So the second week of Major League Soccer has ended and damn if it wasn’t just as great and nail-biting as the first. It’s going to be an exciting year for MLS, mark my words. The league is seeing record crowds in home openers and the teams are putting on fantastic shows for the television audiences as well. NBC and ESPN have both carried games that have shown as much spirit as they have goals. If you don’t think soccer is in the U.S., think again.
Sporting KC 3 – New England 0
Kansas had a fantastic showing in the east Saturday as they took on the New England Revolution, who are still trying desperately to prove themselves. Unfortunately for the Revs, KC was spot on and some of the key plays came from none other than young gun C.J. Sapong. Not only did he bag a goal, he also drew the foul that sent Revs defender Stephen McCarthy off with a red card. Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara would bag the next two goals. It’s clear so far that with the domination in possession and in their goal scoring prowess, KC are going to be a team to beat this season. They could be the redeeming factor for the eastern conference.
New England on the other hand are woefully trying to figure themselves out. Not only are they having trouble scoring, but their ability to keep their team together seems to be a little lacking. McCarthy’s red card is a red herring to their troubles. Jay Heaps probably knew more than most what he would have to overcome when he took on the job of head coach of the Revs. But he’s getting a big taste of it now. And from the facial expressions from Benny Feilhaber, the frustration in the New England camp has to be overwhelming.
Real Salt Lake, 2 – New York Red Bulls, 0
Real Salt Lake are on fire. If you don’t believe me, look at the score line above. Now, I know it’s just the second week in, but this team by far is the one turning heads in the league. And that’s saying something when you have a team like L.A. Galaxy in the same conference. But I have to admit, I feel like RSL is going to be the team to beat this year. Their match up against New York Saturday was going big, seeing as they have beaten the Red Bulls the last five times the teams have faced off. Thierry Henry and new acquisition Kenny Cooper were the heavy hitters for New York, but even they couldn’t steal the show from RSL.
Fabián Espíndola added another goal to his account this season and the team proved that even tactics to shut down their talented midfield could be broken down. RSL was strong defensively too. NYRB wasn’t too disappointing; they got some great pressure on the RSL back line in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. I have to say, I thought last season, RSL was a little too hot-headed, but the first two games this season are showing a much more confident, strong Real. This is a good sign for them, in my opinion.
Montreal, 1 – Chicago, 1
The biggest story out of this little game was the amazing crowd at Montreal! With their home opener, the newest MLS team drew in more than 58,000 spectators. A huge feat and a beautiful thing to behold. Things were a bit shaky at first for the Impact though and a horrid mistake from midfielder and Montreal native Patrice Bernier nearly gave Chicago the lead early in the match. But he lucked out. It seemed their nerves were ruling their game as their midfield struggled through the first half, but again, they lucked out as Chicago couldn’t really capitalize on anything.
The second half would start out and finally Montreal would show a little gusto. And all the work ended with their captain, Davy Arnaud, heading a goal in the net, putting the home side up ten minutes after they took to the pitch again. But just as they were getting into it, Chicago would get their equalizer in a goal from Dominic Oduro.
Colorado, 2 – Philadelphia, 1
I don’t know how they did it, but with only 10-men, the Colorado Rapids snatched three away points as they beat the Union today. Colorado is another one of those teams in the west you’ll want to keep your eyes on this season. Philly held their own in the first half, maybe from a little luck, but it was only a matter of time before the first goal came. Jaime Castrillón would be the one to not only grab the goal, but his first with the Rapids.
There may have been a shift in the game when the Rapids’ Jeff Larentowicz received his second yellow card of the match and had to be sent off. Philly pressed against the now weakened defense, but wasn’t able to net a goal. The Rapids, however, did. Rookie Tony Cascio was able to get past Chris Albright and beat the young Philly keeper Zack MacMath. The Union would redeem themselves a bit with a goal from Lionard Pajoy off a great pass from Roger Torres. Despite everything, however, it’s clear Philly are definitely not a comfortable team yet.
LA Galaxy, 3 – D.C. United, 1
So if you were a Galaxy fan who was a little afraid about the loss last weekend against Real Salt Lake and earlier this week against Toronto in the CONCACAF Champion’s League, your team wanted to obviously prove to you today there was nothing to fear. Especially Robbie Keane. The Irishman was out on a mission and he completed it, grabbing a brace in the match against D.C. United at the Home Depot Center. Marcelo Sarvas would round out the match for the Galaxy when he hit the final goal.
However, don’t let the scoreline let you think D.C. didn’t show up today because they most certainly did. And they almost set LA back on their heels when Dwayne De Rosario got cheeky in the eighth minute and shot just wide of the goal. And though the Galaxy took most of the possession in the first half, United picked up the pace near half-time and got another shot off that went over the net.
The second half was much of the same, and when LA finally got comfortable, Keane notched his second goal. The third from Sarvas would come in the 85th. However, D.C. wasn’t going quietly into the California night and rookie Nick DeLeon would grab his first goal with United immediately after LA’s third.
The rest of the league:
San Jose 1 – Houston 1
Dallas 1 – Portland 1
Seattle 3 – Toronto 1
Chivas USA 0 – Vancouver 1