>Monday Lunch: MLS Week 1 Recap

Posted: March 29, 2010 in mls
Tags: , , ,


Wow what a weekend; Real Salt Lake could not have started their title defense out better with an impressive 3-0 away win. Seattle and LA showed that they were the class of the west by both posting shutout victories as well. While there were not a lot of goals overall this weekend, Kansas City put up 4 against a DC side that didn’t even look like they wanted to be there. Overall, it was a great weekend and before I hand out my awards, I just have these few observations about things I witnessed:

  • Wells Thompson did not complete a pass throughout the entire time I was watching the Colorado-Chivas game. His touch was poor but luckily, the rest of the team picked up the slack for him.
  • Matt Pickens looked uneasy in goal. He often punched away balls out of the area that he could have easily caught. He also looked shaky on an early shot that he stopped with his shoulder.
  • Omar Cummings is an absolute player. He got behind the Chivas defense countless times and although he only scored one goal, he was easily the most dangerous player in the game. One thing that I really like about him is that while he isn’t the best finisher, he is possibly the best decision-making forward in the league. There are lots of players that have better technical ability then him but they don’t do anything with it. You only have to look around the league to see this. Look at Macoumba Kandji. His technical ability and athleticism is off the charts; but when he gets in front of goal, he has no idea what he is doing. While Omar Cummings doesn’t always execute it properly, he knows when to pass as well as who to pass too, and when to shoot. I would take this attribute, essentially his soccer IQ, over all the technical ability in the world any day. I love this player.
  • Stefan Frei didn’t control his penalty area well. He is a great shot stopper but he really reminds me of Senegal’s Tony Sylva from the 2002 World Cup. He will stop every shot, but if a cross comes in you better watch out.
  • Julian De Guzman is an amazing passer in terms of both technical ability and vision. He sees things that other people just flat out do not see and his passes are always perfectly weighted.
  • Landon Donovan was hitting free kicks and crosses better than maybe anyone in the league in his debut. That being said, he made some poor decisions in front of the goal. Landon is the best attacker in MLS. He will bounce back.
  • Robbie Rogers needs to play simpler and make his decisions faster
  • Steven Lenhart is going to have a good year. His hold up play is excellent
  • Brian McBride‘s Bicycle attempt was amazing. He knew exactly where Bouna Coundoul was unfortunately the post prevented him from scoring an amazing goal
  • Ryan Smith looks like a great signing for Kansas City

Now for the weekly awards:

The Jaime Moreno Award (Player of the Week): I know I said that I wouldn’t just give it to the player who scored two goals in the week, but there is no other choice then Javier Morales. He completely pulled the first and third goals that RSL scored out of his ass. To score one goal of that quality maybe even just once a season would be okay with most people. He also set up the 2nd goal. Honestly, without him this game could have been 0-0. No one player factored more into his team’s win than Morales did this week. It is great to see him bounce back after a terrible 2009. I don’t think he really felt like he was part of the team’s title, as he got hurt in MLS Cup. He should be a dark horse MVP candidate. Especially when I thought he was at least on par with Guillermo Barros Schelotto in 2008 and maybe even better. (I am working on an article looking at which MVP’s should have gone to other players *cough* Amado Guevara 2004 *cough*)

The 2004-2006 Alecko Eskandarian Award (Goal of the Week): Once again Javier Morales wins the award, but for which goal. He definitely scored the two best goals of the week but I like the first one better just because of the ambition and technique that is required to pull something like this off. If the Seattle Sounders fans stuff the ballot and get Fredy Montero the goal of the week just like week one last year instead of the more deserving candidate, I’ma be pissed. Anyways here is the goal.

The Wells Thompson Award (Worst Player of the Week): As much as I would like to give the original Wells Thompson Award to the legend himself (Wells Thompson), I don’t feel like he actually hurt is team this week; well other than just being Wells (a synonym of terrible). So I am forced to give the award to Nick Garcia. Nick, you are a great player representative in the players union. Unfortunately, you are now slower than Abel Xavier
is. All I can say about the way you play is “This is not correct.” Stop giving the ball to GBS in your own box.

The Josh Wolff Award (Worst Goal of the Week): Note; I will not be posting video of the worst goal of the week. It was the worst goal, why would you want to see it. Kei Kamara did the honors this week.

That is all I have for you this week. Join me next week as I preview the coming matches including the HONDA SUPERCLASSICO.


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