- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 9, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Blanco, Brian Ching, David Beckham, Davy Arnaud, Dwayne De Rosario, Edson Buddle, Jeff Cunningham, Joe Cannon, Juan Toja, Kevin Hartman, Luciano Emilio, Matt Reis, MLS Weekend Recaps, Pat Onstad, Robbie Findley, Robbie Rogers, Ronnie O'Brien
I think week 11 was one of the more memorably weekends in the 2008 season. It was a long and stretched out week with games every night from Wednesday all the way to Sunday. Thought that Wednesday night game was washed out in DC, it showed us something that this was going to be one wild weekend. I mean, when was the last time we had a MLS game postponed due to rain?!
Anyways, as far as the interconference battles went this weekend. The west is showing they can back up their play against the east. The two sides split their five matches going 2-2-1 on the weekend. The one match that would have fixed the split was that washed out match on Wednesday night.
Let’s start out with some points from around the league before diving into each match:
- Yes, I know the Crew fans went against league policy on the streamers. Please spare me the fact that they ignored it and what not. I know they did but it was only on one occasion and all it did was slow down the game. Pay more attention to this when Toronto has their next home game.
- By the way, those Crew fans were well behaved other than the one streamer throw.
- Something that needs to stop more than the streamers is this random fans that decide to run out on the field during the game. We’ve seen it in Toronto a couple times but now in LA. Folks that has to stop, more so than the streamers. Let’s see now if MLS Rumors attacks those LA fans like they have with Toronto and Columbus fans. Yeah, I doubt they will too.
- Funny to see Beckham laugh it off and Chris Klein tackle the dude though.
- The officiating was very questionable for the most part this weekend. One thing this league has problem with is sub-par officiating. Too many times they dictate the play, that has to change.
- Attendance was a typical so-so here. DC would have had solid number if the rain hadn’t come. New England will boost the numbers with the Brazil friendly. Other than those two the week was a typical so-so. But I say that with LA and Chicago posting near sellouts. That is a so-so in the form of its typical and highly expected of those two clubs.
- Three clubs still undefeated at home right now. We all talk about Toronto and Salt Lake, mainly because of the turf but look at Houston. They sit at 3-0-2 on the year at Robertson Stadium. That place is a great venue, too bad it isn’t their own.
- The west still has one club above .500 (LA), while the east has five (NE, Columbus, Chicago, Toronto, and NY).
- Still no draws for Colorado. I don’t think I’ve ever see a club go 11 games into the season without a single draw. Remarkable and sadly impressive on the fact that they are so inconsistent.
Now on to the weekend’s games.
New England Revolution 2 – 1 FC Dallas:
- Again, a great first half for New England. Early goals are always a killer in this game. But they couldn’t put it together for a full 90 for the most part. But a home win is always nice and they are still top dog, even though they have a game or two advantage on everyone else.
- Dallas still looks in trouble but that last 25 minutes of play was really promising out of this young club. To pull within a goal and looking ever dangerous throughout has to give Marco Ferruzzi and his club some confidence.
- I think the two defensive midfielder system for Dallas has to go. Marcelo Saragosa and Pablo Ricchetti are practically the same type of player and the two together just don’t work that well at the same time. Either one is fine on their own I think but it may be time to move to a system in the midfield that poses more of an attack than a defense. Either one can help the defense out more.
- Some questionable reffing on Friday night, a couple calls that really could have gone both ways for either club. One or two probably could have favored Dallas late and one or two could have favored New England early.
- Matt Reis had another stellar night. Quickly moving up the MVP charts and the player of the month charts in my books.
- I ragged on Juan Toja early in the game but those last 15 minutes were the Toja we got use to last season. Something must have clicked, or at least Dallas fans hope so.
- Is New England really the best club in MLS right now? I think so, they don’t win pretty each time but they still win. They still need a killer mentality though, that was certainly lacking in the late stages of the game.
San Jose Earthquakes 2 – 0 Columbus Crew:
- Another solid road shutout for the Quakes. Let’s be honest though, aside from the two goals they had practically zero other real chances in this game. Fact of the matter is the took their chances and made the most out of them.
- Columbus did not. They had the chances and just couldn’t muster up enough quality behind those shots or headers to find the back of the net. It wasn’t that Joe Cannon had a great night, it was just Columbus didn’t make it hard enough on him I think.
- Ronnie O’Brien was easily the man of the match. Two textbook assists on the night. When he is on, so is his club. Just too bad he has more off-nights than on-nights.
- Very poorly officiated game though. A few calls that really should have gone the Crew’s way didn’t happen. I thought James Riley should have had a straight red for the two footed slide into Robbie Rogers. The ref ignored it and gave a yellow to Eric Denton for the tackle from the side on Rogers. Still both deserved a card for the play. No one should go in with both feet up like that into someone.
- The red card to Brad Evans was a terrible call. A yellow card, yes, but certainly not a red.
- Speaking of the calls, sadly enough in the second half the ref dictated the play and not the players. That just shouldn’t happen. But that’s what happens when Ricardo Salazar is in the middle of a MLS game. He tends to do that.
- The two subs before half for Columbus clearly hurt them. Sure Andy Iro was fit and ready to go but losing both Chad Marshall and Ezra Hendrickson early in the game put a damper on how Sigi could sub in the second half.
