Monday Kicker: Quakes Win; Dallas Still Unbeaten

Monday Kicker: Quakes Win; Dallas Still Unbeaten

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 21, 2008
  • 6 Comments

Well alright then, this week of games sure was interesting. If you were a home side you didn’t fair well at all. Only Toronto can say they got the three points at home, while a couple others (New York and LA) can say they a point out of this weekend. Other home sides this week didn’t do well at all (Colorado, DC, and Chivas all went down).

More and more we are seeing clubs we didn’t expect to step up do so and ones that we thought would be fine this season be anything but fine. Look at the MLS standings right now, the two best sides from a year ago (DC and Houston) are both last in their conferences. LAST! (though we know we can thank the schedules for some of their problems right?)

Here’s how crazy and funny this season is right now, a club we see as a middle-of-the-pack team (Dallas) has yet to be beaten, Toronto is on a two-game winning streak, and it only took three games for the expansion San Jose Earthquakes to get their first win.

If you said you saw this coming at the beginning of the season that after four weeks we would have this much parity I would start to think you have a damn good crystal ball, a time machine or something crazy that we don’t even know of here. In other words, no one saw this kind of a start to the season coming. Not one. Don’t let anyone fool you and say that they did because they would be lying.

Even the club with the most points, KC, probably isn’t anyone’s top club right now in terms of power rankings and such. They aren’t mine. And honestly I don’t even know who will be later today or tomorrow when those are released.

Will the best team please stand up here? I’m waiting and so is everyone else.

Toronto 1 – 0 Real Salt Lake

  • This may have been one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. I loved seeing BMO Field rocking again, that place has set the bar really high for other clubs in this league.
  • Toronto looks like a whole new club with Ricketts, Robert, and Guevara, but all in a good way.
  • I think if this game had been played in Salt Lake it would have still been the same result, Toronto dominated most of this game and really created a lot of good chances.
  • RSL had their fair share of chances in this one but no one seemed to step up on the offensive end to win this game for them on Saturday.
  • Nick Rimando had one of his stellar afternoons, even in the loss. However, I still wonder when it will be time for youngster Chris Seitz to get a start in this line-up.
  • Say it with me, Toronto is 2-2 and is at .500 right now. Another win next week and they will be above .500 for the first time ever in their short history. Damn!

New England 1 – 1 New York:

  • As entertaining as Toronto and RSL was, this game may have been the best this weekend. Loads of action on all ends and plus it was another solid edition of this rivalry. Things sure got chippy.
  • Jozy Altidore was a total beast in this game. When the Red Bulls are at their best, it is when they put the ball in Jozy’s (or Angel) feet and let him create. That goal was a product of Jozy, doing what Jozy does best.
  • But with that said, Jozy has to watch out in his temper on the field. I love the passion but he’s still a kid and I can bet that some guys still will let him know he’s a kid. Too many times on hard fouls from the Revs, we’d see Jozy dash 20 yards away to complain to the ref about it and get into a tussle with a New England player. Before long those tussles will get him hurt if he isn’t careful. He needs to toughen up before he goes to Europe but the way he is doing it now won’t do him any favors over there.
  • The New England goal was a product of a great free kick and a poor job in goal by Jon Conway. I keep saying it until something changes in New York but Conway is a terrible keeper to be starting. No keeper should give up goals on the near post like Conway did.
  • The red card to Castro was a result of stupidity on his part. Had he been out there the full 90 or at least more of the game we probably would have seen New England win this one.
  • New York has to find a way to finish shots. I know Angel wasn’t 100% but guys like Wolyniec almost seem like they would have trouble hitting water if they fell out of a boat.


