Monday Morning Free Kick

Monday Morning Free Kick

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 10, 2007

A good weekend of soccer in the MLS over the weekend. This is the usual WVH weekend recap, for now I am trying out some new names to it to try and make it sound more appealing. If you have any good suggestions for a name for it, feel free to send it in to my email listed to the right or make a comment below.

Anyways, six games over the weekend yielded plenty of results.

Chicago Fire 1 – 0 Columbus Crew

Thanks to the win here and a Colorado loss the Fire are now in the eighth and final playoff spot for the time being. Good win on the road for the Fire, who had to battle not just the Crew but the elements. Nasty rain pounded the field and even caused a delay in the game itself.

Pablo Wanchope scores the game winner and I think we are finally seeing his worth and reason to why the Fire went out and signed him. The Fire not only move ahead in the playoff race but they still have a very important game in hand against Columbus and Colorado.

As for the Crew, they saw their winless streak extended to six games with the loss, and have four of their final six games against from home. Guillermo Barros Schelotto gave Columbus a few chances early but in the end was outdone by Chicago’s Blanco. Schelotto had to leave the game real early after a bad challenge with Blanco.
We knew this would be a midfield battle between these two clubs and it totally was. Lots of time spent in the middle of the pitch in this one, even more so after the rain delay soaked the field.

Chicago still has a game in hand and is hoping to move up the playoff ladder as they host New York this weekend. Columbus will try to regroup on the road in Kansas City. If you are like me, the time is really starting to tick away for the Crew this season in their hopes of making the playoffs.

Toronto FC 0 – 2 FC Dallas

A pair of PKs help Dallas avenge a mid-summer beating against Toronto FC on Saturday. Denilson picks up his first career MLS goal in the Hoops win, Abe Thompson put home the other PK.

Fairly even match between the two clubs in front of a nice crowd at PHP. I couldn’t make it to this game but was able to watch a majority of it at home online. Weird having no audio of the announcers from the CBC in Canada, I think their mics came back on in the 85th minute of the match. By then the game was well over.

For Toronto, their scoreless streak continues to add up. They really had some chances to get one in this game and really never gave up on it. In a way I kind of feel bad for the Reds in this streak but when injuries pile up like they have for them, you can easily see why the offense has taken a beating. No Dichio, Cunningham, O’Brien and the recent release of Andy Welsh has caused this team to really look for young kids to try and score for them.

Dallas looked alright, but weren’t able to get any goals in the run of play, despite having plenty of solid chances to. No Carlos Ruiz in this one, who sat out with a sore hamstring. In a way I was happy to see Steve Morrow sit Ruiz and rest him up for the final seven games. Dallas needs a healthy and fit Ruiz in order to make a good run in the post season here. Dallas was also missing defender Clarence Goodson, who was out with a concussion after the Hoops US Open Cup win in Seattle last Wednesday.

Still a very midfield controlled game between the two sides. Dario Sala only had to make two saves for Dallas but the last one was a bit time effort that should help Hoops fans feel that he is fit again and healthy enough to lead the Hoops in the final seven games and the post season.

Dallas moves on to travel to New England for a big time clash on Saturday, while Toronto brings its offensive drought to BMO Field to face Real Salt Lake.

Real Salt Lake 3 – 4 Houston Dynamo

If you had told me there would be seven goals in this game I would have laughed at you…a lot. Seriously though, very offensive game between these two western conference clubs. Houston pulled away with a hat trick from Nate Jaqua (I bet LA is missing him with every goal) but RSL hung in there and made it a game in the late stages.

RSL is proving that they won’t take the rest of the season lying down. I really enjoyed the effort that they put out even though they were down for the majority of the game. Fabian Espindola (right) is really showing why RSL signed him and two other Argentines a few weeks back, he looked really good in this one.

I have to say, even with a 4-1 lead in the second half, Houston sort of gave up on the game and coasted until the final second. RSL plucked away at the lead and really made Houston battle more for every ball after they had, in a way thought that they game was well over. I’ve said before, RSL is a dangerous team to face because of where they are in the standings. Houston cannot allow things like that to happen for the remaining part of the season or their chances at a repeat are going to go down fast.

