Monday, April 28, 2008

2008 MLS Week 5 recap - None of the best are in the West

Only five weeks in and the East looks to be the class of the league this year as they won all five matches between the conferences. If there is any piece of good news the West can take from this weeks games it is that in all but one of the five, the Western side was the visitor. I'm guessing that is cold comfort for the clubs.

As far as the number go, total attendance numbers rose this week to a bit over 17,000 with LA taking gold with 27,000 followed by DC with 23,269 and Toronto with 20,045. Every match had at least 10,000 spectators except for the Red Bulls who could only pull 9,053 against San Jose. FC Dallas was second worse with 10,453. It is a shame that the two games that were most easily accessible to a national television audience also happened to be the two worst attended.

This week's other numbers of interest saw the league go without a tie or a red card while maintaining the roughly 24 fouls per match average. So here are all the numbers for the week:
Week 5

Season (35)
Week 1 (7)
Att per game
Beckham Att
Beckham Avg Att (5)
Goals per game
Fouls per game
Cards (red)
109 (8)
27 (0)
East 11-1-3
East 5-0-0
5 (13.9%)
0 (0.0%)

Kansas City Wizards 0-2 Toronto FCA bad call was behind Amado Guevara's first goal in his re-re-re-return to MLS as he was in an offside position when the ball was played, but if the ref don't notice then there is nothing to talk about. KC held their own for large stretches of the game as they kept TFC at bay, however the Wizards had no extended period of attack (except for a few minutes in the first half). Toronto fans are no doubt happy with Guevara, but they should still be concerned with the lack of finishing in the final third. With just nine shots on goal, they still have much room for improvement. That said, Guevara's free kick strike was fantastic.
Goals - Guevara (1) 56, (2) 77
Att: 20,045

Houston Dynamo 0-1 Columbus CrewFor the first time this season, the Dynamo defense looked tough again. Sure their one big mistake resulted in a goal, but overall they looked much better (although Boswell again was the weak link), which allowed their midfield to control the game (Ricardo Clark was fantastic). Sadly for the defending champs, their offense could not make the most of their chances making Houston the only team to still have a zero in the victory column. By the way, oddity of the game, hand ball by Ostad in the box after a pass back resulting in an indirect kick.
Goal - CC: Alejandro Moreno (4) 22
Att: 15,271

Real Salt Lake 1-4 DC United
After losing in Real a few weeks back, DC went into a huge funk. After Saturday's match in DC, I'm guessing the funk is over. Marcelo Gallardo's amazing 80th minute goal should be enough by itself to inspire the team to a few more wins. Still, United started flat and, oddly enough, didn't really get going till Marc Burch came on for an injured Fred. Also, the first pk should not have been as it was an accidental hand ball. Still, the second 45' were owned by the team in black.
Goals - DC: Jaime Moreno pk (2) 31, pk (3) 52, Santino Quaranta (2) 67, Marcelo Gallardo (2) 80
RSL: Carey Talley (1) 77
Att: 23,269

Colorado Rapids 1-2 Chicago Fire
The Rapids played the Fire pretty even on the night, but couldn't find anything until it was too late. For the Fire, their offense did improve, although they are still far from dominating teams. Justin Mapp has a solid game, giving Chicago an addition option to moving the ball up field, however Blanco was off on the night. Overall, this game was a little tiring to watch.
Goals - CF: John Thorrington (1) 53, (2) 84
CR: Tom McManus (1) 86
Att: 14,251

Chivas USA 2-5 LA GalaxyI've never seen so many clearance balls out of the box go straight up in the air. The strange thing was it happened much more often to LA, but Chivas couldn't make anything out of it. Another oddity, Backham disappeared for large stretches of the match while Donovan showed just how angry he is by gloating in front of the goat's bench. Anyway, both these defenses are something nutty to watch, but with Razov coming back, Chivas should finally improve.
Goals - LA: Donovan (6) 18, (7) 59, Alan Gordon (1) 76, Donvan (8) 78, Gordon (2) 84
Chivas: Sacha Kljestan (3) 38, Ante Razov (1) 62
Att: 27,000

San Jose Earthquakes 0-2 New York Red Bulls
Jozy Altidore was the reason for both goals as he forced a trip in the box to earn his team a pk and then finished big in extra time. This was the first time San Jose has been squashed this season as the Bulls controlled pretty much the entire match. Claudio Reyna had a good night and almost got his first goal for New York, but it was cleared off the line. The biggest worry for the Reds coming out of this one has to be their inability to put the game away. They were the far better team but they could not find net untill the final minutes of the match. Other teams will not give them so much time.
Goals - NY: Mike Magee pk (1) 79, Jozy Altidore (2) 95'
Att: 9,053

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Anonymous tps said...

About DCU's first penalty, you wrote: "the first pk should not have been as it was an accidental hand ball." Watch the slo-mo replay. He had his arm almost straight up in the air as he slid in on his other side. At least 90 percent of referees would make that call, I think.

4:51 PM  

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