Individual Displays Of Brilliance Highlights MLS Week 7


Today is the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s 63-point explosion against the Boston Celtics in the 1986 playoffs. In a league of prodigious scorers, it’s hard to believe that that mark still stands.

While we here at Monday Morning Minutia tend to talk about team achievements (or, cough, lack thereof), this weekend we saw so much individual brilliance that we think “His Airness” would approve.

Or maybe it’s because yesterday I learned that not only was a Fox Sports 2 (which is where the NYCFC-Timbers fixture was moved to), but that my cable provider only has Fox Sports. Or is it Fox Sports 1? How many Fox Sports channels are there?

Note: in fairness, it sounds like someone needs to check his Twitter feed more often

Apr 4, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins (9) waves to the fans following a 1-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Oba’s soft touch spin-and-shoot

Colorado went 600 minutes without scoring a goal this season. Then they erupted for four goals against F.C. Dallas last week. So which Colorado team would be taking the field against Seattle?

It certainly wasn’t the side that was firing blanks. But it certainly wasn’t the defensive force that had four clean sheets in it’s first five games losing 3-1.

The fact that they were playing Seattle may have had something to do with it. The Sounders have been somewhat lukewarm as of late but we know just how dynamic and dangerous they can be.

Obafemi Martin reminded us of this in the 73rd minute. Martins split handled an Andy Rose long ball with a great touch before splitting and spinning through Rapids defenders Bobby Burling and Drew Moor. With his next touch, Martins directed the ball into the net to tally the game’s final score.

Mar 29, 2015; Sandy, UT, USA; Toronto FC midfielder Sebastian Giovinco (10) takes a shot in the second half against the Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Giovinco for PM

You wouldn’t know it (Toronto has lost four straight, after all), but Sebastian Giovinco might be an MVP candidate. Yes, calling someone an MVP candidate this early in the season is an exercise in folly. It’s like calling the Boston Marathon (which starts today) winner at Natick.

But look at Giovinco’s line against F.C. Dallas from Saturday’s thunderstorm-delayed game:

Both of his team’s goals

Three of his team’s four shots on goal

Suffered five fouls (his teammates combined for six)

And his second goal was world-class. Was there some deft showmanship on display prior to the kick? Oh yes. Indeed there was. Like a skilled magician, Giovinco shows he’s going right. The ball even begins to go right … until it curves neatly in the back corner of the net.

Both sides stopped for that split second except for FC Dallas ‘keeper Chris Seitz who read it correctly. But by then it was too late.

Toronto were down 1 with plenty of time left in Frisco.

Nov 1, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew forward Federico Higuain (10) calms his team after a penalty was missed against the New England Revolution at Crew Stadium. New England won the game 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Higuain’s Cheeky Backheel

Here’s a highlight that’s just as likely to find itself on “World’s Greatest Goals” as it is on “MLS’s Worst Clearances.” Look, we understand why you might not want to boot it ahead (it could deflect off a teammate or foe), and–with the ball in your box and attackers coming–you might not feel comfortable dribbling out of the box. But what was Rafael Ramos thinking? At best that was a corner kick. At worst, this.

It was just one of several forgettable moments for Portuguese defender who would be sent of just three minutes later after a vicious,lunging cleats-up tackle.

Brek Shea did well to close in on Ethan Finlay. Finlay subtly nutmegged Shea though. His cross found Federico Higuain whose graceful backheel was enough to poke it to the back corner of Donovan Rickett’s net.

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