Notes from MLS Week 1: An Invitation for Answers

OK, peoples: here’s the deal. While I can watch only so many games, I review the highlights for all of them. Naturally, this provides only three to four mintues worth of information and perspective on a 90-minute event. So, for the games I don’t watch, I’m just going to post a series of impressions and questions the day after and invite anyone so inclined to fill in the blanks. The idea is to make me smarter about what I’m watching every week.

My comments appear below: have at ‘em. match reports are embedded in the scoreline; yeah, I could read those, but they’re boring; I trust all y’all to give me better dish.

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Chicago Fire
– Happy Dance: Personal highlight: Denis Hamlett’s happy, clapping dance when Cuauhtemoc Blanco banged in the equalizer for the Fire. Says something about how desperately he wanted a result in his first game in (unquestioned) charge.

– Yes, RSL fans, you absolutely have my sympathy…starting with a T instead of a W has to piss you off.

– Two Left Feet: RSL’s issues with scoring appear to be ongoing. An own-goal from a fairly innocuous cross doesn’t constitute reliable scoring – e.g. Bakary Soumare can’t be your offense every week. There was also the chance that featured RSL players getting in each other’s way at the top of the 18. So, having not seen the game, are these examples indicative of RSL’s attack last night?

– Beer Goggles: Finally, was this game ugly as it looked? I heard some schmo from FSC (Max Bretos, I think) describe this game as “pulsating” or some such adjective, but wonder whether or not he’s just selling product…and I know the football lines don’t help with the aesthetics.

New England Revolution 3-0 Houston Dynamo
– Gambian All-Stars?: One of the biggest, if not the biggest, questions for the Revs coming into the 2008 season was how new players would fill the roles of the old, departed reliables. Last night didn’t provide the answer, or even an answer, but this is certainly argues for a wait-and-see approach tinted with optimism. Still, Sainey Nyassi’s goal was something else.

– Distracted?: Anyone think Houston was thinking about next Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal last night? The set-play where Cristman scored, especially, speaks to a team that was elsewhere mentally.

– Revenge Served Warm: Admit it, Revolution fans, that might have felt good, but it didn’t even begin to make up for the last two years.

Kansas City Wizards 2-0 DC United
– Holy Goal-y: Claudio Lopez’s goal=thing o’ beauty. The highlights spoke pretty well of him. Did it carry through the whole game?

– Cute!: I found the ad hoc stadium perfectly charming – especially the pitcher’s mound just outside touch on one end. Thoughts?

– Poll: DC looked decent, at least; was that accurate? Going the other way, KC seemed to defend all right; is that accurate?

2 Responses

  1. Re: KC-DC

    I thought DCU owned the first half, with KC only having one or two decent counters. All the possession led to a few chances for DC, but no goals.

    KC owned the second half and shut the game down. Lopez is a nice addition to the league. The Wiz could be really tough this season.

    I liked the ballpark too, except for the weird camera angles.

  2. I’m quite a fan of KC’s new home field. Tiny and awkward with a rural backdrop beats the holy hell out of massive and empty with an obnoxious orange empty seat background any day of the week. Especially Saturday and Thursday nights.

    As for RSL vs. Chicago, the game was butt-ugly. RSL was the more dangerous attacking team all game long. You see, they actually had a little something I like to call ‘shots on goal’ (though all of them were practically straight to Jon Busch) whilst my boys from Chicago found many creative ways to give the ball away. Though I will say this, Dema Kovalenko was in instant spark plug for the RSL attack. It just seemed like they had more of a reason to be out there and it was even Kovalenko to provide the cross that led to the own-goal.

    Other observations I had of the game is that Chicago’s new broadcast team is a major downgrade from the previous team of Kenn Tomasch and Kenny Stern. RSL is going to be one of those teams that will contend and maybe get a few wins, but they’ll generally only be ‘tough to beat’ as in the guy that gets the girls to be his friend, but never date him (I hate being that guy). Brandon Prideaux may be a good pick up for Chicago. I still think Jason Kreis is going to do well as a head coach. Blanco as captain for the Fire? Not sure I like it. Previous captains in Diego Gutierrez or Logan Pause may be be a better choice for seniority, language barrier, or general lack of dissent to referees.

    Oh yeah, blah blah blah turf field sucks, blah blah blah football lines suck, blah blah blah RSL needs their new stadium to be done soon. We know, everybody.

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