New England Hammers KC; MLS Clubs Fall in CONCACAF

New England Hammers KC; MLS Clubs Fall in CONCACAF

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 10, 2008

Sorry for the late start today. If you live around the Dallas area you will be able to understand it. We had some crazy storms last night that caused a few tornadoes in the area. Thankfully my town outside of Dallas was not hit with a tornado but there are tons of power lines and trees down in the area. Needless to say its a crazy day in the Big D.

Anyways, I thought I would do a quick recap of last night’s games. The MLS’s two hopefuls in the CONCACAF Champions Cup (DC and Houston) will not be advancing to the finals for the second straight season. And KC was totally outplayed by New England last night.

I will get the two games out of the way that I did not see since I was watching the KC-New England game.

Its tough for both DC and Houston to go out in the semifinal of the Champions Cup again but it wasn’t totally surprising to see them exit this way again here. Houston had little depth going into a road leg against Saprissa due to injuries and suspensions. DC won their home leg but lost the series with Pachuca. A tough go around again for the duo from the MLS but I don’t think we should tally the two exits as a loss just yet.

I think any other team in the league would end up the same way in this Cup and this summer we get to see two other teams along with DC and Houston try out again when the Cup converts into the Champions League. I think the Champions League may be better suited for the MLS clubs as we move forward with this tournament. You have to give credit where it is due though with Pachuca and Saprissa. They both came to play and were the better clubs in the series.

Now as for last night in KC. I knew had a feeling going into the game after I wrote that the Wizards would win that this game would turn out similar to what happened. I don’t know why but as I turned the game on last night I thought that the Revs would win and my pick of the Wizards in a 2-1 win was dead wrong.

Its just the way things go sometimes. And the same could be said for my pick of the Wizards at the top of the power rankings this past week. Still I won’t change that after this performance since it will get weighed into next weeks.

I say all of that because let’s face it, in the MLS the first three months (March, April and May) are always the craziest of months. Sure New England looked horrible in week two in Chicago after looking great in week one against Houston, but as for last night they looked even better considering the injuries and suspensions. KC on the other hand is an interesting thing. I know the two wins were at home against quality sides but I always had a slight feeling that their defense would let them down and last night we saw the first glimpse of just exactly how poor their defense is. Need an example, just watch the second New England goal…you can’t tell me that someone can’t clear that ball out.

Usually the MLS games are a bunch of 10 to 15 minute possessions by one club followed by the same by the other team. Last night New England opened up the game strong, scored on the own goal and then KC took over from there for 20 minutes and scored to tie it up. A funny thing though after that 20 minutes of strong play from KC the Wizards dropped off and let in two more goals from the Revs. Even in the second half when the Wizards were pressing they never looked great on the ball as they did in that 20 minutes in the first half.

As much as we questioned the Revs depth going into last night, its clear to say that the additions this season by Steve Nicol are working out greatly. Plus some players like Khano Smith are really stepping up for the Revs this season because of those newer guys in the lineup. The two Gambians (Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi) continue to impress me and Mauricio Castro may be the best signing by the Revs in the offseason. His crosses and pace on the ball make up for the lack of Steve Ralston in the midfield. Also he allows Shalrie Joseph to play his game even better I think.

Wing play was dominated by the Revs last night and that is the biggest reason why they won this game. KC gave up with about 30 minutes left in the game, well all but one player gave up really, Claudio Lopez was a workhorse that just ran out of gas last night.

I’m not going to write off the Wizards at all here yet but I think as we go on here we will see just how much their defense is a weakness to them. After this weekend they will go on a two month roadie, away from the cozy confines of the CAB you will probably see a completely different Wizards team as they will have to learn to adjust to other hostile situations.

Like I said last week when New England got hammered by Chicago, anything can happen in this league and we can’t be quick to write anyone off just yet. But damn is it already fun or what this season? This weekend should be just as good, if not better than the week before. I think that is something fans and people around the league can get excited with here.