2013 MLS Season, Week 5: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 5: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 1, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 5, Features
Graham Zusi and Sporting KC were all over Montreal. (Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)

Graham Zusi and Sporting KC were all over Montreal. (Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports)

And we’re back…okay, we really didn’t go anywhere. I just took a couple days off last week from work so getting back to the real grind of the week is always a challenge. MLS was at least nice enough to schedule Sunday off for us all to celebrate Easter.

Saturday in MLS was a pretty wild day. We had games kick off right after noon and go all the way into the evening. By the end of it, we had some clubs continue their climbs up the charts while others continued to struggle.

After one month in the season, there are some surprises all around the MLS table. FC Dallas sits atop the Supporters’ Shield race today in a tie with the Montreal Impact. Chivas USA of all clubs is right on their tail in third place. Further down the list you have a team like Seattle that is near the bottom.

It is still early in the season but could this be more of what is to come in 2013? Time will certainly tell.

Sporting KC slows down Montreal

You almost knew the fast start for the Montreal Impact would come to an end at some point here in the early season. As good as they have looked, they hadn’t played a team quite like Sporting KC.

Benny Feilhaber recorded his first two assists for Sporting while Graham Zusi and Claudio Beiler each scored on a day that showed the rest of the league that Sporting KC is and will still be a dominant team in the Eastern Conference race.

The game certainly wasn’t what the Impact expected, not after going 4-0-0 to start the season. Impact manager Marco Schällibaum wasn’t on the sideline for the final whistle, after being ejected in the 81st minute – just after Zusi’s goal – for throwing water on fourth official Matthew Foerster. One has to figure he won’t be on the sideline for at least a couple games (one plus the red card).

Montreal didn’t get off a shot until first-half stoppage time and didn’t force a save until Nielsen had to dive to stop Marco Di Vaio’s left-footed volley just before the hour mark. Games like this show that when clubs force Montreal to sit back more due to high pressure that the Impact can indeed struggle to create quality chances. Not getting any shots for almost a full half is something the Impact have to work on here.

Dallas, Chivas leading the West?

This is still a wild sight to see this early in the year. Look at the standings and you’ll see two shockers leading the Western Conference. FC Dallas and then Chivas USA. Yes, read the standings again, it isn’t an April Fools Day joke either.

Dallas went up to New England and won a tightly contested game 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. Blas Perez scored the game’s lone goal late in the second half but if you looked closer at this game, Dallas had the bulk of the chances against a New England squad that just struggled in their offensive end.

This was a game that Dallas wouldn’t have won a year ago, heck they wouldn’t have won it two or three weeks ago for that matter. I said at the start of the season that if this squad were healthy for long stretches of time that they’d be extremely dangerous. Well, they are healthy and they are figuring each other out here. The results should start speaking for themselves before long if they keep it up.

Chivas USA on the other hand. Just don’t doubt them any more. What they do isn’t the prettiest but somehow it works. José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá is getting the most out of his players in a way no one figured would happen. The high pressure, the speed on the wings, the finishing and even the defending. It is all there for Chivas at the moment.

Golazos take over Saturday

Highlights, highlights, highlights. Saturday had plenty of them.

I’ll start with the early golazo of the day. LA’s Jose Villarreal scored this nifty little number late to give LA the late draw against Toronto.

Next was rookie Dillon Powers scoring this bomb of a goal to open up the scoring against the Portland Timbers on a wild day in Commerce City.

Hard to have a highlight reel without putting this one in from Thierry Henry. Holy moly.

Other thoughts on Week 5:

LA 2 – 2 Toronto: More disappointment in Toronto but the wins will come soon enough. You can see it out of this squad. They just need some belief in their attack to do it.

NY 2 – 1 Philadelphia: Fun game on Saturday afternoon. New York controlled this one in my book. Henry’s goal was pure class.

Colorado 2 – 2 Portland: Tough break for the Rapids but when things are down for you that happens. Portland can at least erase the “we don’t get PKs” motto from their website (this is a joke, there is no such motto on their website).

Houston 2 – 0 San Jose: One does not just go into Houston and win at BBVA Compass Stadium.

RSL 2 – 1 Seattle: Trouble times in Seattle huh? It is still early but man they need that offense to come alive sooner rather than later.