Monday Morning Free Kicks: Another Crazy Weekend

Monday Morning Free Kicks: Another Crazy Weekend

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 14, 2008
  • 8 Comments

I think it is fair again to say that I was right on a couple things, wrong on another few, and utterly confused on everything else this past weekend. A couple games weren’t at all what I thought they would be and the others went about as expected.

I am trying to figure out the best way to recap everything here so some styles in these Free Kicks may change over the next couple weeks until I figure out what suits us all the best here. So whatever style you like let me know, don’t just say you hate it and give no reasons for it either.

Anyways, all seven games produced very interesting results. The current MLS table looks very odd to me right now. Chicago and KC tied at the top with seven points each; Houston near the bottom with just two points; everyone in the east has at least one win; Houston and San Jose still have no wins; and Chicago and Dallas have no losses. Who would have seen that coming at the start, Chicago and Dallas have no losses at this point in the season. Early, I know but still very weird to see.

Week three brought us our first road team victory on Wednesday when the Revs beat the Wizards. Once the weekend came Toronto, Chicago, and Colorado joined the road victory mix.

Overall thoughs on Week 3:

  • Attendance was weak. After two solid weeks of good attendance the league seemed to hit a wall this past weekend in terms of butts-in-seats. Weird not seeing LA sellout a home game; New England had a weekend low of just over 8k; Dallas has just under 12k but it looked more like 9k; Columbus looked empty; and Salt Lake provided a typical 13k.
  • McAfee Coliseum provided the nice spark for the return of the Quakes. I have to saw that venue looks awful for soccer though. They did nothing to dress the place up for the game. Hopefully their smaller venue will be better until they can finally build a stadium.
  • After loads of goals in week 2, this week provided a few good highlights with fewer goals. If it weren’t for the Columbus-Chivas game this week would have only seen 17 goals. But with that game we got 24, just four shy of last week’s stellar 28.
  • Stupid fouls. Oscar Ecteverry earned a yellow for a petty foul that probably would have been a red in week two. Sasha Kljestan’s stupid foul late will cost him and his club.
  • Poor defending from DC, New York, and Chivas.
  • Quality strikes from Landon Donovan, Kenny Cooper, Robbie Rogers and a sweet shot from Sasha Kljestan (see below)

Chicago 1 – 0 San Jose:

  • San Jose is apparently looking into Mexican playmaker Antonio Zinha Naelson. Or so FSC says. Anything at this point could help the Quakes I think and getting a playmaker is something they really need, then again they still need a guy who can score off of that playmaker.
  • Joe Cannon should have stopped that goal, giving up a cheap rebound that even Chad Barrett can score is very un-Joe Cannon like. I’m sure Cannon Girl will not be happy with that? Am I right CG?
  • Chicago looked…umm….okay in this one. Not quite the 4-0 drumming of New England and not quite the terrible play they had in week one before Blanco bailed them out with a late equalizer.
  • You can tell Shea Salines is a rookie when he missed a chance within four yards of goal. I’m sorry but if you can’t hit that home you shouldn’t be in this league or any. As some kids say these days, “his shitz weak!”
  • The streak continues for San Jose though in terms of no goals to start the season. Quickly approaching Toronto territory here
  • I’m still not totally sold on the Fire here yet this season. They haven’t beat a quality side on the road yet but once they do I think we will really know the nature of this club.


Columbus 4 – 3 Chivas USA:

  • Yeah, we said didn’t know who would score from Columbus…well…when Schelotto gets involved anyone can score. Nice to see Robbie Rogers net a pair (though Brad Guzan let the last slip by too easily).
  • Brad Guzan didn’t have a good night, I think that is putting it gingerly too.
  • Chivas still has yet to come from behind to beat another MLS club. Hasn’t happened yet in their history and they couldn’t do it Saturday in Columbus.
  • Kljestan’s strike may be my goal of the week. Quality one timer.
  • Kljestan’s stupid red card may be the low moment of the week for any club. Stuff like that shouldn’t happen, especially from a player like Kljestan. He should becoming a leader for the Goats, instead he is acting immature with tackles like that.
  • Solid win for the Crew. They are one of those sides that look real good at home and real bad on the road. They need to fix that soon. Their next game is in DC on Thursday night.


Colorado 1 – 0 New England:

  • This reminds me of the Revs of last season. Win one big, lose one big. Win one big, lose one tight.
  • Bouna Coundoul had a hell of a night, including one wild save on the goaline.
  • Wet conditions made for sloppy play and poor attendance.
  • New England had the better play and possession in this one but couldn’t get it by Coundoul. They out shot the Rapids 17-4.
  • Colorado did just enough to win this one and you know what, some times that works.
  • Game by game here the Rapids are saving Fernando Clavjio’s job status. Hell, they are the western leaders now.
  • I’m really curious to see both sides once they each get 100% here and have their key players back from injury. I think both will be utterly dangerous to contend with in their own conferences.


