NY Minute: WNY Flash Win WPS Championship, Red Bull Updates, George John Returns To FCD, Drogba Knocked Out and More

Welcome back, Hurricane survivors!

We start this weeks New York Minute in championship style. The Western New York Flash took the WPS title with a thrilling penalty kick victory over the Philadelphia Independence, 5-4. Canadian international and game MVP Christine Sinclair beat Independence keeper Nicole Barnhart in the 64th minute, earning New York the lead. It seemed that the Flash would be well on their way to a title, but a fiesty Philadelphia side fought back. The Independence Amy Rodriguez tied the score in the 87th, forcing the game into extra time.

The sides would play two scoreless periods before the game went into penalties. There, all five Flash players managed to sink their attempts on goal. It wasn’t until Laura del Rio stepped up to the box for the Independence that Flash Goalkeeper of the Year Ashlyn Harris batted away her attempt, delivering Western New York their first WPS title.

Congrats are in order for the Western New York side, as they become the first professional soccer side to win a championship in this area since the New York Cosmos.

Check out some of the other headlines on this Hurricane Irene edition of the N.Y. Minute:

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RED BULLS HOPING TIME OFF WILL HEAL TEAMS WOUNDS

The New York Red Bulls begin their playoff journey after an unexpected, but welcomed week off. With less than two weeks until their next fixture, Coach Hans Backe is hoping that the added rest will allow players like Luke Rodgers, Jan Gunnar Solli and Frank Rost to heal for the coming postseason push.

Barring earthquakes, hurricane’s and tornado’s, their playoff journey will begin next Saturday at Red Bull Arena against a lowly Vancouver Whitecaps side. Though the Whitecaps managed to sneak a win at home this weekend against the Houston Dynamo, they are still amongst the weakest sides in the league. A win could provide the momentum New York seeks as they close their season. Still, a Whitecaps win should be expected; the real challenge will begin when they face F.C. Dallas on the road the following week.

While the Red Bulls regroup, Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo will join Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. National Team for their weekend showdown against Costa Rica in Los Angeles. Both players are expected to earn heavy minutes as Klinsmann continues to cultivate American youth into the National system.

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GEORGE JOHN DEAL WITH BLACKBURN FALLS THROUGH; BACK WITH F.C. DALLAS

F.C. Dallas President Doug Quinn released a statement on the teams website confirming the return of defender George John.

“Despite mutual interest, Blackburn Rovers and George John have decided not to enter into a contract,” FC Dallas President and CEO Doug Quinn said. “Blackburn had significant interest in acquiring George; however, for the time being, they decided not to finalize the deal. We are excited to have a player of George’s caliber back at FC Dallas.”

Though a disappointing conclusion for George John, his return will be a welcome addition for F.C. Dallas as they continue an impressive run towards the postseason.

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DIDIER DROGBA SUFFERS CONCUSSION AFTER HORRIFIC COLLISION

Star Chelsea forward Didier Drogba collided with Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy in a horrific and frightening scene. Drogba challenged a ball going into the opposition’s box with his head, while Ruddy looked to punch the threat away. The outcome was something straight out of Street Fighter, as Ruddy nailed the Ivory Coast striker with a double fisted uppercut that dropped Drogba like a paperweight.

Drogba laid unconscious for several minutes and had to be stretchered out of the arena. He is said to have suffered a concussion, though the severity is still unknown.

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JEFF CUNNINGHAM: MLS ALL TIME LEADING GOAL SCORER

It came under inauspicious circumstances, but he will take it. Laboring through a knee injury, Jeff Cunningham was called to the penalty spot in the midst of a 4-0 route to the Seattle Sounders. Andres Mendoza, the Crews usual penalty taker, was subbed out of the game, opening an opportunity for Cunningham to make history.

The Montego Bay native faced down American goalkeeping legend Kasey Keller and managed to get the best of his foe, sinking his 134th goal into the back of the net and becoming Major League Soccer’s all time goal scoring leader.

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LOCAL QUEENS KIDS USE SOCCER TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY

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SEEING RED! w/ DANE RICHARDS

This week, Mark Fishkin and I rewind the New England Revolution / Red Bulls match, talk about the upcoming time off, and interview one of the Red Bulls few bright spots this season, Dane Richards! Check out what the player has to say about the current state of the team, and his own personal growth right here:

Click for the interview!


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