- The New York Red Bulls had a great weekend at the expense of NYCFC, while Orlando City keeps elevating, Ezequiel Barco scored for Atlanta United and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is beginning to lose his patience to headline MLS Week 10.
"If I had the chance to change all the 10 players on the field, I would have done it at halftime."
Patrick Vieira's words pretty much summed up NYCFC's weekend and the team's performance against the New York Red Bulls, who for their part, delivered another scintillating performance against its derby rivals. From the first minute, the hosts overwhelmed the boys in blue in every department, pressing high at every opportunity and taking control of the midfield, but more importantly, there was a desire to win every single 50/50 ball, every challenge and every run.
Alejandro Sebastián Romero Gamarra, or Kaku as we all lovingly know him, has been fantastic so far this season and Saturday was no exception. The 23-year-old Argentine ended the afternoon with the opening goal and two assists and his creativity and vision was welcomed throughout. A contrast to David Villa's day, who had a day to forget and ended coming off shortly after the hour mark. The legendary Spanish striker, who is well known not just for his scoring but also his effort, was extremely disappointing and Vieira wanted him to know it, as the boss didn't even shake his hand when he left the field. It wasn't just Villa who disappointed, but his subpar performance was even more alarming than others because it was the complete opposite of what we know him for.
After the fourth goal, the crowd chanted "We want seven!" and to be honest, there were large parts of that game where it seemed as it could have happened. Also, here was my favorite part of the game, which pretty much describes the match in one tweet.
But this wasn't the only match worth talking about as it was another busy weekend of MLS goodness, including a long-awaited victory from Toronto FC, Orlando City's winning streak, Ezequiel Barco's first goal for Atlanta United and is Zlatan's honeymoon start with the Galaxy over? Here's the best of the bunch:
I. Barco is heating up
The most expensive player in MLS history finally got his goal, and it was a beauty against Chicago.
Barco's start with big new club started with a bump as the young Argentine has been rehabbing from a quad injury he suffered in the last days of pre-season. Aside from the fact that he has to take time in order to get accustomed to Tata Martino's high-press system, Barco's game relies on having the ball at his feet and changing direction with velocity, and when you suffer a leg injury, his skills take time to get back to shape. There is much more to come from the teen sensation.
II. Moving up...
Toronto FC finally got a good result as last season's champions routed Philadelphia 3-0 on Friday night and finally moved out of last place. Sebastian Giovinco also scored his first goal of the season. We know, it's kinda crazy to even say it, but it's true. It's taken Toronto a while to get back on track, but this win should indicate that things are improving for Greg Vanney's squad.
III. Orlando City: Comeback Kings
Six wins in a row now for Jason Kreis's team but what's even more impressive is that this was the fourth match where they had to come back from behind. We believe Orlando, just like its coach, is learning now just how to win, but how to win with vindication. Watch out, y'all. Orlando is coming.
IV. Trouble in LA?
After giving away a late goal against Houston Dynamo, the Galaxy lost in dramatic fashion this weekend...
We did see a ridiculous pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic...
But nonetheless, LA lost meaning Sigi Schmid's team suffered a third straight loss and a fourth in five matches. After the match, Zlatan expressing his frustration, asking his teammates to wake up.
V. Lee Nguyen's black and gold debut
The former Revs player looks pretty good in his new kit, don't you think? Well, how could you not. It's one of the best uniforms in the league. LAFC tied with FC Dallas 1-1 at Banc of California stadium.
VI. The Portland good...
Diego Valeri's fantastic free-kick secured three points for Portland. It was an audacious, typically wonderful set piece from the Timbers legend.
VII. The Portland bad...
But the celebration was a little too much for some as Zarek Valentin required heavy bandage treatment after his teammate accidentally bumped him in the head while congratulating Valeri.
Glad he's ok...
VIII. What a filthy chip
Real Salt Lake lost against Orlando but check out this ridiculous finish from ex-Stanford University forward Corey Baird. Nasty.
IX. We also love RSL's lineup tweet
Real Salt Lake's social team gets a special mention here as this is probably our favorite starting XI design, reminiscent of an Avengers poster or a perfectly balanced cheerleading squad.
X. This is an impressive TIFO
Well done, San Jose. Well done.
XI. Chris Lema channels Iniesta
There was a lot going on during the RBNY/NYCFC derby but this pass from Chris Lema should not be forgotten, which is why we're saving it for last. What a ball from the Red Bulls midfielder.
We'd like to think it was homage to Andres Iniesta.