Monday, August 14, 2006

MLS Week 20 recap or Did DC clinch the Supporter's Shield in Houston?

Four games and no ties, it's been a long time since MLS could say that.

Houston Dynamo 1-0 FC Dallas

The 'Texas shootout' never really happened as Houston owned most of this match. Unlike Wednesday night when they were missing De Rosario, they had him there. And even through he was not his full creative self, he made FCD come after him.

Still, the big thing from this game is how much Dallas depends on Kenny Cooper. They seem to think he can do it all by himself because more often then not, he was alone when taking the ball to goal. With no support and two or three guys all over him (especially Eddie Robinson), he didn't really have a chance. He's good, but he has limits. Dallas did recover towards the end of play, and controlled the final 10-minutes, but it was just too little time for the miracle to happen.

With Dallas going down, they are now 6-points off DC for the Supporter's Shield title. With 11 games to go, it's going to be hard to close that gap. Of the 11 remaining games, DC has 6 on the road while FCD has 7. In addition, DC won the season's series with a win and a tie. A bad string could still bring the shield to Texas, but it's getting harder and harder to see such a string forming.

KC Wizards 4-0 Columbus Crew

So much for the idea that the lack of Jimmy Conrad would mean bad times for the Wizards backline, as they were able to hold it together. Granted, it was the Crew they were playing, so take it as you will. Anyway, the offense finally game to play and in a big way. KC had 21 shots, with 11 of them on goal. They were feeding each other, making smart passes and pouncing on Crew mistakes. Different people scored all four goals. The four goals also equal the total number of goals they had scored in their last four matches. On the Columbus side of things, they had a few chances, but just were out matched in every way. It's going to be a long time till 2007.

Chicago Fire 1-2 Chivas USA

The Fire were the only home team to lose this weekend, but the questions remains, was it a fair call that cost them the match. Juan Pablo Garcia got the first goal in the 77th minute off a hard shot from the top of the box, but Chicago was able to come back just four minutes later to get the tie. However, there was a very missed call in between these two events. Chivas's Ante Razov was taken down by Tony Sanneh in Chicago's box, but no penalty kick was given. Sanneh was the last defender and Razov had just beaten him, so this should have been an easy pk, but referee Alex Prus waved play on.

In their anger, Chivas did not regroup and the Fire was able to get the goal. But Chivas would not end the night without a pk as Jonathan Bornstein got bumped by Chicago's Gonzalo Segares in the 90th minute to get the kick from the spot. Sure enough, Claudio Suarez converted and Chivas walked away with the win. The second call really was not a pk type of call, but it is obvious that it was a makeup for the earlier mistake.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 LA Galaxy

All the progress LA has made since Yallop's hire seemed to melt away on Saturday. Their offense was nowhere and their defense was making stupid mistakes. The only goal of the night came when LA's Ugo Ihemelu passed it right to Colorado's Thiago Martins. Martins passed it to Kyle Beckerman in the area who rolled it across goal for Nicolas Hernandez to finish. Great move by Colorado, but it never should have been. LA is too talented to be making these mistakes.

Just as Dallas's defeat might have handed the shield to DC, LA's lose along with Chivas's win, might have knocked them out of the playoffs. LA is 7 points behind Chivas with 10 games remaining. Of the ten, four are on the road, three are against FC Dallas, one is against Houston and one is against DC. It will be near impossible for the team that played on Saturday to get the points they will need in order to get close enough to knock Chivas out of the final spot when the two teams meet on September 30th.

Don't forget the US Soccer Carnival part IV.



Blogger OzZ said...

hmm...sounds intresting..

4:59 PM  

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