Monday Morning Thoughts

Monday Morning Thoughts

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 20, 2007

A wild weekend of action around the league. We all should have known with Thursday nights’ action in Colorado would be  good indicator of exactly how messed up this weekend was going to be. Loads of great action around the MLS. Not one game disappointed in the action. Attendance was great (except for you Kansas City, more on that later).

Saturday saw some spirited games, while Sunday was two great clashes between western powers and eastern contenders.

Chivas USA 2 – 0 Toronto FC

The scoreless streak for the Reds continues after this game. It was 0-0 at half and there was reason to believe that Toronto could walk away with at least a point. Not the case as the second half rolled around and the Goats silenced the 20,000+ on hand at BMO Field.

Maykel Galindo continues his stellar season with the game winning goal in the 57th minute. I think you could hear a pin drop after that goal in the stadium by the lake. For the most part I thought it was a fairly even game in terms of shots and fouls. Toronto had their chances and even pushed on in the second half with subs like Jeff Cunningham and Danny Dichio who are both back from injury.

Amazing thought though, every Toronto goal this season has had midfielder Ronnie O’Brien on the field. Wow. ROB hasn’t played during most of this drought and it is a good reason to think that it could continue further on and become a league record.

Chivas inches up the western charts with the win. Only six points behind Dallas and seven behind Houston but the Goats do have three games on hand with Dallas and four with Houston. Six of their next eight are at home as well. So far Chivas is the league’s best home club this season, giving up only two goals at the Toolbox in Carson. (however a slight note that they do play a home and away with LA during that stretch)

Toronto’s playoff dreams continue to fade with every minute that they are scoreless and every game right now. Four out of their next six are at home so some points and goals could be on the way, though the competition is very tough with DC, Columbus and New York all coming north to BMO Field. Out of the remaining games for the Reds, there are only a couple clear games that could be wins (Salt Lake at home and Colorado on the road).

DC United 2 – 0 Columbus

Great crowd on hand in Columbus for this one. DC nets two in the winner, Luciano Emilio nets his league leading 14th in the win, while fellow Brazilian Fred scores the game winner.

Very even looking game on paper and on the field at times. Columbus had some good chances but were unlucky. Their current pace is not looking good for their playoff chances. One win and a draw in their last five matches. With ten games left the Crew have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs with trips on tap to Houston, KC and ending the season with back-to-back trips to New England and DC. They need to pick up points in bunches soon or else a club like Chicago could very well catch them.

DC is looking fine in their current form however. They move closer to first place with the win, now six points back of the Revs but three games in hand. After a mid-week game with New York this week they have a three game road trip that could make or break their chances of winning the eastern race this season, not to mention the two games with Chivas of Mexico coming up in the Copa Sudamericana. A lot of games left for the United could be tough.

LA Galaxy 4 – 5 New York Red Bulls

Biggest crowd on hand for a MLS game in league history in New York and boy did it not disappoint. Beckham plays the full 90+ and also gains his first two assist of his MLS career. Lots of action from end to end, very little defense.

Fun game to watch though, nine goals are a rear thing in soccer as it is so getting to view them all in a single game is something to talk about. Joe Cannon made some big saves and also missed out on some big saves, should have very well had both of Angel’s goals.

Jozy Altidore continues to up his stock with two great goals in the run of play. This kid does not look like a kid out there on the ball. He has shown a lot of class and maturity over this season. I think playing with a class act like Angel has really done wonders for the kid.

New York keeps their current pace up for the playoffs with the win. They definitely have their work cut out for them coming up with four out of the next five on the road. Ouch. None of the sites are easy either with the trips going to DC, New England, Chicago and Chivas. Those four games will make or break the Red Bull’s playoffs chances I think, not as far as getting into the playoffs but succeeding in them.

LA still is sinking up the joint on the schedule. No wins in as many of games as of late. We all know what is left for them as well, though up coming games with Chivas (at home and away), Colorado (road and home) and RSL (at home), you should see the Galaxy finally get some points against three clubs that they traditionally do well against.

Chicago Fire 2 – 0 Real Salt Lake

Not a lot to say about this one since I didn’t watch any of it. Salt Lake looked to have their chances but were unable to get anything out of it. Blanco is showing his value more and more for the Fire. As much as I thought he would be a headache, the more I realize that he is not (for now at least). The Fire are now three points out of the playoff picture with games in hand.

Though stretch coming up for the Fire though, four out of the next six on the road in tough places like Dallas. They spend a lot of time on the road to close the season, but since Blanco arrived the Fire haven’t drop any points and are on a three game streak.

RSL…well not much to say about this club anymore. Its not even worth the time to break down their schedule anymore.

FC Dallas 0 – 1 Houston Dynamo

Very good back and forth action in this western conference showdown. Houston gets the much needed points after losing two straight to bottom barrel clubs like RSL and Colorado. Robertson Stadium continues to be a hell-whole for Dallas as they are still winless there.

Houston regains the lead in the west by a point but are slowly running out of games to win the west with. Brian Ching scores his seventh of the season in a nice run of play goal. Nothing Dallas could have done about that goal really, it wasn’t a matter of marker or anything, believe me, as a former defender those kind of cross are the toughest to defend.

Fairly physical match, four yellow cards but a lot of fouls. You can tell a lot about Dallas without a player like Juan Carlos Toja in the midfield. Sometimes they are lacking that creativity in the midfield that Toja brings to the table. Houston looked strong in the midfield, controlling the game at times.

As for Dallas, I think this was a game that they at least needed a draw out of for the long run. The points do matter at this point but dropping a game won’t hurt right now as much as it will in the playoffs. They still have a game at hand with Houston and will get some time off now to heal some injuries. No game until the 1st of September now with DC coming to Frisco. Six of their final nine games are at home, so Dallas still has a wonderful chance at not only winning the western conference but possibly and more importantly winning the Supporter’s Shield.

Houston still is in great contention to do the same though. Eight games left and their schedule will slow down soon enough in September, a month that most clubs have a lot of games. Four out of the final five are on the road for Houston but they should be able to get plenty of points in the process with two games with RSL on tap, as well as LA and KC.

New England 1 – 0 Kansas City

Good win for the Revs yesterday. A real much needed win after blowing a game in Colorado on Thursday night. Taylor Twellman gets his 10th of the season and he could be looking for another 15 goal season with the remaining games. I thought New England handled this game with a lot of class. Outshooting the Wizards 11-6 (4-1 shots on goal), I never felt the KC was really in this game offensively.

The debut of Eloy Colombano went alright I suppose. Nothing special to speak of really in this one from him. Eddie Johnson was a mere ghost out there at times. Games like this speak volumes as to why he shouldn’t even really be a MVP candidate this season.

The biggest disappointment for me this weekend was the attendance for this game. Not even 10,000 for it really down a great weekend of attendance across the league. What should have been a great eastern conference match turned out to not be the case. The Wizards played like their crowd, not even half-assed. I know the marketing and the stadium are issues in KC but games like this speak horribly about the Wizards in regards to the rest of the league I think. Its almost like no one cares about the club, even the owners.

KC is still in reaching distance of New England but are looking more and more like they won’t be able to catch them. Six of their final ten are on the road as well. The Wizards can still make the playoffs but with clubs surging like Chicago they better watch out. They must pick up points in a hurry I think, but that may not happen like Wizard fans hope for.

New England still sits pretty to win the east this season and possibly the Supporter’s Shield. They are running out of games like Houston with only eight left. Four at home and four on the road really brings a balance to the Rev’s remaining schedule I think. Plenty of chances in the final eight to get wins as well. They very well may have the best shot at winning the Supporter’s Shield this season.