It's been a long international break but MLS is finally back! We had a full weekend of games and are set for a lot more coming up in the next week, so I hope you're ready.
Philadelphia Union 0 - 1 DC United
Philly came in to this game in a bit of a rough situation obviously having just canned Nowak after he effectively destroyed the base of the team. But they came out well with an exciting young lineup and played pretty well. Unfortunately for them Bill Hamid played better and Chris Pontius got on the end of a Bronko Boskovic free kick (thanks to some poor marking) for the game winner.
Based on this performance I think better days are coming for Philly. They may not be here in time to make the playoffs, but they played so much better and with an actual identity yesterday that I can't help but think we'll see some of their talent shine through.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 - 0 Colorado Rapids
Henrik Sedin did a pretty good job recapping this game above so I'm just going to focus on a few highlights. Both keepers in this game were unbelievable. There definitely could've been 3 or 4 goals in this game, but Cannon and Pickens wouldn't let it happen. Here are a few choice examples:
Cannon goes full stretch
Cannon CATCHES a ball after getting completely wrong footed on a deflection
Pickens gets his hands up on a ball I can't even believe he saw
Even defenders and the crossbar want in on the action
and of course the lone goal
Le Toux gets on the end of a GREAT cross by Chiumiento
Montreal Impact 4 - 1 Seattle Sounders
Montreal played their first game in the newly expanded Stade Saputo and absolutely waffle-crushed Seattle. Patrice Bernier was the main attacking force, assisting on the first three goals, and former Sounder Lamar Neagle finished his old team off with a closing goal in the 87th minute.
Seattle didn't deserve a point but there was also a calamity of errors that led to this 3-goal loss. It's probably a little unfair of a result, but that's soccer sometimes.
New England Revolution 0 - 0 Columbus Crew
Eww, gross. You don't want to waste time on this result. Trust me.
Houston Dynamo 2 - 1 FC Dallas
Is it fair to say that FC Dallas is in shambles? It's gotta be close. They're constantly struck by injuries and suspensions on their best players, George John can't seem to regain the form that almost earned him a callup to the national team and a transfer to EPL, and they are comfortably in last place of the Western Conference despite having played the most games in the league.
Speaking of yikes, on the "mmbt0ne is a terribly reactive Fantasy GM" front, Will Bruin has 6 goals in his last 10 games after starting out with none in 3 games. Sigh.
Sporting Kansas City 2 - 0 Toronto FC
You know how they say there is parity in MLS? Well not always. Sometimes a team is just better and this was one of those times. Sporting KC had over 60% possession. Toronto FC had less than 150 completed passes. This game just wasn't a matchup.
Awful, awful decision by TFC to fire Winter in a manor that completely shat on the type of team he was trying to build. If you don't think the soccer gods hate you for that, just check out Eric Avila's 2 post miss
And here's CJ Sapong's goal
because I'm a sucker for backflip celebrations.
Chivas USA 0 - 3 Real Salt Lake
RSL was clearly out for revenge after Chivas handed them their first defeat of the season in Rio Tinto. In the overarching theme of this week, the better team was better. Better with the ball, better passing, better chances.
Chivas USA came out with an interesting lineup, starting JPA and Agudelo up top with Alejandro Moreno in the attacking mid role of a diamond midfield. Now, I'm no historian, but I can't remember Moreno playing much midfielder and I don't know if that's going to work too well. If you want to get them all on the field, I'd rather move to a 4-3-3 with Moreno and Agudelo out wide and JPA as the target man.
Chicago Fire 3 - 1 New York Red Bulls
Just when you think they've got things going right, the Red Bulls come out and look utterly craptacular. It's a strange game because NYRB had the lion's share of possession (over 60%) and led in most offensive stats. But having watched the game the only point I felt they had a chance to win the game was the first 10-15 minutes of the second half after subbing in Bellouchy for Miller and rotating some players around. Oduro and Nyarko were just two gears too fast for the Red Bulls backline.
All credit to Chicago who came out with a great gameplan and executed to perfection.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1 - 0 Portland Timbers
Did you know that this was LA's first shutout of the season? Because I sure didn't. I'm not willing to say that their defense is suddenly going to turn back in to the world beaters they were last year, but this is a step in the right direction and getting Saunders back can only help.
On a selfish note, maybe Portland will be a little hungrier for a win this coming weekend and we'll all get a great Seattle/Portland rivalry game.
Holy awesome week of games! I hope you're free this week and weekend, because here are some choice options you have coming up:
6/20 9pm: LA Galaxy @ RSL
6/20 10pm: Sporting KC @ Seattle Sounders
6/20 11pm: New York @ Vancouver
6/23 9pm: San Jose @ RSL
6/23 1030pm: Vancouver @ LA Galaxy
6/24 5pm: Seattle @ Portland
6/24 7pm: DC United @ New York
Every single one of those games is worth watching for even the most casual MLS fan.
Still kinda early MLS Elo Rankings
1569.6044 - Real Salt Lake
1554.5597 - Sporting Kansas City
1542.8868 - Seattle Sounders
1540.0987 - New York Red Bulls
1537.6183 - San Jose Earthquakes
1524.1772 - DC United
1521.1977 - Houston Dynamo
1510.1622 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1506.4766 - Columbus Crew
1506.4264 - Colorado Rapids
1504.2249 - Chicago Fire
1491.7306 - Vancouver Whitecaps
1488.3384 - Montreal Impact
1468.4273 - Portland Timbers
1465.1409 - New England Revolution
1457.6924 - FC Dallas
1457.3187 - Philadelphia Union
1455.2831 - Chivas USA
1398.6362 - Toronto FC
MLS Single Table
Team GP W-D-L PTS GD
Real Salt Lake 15 10-2-3 32 +11
DC United 16 9-3-4 30 +10
Sporting Kansas City 13 9-1-3 28 +9
San Jose Earthquakes 14 8-3-3 27 +10
New York Red Bulls 14 8-2-4 26 +6
Vancouver Whitecaps 14 7-4-3 25 +2
Seattle Sounders FC 14 7-3-4 24 +4
Chicago Fire 14 6-3-5 21 +0
Colorado Rapids 14 6-1-7 19 +1
Columbus Crew 13 5-4-4 19 +0
Houston Dynamo 13 5-4-4 19 -1
New England Revolution 14 5-2-7 17 +0
Montreal Impact 14 4-3-7 15 -3
Chivas USA 14 4-3-7 15 -8
Los Angeles Galaxy 14 4-2-8 14 -5
Portland Timbers 13 3-4-6 13 -4
FC Dallas 16 3-4-9 13 -10
Philadelphia Union 12 2-2-8 8 -7
Toronto FC 11 1-0-10 3 -15