- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 3, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Brian Ching, Jeff Cunningham, Luciano Emilio, MLS Weekend Recaps, Stuart Holden
I guess this was a week that some clubs decided to wake up and actually play for once. Sure they may have been home games for these two clubs but when one scores six in a game and another blanks someone with four goals people will take notice.
Yup, FC Dallas and San Jose decided to play in week 20. I don’t think anyone saw these results coming. Sure some like called for a Dallas home win but I doubt they expected a six goal outburst. I had Seattle downing San Jose but was terrible wrong when the Sounders decided not to show up and have their worst performance of the season.
Are these two clubs on the way up here? I wouldn’t hold my breath on it though. Both still have way too much work to do to even think of making the playoffs this season. Hell, even with the win San Jose still has a very small chance. Dallas isn’t that much better when we look at it. But they both did prove that anything can happen in a given weekend.
Cunningham Turns It On
Maybe all Jeff Cunningham needed was for Kenny Cooper to leave Dallas and let him be the main dog of the offense in Dallas. Or maybe FCD just needed a visit from a struggling KC squad. Whatever it was Cunningham placed four in the back of the net and immediately made his mark on the club that may now be his.
Its always weird going to a game that is just a total blowout. Instead of sitting in the press box I sat in the stands for this one, along with the “10k+” that was in attendance on Saturday night in Frisco. I’m sure people in the front office for Dallas wished they had marketed this game a little better since it was such a blowout.
Even though I am not a huge fan of giving a player of the week award to a guy based on stats, no one else came even close to what Cunningham did on Saturday. It’s been three years since someone put four goals in the back of the net. The last guy to do it was Brian Ching against Colorado back in 2006.
Heavy Schedule Leads To Blow Out By The Bay
One thing could be said for Seattle’s performance on Sunday in San Jose, their schedule is loaded right now. I hate making excuses for any kind of loss but for Sigi Schmid’s club, they got to find a way to win more consistently on the road. The blowout in San Jose was a sign that this club is still an expansion side and they still have a long way to go before they are a true contender in this league. Yes, they’ve played very well lately but those results were at home.
Kudos to San Jose though for stepping up and actually giving a damn for once this past weekend. I know Frank Yallop and the rest of that staff for the Quakes are trying here. They’ve been making moves left and right lately and while most of those new additions weren’t apart of this win, you got to think some confidence is building there by the Bay with results like this one.
Seven Goals in Houston
I had said that the Houston-DC game would be game of the week material and it was just that. Seven goals total as the Dynamo win a 4-3 clash. Houston was up 4-1 at one point in the second half to only let in two late goals by DC. That’s one thing you have to like about DC this season though, even with this loss they still showed up on the road, in one of the toughest stadiums in the league and nearly pulled out a tough draw.
But on the flipside for that if I were a United supporter, I’d be awfully worried about the performance of the defense right now. After a lack-luster game in the CCL play-in round earlier last week, getting nearly blown out on the road would have been killer. At least the offense provides some punch no matter where they go. Luciano Emilio matches Brian Ching’s brace but it wasn’t enough as Stuart Holden’s PK turned out to be the difference in this one.
Fire Hold Strong At Home
Another road game for Real Salt Lake, and another loss. It wasn’t too much better for the Chicago Fire at home who haven’t exactly been great this season. But everything went as planned on Saturday at Toyota Park for the homeside as they got the game’s lone goal from second-year striker Patrick Nyarko.
I think for the Fire to be successful for the rest of this season without Brian McBride, they need to look for Nyarko a little more. He’s proving to me that he has just what it takes to be a solid striker in this league. His speed and skill is getting it done and it was a big difference between three points and one point on Saturday for the Fire.
As for RSL, I see this result and immediately look where they are in the standings now. With only three points above FC Dallas, I have to wonder with the way they play on the road this season if RSL is going to get passed up by Dallas. I’m not saying Dallas has a shot at the playoffs or anything here but I do think getting by RSL in the standings could be a possibility here. RSL shows me nothing on the road.
Toronto Draws On The Road
Finally a solid result in New England for the Reds. Sure it took a smack in the face to Ali Gerba to get it done but I’m sure they will take this result any day considering their history against the Revs in New England. I know I may get some bad comments for that from Toronto fans since the Reds had the lead late and let it go.
Still, a result on the road at this point is what Toronto needs to stay in playoff contention here.
New England may have a saving grace to their offense in Edgaras Jankauskas. While I can’t pronounce his name very well I do think the big guy may just be what Steve Nicol’s club needs to get in contention here. Remember they still have a few games in hand on several clubs. Those games in hand will come in big late this season if the Revs continue to improve here.
This game was filled with cards though and was a bit tough to watch at times. Terry Vaughn needs to go though. He continues to put his stamp on the game and for a center official to do that is just annoying. While some calls were ok, most as usual with him were not. The league needs to really take note of his games more often.