2013 MLS Season, Week 4: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 4: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 25, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 4, Features
Marco Di Vaio and the Impact remain perfect after four weeks. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Marco Di Vaio and the Impact remain perfect after four weeks. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

In some ways you could argue, Week 4 had all the drama, goals, and excitement that Week 3 (Rivalry Week) lacked. Some games were more interesting than the others but we’re slowly starting to see who is good in this league and who is awfully bad.

I’ll get into the goods and bad of the league next week when my monthly stock report comes out. This is replacing the weekly Power Rankings in some ways. So stay tuned for that.

Once the dust settled on the week, Montreal was still in first overall and the West has two surprising leaders in FC Dallas and Chivas USA. Yes, those two clubs are #1 and #2 at this point in the early season. On the flip side, Chicago is still without a win and Seattle is struggling to get points of their own. I won’t start a coaching hot seat report just yet but if I did, Frank Klopas may be on top of it. Still, it is too early for that.

Impact continue their form

Whether you want to believe it or not, the Montreal Impact are the league’s top dog at this stage in the season. Two road wins on the Pacific coast, followed by two home wins at the old Olympic Stadium.

What Montreal does well is their counter game. The slow build up in the attack and the perfectly weighted diagonal pass to someone like Marco Di Vaio. Their bread and butter if you will. They are good at those things and strong in defense.

You know, looking at their group of defenders they don’t have a bunch of names that totally stand out at you. Sure there are some good veterans there but not one guy that you can point to like a Chad Marshall or Omar Gonzalez and go “yep, if it weren’t for that guy…”, this is what makes the Impact good in my mind. Their core group of defenders along with Patrice Bernier just get the job done. As a group. So far that is working for them here. I know some you Impact fans will say Matteo Ferrari or Alessandro Nesta (when he is healthy)? Hey both are good, but I like this group as a whole much better than just one individual.

And what else can you say about Bernier. The guy is MVP quality. The ball he played over the top against New York to Di Vaio was spot on. At the end of the day, that goal was all the Impact needed over the Red Bulls.

Holy Chivas Batman

It may be time to start taking a closer look at Chivas USA here. Yes, the Chicago Fire are dreadful at the moment in defense but a 4-1 road win for Chelis’ group? Yeah, that just happened.

Chivas is able to go through each game and not break completely in the first half defensively. We saw that against FC Dallas a couple weeks ago and even in some degree against LA last week. Their bend-but-do-not-break defense pays off in the long run and somehow the young fiery bunch is able to put so much pressure on the other squad that the goals just start coming.

Nothing about what Chivas does offensively is pretty either but so far it is appearing to be damn effective. At least it is against teams that struggle with lots of pressure in an open game like this.

Then there is Juan Agudelo. The kid is finally reaching his potential as a true star here with Chivas. This is the second game this year that he’s done well in my book. He’s not national team quality again just yet but he is inching closer. At the very least he’s doing enough that someone overseas will notice and give him his big paycheck later this summer.

Galaxy Remain Unbeaten

A lot of the talk may be about how Montreal is doing or how Chivas and Dallas are at the top of the West right now but one cannot leave out the LA Galaxy from all of this discussion.

LA was without their two DPs for the first time in what felt like a decade on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids. The depth prevailed in the 1-0 win. Mike Magee got the lone goal as well while the Galaxy got a little help from a Drew Moor red card to seal the deal.

I have a feeling LA will quietly continue this pace here. They are only 2-0-1 at the moment but that is still good enough to be the top club in some folks eyes around the league. Their draw to Chivas USA isn’t looking so bad right now given how Chivas creamed a Chicago squad on the road yesterday.

LA will soon get Landon Donovan back from his hiatus and Robbie Keane will also return from international duty as well.

Other thoughts

Columbus 2, DC 1 – Tough game yet again for Ben Olsen’s club. The offense isn’t going and the defense struggled in this one at times. Columbus may have some figuring out to do when Jairo Arreita returns. I really thought Dominic Oduro looked good up top with Federico Higuain on Saturday

NE 0, SKC 0 – Boring game controlled by the wind. Neither squad was able to create much in terms of chances either.

Houston 2, Vancouver 1 – The Dynamo just do not lose at home. Period.

FC Dallas 2, RSL 0 – A Dallas controlled game thanks to shaky defensive play by RSL late and a slew of international call-ups that ravished the RSL lineup.

San Jose 1, Seattle 0 – Eek, no offense for the Sounders makes for another bad game.