- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 1, 2009
- 8 Comments
- Brad Davis, Brek Shea, Brian McBride, Chris Rolfe, Conor Casey, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Davy Arnaud, Edson Buddle, Fabian Espindola, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jeff Cunningham, Kenny Cooper, Landon Donovan, Luis Miguel Escalada, MLS Weekend Recaps, Nate Jaqua, Schellas Hyndman, Taylor Twellman, Tyrone Marshall
I guess one could say things are getting a little more interesting here. Summer is here which means clubs either distance themselves from others or some start to figure things out and turn things around for their season. I think after week 11 we saw some of that with some clubs flipping a switch and making things even tigher in the standings.
Honestly it was an interesting week as a whole. The midweek games gave us a preview that it would be an interesting weekend. Loads of goals and loads of cards too carried over from the midweek to the weekend. And of course some more draws happened along the way but not as in other previous weeks. I think the gulf in class is starting to show between some clubs and we are seeing that it is a very long season.
While some clubs near the bottom of the standings got wins this weekend for the first time in months, I’m not about to jump on board and say they’ve all gotten things figured out here. Some may be getting close but others are still a good bit away from being where most thought they’d be. One thing is certain though I believe we will see a very tight race for those final playoff spots this season. Sure a couple clubs will see themselves out of contention by the All-Star break but I do believe the competition for those final spots is where the league wants and needs them to be here.
As for the games this weekend, I did write down a few notes from each.
Casey Strikes Twice for Colorado
I’ll say it again, as Conor Casey goes so will the Rapids. I saw a few weeks back that this club has some real potential to be good this season and right now I think we are seeing that true potential come out in this club. In what was a pretty exciting game against New York, Casey found the back of the net twice to up his season total to eight (which also now leads the league).
Colorado is quickly proving themselves to be a contender here. I see them fighting things out here as long as guys like Casey and Colin Clark are staying hungry out there.
New York on the other hand continues to let chances slip away from them here. They had a shot at this game, they really did but offensively they aren’t synced up like we’d think they’d be and defensively they are still lacking in quality. Jon Conway continues to prove that he isn’t the best option at goal (though he is the only option for this club right now). With a long road swing coming up for New York it will be tough to expect them to turn it around anytime soon.
Dallas Shocks Us All As They Hand Chicago Their First Loss
Maybe the biggest shocker of the weekend was Dallas’ 3-0 win over Chicago. Maybe it was Jeff Cunningham finally getting more involved and being on the wing instead of up top. Or maybe it was Kenny Cooper finally waking up and getting out of his slump. Or maybe it was Chicago just being tired from their crazy come-from-behind win over Chivas on Thursday.
Whatever the case it was a shocking result, possibly even more shocking that the way the Chicago-Chivas match ended on Thursday night. Chicago did look a bit gassed and the visitors took full advantage of it from the start.
While it may be the first loss of the season I wouldn’t read a whole lot into the result. Blanco wasn’t involved in this one to spread the offense around to Brain McBride and Chris Rolfe. While I’m not one for making excuses it did change the game for Chicago to not have their full starting lineup involved in this one.
But let’s give the credit where it is due, especially for those Dallas fans who get to celebrate another Brimestone Cup win this season. Schellas Hyndman played around with the lineup enough and finally hit the right buttons. I guess if you try enough combinations something will evenutally work. I will say I love seeing Brek Shea come in late for this Dallas side, he is exactly what they need off the bench in late game situations.
Oh Look LA and Columbus Drew Another
Both the LA-KC game and the Seattle-Columbus game smelled like draws before the weekend and both ended up as one. I didn’t call them draws in the predictions because I am honestly tired of doing it that way but I wasn’t at all shocked to see these results on Saturday.
Seattle now has played to five straight draws here. Nate Jaqua’s late rally helped save some points for the homeside. This game really could have gone in favor of Seattle early had Freddie Ljungberg connected on a PK. But it also didn’t help when Tyrone Marshall got red carded shortly after the missed PK.
I was shocked to see Columbus go without Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the starting lineup (yes I know the reasoning for not starting). He did help spring his club offensively in the second half when he came off the bench.
Overall it was a very evenly played game. I didn’t see a whole lot between either side. I do still believe Columbus is in line to continue to move up the standings here but they do need to close out some games better, that is for sure.
As for the LA-KC game. I’ll skip ahead to the end of the game because the last 10 minutes is really where all the action was. Of course the middle official Terry Vaughn had to send off a player and hand out a few yellows before the goals but it overall there wasn’t as much to this game as I thought there would be. Davy Arnaud connected for this forth of the season and then Edson Buddle tied it up a couple mintues after that for the Galaxy.
LA now has nine draws on the season. Yes, nine.
Houston Dominates Toronto
No way around this one. I honestly can say I saw little of the Houston-Toronto game and I feel bad for it since Houston really looked to have controlled this one all over. From the highlights I’ve seen it was just a short stretch early on where Houston found their three goals and from there they let their dominating defense do the rest.
From the reports the second half had very little to it do to the lead and probably the heat. Houston now extends their run to seven unbeaten games here. They also inch a little closer to the top of the west with Chivas losing on Thursday.
San Jose Responds With Win
Real Salt Lake goes on the road and loses another one but hey they did score! I know cheap optimisim on my part but this one was mostly San Jose’s game on Saturday. First of all how about that goal from Arturo Alvarez? That goal was something else.
Jason Kreis tried to spice up his offense but in all honesty got little out of Fabian Espindola and Luis Miguel Escalada. Both were subbed after the half by Robbie Findley and Yura Movsisyan. The new additions on the field did help RSL get on the board but not enough to get some valuable road points.
From watching this game I really felt that these two were pretty evenly matched out there. RSL continues to both me here this season. They should be good but something just isn’t working for this club. Right now I think they lack a big time scorer and a quality central defender in the back. I know they have Findley but he can be too hot and cold for my liking.
San Jose on the other hand is staring to look better here. Not great but better. There was a reason why I wasn’t putting Frank Yallop on any sort of hot seat here yet because I believed he still had some talent in place to turn things a little bit around. This may be a one time thing for a little while but we did get a glimpse of how good this club can be here.
Revs Get Late Points In Twellman’s Return
What do you know, Taylor Twellman returns and New England gets a win. Plus the late penalty didn’t hurt them at all. It did hurt DC however who were missing some key players. Bryan Namoff’s take down of Twellman in the box late was a pretty weak call. Possibly up there with the PK call late in the Chivas-Chicago game on Thursday.
Having Twellman back on the field definitely helped New England. His spark was much needed, as were the points. And the Revs defnese did just enough to keep DC’s high powered attack from scoring more than they did. Plus giving up the lead shortly after the start of the second half showed the DC defense can have a slight mental lapse out there at times.
Overall it this game just made things in the eastern conference that much more interesting.