- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 20, 2009
- 2 Comments
- 2009 Week 5, Adrian Serioux, Ben Olsen, Brian Ching, Brian McBride, Chad Barrett, Conor Casey, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Drew Moor, Fredy Montero, Jon Conway, Josh Wolff, Juan Pablo Angel, Kasey Keller, Kenny Cooper, Macoumba Kandji, Marco Pappa, MLS Weekend Recaps, Pat Onstad, Preki
Another week in the books for Major League Soccer. A couple draws that may have shocked some, and a couple big wins that left me rather impressed. Five weeks into the season and I think we are already starting to see some things about these clubs, some things we’ve learned a bit sooner than we probably expected while other things we are left questioning.
Over the weekend I jotted down a few thoughts while I was watching all the action. Some of you may have noticed some random twitter updates over the weekend, I’ll try to keep up with that in the coming weekends as well. I won’t however be doing too many live blog/chats though, enough folks are doing it and probably at a better rate than I’d do.
Anyhow, if you have a comment from the weekend that was week five, please post below.
Fire Can’t Hold Lead
I’ve been saying for a while that Kansas City needed Josh Wolff to be the striker that they can go to for their scoring needs. Well, after a terrible first half he and his club came out of the locker rooms at Toyota Park and really took it to the Fire. It wasn’t a matter of the Fire blowing the toughest lead in soccer (2-0) but it was the manner in how Kansas City faught back.
It was with speed and wing play that did it. Quality service into the box where Wolff was able to not score once but twice to get his club back into the game.
As for the Fire, defensively they turned it off for a half and it cost them dearly. Yet at the end of the day they are still undefeated, though I think anyone around that club would tell you that Saturday night’s result was more of a loss and a draw.
Brian McBride, Marco Pappa, and Blanco really carried this club early on. I have to say I love that trio in the midfield of Pappa, Blanco, and John Thornington. Something about that group just makes me think it could be one of the best midfield trios in all of MLS.
Chivas Could Very Well Be For Real
The cast of no-names does it again. In front of a very quality crowd for a Chivas game in the HDC, the AmeriGoats got an early own-goal and a late finish from Chukwudi Chijindu (who scored his first MLS goal) over visiting Seattle.
Preki’s club continues to plug away and after this many games of proving themselves I think people will finally take notice after this big win.
Funny how the Sounders were holding clubs scoreless with Kasey Keller but in a game and a half without him (due to a red card suspension), the Sounders have now given up three goals. I guess it will be interesting to see how the club handles this loss.
And speaking of the loss, which is now two straight, have the Sounders just cooled off or are they just hitting a dry spell here? I thought the offense would run more through Fredy Montero and Freddie Ljungberg but the tough defense from Chivas put an end to the attack rather quickly.
RSL Road Struggles
One thing I’ve been saying for a couple weeks about Real Salt Lake is that I want to see them do well on the road before I rate them high on any sort of rankings. Yes, they are good at home, no doubt about that. On the road is another story though.
RSL is now winless in 10 games all-time in New York. Then again the road hasn’t been a friend to the club it’s short history. Looking back the club only has eight wins all-time on the road. If there is one thing that this club needs to make sure of this season to become a legitmate contender is they have to win on the road and win consistently.
New York Comes Alive
About bloody time is what some were thinking. Two minutes into the game and the Red Bulls finally got their first real goal of the season. Still history is against this side even with the win on Saturday. I don’t know if it was a combination of poor road play on RSL’s part, New York’s midfield actually looking decent for once or maybe even a slight boost of having Jon Conway back from suspension that did it for New York.
Speaking of Conway, maybe the suspension did him some good. He actually made me think he was a decent MLS type of keeper. Before I really never felt he belonged in MLS as a starting keeper but maybe I will change my mind on that. Just maybe.
Also, Macoumba Kandji and Juan Pablo Angel…did it really take Juan Carlos Osorio this long to figure out that they’d be a good match or did it just take this long for those two to figure it out? Either way it worked. They looked like a very good duo together.
Pat Onstad to the Resuce
Houston goes up early with a Brian Ching header. And first of all let me be clear, even as good as Houston is that offense still doesn’t scare anyone like some may think it could. Ching is still good in and around net but they still need some scorers on their roster. But saying so they could be the best club at placing balls in the box for headers and what not.
But to the real point here, Colorado tried to mound the come back yesterday. Conor Casey stepped up and did his thing too to lead the charge, which still gives me a glimmer of hope for this club going forward. Casey drew the PK (good call too), but Pat Onstad came to the resuce not only once but twice with the rebound shot after the PK was taken. By far one of the best two saves I’ve seen all season.
Had Casey scores it would have been another late road point steal for the Rapids. Instead Houston got their first win of the season. Where have we seen this before folks, the slow start leads to a gritty win, which leads to the Dynamo winning the west right? They still have work to do to catch Chivas but there is no reason to count this club out yet.
Benny Leads The Charge Like Old Times
One thing I love is a good story, and Ben Olsen is definitely that. Finally healthy enough again in 2009, Olsen could be the single best thing that DC had happen to them in the offseason. Getting him back and healthy was probably more of a boost offensively and defensively than getting someone like Christian Gomez. Now not to knock Gomez, he brings plenty to the field but not the same toughness that Olsen does.
New England nearly looked as if they would steal three points in DC on Friday night but in extra time Olsen heads home what could end up being a saving grace for the Black-and-Red early on this season. I honestly believe that could be the kick in the butt that DC needs to get going here. And like I’ve said before they needed Olsen to lead that charge. As long as Olsen is doing that, DC will continue to improve this season.
Dallas Finally Looks Decent
While on Sunday the FC “Please don’t call us Hoops” Dallas finally looked like a side that wanted to win. While I thought the late PK call was a bit crappy Dallas did earn three points. The first half was all Dallas as Kenny Cooper and Drew Moor lead the club with two first half goals. However former Red Stripe Adrian Serioux put his new club Toronto on the board just before halftime, and only a couple minutes after Cooper’s goal.
I thought Toronto controlled a lot of the pace in the second half. They got their attack more in gear and even came even with Dallas after a nice goal by Chad Barrett. I told you all to keep an eye on Barrett, it was a must score-game for the Wayne Rooney look-a-like.
What does it mean for Dallas? It could mean things are slowly starting to turn around for them here. While I am still holding on to the belief that it was a series with Toronto these last two weeks it was still four points for the North Texas club. Four points that they really needed.
Toronto on the other hand really needs to quickly get their stuff in gear here. This was to be the first of eight games in a few week stretch that most Reds fans are calling the main part of their season. Stumbling out of the gate in that isn’t the way to start. They need to get their act in order not only offensively but defensively. They just looked a bit out of sync yesterday evening.
Finally the butts-in-seats look
Yeah, not very good this weekend I am afriad. No Toronto, Seattle or LA home games to speak of. DC gave us a usual 14k+ on Friday and Chivas put up a surprising 15,463. The San Jose-LA game in Oakland only drew a weak 15,862. Not bad considering the lack of David Beckham for that one.
The worst however was New York, Chicago and Dallas. I don’t think we will see great numbers in New York until next year anyways. The 8,000+ on Satuday wasn’t any bit of a shock to me as the terribly low figure in Dallas last night (6,000+…which looked more like 2,000). But Chicago’s number of just a shade over 10,000 was definitely sad to see. I guess the economy is now to blame since the weather was nice.