- I still like where San Jose is going here. Very solid defensively, once their direction goes on offense they could do some serious damage to some clubs late in the year. Not a playoff club yet but one of those that will do more damage and not be in the mix in those final weeks of the season.
- Columbus continues to not score. A long, long spell of no goals now at four games. Sometimes dry spells happen but they are still very much in the thick of things with Chicago and Toronto losing this weekend. But still you have to wonder when they will get fit again and hit their stride. They definitely need another scorer though.
DC United 2 -1 Chicago Fire:
- Thank you FSC for using Dave Johnson as your play-by-play for this one. Very refreshing to hear a good voice on your channel.
- I’d like to continue to welcome Luciano Emilio back to this season. Very solid effort in this one. Goal and an assist, might give him the player of the week nod by the media.
- What happened to Chicago’s defense on both goals? Starting to see some cracks on this club here? Jon Busch was really a bit out of position on that stoppage time goal. Shouldn’t have gotten beat near post like that.
- Crazy game though, a few red cards, a couple goals. Gotta love this rivalry here between these two sides.
- Wild week for DC, washed out on Wednesday and a tornado warning on Saturday. Yikes!
- Some iffy calls by the center official but I think the red cards were justifiable. Though I have to wonder if replay helped out.
- Think Blanco was distracted by the Mexican national team being in Chicago, he didn’t look like his usual self against DC. Then again neither did his entire club.
- Its about high time I update the coaching hot seat here. Tom Soehn has found a way to bounce his club back into the fold here and out of the cellar in the east. They still have a ways to go to catch up to the front three and four in the east though.
- Chicago stumbles, Columbus stumbles and Toronto stumbles. No loss in ground but the third home loss of the season by a late goal makes you wonder about this Chicago side. Do they have the ability to close a game out in a strong fashion? At home you’d think they would but I’m starting to question it.
Kansas City Wizards 0 – 0 Real Salt Lake:
- Honestly didn’t get to view this one. Saw highlights. And from that I gathered that KC is happy their two month roadie is over, RSL is still tough on turf, and neither club will make the playoffs this year.
- Give KC the credit though for battling better than some do on the turf in Salt Lake. But the winless run now extends to five games for the Wizards. A home game can’t come soon enough.
- Kevin Hartman had a solid game. Lots of good saves.
- Lots and lots of chances on goal for RSL. Findley and Deuchar each had plenty of shots but weren’t able to hit it home.
- KC had only a couple chances with Davy Arnaud, both were solid. One even hit the woodwork.
- KC’s defense is still shaky. I know they are mostly young but before long they have to step up and play better. Too many times they leave their man and allow easy shots on goal. Plus the midfield has to possess the ball better.
LA Galaxy 3 – 2 Colorado Rapids:
- LA proved yet again they have to outscore everyone to win because of their defense. The I really felt that had there been another five or 10 minutes to this game Colorado would have drawn even.
- This club is still clearly better with Beckham though, had Donovan been out there I think they would have scored five or six on the Rapids.
- Give credit to Colorado for battling back in this one though, they easily could have given up the same scoreline that they had beaten the Galaxy on earlier in the season. But they didn’t because of the two Gomez and Colin Clark. Solid final 15 out of the Rapids.
- But saying that it still shows how inconsistent Colorado is. A club that can’t put a stretch of wins or losses together is tough to get behind. Even if they make the playoffs they won’t do much in them.
- Again, Clarke finds a way to make Abel Xavier look stupid. Why Rudd Gullit continues to go with this guy in defense is beyond my level of thinking these days.
- I must say Edson Buddle is looking better this season than the last two or three. He’s really looking comfortable with Beckham. Then again Beckham easily makes the worst of strikers look good with his services.
- LA continues their lead in the west, and they go visit San Jose next. That isn’t fair. You know they can put like four on that club and San Jose won’t be able to keep up. Then again the LA defense still makes the worst offenses look good.
Houston Dynamo 3 -1 Toronto FC:
- Very nice to see Brain Ching and Dwayne De Rosario lead this club again here. Both are really coming on strong for their club as of late. Now the Orange are tied at the top with LA in the west. Which one has a better chance of beating the other in October? Hmm…I’m leaning with Houston.
- Give credit to Toronto for battling in this one despite lacking some very key elements to their roster. No Maurice Edu or Amado Guevara. Both clearly were missed on both offense and defense for Toronto. Just shows how important each are for this side.
- I would write off Toronto a bit because of this performance on the road as a legit contender but I will have to wait again until they play on the road at full strength. Just not fair to this club but still they didn’t look horrible.
- Plus as mentioned above, they didn’t lose any ground this week but it would have been big had they won this game. They could have been sitting in second place with a win. Instead they slip a little due to Houston and LA being at the 17 point mark on the season like them.
- Jeff Cunningham is at 99 career MLS goals. I guess we will see his 100th very soon.
- Amazing stat, this marks the first western club to beat Toronto this season. The Reds had previously swept LA and beat RSL.
- Houston looked very dangerous on offense tonight, Ching and De Rosario along with Stuart Holden really put the pressure on the Reds from the start of the game.
- I think the toughness is coming back to this Houston side. They clearly remember how to put away a side here.
- Pat Onstad had one of his typical solid nights. A few key saves kept this game out of reach for Toronto.
Well, what else did I miss? Let’s hear it.