I want to act surprised after watching the Red Bulls go down to Chivas USA, but the turnaround from last year is obviously not perfect. New York still has a few problems, the likes of which the Goats revealed on Saturday. Macoumba Kandji was MIA for most of the match, miles away from his performance last weekend at Seattle. Lindpere continues to be a force in the midfield, but he’s receiving little support from teammates, especially Dane Richards. As for Bouna Coundhoul, I will admit that he appears to give up on the ball after the deflection. Physically speaking, I know how difficult it is to reverse the direction of the body in such a reflexive manner, but he was sitting flat on his ass when the ball glanced off the post. However, his blunder is forgivable. I’ve seen much more horrendous mistakes by more talented keepers. Keep your chin up, Bouna. The backline held its own, including rookie sensation Tim Ream. Jeremy Hall got beat pretty bad on the final longball by Padilla, but his performance the previous 89 minutes could be argued as pretty solid.
Now, if you’ll remember from last week, I described Chivas as “flat out embarrassing bad.” I’m 92 percent sure head coach Martin Vazquez must have brought up my comment in the locker room, because these Goats came out to play. They established possession early and didn’t resort to long balls to the opposing side’s back line. Chukwudi Chijindu was coming back into the run of play to receive balls cleanly and distribute them into open space. My super-sub of the week goes to Jesus Padilla. The Mexican international tested Bouna from away twice and cashed in. Bornstein is usually hit or miss with his offensive runs down the left sideline, but he was causing fit after fit for Richards. I’m sure my fellow writers won’t agree with me, but I’m still not sold on Sacha Kljestan. Call me crazy, but the guy needs to put the ball in the back of the net. All in all, Chivas catapulted themselves back into early MLS competition.
The Union opened up their home season with style, culminating with a well-deserved hat trick from Sebastian Le Toux. The final fan count happened to be around the 34,000 number. Well played, Philadelphia. Even more impressive, Moreno’s goal should not have counted according to U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development Paul Tamberino. “By law there can be no interference, no fakes, no head attempts, nothing that interferes with the goalkeeper’s ability to release the ball within the six or seven seconds,” Tamberino said. “The goalkeeper needs to be free of interference and he can do whatever he wants in those six to seven seconds.” Where was the successful pre-season DC United team? They’re certainly nowhere to be found since the first kick-off.
Kansas City squeaked by Colorado at home. I could only watch the highlights for this one, but I’m hearing (and occasionally seeing) great things out of the Wiz this year.
San Jose scored a late goal from rookie Ike Opara to cool of the Fire. My friend advised me not to watch this game and described it as sloppy and unentertaining. I’d have to agree.
Finally, I’m still too pissed to write about the Sounders (particularly Brad Evans) giving up a late goal to former Costa Rican star Alvaro Saborio, looking to now continue his hot streak from Saprissa.
Anyways, eight games on a Saturday is a lot of soccer. Rankings below:
1. LA Galaxy
2. Kansas City Wizards
3. Columbus Crew
4. Real Salt Lake
5. New York Red Bulls
6. Seattle Sounders
7. Colorado Rapids
8. New England Revs
9. FC Dallas
10. Houston Dynamo
11. Chivas USA
12. Chicago Fire
13. Philadelphia Union
14. San Jose Earthquakes
15. Toronto FC
16. DC United
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to state your case below.
Tim Patterson is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at Tim@yanksarecoming.com.