Monday, August 16, 2010

Another MLS Weekend

I got to watch a LOT of games this weekend because the weather was awful and I was spending a lot of time coding a project I'm working on. It was a welcome change from having to go on highlights and match reports to get the majority of my commentary

Game Reports

The marquee game this weekend was LA Galaxy visiting the DP-show that is New York Red Bulls. LA won the game 1-0 thanks to Edson Buddle's goal off a mistake by Rafa Marquez. Now, I understand that NY fans are going to be disappointed about losing ANY home game given their now-stacked roster, but Hans Backe wasn't too upset about the result and I think he's right. NY played a great game, they held possession well, they didn't give up a ton of chances, they created good scoring opportunities, they just didn't find the back of the net this time. Henry and Marquez still aren't fully integrated to the team, but you can see the talent is there. Losing 1-0 against the best team in the league isn't really that big a deal. Obviously they can wish it was better, but don't overreact.

Real Salt Lake cemented themselves as the second best team in the league with a convincing 2-0 win at home over Columbus. RSL used some bulletin board material from Crew keeper Will Hesmer (they put a quote from him saying RSL wasn't a deserving champion on the video board) to fuel a really good home atmosphere and Javi Morales provided the rest.

MOOOORRRRREEEE MMMMMMMWANGAAAAAAA!!!! Philly tied Colorado 1-1 at home thanks to the rookie-leading 7th goal from Danny Mwanga, owing to Sebastien Le Toux's 9th assist. Philly came out in an interesting formation, dropping Le Toux back to the wing and starting Moreno up top with Mwanga. I think this may have helped free up their offense a little more as they were able to play through more than just Fred in the midfield.

FC Dallas scored 4 goals visiting DC. Thankfully one of them was into their own net or else DC United would've been shut out. Again. For the third straight league game. I feel bad for this group, and I'm not sure what easy changes they can make to get back to competing.

Chivas and Seattle fought, literally, to a nil-nil draw. There were a lot of bodies flying around, but nobody could find the net.

San Jose beat Kansas City 1-0 at home on a nice goal from Chris Wondolowski. Remember, Wondo (1300 minutes, 33 shots, 7 goals) was traded to San Jose with a draft pick for Cam Weaver (329 minutes, 6 shots, 1 goal). Pretty clear winner so far on that trade.

Remember when New England and Houston was an exciting game that meant something? Sigh. Revolution got a 1-0 win at home.

Random Thoughts

LA is pretty solidly atop the league right now after a couple stumbles. This is why subjective power rankings are silly, a couple bad games does not change them from being the best team in MLS.

Nice article on Thierry Henry from NJ Post with a great quote:

“I don’t know why you guys have” — the former Arsenal and French star has to pause to find the correct word in English — “such a complex about your football.

“You guys have new stadiums. You have good players here. You have big crowds at games. Obviously, we want it to grow — that’s why we’re all here. But you should be happy about it.”

If NY can survive their next 6 games (@TFC, SJ, @RSL, COL, @FCD, @LAG) and get to October they should finish strong with 3 of the worst teams in MLS on their schedule (KC, RSL, @PHI, NE).

BTW, you want to know why NY is so low in the Elo Ratings? Look at those tough games they haven't played yet and remember that they have a already negative goal differential. Yikes.

CCL games this week:
Toronto FC v. Cruz Azul - 8/17
Real Salt Lake v. Arabe Unido - 8/18
Columbus Crew v. Municipal - 8/18
Seattle Sounders @ Marathon - 8/19

RSL and Columbus really need 3. It won't kill them, but it will hurt. Toronto and Seattle should be shooting for 1 and hoping for 3.


MLS Elo Ratings
1,590.02 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1,580.34 - Real Salt Lake
1,555.12 - FC Dallas
1,547.68 - Columbus Crew
1,509.82 - Chicago Fire
1,508.07 - Colorado Rapids
1,505.44 - Seattle Sounders
1,492.41 - Toronto FC
1,483.95 - San Jose Earthquakes
1,480.31 - New York Red Bulls
1,479.62 - Chivas USA
1,477.19 - Houston Dynamo
1,469.14 - New England Revolution
1,457.05 - Philadelphia Union
1,454.61 - Kansas City Wizards
1,409.24 - DC United


  1. Excited about the CCL games this week! Should be good, Hopefully the MLS can pull out some results, how many teams do you see making it out of the group stages?

  2. If I had to guess:
    -I'd say one of the two MLS teams from group A get out (RSL or TFC)
    -Columbus has about an 80% chance from a weak group B
    -Seattle maybe 30% in a very tough group C

    So I'd expect two but would love to see three.