2013 MLS Season, Week 14: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 14: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 3, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 14, Features
New England dominated LA this past weekend. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

New England dominated LA this past weekend. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

In light of recent changes on this blog (last week’s Weekend Outlook), I think it is time for the Monday recap piece to also get a bit of a facelift as well. So I am experimenting a little bit if you will.

After reviewing the weekend in MLS, I’ve come away with five key points from it all. Plus a few tidbits mixed in as well.

1. Montreal is indeed legit. Take one look at the standings and you’ll see the Montreal Impact, the league’s sophomore darlings atop the Eastern Conference with FOUR games-in-hand over the New York Red Bulls, the club they passed this weekend in the standings. With 26 points from 12 games — 2.17 points per game – the Impact are absolutely legit in terms of title contention this season. They do have the tricky waters that is the CONCACAF Champions League later this season, which their group will likely involved a Mexican team.

The Impact have the depth the more I look at them. Defensively they get the job done and they have shown lately that they can muster up more than a counter attack goal from Marco Di Vaio to be competitive on offense.

Teams start off hot each year but I don’t see the Impact cooling off just yet. At least not until the fall. By then it may not matter as they could be far enough ahead in the standings by that point. 

2. Defensive issues plague LA. Blame it on the lack of Omar Gonzalez or Carlo Cudicini in goal. Or whatever. LA was awful this weekend in their 5-0 loss at New England. Heck, they’ve been awful for the better part of a month now. It seems as good as they were five weeks ago, now they have hit that wall that we’ve seen them hit in the early season. What it all comes down to is their inability to defense against speed and teams that spread them out. New England pressed well with Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe for their big outing. Saer Sene was also big up top for the Revs and Juan Agudelo is also making a case that New England was the perfect landing spot for him.

I mean, come on, LA let Chad Barrett score on them. That has to say something.

3. On the flip side for New England. While we commented a bunch about their lack of offense this season, as mentioned above things are clicking for Jay Heaps’ club at the moment. But really, it boils down to that defense. One quick look and they’ve allowed nine goals in 13 games this season. Just NINE. Less than a goal a game. The next best defense in terms of goals against is Colorado with 12 and they just gave up two this past weekend to FC Dallas.

That is ridiculously impressive for a team that still isn’t even in the top five in their conference. Look out folks, the Revs may be trouble for anyone for the rest of the season and could easily sneak into that 4th or 5th seed in the Eastern Conference come this fall.

4. Meat in the middle. Both conference have some cream at the top. The East has Montreal and New York, the West right now has Dallas and Salt Lake. But there is a ton of meat in the middle of both conference which will make these summer months so vital for the playoff push.

Out west, just five points separate fourth place from eighth place. The downside for the team that is in eighth at the moment, San Jose, they don’t have the games-in-hand over anyone in the West at the moment. But LA, Colorado, Seattle and Vancouver will certainly make for an entertaining battle for the rest of the way here. Heck LA and Colorado are just two points out of third place, which is currently occupied by Portland. The Timbers are three points out of second place.

The east is pretty tight as well. Five points separate third and seventh place. Both Houston and SKC sit tied for third right now and are just three points back of first place. But again, Montreal has some serious games-in-hand at the moment. So that is something to keep an eye on.

5. Over valuing San Jose. Let’s face it, as good as the San Jose Earthquakes were a season ago, people have them figured out. No longer can you just expect them to push you around and get a late goal. No, as Salt Lake proved over the weekend, even when they are truly down, it will take a whole lot more than just Chris Wondolowski to get them back in a match. Blame it on injuries and suspension all you want, the fact of the matter is this San Jose team just isn’t that good right now.

If it weren’t for Chivas being Chivas in the west, the Quakes may very well be the most disappointing team in that conference. Heck, they’re close to being the most disappointing team in MLS this season but that nod continues to reside with D.C. United.