Monday, October 11, 2010

All Set But the Positioning: Weekly Wrapup

All of the results pretty much fell in line with how you'd expect this weekend. This is great news if you're a bettor since you probably did really well unless you over-thought yourself. If your a Wizards fan, then it went much worse since your loss to Seattle coupled with San Jose thrashing DC United and Colorado grabbing a point from FC Dallas pretty much assures that you'll be watching the playoffs.

Game Reports

New York Red Bulls 0 - 0 Real Salt Lake
This game was much more exciting than the nil-nil score line. It featured great scoring chances from , but none found their way into the back of the net. One reasonable question I think needs to be asked is "Will Thierry Henry get his legs in time to have a real impact in the playoffs?" I know he's going to be a good MLS player, he has too much talent not to be, but the end result for this season could be very disappointing for NYRB if he doesn't turn it on soon.

On a side note, this results, coupled with LA's win, basically snuffs out RSL's chances at the Supporters' Shield.

FC Dallas 2 - 2 Colorado Rapids
Colorado rolled out what will become their new and improved sick-nasty attack (Cummings-Casey-Kandji in a 4-3-3) and became only the third team to score two goals against FC Dallas since April. Granted, both of their goals were scored by Jeff Larentowicz, but still. It wasn't enough though, as Dallas stretched their unbeaten streak to a new MLS single-season record 19 games.

DC United 0 - 2 San Jose Earthquakes
The Chris Wondolowski show is in full effect. San Jose's suddenly dominant forward added two more goals (his 13th and 14th of the season) against a DC United team just waiting for the season to end. His first goal was a goal of the week candidate volley which he followed that up with a nice left-footed finish off a rebound. Just a reminder, San Jose got Wondo for Cam Weaver and a conditional draft pick. For a team that is usually so good at player evaluation, the Dynamo really blew that one.

Also, this game featured the rare double red card situation in the 8th minute although I have no idea how to describe what happened (or didn't to be more precise). Moreno hit the ground like he'd been shot before a free kick and, next thing I know, two guys have red cards shown to them.

Kansas City Wizards 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders
Sanna Nyassi continued to build upon his great form scoring the first goal, his 4th in his last 3 games, and Alvaro Fernandez wants people to remember that while he may not be a starter, this DP's got some game as well. The two wingers provided all the scoring Seattle would need. Davy Arnaud pulled a goal back on a penalty in the 84th minute off a foul drawn from Teal Bunbury, but it was too late by then. The game all but eliminates KC from playoff contention.

Chivas USA 3 - 0 Toronto FC
TFC put out a good lineup again (starting Maicon, Mista nowhere to be found) but that alone isn't enough to make them a good team right now. Yeah, Maicon blew some chances, but he's still, unfortunately, the best option for Toronto. Chivas USA would ride goals from Jorge Flores, Jesus Padilla and Rodolfo Espinoza (hey, can you guess which MLS team has a Hispanic owner?) to a not-quite-as-dominant-as-it-sounds 3-0 victory.

Houston Dynamo 1 - 2 New England Revolution
Geoff Cameron got pushed up to the midfield for this game (which I am all in favor of) but it wasn't enough as New England downed the Dynamo in Houston. Shalrie Joseph and Kheli Dube provided the scoring for Revolution while Dominic Oduro tallied for the Dynamo in a game that saw two teams experimenting at the end of disappointing season.

Random Thoughts

The Elo Ratings do a great job of showing which team has had a more impressive overall season. However, it does not do a good job telling you which team is playing the best at the moment.

Take Seattle, for example. They've been rocketing up the Elo Ratings, currently finding themselves in 4th place. Does this really rate them fairly though? They've just finished winning the US Open Cup for the second straight year and have 29 points in their last 12 league games. They are maybe the most dangerous team heading in to the playoffs.

I'm working on a couple different ways to maybe address this, but they probably won't be ready for prime time until next season. They will produce some pretty cool graphs for the end of this year though!

Also, a big FU to whoever working over at decided to put a 38 second pre-roll ad before every video highlight, even a 45 second goal highlight. You didn't think some kind of "This highlight brought to you by FIFA 2011" screen was enough or something? Just to name a few other problems, there's the way-too-script-heavy site that is makes browsing painfully slow, the fact that your player links don't always go to the right person, your video player is now wider than its html div in Firefox/Chrome. It's unbelievable how much you guys can screw up a website.


MLS Elo Ratings
1,591.95 - Real Salt Lake
1,575.29 - FC Dallas
1,574.99 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1,541.23 - Seattle Sounders
1,533.23 - New York Red Bulls
1,520.44 - Colorado Rapids
1,519.52 - Columbus Crew
1,503.21 - San Jose Earthquakes
1,499.75 - Chicago Fire
1,476.66 - Kansas City Wizards
1,458.36 - Chivas USA
1,455.65 - Houston Dynamo
1,450.21 - Philadelphia Union
1,449.52 - Toronto FC
1,446.90 - New England Revolution
1,403.09 - DC United

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