Monday, October 4, 2010

The Home Stretch: Weekly Wrapup

Please forgive the lack of substance in this update. I was at a wedding this Saturday (who schedules a wedding during a fall Saturday in the South?) so I only have highlights to go off of for all of the games except the Super Clasico. Because of this I'm going to try to focus more on the impact of the results rather than the play that got them there.

Game Reports

Chivas USA 1 - 2 Los Angeles Galaxy
Let's go ahead and start with the game I can comment the most on. LA Galaxy maintained their dominance of the Super Clasico, downing Chivas USA 2-1. LA scored on a volley by Edson Buddle off a beautiful ball by Michael Stephens and a David Beckham free kick that reminded us why he's the master. Chivas pulled one goal back on an (offside) Alan Gordon header, but that was all the could manage dispite playing the last 20 minutes a man up.

LA changed up their lineup (AGAIN) and saw much better play on the pitch. Landon was moved up top with Buddle, and then the midfield played in a diamond with Juninho in the back, Beckham in the front, Chris Birchall on the right, and rookie Michael Stephens (who I really like and played well early in the season) on the left. If you're going to let Becks roam around the field, putting him in the middle makes a lot of sense. It meant that one side didn't get overcrowded or too empty to keep the defense honest.

I wasn't a huge fan of Donovan's role up top though, and here's why. If Bruce is going to play him and Buddle as a flat pair up top, Donovan is going to be receiving the ball with his back to the goal way too often. That neutralizes his best asset, his speed and ability to run at defenders. It would be like constantly giving the ball to Dwight Howard 18 feet from the basket. If you're going to play his as a forward, he needs to be behind a guy like Buddle who can receive the ball, hold up play, and then pass off to Donovan making a run.

Seattle Sounders 3 - 2 Toronto FC
Another big crowd and another home win for a Seattle Sounders team that has suddenly moved up to 6th in the table. Blaise Nkufo added another goal as did the two speedy wingers Zakuani and Nyassi. I was somewhat surprised to see Seattle put out the entire first team lineup tonight considering the US Open Cup final is tomorrow, but good for them getting 3 points. As for Toronto FC, they finally put what I would think is their best 11 out there together to start. Even better, Mista wasn't even in the 18.

Colorado Rapids 0 - 1 DC United
After 4 straight 3 goal victories at home, Colorado Rapids got caught by visiting DC United and lost 1-0. I have to wonder if they were looking ahead to their last 3 games of the season (@FC Dallas, @LA Galaxy, vs. RSL) and thought they could take a terrible DC team lightly. Colorado tried to rest Marvell Wynne, Anthony Wallace and Omar Cummings and it came back to bite them. DC players get paid too, you know, and no professional wants to lose.

FC Dallas 3 - 0 Chicago Fire
The big story here was Jeff Cunningham tying Jaime Moreno's record of 132 goals in an MLS career on a penalty in the 67th minute. He has one more home game this season (against Colorado this coming Saturday) to take over the lead in front of his home fans. Hopefully he can do it in the run of play and not from the spot.

New York Red Bulls 1 - 0 Kansas City Wizards
Dane Richards continues to impress, scoring the game's lone goal as New York Red Bulls downed Kansas City Wizards 1-0 at home. Granted, the goal was kinda gifted to him by a horrible play from KC center back Jimmy Conrad, but his finish deserves some praise. Backe went back to a 4-4-2 this game with Juan Pablo and Henry up top and Ballouchy in the midfield, but Marquez was out injured so we're still not 100% sure how they're going to line up when everyone's available.

New England Revolution 1 - 2 Real Salt Lake
When you really break the game down it doesn't appear that Real Salt Lake played very well at all, but they still managed to earn 3 points on the road against a bad New England Revolution side. There isn't much to say here other than "they are who we thought they were."

Columbus Crew 0 - 0 San Jose Earthquakes
Oh goodness Columbus Crew, what's going on with you? New York is now atop the Eastern Conference table after Columbus manages just a point at home against San Jose Earthquakes. The Crew are have earned just 6 points in their last 6 league games, going 1-3-2 with just 4 goals scored.

Philadelphia Union 1 - 1 Houston Dynamo
Yeah, these two teams tied. Nothing changed because of it.

Random Thoughts

No good thoughts this week since I didn't watch enough to make any huge conclusions. All I'll say is please watch the US Open Cup final tomorrow night on FSC. It's a great tournament and I really want to see more Americans embrace it so that there is better coverage of the earlier stages.

Both Columbus and Seattle take silverware seriously and should come out strong in a chance to win something for their fans and qualify for the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.


MLS Elo Ratings
1,591.35 - Real Salt Lake
1,578.26 - FC Dallas
1,568.05 - Los Angeles Galaxy
1,533.83 - New York Red Bulls
1,532.93 - Seattle Sounders
1,529.30 - Columbus Crew
1,517.47 - Colorado Rapids
1,491.71 - San Jose Earthquakes
1,489.97 - Chicago Fire
1,484.95 - Kansas City Wizards
1,465.52 - Houston Dynamo
1,459.92 - Toronto FC
1,457.15 - Philadelphia Union
1,447.96 - Chivas USA
1,437.04 - New England Revolution
1,414.60 - DC United

No comments:

Post a Comment