Sunday Morning MLS Review


The Fire Exploded for Four First Half Goals Thursday Night/

  • Chicago’s performance again New England while providing an impressive score line owed itself more to the circumstances both weather wise and red card related than anything else.
  • Jeff Larentowicz’s red card was totally unjustified. However the referee, Baldomero Toledo did a good job of controlling the match from that point forward.
  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco continues to impress as he’s made a transition from the Mexican League to MLS better than anyone else in MLS history.
  • I thought Chris Rolfe did not look like he was back to full speed. Chicago needs him playing at the peak of his ability to chase a championship.
  • New England showed some fight in the second half which bodes well for them going forward without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston.
  • Landon Donovan and David Beckham looked like world class players, which they are. But watching the San Jose-LA Galaxy game made me wonder how anyone can really believe the standard of play in MLS is comparable to the Mexican League or as I have heard some commentators mention, the Dutch or French leagues. The number of bad giveaways and poor decisions in midfield were striking and spoke loudly about the lack of quality depth in MLS for those watching. Fans who are comfortable watching other leagues must have cringed at the quality of the touches in the showcase Thursday night match on ESPN2
  • The other matches this weekend were honestly better than LA-SJ in terms of quality but again the international press and MLS critics in the US tend to focus on games involving the Galaxy, and the lack of quality in that match was painfully obvious, and in the minds of those critics an indictment of the league.
  • Colorado came out very aggressively for a road match. The linkup play between Christian Gomez and the other Colorado attackers while not quite there yet appeared to have improved in just one week.
  • It’s a shame the Kansas City-Colorado game wasn’t a nationally televised game. Community America Ballpark looked better this week: maybe it was the camera work for Metro Sports, or perhaps it was just a case of a stadium growing on me.
  • Carlos Marinelli has found his niche in MLS. I’m tired of hearing from Boro fans about what a train wreck he was at the Riverside. Argentine players don’t always fit in well at second tier English clubs and Marinelli, supremely talented and skilled has found his form with the Wizards.
  • Colorado showed a great deal of grit and character to get themselves back into the match. Omar Cummings is quickly developing into a nice attacking player.
  • Kansas City dumped Jose Burciaga because inspite of his ability to get forward, as left back he’s pretty poor and prone to losing guys on set pieces.
  • Toronto FC’s English experiment continues to fail in MLS. Mo Johnston must be fired soon, or the honestly TFC will be so far behind the other teams all of whom have developed decent scouting networks, they may never catch up.
  •  DC United didn’t show me much either to be perfectly honest. I hope they show more Wednesday night or MLS will be out of the Champions Cup.
  • Fred’s touches on the ball and general movement seem like they are a major dropoff from last season. Hopefully this is just early season rust rather than a decline in skills.
  • Good to see Jaime Moreno back and playing well. DC needs him against Pachuca Wednesday night.
  • Marcello Gallardo scored a goal but I would still rather take Christian Gomez and have my DP slot to replace Moreno or Emilio in a year.
  • Dave Van Den Bergh is a quality player, the likes of which are far and few between in MLS. He has a good left foot and understands his role in whatever system he is asked to play in. Very few players in this league could get a cap for Holland, and very few players in the current US National Team player pool could ever be called into a Dutch National Team cap.  The fact that Van Den Bergh unlike most European refuges to MLS got a cap for his country only a year and half before coming to the league says a great deal to me.
  • Sinisa Ubipaipovic is a player I am really impressed by. He’s dangerous in the attack and can get back and do a good marking and clearing on set pieces.
  • Will Hesmer was a mess in the first ten minutes for Columbus but heroic afterwards.
  • Adam Moffat looks like he’s going to be good addition for the Crew.
  • Both Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers have grown up for Columbus.
  • Sacha Kljestan was outstanding. The best player on Saturday in any game, and Chivas USA is at this point the most complete team in the league.
  • Real Salt Lake’s midfield play is very good, and they dominated long stretches of the match against Chivas USA. However, finishing for RSL continues to be poor.
  • RSL’s backline continues to be of great concern going forward. The club is paying a ton of salary to Ian Joy and Nat Borchers because they came back to MLS from Europe when players of their (mediocre) quality are on other teams payroll at a much lower salary position. Both Joy and Borchers looked completely outclassed, and are further proof simply because an American played in Europe, they are not going to be world beaters in MLS.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

8 Responses to Sunday Morning MLS Review

  1. Joe says:

    I think you’re being a little hard on DC United, expecting more from them then any other team.

    Chivas I thought looked mediocre than DC. Sure they scored three goals but RSL as you mentioned dominated long stretches of the match and had several good chances for an equalizer. My belief is when Guzan leaves, with Burpo already gone, Chivas will be in trouble.

  2. Nicole says:

    Jeff Larentowicz’s red card was completely justified. Studs up tackles are getting carded this year. It’s about time.

    Also, a little overexuberance regarding Sacha Kljestan and Chivas. I was not nearly as impressed with them as you were. For most of the 2nd half, they were back on their heels and it looked like RSL were the home team, not the other way around. Chivas is not nearly as dominant this year as people are making them out to be.

  3. JustinR says:

    Everyone seems to be getting very excited about the Galaxy victory, come on, they beat the worst team in the league, and San Jose should have put two goals on the score board. I still think the back line is shockingly bad and bad times are ahead for the Galaxy.

  4. Goose says:

    “Marcello Gallardo scored a goal but I would still rather take Christian Gomez and have my DP slot to replace Moreno or Emilio in a year.”

    Except DC got colorado’s DP slot in the Gomez trade.

  5. Ray says:

    I’d take Gomez in a heartbeat over Gallardo.

    I think you were harsh on the Galaxy. They looked sharper and stronger than ever.

    Dave Van Den Bergh? Pleeeeeeeeze.

  6. eplnfl says:

    Disclaimer: I am from Chicago, that being said, the most important factor Thursday night was the weather, cold and rainy. It seemed that the Rev’s wanted no part of the Chicago weather that night and wanted a plane out of town.

    Was the red card harsh yes? Clearly. Did it become the deciding factor in the game no. In speaking with other fans the most remarkable thing about the game was seeing Blanco totally enjoy himself t looking like a 20 year old rookie, not a veteran of many football wars. He seems to be really liking what is going on in Chicago and the MLS.

    The question going into the season for the Fire to me was could anyone else besides Blanco going to score. The answer on Thursday, was, yes, yes, yes.

  7. Ryan says:

    All I know is it’s good to see the young national team players getting positive reviews here.

    Hopefully Sasha, Gaven can keep improving and turn in to some quality attacking midfield options to help the team create some fluid offense (and get out of that empty bucket 442). Also, Edu was the one bright spot for TFC scoring their first goal for the season.

  8. bandeeto says:

    RSL v Chivas was the best game of the weekend. Dangerouse teams playing back and forth ball. Some awsome battles, and very few (I can’t think of any) cringe worthy plays. I’m impressed with both teams, but RSL owned that stadium in the second half.

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