So I thought I would put together some thoughts about this weekends MLS action since I don't have a Real Salt Lake match to write about.
Friday night - Columbus 2-0 over FC Dallas - I wasn't impressed by either side in this match, Columbus got the result at home which is what they should have done considering they had a man advantage for almost 60 minutes. FC Dallas lacks a finisher and while they played OK on the road they were unable to find the back of the net, just one goal in their first 3 matches. One has to believe they are missing Atiba Harris and Jeff Cunningham more than they thought they would. Columbus is still trying to figure things out, and they got the winner from the PK spot and they had less than 1/3 of their shots actually on goal (17 shots, 5 on goal). I thought Mendoza was going to be a star for them, but so far he hasn't delivered. The biggest issue for the Crew is the question of who will be creative playmaker in the middle for them, Ekpo hasn't looked like that guy and I am not sure Dilly Duka is either.
Saturday - Chivas USA 1-1 draw at Toronto FC - I only caught a bit of this match but one has to wonder what will happen in Toronto with Dwayne De Rosario being gone, clearly they will be lacking the scoring punch that he brought but if they are working on their rebuilding project then it was a good move. For Chivas USA getting their first point on the road in one of the toughest places to play in Major League Soccer is a good sign but there is still going to be a lot of work for this team as they look to adjust their style of play to match that of their new head coach Robin Fraser. I have a feeling both of these teams will struggle this year but they will likely continue to get better as their rebuilding continues.
more after the jump:
Saturday - Vancouver Whitecaps come back for a 3-3 draw with Sporting KC - If you only watched the first 70 minutes of this match you would simply be shocked by the final score as Sporting KC looked very good for a team that has to start with 10 straight road matches, but if you simply saw the stoppage time you know better. A pair of goals by Teal Bunbury (who got boo'ed all day), the 3rd for Sporting was from Kei Kamara and it looked like the match was over, but then there is former RSL'er Atiba Harris who simply refuses to quit and he got a 73rd minute goal that seemed to wake the Whitecaps and their fans back up. Then in stoppage time it was Camilo who found the back of the net twice in extra time that send the Vancouver fans through the roof as their team came back for a huge 3-3 draw. The Whitecaps might be a team that is really good late at home but they need to find out how to play that well for 90 minutes.
Saturday - Houston Dynamo hold on for a 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls - Well when NYRB announced that they had signed De Ro yesterday, a lot of people wanted to just hand them the MLS Cup, but the reality was a bit different on the pitch today. The first half saw both teams battle hard, but I actually think Houston was the better team, while it was clear that the more talented players were wearing the Red Bull kits. The second half kicked off with De Ro making his debut, and his first touch found a wide open Dane Richards who converted the goal and gave New York the 1-0 lead but before they could finish patting themselves on the back it was Cam Weaver who chipped the ball over Bouna to tie the match up. The final 15 minutes saw the Red Bulls show what their attack can do, but on the other side it was Tally Hall who was the man who was the star of the end of this match as he made some huge saves to earn his team the 1-1 draw.
Haven't watched this match yet, I will post info later.
Time to go watch some more matches.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 over the Philadelphia Union - Well I have to be honest LA was the better team but this match was simply ugly. The only goal came on a great freekick by David Beckham that Leonardo headed into the goal in a very convincing manner. LA still didn't look like the team you expect to see after the form they were in last year, they seem to have lost a lot of their ability to connect coming from the midfield working forward, perhaps some is the different styles with Juan Pablo Angel and others up top instead of Edson Buddle, only time will tell.
The Union made a mistake in the offseason, that mistake is Carlos Ruiz, and yes he is a pesk and yes he can do some things but watching the match last night it appeared that they played as if he was their only offensive option. So that leaves me to wonder what has happened to the guy who in my book was the real MVP of the league last year, where is Sebastien Le Toux? Where is the guy who had 14 goals and 11 assists last year? Cause I sure didn't see him with the ball much last night. Instead it was all about get it to Ruiz, let him flop around, fall down and cause issues on and off the ball, which is great it caused the official to issue 10 cards including a 53rd minute red card to Chris Birchall for a confrontation with Ruiz, but a loss is still a loss.
Saturday - Seattle Sounders 2-2 draw at San Jose Earthquakes - Well it was as expected the most exciting match of the weekend for me with a ton of back and forth action and some great chances by both sides, it is a shame that the official in this one missed some huge calls that could have changed the outcome of the match. I would have to say that a draw was a fair result for both sides, Seattle looked like the better team as far as rhythm and finishing, while I was impressed with the paces and determination shown by the Quakes. It was a bit surprising how well the Sounders offense flowed considering that Fredy was back home recovering from surgery on his wrist, if they can maintain this type of play when he is back, we might get a chance to see the Sounders play up to the expectations that many had for them in the preseason. San Jose proved that picking up Simon Dawkins on loan was a very smart move as he adds some much needed depth to their offensive attack.
Sunday - Colorado Rapids 1-0 over DC United at the half - Well the fans may not have shown up at Dick's but the teams sure have, it was an entertaining first half as both teams played a fairly even half with the lone goal coming from Caled Forlan who looks like he will add real depth to the Colorado attack up top. I think DC United played a solid half with the exception of the defensive lapse that gave up the goal, I don't see Charlie Davies on the 18 man roster for the match, and I didn't see him on the injured list either. Perhaps they will bring in Andy Najar for an offensive spark, but Blake Brettschneider hos looked good for a rookie in less than perfect conditions.
Second Half - Well the meltdown didn't start until DC tied the match on a great goal from Santino Quaranta, but from then on it was all Colorado who added a goal from Jamie Smith, another by Caleb Forlan, and the icing on the cake by Omar "mittens" Cummings for the 4-1 win. This all is leading towards a very interesting matchup in just 10 days as the Colorado Rapids will head to Rio Tinto for a faceoff with Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup.
OFF MY SOAPBOX