Monday, October 25, 2010

The 2010 Season is Over: Weekly Wrapup

6 months, 240 games, 591 goals, and now we're here. Half of the teams are preparing to continue on into the MLS Cup playoffs while the rest start next season today. There were some things we expected (LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Landon Donovan) and a few surprises (DC United, Le Toux, Wondolowski) but mostly there was soccer.

As we get ready for the playoffs to start this Thursday, let's look back at the last week of the 2010 MLS season.

Game Reports

First, the two midweek clashes

San Jose Earthquakes 3 - 0 Chivas USA
Chris Wondolowski provided all of the scoring in this affair against a Chivas USA team that will be happy to start the offseason. There's a lot of youth on this Chivas team, but it seems like there's not a ton of talent especially after losing Kljestan and Bornstein. San Jose, on the other hand, is going to the playoffs for the first time since coming back to the league in 2008.

New York Red Bulls 2 - 0 New England Revolution
A home win clinched the Eastern Conference title for New York. New England has a lot of work to do in the offseason, but ownership seem committed to improvement and are willing to pay for it.

And now, this weekend's action

Houston Dynamo 2 - 1 Seattle Sounders
Seattle's been the hottest team in the league lately, but they suffered their first loss since adding Blaise Nkufo to the team, falling 2-1 at Houston. Sounders scored first thanks to a great shot from James Riley, but lost after goals by Geoff Cameron and Cam Weaver. I wouldn't worry if I was a Sounders fan though, their form has been excellent and they should be a real test for LA in the first round of the playoffs.

DC United 2 - 3 Toronto FC
Dwayne De Rosario did what he does and carried TFC to a victory against the league's worst offense in history. Neither of these teams had anything left to play for, which made for some interesting lineups, but the 18,071 fans who showed up to see off Jaime Moreno were treated to an exciting contest. They also got to see Moreno regain sole possession of the MLS leading scorer title when he slotted home a penalty in the 39th minute.

Kansas City Wizards 4 - 1 San Jose Earthquakes
Maybe it was the fact they were playing on short rest against a team that wanted to prove they deserved better than they ended with. Whatever it was, San Jose ended their regular season on an embarrassing note. Birahim Diop pounded home a hat-trick for the Wizards including this wonder-strike from deep and Chris Wondolowski secured the Golden Boot for 2010, notching his 18th goal of the season.

Colorado Rapids 2 - 2 Real Salt Lake
In what has to be one of the most gut-wrenching endings to a Rocky Mountain Cup game, Alvaro Saborio scored two goal in second half stoppage time to bring RSL back and earn a point against Colorado. The Rapids' dynamic striker pair of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey each scored a goal as their team went up 2-0, but it wasn't meant to be.

Chivas USA 1 - 4 Chicago Fire
Brian McBride's final professional game saw him give his captain's armband to fellow retiree CJ Brown, score a goal on a heel flick, and win 4-1 at the Home Depot Center. Chicago dominated this game from start to finish and will hope to build on that performance as they look to next season.

Columbus Crew 3 - 1 Philadelphia Union
The biggest result from this game is the injury to Will Hesmer, which will force the Crew's starting goalie to miss the entire playoffs. Andy Gruenebaum has looked good in limited minutes during the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League, but it's asking a lot for a reserve goalie to get his first MLS minutes of the season in a playoff start.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2 - 1 FC Dallas
LA finally came out with Landon in the midfield again and it helped spark them to a 2-1 win at home over FC Dallas. LA didn't dominate the game by any means though, and there are clearly still issues that need to be solved quick if this team is going to make a run in the playoffs. For FC Dallas, Brek Shea didn't start for the second straight game. I hope Schellas Hyndman just wants to give his young attacker a short rest before the playoffs, because I really think they're going to need Brek if they want to challenge RSL in the playoffs.

Random Thoughts

Nothing this week. You've already seen my predictions, and I want to save all my good stuff for the season retrospectives I'll be doing for every team over the next couple days.


MLS Elo Ratings
1,600.45 - Real Salt Lake
1,565.31 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1,561.38 - FC Dallas
1,537.98 - Seattle Sounders
1,535.53 - Colorado Rapids
1,532.26 - New York Red Bulls
1,526.59 - Columbus Crew
1,496.72 - Chicago Fire
1,495.26 - Kansas City Wizards
1,491.03 - San Jose Earthquakes
1,473.27 - Houston Dynamo
1,457.60 - Toronto FC
1,450.91 - Philadelphia Union
1,447.05 - New England Revolution
1,430.63 - Chivas USA
1,398.03 - DC United

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