San Jose 2 – 0 Colorado:

  • So I have little faith in the Quakes, but I had solid reasons to as everyone else did here too. I don’t know if the recent pickup of Peguero lit a fire under the offense of this club or what but they actually looked remarkably better on offense, and it was against a good defense.
  • Colorado had one of those nights where they just couldn’t hit a single thing. They had the better chances but in the end San Jose finished theirs where as the Rapids did not.
  • Kei Kamara’s goal was something special I think. This kid has been a big time project over the last year or so and we finally saw some good things out of him on that play. Kids, that’s how you make good runs in this game. Good runs off the ball always lead to good things. Just ask Kamara.
  • This is the kind of loss that makes Rapids fans go nuts I think. I doubt they will call for Fernando Clavijo’s head just yet here but another game like that and its a good chance. You just can’t drop games at home like that; no matter how unlucky you are, you just can’t do that.


Houston 2 – 2 LA:

  • Okay, when LA plays the ball through Beckham and Donovan they play so much better. I cannot even begin to describe how much better they look. It had nothing to do with Houston’s defense playing poorly on Saturday, it had everything to do with Donovan playing better than we’ve seen him play in some time in this league.
  • Houston had their chances to put this game away but their defense gave up some crosses from Beckham to Donovan and their offense couldn’t finish the game out.
  • Only 23K in the HDC for this game, come on LA, you have to sell out your home games here this season. Its a must.
  • Aside from Beckham and Donovan, the Galaxy look like the same club that will scare no one. Once clubs figure out how to shut those two down and maybe even Ruiz when he comes back, this club still won’t win games. I honestly see this club end up with a lot of draws this season though.
  • I’m still waiting on Houston to turn the switch on this season. At times Saturday night I really thought they were going to do it against the Galaxy. The opening 45 was all Orange and even flashes of the second half saw Houston dominate possession and create quality chances.
  • Had Houston have gone to their bench more in this one (only one sub made), they could have been a bit fresher out there. LA made the subs to go fresher in the second half, and to a degree it worked. However, I wouldn’t say that either sub for LA did anything meaningful in this game.
  • Greg Vanney and Abel Xavier still look old and slow out there. Houston didn’t put any speed on in the second half with Cory Ashe or anyone like that. Had they, I can bet there would have been more chances against a slow and old back line that LA was employing.

Kansas City 1 – 0 Chicago:

  • Early goals can be killer and KC was able to just that early Jewsbery goal to their advantage.
  • Second win all-time in Chicago for KC. Good time for them to score that as they move back to the top of the overall table in MLS.
  • When you slow down Blanco, you slow down the Fire. Whatever KC did to the Fire yesterday worked as Blanco wasn’t creating the chances that he had been so far this season.
  • After scoring goals like we hadn’t seen before, Chad Barrett missed some quality chances yesterday. Barrett, welcome back to reality son.
  • Nice crowd for a Sunday game in Chicago. Toyota Park is slowly creeping up in the lines of best stadiums in MLS. I know it’s one of my favorites.

FC Dallas 2 – 0 Chivas:

  • Here’s your new western conference leaders after four games, FC Dallas. Nice road win for the Hoops, again, early goals were killer and the Hoops are really making those count now this season.
  • Say it with me, Dallas is still unbeaten. Yes, the only club left. Yeah, it won’t last long…I can already put money on that here.
  • Kenny Cooper is easily making people forget about Carlos Ruiz here in Dallas. Four goals in four games, not bad…not bad at all.
  • I feel odd saying this, and it has nothing to do with my personal liking of the Hoops, but I have to say that Dallas is starting to look like one of the more consistent clubs in MLS. I know its way to early here and that they usually flame out by July, but seriously, no one had this club pegged with no losses this far into the season. I didn’t, I know Buzz and company over at 3rd Degree probably didn’t. I’m pretty sure most of us thought the Hoops would lose their first in week one.
  • Chivas played alright here even though they were missing a bulk of their starters in this one. Not having Sasha Kljestan, who was out for a red card suspension was very big in this one. I’m sure this very well could have been another 1-1 draw had he been out there yesterday.
  • Maykel Galindo is looking better and better here but he needs help out there at times. When he is shadowed by a defender we tend to lose track of him and he doesn’t create as much as he should. Again, that has to because of the absences for the Goats yesterday.
  • I wouldn’t say this is a bad loss for Chivas fans, the only bad thing I can say is that the attendance was terrible. Only 10k or so? Come on, I know the Lakers were playing but that game was over hours before this one kicked off.
  • Ryan

