- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 4, 2008
- 2 Comments
Let’s just say that the double hitter on ESPN2 works for me. I loved having two games last night, even if I missed part of it all while I was driving home from work. To some last night there were two surprising results. A Chicago blowout and a Galaxy club that actually showed up to play.
Chicago 4 – 0 New England: I will start with the Chicago game first. As you all saw, I kept a decent tally of what went on last night during the Revs-Fire game. Most of my thoughts are still the same as they were last night. New England played like crap and Chicago actually capitalized and took advantage of New England’s crappy play and played very well.
Chad Barrett had a stellar night scoring a goal and giving two assists and looking not-so Chad Barrett like, though towards the end he started acting like his old self. Blanco had another MVP-type night with a goal and two assists. Newcomer Tomasz Frankowski netted two goals in the rout as well.
Aside from those good stats New England did control the ball pretty well despite being a man down for the majority of the game and despite getting crappy calls from the ref. For one the red card against Jeff Larentowicz was a pretty rash call by the ref. It was definitely a yellow but a straight red was pushing it I thought, especially that early in the game. I thought the ref controlled the game early on more so than the players. Also the PK that was called was a very weak PK call, the two guys (Mapp and Nyassi were both going for the ball and ran into one another more than Nyassi brought Mapp down).
Also on that red card, you could see just how badly the Revs needed Larentowicz in the game to mark Blanco. Without him Blanco was free to create anything he wanted and he pretty much did as he helped served up two other goals. Needless to say if Blanco gets that kind of room in any game the Fire are going to be very, very tough to beat this season.
But when it all comes down to it the Fire were the better side and showed it last night. Also they never put the foot off the gas pedal. I said that their goal against RSL to steal points on the road in week one was a big boost for this club but I didn’t think it would be that big of a boost. They totally tore apart a very good New England defense last night.
New England will still be able to regroup here, even more so once Steve Raltson and Taylor Twellman return. I can bet that head coach Steve Nicol will not allow nights like that to happen again this season. His club fell apart for 45 minutes and paid for it while the Fire took full advantage of it. Kudos again for the Fire for taking that advantage and making most of us look silly for putting New England at the top of our rankings after week one.
LA Galaxy 2 – 0 San Jose: Now we are seeing the Galaxy play better. Right? Right? Okay, they played an expansion side in San Jose who looked like an expansion side in this game. David Beckham and Landon Donovan showed up to play in this one and we saw two goals of the same stature on breakaways (typical Galaxy soccer there).
San Jose didn’t look bad though. They held a decent mount of possession but fell to the typical trap that teams fall in when playing the Galaxy and that is allowing guys like Beckham to send long balls in over the top to Donovan. Let’s face it when the Galaxy do the long ball and score they usually don’t lose. Last night was a good example of that. Also, Alan Gordon is not a good starter at striker for this club or really for any club in this league. Even a club like San Jose wouldn’t take him to start at striker. Not scoring on a easy breakaway late in the game tells me enough that he shouldn’t be a starter.
The thing about San Jose’s possession last night was that it went no where a lot of the time. Lots of strings of passes that were easily broken up once they reached the top or the wings. You can tell that Ronnie O’Brien isn’t a 100% just yet and that he is still getting use to his new club. If he can get some more possession on the wings and get some of his crosses in this club could surprise some people, thing is they have no one up top to do anything with those crosses. Cutliffe, Kamera and those guys did nothing for me last night.
If I were a Galaxy fan I woudn’t get too excited about winning over an expansion side here. The shots were there last night but other than the two finishes on breakaways this club didn’t wow me with anything on the offensive side of the ball. In the midfield they still look very weak, any good club in this league will still tear them apart with actual quality possession San Jose just didn’t have enough up top to keep that possession going when they had the chances to.
My x-factor in the match did show up. Landon Donovan looked more dangerous in this game and that should excite Galaxy fans more. This club needs as much of Donovan as they possibly can here.
Still, three points is three points here. That is something the Galaxy can hang their hats on here. They open up their home slate with a victory over their old rivals. Also, last thing with San Jose, I love the new look with this club. The black kits are very nice I think. Too bad the new look didn’t yeild a win last night.