- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 27, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Ante Razov, Coaching Hot Seats, Frankie Hejduk, Maykel Galindo, Preki, Schellas Hyndman
Looking back on this past week and even a season as a whole up until now there are plenty of questions surrounding these clubs. I think we are seeing who is contending this season, who is pretending and who is already playing themselves out of contention.
I’ve been jotting down a few notes recently about a few clubs and how they are playing. Some are coaching questions as we move into the first edition of the coaching hot seat (coming up soon I promise), and other random thoughts I’ve had so far this year. You all may be able to answer some and if not they could be good topics of discussion.
So let’s get to it shall we?
Just How Good Is Chivas USA?
This may be one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind right now. Seven games in and this club has 16 points are the best club in the league. Or are they?
Let’s look at who’ve they beat so far:
FC Dallas (twice)
They’ve also tied LA (then again who hasn’t by now) and lost to Toronto on the road (Chivas is never a good turf club).
I’ve had a couple emails asking my opinions on just how good this club really is. From first hand experience they are good. But there are concerns that I do want to point out about them here. First of all their defensive depth will come into question before long this season. It just has to. Secondly, how long can Zach Thornton keep up his current pace? All legit conerns.
One bright note too is that this club is playing well despite the fact that Sasha Kljestan has not been playing well this season. We’ve seen little to no production out of him and it makes me wonder if he even really wants to be there any more.
Then there is the reality that is what will Preki do once he gets a healthy Ante Razov and Maykel Galindo to go with his current starting XI? Start’em? Sit’em? Trade’em? Honestly, I see one of those two getting traded this season. Its a weird gut feeling I’ve had all year, even before the season started that probably Galindo or Razov would be traded away for allocation or something. It just seems like it is going to happen, especially once they are healthy.
I don’t know though, this club has all the makings of a playoff side and I fully believed they would be anyways before the season. There is just the worry I guess that this club will pull a New England from last year and just flame out after a really hot start. We’ve seen it happen a few times in recent years, a fast start followed by a playoff birth in the middle of the year followed up by a flame out at the end with no deep run into the playoffs.
I sort of see their current run continuing on in May. Three out of five are at home and the two road games in San Jose and KC are definitely win-able games. In other words they aren’t games on turf.
For me though I still need this club to learn to come from behind. Historically it’s not something they’ve been able to do. We didn’t see them do it in Toronto this past week either which raised the concerns about them from a few folks.
Why is FC Dallas so bad?
I look at the roster in Dallas and really wonder why on Earth this club is sitting with record of 1-4-1 on the year. Defensively they are a joke still and I think it could be safe to say that a lot of the issues are coming down to coaching on the part of Schellas Hyndman.
Sad part is the club is producing offensively but defensively they can’t seem to figure things out. Another sad part is that Hyndman isn’t even anywhere close to a hot seat even though he normally would be in most situations.
Any Worries in the Windy City?
What’s going on with the usual dependable defense that is in Chicago. Bakary Soumare for one has been shaky at best lately. Don’t be shocked to see Dennis Hamlett make a change for a game or two to get things back in gear for Soumare. He had a couple possible fouls in the box that could have been easily wistled for a PK.
Overall though the Fire are the only undefeated club left on the block. They are still the deepest club in the league and really should have no worries right now. Of all the clubs I think their start is in line for a great summer run to break away from the rest of the eastern conference. Once they get going here in the coming weeks we could see the making of a Supporter’s Shield type club.
Possible Coaching Hot Seat
I’ve mentioned before that I am close to starting up a coaching hot seat list for this year. John Carver in Toronto was looking to go this way until his club pulled off two straight home wins this past week…also his resignation with the club changed a lot of what could go on this season with this list. Anyways…early candidates include:
Juan Carlos Osorio (NY)
….and that is about it. Most guys have a little bit of time on their hand but I put Osorio on the initial list due to the poor performance of his club through seven games. Not to mention his new additions are not paying off…again.
Guys with a little heat though:
Schellas Hyndman (FCD): Obvious reasons mentioned above
Frank Yallop (San Jose): Its a low simmer kind of heat but if his club doesn’t start turning around by the end of the year he could see more heat.
Bruce Arena (LA): Club can’t win…but on the flip side they aren’t losing as much.
Will Columbus make the playoffs this year? Only two defending champions failed to do so the next season (DC in 2000 and LA in 2006) so it can happen. But why is it happening? The club isn’t hungry at all. Injuries finally caught up with this club unlike last year.
Mainly I think it comes down to a lack of fire and sharpness. Point blank they are missing guys like Frankie Hejduk too much and it is costing their club dearly.
I love playing this game, even this early into the season. I won’t go into any in-depth reasoning here because its more for fun than anything right now. I really only see a couple true contenders and a few pretenders. There is just a lot of muck in the middle.
Mixed in the middle (for now)
Real Salt Lake