- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 4, 2011
- 1 Comments
- 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Week 3, What We Learned
One word comes to my mind when I look over everything from the past weekend, and that is “level”. Level in the sense that nearly all the games this past weekend ended on level terms. Level in the sense that no team, outside of Colorado looked dominate this weekend. And level in the sense that a couple refs once again put their stamp on a game and made games more level than they probably should have been.
But enough about how level most of the games ended up, it is time to take a look back and figure out what we learned from this past week in Major League Soccer.
1. Trouble in Big D. Schellas Hyndman put out a new lineup once again and 30 minutes later his club was yet again down a man for the majority of the game in Columbus. Blame it on a weak first yellow for Jackson, but really Dallas wasn’t going to win this game at all in Columbus. It just wasn’t in the cards before the red card and it certainly wasn’t in it after that.
Its possible the club just doesn’t have the personnel that it did a season ago to run a 4-1-4-1, maybe it is time to finally switch to a 4-4-2. I think the club would be better suited for that with a diamond midfield. It is still early though and this club is used to starting slow. I’m not panicing yet if I am a Dallas fan but I’m sure most are getting close to going over the edge.
2. DeRo out, now what in Toronto? I’ve always heard Toronto is a bizaro kind of town. The Dwayne De Rosario trade late last week should have come to no shock to anyone who follows the league. He wasn’t happy, the club finally caved in on shopping him and really got a decent deal out of it. I think for the Reds moving on was a tough thing but the right thing. Aron Winter is building his club up the way he wants it and freeing up that sort of cap room also doesn’t hurt. Don’t be shocked if they find a quality DP this summer too now. They’ll need it, that is for sure.
3. Meltdown for KC. To go up 3-0 on the road is never an easy thing but it was a rather impressive one for Sporting Kansas City. Two beautiful goals by Teal Bunbury and then another by Kei Kamara looked to have put a nice stamp on the day for the club at Empire Field against Vancouver. But things change so quickly in soccer. One mistake turned into another, and into another and before long the boys from the midwest were all level at 3 with no time remaining. I’ve said many times so far how KC will score plenty of goals but their defense will also give up just as many. I like Jimmy Nielsen in goal but man, he has no help in front of him and on Saturday his defense just quit when it mattered most.
4. Comeback kids in Vancouver. I’m starting to find that the Whitecaps are one of the more entertaining and interesting clubs in all of MLS right now. If it isn’t Eric Hassli scoring goals it is Brazilian Camilo scoring two great goals to cap a remarkable comeback at Empire Field. One thing is certain, this club will not be easy to put away. We all thought Portland would be that club but I think Vancouver may be the toughest of the two new clubs. I’m also rather impressed with defender Alain Rochat too. He’s confident and cool on the ball, something you don’t often see from a defensive player that is new to the league.
5. DeRo debut spoiled by Dynamo. I’ll be honest for a moment, I saw about five minutes of this game Saturday. I noticed the crowd was weak (more on that in a minute), and neither team seemed to be moving the ball that much better than the other. Dane Richards got his side up but a defensive let down caused Cam Weaver to sneak in and tie the game up. But more kudos need to go to Houston keeper Tally Hall. This guy continues to impress, definitely one of the more underrated keepers in all of the league right now. Time and time again he kept New York from pulling away.
6. Portland gets first point. Not much we can say about this one. It was bottled up in the midfield but both teams had their chances. It was good to see Portland have Eddie Johnson and Darlington Nagbe fit for this one, Nagbe provided a nice spark to their offense. You can see spots where Portland will be very dangerous on offense this season and other spots where their defense still has a long way to go. I think that getting their first point should be a nice lift for John Spencer’s club.
7. Revs still undefeated. Three weeks in and the Revs still are undefeated. Yeah, I can’t say I saw that coming but at the same time its a deserving mark for Steve Nicol’s side. Defensively they’re coming together pretty nicely and offensively they appear to be getting better. With hopes of signing a new striker here soon, this club could be getting a little more dangerous by the week.
8. Things get testy in LA. I made sure to watch the LA-Philly game this past weekend and boy was it pretty interesting. The first half was rather dull, except for a nice goal by Leonardo off a David Beckham free kick. How Philly forgot to park Leonardo in the box is still a shocker to me because they had been marking pretty well up until that point. But from there on the game got chippy. Card after card took away from this game and by the end of it, both clubs were down to 10 men apiece. That is one thing that upset me midway through the second half was the amount of fouls and cards given. At some point it just takes away from the game itself.
9. Seattle disappoints in draw. This was a perfect game for Seattle to get three points but in the end their defense forgot to mark midfielder Khari Stephenson who had a ridiculous blast from distance. Still, for the most part I thought the Sounders once again dominated the bulk of this game and should be disappointed to only get a single point out of it. I do like newcomer Mauro Rosales, I found him to bring a new dynamic to the Sounder attack. Something that needed to be there given the fact that Fredy Montero was sidelined for this one.
10. Colorado means business. Everyone wondered out loud who would step up with Real Salt Lake off this week and be that dominate side, well it ended up being the Colorado Rapids. No surprise there given the fact that D.C. United rarely does well in the Mile High City. Newcomer Caleb Folan continues to impress as he scored two quality goals in this one. D.C. really had no answer for Folan, Omar Cummings and the rest of the Colorado attack. It may have taken the United goal to get Colorado going again in the second half but once the burgundy attack started up it didn’t stop until the game was over.
11. Two negatives on attendance. While LA, Vancouver, Toronto and yes, Columbus all had nice marks in attendance. Two clubs had rather nasty looking figures while New York was pretty bad as well. Colorado and New England posted sub-10k numbers for the first time this season. It could have been weather related or it just could have been poor marketing on the three clubs mentioned. Either way its not fun to see those kinds of numbers anymore.