- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 4, 2009
- 4 Comments
- 2009 Week 7, Brian Ching, Brian McBride, Bruce Arena, Chad Barrett, Chris Pontius, Emmanuel Ekpo, Frank Yallop, Fredy Montero, Gonzalo Segares, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jamie Moreno, Jeff Larentowicz, Jesse Marsch, Juan Carlos Osorio, Justin Braun, Kenny Cooper, Landon Donovan, Lucanio Emilio, Marco Pappa, Matt Reis, Maykel Galindo, MLS Weekend Recaps, Nick Rimando, Pat Noonan, Pat Onstad, Preki, Sasha Kljestan, Schellas Hyndman, Stefan Frei, Stuart Holden, Tyrone Marshall, Zach Thornton
Another week down in Major League Soccer and a lot of things remain the same around the league. Week seven is in the books here Chivas USA still remains the league’s top club. Other things that are still constant in the league include:
– New York still struggling
– Columbus still struggling to win
– Chicago still drawing games, yet still undefeated
– Dallas still losing games
– Salt Lake still losing on the road
– Attendance still so-so across the league
And a little sidebar that a couple of you pointed out to me, I picked every game correctly this past week. Some of the scores weren’t right on but I did have all the winners correct and all the draws be 1-1. Yeah, sorry to toot my own horn but sometimes it is nice to be right.
Chivas Still In Front
Some how, some way this club continues to lead the pack. Another gritty win without the help of Sasha Kljestan. But what they are getting is loads of good defense (they lead the league in goals-against). Only three goals against in eight league matches. Not bad at all my friends, not bad at all. And you know what they say, defense wins championships.
Anyways, I’d say a big reason is right now Preki is getting a lot out of his back four and even more so out of Zach “Turn the clock back” Thornton. The big guy between the pipes is making me think it is 1998 all over again.
Scary part is this club is slowly getting healthier by the week. Justin Bruan is starting to get more involved with the attack and as San Jose found out that is not a good thing. Plus with more guys coming back like Sacha Victorine and Maykel Galindo it just shows how deep this club is going to be for the long run.
As for the Quakes, the winless streak is at six. May be time for Frank Yallop to redo some of his line up to make up for the defensive issues going on. But then again the offense isn’t looking any better right now either.
Salt Lake Falls In Colorado
Again, it was hard to get so hyped up about last week’s 6-0 win for Salt Lake when you knew they had to turn around this week and go on the road to rival Colorado.
RSL continues to show they are missing a piece or two when it comes to playing on the road. For a team that was suppose to contend this season, they sure don’t get me thinking they will with the way they play on the road right now. Teams who win championships and contend find ways to win on the road.
It didn’t help to be a man-down for the entire second half either. And that they lost keeper Nick Rimando early in the game too. But in all the offense never got going for RSL.
The Rapids controlled the pace of this one early and really never let the visitors in this one. It was good to see this club finally take a real ownership of their home field. Sometimes it takes a rivalry game to do that too. Plus this club really starting to get interesting. With the way the west is playing this year this club could very well contend for one of those two auto-bids into the playoffs.
Seattle Looks Strong In Draw
For an expansion club Seattle goes on the road in Chicago against the league’s last undefeated team and comes out looking very good despite playing a man-down for a good chunk of the game. Seattle showed some serious grit after going a man-down and trailing shortly after in the second half when Chicago’s Marco Pappa put the Fire on top.
Some how, some way the Sounders placed a call to Tyrone to get them level in this one. Tyrone Marshall’s game tying goal gave the Sounders their first draw of the season and at the same time giving Chicago it’s forth straight tie (fifth of the season too). Freddie Ljungberg’s corner kick to Marshall was just poor marking on the Fire’s part. To be a man up and leave a guy like Marshall that open was pretty bad to see.
I don’t know what it is about the Fire but at some point they are going to lose one here. While some clubs aren’t good enough to win the Fire are playing just good enough not to lose at the moment. Hey, whatever gets you by but at the same time they get starting to get passed in the standings. Draws look good for only so long.
As for Seattle goes, they lost Fredy Montero to the red card on a bad elbow to Gonzalo Segares, who had a pretty rough game overall. I really felt even though the Sounders played a man-down they really out-played the Fire late in the game. Chicago had the possession and shots early but just like most clubs this year they were unable to get anything by Kasey Keller.
