MLS Weekend Recap: Week 22

MLS Weekend Recap: Week 22

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 30, 2010
  • 2010 Week 22, David Beckham, David Ferriera, Edson Buddle, Fredy Montero, Landon Donovan, MLS Weekend Recaps, Thierry Henry

LA continues their slump with a recent loss to Kansas City. (Getty Images)

A few clubs took a step forward this past weekend while others were taking two steps back. For the first time nearly all season the standings appear pretty tight in various spots. Up top is becoming increasingly closer as LA drops points yet again while RSL, Dallas, Columbus, and New York all sneak up on the Galaxy.

The final three spots for the playoffs still remain pretty open too. Seattle did their part getting three points this weekend, as did Colorado. The gap between 6, 7, and 8 is there but that last playoff spot is slowly starting to be anyone’s game between San Jose, Chicago, Toronto, and Kansas City.

Week 22 is in the books folks but its weird to think that we can actually say a handfull of clubs are nearly out of the running this year. Yes done. Before September. That’s how things go as the league expands.

Below are some other nuggets of thoughts I had on this past week in MLS.

1. LA continues to sink.

Speed kills and LA has little of it to show for. With Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan now producing on the same level as earlier in the season the Galaxy have gone from unbeatable to very beatable in a matter of two months. Since the World Cup ended the Galaxy have lost their way. In all competitions since July they are 3-6-1. See that middle number? Yeah its growing against teams they should beat, like Kansas City at home. No way on earth the Wizards are better than the Galaxy right now (no disrespect Wizards fans your club is getting much better) but the fight and hunger isn’t there from Bruce Arena’s team.

But back to my main point on the Galaxy. Their lack of speed continues to be an issue as it was a year ago and a couple years before that. Yes they’ll get David Beckham back in the lineup soon enough and I do believe that will be a nice spark to their lineup but speed wise they have none to burn while other clubs are burning all over them. You want to beat LA, just pull a quick counter on them and see what happens.

Its the age in the back and in the midfield that is hurting this side. Its the weakness that has been there all season long that we just ignored because they couldn’t stop winning early on in the season. It also doesn’t help that the quality young players like rookie Michael Stephens that they have are hitting that late summer wall.

2. Montero is the talk of the town.

Right now the MVP race is a two horse thing between Seattle’s Fredy Montero and Dallas’ David Ferriera. Why those two Colombians? Simple really, they both just get results for their clubs. Montero definitely had the upper hand this weekend as Ferriera and Dallas just looked a bit lost in Columbus in the 0-0 draw to the Crew. Montero and the Sounders hosted their old mate Freddie Ljungberg and the Fire this weekend and came away with a big time win, mostly due to Montero.

Seattle should get into the playoffs with the way Montero is playing right now. He, like his club, are peaking (in league play, not CCL play for the moment) at the right time here. Yes they had a bad slump in the early-to-middle part of the year but that appears to be over for now. Montero’s ten goals and nine assists are simply staggering to see.

Another name to consider in the MVP race is still Philadelphia’s Sebastien Le Toux. I just worry that folks won’t give him votes considering how he plays for one of the worst sides in the league right now.

3. New York and Dallas closing the gap?

Both clubs stand a good chance still at winning either their conferences or even the Supporter’s Shield this season. At 37 points they both sit six points back of LA and their overall league lead. Dallas has a game in hand against the Galaxy too.

New York has really started to grow on me lately, something that some of you thought would never happen. Basically it comes down to their recent additions paying off in a big way. Are they a title contender this year? You have to think so. No one wants to play them at Red Bull Arena right now and they have enough talent to get results on the road for a change.

But let’s look at Dallas for a moment too. They now have the league record for unbeaten games on the road at 10 and a club record for unbeaten games overall at 12. Its hard to think that their only losses this year are at home to LA back in May (their most recent loss) and all the way back in the beginning of the year in New York (a game that really should have been a draw).

Could Dallas and New York be headed for a trip to Toronto this November? Right now I wouldn’t bet against it.

4. End of an era

Lets go ahead and put New England and Houston with the bottom tier clubs for this season. As I see Philadelphia, D.C., Chivas all not making the playoffs I see the same out of New England and Houston now too.

Hard to believe the staple of consistency over the last six or eight years is coming to an end with these two. This year just wasn’t in the cards for either of them really as they continue to stumble in games that they probably could get results in.

I know both had red card issues in their games this weekend that definitely changed the outcomes a bit but looking at how the two played in those games they were never going to win them anyways.

New England needs around 20 points in their last nine games to have a shot at the post season while Houston needs about 17 in their final eight games. Doesn’t sound likely now does it folks?