So as this was the opening weekend of the EPL, I did not watch any MLS matches this weekend. It was a busy weekend as it sat and I could not find time to get through all of the matches. I have watched some, but I am going to stick to a brief recap on the weekend’s action. As for the normal predictions review included with this post, I am planning a new predictions review post that will cover both the MLS weekend picks and the EPL picks into one. Also, starting with MLS Week 23 fixtures, there will be a change to how the games are picked so lookout for that. Enough babbling by me though, so let’s get on to the action.
Toronto FC 2 – 0 DC United
With Toronto’s recent struggles I had not expected this result, but TFC righted their ship this week and got back on track with an important win against Conference rivals DC United. Dwayne De Rosario would put TFC up in the 30th to take TFC in at the half up 1-0. TFC was not finished yet though, as O’Brian White netted for TFC in the 66th to put TFC up 2-0 and secure the home win. DC will be in action this week in the CONCACAF CL so look for them, TFC bowed out of the CCL in the preliminary rounds, so now I am looking for them to get back on track in the league.
New York Red Bulls 0 – 2 Chivas USA
Chivas pulled it off in the Big Apple! Having not scored a goal and seeing their strong start to the season resemble Hull City’s EPL start last season, Chivas have gotten themselves back on track. What better a side to do it against than the NYRB, a side who has the leagues worst record and do not look to improve on it any time in the near future. Chivas would end their scoring drought early on in the match through Maykel Galindo in the 14th and in the 90th with Eduardo Lillingston. These goals were crucial to Chivas USA, who have been through a very rough patch of late and needed an easy match to gain back some confidence. There will be hope for Chivas yet this season as they start their ascent back up the table while New York Red Bulls continue to anchor themselves to the bottom.
Columbus 2 – 0 FC Dallas
I do not know what to say about this match. As a Dallas supporter I feel I should rail against the ref who made a poor call that led to Columbus’ first goal, but as someone who writes about the sport and who knows the team in question, I think no matter what the ref did or did not call Dallas needed to score and didn’t. Columbus got their first goal on a header from Marshall in the 10th through a corner earned by a poor call. Dallas pressured Columbus throughout the match though, looking dangerous at times but lacking the finishing touch. Columbus would shut the door on Dallas though in the 87th when substitute Eddie Gaven came on and weaved his way through the Dallas defense before beating Dario Sala, to give the Crew a 2-0 victory. Columbus continues to get the results although I do think their play is less than stellar of late, and Dallas needs to keep on going and score some more goals. The playoffs are a far off option for Dallas still, but results like this one are not going to help them get any closer to those coveted playoff spots come the end of the season.
Real Salt Lake 0 – 0 Houston Dynamo
I thought for sure Houston would take this match, but that would not be the case on this night as both teams failed to find the back of the net. The only real stat of interest in this one for me was the fact that both sides finished with 10 men as Houston’s Andrew Hainault managed two yellows in the first half, to be sent off in the 36th, and RSL’s Clint Mathis followed suit by picking up his second yellow in the 45th. This tells me one of two things about this match. Either the match was poorly called, which is the most likely case in MLS, or the players did not heed the refs early cards as warning enough. Either way, there is no reason to have sent off two players in the first half. I might have to go back and watch this one later to see what really happened.
Los Angeles 0 – 2 Seattle Sounders FC
Looks like the Sounders have bounced back when you look at the score line, but I doubt that was the whole story in this one, as two players were sent off for the Galaxy in the match and one for Seattle, and Landon Donovan did not enter the match for the Galaxy until the second half while recovering from his bout with the H1N1 virus. Now after looking at the stats in this match I am definitely planning to go back and look at the tape to see what happened, but David Beckham was the first sent off in the 17th minute, with Seattle’s Tyrone Marshall following in the 76th and Galaxy’s Eddie Lewis departing in the 79th. Only Marshall’s was for two yellows, as both Galaxy players were issued straight reds by the official. Missing a healthy Donovan did not help the Galaxy and going down to 9 men in the end did them no favors either. Seattle did manage to find the finishing touch again in this one though as Steve Zakuani netted in the 22nd and Fredy Montero found the net in the 54th. Since I did not watch the match I will not pass judgment on Seattle, but I do not think the new side is out of the woods yet, as winning against a weakened side does not convince anyone that you have gotten back in your stride. Next weekend’s result will probably be the result that fans should concern themselves with concerning Seattle, and LA should be alright as this could just be a little bump on the final stretch of the season.
Kansas City 0 – 2 Chicago
Mike Banner scored his first goal for Chicago! That was the headline I saw referring to this match. Kansas City is in dire straits at the moment, following the sacking of their coach and their lack of results of late, but I was surprised to see Chicago win this one by 2. No McBride and no Blanco did not look good for Chicago coming into this one, but I am guessing through sheer grit, the Fire pulled it out. Rolfe provided the goal that Chicago would need in the 13th and Banner did net for his first time in a Fire uniform in the 89th. I am guessing Chicago’s defense was great as usual in this one. The only other thing that happened of note was the sending off of Kansas City’s Zoltan Hercegfalvi in the 86th. It had no real effect on the match for sure, but Kansas City is not looking like they will improve anytime soon.
So there you have it. MLS Week 22 is now in the books and a few teams will now be looking forward to their group stages in the CONCACAF Champions League. This will be a busy week for a few sides and many writers, but look for my predictions with a new twist to be up in the next day or so for Week 23. I now have a few matches to catch up on to better understand what the outcome was, but that is nothing new in MLS, as there are always strange occurrences. My prediction wrap up should be posted before long, but as the UEFA CL is starting up along with mid-week matches in the EPL, it will be another busy week in the world of soccer.