Week 9 Thoughts and Notes

Week 9 Thoughts and Notes

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 24, 2010
  • 2010 Week 9, MLS Weekend Recaps

Joe Cannon and Bobby Burling continue to lead the Quakes. (Getty Images)

The week was a short one, some clubs didn’t even get invited to the party while one club had to go on the road twice. Seemed unfair at the start of the week but by the end of it things really didn’t matter, that team, the Columbus Crew made no mistake that they are one of the best sides in the league with two straight road wins.

They and fellow undefeated side LA continue to impress. Oh and they face one another on the Saturday at Crew Stadium. Even without the big names like Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers not on the field for it the game still has plenty of steam. But we’ll discuss that more later on this week.

This week was a big statement week though for a couple clubs. For the Crew it was showing that the schedule didn’t matter and that two road games were just a chance to show off exactly how good they are. For San Jose it was a chance to prove to the league that they deserve to be in the discussion for a contender out west. For Real Salt Lake it was a chance to end some issues on the road with a big 2-1 win over Chivas thanks to a last second goal.

1. About that road win

I thought this would be a great chance for RSL this weekend to get a rare road win. I know I didn’t pick them to win on Friday with my weekend predictions but deep down this result wasn’t a shocker. It wasn’t because of Chivas and their inability to stay in games, no, it was because RSL is good and for once they are actually realizing it.

For the last year, maybe two years, RSL has been just an average side that not many can beat in Salt Lake. They win pretty much the majority of their home games but on the road its a different story. Such a different story that made them the average side both on paper and on the field. People ask why I slam on them so much at times and it is due to this inconsistent behavior. It was a mental issue for this side that they just had to overcome here.

After Saturday I think they are finally realizing what we saw last fall, that this is a good team and better than the average label many of us put on them. Its not always about beating the best side on the road that can give you confidence when you’re playing like this on the road but its about finding ways to win on the road. That was something RSL never did until this weekend.

With the next few games at home don’t be shocked if they get a little closer to LA in the standings. Oh and their next road game is at cellar-dweller D.C. United. Too early to pincel in a victory at RFK?

2. Don’t sleep on the Quakes

Two things I was completely off on to start the year, the quality of D.C. United and the quality of San Jose. I pegged D.C. to be way better than what they really are and I pegged San Jose to be the exact opposite of what they are now. And that is a team that looks more and more like a contender each week.

Just check the box scores of the last four games by San Jose and you’ll see something that so few clubs see in the league. Four straight shutouts. Yeah, the club that gave up a ton of goals a season ago just earned their fourth straight shutout this weekend in Seattle.

We knew Ike Opara would be a big upgrade at the draft. We also thought that is Jason Hernandez was healthy the club would defend better. But what’s happened lately was something that is hard to figure out. Guys like Ramiro Corrales and Bobby Convey are playing out of their minds while Joe Cannon continues to look like the Cannon of old. Then there is Chris Wondolowski who has been lights out in front of the net scoring five goals so far this season.

We all pretty much thought the Quakes were a team that was playing for the 3rd pick in the 2011 draft (Portland and Vancouver get the 1 and 2 spots for those curious). Now they’re a team with confidence and a winning record. Frank Yallop doesn’t appear to be on the hot seat like he was after week one when his club was hammered by RSL. Now he looks like a coach that could end up with some Coach of the Year votes if his club continues on this current pace.

Not a bad turn around by The Bay if you ask me.

3. What to make of TFC?

When this club is bad, they are pretty ugly. But when they’re good, they’re…well…okay I suppose. Right now however the club is on a bit of a roll.

The last few games in a heavy schedule due to the Canadian Cup the club has looked rather good. Sure at times the attacking is dreadful but the defense looks a bit more sure and the midfield seems a bit more in sync. Hell even this Saturday without Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman the club still controlled things against New England.

I didn’t think I would say this a month ago but right now Toronto looks like a player in the east. But let’s be honest that isn’t saying much since Columbus is really the only true contender there.

4. The slide continues in KC and New York

At the start of the 2010 campaign there was a lot of buzz around these two clubs. Kansas City started off fast while New York really jumped out of the gun to gain a quality lead in the east. But the last month or month and a half both sides have fallen back into some old habits and each look fairly average once again.

Blame the injuries or whatever you want but each club has some issues. Kansas City can’t defend while New York just hasn’t found a quality pace in the midfield. Each has some time to turn things back in their favor but seeing how Columbus managed to control things makes me wonder if the summer will be kind to the Red Bulls or not.

5. When you’re down, you’re down.

Boy everyone is looking forward to playing D.C. United right now. Just go ahead and circle the date when you play them next because the way things look it will likely be a win. I hate to kick a team when they’re down like this but boy have things gotten real ugly for Curt Onalfo’s bunch.

Its pretty bad when a team as inconsistent as Houston are barely able to break a sweat in a 2-0 win over them.

D.C. continues to rarely generate offense and while they do have injury issues (which club doesn’t at this point) some blame has to go on Onalfo for the lack of attacking his club is producing. At this point he either needs to just bunker his club up and play for draws or just do something drastic to try and igniteΒ the fire.

6. Sophomore slump in Seattle

Go ahead and call it, these Sounders are in a bit of a slump. Sure they scored a big win on the road in week 8 in New York but after this weekend I’m starting to really wonder if this club is indeed in a sophomore slump.

The biggest worry however is coming down to Freddie Ljungberg being called out by his own manager for his antics on the field. Many others have called him out but now Sigi Schmid is too. I know Ljungberg has a lot of passion for the game but its a losing battle to constantly complain to the MLS refs.

  • f4denz

    I think the larger issue in Seattle is that there is a sense of entitlement both in their stands and on the pitch. It is the type of thing we have only seen in the past from Landon & Becks, well the new label has worn off and even ESPN and FSC are no longer wearing their fanboy hats. Seattle has talent, but until they realize that every match is a battle in MLS and nothing can be taken for granted, they will continue to struggle. I actually blame most of it on Sigi, he knows better but has failed to update his teams tactics and allowed them to become predictable.

  • Cannon Girl

    I've been saying for years my Joe and his Quakes were capable of this kind of play haven't I Drewby? Not that I'm gloating πŸ˜‰ but this feels incredible! They've worked so hard for this. Now all that's missing is one a good sparring match w/ Skippy to make it a perfect season LOL! WHO-HOOOOO—GO QUAKES πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Cannon Girl

    I've been saying for years my Joe and his Quakes were capable of this kind of play haven't I Drewby? Not that I'm gloating πŸ˜‰ but this feels incredible! They've worked so hard for this. Now all that's missing is one a good sparring match w/ Skippy to make it a perfect season LOL! WHO-HOOOOO—GO QUAKES πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