No Wondo, No DeRo: How remarkable is it that the Golden Boot winner and his main competition are done for the season? Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Wondolowski provided the league with great talking points as they pushed to see who could score the most goals. Each tied with sixteen and DeRo winning on a tiebreaker, we've now seen the last of both for the season.
It's a shame really, DeRo was very seriously playing some of the best soccer of his life. We saw him create goal after goal for DC United and nearly lift them up and into the post-season. I look back on De Rosario's season and it's hard to believe two teams let him go.
All the more impressive is that he let those departures motivate him rather than discourage him. It says a lot about a player that they can be dismissed from two clubs and still remain vigilant. It was that vigilance that lead him to a career year and DC United's best hope for success in the immediate future. If DCU know's what is good for them, they'll do everything to keep him.
Wondolowski put together an impressive string of games and goals scored in the second half of the season. His attitude on the subject is what makes his efforts all that more impressive. When I spoke to him before his final match of the season, he told me that it'd be nice but that his primary concern was winning matches with the Earthquakes. Two years in a row now we've seen Wondo put together a late season surge that saw him score an astounding amount of goals. It's a shame that we wont see these two players in the playoffs.
New York is in. Almost undone was New York's season. A stacked roster, a new stadium and so many games wasted with draws. It looked as though the Red Bulls would become the biggest bust of 2011. However, they avoided that and are now in the post-season. That means they have a chance for redemption. A solid run in the playoffs would do well to quell the frustration that is in the locker room. Sources say that it's a bit unsettling in there. Not surprising with Rafa Marquez's comments, Tim Ream's frustration and the weight of the DP salaries weighing on them.
All that can be put behind them though with the right attitude. They can save themselves from the title of bust. Luke Rodgers is probable, Thierry Henry is in good form and Dane Richards remains lightning fast. Couple that with the rest of the talent on the team and you have a squad to be feared. It'll be worthwhile to watch how this team rebounds from a frustrating season and see if they can secure silverware.
Sporting KC. The team started off the season on a ten game road swing. It was tough, arduous and players were exhausted. But with the opening of Livestrong Park and a seriously impressive team performance, they rallied and on the final day, secured the number one position in the East. There's really not much else to be said other than how surprising and deserving that squad is of their new accolade. Happy to see stories like that in the league.