2013 MLS Season, Week 9: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 9: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 29, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 9, Features
Marco Di Vaio and the Impact continue to charge on. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Marco Di Vaio and the Impact continue to charge on. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

The more I look at this past week in Major League Soccer the more I shake my head. It was a pretty weird week in the league that saw some road teams just flat out control some games. By the end of it though, we still have the same teams in the front of the pack while some teams struggle to figure out how to get going here.

One thing stood out to me this weekend, not just because I was focusing a lot of my attention on the FC Dallas-Vancouver game for BigDSoccer.com on Saturday, and that was the physical play and officiating that changed some games this weekend.

Here are some big points I took away from each game this weekend.

Montreal 2, Chicago 0

– The red card to Jeff Larentowicz certainly changed the game but Chicago was already out of it at that point, down 1-0 and Montreal was clearly in control by then.

– The Impact looked good defensively in this one, but then again the Fire hardly pressed them aside from about 10 minutes or so in the first half.

– Marco Di Vaio’s goal was spectacular folks. Do yourself a favor and go watch it a couple times. The skill to turn and shoot like that is very impressive.

New York 2, Toronto 1

– TFC just can’t seem to hold anything together late in the game. Maybe their new DP Matias Laba can help that out once he is available. But still, Toronto had the chances to take the lead in this one and even were in control of this one for stretches. It has to be frustrating to be a Toronto fan right now.

– Two goals for Tim Cahill huh? About freakin’ time he makes a big contribution. I’m sure more folks will vote him as the Player of the Week but I’ll say this, he didn’t get my vote. Doing that to a weak Toronto defense is one thing but doing it somewhere else on the road is another. If he did that at Kansas City or Montreal then he would have my attention.

– New York has won three out of their last four and four out of their last six. But looking at who they have beaten and who beat them, I’m still not completely sold on this club.

Vancouver 2, FC Dallas 2

– Extremely physical game. Whitecaps fans complaining about FC Dallas player diving (there were a couple!) and Dallas fans complaining about Vancouver players hacking their players (there were a few of that as well).

– I wouldn’t worry too much about Dallas blowing another 2-0 lead on the road like this. They lost two of their better players down the spine of their defense in George John and Andrew Jacobson and having to use two subs that early because of it is never an easy thing to deal with.

– Kudos to Martin Rennie for playing his better squad on Saturday. I think Kenny Miller would have finished a few of those chances that Darren Mattocks whiffed on. Ketuka Manneh was a monster once he came into the game. His speed and pace on the flank was the difference maker in this one. I’m not convinced that Vancouver would have tied things up without him.

Columbus 3, D.C. United 0

– Ouch, poor Crew Stadium scoreboard. If you didn’t know the scoreboard was on fire before the start of this one. Hope that insurance policy is a good one there.

– This was the Crew that I thought could show up this season. Solid in defense and just impressive in the attack when they needed to be. Federico Higuain was a monster on the day and that is a good thing for Columbus fans to see here. He had been silenced for the last few weeks.

– It is going from bad to worse in D.C. right now for Ben Olsen. I won’t put him on the hot seat just yet but things are taking a serious nose dive here.

New England 2, Philadelphia 0

– It only took a few weeks but we finally got to see the Revs show some muscle up front. Lee Nguyen is a big reason for that, he was easily the man of the match in this one.

– Hard to believe it but this was the Revs’ first ever win over the Union. It took nine tries to get this victory. I had no clue that the Union had this kind of strangle hold over the Revs until I read that stat.

– Not a lot to write home about for Philadelphia from this one. Michael Farfan did what he could but the offense couldn’t get going on the day. Gotta give credit to New England’s defense and keeper for that. Bobby Shuttleworth had a big day in goal, making four big stops.

Portland 3, Sporting KC 2

– Probably the biggest shocker of the weekend was this result. It was clearly the most entertaining game to watch. Both teams pressed and got goals when they needed them but in the end the Timbers are making some series thunder with a result like this.

– The attack for Caleb Porter was just fluid and working on the night. Ryan Johnson had a goal and assist, Diego Valeri contributed, Darlington Nagbe did as well. That is what you want and need to see if you are a Portland fan. All key players contributing together. It was certainly fun to watch.

– Tough loss for Sporting, who had their new third kits on for the night. I love them by the way. Chance Myers deserves some credit though for his performance. Two goals on the evening will certainly be overshadowed by what the Timbers were able to do collectively.

LA 2, RSL 0

– LA throws out some Homegrowns and reserves andĀ stillĀ comes away with a road result. That is depth folks. LA has it where no one else does. Hat goes off to Bruce Arena for using his depth and giving young guys some valuable minutes in this one.

– It wasn’t pretty either by all counts. LA sat back and took advantage of two early chances and then allowed RSL to just work the possession and the clock. Kudos to LA keeper Brain Rowe for coming up big on a couple of stops.

– Gyasi Zardes folks. Remember that name. He didn’t get on the score sheet but he got his first big minutes of the season in this one and looked decent enough too. I still firmly believe that by September he will be a regular starter for the Galaxy.

Chivas 2, San Jose 2

– No magic final moments in this one for San Jose but they did have to claw their way back from a 2-1 score to get the road point in this one.

– Once again the San Jose defense is giving up goals and having to leave their offense time to figure out how to get them back level. Still, nice to see Shea Salines out there for San Jose. Big night with two assists, probably deserved two more had the finishing not been so poor.

– Sure fire way to take Steven Lenhart out of the game, do what Mario De Luna did on Saturday. Just frustrate the blonde striker to forcing Frank Yallop into a substitution. Pretty sure the sub kept Lenart from going crazy and causing some serious harm to his club with a card or two.

Houston 1, Colorado 1

– Really felt Colorado deserved better in this one. They certainly controlled the game for the majority of this one but once again BBVA Compass Stadium proves to be too much to win at for the road team.

– Houston seemed gassed in this one for some reason. The first half the Dynamo were getting beat to the ball left and right by the Rapids. Nice to see them wake up enough in the second half to get a Giles Barnes goal to tie it up.

– Rough tackle by Brad Davis there late in the game. Disappointing to see that as it means he’ll miss the rematch with LA next week for the Dynamo.