Monday, May 7, 2012

The Quick and Easy Ones...

Happy Monday to you. Here are a few things floating around my head as Week 9 of MLS action comes to a close.

The Montreal Impact are showing the signs of life. The Impact have recorded their first road win and for the first time ever, back to back MLS wins for the club. That they did so against Sporting Kansas City is all the more impressive. Jesse Marsch has brought together a squad of hard working, blue collar players and is instilling a mentality that demands discipline. That said, they were inspired against Sporting. Starting with the acrobatics of Donovan Ricketts the Montreal players held strong on the road in the Blue Hell that is LiveStrong Park. Not only did they work hard to defend and support one another but they were treated to brilliance by Felipe on the goal. The Impact's two wins could be the boost they need to jump start a campaign towards Eastern Conference playoff slots.

The woes continue for the Canadian team in red. Toronto FC continues to slump further into the depths of obscurity as they again fall to their opposition. Eight losses in a row is hard to swallow, particularly when you consider that the club is heavily supported by a passionate fan base. Simply put though, the fans deserve better. Against DC United, 18,364 fans showed up. Their team fell by a score of 0-2. What will it take to get TFC back on track? Aron Winter seems lost despite his exclaiming that his club would make the playoffs. At this point Toronto fans might want to take the suggestion of Jimmy Conrad and vote with their dollars. Stop going to matches.

It's painful to write a sentence like that as an avid supporter of the league, after so many years of ridiculous decisions, poor on field performance and a front office that seems out of touch with its fan base, what else is there to suggest. Off suggestions as you will, but remember that TFC are 0-8 with a -12 goal differential. They are the only team in Major League Soccer yet to register a point of any kind. Something has to change.

Sporting Kansas City are a very good team, but cracks in the armor are showing and one wonders if overconfidence has played a part in their back to back losses. At present SKC remain in sole possession of the Eastern Conference with DC United nipping at their heals. The Red Bulls oddly enough are in third place with only one loss in their past five matches. After being victorious in seven matches straight, one wonders if overconfidence played a part or if other teams are simply solving the puzzle to Peter Vermes attacking side. Either way, the East is certainly going to be a battle this year, which is worthy of attention.

Eric Hassli gets the monkey off his back in scoring his second goal in two games (one in the Candian Championship) and it was nice to see. The power forward is talented and when in form, worthy of many highlight reels. Now that he's found his scoring touch, it will benefit the Vancouver Whitecaps as much as it will the league. Cheers to him.

Real Salt Lake continue to show resilience with a 2-1 win over New England. It was a battle of goalkeepers to be sure and if you haven't seen the highlights, check them out. This is not the first time that RSL has fought tooth and nail for 90+ minutes to see a goal scored. Multiple times this year RSL matches have been decided late, a sure sign that Jason Kreis has his men fighting for victory until the very end.

Despite losing New England are a much improved team over last year. Their record might not show it, but the Revolution have shown quite a bit of valor in their matches, but it's spotty at best. Jay Heaps has started a reconstruction project there that might take a few years (three is the magic number) but for now the players are showing signs of cohesion and consistency will likely be on the whiteboard in the locker room as they figure it out.

So there they are, the quick and easy thoughts coming out of the weekend. Agree? Disagree? Got any of your own? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or find me on Twitter @MLSReserves.

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