No lineup analysis this week — over the break, we’ll go team-by-team to look at the rosters.
- Come on you Reds! No, we didn’t mean red cards! With neither side finishing in Toronto, we go to the judges’ scorecards. Adelaide Byrd has it 29-28 Toronto; Nelson Hamilton scores it 29-28 Kansas City. Cecil Peoples insists that leg kicks can’t finish a fight and therefore has neither team winning a round for a 30-30 decision. It’s a draw!
Oh, that was a soccer game, not an MMA fight?
TFC fans were hopping mad after the first round … half, I mean, half … but the biggest complaint seems to be that more Wizards weren’t sent off. The game ended 10-v-10 as is. Toronto squandered a few chances, but if Preki and company want to hang on to that playoff spot ahead of all the more talented West teams just behind them, they should consider investing in some defenders who aren’t quite as clumsy.
- Soccer soup: The other scoreless tie Saturday was in D.C., where the stats can be a little deceiving. Both teams played positively for the most part, though the heat and humidity sucked the life out the game at times. For some reason, several United attacks wound up on the foot of Stephen King, who was denied brilliantly once or twice by Real Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando. The rest, he squandered. RSL’s Will Johnson told the Salt Lake papers (the team’s White House visit provided a handy excuse to open up reporters’ travel budgets as if they were suddenly the Washington Post) that he found United’s lack of attacking urgency baffling for a home game, and indeed, RSL was pressing toward the end while D.C. counterattacked. That said, United managed to get a few shots on goal.
- Galaxy stomp: LA 4, Houston 1. No question that the Galaxy can survive without Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan. More pressing question is whether the Dynamo defense is aging before our eyes.
- Quick six for Red Bulls: Hot start, sudden skid, and now the Red Bulls have just as suddenly won two games in the Red Bull Arena fortress.
- Rapids for real: Colorado isn’t going to catch Los Angeles this season, but the Rapids shouldn’t be overlooked. A home win against East leader Columbus ought to grab some attention and bolster some confidence. Colorado scored the winner short-handed thanks to Pablo Mastroeni once again showing the flashes of temper that have hampered his career. (Or, perhaps, made us all regret that he didn’t go to Serie A, where he might have fit in well.)
- Can Dallas hang around? Jeff Cunningham is going through another stretch as Mr. Hyde, and yet FC Dallas isn’t out of it in the West. Brek Shea, my choice for Player of the Week, scored twice against San Jose. The club even showed signs of life at the gate with a crowd of 14,331.
Also, Chicago beat Philadelphia and former coach Peter Nowak 2-1, and Seattle exorcised the demons of a disappointing start with three spectacular goals against New England.