What We Learned: MLS Week 15

What We Learned: MLS Week 15

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 27, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Week 15, What We Learned

Mike Magee became the unlikely goalkeeper hero for LA in SJ this weekend. (Getty Images)

I don’t honestly think I’ll tak about the US-Mexico game. I watched bits and pieces of it during the FC Dallas-Portland Timbers game on Saturday. Either way you spill it the US got sucked into a black hole once Jonathan Bornstein came onto the pitch. Whether or not he caused all the four Mexican goals is accurate or not, he got torched on the wings and so did the rest of the US team.

Anyways, I did have plenty of time to go through the MLS slate that was on Saturday and Sunday. Plenty of games despite the Gold Cup final (please, enough schedule bashing folks. MLS had their slate up well before the Gold Cup schedule was announced, it could have been avoided or better handled but it wasn’t, so deal with it).

I think later today I’m going to go into a first half of the season look at the playoffs to see who are the contenders and who are getting left in the dust here.

1. Magee to the rescue! Who would have thunk it. Mike Magee recording a shutout as a keeper. When Donovan Ricketts went down with an injury I’m sure he thought to himself, “oh crap, our top keeper is hurt” but I’m sure his immediate thought after Josh Saunders got red carded was “well, looks like I’m going in goal”. Again, who would have thunk it. With Ricketts hurt and Saunders suspended you gotta wonder, will Bruce Arena turn to Magee again to play keeper?

2. Complete performance. Being in Dallas and seeing FCD play each week, I don’t want to sound like a total homer here when I say this but Dallas may have put together one of the most complete performances as a team Saturday night against Portland. Top to bottom they dominated the expansion Timbers. Yes, I’m brining back the expansion tag as Portland certainly looked like one in Frisco this past weekend. Dallas stopped one of the best set piece teams in the league and provided two goals of their own off set pieces. The run of play goals were also pretty nice as well.

3. Double the fun. Want to talk about a good week? Look no further than to what Seattle did with their two home games. Six points and six goals in a very nice week for the PacNW club. The offensive outburst by the Sounders was one that most Seattle fans have been waiting for here. Now that they are tied for second in the West with Dallas, you have to think that this three (four teams if you want to count RSL) race in the Western Conference is shaping up to be a really good one.

4. Offense comes alive for Columbus, RSL and Philly. MLS sure did pick a random week to see large outburst. Columbus downs Colorado 4-1, Philly gets three over Chivas USA and RSL tags Toronto with three of their own (plus Dallas scoring four of course on Portland). All three of those clubs needed a large outburst in the goal scoring department here. Philly looked like they were falling back into their old 1-0 ways; RSL couldn’t find the offense button ever since Javier Morales went down; and Columbus never looked like once scoring that many goals in a certain week.

5. Speaking of Columbus and their DP for that matter. Andres Mendoza is finally justifying the Crew’s reasoning for making him a Designated Player for this season. His two goal game has me thinking that the Crew could very well be the darkhorse club from the Eastern Conference this season, but I’ll have more on that later today.

6. Trouble still in the Big Apple. I’ll keep saying it, until New York clears up their goalkeeping issues, they’ll never be a serious contender for a MLS Cup. Sure they have the offense to do it and when everyone isn’t gone to the Gold Cup they have the defense to do it as well. But no matter who is between the pipes for them here this season it seems as though they’ll never finish climbing that mountain in MLS. Greg Sutton doesn’t have the skills while Bouna Coundoul at times does but other times puts them in bad spots. Case and point this past week for the two as Sutton looked awful in Seattle while Coundoul let in possibly one of the softest goals I’ve ever seen to Chicago’s Marco Pappa.

7. 11 Draws in the Windy City. At some point Chicago fans have to wonder, when will their club win again? With 11, yes 11 draws already on the season, the Fire aren’t winning and also aren’t losing. But the bigger deal for me with this is the fact that they only have two wins on the season. Just two. The same amount that both Vancouver and Toronto have on the year. Right now that is not company you want to be in.

8. Any hope for Colorado? The depth has been killed already this season with injuries and then international callups. Now it seems as though the Rapids just don’t have enough in the tank to really compete. To make matters worse they have group stage matches later this season in the CCL. After playing 17 games I think it could be fair to say that this club just won’t be repeating as champions unless they get absolutely hot late again this year.