- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 30, 2008
- 2 Comments
- MLS Weekend Recaps, Week 14
Happy Monday to all. I’m coming from my outpost in Silverton, Colorado for the week. So some posts may be few and far between for the week due to some computer trouble (my laptop decided to burn out this past weekend so I’m having to use the Lady Hooligan’s in the mean time). So, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. There was plenty of quality soccer to go around for all. I had to catch up with all the highlights and clips from games across the weekend, including that wonderful Euro final.
But aside from catching up I was able to jot down some good notes from this weekend. I saw a couple eastern sides continue to barrell their way through their competition. Other western sides continue to struggle against eastern clubs and just quality competition in general.
The usual look at the butts-in-seats was no too shabby this past weekend. DC of course lead the way due to a Beckham-game. New England had some surprisingly decent numbers this past weekend. Aside from that it was still pretty so-so. KC sold out their baseball stadium like normal; Chicago posted a good but kind of low number against San Jose; Columbus was low but I think that is starting to be the norm with them anymore; and Chivas posted a better number for once.
So let’s get into the meat of the weekend.
Columbus Crew 2 – 1 Colorado Rapids:
- Slightly boring first half. Really nothing worth mentioning other than a couple defensive stops on either side and a couple saves.
- Second half was were it all got going. All three goals happened in the second 45.
- Emmanuel Ekpo is starting to be one of my favorite pick-ups of this past winter. He continues to show exactly why Sigi Schmid went out for him. His pace on the wings lead to the game winner and he nearly had another in that half.
- Conor Casey finally showed some decent play for the Rapids in this one. But again, just like his club he is too cold and then hot for my liking.
- Colorado just isn’t a playoff contender right now. I know Christian Gomez was out due to a shin injury before the game, but he even hasn’t put this club over the top like we all expected.
- Fifth straight road loss for the Rapids, 1-6 overall this year away from the Dick.
- Columbus looks legit this season. Even though they’ve hit a cold spurt this season they got over it with flying colors. Eight goals in the last three games has convinced me enough about this club.
- I loved the back line Schimd used in this one. The twin towers of rookie Andy Iro and Chad Marshall. That’s a hell of a lot of height back there and it’s working well right now.
New England Revolution 2 – 1 Toronto FC:
- Yeah, Toronto just can’t get over the hump on the road yet. Even with most of their key players in the lineup they just can’t seem to find any luck on the road.
- New England continues to impress. Already with 30 points after 16 games, they are clearly the club to beat right now (no duh!). A supporter’s shield doesn’t seem too far off the table right now.
- With Steve Ralston, the Revs are clearly better offensively and rookie Kheli Dube continues to show that he is now the front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award. Those two combine so well.
- Probably one of the best goals of the week in that second Ralston goal.
- Another positive sign for the Revs and their fans, but not for the rest of the league, Taylor Twellman returned to action for the first time since early May. Yeah with the way the Revs have played in recent weeks, a healthy Twellman is not what people what to hear or see.
- The one thing though about the Revs that worries me is their ability to close out games. The final 15 or so was not a comfy-time for Revs fans. Matt Reis had to come up big again a couple times late in the game.
Kansas City Wizards 1 – 0 Real Salt Lake:
- Talk about a way to crush a good thing for Real Salt Lake. Tony Beltran’s own goal with a couple minutes to go has to kill some confidence that had built up with this club over the past few weeks.
- And talk about a weird way to get over the hump for KC. If you are going to end a long winless drought, do it in the weirdest possibly way if nothing else is working for you offensively.
- We talk about how bad San Jose’s offense but I honestly believe now KC is taking that cake. We may have expected too much out of this club from the start of the season.
- I want to be a believer with RSL but something still isn’t there for me. It wasn’t that Kevin Hartman came up big in this one for KC, I think it was RSL’s lack of finishing that was too much to overcome.
- I just don’t believe either club are a contender here yet this season. RSL is a maybe since the west is so weak but KC is in a very tough conference and way too much space to overcome already here. Blame the schedule all you will but at some point you have to start winning. Maybe this is that point for the Wizards.
Chicago Fire 0 – 0 San Jose Earthquakes:
- Put the goalless streak for the Fire up to 333-minutes. Yikes. This club just hates playing in months that begin with a “J”. I believe The Fire is 3-8-1 in its last 12 June games. The Fire is 4-9-7 in its last 20 July games. Not good news for Fire fans.
- Chicago hasn’t won a game since the end of May.
- Great game out of Joe Cannon. Probably one of his best games in a while really. A lot of key saves reminded me of just how good he is. Hard to believe he has five shutouts this season for a club that sits at the bottom of the table.
- Still some offensive struggles for San Jose. I though getting Kai Kamera back in the lineup would be a good thing but his lack of finishing continues to show through more than anything. Also rookie Shea Salines continues to struggle finding the net. But unlike KC, San Jose at least has a fallback here, they are an expansion club. We weren’t expecting great things out of this offense this season.
- Chicago is clearly struggling here with Chad Barrett up top.
- This game reminded me of the Colorado-Houston game from a week ago. Not a lot in it, especially offensively. Both keepers came up big when they needed to, especially Cannon.
- Chicago just needs to suck it up and trade whatever they need to get Brian McBride on the roster here.
- Nasty fall by Andy Herron early in the game. Pretty scary moment really if you ask me.
Chivas USA 1 – 1 New York Red Bulls:
- Crazy sort of game when you talk about each goal. What Brad Guzan was thinking on the New York goal was just weird.
- Jon Conway made some huge saves late in the game to keep the draw. Something about the Home Depot Center brings out some better play from the Red Bulls. Their two trips there this year have gone better than expected with four points against Chivas and the Galaxy.
- Great goal line clearence from Hunter Freeman in this one.
- We talk about the lack of offense surrounding New York but Dave van den Bergh continues to be really the only good thing going for this club. When he isn’t in the line up this club looks terrible offensively. With him they at least have some fight.
- Though, also for New York, Dane Richards is looking better and better here for them. But apparently some reinforcements are on the way which should not only help out Richards but the entire club.
- Chivas does what they normally do at home, control possession. Too bad their possession didn’t lead to more chances on goal.
- Loads of fouls in this one. Anyone notice New York rack up 31 fouls and Chivas with 21? Daaaammmn that’s a lot of fouls.
DC United 4 – 1 LA Galaxy:
- A great showcase game for national television. Sure the Galaxy didn’t really come to play in this one but they did make it interesting at times.
- DC is looking very dangerous right now, I wouldn’t be shocked if before long they are fighting with Columbus and New England atop the eastern standings.
- Luciano Emilio continues to do what he does best, clean up junk around goal. Sloppy defending out of LA lead to nearly all four goals for DC.
- Excellent crowd for this one too, I know it was a Beckham kind of crowd but I think even had he not been playing this place would have still been fairly packed.
- Great to see Ben Olsen come back. That my friends is probably the highlight for DC right now this season, getting him back and healthy again.
- I know a lot was said about the start time to this game, but to me that is a bunch of BS. These guys should be able to play no matter what time of day it is.
- LA is leading the west but they continue to struggle against the east. 1-4-1 this season against eastern competition. Hell they even lost to Toronto at home in that stretch.
- Ugly play out of Marcello Gallardo, smart yellow card on the elbow to Landon Donovan.
- Speaking of Donovan, gutzy offside call on the potential go-ahead goal for the Galaxy early in the game.
- What can you say about Edson Buddle, that goal was a bunch of solid work and hustle. Had that been last year or early this season he wouldn’t have scored it.