DC Continues To Roll
Look at DC here. Hard to believe they are sitting atop the eastern standings now and only have a single loss on the year. Credit those veterans for stepping up and credit that defense for really putting a clamp down on guys like Kenny Cooper.
What can you say about the two goals by Jamie Moreno too? Too calm and cool goals got United the three points after dropping an early goal to Dallas’ Andre Rocha (nice corner by the way for Dallas).
Dallas really never got solid possession in this one and that was due to DC stepping up their midfield play. DC pressed early and often in this one behind Moreno, Luciano Emilio and rookie Chris Pontius.
Defensively for Dallas they are still struggling. Schellas Hyndman can’t seem to get a grip on who to put in the middle of his defense and until he does his club will continue to give up easy goals down the middle of the pitch like they did on Saturday.
DC is improving each week here folks. Rookies are stepping up due to quality play of veterans and Tom Soehn’s club may be one to contend with here this season.
LA Gets First Win
Someone told me the other day that the best thing to happen to Chicago in the past two years was not landing Blanco or McBride but it was losing Juan Carlos Osorio. For some reason his club is still a mess despite new players starting to get playing time on a regular basis.
This one was pretty boring for the most part anyways. LA had the better chances overall but there weren’t that many to begin with. Neither club was holding possession too long but neither was creating many scoring chances either. LA lead the way with six attemps (five on goal) but New York only mustered up three shots and only one of those was on frame.
LA got their first win but this club still doesn’t look like a winner to me. Once they lose Landon Donovan this summer to Gold Cup and other national team duties they will easily stay near the bottom of the standings.
New York on the other hand is more confusing by the week. Osorio-watch may be in full force since his high-speed offense couldn’t even get more than one shot on goal against a club like LA. It wasn’t like the Galaxy defense stepped up their game for once it was more like New York couldn’t get their game going. While the Galaxy may not be a big winning club this season New York is quickly playing themselves out of playoff contention here before summer hits.
Crew Still Winless
Watching this game I made the classic mistake of walking away for a few minutes and missed both goals (left the room to see the news on the Cowboys training facility collapse). Anyways, Columbus again handled the Reds but were unable to get the three points again.
The Crew dominated the first half and had plenty of good chances on goal. Stefan Frei came up big for the Reds time and time again but early in the second half Emmanuel Ekpo’s sweet finish gave the Crew the lead for a few minutes. Chad Barrett got the homeside on the board no more than 10 minutes late to level the game.
The second half really was owned by Toronto after the Barrett goal. Mostly I think it was due to the subbing out of Guillermo Barros Schelotto midway through the second half. Without GBS the Crew weren’t holding possession well and weren’t getting the best passes in the offensive third of the field.
Columbus near got the lead back with Pat Noonan late in the second half but once again Frei came up big for Toronto.
A win for Columbus is coming though. You can sense it as they continue to improve each week here. The toughness that wasn’t there early on this season is starting to come back and once they get fully healthy the wins should start coming. Thing is before long it could be too little too late with the way some clubs are playing so far this season.
Toronto on the other hand is playing well. Another solid draw keeps them in the thick of things in the eastern conference. Now they have to turn their attention to the Canadian Cup this weekend when they host Vancouver on Wednesday.
Houston Starts To Catch A Break
Once Stuart Holden realized he was the man to lead Houston this season things started to click. That was the case yesterday as Houston finally caught a break and got out of their regular season funk against the Revs.
New England again failed to generate any sort of offense this week with only three shots in the game. The Revs’ only shot on goal didn’t come until just after the hour mark when Jeff Larentowicz header failed to do anything more than to give Pat Onstad something to do for once. Houston really controlled this one from start to finish with Holden and Brian Ching.
Once again it came down to a young defensive line in front of Matt Reis that caused New England to fall in this one. They weren’t able to handle any sort of pressure that Houston put on them as the Dynamo registered 14 shots in the game.
Until New England can get healthy again here this season they will continue to play this way. A bright spot though was seeing Taylor Twellman on the bench for this one as a sub. Apparently he isn’t too far from coming back which is something New England really needs to have at this point.
Houston is starting to really look good here. They still have some catching up to do out west but as we’ve seen out of them before, sometimes slow and steady wins the race.