Giovinco appeared to return to his mind-boggling form on the weekend for TFC. Kei Kamara also looked close to his old self. He hit the post and had a near miss but otherwise looked dangerous again. It has been interesting watching a guy who was MVP caliber 15 months ago have such a struggle with a new team that otherwise seemed well matched for his skill set. The New England-DCU game was really fun. If you are inclined to watch a replay from the week, this is the game I would watch.
I mentioned a feeling a few weeks ago that Harry Shipp was not integrated enough on his new team to be a needed influence on the left wing for Seattle. This week, Seattle moved Jordan Morris to left wing, Will Bruin to target man and benched Shipp and the result was dominating display on the road against LA Galaxy. This seems like the right look Seattle and I expect them to look solid from here on out.
Nick Rimando looks like he is on borrowed time right now. He has been a dominant keeper for so long in the MLS, but the wheels are coming off. He had a howler a week ago and follows it up this week with three horrible giveaways in his distribution. By the end of the game he was subbed out injured. If Bruce Arena has been watching, this is probably the end of Rimando as the #3 USMNT goalie.
The breakout player of the last two weeks is Montreal and Canadian international Anthony Jackson Hamel. He came on for 28 minutes and proceeded to score two goals rescuing a 3-3 draw with Philadelphia. He now has 3 goals in 37 minutes the last two games. Philadelphia continues to be my worst prediction. When it was 3-0 I thought my bounce-back prediction was merely a week too early. They are now tinkering with their line-up weekly, but I thought their initial few games looked solid and that they were unlucky.
Atlanta looked in easy-mode defeating Salt Lake at 4,500 feet altitude at the end of a 4 week road trip. A lot of teams struggle on their road swings through Utah and Colorado. Atlanta went 1W-1L-2D on that trip without their #1 striker Josef Martinez and their back-up Kenwyne Jones looking old and stationary. Miguel Almiron seems like the heartbeat of this team now, playing very similarly to Sacha Kljestan.
Some notes on Home-Road performance:
Atlanta has a +6 goal difference on the road this season (buoyed by that Minnesota snow game). The only other teams positive on the road are Dallas, Portland, Seattle and Toronto.
Houston is +8 goal difference at home and -4 goal difference on the road. Chicago is +6/-6 and New England and Red Bulls are both +5/-5.
The other curious performance this year is Kansas City with a grand total of 6 goals for and 3 goals against through 7 games. Has a team ever finished below 1.0 in both goals for and goals against over a season? The result is that KC goalkeeper Tim Melia is getting a lot of buzz for a USMNT slot and would currently get my vote over the above mentioned Rimando.
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