- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 5, 2010
- 2 Comments
- 2010 Week 2, Joel Lindpere, Kenny Mansally, MLS Weekend Recaps
Easter weekend in Major League Soccer was a short one, only five games on the week’s slate but all provided plenty of information on each club involved. Some games were close while others were anything but close.
Along the way we saw a couple surprises and a big streak end. It comes to show anything really can happen each week out on the pitch.
1. Feeling Bullish
Seriously, along with a new arena and management in New York comes a brand new attitude on the road. The Red Bulls stormed the Emerald City and finally got a road win after nearly two years removed from their last regular season road win. This isn’t the Red Bulls we’re used to seeing here either folks.
Macoumba Kandji’s goal proved to be the difference in this one. Once again Joel Lindpere was responsible for setting the goal for New York. Don’t just talk Newcomer of the Year when it comes to Lindpere, talk possible MVP too. If he keeps his current pace up he’ll likely be just that with the production he’s giving this club.
But the real story was the New York defense. They held Seattle’s attack to a few shots and for all the crap I usually give Bouna Coundoul in net, he actually showed up in a big way during this game.
Now I’m not ready to say their the top club in the league yet, actually I’m far from it but I will say this club is looking very strong out of the gate here.
2. Seattle’s Attack Is Lacking Something
I’m not sure if it was just the fact that Fredy Montero couldn’t get going in this one or if it was Freddie Ljungberg’s early yellow that set the tone but something was just off on Saturday for the Sounders offensively. Maybe newcomer Pat Noonan will help that out but for now they have to figure out ways to get goals and be a tad more creative offensively.
I do like Steve Zakuani on the wings and its possible we could see him slide even more into the attack in the coming weeks if the goals aren’t coming.
3. Mansally Goes Goal Crazy
If this game wasn’t boring you enough you may have missed the quick two goals from Kenny Mansally on Saturday night at RFK Stadium. It was weird, until Mansally come on to the pitch the Revs were going long ball and just hoping for quality counter attacking to get their offense going. Enter Mansally in the second half and things changed in a heartbeat.
Most of the folks at RFK didn’t have enough time to figure out the first Mansally goal by the time he scored the second one. No doubt this is a big boost to this Rev’s squad who are still missing a bulk of their main line up including Shalrie Joseph and Taylor Twellman. If you can go on the road and win by a pair without your main guys it should say something about this club.
4. Something Pretty Wrong In D.C.
I know it is extremely early but in two games D.C. has given up six goals, a few more than any other club. Not the best start for new manager Curt Onalfo. I thought for a while this weekend about Onalfo and how his teams in KC never amounted to anything. I thought it was more Peter Vermes pulling the strings behind him was the bigger reason but now in D.C. we are seeing the same sad story and Vermes is nowhere in sight, it is all Onalfo.
I’m sure a lot of D.C. fans are very nervous right now about this squad. In a more balanced schedule like we have this year you can’t go into a six point hole behind a first place club too early.
Defensively D.C. did look better on Saturday but offensively they look lost. The talent is there to score but Jamie Moreno looks to have lost a step, Chris Pontius may be having a bit of a sophomore slump and maybe Santino Quaranta can’t handle so much responsibility in the midfield after all.
One positive thing we did see was young academy star Andy Najar in this one. His touch looks very good and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty out there. He may not be ready just yet for a starting role but if this small amount of playing time we got from him on Saturday is any indication of what he can do we probably will see him as a regular start sometime this season.
5. Mile High Madness
Most interesting game this weekend in my book went to the Colorado-Chicago game. I said in my preview that part of me wanted to go for a draw in the predictions and boy I should have listened to that gut instinct. Both club’s main offensive guys were involved a lot in this one. Goals from Collins John and Brian McBride for Chicago and on the other side the dynamic duo of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey helped the Rapids out.
Colorado dominated a lot of this one and it should have been a win for them on their season opener but defensively they just had trouble handling John and McBride. Throw in the speed of Patrick Nyarko and this three-headed attack in Chicago may be really tough for some to handle. I like that Carlos de los Cobos went with this formation. Speed up top and some toughness in the midfield was a good change for the Fire.
Colorado looked good at times in the midfield but their defense is starting to worry me. Maybe Marvell Wynne at center back wasn’t such a good idea either. I’m willing to give him another shot here but if he goes out and has another bad game there you have to look to placing him back out on the wings.
Both teams still look dangerous to deal with here though. The Rapids are better than I thought and the Fire look like contenders in the east here already. I know they only have a point to their credit so far but believe me this club will only get better.
6. Attendance Looking Better
Definitely a good weekend for butts-in-seats in MLS. Thursday night saw solid numbers in Houston (18,197) and LA (20,591). Saturday drew good numbers as well in D.C. (20,664) and Seattle (36,154) but in Colorado it was less than what one would hope for (11,641). With more games and teams the league may see higher attendance figures this year.
7. Worst Sight of the Weekend
Football lines at RFK Stadium…from a bowl game in December. Seriously? I know the winter was rough this year but they couldn’t do anything at all to remove those lines. Boy this club’s fans deserve better than that.
8. Top Three Guys of the Week
1. Kenny Mansally (New England) – Two quick goals gave the Revs a big road win.
2. Joel Lindpere (New York) – Once again proved what a nightmare he is on the pitch.
3. Edson Buddle (LA) – Two goals were big ones over their HDC mates Chivas USA.