MLS Week 8
by plaid_pants (2017-04-24 14:32:19)
Edited on 2017-04-24 17:51:28
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Something Old:

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.

Something New:

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.

Something Borrowed:

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.

Something Blue:

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.

The big game tomorrow is Portland at Dallas. *
by Domerduck  (2017-04-28 09:40:45)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Union squandering yet another chance to
by Irish Tool  (2017-04-26 17:53:53)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

get a toe-hold on the suckhole that is Philly sports.

I thought Harry had been doing a good job overall.
by Rocksteady74  (2017-04-24 20:14:26)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

And I suspect he'll still play quite a bit this year. The emergence of Roldan, partnered with Ozzie, makes a 4-2-3-1 an attractive set up for the Sounders, and that leaves Shipp (and Fernandez) out of the line-up unless one of the front four are injured or unavailable due to national duty.

Good point on US Goalkeeping
by SixShutouts66  (2017-04-24 17:06:04)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It seems that while the US field players are improving we're on the verge of falling off the cliff in goalkeeping when Tim Howard finally retires (and his skills seem to be declining). We've had a long period when Keller, Friedel, and Howard were comparable to the world's best; but Guzan and Rimondo seem at least a cut below that standard (reminiscent of UK goalkeeping after David Seaman). Good that you think a younger guy might be ready.

Melia is 30 and only got a starting job in 2015
by plaid_pants  (2017-04-24 18:02:35)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

His goals against in Kansas City are:
2015 1.21
2016 1.11
2017 0.43

He certainly doesn't look like Friedel or Keller, but we'll see how his numbers pan out this season. The other name being discussed is Seattle GK and recent US citizen Stefan Frei. He has more game experience with comparable numbers to Melia before this season.

I'll take them both over Howard and Rimando. I need to see Guzan play some games with Atlanta this summer. Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson have shown flashes of brilliance and look more like the tall lanky keepers that from central casting, but Hamid gets hurt all of the time and Johnson just got traded, so his old team found him expendable.

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