Sunday, August 7, 2011

MLS Talking Points

After watching last night’s MLS matches several things have stuck out for me. Sore points, frustrations, points of notice and this that please me… here are a few things to consider.
Kyle Beckerman is a fighter.

Real Salt Lake showed who they are, or rather, who they can be. The absolutely tore apart the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium. The score was 3-0 in favor of RSL but it could easily have been more. The entire team moved and fought together which is exactly what made them so successful in previous years. Surely the game gives the team confidence and if they can maintain this same caliber of play, then they are MLS Cup contenders to be sure. However, if they allow themselves to succumb to pressure and misfortunes as we’ve seen a few times this season, then disappointment will beset all in Sandy, Utah. Here’s hoping they keep it up because when they are on, Real Salt Lake is a pleasure to watch.

Also there is a reason Kyle Beckerman is on that U.S. National Team roster. End of story.

Stevie Nicol, rough times.
Last night the Revolution lost at home to Chivas USA. Ouch. Stevie Nicol and the New England Revolution are in desperate need of massive changes. I submit for your consideration: it is time for the two to part ways. After years of mediocrity and letdowns it may be worth it to both parties to make a change. Now, by no means am I bashing Stevie Nicol, in fact I respect him as an excellent coach. That said, I think he’s been tasked with something impossible: winning with no resources. Truly, he does get the most out of many of his players, however it is more evident this year than ever that people (players, front office, fans) are not happy in New England. It might benefit Nicol to get out and see what he can do if he’s given a budget. The Revolution might be pleased with the change as well. Something to consider.

Recently on ExtraTime Radio Greg Lalas declared the L.A. Galaxy the best team in the league and wondered aloud why they do not receive that credit. Well last night the Galaxy played some of the most efficient (though not exciting) soccer and dispatched F.C. Dallas with ease. It was as if Dallas had no answer for the simple passing, organization and crosses of the Galaxy. At present Bruce Arena has built himself and impressive ensemble of efficient players. If they keep this up, they’ll certainly be in the MLS Cup final.

De Rosario leads like no other.
D.C. United went down a man in the seventh minute last night and fought for the remaining eighty three minutes like warriors. Twice they took the lead against a full strength Toronto side and despite being down a man and a goal in the 88th minute; they continued to fight and pulled out a draw. It was Dwayne De Rosario who scored the goals and rallied the troops, but every player in a DCU jersey fought and fought hard. Fans, coaches and players within the United organization should be extremely proud of their effort last night. Also, I love Ben Olsen’s passion. This man cares about his team more than most coaches would. D.C. United is a lucky bunch. 

Henry has been stellar, New York has not.
On the other end of the spectrum: New York is in serious trouble. So much money is invested in this group. Red Bull Arena, a power roster and an expensive coaching staff. Now what is wrong with them? Where are the wins? It certainly does not bode well to see such a powerful group languishing in mediocrity. But they did win the Emirates Cup…that was helpful.

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