- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 2, 2008
- 6 Comments
So, week number 10 is in the books and we can pretty much say now we are a third of the way finished here this season. Most clubs have played at least 10 games here, a few stragglers have yet to reach the 10 spot but for argument sake, we are one-third of the way into the 2008 season.
What have we learned in that span? At first the east was jumping out too far ahead of the west. Now the west is catching up with the likes of the two Home Depot Center clubs, Colorado and the two Texan clubs. Except for one rainy game north of the border in Toronto, the west actually put up a decent front against eastern sides. Sure those clubs were at home but it should be noted that they are giving the western conference something to talk about here other than how dreadful the conference has been so far this season.
Before the weekend we had two straight ties of 2-2 between Houston and Dallas and then New England and DC. Thankfully the weekend left us with either winners or losers.
Attendance figures were so-so for another week. We had some good (Toronto, Houston), some expected (Real Salt Lake), some expected but still disappointing (Chivas), largely disappointing (Colorado), and two dreadful weeknight figures (New England and Dallas).
A couple clubs were randomly off this weekend. Chicago and Kansas City. I must say its an odd schedule for the Wizards this year, and yet they aren’t moving into a stadium. Usually the odd schedule follows a stadium opening in August. Real Salt Lake has a fall opening stadium and they aren’t docked with the weird schedule. I suppose its more so the sharing a baseball stadium.
A couple main points to shoot out before we get started:
- Chivas is closely resembling a club that can be labeled as “back from the dead”…after a few straight games of no wins, the Red-and-White have reeled off three straight (two at home against the east).
- LA without Beckham and Donovan were largely what we expected…boring.
- The streamers are slowly getting annoying but I’m not buying into this pathetic nonsense about some things thrown on the field in Toronto. For one, the evidence shown looked like a plastic bag more than anything that didn’t even slow or stop the game. If it stops the play and disrupts the game that is one thing, but if its just something that floats out on to the field because the wind picked it up that’s really out of all of our hands.
- Thanks to Jorge Flores for Chivas, teams across the league are figuring out what they need to do to start their own Sueno competition.
- Even though the west is starting to catch up with the east in the standings, they still don’t have a club with an above .500 mark here. Yikes.
- For the first time (I think) all season we have a “if the playoffs started today” kind of standings with four eastern sides and four western sides. Honestly, it will more than likely end up like that when the times comes around. Teams aren’t separated by that much this season and I just am starting to believe that we will have a normal looking playoffs this season with four from each conference.
Toronto FC 2 – 0 LA Galaxy:
- Without David Beckham and Landon Donovan LA looked like a rather pathetic club for the most part. Pretty much the average club we expect them to be this summer when one or both of the stars are gone. Without them the midfield has no service and the offense looks rather pedestrian (even with a healthy Carlos Ruiz).
- Toronto looked good with a few changes in the line-up. Nice to finally see Julius James get some playing time and score nonetheless. I’m tell you this kid will be a beast in defense once he fully gets his chance for this club.
- Jeff Cunningham upped his stock options with his performance on Saturday. I found it interesting to see him start for once and play a full 90. The club needs a goal scorer to lead the team and Cunningham can be that guy when he is at the right frame of mind. I think though they played him in a way to get clubs to remember he still existed so a trade option could still float out there for this summer.
- I think more clubs are starting to wish they hadn’t passed on Jarred Smith either here. Toronto got him in the Supplemental Draft the year before last. After a season in New Zealand he came back to the league and has really looked good coming off the bench.
- Toronto looks so damn comfortable at home, their record dating back to last fall at BMO Field is 5-0-3. Yeah, not bad, that’s what a home field should be.
- Was it me or was the announcing from FSN terrible in this one. It was like they didn’t even care to be there for the game. I know their home club (LA) wasn’t exciting to watch but at least make it interesting.
Houston Dynamo 1 – 0 New York Red Bulls:
- Houston is back at .500 after a road draw in Dallas and a home win against New York this week.
- New York drops to 3-3-3 on the year and is starting to slide more than people will admit. I’ve said it for weeks and I will continue to say it, their defense is weak and their offense lacks the punch without a healthy Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore. Hard to make much go when a third or more of your payrolls sits a home while the rest of the club plays the game.