    One big thing I noticed was how Beckham was getting the ball in the LA game. It used to be that his teammates would receive the ball and just pass it right back to him. He was always standing still and had to take on defenders straight up; not exactly his game. This game there was a lot more service (and good service at that) to him on runs. <br />
    <br />
    The run setting up the second goal where he cut back on Weibel and Klein rolled it right through to him was especially nice. If the team can find more ways to get him the ball moving towards goal in space they will maintain a very dangerous attack.<br />
    <br />
    Of course, even with that you still have to stop SOMEONE to win.

  • Scott

    Wait, weren't people predicting the hoops to go winless in their first 6? Huh. Go figure. <br />
    <br />
    And when was the last time we saw Columbus, KC, and Colorado on top, and DC and Houston/ San Jose on the bottom? This is what makes MLS so much more interesting than the Euro leagues. The result of the game isn't set before the teams take the pitch. (Man United finished with 90 something pts last year in 8 more games than DC United, who finished with 56. And Derby have 11 thus far this year. Bleah. Booorriinnggg).

  • One big thing I noticed was how Beckham was getting the ball in the LA game. It used to be that his teammates would receive the ball and just pass it right back to him. He was always standing still and had to take on defenders straight up; not exactly his game. This game there was a lot more service (and good service at that) to him on runs.

    The run setting up the second goal where he cut back on Weibel and Klein rolled it right through to him was especially nice. If the team can find more ways to get him the ball moving towards goal in space they will maintain a very dangerous attack.

    Of course, even with that you still have to stop SOMEONE to win.

  • Scott

    Wait, weren’t people predicting the hoops to go winless in their first 6? Huh. Go figure.

    And when was the last time we saw Columbus, KC, and Colorado on top, and DC and Houston/ San Jose on the bottom? This is what makes MLS so much more interesting than the Euro leagues. The result of the game isn’t set before the teams take the pitch. (Man United finished with 90 something pts last year in 8 more games than DC United, who finished with 56. And Derby have 11 thus far this year. Bleah. Booorriinnggg).

  • Cannon Girl

    Drew, you're generalizing with the &quot;everyone else did here too&quot; comment about San Jose. Anyone who ACTUALLY WATCHED the Quakes perform pre-season wouldn't have been surprised at all by their defeat of Colorado last week. And they didn't exactly make it easy for LA nor the Fire to win either. I was under the impression you watched these games prior to writing about them. San Jose's a solid team, and by learning from their losses they're trying harder each week and this mentality is guaranteed to produce wins. Instead of resting on the laurels of a few key players, they are doing what a true team is supposed to do—remembering that they are a team and playing like one. You can have the CIRCUS, I'm sticking with San Jose. Still think you're cool, and still like the site, but you know my Joe and his Quakes are still the coolest.

  • Cannon Girl

    Drew, you’re generalizing with the “everyone else did here too” comment about San Jose. Anyone who ACTUALLY WATCHED the Quakes perform pre-season wouldn’t have been surprised at all by their defeat of Colorado last week. And they didn’t exactly make it easy for LA nor the Fire to win either. I was under the impression you watched these games prior to writing about them. San Jose’s a solid team, and by learning from their losses they’re trying harder each week and this mentality is guaranteed to produce wins. Instead of resting on the laurels of a few key players, they are doing what a true team is supposed to do—remembering that they are a team and playing like one. You can have the CIRCUS, I’m sticking with San Jose. Still think you’re cool, and still like the site, but you know my Joe and his Quakes are still the coolest.