Just when you think you know something, turns out you were wrong.
Take for instance, there are three states of matter–solid, liquids, and gases–right? No, not really. As it turns out that
The Sun is a mass of incandescent plasma
over 95% of the visible world is in fact a different state of mass called plasma. And we still have no idea what makes up dark matter.
Likewise many of the truths that seemed so self-evident a week ago suddenly aren’t quite so evident now.
- Toronto and Seattle–each so dominant last week–each lost scoring a combined two points in the process.
- Houston and RSL both lost points due to uncharacteristic bouts of sloppy play.
- The Timbers defense that looked so robust a week ago, wasn’t as mentally sharp late into the match against the Galaxy. After scoring the go-ahead goal, former Timber Alan Gordon does what he always seems to do–come up big against his former teams. This time in the third minute of stoppage time.
- The Gallaghers have made up! Just is time for a reunion tour!
Let’s talk about the storylines from week two!
NYCFC Home Opener Didn’t Suck and Neither did David Villa
Mar 15, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (7) celebrates scoring a goal against the New England Revolution during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, that was David Villa who suited up last week against Orlando City, but you can be forgiven for being mistaken because Sunday’s match against the New England Revolution is the sort of performance that explains why Villa was the first player ever signed by the club. Athletic, fast, but with the technical skills to maintain the ball in tight spaces, Villa put on a clinic scoring a clinical goal and making a beauty of an assist earlier. It was the sort of performance that will endear Villa to all New Yorkers (short of Mark Teixeira) for years to come.
Read this with the recognition that yes, it’s early in the season, but NYCFC and Orlando City are alone atop the Eastern Conference table. The NYCFC fans are definitely digging it.
MLS Referee Disputes
Just as new albums are released on Tuesdays, fans of all sports will complain about the competence, consistency, and even the integrity of referees.
Wait.. what’s this? Albums are now being released on Fridays??
Instead of coming up with a new analogy, let’s look at Saturday’s fixture where the Union came to Utah. RSL gave up three goals (one an own goal) to Philadelphia but was able to maintain a point in part because of a dubiously awarded penalty all of which caused former-player-turned-pundit Taylor Twellman to tweet:
The Philly supporters group “Sons of Ben” also chimed in with a letter to the MLS upper brass:
"We expect MLS to acknowledge, for the second straight week, that the officiating has cost our club, the Philadelphia Union, two points. Our owners, coaches, players and fans deserve an apology. At this juncture, anything less than that is unacceptable."
True: it was a bad call. Even Luke Muholland would say as much. But don’t hold your breath guys, you do know who you sent the letter to, right?
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- Columbus Crew 3-0 Chicago Fire: Different league
It’s hard when your team loses especially on a bad or blown call. In fact it downright, totally, really sucks. But demanding apologies? I thought being a soccer fan was the opposite of being entitled. Or did I just drink those cases of Sierra Mist in 2006 for nothing?
Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was none too pleased with a goal that probably should have been called over for a violation of the offside rule. Maybe even more bewildered than angry:
"“How you can miss four or five guys being offside, I have no idea … I don’t get it, I really don’t. I have absolutely no understanding how the referee can’t see it – and with that many guys offside. That’s what I don’t get.”"
Considering the photo evidence that The Count would love, I’d reckon Vermes has a pretty tight case
Five FC Dallas players appear to be offside at the moment the kick was taken
Championship Players Show Their Worth
It’s a reasonable and probably even a fair assessment to compare MLS with the English Championship as being roughly even. Over the weekend two players who left their English Championship sides to return to MLS scored goals for their club.
Roger Espinoza returned to Sporting Kansas City from Wigan. He scored Sporting’s only goal of the match during that loss to FC Dallas 3-0.
Mar 14, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew forward Kei Kamara (23) celebrates his goal with a few fans and hard hats in the second half of the game at Mapfre Stadium. The Columbus Crew beat Toronto FC by the score of 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Kei Kamara returned from Middlesbrough to come to Columbus. On Saturday, he not only scored, but he even had a posse to pose with with.
Speaking of which, Kamara was not the only person at Mapfre Stadium with an elaborate and silly prop.
Just How Important is Jermaine Jones?
We know Jermaine Jones is a great soccer player but we surely didn’t think the Revs defense would be this bad without him.
We already spoke about Villa’s big day but very little has gone right for the Revs since the curtain was lifted on this season.
It’s a long season and the East is the more forgiving conference but very little is going right for New England on either side of the ball right now.
Shorthanded San Jose Wins in Seattle
Shorthanded goals are rare, especially in MLS. I could be (and probably am) wrong but the last short-handed goal I remember was by Carlos Alvarez of Chivas USA in 2013. Innocent Emeghara, the DP signing that made a gaggle of MLS pundits everywhere go “Who?” added himself to the list.
Even more improbable is that Seattle scored 28 seconds into the match. The fact that the Earthquakes were even in this game is remarkable given the dire straits the team were in at the conclusion of last season.
Juking, changing his speed, going out with a cross-0ver reminding me of Steve Francis in his prime( all while keeping a tight leash on the ball), Emeghara caused Brad Evans to go flying across the turf as he cut back to score the game-winner.
San Jose narrowly missed drawing a point last week against Dallas now with a solid victory, they have to be feeling
the pains of last year are behind them. But as we had expected, Tommy Thompson has not been part of the mix. Thompson has made the 18 but has yet to crack any first team minutes under new/old coach Dominic Kinnear.
What did you think was the storyline from week two? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!!