- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 13, 2009
- 2 Comments
- 2009 Week 17, Brian Ching, Bruce Arena, Edson Buddle, Fredy Montero, Landon Donovan, MLS Weekend Recaps
Ah it was good to have a full day of soccer on Saturday (and parts of Sunday). Plenty of items to discuss today with the All-Star roster being anounced this afternoon. Until then it is time to wade through the week that was week 17 in Major League Soccer.
This was certainly a moving week for a lot of clubs. The eastern conference got just a little tighter with Chicago and Toronto inching up to the top while DC United was off this past week. Columbus isn’t too far behind either making the four team race a very interesting thing to watch as we move on towards the ladder part of the summer. Can we already say that it will be these four clubs from the east in the playoffs? I know KC and New England would love to have something to say about that but it is starting to look more and more like those two will be on the outside looking in this time around.
Out west things are even tighter with Seattle’s win over top dog Hosuton on Saturday and with LA’s win over HDC rival Chivas USA. Right now we are seeing as many as five clubs in the race out west with clubs like RSL starting to come around a little more here. Thing is I am wondering if RSL has enough to get back into the mix with the way LA has been playing recently.
Western Powers Spark Interesting Match
One thing can be said about the Houston-Seattle game, it didn’t lack any drama. Sure the Fredy Montero goal was a very questionable call but the game looked to have gone Seattle’s way a little more anyways on Saturday. I think even had that goal been not counted by the center official, the Sounders would have found another way past Pat Onstad and company.
Now Seattle moves within striking distance of Houston at the top of the table. One thing can be said about Sigi Schmid’s group, they don’t back down at all. I still believe they need to do a little better on the road before I starting to mark them as a true MLS Cup contender here in the second half of the season. Remember Houston put up a good fight without two of their best defenders and three other key starters that generate their offense.
I know Brian Ching tweeted his anger after the game on Saturday because of the goal but I still see the Dynamo as the best side in the league right now but Seattle isn’t far off I can certainly say that.
Battle of Los Angeles
The second go around at the HDC between Chivas USA and LA Galaxy was just as physical as the first one. However this time one team came away with points, the Galaxy. Chivas has cooled off big time here in the past month as injuries and lack of depth is starting to creep it’s ugly head in.
The Galaxy needed this win more than Chivas though and they got it. Edson Buddle’s strike was more than enough as the Galaxy do what they do best, get an early goal and sit on the lead with a slightly bunkered style of defense. It works for Bruce Arena’s bunch but now the task gets tougher from here out because of David Beckham.
Yes, Beckham will return this week as we all know and if LA is going to be successful they have to find a way to continue to play the style that has gotten them where they are at this point. Some folks may forget that LA has only lost three so far this season. That isn’t bad for missing guys like Landon Donovan for a few games.
Eastern Sides Stay Level
I will be perfectly honest with you all here, I didn’t see nearly any of both the Revs-Wizards game or the Crew-Fire game to give you a real honest take on either. The scorelines were both level at 0-0 and from the looks of things neither game really had much to it. I will say that I thought Chicago would get three points this weekend but their home record is bordering on pathetic here for as good as this club is. It’s sad when New York has more home wins than Chicago here (the Fire at 1-2-4 at home, NY is 2-3-3).
Toronto Scores Big In San Jose
Again, another result that didn’t shock me in the least bit. I think I predicted 2-1 and the end result was 3-1. The third and final goal wouldn’t have been a goal if Aaron Pitchkolen hadn’t come up lame with an apparent groin injury in running with Chad Barrett down the middle of the pitch. Pitchkolen came up hurt and Barrett danced around Joe Cannon for a very easy goal.
This game was mostly Toronto controlled. The Reds knew they needed points on the road and this was an excellent time to cash in on getting those points. Not only were the three road points big but it also moved them to a tie with Chicago for top spot in the east.
Toronto is making me believe they are hungry enough here for a playoff spot again. After a little slide a month or so ago the club has a lot of life in them, mainly due to their Canadian Cup win. Sure the wins lately have come against two of the worst clubs in the league (San Jose and New York) but getting points when you can get them is always a big thing.
Still one thing that worries me is their defense. They are the one club currently in the top eight of the league standings with a negative goal differential. I know the Nick Garcia trade has helped but one has to wonder if they are considering other players than Julian de Guzman to help their club out in the stretch run of the season.
Rapids Bounce Back
After a month or so of me hyping this club up the Colorado Rapids finally pulled one together and got three points over FC Dallas. One thing I will say is that this club has to start taking better care of their home field like this if they want to stay in playoff contention. Two clubs below them, LA and RSL, would love nothing more than to overtake them in the standings.
For the most part this game was rather dull with little to comment on. I thought Dallas had some chances that they could have put away but really never got on the end of a good shot like they needed to. Defensively they once again were let down by mental errors late in the game. They frustated the Rapids endlessly throughout the game but went home empty handed. Time to make some moves Schellas if you even want to consider having your club in playoff contention this season.