- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 3, 2010
- 2 Comments
- 2010 Week 6, MLS Weekend Recaps
Sometimes is hard to get a handle on a club after five or six games but for a couple clubs its pretty clear already whether or not if they are good, bad or average. Week six cleared some things up for me for several clubs as we know who is really good (LA) and who is really bad (Philadelphia, Dallas, D.C.).
Now out of two of those clubs we see as really bad, I think Philadelphia and Dallas at least have a little more upside than the 0-5 D.C. United. But more on that in a bit.
1. Buddle Continues His Magic
Yes I will gloat a minute here, I said back after week two that Edson Buddle deserved a look from Bob Bradley for the USMNT for the World Cup and four weeks later I don’t feel at all bad about that statement. He’s up to nine goals, yes nine goals before June. But what he is doing off the ball is making a big difference. Its the little things on the field that count more sometimes for people like Bradley and if you saw his assist to A.J. DeLaGarza on Saturday you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here.
LA is firing on all cylinders here which is good because should they lose Buddle and Landon Donovan to the World Cup the summer will could be rough on them. Now I don’t think DeLaGarza will be stepping up and handling the scoring load while those two are out but the way their offense runs I’m sure someone will.
2. Lack of scoring hurting Dallas
I’ve seen a lot of FC Dallas this year already and I know they’re better than their winless 0-1-4 record shows. Four draws in five games isn’t the worst thing in the world, just as the 2009 LA Galaxy or Columbus Crew. Both of those club struggled to win out of the gate and each ended up doing alright on the year. The big difference between those two clubs and this FCD club is a lack of bite on the offensive end. Dallas failed to get a striker to go with or at least help out Jeff Cunningham and its definitely showing as the club continues to fall short in the offensive third of the field.
Defensively they’ve improved but by only so much. The centerback tandem of Ugo Ihemelu and George John isn’t terrible but I think its safe to say it isn’t working for me or most folks around the league. I’d honestly love to see Schellas Hyndman try a Brek Shea in the back for one of those two and give the club some much needed size in the defense.
Hyndman puts a lot of bodies in the midfield to make up for the lack of a second striker with Cunningham. Honestly the summer can’t come soon enough to fix that and allow the club to upgrade their roster. I know they have some cap space and some allocation, maybe they’ll get a little more out of their movement this summer than before. But at the rate their going it won’t matter as you can’t make the playoffs when you don’t win.
3. The Blame Game in D.C.
Lots of folks are talking about this one now that D.C. lost it’s first homegame to the New York Red Bulls in nearly a half decade. Is it Kevin Payne, Curt Onalfo or Dave Kasper? Or all three? I’d say most agree its all three at this point since they all had a hand in some way of forming this club. Onalfo can only do so much and his constant tinkering of the lineup doesn’t help. If last year’s New York club taught us anything the more you mess with a lineup the less likely you’re going to succeed in this league.
Injuries are one thing but I’d say most diehard fans at this point aren’t blaming the injuries for this mess. At 0-5 they now have the third-worst starting record of any club in league history and with the upcoming games (vs KC on Wednesday and @ Dallas on Saturday) they could stand the chance of tying the league’s worst start by KC (0-7) from back in 1999. Ouch.
I don’t expect a quick fix anytime soon by Onalfo, his club aside from guys like Clyde Simms and Andy Najar just aren’t any good right now.
4. New York state of mind
Okay, I’ll eat some crow. Sure the Red Bulls have beat some of the worst clubs in the league to start out their year but wins are wins and so far the Red Bulls do look like one of the better sides in the league and something tells me they’ll only get better this year. Hans Backe and company continue to look better each week though they really haven’t played a strong game since week two, then again they really haven’t had to when you look at who’ve they played.
That loss at Chivas still worries me about this club, I know it was three weeks ago but its the only thing still holding me back from putting them at the elite level with LA and Columbus right now. Maybe they need a big win on the road or something to cool my thoughts. I’m usually right about this club when I see them for myself but until then I’m just having a hard time getting a handle on them.
5. Kinnear makes me feel dumb
If there’s one thing to learn from this past weekend it is don’t go against a Dominic Kinnear side at home. Just don’t even think about it. Why? Even against a quality side like Kansas City when they are hurting with injuries they still came out and looked strong. A 3-0 win was a big statement too, it shows this Dynamo side won’t go down easy and even getting Luis Angel Landin active and scoring showed there is hope for him yet.
6. Thoughts on RSL and TFC
One thing that struck me about RSL was that they needed the points badly. But should we read into a result that was ok against a Toronto side that didn’t start both Dwayne De Rosario or Julian de Guzman? Part of me thinks RSL will be fine here but the other part of me worries that RSL still has a long way to go here, even as defending champions.
7. Something about Philadelphia
I know Peter Nowak is a tough as nails kind of guy but sometimes he needs to loosen the chains off his club. Yet another game and another mental error, this time it was a red card by Stefani Miglioranzi. But let’s be honest here the Union really had no shot in LA against the Galaxy. I think the Union have a shot at being good here, I really do but until Nowak loosens things up a bit on his team they’ll never get there.
8. Still not time to panic about gate numbers
For those that worry about the gate figures, this week is probably one that you’re really worried over. A less than stellar number in D.C. (12k+) has to worry some but let’s face it the club stinks and the locals see it. I’d worry about places like RSL or LA getting lower gate numbers. Maybe it was the clubs they were playing that didn’t get the locals interested but something wasn’t the norm in those two cities this weekend.