Mar 31, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT
Which the real, true-life version, and which is the duplicitious imitation? Was it the rather meek version we watched over four rounds in MLS, or the higher-quality version seen in last night’s dominant 2-0 win over previously perfect Montreal.
Perhaps a lot depends on which version of Benny Feilhaber shows up for coach Peter Vermes and Co. Last night, the newly arrived U.S. international was quite influential in Sporting’s midfield – quite unlike his first performances for the bunch from Sporting Park. Feilhaber registered assists on both SKC goals, an early strike from new striker Claudio Bieler and also on Graham Zusi’s late goal.
Feilhaber’s second assist was a precision pass into space for Zusi, the kind he can deliver like so few, but just doesn’t with enough regularity. The former New England man says he’s feeling more comfortable in Sporting’s system … so we’ll see.
Bieler, by the way, really should have had two or three goals. His fifth-minute goal did snap SKC’s 197-minute scoreless streak.
That Zusi and center back Matt Besler could both start and contribute was an achievement in itself, and perhaps an inspirational one for a team still straining to get out of low gear. Both players had started in the U.S. national team’s most recent pair of World Cup qualifiers, assisting in the effort to collect four enormous points in Denver and four nights later in Mexico City.
Underrated right back Chance Myers also returned to the SKC starting lineup following a short injury absence.
Highlights of Saturday’s breakthrough for the home team:
- Spanish Super Cup: Late goal allows Atlético to claim first leg draw at Real Madrid 0
- UEFA Champions League Roundup: Arsenal held; Athletic takes 1-1 draw out of Naples 1
- PST Major League Soccer Player of the Week: Fabián Castillo 0
- Liverpool, Barca target could become youngest capped in Norway history 2
- Americans Abroad Wrap: US teenagers go distance for Fulham, Utrecht 0
- Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating the Premier League’s return (and a Mickey Rourke encounter) 3