- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 11, 2011
- 4 Comments
- 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Week 4, MLS Weekend Recaps, What We Learned
Let’s just say it, week four in Major League Soccer had plenty to offer. From the entertaining, yet frustrating Whitecaps-Revolution game on Wednesday all the way to the controversial finish in D.C. between United and the Galaxy.
Below are some items I took away from this past week in MLS.
1. Revs have long way to go. I saw a few folks around the league thinking that before last week the Revs were a top ten team. Hell, I had them at eight in my power rankings last week but I’ll admit I didn’t feel at all comfortable with that spot for them. The two games for them this week confirmed what I had suspected about them going into the year. They’d be decent but not nearly good enough to hang with most clubs. Going up to a two-man advantage Wednesday in Vancouver showed a lot about how little depth they have in their offense right now. Also, look at Saturday’s game with a mostly reserve squad for RSL. They couldn’t hang with them even. I know they have a new striker on the way and if he can produce then that will be one thing, but if things continue the way they are right now it will only make this season longer in New England.
2. Dallas earns some redemption. A few months of frustration finally boiled over for FC Dallas last Friday in their 3-0 win over Colorado. It was the first time all season that Dallas actually looked like their 2010 self. Offensively Dallas totally controlled the game from start to finish and MVP David Ferreira had little problems creating space in the Rapids’ defense. Biggest thing was seeing the Dallas defense finally show up, a lot had to do with Ugo Ihemelu and George John being paired in the center again like most of last season while Brek Shea stayed in defense but was moved out wide. That is a dangerous thing folks, as Shea looked really good on the left side for Dallas Friday night.
3. Giving Colorado a little bit. Gary Smith couldn’t be pleased with the loss in Dallas but he had to expect some of it. He knew Dallas had more emotion going into this game and with some injuries to Conor Casey and Pablo Mastroeni, the Rapids didn’t look like themselves in the midfield or in the attack. I’m sure Mastroeni would have made a huge difference in this one as his replacement Joseph Nane looked completely lost out on the field. The Rapids have very little time to bounce back as they travel to Salt Lake this Wednesday for a Rocky Mountain Cup battle.
4. Seattle inks first win. This one was exciting in the first half, both the Sounders and Fire traded goals early before Steve Zakuani put away the game-winner. Seattle continues to improve here as Zakuani and O’Brien White show they are a good pairing out there. I love watching Zakuani play, as he continues to mature out there, his play continues to progress. As for White, I knew going to Seattle would be a good move for him and it is starting to really pay off here. He’s had a couple goals in the last few weeks and is really helping drive the offense while Fredy Montero is out.
5. Ream’s mistake proves costly. Give Philadelphia credit, their feisty nature is proving to be a headache for a lot of clubs here this season. I got a feeling they may be that kind of club that just wins 1-0 games here. All their wins so far are from that mark and even their lone loss was a 1-0 game. Either way you look at things right now the Union are a contenter and if their offense ever really explodes like it should with Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz and Sebastien Le Toux, then this could be a tough team to handle later on in the season. Consider this as well, they don’t have the USOC to deal with, nor any CCL games. They could easily make a run late in the year if they remain healthy.
6. Reserves do dirty work for RSL. This game was a bit physical, mainly because New England had to do something to get in it. Real Salt Lake continues to show how deep they are by fielding mostly backups in a 2-0 win at New England. Yes, on the road, which makes this more impressive in my mind. Many believed they’d let their emotions of moving on to the CCL finals get the best of them here but Jason Kreis should be praised for getting his team ready for this one and getting the points to move into first place.
7. Dive or no dive. I’ve watched the Charlie Davies PK replay over and over again. On one angle it is a dive, the next its a shove by Omar Gonzalez. No matter which way you spin it, it was a game saving PK from Davies. D.C. went from looking at zero points against a much more superior Galaxy team to getting a point. While it wasn’t sexy it was good enough. Bigger question is how many of you think it was a dive?
8. TFC secures rare road point on West Coast. Color me surprised here. Toronto FC showed up at San Jose and came away with a vital road point. The biggest thing may have been the halftime adjustments out of Aron Winter to secure that point. For the most part that first half was dreadful out of Toronto, except for the Alan Gordon goal.
9. Dynamo make most of chances. There is the Dynamo squad I expected to see earlier in the season. Sure it came against a Whitecaps team that was beat up by injuries and red cards. Either way it was great to see the Dynamo offense finally get off the mark for a change. For Vancouver, you have to wonder what the game would have been like with Frenchman Eric Hassli, who has red carded earlier in the week for what some are calling the dumbest red card in league history. To me, he wouldn’t have factored in as much as the Dynamo completely handled the makeshift midfield out of Vancouver.
10. Down to one and two. At this moment we have one club left that is undefeated (RSL, no surprise) and two clubs that are still winless (Chivas USA and Portland). The Timbers possibly have the best shot at winning their first game this week, as they finally have their first home game this Thursday against Chicago (they also host Dallas on Sunday as well). Chivas is away to Vancouver this weekend, which could end up being an interesting game if Vancouver doesn’t get any red cards.