So while there is still a match to be played tonight (ESPN2 at 7:30pm MT - Philadelphia Union at Portland Timbers) and while it is doubtful that we will get the "Meow, Meow, Meow" chant from the Timbers Army, we will get them singing the national anthem with a dose of scarf popping to entertain us, there are some things we can takeaway from the first week of the MLS season.
1. It looks again like the Eastern Conference will be the weaker Conference in MLS: there were 4 matches between the East and West this weekend and the only Eastern Conference team to come away with a win was the Houston Dynamo who beat Chivas USA 1-0 in stoppage time. While it is still early in the year, very early, I have a strong feeling this is a trend that will continue
2. Stoppage time goals, there were two matches decided in stoppage time, on Saturday we saw Sporting KC's C.J. Sapong get a 93rd minute goal to give his team a 1-0 win over D.C. United. Then on Sunday was the 1-0 win by the Dynamo on Andre Hainault's 92nd minute goal. The lesson is that you have to play from whistle to whistle and never let your guard down, speaking of never letting your guard down. What are your thoughts on Thierry Henry's quick free kick that almost found the back of the net against FC Dallas on Sunday?
after the jump the other two takeaways from MLS FirstKick:
3. Changes pay off for two big names, perhaps two of the biggest moves between MLS teams this off season, other than the Brian Ching debacle between the Dynamo and the Montreal Impact were the moves by the Philadelphia Union to trade away Sebastien Le Toux to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Now I understand that personalities often clash between players and coaches but one has to wonder how things went so wrong so fast, in the two years that the Union have existed Le Toux lead the team with 25 goals and 20 assists. We saw another clash of personalities lead to the Portland Timbers sending Kenny Cooper to the New York Red Bulls, again a teams leading scorer sent packing because a player and a coach couldn't figure out how to get along.
Well one thing is clear, the fans of the Whitecaps and Red Bulls are happy with the moves after week one as both Le Toux and Cooper both were able to find the back of the net for their new teams. We know that these aren't the first players to be moved due to personality conflicts, we saw it over and over again with Jeff Cunningham, and I go back to something Jason Kreis said last year, "Strikers are a strange breed, you have to know how to deal with them" as a former striker I think he might just have some insight in how to do that.
4. Now more than ever there are no excuses not to watch MLS, between the dynamic options available with MLS Direct Kick and MLS Live, to the new partnership with NBC Sports, and even the local TV coverage here in Salt Lake City on ABC4, the quality of broadcasts has taken a huge leap forward this year, and fans should celebrate the improvements. It is a good time to be a fan of Major League Soccer.
So what was your highlight from the first weekend of the MLS season? I will say this, I hope week two can live up to everything we saw in week one, if so it will be a very fun year.
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