Houston 0 – 0 Kansas City:

  • A tough scoreless draw for the two sides in KC’s last home game for two months.
  • Without Carlos Marinelli, the Wizard’s attack is almost pedestrian to watch at times. No creativity out of the middle and nothing that will scare most teams in the league. And that is even with their quality pairings up top. Marinelli means that much to this club in the middle.
  • Tony Caig had a nice game after getting dumped on by Dallas the week before. In time he will prove to be one of the best backups in the league I think.
  • The Dynamo look much better in the defensive side of things with Ricardo Clark back in the lineup. His toughness showed up a lot againt the Wizards.
  • I’m not overly sold on Kurt Morsink as the main attacking midfielder for the Wizards. His inexperience at times shows up and causes the Wizards to have chances go away or pander off into nothing.
  • Houston really needs a break in the schedule…I know Dominic Kinnear would agree.

Dallas 2 – 0 New York:

See yesterday evening’s recap post.

Real Salt Lake 4 – 0 DC United:

  • Salt Lake has been tough to DC in recent games…but 4-0? Damn that isn’t good for the Black-and-Red. I guess they did have a CONCACAF Champions Cup hangover.
  • Dema Kovalenko may be the most valuable player for RSL right now, his two assists proved that.
  • Nice to see a number of guys score for RSL. Beckerman had a wonderful strike too and Espindola’s little flip is nice to see.
  • From the game recap on MLSnet about the win for RSL: “It was the largest margin of victory in RSL history and tied the team record for most goals in a game.“Wow, DC how does it feel to give that up to a club?
  • Not a good night for Jose Carvallo to make his MLS debute…more importantly where was United’s defense on Saturday? Did their flight get canceled from DC or something? It looked that way.
  • Very good to see Robbie Findley get on the scoreboard, RSL really needs him to produce this season.
  • DC plain just didn’t show up for this one. Hangover or whatever, a 4-0 loss is bad no matter what way you spin it.
  • Where was Marcelo Gallardo in this one? Doesn’t make a bit of sense for Tom Soehn to sit out his DP here. If we saw Jamie Moreno on the dreaded turf, I think Gallardo could have been out there too.

Toronto 3 – 2 LA Galaxy:

  • We all knew this would be a goal scoring mess of a game but most figured LA to be on the better end of the stick.
  • I’m personally happy to see former WVU striker Jarrod Smith get his first MLS goal. Nice strike by Kiki too. Jarred, congrats mate.
  • Toronto actually showed attacking ability in this one due to the play of Guevara. The early assist shows to me that he came to play for real this time around.
  • Neither team has any sort of defense. LA looked confused on that side of the ball and Toronto didn’t look much better. No way either club will make the playoffs with the defense they have in place right now.
  • The heat may have played a part in the game (102 on the field…yeah that hot), but that is just a poor excuse in my book.
  • Donovan’s pair wasn’t enough when most of the time it should be. I love watching him take a PK but I hate watching him set up to take a PK. Just put the ball on the spot, take a few steps back with a deep breath and then kick the damn ball. No need to kiss yourself all over and do all kinds of weird things.
  • Laurent Robert has looked pretty good so far for the Reds.
  • Quality move by Gullit to keep Abel Xavier on the bench for another game after the suspension. They actual do play better without him in the back.
  • No sellout still surprises me…I guess it was too hot for people in LA to go to Carson?
  • Dave

    Ummm nice strike from Kiki? I think you mean Robert since Kiki's in asia somewhere. Other then that though, I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • drew.epperley

    ah, I meant to say Kiwi and not Kiki…sorry about that. That's what early Mondays will do to ya sometimes. Thanks for pointing that out. But Jarred Smith's nickname is Kiwi since he is from New Zealand.

  • ben

    Although I'm not sure if attendance would have been any better otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised to see RSL get the usual crowd on Saturday. There was a Jazz game going on at the same time (and an important one as they are working for playoff positioning) and yet RSL was still able to draw the regular crowd, which is a good sign in my eyes. Other teams' attendances were a bit disappointing, though, I agree.

  • George

    Hey great blog, keep it up.<br />
    <br />
    In regards to Shea Salines, you are being too Harsh. I understand he has to finish and score that goal, but he provided a big spark of the bench. He has a lot of upside and hopefully Frank Yallop can aid in his development. I'll take a risk and say that he could be one of the best wing players in MLS if works on his crosses because he has the PACE that is needed to beat opponents to the byline.<br />
    <br />
    I watched most of that game and it got really slow like molasses at times.

  • Dave

    Ummm nice strike from Kiki? I think you mean Robert since Kiki’s in asia somewhere. Other then that though, I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

  • ah, I meant to say Kiwi and not Kiki…sorry about that. That’s what early Mondays will do to ya sometimes. Thanks for pointing that out. But Jarred Smith’s nickname is Kiwi since he is from New Zealand.

  • ben

    Although I’m not sure if attendance would have been any better otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised to see RSL get the usual crowd on Saturday. There was a Jazz game going on at the same time (and an important one as they are working for playoff positioning) and yet RSL was still able to draw the regular crowd, which is a good sign in my eyes. Other teams’ attendances were a bit disappointing, though, I agree.

  • Hey great blog, keep it up.

    In regards to Shea Salines, you are being too Harsh. I understand he has to finish and score that goal, but he provided a big spark of the bench. He has a lot of upside and hopefully Frank Yallop can aid in his development. I’ll take a risk and say that he could be one of the best wing players in MLS if works on his crosses because he has the PACE that is needed to beat opponents to the byline.

    I watched most of that game and it got really slow like molasses at times.