- Textbook goal from Brian Ching. Beautifully placed ball by Geoff Cameron to set up the goal. New York’s defense left Ching far too open on the play, showing again how easily they can be beaten.
- Without the key parts New York played more defensive on the road. Starting out a game on the road with the mindset of playing defensive never works.
- No creative parts in the midfield for New York in this game. Let’s look at the laundry list of needs for this club: another striker, a left winger, an attacking midfielder, a central defender, and probably now a wingback or a keeper to back up and push Jon Conway.
- Nice crowd in Houston makes me hope more for their own stadium…they have good fans that need a good stadium.
Real Salt Lake 3 – 1 San Jose:
- Back to basics here with this game. RSL proved again how solid they are at home and San Jose proved how much of an expansion club they really are on the road.
- Nice to see Robbie Findley wake up in this one, the goal and assist were more than needed for his confidence.
- Joe Cannon had a nice first half. But the Findley goal he was clearly out of position. You should never get beat near post like that and Cannon should know better. I will say the PK stop was very nice, but stopping two in one game can be a lot to ask for even for someone like Cannon.
- For the most part RSL really took it to San Jose, loads of good chances, most were blocked or brushed away from Cannon. But the two goals in the run of play were exactly what this club should be doing all the time. Good ball movement leads to scoring, its simple soccer that works and RSL was doing it very nicely on Saturday.
- I really wonder if this home winning will translate well once this club moves into the new stadium later this year. There won’t be the nasty turf, which I think is a big reason to their success at home right now. I guess its a wait and see thing.
- Okay, I really hate watching games on FSC though. When an announcer over pronounces a simple name like Findley, I think I must say I’ve had enough and am throwing in the town on the channel.
Chivas USA 2 – 0 Columbus Crew:
- A role reversal here between these two sides. Columbus now hasn’t won in three games and Chivas hasn’t lost in three games.
- Honestly though aside from five minutes in the first half, Columbus was the better team with less luck.
- Brad Guzan was a reason for the lack of luck for the Crew. He made a few big saves to keep them off the board.
- Columbus again proved how much they need another scorer in this one and someone to help take the pressure off Schelotto. When he is off, usually the club is as well. All their losses this season he hasn’t been his normal self.
- Somehow Chivas is finding some solid identity here this season. They are scrappy and have learned to win all over again this season. Very dangerous.
- I wouldn’t be too worried if I were a Crew fan based on the last three results. They looked good in all but couldn’t get lucky in each. Sometimes a dry spell in the luck department happens. Thing is its just their offense that’s dry, their defense has only given up three goals in the last three games. That really isn’t too bad when you really think about it.
- Stupid red card on Danny O’Rourke. He was kinda fouled on the Flores goal but he had no right to go in studs up on Atiba Harris like that. It cost more than the game for Columbus, playing a man down for the majority of the game can take a toll on a club.
Colorado Rapids 2 – 1 FC Dallas:
- Can we seriously get an English broadcast on Direct Kick on Sundays here? Its not that I don’t mind having the Spanish broadcast on to listen to but its dreadful to watch. The Telefutra camera crew couldn’t figure out how to operate more than one camera at this game for the first 20 minutes or so. I know there are local TV coverage of the games but the league shouldn’t block out the non-Spanish population on Sundays like they do.
- Anyways, Colorado jumped to the early lead and had a game that resembled their entire season thus far, a back and forth affair.
- 5-5-0 are the Rapids, and not once have they gone on a winning streak or a losing streak. I honestly doubt that has happened too often in this league. Consistent play works well in this league, and the Rapids aren’t an example of it. It will come back to haunt them down the road.
- Dallas is still going through the growing pains in this season. Their defense looked a bit slow and weak yesterday but wasn’t entirely surprising.
- Both Colorado goals were products of slow defense and a slightly out of place Ray Burse in goal for Dallas.
- Nice goal by Dominic Oduro, his forth in the last four games. Not bad, enough to make the game interesting at least.
- No real offense aside from the Oduro goal from Dallas. Only six shots on goal.
- Where was the crowd for this one? Was something awesome/cool/amazing going on in the area that beat out this game? It looked like a beautiful day too in the area.