2012 MLS Season, Week 5: What To Watch For

2012 MLS Season, Week 5: What To Watch For

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 5, 2012
  • 2012 MLS Season, 2012 Week 5, Bruce Arena, Chris Wondolowski, Danny Koevermans, Dwayne De Rosario, Features, Jay Heaps, Kyle Beckerman, Shalrie Joseph, Torsten Frings

Rocky Mountain Cup is on the line this weekend. (Getty Images)

The weekend is finally getting here. For those that know me and know what this past week or so has been like for me on the day job front, you know how excited I am to see the weekend ahead. A three day weekend in fact.

Time to take a look at the weekend ahead and we get started a day early with a game tonight in Dallas.

This is another weekend where there are plenty of quality games to discuss. Only three East v. West matches this weekend but the big focus will be on two rivalry games and a big showdown between KC and LA.

1. Revs hoping to make it three straight. Never would have guessed this version of the New England Revolution would be going for three straight wins tonight (and two straight road wins), this early in the season. Give credit to Jay Heaps for the hard work he’s put into this club. I think the big thing is seeing ¬†Shalrie Joseph finally have some supporting cast around him is making the difference. Clyde Simms has been huge in the midfield with Joseph and the defense is slowly stepping up and is making things tough for other clubs. Saer Sene is gaining some confidence with two goals as well. New England hasn’t had a quality striker like Sene in some time and if he can keep it up the Revs will definitely contend in the East.

2. Canadian rivalry loses some steam. Both Toronto and Montreal lost last night, on the road just days before their first MLS match. Boy I have to say I wish this one had a little more leading into it than just a couple days after a bad performance. Montreal is slowly coming together but as expected the expansion club growing pains are pretty obvious when you watch this side. Toronto on the other hand comes into this one after an embarrassing loss in Mexico. So much was going right until it all went so very wrong last night. I’ll let others go through what didn’t go right for the Reds in Mexico but it is clear, no Torsten Frings or Danny Koevermans and this is club looks an awful lot like the team that was dreadful to watch early last year.

3. Red Bulls hope to continue statement run. Nine goals in two home matches is something else but getting another big outburst on the road will truly show folks if this New York Red Bulls side is indeed turning a corner or not here this season. I know I don’t show a ton of love to this club but I can’t find myself getting excited over a win against a Colorado side missing two key players in the midfield and a win over an expansion club. Also, we can’t ignore the facts that the defense is still giving up goals. If the offense has an off night someone in the back has to step up and play big. They may have won two straight games with nine goals but they also gave up three. Just sayin’.

4. Sporting goes for five. I keep feeling good with my preseason pick of SKC as the Supporters’ Shield winners. Four games in and they are unbeaten. Saturday night they go for five against probably the toughest team they’ve faced all season in the LA Galaxy. Yes, the LA boys are coming off a bad home loss to the New England Revolution but knowing Bruce Arena, he won’t let his team stay down for long. You have to like Sporting’s chances though in this one – at home in front of a sellout crowd – with that speedy offense. SKC has the type of attack that can and will cause problems for LA. I thin this one gets played a little closer to be book though as LA will press hard for a win to prove people that they still are the giant in the league. Thankfully this one is on national TV for all to see.

5. Two underrated clubs square off by the Bay. Give it up folks, the Vancouver Whitecaps are the ONLY MLS team to not give up a goal this season. Yes, you read that correctly. Sure they haven’t been scoring much lately either but it is still worth noting. You hats also must go off to the San Jose Earthquakes, as they have only given up a single goal this season back in the second week. I haven’t given either a ton of love yet this season but I am warming up to each of them the more I see them play. Defensively each side has improved so much from last season. This one will certainly come down to who makes a mental mistake first. The smaller field at Buck Shaw Stadium certainly helps the Quakes in this one but Vancouver has been solid this season at not letting quality strikers like Dwayne De Rosario score so you have to expect they’ll be all over Chris Wondolowski in this one.

6. Rocky Mountain high. One of my favorite rivalries in MLS is the Rocky Mountain Cup between Colorado and Real Salt Lake. Just like the Toronto-Montreal game I do wish this one had a little more time to hype up this week but the schedule makers put a RSL game in the middle of the week (boy was that one ugly huh?). This is one of those games that will come down to the midfield play of guys like Kyle Beckerman or Jeff Larentowicz. Both sides have shown the means to score goals this season so the defenses will be tested. I like RSL at home though in this one, even after the ugly midweek win over Montreal. Sometimes getting an ugly win out of your system helps you in the long run.