Among the May flowers, we have a Western Conference where 3rd to 9th placeare separated by a scant three points. The Timbers and Dynamo make the up the rear, while Seattle is a top, if only barely.
Seattle and Columbus don’t seem like natural adversaries. One a Northwestern metropolis, the other near the near the heart of the rust belt. Due to conference configurations, they’ve only played each other a handful of times.
Yet, there’s bad blood there. Before Seattle even kicked a ball in MLS, they had to pay an undisclosed fee for having tampered to secure the services of then-Columbus coach Sigi Schmid.
Schmid has been with Seattle since then but fans aren’t quick to forget that it was Schmid who was at the helm the last time the Crew won the MLS Cup. Nor are the fans ignorant of how many MLS Cups Schmid has won since then.
It didn’t help Columbus that a minority investor in Seattle is Drew Carey, a man whose eponymous show blared the anthem “Cleveland Rocks” (written and performed by a Seattle band).
May 9, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey (2) dribbles the ball in the second half of the game against the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. The Columbus Crew SC beat the Seattle Sounders FC by the score of 3-2 Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tempers flared during a disputed offside goal (that eventually stood). During the dispute, a scuffle nearly broke out at midfield between Seattle’s Gonzalo Pineda and Kei Kamara. Each player received a yellow card.
The Crew won in a game that saw Seattle ‘keeper Stefan Frei forced to make ten saves. Columbus bounced back from an uneven performance last week. Justin Meram, benched at the half last weekend, bounced back with a solid performance.
With attackers like Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, Seattle will always find a way to put the ball in the net. The question is will it be enough to overcome a suddenly porous defense?
If there is a person unconcerned about his team’s record in May, it’s Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. Asking Arena if he’s worried about a slow start is begging to be the butt of a joke for the acerbic Brooklyn-native.
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Yet it was Arena who took himself to task following the Galaxy’s loss to Dallas.“We didn’t do well at the end of the game, obviously the last 15 minutes, and that’s my responsibility,” Arena said in remarks to the media following the match in Frisco. “When a team plays that poorly on the road, they’re not well-coached.”
“We blew a lot of points this week. We could have walked away, stole maybe six points this week, [and instead] we walk away with one, and that’s my responsibility. I have not done a good job with this team, to get them tactically right at the end of games.”
The endgame has been an issue for the Galaxy last year. LA gave up a 90th minute goal in Portland and let a Chris Pontius goal beat them in the 93rd minute in DC.
It happened again as Tesho Akindele scored in the 86th minute in a match where Dallas entered the game missing both their starting center backs, Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges.
Mauro Diaz continues to be the difference-maker. The team’s two losses–where they were outscored 7-1–Diaz did not play in. Since returning to the lineup two weeks ago, Diaz who now has two goals and four assists.
The rivalry without a name got underway as the two New York clubs met at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls quickly pulled ahead with a 4th minute goal. The Red Bulls would eventually go a man down–and would score a shorthanded goal to boot.
Despite the man advantage, NYCFC never really put much together and very much looked like a defeated club. David Villa was subbed off and received an earful from coach Jason Kreis.
May 10, 2015; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall (25) reacts after defeating the New York City FC 2-1 at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
“We hit rock bottom,” was what Villa would say to the media following the match. For the victors: jubilation. “It felt like MLS Cup, to be honest,” Dax McCarty said.
What do you think are the storylines from week ten? What did I miss? Leave your comments below!