- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 18, 2008
- 2 Comments
- MLS Weekend Recaps, Week 21
It’s amazing how one weekend can change the landscape of things in Major League Soccer. That’s exactly what happened in week 21. A couple big time wins by a couple clubs and a couple big time upsets.
What was also amazing was probably the goals too, loads of sweet shots all over the fields.
But at the end of the weekend, each conference wasn’t just tighter in the standings but they both had a new leader. New England and Real Salt Lake entered the weekend on top of their respective conferences but after Saturday night Columbus and Houston found themselves in the lead positions.
So let’s see just how interesting and crazy this weekend actually was:
Columbus Crew 2 – 1 FC Dallas:
- Solid crowd at Crew Stadium for this one, a mean 17k+ for this one on what looked like a very nice evening in Columbus.
- Jeff Cunningham made his mark early for Dallas, finally scoring on his former club and FINALLY scoring his 100th career goal. I think the monkey is off his back now.
- Some great play in the second half by Columbus to get the win. Give loads of credit to MVP-candidate Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who’s two assists set his club up for the win.
- GBS still leads the league in assists with 12 now. I said before the season for the Crew to be successful they need Schelotto to be in the 15 to 18 assist range, right now he is well on pace for that.
- This one was pretty fun to watch for the most part. Lots of good action from each club, a little frustrating at times because each had issues putting the ball home.
- Nice to see Brian Carroll on the score sheet. Solid finish from a very nice play that started with Alejandro Moreno.
- Pat Noonan made a pretty solid impact for the Crew in 55 minutes of work. He helped create a couple chances in this one for the Crew. Another week or so with him in the line up and we should see some goals out of him.
- Same should be said about Dallas and their two new players, Cunningham and Victor Sikora.
DC United 1 – 0 Chicago Fire:
- I don’t know what is more confusing here right now, DC from game to game or how Chicago plays at home. Neither is consistent.
- A very solid game from end to end though, both teams created plenty of chances but in the end it was DC who spoiled Brian McBride’s debut with the Fire.
- Louis Crayton debuted for DC in this one as well. I suppose this means he will probably start the majority of games for the rest of the season over Zach Wells. Can’t agrue against a clean sheet in his first game. It took Wells like 17 games to get a clean sheet.
- Solid goal by Fred. It wasn’t that it was so early in game by Fred (27th minute) it was the fact that DC held on for their second clean sheet of the season.
- Chicago had one of those frustrating home games again here where they had loads of chances but were unable to put them home.
- I like what I saw out of McBride in this one. He didn’t play the whole game but once he gets use to his new teammates he will be dangerous again in th box. He nearly was in this one too.
- You knew this one would be physical, seven yellow cards for the two clubs.
- What can you say about the Chicago crowd, nearly a sellout from looking at the numbers. I have to say it again but Toyota Park may be one of the most underrated venues in the country right now.
Houston Dynamo 4 – 3 Real Salt Lake:
- For two of the best defenses in the league, they sure did come up lame in this one. Six goals in one half and seven over all is not a defensive effort.
- For RSL its another disappointing road loss. They put three in the back of the net so that is promising but seeing their defense come up that lame is not going to be good for this club considering they have six more road games here this season.
- Give the Dynamo loads of credit for fighting back (twice) in this one. The early goal by RSL could have been deadly but their attack really looks sharp now with Nate Jaqua and Brian Ching going again.
- To me Houston may be playing the best right now in MLS with the way things are going around the league.
- What can you say about Ricardo Clark’s goal? Just wow. Beautiful upper 90 strike to the far post. Nothing Nick Rimando could do about it.
- Nice string of pass by the Dynamo to set up their goals. Ching to Jaqua was fun to watch. Davis to Mullin was a nice threw ball for the Dynamo’s first goal of the game.
- I wonder if the layoff hurt RSL. They haven’t played in a couple weeks and at the start it looked like it didn’t hurt at all but defensively there are some issues right now. Anytime you give up four on the road it shows some defensive issues.
