- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 18, 2009
- 2 Comments
- 2009 Week 9, Brian McBride, Chris Rolfe, Christian Gomez, Fred, Josh Wolff, MLS Weekend Recaps, Preki
For a few clubs we are at that one-thirds mark of the season, others do however still have a few games to catch up here. Still we are flying through this season it seems like as another week goes into the books. Week nine in Major League Soccer was an interesting one to say the least. We had a great comeback in LA, a shocker in Salt Lake, a statement in Toronto, and a load of 1-1 draws.
Five of the seven matches ended in a draw with a couple late game-tying goals to mention later today. Not a lot of change however here as the league progresses this season. We keep having a lot of draws each week, which leads me to believe that that bottom level amount of points to reach the playoffs will be in the high 30s to low 40s this season. Wins are a premium this season that only a few are getting a lot of here. But more on that later on as well.
Chicago Remains Unbeaten
One of the shocker results to some of the weekend was the Fire’s 2-0 win over Toronto at BMO Field. I viewed this as a statement result for the Fire who needed a good swift kick to the gut to get going here again this season. The club remains the lone unbeaten team in the league after nine weeks. Sure six of their results are draws but that is still a fairly impressive mark. This win was greatly needed though as the club was in more of a funk, even though they weren’t losing. They weren’t holding on to leads like they should and defensively they just looked a bit overrated.
A big reason for the win was the play of guys like Chris Rolfe and Brian McBride. Rolfe continues to be the best man off the bench for any club this season. His spark in the second half closed the game out for the visitors just moments after a Wilman Conde handball in the penalty box wasn’t called for a PK. It was a tough call that really could have gone either way. It turned out though to really shift momemtum from Toronto to Chicago.
This was just one of those contests for Toronto that they looked a bit tired as they weren’t connecting on any shots around the penalty area. But even down a goal early I thought they showed some grit in getting back into the match with the Fire. The no-PK call on the handball really changed the game for both sides though.
Also on the night, McBride now has six goals on the season. He is currently tied with Josh Wolff of Kansas City for the lead in MLS.
A Rio Stinker In Salt Lake
Saturday night it was all Kansas City in Rio Tinto Stadium. The Wizards set out and did what they needed to do as Josh Wolff sparked the attack with two goals on the night to lead the boys in blue to victory over Salt Lake. Finally KC manager Curt Onalfo did the right thing and moved Wolff back to the striker position where he is more effective for this club. It paid off not once but twice.
RSL sinks a little deeper however with another loss here. This club hasn’t looked nearly the same since the 6-0 beating they put on New England a few weeks back. Mainly the offense isn’t producing and Jason Kreis’ defense is giving up more than it should. It also hasn’t helped that he has lost his veteran keeper Nick Rimando for some time and now his back up Chris Seitz is going on the shelf. One thing is certain in this league, if you don’t have a good keeper in goal you will lose lots of games.
Something Crazy In LA
The 2-2 draw on Saturday night in Carson was something else. Chivas became yet another victim of the toughest lead in soccer, 2-0. They are certainly the worst and toughest leads to hold in soccer. You have to also look at the fact that Chivas is still looking pretty after 10 games here. To have 23 points at this stage in the season is not bad in the least, espeically when wins are tough to come by for any club this season.
If I were Chivas fans I wouldn’t go all crazy over the draw to DC. United is a quality side that knows how to score late in games. That is a tough thing to defend when you club is banged up, which to be honest Chivas still is here. Some could question the subs from Preki on Saturday but you also have to look at who Tom Soehn was putting on the pitch late for United. Adding two quality vertan players like Fred and Christian Gomez in the second half really made an impact for DC. Chivas just couldn’t keep up late.
Decent numbers across the board. The usual 20k in Toronto followed by a great 19k in Salt Lake. The two games at the HDC saw similar numbers for the Galaxy and Chivas. New York’s game against Houston drew a respectable 14k. New England followed with just north of 10k and as always Dallas brought up the rear with 8k. What they did with the extra Drew Carey glasses at Pizza Hut Park I will never know. They were cheap plastic glasses anyways. I saw some fans with a couple pairs each.
The Land of Draws
Houston and New York drew 1-1. Seattle and Dallas did as well. Throw in Columbus and LA along side Colorado and New England. Four games with the same result in each, 1-1. Two of them saw late game tying goals. The other two were nodded up before halftime.
What to take away from these results is simple. Of the 68 matches played this season, 27 have ended in draws (almost 40 percent). Last year, over a 210-games, 57 games (27 percent) were ties. And we thought at the time that it was a bit much.
Look a little deeper at just how big wins are this season. Los Angeles is 1-1-7, Chicago 3-0-6, DCU 3-1-6, Columbus 1-2-6. Look at DC and Chicago, they are at the top of the eastern standings with Columbus not far behind. Only Chivas and to a lesser extent Seattle are getting the job done this season. Then you have a club like Kansas City that also is getting results but they are also losing as many as they are winning.
Then you look at clubs like Dallas, New York and San Jose where nothing seems right. They looked to be clubs on paper that would be good this season but are anything but that.
Consistency is key in MLS. Right now the only than that seems constant is the draws.