Thoughts and Notes From Week 20

Thoughts and Notes From Week 20

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 16, 2010
  • 2010 Week 20, MLS Weekend Recaps

LA out-muscled New York over the weekend. (Getty Images)

Its a little crazy to think that we’re in the stretch run of this season already but here we are. This past week in Major League Soccer the west continued their strangle-hold over the east. The big three out west (LA, RSL, and Dallas) all won their games against eastern conference sides, two of them on the road even.

I followed a few games and caught highlights of some others. It was a pretty jam-packed weekend for me so I didn’t get to see everything that I wanted to.

LA Wins The NY Battle

Obviously the LA-New York game was the biggest one of the weekend for the league. In no way or shape did it disappoint. From start to finish it was an entertaining affair that had plenty of star power. Hell even David Beckham was on the bench for it.

The difference was an Edson Buddle goal (when haven’t we said that this season?). Juninho’s beautiful pass to Buddle was all LA needed to beat NY. Does this mean NY with all their DP power isn’t good enough to beat a team like LA (or RSL or Dallas) in the playoffs? Maybe and maybe not. Obviously Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez are getting up to speed here and the team still needs time to gel. If you think about it for a second it took LA a year or so to gel with Beckham. We can’t be shocked that NY would drop a game here this early.

But LA needed the win more than NY. The little bit of funk that they put themselves in seemed to have gone away for at least a game. And now with the transfer window closed the team can really focus on the stretch run knowing that Landon Donovan isn’t going anywhere just yet.

Dallas Continues Impressive Form

Say what you will about the club and how they handle things the results are speaking for themselves. At times they didn’t look good against the lowly D.C. United on Saturday but when effort was needed it was certainly there. David Ferreira continues to have a MVP type season as he leads Schellas Hyndman’s squad.

Dallas now has a club record 10-game unbeaten run and even more impressive record tying the league mark for most games without a loss on the road (9 games). One more road win or draw and that record is their’s alone. Never thought I would say that about a Hyndman coached team but he’s put together a pretty impressive group this last year or so in Dallas.

As for D.C., well, there’s no point in discussing how low they’ve gone to here.

Playoff Hopes Dashing Away For Some

While New England, Chicago and Toronto all sit on the outside of the playoff bubble today the rest below them really are seeing their hopes go away with each passing game. Houston can’t catch a break all over the field; Kansas City continues to find ways not to score when they need it; Chivas gets a decent draw at home but who are we kidding about them; and Philadelphia won’t reach the playoffs with draws at every home game.

Why do New England, Chicago and Toronto all have hope? The Revs somehow continue to prove what a genius Steve Nicol is with each game. Their unbeaten run lately in all competitions is something to marvel at considering the mass amount of injuries and issues this club has had this season.

Chicago is a wild card in my mind just because of the moves they’ve made lately. But oddly enough the schedule didn’t showcase them this past week so who knows what to think of them right now.

Then there is Toronto FC. With the schedule about to get real messy for them it will be interesting to see how Preki’s team holds on here. I know its playoffs or bust up there this season so they may be the one club to really keep an eye on from here on out.

You could also lump Colorado and San Jose in this group. Right now both are sitting in the playoff zone but I’m not all that confident about either at the moment, though the Rapids getting a draw on the road in a place like Philadelphia isn’t a bad thing.

Other Notes

– So San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski has scored as many goals this season as D.C. United has scored at home. Ouch. Who would have thought ol Wondo would be the big threat up top for San Jose this season? Not I.

– Another Quake note, Khari Stephenson made his debut this season in a big way by getting the game-winning assist for Wondo’s goal over Kansas City. I’ve been a bit worried about the Quakes’ midfield and their ability to hold the ball but its possible that Stephenson is the right guy for this club going forward.

– Can we go ahead and give Danny Mwanga the Rookie of the Year award? I know Tim Ream and Michael Stephens have had nice seasons so far but seriously Mwanga is a freak. He’s got seven goals on 12 shots on goal in just 14 appearances and in just 824 minutes. Translation= He does a lot in a little amount of time.

– MVP award race is so stinkin’ tight this season. You got a guy like Sebastien Le Toux in Philly who has contributed on 18 of their 23 goals. Then you have Javier Morales who makes RSL go, the same can be said for Dallas’ David Ferreria. Let’s not forget about Juan Pablo Angel, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan, who are all putting up killer numbers. Just too close to call right now.

– Speaking of Angel, why did Hans Backe sub him out late against LA? Wouldn’t having one of the league’s best strikers on the field be important late in the games? Just weird considering he wasn’t hurt from what I could see.