MLS Weekend Recap: Week 26

MLS Weekend Recap: Week 26

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 27, 2010
  • 2010 Week 26, MLS Weekend Recaps

Juan Pablo Angel and New York proved they can hang with the best of the league. (Getty Images)

Color me not surprised by this past weekend. I don’t mean to be negative or anything here but this weekend nearly went like I expected it to. Sure I missed plenty of my predictions on Friday but nothing shocked me about the way things played out really.

The weekend ended nearly the same way it started, LA on top in the west with Columbus on top in the east. The only real difference this Monday is that the gap is closer for Salt Lake, Dallas and New York to catch them. The same can nearly be said about the gap at the bottom of the playoff picture as San Jose, Seattle and Colorado all made positive pushes this weekend while those trying to catch them (Kansas City, Chicago and Toronto) all stumbled at home no less.

New York Shows Its Class

There was nothing too pretty about Friday night’s dubbed “Game of the Season” and in fact it of course didn’t live up to that hype. The game was bogged down in the midfield and the passing wasn’t anything special. New York basically used the template that others have found successful against LA: hold them in the possession game, beat them on the wings with speed and put bodies on Landon Donovan.

But let’s be honest, LA wasn’t at their best on Friday and should in no way be an indication of more things to come out of them. They were missing their two best defenders and they’re still figuring out how to get this David Beckham guy in the lineup again.

New York had loads of time on the ball but really lacked the finish in the final third to really put this game away. A two goal win is a nice one but really they could have done much better with the time they had on the ball in this one. But in all the Red Bulls did gain one big thing besides the win on Friday night, a huge psychological boost that they can compete with the big boys of the west.

Home Issues For Eastern Clubs

Home field advantage pretty much went away for all eastern conference clubs this weekend. Toronto stumbled in their 3-2 loss to San Jose, basically ending their hopes for a playoff run. The same could be said about Chicago’s late loss at Toyota Park to Seattle. Kansas City’s hot run was put to bed quickly against FC Dallas.

In all the three teams that needed the most out of this past weekend gain nothing but another loss. For all three it comes at the worst possible time too. I may go more into the final four (or five or six depending on the team) games on the schedule for each club later today. But really with the four western conference clubs in the wild card spots winning games this weekend it put more pressure on those three once again to get points.

Kansas City is still close with five games left for that eighth and final playoff spot but being five points out now is rough and their schedule isn’t too kind from here out. The same is said about Chicago who may have six games on the slate left but sitting at 26 points on the year and 12 points back I’d be willing to put that the Fire are more done than they think they really are at this point.

And as for Toronto, stick a fork in them because their playoff hopes are dead.

Streaks Extend for RSL and Dallas

Well for Dallas we thought the end was near for their current run this week. After nearly dropping a game to the now eliminated New England Revolution the boys in stripes went to KC and quickly made easy work of the Wizards who looked more gassed than anything. I had said it was a big week for the Wizards with three games in seven days but Dallas made sure their streak wasn’t going to end on the road, a place they’ve had little trouble finding results all year.

For RSL it wasn’t as easy at home extending their unbeaten run at Rio Tinto. Colorado matched them blow for blow and gave what was easily the weekend’s best game. The Rapids nearly held on to the 1-0 win but a late hand ball in the box changed the game. The PK was weirdly waved off and a drop ball was given but shortly after RSL was able to find an answer in Nate Borchers.

Signing the Check

I’m going to end here with my thoughts on the weekend with Dwayne De Rosario and his goal celebration against San Jose. Let’s just say DeRo isn’t happy right now. Who can blame him as he’s had an MVP type season with the Reds but Toronto’s recent issues are causing some serious frustration with it’s best player. He’s vastly underpaid by his standards and really everyone else in the league would likely agree that he’s worth a DP status with the way he plays.

But his normal DeRo strut after the goal was changed to him signing an imaginary check to the crowd. If I’m Toronto’s management I’m talking to him today about that celebration. Get him to air out his frustrations and get to work on changing it.

The thing is the celebration isn’t the way to go when showing your frustration with the club and your contract DeRo. You know he wants paid better and he wants to be back in the playoffs but something has to be changed there to get both sides on the same page for next season.

Right now if I’m Vancouver I’d be watching this situation like a hawk with my checkbook ready to go if Toronto can’t come to an agreement with the Canadian star.

  • Ralph

    Drew, I would add that one blip was that RSL played a mostly rookie, untested start 11 against the Rapids for 60 minutes, and was only losing 1-0.

    Imagine what would have happened if they started Rimando, Olave, Morales, Beckerman, Findley and Saborio in that game?

    RSL is saving up for a big win in Toronto tomorrow.

  • reddevilyank

    DeRo is not DP worthy, but I do admit he is underpaid compared to the DP they do have. It is the MLS fault for Toronto’s situation with DeRo, they allowed him to leave Houston and now he’s the best player on the team in his hometown. Of course he is going to behave that way. In my opinion Houston should not have let him leave.