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The Week That Was in Major League Soccer: Round 11

Ryan Johnson hates team photos. Or maybe Ryan Johnson just hates his team. Yeah, it's probably that last one.
Ryan Johnson hates team photos. Or maybe Ryan Johnson just hates his team. Yeah, it's probably that last one.

This past week wasn't the best week for the Fire or most of the Eastern conference. New York got three points and D.C. United gained six points. Both teams now have a buffer between them and Sporting Kansas City, and they have a pretty large lead over everyone else.

Fortunately, a few teams generously came up short this week to allow the Fire to hang on to their 4th place spot in the conference.

Mid-Week Matches

Portland 0 @ Houston 0

This game was a bit of a snoozer. Both teams looked offensively inept for much of the match. Houston started to put things together towards the end and created some good chances, but nothing came from it. Futty Danso had quite the take down of former Fire forward, Calen Carr. The take down was pretty blatant, but still managed to go uncalled. Martek over at Dynamo Theory has a nice short write up the outlines the ineptitude of referee, Chris Penso.

The only thing that I would add - what the hell is Futty doing swinging at the head of some one who is wearing protective gear to prevent FURTHER concussions?

Colorado 0 @ D.C. United 2

I'm pretty excited to see Conor Casey back for the Rapids. Partly because he's a good player, but mostly because he looks like Howie Mandel on HGH. Oh, and speaking of the Rapids, Matt Pickens played D.C. United on Tuesday. If it wasn't for Pickens, this game would have been a blowout instead of a slight beat-down. I put in more effort writing this paragraph than the Rapids put into this game.

Saturday's Matches

Seattle 2 @ Vancouver 2

Vancouver came out swinging early on and Seattle did not seemed prepared for it. The Sounders spent much of the opening minutes getting acclimated to the match. During this time, Vancouver snagged an early lead off of an Alain Rochat goal in the 12th minute and had a few additional chances to double their lead. In the second half, Eddie Johnson scored in the 47th minute to knot the game at 1 each. From then on, the game felt to be more on even keel.

Darren Mattocks, Vancouver's first pick in this year's SuperDraft, earned his first MLS start. The young striker showed some great instincts and had a few runs that easily became scoring chances. Unfortunately for the Whitecaps, Mattocks wasn't able to put any of his shots on net. A two goal lead on the Sounders would have been huge. Instead, a one goal lead allowed Freddie Montero to net an equalizer in the closing minutes of the match.

Houston 2 @ New England 2

Houston and New England had a pretty physical match at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. Not a whole lot happened in terms of offense, but the two teams did manage four goals between them. It was almost three points for the Revs until their back line lost Luis Camargo in the 87th minute. Camargo's equalizer was set up by a nice floating ball Brian Ching.

I feel like I've been mentioning Saer Sene every week, but he did score two more goals this weekend and is now tied with Maicon Santos for 4th in the league in goals with 6 to his name.

Toronto 1 @ D.C. United 3

If it seems like these two teams just played recently, it's because they did. Thanks to wacky MLS scheduling, Toronto played D.C. United back-to-back this month in MLS competition. Toronto never had a chance in this one. De Rosario put D.C. up in the first minute of the match, then he doubled the lead in the 43rd minute. Toronto out shot D.C. 19 to 9, but only 4 of their shots were on target.

Per John Leung over at Waking the Red, Danny Koevermans reportedly said that Toronto F.C. is arguably "the worst team in the world." If it makes Mr. Koevermans feel any better, their stiffest competition for that tittle will be visiting Toronto next Saturday.

New York 2 @ Montreal 1

Riding high on a four game unbeaten streak, Montreal had a chance to take down another first place team this week. It wasn't a terrible showing by the home side, but they did have to rely on a terrible call for a hand ball in the box to get their only goal. The Red Bulls first goal also came off a questionable call for a hand ball inside the box.

The only real unquestionable goal in this game (well..if you're not an Impact fan) came from a Dane Richards blast off a rebound in the 67th minute. New York was a man down when they scored this goal as Victor Palsson was sent off for a second yellow in the 58th minute. This is the second time this season that Montreal has conceded a goal with a man advantage. New York has now won 5 straight games.

Philadelphia 1 @ Dallas 1

This was ugly. Since both of these teams are awful, I'll bundle some stats together. Between these two teams neither managed to complete more than 70% of their passes. There was a total of 35 fouls in this match, and you can probably guess which dirty team team had the lion's share of those. Out of 20 combined shots in the match, only 6 were on target. This sort of stuff is what we expect from Philly. Dallas can at least blame it on not having Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo and David Ferreira. Although, I'm starting to get tired of Dallas fans lamenting about Ferreira and how better the team would be with him and how things will be different once he returns and so on and so forth.

Sporting K.C. 2 @ Colorado 2

Getting clobbered in D.C. did nothing to spark a fire under Colorado. 14 minutes into this match Colorado was already down by two goals. Teal Bunbury put both of those goals in the back of the net and the match would stay this way until half time. Once the second half started, It seemed like Sporting was content with how things were going and felt that 3 points was a given. Unfortunately for them, Colorado decided to pull things together. It only took Colorado 15 minutes into the second half to score two goals and tie the match. Sporting did put together a nice late surge, but they were unable to get a game winner out of it.

Los Angeles 0 @ Chivas 1

I know this was technically a home game for Chivas, but were there any Glaxay supporters there? I thought this was the SuperClasico, but it looked like only Chivas fans showed up to the party. I use the term "party" very loosely here. This game was pretty dormant for much of the fist half. In the second half, things got a little bit more lively. Former Chivas defender, David Junior Lopes, got hit in the arm with the ball as he tried to cover the goal line. He was sent off with a straight red card for the hand ball, and Jose Correa converted the penalty kick.

David Beckham was subbed on immediately after the Galaxy went down a goal. From there on, two of my favorite moments of the match occurred. In full counter attack mode, David Beckham fires what looks to be an incredibly accurate long ball to Chad Barret. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, Danny Califf is there, and he makes a spectacular diving header to break up the play. As for my second favorite moment; it's really nothing much. Towards the end of the game, Landon Donovan gets called for a handball in the penalty box, and Dan Kennedy comes out of the net all fired up and jaws at Donovan for a bit.

The Galaxy already captured the record for the worst start to a season by a defending MLS Cup champion. With San Jose coming to town on Wednesday, it's possible that they're going to "improve" upon that record.

Columbus 1 @ San Jose 1

With the Fire not playing on Saturday, I decided to go to this match just to see some live soccer. It was a complete repeat of last week for San Jose. The Earthquakes gave up an early goal, imposed their will on the visiting team for the remainder of the game, then Alan Gordon subs on for Lenhart and scores a later equalizer. This team only grabbed 2 points out of what should have been an easy 6 at home against two weaker sides. The difference between two draws and two wins for San Jose is first place in the west.

I would've gone home pretty upset if Columbus got three points. Last year, Columbus got lucky on a number of occasions and managed to squeak in to the playoffs. I rather not see that happen again.

Sunday's Match

Chicago 1 @ Portland 2

Well, we all know what happened here, don't we?