 4, 2009
With a finals score of 2-1 and an aggregate score of 4-2, the Montreal Impact eliminated the Puerto Rico Islanders from the USL-1 playoffs and a return to the Finals. Montreal scored in the 2nd minute of play and managed to slow down the tempo of the match and shut down the Islanders as they attempted to score again and again.
With hopes as high as they have ever been, there’s no other way to describe this seasons but as a complete disappointment.
October 1, 2009
Just like they did in Rochester, the Islanders went down 2-0 early in Montreal until finally they were able to get one back and make it 2-1 as they head to the second leg of this semifinal series on Sunday in Bayamon.
The Islanders will need to win by 2 or more goals in order to advance to the USL-1 finals.
More on this later…
October 1, 2009
In a rematch of the 2007 USL-1 quartefinals, the Puerto Rico Islanders will face the Montreal Impact in this year’s playoffs – only this time around, the victor will earn a ticket to the USL-1 Finals.
Montreal has historically been one of the best teams in the USL-1, yet this season has been one of ups and downs for the Canadian club. The Impact began the season losing 7 of its first 8 matches, and later on had to deal with a mid season coach change and intra team fighting between players. Nevertheless, the Impact turned things around at the end of the season and first managed to get into the playoffs, and last week they pulled off an upset against a higher seeded Charleston Battery.
While Montreal has had this week to rest for their semifinal encounter, the Islanders had to get on a plane the day after they defeated Rochester 4-1 in Bayamon. Colin Clarke’s men had to travel on Monday to Mexico City for their Tuesday match against Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL). After that match, the got on a plane on Wednesday to travel to Montreal in order to play against the Impact tonight. With slim chances of advancing in the CCL – Clarke left some of his team in Puerto Rico in order to have them rested for tonight. Gaudette, Steele, Henry, Addlery, and Velez did not travel to Mexico and instead went straight to Montreal.