Daily Kick Around: Weekend Highs and Lows

Photo via birminghammail.net

It’s been a weekend of highs and lows in the footy world. We were shocked yesterday as we watched Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba collapse on the pitch with a heart attack, then waited for any form of news as clubs, players and fans from around the world offered their prayers and support, with the hashtag #Pray4Muamba trending on Twitter.

In better news, MLS’s newest club, Montreal Impact, scored their first goal of the season in front of a record crowd at Olympic Stadium. Chelsea’s Fernando Torres finally scored not one goal but two, and Luis Suarez is putting the past behind him and talking about a long term relationship with Liverpool. All this and more in today’s DKA!

FA Cup

Words and displays of support continue to pour in for Muamba. In today’s FA Cup action, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill removed his jersey after scoring to display a shirt with the words Pray 4 Muamba:

Cahill played with Muamba for two-and-a-half years at the Reebok and marked his goal in the FA Cup quarter-final clash with Leicester with the message which so many people are repeating across the football community and beyond.

Rules state that players should be booked for lifting their shirts after scoring goals, but referee Lee Probert showed compassion and didn’t caution Cahill.

Luis Suarez dedicated his goal that led to Liverpool’s semifinal berth to Muamba:

 I want to dedicate to Muamba the goal and the FA Cup semifinals qualification. Keep fighting buddy, don’t give up! You will make it!!

There is no further update on Muamba’s condition, though Sky Sports News tweeted that he “will stay anaesthetised for at least the next 24 hours.”

In other FA Cup news, Fernando Torres put his critics to rest for a day, ending his 26 game scoreless streak with TWO goals to lead Chelsea to a 5-2 quarterfinal victory over Leicester.

“I needed those goals. I’ve been working so hard to get them,” Torres said. “Maybe the job of a striker is to score goals and if you don’t do it people think you’re playing badly. But the support has been here and I feel the confidence of the manager (Roberto di Matteo) now. We have some important games coming.”

FOX Soccer has his drought-ender as their “Goal of the Day” and you can watch it here.

Scottish League Cup

Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup over Celtic on Sunday, but the celebration lasted mere minutes for midfielder Liam Kelly, whose father suffered a heart attack in the stands:

For those who could see events unfolding amid a cordon of police and stewards, the contrast was ghastly.

The Killie players – unaware of what had transpired – cavorted in front of their ecstatic fans while the medics administered CPR which continued for all of 20 minutes before Mr Kelly was borne off on a wheeled stretcher up the tunnel.

English Premier League

As a result of Saturday’s incident with Muamba, Bolton’s Tuesday match with Aston Villa will be postponed.

After Liverpool advanced to the semis with a 2-1 win over Stoke City, Luis Suarez declared his desire to stay with the club in spite of his eight-game ban following his racist remarks towards Patrice Evra.

“I want to stay. Despite everything that happened, I am very happy here, on and off the pitch,” Suárez told ovaciondigital.com. “Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in Europe, with a history. As a child I saw them play and loved it. And the club are happy with me and want me to stay.

“I have a contract until 2016 and already want to renew. The manager remains confident in me and that is very important, especially after being out for eight games.”

Major League Soccer

Montreal Impact scored their franchise’s first goal Saturday night in their second match of the season, against the Chicago Fire, off the head of captain Davy Arnaud:

A record crowd of 58,912 packed Olympic Stadium to cheer on the Montreal Impact in an entertaining 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday, setting a new attendance record for professional soccer in Quebec…

Impact captain Davy Arnaud wrote his name in the history books in the 56th minute as he headed a Sanna Nyassi cross into the upper right corner of Fire goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi’s net. But the lead didn’t stand as Oduro got the equalizer a quarter-hour later off a great assist from Sebastián Grazzini.

Our own Kayla Knapp heads to the Home Depot Center tonight to see her beloved L.A. Galaxy put last weekend’s ugly loss to Real Salt Lake behind them and try to win their first match of the season against D.C. United. United hasn’t won at the HDC since 2005. If you’re not following Kayla on Twitter, make sure to do so tonight! The match starts at 4pm PT / 7pm ET.

U.S. Women’s National Team

They may have crashed out in the semifinals of the Algarve Cup in a 1-0 loss to Japan (yes, again), but the U.S. Women’s National Team still holds on to the top spot in FIFA’s March 16 edition of the Women’s World Rankings:

The USA is 9-1-0 in 2012 having scored 51 goals and allowed three. Next up for the USA are matches against the Japan (April 1 in Sendai) and Brazil (April 3 in Chiba) during a tour of Japan. The Kirin Cup features three of the world’s top-four teams and will no doubt give the Japanese fans an entertaining show of the women’s game at its highest levels. 

Follow @AerysSoccer on Twitter for the latest news in EPL, FA Cup, MLS and more leagues around the world!

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