Watch Barcelona Ping Nine Passes in Nine Seconds Against Malaga

This never would have happened if US defender Oguchi Onyewu had been in the game for Malaga.*

But the big man from Bethesda, MD, was stuck on the bench, and could only watch as Barcelona toyed with his team in one brilliant sequence en route to a 3-1 win in La Liga on Sunday.

Take a look:

It’s worth noting that this is not a bottom-of-the-table side that Barcelona made to look like stationary orange cones; Malaga is in fifth place in La Liga with a 9-6-4 record and a shot at a Europa League berth.

* It still would have happened.

Peru’s U-20 Keeper: He’s a Little Unorthodox, But He Gets the Job Done

FC Dallas recently signed Peru’s top goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez, and they can only hope he’s a little less helter-skelter than one of his apprentices in the Peruvian national team set-up, U-20 netminder Angelo Campos.

Young Campos is currently backstopping la Blanquirroja in the CONMEBOL Youth Championship—aka qualification for next summer’s U-20 World Cup—and yesterday against Uruguay, he had himself quite the goalkeeping adventure. Take a look:

That was some rollercoaster. Let’s break it down.

Up: He aggressively comes off his line to deal with a ball over the top by Uruguay. That was good … in theory. You like a proactive goalkeeper.

Down: Whoa! Badly misjudged that ball, and the striker’s around him. That was bad. And now the striker shoots….

Up: That’s some hustle! Campos sprints all the way back, dives, and—yes! Stops the ball before it crosses the line. Wow.

Down: The momentum from his heroic sprint-and-lunge has sent him sliding all the way into the back of the net … and here comes the striker—empty net, ball on the goal line! Oh no!

Up: Holy recovery! What agility. Catlike, Campos regains his feet and beats the striker to the ball.

Down: Whoops, looks like he fouled the striker with that double leg sweep! (See step one: aggressive is good, reckless bad.)

Up!: The ref does not call the apparent foul. He was probably too impressed, like the rest of us, with Campos’s never-say-die effort on the play. So it’s no goal, no penalty, a sensational double save by the young Peruvian, and cardiac unrest for his coach.


We’re Back: And We Got Off Easy from Hurricane Sandy

Many, many people in the Tri-State Area dismissed the dire forecasts about Hurricane Sandy as just so much hype, or gambled that the storm’s course would spare them.

They won’t be doing that again.

Sandy delivered everything the cable-news weathermen said it would, and more—including this incredible explosion at a Con Edison power plant on East 14th Street in Manhattan:

That little conflagration helped knock out power in most of Manhattan below 36th Street (get your South of Power—or SoPa—T-shirts here; proceeds go to Sandy relief), and the storm wreaked all sorts of other damage in the five boroughs, most seriously in Staten Island, and low-lying areas like Breezy Point, Queens, where a hurricane-induced fire burned some 80 homes to the ground.

The subways were out of service (and largely flooded, even Uptown) all week, and gas and water shortages cropped up in the days following the storm.

And New Jersey had it even worse.

Not good times.

We had some massive trees come down in our neighborhood but few other problems. Schools and our office were shut down for a week, but we never lost power at home and we don’t keep a car in the city so we didn’t have to deal with the 15-block-long gas lines in our area this past week.

All in all, we experienced nothing like our friends and colleagues in Lower Manhattan and New Jersey.

If you want to help them but don’t live in the area (or even if you do), why not go here and buy one of these:

All proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief via the American Red Cross. Go ahead and make a few clicks to order one—you get a cool shirt and do a good deed; it’s a win-win.

We’ll be back with the soccer stuff shortly.

Watching this Interview May Cause Dust Levels to Rise in Your Immediate Vicinity

New DC United striker Charlie Davies spoke to regional Washington network CSN following his sensational MLS debut on Saturday:

Davies entered the game in the 52nd minute and scored two goals to lead the Black-and-Red to a 3-1 win over Columbus in their home opener at RFK.

For a full recap of Major League Soccer’s opening weekend, check out our column over at the MLS site.

Work Stoppage Averted as Players Union, MLS Agree on New CBA

Two days before the players’ strike deadline, and five days before the Major League Soccer season opener, MLS management and players agreed to a new, five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The new pact comes after marathon negotiation sessions on Thursday and Friday, and was announced this afternoon.

Chief among the players’ issues was the lack of free agency in MLS, and though they weren’t granted that outright, there will now be a new ‘Re-Entry Draft’ for players out of contract at the end of a season.

Most details of the new agreement are still to come, but it was also reported that players would receive a marked increase in compensation, as well as a limited number of guaranteed contracts.

The 2010 season will begin on schedule, with next Thursday’s clash in Seattle between the expansion Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC (ESPN2, 9:30 EST).