Every season MLS will have a series of absolutely baffling results. Mid-table teams getting red cards and coming back from a multiple-goal deficit to win, Wooden Spoon contenders upsetting the Supporter Shield leaders, and the most common, two evenly talented teams playing and one getting blown out.
It was bound to happen eventually, but FCC was on the receiving end of this last oddity. So for me, I’m not too upset about the loss … but why did it have to be to St. Louis? The city already has the best fans in baseball, why would you let them have anything to talk about?
If I have any takeaways from this game, it would be to do this against San Jose next time, because I have no animosity toward them. However, if you dig into some of the stats and goals, the scoreline is a bit flattering for STL. Deserved winners, but not by what the scoreline was.
At Bat: April 22 – Portland Timbers; 8 pts, 9th in the West
The other surprising result from the weekend was the beaten and battered Timbers inviting the flying-high Seattle Sounders to their home, throttling them 4-1.
Every pundit and prognosticator would have smartly been predicting the Sounders to continue their hot streak, especially after Portland announced it had lost their starting midfield star Erik Williamson to an ACL injury in the midweek. However, Portland, led by striker Dairon Asprilla, was able to maintain its dominance over Seattle, and have won four in a row in this Cascadia Rivalry.
While I still think FCC can be seen as the favored side this weekend, they are likely heading into their second consecutive week of very uneven training as Roman Celentano, Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga were all called up to play for the United States Mens National Team in a midweek
cash grab friendly against Mexico while still waiting for the Brenner and Acosta situations to resolve.
On Deck: April 26th – Louisville City; 12 pts, 2nd in USL Championship East
I won’t pretend like I have the ability to follow the USL Championship with much detail. We all have our limits. However, the wonderful people at Backheeled.com have been one of the leaders in covering the league. They have a profile of the Lou City organization written by John Morrissey, that while it is a year old, still rings true of how the team wants to play.
There are still some familiar faces from when FCC was playing them in the USL days, such as players Brian Ownsby, Niall McCabe and ex-Cincy midfielder Tyler Gibson. And while James O’Conner is no longer on the sideline, he is still lurking in the halls of the club and is rumored to always be looking for stray streamers to throw out of the building.
In the Hole: April 29th – New England Revolution: 17 pts, T-1st in the East
New England’s hot start to the season continued as the side played the Columbus Crew to a 1-1 draw. They played a quiet first half with the game being 0-0 going into the half, but decided to turn the nonsense up in the second half.
Columbus kicked the tomfoolery up by scoring an own goal in the 58th-minute, before New England decided to up the energy and turn it into a full brouhaha as winger Dylan Borrero conducted a reckless tackle and picked up a second yellow, and therefore, a red card.
From there, Columbus was able to be the driver of the on-field hijinks, until just before the 90th-minute hit and VAR threw its name in the ring as the Commander of Hootenanny with a review for a handball, which ultimately didn’t come to be. However, it did mean that extra time was extended past the original 5 minutes to allow for Columbus the final moment of folly, as they scored on the last kick of the game.
When asked for his thoughts on all of the hurly-burly that went on in the game, New England manager Bruce Arena said he thought it was “phoney-baloney.”
Checking in on the West
El Classico delivers again! We were robbed of a week one matchup between the two LA teams, but were blessed on this beautiful weekend with another banger of a game. The Galaxy entered with a backdrop of supporters saying they would boycott the match after the club refused to move on from President of Operations Chris Klein and poor results. The Galaxy were able to muster up a mighty effort and forced LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy to make some brilliant saves late on, but LAFC was able to hold on and pick up a 3-2 victory.
Despite the encouraging performance, the Galaxy still sits near the very bottom of the Western Conference with just three points through eight weeks. However, they are not bottom of the table as fellow winless team Sporting KC continues to shoot itself in the foot with a first-half red card from ex-USMNTer Graham Zusi before shipping three goals to San Jose. Where there were quiet questions of Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes early this season, the questions have become much louder as the team now has as many red cards (two) as they have goals scored (two).
Best of the Weekend
Bangers! The goals are back! Defenses have been stout earlier this year but the strikers may be rounding into form.
The best goal of the weekend comes from Dairon Asprilla from Portland with a huge bicycle kick to even things at 1-1 against Seattle.
There were also several late equalizers as Brandon Servania for Toronto, Michael Barrios for the Colorado Rapids and Omir Fernandez for the New York Red Bulls each scored after the 89th-minute to salvage a point for their teams, but FC Dallas was able to celebrate a full three points thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Bernard Kamungo.
And while there weren’t any all-time great goals in this year’s El Trafico, even though Tyler Boyd (not that one) tried his best, it is always fun to go back down memory lane and see some of the best goals scored in any rivalry in the world.