Kansas City's Espinoza flourishes; Philly continues to make mistakes
Know your Major League Soccer -- Five things to take away from Week 5:
There are some good ones in MLS, too. New England's new Serbian attacker,
But sometimes the new "find" is really just a re-imaging of an old, familiar face. Here are two prime examples:
Another reason why a formerly wandering lot in Kansas City has found its way is a position change for
In Chicago, striker
Nyarko picked up his team-leading third assist in Chicago's 2-0 win over Houston.
Summation for Round 5: not horrible but certainly not great on a wet weekend over much of the country. That 8,142 in New England is concerning. The actual number in house at Pizza Hut Park was so far below the announced number (8,512) that league TV partner ESPN was beating up on the suburban Dallas side. File that under "You know it's bad when ..."
And just 15,619 in that glorious building in Harrison, N.J., in a match against the hated Union? (They are going to be hated, right?) Clearly, the New York franchise still has plenty of repair work to do with fans.
Refereeing will always be an MLS talking point. The contentious issues du jour included a late penalty kick against Seattle in Dallas and Real Salt Lake's disallowed goal in Columbus. RSL's
The other story that needs a highlighter every week (for now) is this stretch drive for the World Cup roster. Your name to know again this week:
Chivas USA coach
Philadelphia was hardly overmatched in its visit to Red Bull Arena in the first chapter in what is sure to be a bruising I-95 series.
Philly center back
But what could defender
(You have to like a manager who refuses to take himself too seriously, one who sees what the rest of us see. Red Bull is a better team in 2010 but an unfinished work, for sure. Said manager
It pretty much seemed like a wash, with each club collecting pieces it needed. New England definitely needed a more experienced center back, and goalkeeping became an issue when
It's still early, but it's fair to say trade value leaned heavily toward Colorado over the weekend as the Rapids took three big points from Gillette.
Burpo is what he is, a serviceable MLS backup. "Serviceable" in this case translates to: He needed to be better on
Meanwhile, Colorado coach
But the game was won in the center of the park, where it was truly men against boys. Mastroeni and Larentowicz were in charge all night against New England's overwhelmed, young pair. Colorado's plan helped, too, as a 4-5-1 (with Ballouchy at the top of the triangle) gave the Rapids an extra pair of legs in there.
The only caveat to it all:
Casey has three goals -- but all on penalty kicks. Cunningham has three goals -- all on penalty kicks.
Meanwhile, let's all say thanks to Buddle, who still has the scoring lead at seven. He has no PK goals, helping to restore some faith in the American institution that is "statistical leadership."