MLS Dogpile (Week 11) - Gooooaaaaaallll!


1. Kansas City Wizards (+1) - The dance at the top continues as Red Bull and the Wizards swap places once again. KC showed that they were the real deal in a six-goal thriller and probably would have bagged all three points if not for a questionable late penalty awarded to NY in the Swamp. Even without top scorer Eddie Johnson, they can still put them in the net and that has to worry the rest of MLS. They've got a busy week ahead with a midweek game in Columbus followed by a tough home match against an improving Dynamo side.


2. Red Bull NY (-1) - Despite an inconclusive draw in the top of the table clash, Red Bull fall a place because they were fortunate to escape with a point at home. The offense looks fine and Angel may very well run away with the golden boot, but Arena has to be shopping for defensive help in the transfer window. Kudos to the Swamp Folk for turning out in decent numbers this weekend. Now the Bulls get a week off to think about a disappointing last couple of weeks that could have seen them jump out to a significant lead in the table.

3. DC United (+1) - United continue to roll. Last week, Moreno and Gomez finally found their form, now it looks like Emilio is coming on as well. I guess that means Fred will start firing on all cylinders next week away to RSL. Despite missing two starters, United manhandled a makeshift Fire side. Another great crowd at RFK saw the good times continue to roll. Two questions arise though: (1) are they peaking to soon, and (2) how many will they lose to Copa America? Moreno is already away and it looks like Boswell and Olsen may well join him. Time for United's supposed depth to assert itself.

4. NE Revolution (-1) - The Revs jumped out to a 3-1 lead and looked good doing so despite missing three starters to the Gold Cup. But then the wheels fell off and the Crew clawed back a point. On a positive note, Christman and Wells look like yet more diamonds gleaned from the rough of the draft by Nicol and company. Next week brings a TFC squad on a roll into the Big Razor.

5. Houston Dynamo (+1) - A week off means another week closer to getting Ching, Clark, and DeRosario back from the Gold Cup. With the side climbing the table without them, this team could really be hitting their stride in a few weeks. They've got some congestion this week with Thursday Night Futbol bringing surging Chivas to town before they hit the road for a weekend tilt with top dogs KC.

6. Chivas USA (+2) - The Goats are rolling. Galindo is a nightmare for defenders, they aren't letting in goals, and they're creating quality chances. They could have had more against Colorado if not for some heroics from Rapids' keeper Coundoul. They're winning games now, so when do the crowds start to show up? Just over 10k is not good enough for a team playing as well as Chivas are.

7. FC Dallas (-2) - The table may show them at the top, but they've played more games than anybody else and have not looked impressive of late. Though they may have shaded the game in RSL and deserved the late winner, they were bent over the barrel and punished handily by TFC on Sunday. Ruiz returning should be a bit of a boost for a side that's been missing a lethal touch in the box, so we'll stay tuned to see what they can manage away to a solid, though unspectacular, Rapids side next week.

8. Toronto FC (+2) - The Canucks mauled points leader Dallas in front of 20k+. Great service from the flanks resulted in 3 goals directly and another fell out of a mess created in the six by a cross. The playoffs are starting to look a distinct possibility for the expansion franchise if they can keep the momentum they've been building. The one thing that's missing is road form, and they'll get a chance to improve on that against a weakened Revs side smarting from a home draw to struggling Columbus.


9. Colorado Rapids (-2) - The Rapids continue to plunge on the back of another away loss. Some great saves by Chivas' Guzan kept the Rapids off the board, but Coundoul replied in kind to keep the scoreline respectable as Chivas fully deserved their win. Can the Rapids find some Mile High Magic to put some hurtin' on an uninspired Dallas side next weekend?

10. Columbus Crew (+1) - The Crew showed a lot of heart to fight back from 3-1 down to grab a point - where the hell did that come from? Schelotto is starting to prove his worth with a well-taken goal and a lovely assist on the equalizer. In the end though, it's still only a draw and the Crew need wins if they're to get off the foot of the East standings. They'll be hampered by losing players to the U-20's and may possibly have to do without creative midfield spark Grabavoy, who could see Copa America duty for the US. The week ahead will be a busy one with a midweek match home to high-flying KC followed by the long flight out to face a Galaxy side starting to show signs of life.

11. LA Galaxy (+1) - Victory in the relegation 6-pointer against RSL and goals from the till-now impotent Jaqua and recently-acquired Buddle see the Galaxy grab a lifeline. Was this match a case of two sleeping attacks finally waking up, or two incompetent defenses practicing a bit of charity? Another home match against another bottom side in the shape of the Crew may shed some more light. Help is on the way in the coming month in the form of Pavon, Beckham, and Donovan, but none of those players help their terrible defense. Xavier is no alchemist and this turd has no chance of turning into gold without new signings or trades. Therein lies the rub. How much more can MLS bend the rules to allow the Galaxy to build a winning side?

12. Chicago Fire (-2) - A bye week couldn't come at a better time for a hurting Fire side. Undermanned and overwhelmed, they never looked a match for DC this weekend. The pressure is starting to build on Sarachan. Mapp hasn't seen much action at the Gold Cup - perhaps he's in Bradley's Copa America plans as well? Blanco and maybe Salas could be added as well, but this is a team in real trouble right now and that's reflected in their slide to the murky depths at the bottom of the Dogpile.

13. Real Salt Lake - There's little relief in sight as surging DC come to town next. RSL were unlucky to drop a point to Dallas in stoppage time, but there were distressing gaps exposed in the back line by LA. They managed to make a fight of it and the stats read fairly even, but the highlights suggest that the majority of the better chances were created by the Galaxy. Ah, if only the specter of relegation had been hanging over this match.

Week 11 saw 28 goals scored around the league for an average of 4 goals per game. Some of the early leaders in the Revs, Red Bulls, and Dallas have stumbled of late and pre-season favorites DC and Houston are starting to surge up the table to prove that the punditry have at least a tiny shred of credibility mixed in with all that hot air and nonsense (waves hand feebly). Thursday brings Bradley's Copa America roster announcement on a day that MLS coaches the league over will be dreading. July should be pretty interesting with U-20 and Copa America call-ups away, big name new signings arriving, and of course, the misery of the weather.

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