MLS Week 11 Thoughts and Recap

MLS Week 11 Thoughts and Recap

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 7, 2010
  • 2010 Week 11, MLS Weekend Recaps

Tristan Bowen looks like a star in the making for LA. (Getty Images)

I’ll be honest, I’ll likely keep most of this brief since I missed a couple games this weekend. Due to some high heat here in Texas and me being out all day Saturday in it I got a bit sick from it and couldn’t do much Saturday night. I’m all rested and better now so I’m also playing catch up. I did see a couple games though so my catching up isn’t as much as I thought it would be at first.

But enough about my weekend, let’s get into Major League Soccer’s last weekend before the World Cup. I know there are a couple games this week before Friday but we’ll worry about them later on. Week 11 for the most part was a dud in my eyes. Lots of teams seemed to hold things back and just play to get to the long break. The ones that didn’t hold back showed up and played very well in the process.

This week was either about getting those last points before the long layoff or it was about not getting any more banged up than you already are. A couple clubs really impressed me while some continue to stink up the place.

1. 32 points in 12 games

Think about that figure for a moment, 32 points, in 12 games with only three goals against. Are the LA Galaxy this good or is everyone else this bad? I don’t think the clubs are this bad here but its hard to deny the Galaxy the title of being this good so far. Defensively they are impressive and offensively you can’t help but thing this could be the best offense we’ve seen in MLS in a long time.

We know what they can do with Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan and now we know exactly what they can do without them. Rookie Michael Stephens and academy star Tristan Bowen continue to impress and rise up to the¬†occasion¬†of the playing time that they’re getting right now. Neither look phased by their lack of professional experience. Out of the two I don’t know who to be more impressed with either. I knew Stephens would be a stud in this league with the Galaxy so I guess Bowen gets the nod here for being more impressive.

Now the question comes to will the break here for the World Cup cool off the Galaxy? It may and it may not. It will however give other clubs some time to figure them out here. They have a big battle this Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium. If they win that then its safe to say that no one is touching the Galaxy this season.

2. New York state of mind

You think this was the week that New York had been looking forward to for a little while? I think so considering the funk that they were in at one point. Two home games against two western conference foes ended in two wins. Neither were really all that impressive but results should speak for themselves. Just when they needed six points they got them, something Hans Backe has to be happy with.

Now the Red Bulls are back in a tie with the Crew for top seat in the eastern conference with Toronto nipping at their heels. The break coming up has to be a good thing for them too as they need to get healthy again and find time to correct some defensive issues that are going on.

July will be a huge month for the club both on and off the field. The schedule then is pack with tough league games and a couple big international friendlies. If they make it out of that month with a decent record they could end up with one of the two automatic bids in the east. It won’t be easy though because Toronto is closely following them.

3. Breaking the funk in Seattle

A visit from New England has been a welcome thing to some clubs this season. Seattle was no different as they quickly jumped out on the Revs in the first half. It was a nasty physical game too but one thing is certain this result should have broken the Sounders out of their apparent slump.

For once we finally got to see the Sounders fire on all cylinders like we expected them to back in March. Sometimes slow starts happen in MLS but this Sounder team was always due to break out of it.

4. Najar proving his worth

While D.C. United is having a terrible season one thing is certain, their academy stars are shining bright. Bill Hamid has looked solid in goal for them and is proving that he will likely be the future there. But midfielder Andy Najar looks miles above the rest of the academy-signed players in the league. I know there are a couple good ones that have yet to debut around the league but Najar just looks special on the ball. He and D.C. are showing the rest of the league exactly how to find talent within and get them to show it off in front of the entire league.

The next question has to be how long can D.C. hold on to this kid? You know someone overseas is watching him with a big grin on their face right now.

5. What to make in Dallas

Looking at Dallas’ record you see only two losses, yet those six draws continue to stick out like a sore thumb. Oddly enough only LA and Columbus have loss less games than FCD has this season but again the respect factor isn’t there for Schellas Hyndman’s squad. But look at the San Jose game and you will begin to see exactly how good this club can be if Hyndman ever figures out what lineup to use on the field from start to finish.

The first half was a dud by all accounts, the heat on Saturday got to both sides quickly but Dallas pressed. Jeff Cunningham continues to stumble around goal and one open chance that was missed by a mile tells you all you need to know about him right now.

But the second half was far different, Hyndman injected Eric Avila into the midfield and things finally started to take shape. David Ferriera was able move a little more around goal and it showed as he set up Brek Shea for the game’s first goal. The midfield also looked better on the second goal as Shea opened up the San Jose defense making Joe Cannon and Chris Lietch look silly.

Who knows if Hyndman will ever figure out his lineup this season but if he does like he did in the second half on Saturday Dallas could end up being a very dangerous team.