- RSL will probably still reach the playoffs but more games like this one won’t help them out anymore. Especially with how the rest of the league is going right now.
- I also wonder if Houston is starting to think three-peat here. They look well on their way to do so right now.
Colorado Rapids 2 – 1 Kansas City Wizards:
- This one probably the one game I saw very little of. I saw the three goals and for the most part that was about it (plus the MLSnet.tv feed was having issues…anyone else have that?)
- Ugly night in Colorado. I think some rain was in the area and it made for a fairly sloppy game. Plus only 10k or so in the stands.
- After two straight home games where the Rapids held possession and the shooting edge, they finally make the most of things thanks to Conor Casey.
- Think Rapids fans will be calling for Gary Smith to become head coach after Fernando Clavijo was gone for a family situation in Uraguay? I’m sure they will.
- KC looks to have cooled off a bit here. Being on the road doesn’t help but with the amount of home games left they should still have a chance at the playoffs.
- As inconsistent as the Rapids have been they are only 5 points behind Houston for the western lead. That’s how close things are this season in MLS. I just don’t see the Rapids making a run for things here though. Casey is good but it just doesn’t give me confidence as a number one striker for this club.
- I’m having a few doubts about KC’s playoff chances too with how tight things are in the league. They’ve looked good recently but results like this don’t help at all. They need to bounce back quickly in their next game.
San Jose Earthquakes 4 – 0 New England Revolution:
- Just wow. I wasn’t shocked at 1-0 San Jose in this game but ending up seeing it be 4-0 was a total shocker.
- Ronnie O’Brien had his best game in a couple years here with two goals. Probably a player of the week effort.
- New England just looked out of sync in this one. Not having Shalrie Joesph in the line up didn’t help either. I hate making excuses for a club but things would have been vastly different had Joseph been in this one.
- Add some insult to injury here as Matt Reis went down in this one for New England. Not a sight Revs fans wanted to see.
- San Jose can think playoffs with results like this. At 21 points they are sitting just outside the playoff line. Amazing what a few moves will do for ya. Even if they don’t reach the playoffs they are set up in a big way for next year.
- Nice goals by Ryan Johnson and Scott Sealy.
- Seven goals in the last two games for the Quakes. Let’s see if they can keep that up on the road next week against Chivas.
- How New England bounces back will be interesting. I suppose that loss to Chicago was in the back of the mind and it still stung a bit. They had their chances but never took care of them and took the most out of them in this one.
- Loads of credit to San Jose’s defense. They were under pressure for a while in this one but held on for a clean sheet against one of the league’s best clubs. Not an easy task.
New York Red Bulls 2 – 0 Toronto FC:
- Kind of an expected result. New York didn’t seem to have a lot of problems in this one. Early goal and a late goal was probably more than enough.
- Interesting fact though, its the Red Bull’s first two-game winning streak of the year. Good time to do it I guess.
- New York controlled the pace of this game from start to finish, even being a man down at times.
- Juan Pietravallo looked good in the defensive part of the midfield for New York. I’m starting to like that signing a bit more.
- Johann Smith needs more times with his new Toronto teammates, he did look pretty good late in this one for TFC.
- Tough break for Toronto and striker Danny Dichio. He came at the start of the second half and left shortly after thanks to an elbow. It was precautionary for Dichio as he missed a month of action due to a concussion. I’ve been down that road before with concussions, they are no fun!
- The red card to Cichero was justified though, anytime you elbow someone like that it gives the ref little doubt about what card to show.
- Toronto had no one to create chances with Maurice Edu’s transfer to Rangers and the suspension to Amado Guevara. They looked out of sync in the midfield and they also had little touch for theit attack.
- Which of these two clubs could reach the playoffs if a big question right now. New York is looking better with Juan Pablo Angel scoring and the new additions producing. Toronto still needs some help here.