What have we learned in week 2 of MLS?
I learned that it was a mistake to buy into the hype of Barca being able to cut the gap on Real Madrid rather than watch Dallas vs. Houston. Or to believe that Arsenal vs. Liverpool was going to be even remotely exciting to watch a cagey restrained match between each teams reserve teams. (and Barca is my La Liga team. Arsenal is my Prem team in as much as I have a Prem team since I’m not exactly a super fan of the Prem)
We also learned that the East is looking like a wild, wild ride (save for one team). Chicago tonked New England, who many have been picking to go back to the finals, 4-0 before the first half was even over. Frankowski is looking like the poacher Chicago needed to team up with Blanco. Now if they could only convince Conde that his current team really isn’t all that bad…
KC is looking like they are going to fuck up a lot of people’s pre-season predictions as they look as good as they’ve looked in the last decade. However, their opponent, Colorado, is looking like a side that is actually going to come out and win far more games than they normally do.
We also learned that Giants Stadium still isn’t a great place for a game and that RBNY isn’t going to be all that exciting of a team this year. They look pretty content to employ a Chelsea-like semi-bunker style and hope to grind out 1-0, 2-0 games more often than not. That being said, they will probably be good at it if they stay healthy (a BIG if for any team on turf most of the year).
We also learned that DC is either really good (they are pretty good), or TFC is really, really bad (you might wanna add one more ‘really’ to that). I don’t wanna seem like this blog is simply for picking on TFC despite the post earlier in the week. (they won’t be the last team/fans/officials who appear in that column BTW) but they are really poor.
Edu is quality. Dicchio is a serviceable target man. Cunningham & Wynne will have their flashes, but the rest…yikes. It’s too early to pass judgment on Robert yet, but given his history of wanting to ignore defense, it could cause all sorts of issues for them unless he scores at least 1 a game. In fairness, the Gallardo goal looked like it might have been offside, but they were probably lucky to escape with only giving up 4.
Oh and I have no idea what they are thinking starting Sutton, the guy last week (Edwards if memory served) did a good job of keeping them close, Sutton just sucks.
We also learned that Chivas is still really fucking good, but also that RSL isn’t going to lay down for anyone this year. They had a great first half and withered a bit in the second but they could make a run at a playoff spot.
We also learned that Houston is in another early season funk focusing on the international scene. Although, Cameron hit a great strike to keep them in the points at the death.
We also learned that Gullitt might be a good motivator after all. LA looked like a team that actually wanted to win for once and Beckham and Donovan gave the league a glimpse of the pain they can cause opposing defenses as they had a couple of beauty goals.
On that note, we also learned that San Jose looks like they might want to plan a group holiday retreat with TFC during the playoffs since neither team is looking like they are going to be fighting for much of anything and will thank the heavens that there is no such thing as promotion/relegation in MLS right now.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we learned that the refs have been told to really crack down on reckless challenges as there 3 red cards for reckless challenges (all deserved despite all of Nicol’s grousing. Studs up, over the ball is and should be a red card every time, I don’t care how early in a game it comes) I hope that continues throughout the season as the league was starting to get a bit of a reputation for being a thuggish, baby-Prem league.
Goal of the week:
It probably wasn’t the greatest goal in terms of look or value. (Cameron’s goal would probably win any other week since it rescued a point on a great strike from the edge of the box) However, Mr. Beckham’s first league goal has to be given the nod for sheer significance and the hope that it will allay some of the wild “Beckham was a worthless signing!” stories flying around lately. Of course, that isn’t to say that the buildup and the finish weren’t quality. Here is a video: