MLS Week 3 Ink-Blot

The idea behind this is pretty simple: whether you’ve seen the game in question or not, results provoke a gut-level reaction. It can be a “wow,” a “meh,” or even an “I told you, you twit,” but there’s always something. That’s what comes below: a kind of “say the first thing that pops into your head” reaction to the scores and highlights from Week 3 in Major League Soccer (MLS). For the record, I catch only two or three games a week, which leaves several games that I “see” exclusively through print and/or highlights. That’s not going to change; if you’re watching every MLS game, every week…I dunno, seems like a cry for help…or maybe a sign that you really need to tell family and loved ones something…like maybe that you hate them? Just thinking out loud there…

Anyway, I’m a day behind on this due to scheduling difficulties (what happened? I’m guessing you want to know less than I want to tell you.) Expect this item every Sunday in future, when all the results from the week are in. I’ll come back later today (possibly a lot later) after I do a bunch of reading on how everyone out there – or everyone I read – viewed Week 3 in Major League Soccer (MLS). By that same token, anyone wanting to flesh out the (very) quick impressions passed on below should feel absolutely free to do so; that could be part of my researches. Finally, I’ll get into more detail on the games I did catch over the weekend in that later post – in this case, Colorado v. New England and Columbus v. Chivas USA.

Moving on…and, what the hell, let’s start at the beginning of Week 3. MLSnet.com match reports (which I have not, and generally struggle, to read) are embedded in the scores:

Kansas City Wizards 1-3 New England Revolution
I’ve heard talk of two Gambians, faster that a sirocco, more lethal than the cobra; must check this out. KC seems like their old selves again…thank god.

San Jose Earthquakes 0-1 Chicago Fire
The cliché goes that a low score doesn’t always make for a dull game. I’m thinking that in this case it did. Still, Chad Barrett, goal-machine? I’m seeing him among the leading goal-scorers; when do the other six seals break?

Columbus 4-3 Chivas USA
What…was….that? I don’t know what’s weirder: Columbus exploding on offense or Brad Guzan looking a little shaky in goal. Again, I’ll go deeper into this game later, but the top-shelf quality of Chivas’ goals jumped out at me…as did the vulnerability of their defense.

New England Revolution 0-1 Colorado Rapids
I blabbed about this elsewhere, but here’s my dominant impression: I don’t buy Colorado, their record notwithstanding. Expecting New England would be tanked after playing midweek, I didn’t expect much from them – I called a draw here – but, given the way the game played out, the Rapids stole this one. Put another way: I buy Colorado’s defense, but they don’t impress me going forward…still. Oh, and the Gambians did deliver…even if not on the scoreboard.

Kansas City Wizards 0-0 Houston Dynamo
Without highlights and having yet to read anything, I’m coming at this one blind. Still, what the hell is going on with Houston? And what does this say about the Wizards – aka, the Flavor-of-early-April?

FC Dallas 2-0 Red Bull New York
Is it possible a Red Bull fan compiled the highlights posted on MLSnet.com? If not, Dallas played the rope-a-dope, but on the knife’s edge – i.e. it looked like New York was all over them, but couldn’t break through. That’s a sad statement, by the way, knowing what I know about Dallas’ defense. It also says good things about Dallas’ attackers: it doesn’t matter how few chances you get, so long as you put ‘em away.

Real Salt Lake 4-0 DC United
Ho…ly…poop! Call this the shock of the weekend – hands down. What to say about DC’s Defensive Horrors Roadshow? It’s a good thing Jose Carvallo has his mom in his corner because he may get deserted after this one. Then again, I’d only fault him on Espindola’s goal, though; he had plenty of accomplices for the rest. My hatred for turf has really grown lately and DC clearly struggled with it. Still, they barely looked like pros out there. Oh, and Beckerman had a nice pair of goals.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2-3 Toronto FC
Thank god. It’s OK to call LA the worst team in the league again. That defense looks every bit as dodgy as most parties feared it would…yikes!

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7 Responses

  1. Jeff, it’s clear that Colorado and Columbus are headed for the long-storied Col v Col MLS Cup Final, and for a reason you have to look no further than your own bathroom mirror. You, my friend, in choosing to back those two squads, have worked the CHI magic on them and nothing can stop them now!! How does it feel to be the Ultimate MLS Power Broker?

    Dynamo are suffering from the same malady at this time last year, CCC fatigue, not to mention just plain jet lag. Dude, they just played seven meaningful games in three countries in 31 days, only three of which were at home. That’s an average of one game every 4.428571 days (according to my handy-dandy calculator thingy), which you can do over a span of three or four games, but not seven! Dynamo over that time has gone 1(the first of the seven by the way!)-2-4, which is actually a pretty stout mark over that span, while fighting a host of key injuries (Onstad, Robinson, Holden, Davis, Mullan). So would I like a better record? Sure. But am I worried about Dynamo? No. This week off before taking on the Gals in LA (another road game! Dynamo don’t return home until May 3.) is going to be a sweet salve indeed.

  2. Fatigue plays a role to be sure, but Houston has looked nearly every time. The pounding they meted out against….um….(crap…drawing a blank on the team)…those guys on the second leg of the CCC08 quarterfinal was the one time they looked sharp. After that, it’s been injuries, lousy shooting by Ching, defensive frailty, etc. etc.

    So, yeah, it could be simple fatigue. But it also looks like it might be something more…spiritual fatigue, perhaps?

  3. (Love how you let the first part of my comment go by unnoticed. How do you know the Man with the Power is the Man With the Power? He always deflects the attention. Better start setting up the portapotties and snack bars outside your door for all of the MLS pilgrims wanting you to bless their sorry-ass teams, Jeff. There’s no avoiding it now!)

    I think the main thing — and I posted on this over at Nutmegged just a few minutes ago — Dynamo has had a problem with that they can do something about is communication on defense. Clearly, the ERob/Boswell pairing in the back is not going all that well. And getting Tony Caig to stay in his damn goal (I read he wandered out front and made two great saves in the KC game, highlights of which I cannot see), cool down and work with his defense would be nice as well until SuperCanuck comes back. Solve that problem, and suddenly these questions all fall away.

  4. (the faint sound of whistling is audible…)

    Fair point on the defense – and I think that can be fixed – but what about the offense? What happens if Ching doesn’t sharpen up? What if teams continue to block out DeRosario? When will David heal? Will Mullan come back all the way?

    I’m not trying to make you nervous, so much as I’m wondering if something didn’t change with these guys. Something subtle, but very real.

  5. This was just a weird weekend. Like it was aligned against soccer pundits everywhere. Who would have predicted… any of the results?

  6. Well, if Chingy keeps missing wide-open looks, then there’s clearly a problem above the neck. I don’t really see that there is that problem just yet, but it does bear watching.

    DeRo got blocked out ALL of last year, and it did limit his effectiveness, and yet Dynamo did win the title on a shot by him. He’s a pro. He can handle it. But that leads to the other questions. Davis looked fine, apparently, against the Wiz as did Mulls. So once they’re fit and playing every game, then we’ll get a true test there. The same is true for Holden as well.

    Right now the key is getting everybody back safe and sound before several depart for Beijing and Wembley/Spain this summer. Is this good news or bad: If Ching continues to miss wide-open looks, he may not get the call-up this summer. Personally, I think it’s good news.

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