Monday, September 20, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust: Weekly Update

You can almost see the goat frowning in this Chivas USA logo. Sorry Chivas fans, but your season is officially over. I'm calling it. After a 2-0 loss at home to a suddenly quite dangerous Kansas City team you sit 11 points out of 8th place with 1 game in hand. Any long shot hopes you had of playoff glory are gone.

And on that cheery note, on to the games this weekend!

Game Reports

Let's start this off with the biggest shocker of the weekend; Seattle Sounders absolutely destroying Columbus Crew 4-0, in Columbus no less. Blaise Nkufo got the scoring started early, poaching a goal off a corner kick in the 4th minute. Arlo White was pretty spot on when he said, "that'll work wonders for his confidence." because Nkufo banged in two more during the game to earn himself a hat trick. Quite the way to open up your account in MLS, good sir. As usual, Seattle terrorized the wings with Nyassi and Zakuani just blowing past Columbus's defenders time and time again, including earning a penalty that Nathan Sturgis (really?! Nathan Sturgis?!) took care of. Don't look now, but Columbus has been absolutely dominated in their last two league matches.

Hey, guess what? Real Salt Lake still didn't lose at home. This time Chicago Fire was the victim as they went down 1-0 to a team that is undefeated in 23 straight league matches at home. Alvaro Saborio took care of the scoring on a penalty in the 45th minute after sending Ned Grabavoy through with a great ball to get in on goal before being wrestled down by Wilman Conde. RSL had plenty of other chances to increase their lead, but Sean Johnson continued to do what Sean Johnson does; block shots.

Toronto FC went on the road and got a 2-1 victory at Houston Dynamo. Don't go getting too excited though, TFC fans. This win came down to two moments of individual brilliance from Dwayne De Rosario, scoring on a pair of set pieces from almost identical locations. There wasn't much there to make anyone think that Toronto is suddenly playing better soccer after getting rid of Preki and Mo Johnston.

De Ro made an early case for clutch performer of the week, but Landon Donovan just wiped that off the map. Los Angeles Galaxy looked to be in trouble down 1-0 in the 80th minute to DC United, the worst team in MLS, thanks to an Andy Najar tally. Landon refused to let his team lose though, adding a pair of goals on great individual efforts to maintain LA's place atop the MLS standings.

Colorado Rapids got another 3-0 win, their third in four games, this time against New England Revolution. Each of their dynamic forward pair got a goal, with Rafa Marquez's least favorite player Wells Thompson adding the third, and new additions Brian Mullan and Mac Kandji seemed to slot in well with the rest of the group.

As mentioned in the intro to this post, Kansas City Wizards drove the nail into Chivas USA's coffin with a 2-0 win at the Home Depot Center. Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury (the future maybe-Canadian, maybe-American international) provided the scoring.

Random Thoughts

This Friday should feature one of the most entertaining MLS games of the season as New York travels across the country to face LA Galaxy. It's very likely that 5 DP's, and the 3 biggest names in MLS, will feature in a game between the #1 team in the west and the #2 team in the east. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2, so no excuses for not watching.

If the playoffs started right now Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas would be matched up against each other. Assuming that happens, every soccer fan in America needs to make a point to watch those games as they should be incredible.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid was candid this week about focusing on "squad selection" for the remaining CCL games. That translates to, "we're going to rest our good players to make sure we do well in league play and the US Open Cup." Smart man, that Sigi.

CCL games this week
9/21 8pm: Columbus Crew vs. Santos Laguna
9/21 10pm: Toronto FC @ Cruz Azul
9/22 8pm: Real Salt Lake @ Arabe Unido
9/22 8pm: Seattle Sounders @ Monterrey


MLS Elo Ratings
1,588.22 - Real Salt Lake
1,576.80 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1,562.59 - FC Dallas
1,532.02 - Columbus Crew
1,519.81 - Seattle Sounders
1,517.75 - Colorado Rapids
1,513.10 - New York Red Bulls
1,497.45 - San Jose Earthquakes
1,497.17 - Kansas City Wizards
1,488.98 - Chicago Fire
1,473.18 - Toronto FC
1,465.29 - Chivas USA
1,456.70 - Philadelphia Union
1,455.86 - Houston Dynamo
1,439.21 - New England Revolution
1,415.88 - DC United

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