Next up for RSL is a midweek game in DC with United and for Houston a Sunday clash in LA with the Galaxy. Hard to believe only five games left for the Dynamo.
Colorado Rapids 1 – 3 LA Galaxy

Hey a Galaxy win! First league win since I believe early July. A must needed win indeed for the Galaxy, but please don’t think that the playoff chances are still there for them at this point in the season. Still a lot of work left to do for that to be the case.

Anyways, a good effort by the Galaxy in this one. Alan Gordon, Edson Buddle and Kyle Martino each netted goals in the second half to push the Galaxy to 17 points on the season with 10 games to go. It wasn’t really until the second half when the Galaxy came alive and started finding some offense to win this game, in a way it was a tale of two halves for the clubs.
Colorado came into the match tied for the eighth and final playoff spot with the Crew and then fell to being tied for ninth with the Crew. To add injury to insult, keeper Bouna Coundoul left the game with a abdominal muscle injury that had occurred as Gordon scored his goal. Veteran keeper Zack Thornton entered the game but was unable to help the Rapids out by giving up the final two goals.

For the first time in a couple months the Galaxy have a result to build on as they move to their next match on Thursday night with Chivas. A win against the Goats would be huge at this point I think. Colorado on the other hand must regroup as they host Chivas on Sunday.

New England 2 – 4 DC United

I can’t say I am at all surprised by this result here between these two clubs. DC entered the match riding high thanks to a nice seven game stretch of no losses and left with yet another three points. The Revs were able to poke their heads in front at the half but United came back thanks the foot (and head) of Luciano Emilio’s two goals to give the 4-2 result.

United were coming into the game just three days removed from a 2-2 draw at Chivas, with a cross-country road trip in between. The Revolution hadn’t played a league match in two weeks, but were winners of two in a row and five of their last seven. This game had all the build up and delivered great results.

Jamie Moreno finally got a goal in the run of play for the first time in a long while, all of his goals this season had been from the PK spot. Nice to see goal 110 from somewhere else really. I have to say too that Fred continues to impress me for United, his goal was a nice start to the game that saw a lot of action in the middle of the park.

Luciano Emilio continues to prove that 20 goals in a season is very doable with his 17th and 18th of the season. Six games remaining and two goals should be somewhere in there to get 20. I know he won’t break the all-time single season record this year but he will put a good fight up for it at the pace he is at. I really don’t think we have seen a season like this from one player in a while. Sure Jeff Cunningham had a nice season last year for RSL but I think this one for Emilio is twice as nice. He is at leas leading his club into the playoffs and possibly, more importantly a Supporter’s Shield trophy.

DC will remain at home this week as they host RSL on Wednesday night. New England will return home to face FC Dallas on Saturday.

New York Red Bulls 0 – 3 Chivas USA

The Goats continue their home dominance as they down New York 3-0 thanks to a pair of Maykel Galindo goals. I am starting to think that the duo of Galindo and Ante Razov may be the best in the league right now, 20 goals between the two as we speak.

Chivas moves back ahead of Dallas in the western standings by a single point with a game at hand. New York continues to stay alive in the east. I didn’t realize that this was the 10th loss of the season for the Red Bulls. I can’t say I recall a Bruce Arena team with 10 losses before but I may be wrong. Some DC fan may be able to refresh my memory if that is the case.

Chivas USA is also now unbeaten in their last five games and have dropped just one of their last eight league matches. They are also unbeaten in home matches at The Home Depot Center. They still have five remaining homes games out of eight games left on the season. The Goats are very much alive and well in the Supporter’s Shield race this season. I just wonder when the fans in LA will notice and show up for their games. Very small crowd last night to view this one.

I didn’t get to see much in this one but what I did see was a very average looking New York team. Their defense is rather pathetic looking right now and won’t be able to do much of anything against a DC or New York in the post season. New York has to get their stuff together if they expect to even play well in the post season this year.

With the win the Goats will move on to their two game week, first with a prime-time clash with LA on Thursday night before traveling to Colorado on Sunday. New York will regroup as they travel to Chicago on Saturday.

  • henryo

    In 1996, Bruce Arena's DC United had a record of 16-16 (15-13-4 if SOs were considered ties), hence losing more than 10 games in a season is not so foreign to him…

  • In 1996, Bruce Arena’s DC United had a record of 16-16 (15-13-4 if SOs were considered ties), hence losing more than 10 games in a season is not so foreign to him…

  • Whip

    Sounds like CBC uses CSTV, Epp.

  • Whip

    Sounds like CBC uses CSTV, Epp.