Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MLS Weekly: Week 10

Article By Leanne Elston

Credit: USA Today Sports
The Games
I hope you're fired up for this week's MLS Weekly, because these guys were!

Columbus Crew 0-1 New York Red Bulls

The New York Red Bulls claimed top spot in the Eastern Conference with a narrow away victory over the Columbus Crew, thanks in large part to a standout performance from goalkeeper Luis Robles. The Crew had the chance to pull ahead in the 72nd minute when Eddie Gaven drew a penalty after a Brandon Barklage tackle in the box. Federico HiguaĆ­n stepped up to take the penalty, but Robles dived right to save the effort. Tim Cahill then stole the three points for the Red Bulls in the 80th minute, heading in a rebound after Andy Gruenebaum saved a shot from Jonny Steele. It wasn’t an especially pretty win for New York, but a win against a good Columbus team on the road is big, and an in-form Cahill is a nice Cahill to have indeed.
San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Montreal Impact

The San Jose Earthquakes once again salvaged a point late as they tied the Montreal Impact 2-2 in stoppage time. Montreal, one of the season’s best teams so far, pulled ahead of the Quakes 2-0 at Buck Shaw through a brace from Justin Mapp. Mapp opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a blast from outside the box, then doubled the visitors’ lead in the 47th minute with an easy tap-in set up by Andrew Wenger. Of course, it’s impossible to count out the Quakes these days, and Adam Jahn pulled one back for his side after 59 minutes with a left-footed shot from inside the eighteen. Then, one minute into stoppage time, Sam Cronin fired one in to bring the score level and ensure that the Impact didn’t leave with all three points. The draw still leaves the Quakes in the bottom half of the Western Conference, but Montreal sit in fourth in the East with a few games in hand.

Los Angeles Galaxy 0-1 Houston Dynamo

In this rematch of last season’s MLS Cup final, the Houston Dynamo came away with a well-earned win, beating the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. Like the Crew against New York, LA looked certain to go up in the 25th minute after Jose Villarreal won a penalty. However, Landon Donovan ended up missing his second penalty kick of the season as Tally Hall saved the weak attempt. Andrew Driver scored the game-winner for the Dynamo in the 56th minute, striking a cut-back from Giles Barnes first time past keeper Carlo Cudicini. Houston, who generally struggle on the road, played well even without suspended captain Brad Davis, and although the Galaxy lost, they did get an encouraging performance from rookie defender Greg Cochrane.

The Stories

In case you somehow missed it, make sure you check out the video of eight-year-old Atticus and his team the Green Machine playing the Portland Timbers.

Robbie Rogers trained with the LA Galaxy last week and could be returning to MLS sometime soon. The Chicago Fire currently own his rights, but Rogers has stated he wants to play elsewhere in the league.

Speaking of coming back to MLS, Kei Kamara is rejoining Sporting Kansas City after spending the last four months on loan with Norwich City in the English Premier League. Kamara will be available for selection for Wednesday’s match against the Seattle Sounders.

Finally, the 2013 MLS player salaries have been released and are always worth a good perusal. Who’s a bargain for your team and who’s making more than perhaps they should be?

The Tables

New York Red Bulls (5-4-2)
Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2)
Houston Dynamo (5-2-2)
Montreal Impact (5-1-2)
Columbus Crew (3-3-3)
Philadelphia Union (3-3-3)
New England Revolution (2-3-3)
Chicago Fire (2-5-1)
Toronto FC (1-4-4)
DC United (1-6-1)

FC Dallas (6-1-2)
LA Galaxy (4-2-2)
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2)
Portland Timbers (3-1-5)
Colorado Rapids (3-4-3)
Chivas USA (3-4-2)
San Jose Earthquakes (2-3-5)
Vancouver Whitecaps (2-4-3)
Seattle Sounders (1-3-3)

The Look Ahead

We’ve got a full slate of games coming up with both Wednesday and the weekend packed. On Wednesday, DC United host Houston, while New York host Montreal and the New England Revolution host Real Salt Lake. Plus, catch SKC at home against Seattle, Portland on the road to Dallas, and San Jose at home against Toronto. Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Union travel to Chicago as RSL head to Montreal, and Seattle take on the Quakes as the Galaxy visit Vancouver. The Revs face New York, while Columbus host Colorado and Dallas welcome DC. Finally, Chivas head up to Portland and SKC travel to Houston.

The Player of the Week

Graham Zusi. In Sporting Kansas City’s 4-0 rout against Chivas on Sunday, Zusi assisted a Claudio Bieler goal and notched one for himself. He continues to be one of MLS’ best players.