Man, it is a bit of a crazy week for me here with the two FC Dallas home games. Sorry for the lack of posting on this site, sometimes duty calls elsewhere. But it is time to focus on the weekend ahead now that the large midweek slate of games is out of the way.
MLS moves into the weekend with the standings looking a bit tighter after last night. Two clubs now tied atop the East with Houston and New York both playing very well these days. FC Dallas still has the lead in the West but Salt Lake is creeping up on them.
We have nine games this weekend to go into, sort of crazy to think given how we had six to talk about yesterday.
Here are some big items to keep in mind plus a couple points for each game.
New York state of mind
A few New York fans ask last night if we were finally impressed. While the last moments of the game against the Montreal Impact were a little dicy for the New York Red Bulls last night, overall they looked very good against one of the league’s better clubs.
Before the 2-1 victory last night I was waiting for a breakout kind of night for Mike Petke’s club. Sure they had been winning games and doing well but there was still something lacking out of them that I couldn’t put a finger on. Maybe it was the four losses in the loss column already on the season or the fact that they have played more games than anyone else in the league.
Still, the win over the Impact sold me a bit more. Thierry Henry was his normal self at home scoring two goals. If they could only get him to continue that and keep the play of guys like Tim Cahill up, they’ll be in serious business here. They get New England this weekend, a club that has struggled offensively this season and someone that they recently dominated.
Will Henry play on the turf is the big question going into the weekend? I doubt he’ll go the full 90 but New York should still be able to pull that one out regardless. New England looked listless last night for the most part against Real Salt Lake at home. Their offense isn’t good enough yet to contend with a club like New York and I’m not sold on the Juan Agudelo move just yet either.
Houston rising, Sporting falling?
MLS might be saving the best for last this weekend when Houston and Sporting KC get together. The Dynamo have yet to lose at BBVA Compass Stadium while Sporting KC has been up and down, up and down this season. Just when you think Peter Vermes’ club has it, they go and blow a game like last night at home to Seattle.
Houston is coming off one of their more impressive results of the season last night in D.C. as they dominated Ben Olsen’s United to the tune of a 4-0 drumming. Will Bruin pretty much ran away with the Player of the Week award before the weekend games even kicked off with his two goals and two assist effort. You kind of wonder what he’ll add to that tally this weekend at home against Sporting KC.
This one should still be a tight and hard fought game on Sunday though. Both teams know that points are everything, especially given how tight the top of the East is at the moment. Houston wants to stay with New York at the top while Sporting KC wants to get back up to the top. Can Sporting become the first team to win in BBVA Compass that is not wearing Orange? We’ll have to see, even with the loss last night I think they could do it now that Kei Kamara is back.
Philadelphia at Chicago: This could be good but it also could be pretty ugly. Sad that it is a national TV game. Gotta think Jack McInerney gets back on track in this one.
Salt Lake at Montreal: Tough result for the Impact last night in NY. They nearly got a point out of it. RSL looked good in New England but two Eastern Conference games in one week on the road is tough to do.
San Jose at Seattle: Could be the game of the weekend. Seattle is playing very well these days and San Jose is…well..you know what they are here.
LA at Vancouver: The Caps have been rather dreadful as of late while LA has been able to pick up results with rookies and Homegrowns.
Colorado at Columbus: No offense to either club but I’m not planning on paying much attention to this one.
D.C. United at FC Dallas: Could be another ugly game for United if they aren’t careful.
Chivas USA at Portland: Fully expect the Timbers to roll away with this one.