DC United pulled off a shock with the Friday game, and it's as much as how they scored their four goals as it is that they scored them at all. Remember, DC is supposed to be all but written off already. They're a team with noticeable problems and unlikely answers. None of that seemed to be a problem on Friday night. Trading goals in the first-half (Maicon Santos for DC in the 28th minute and Blas Perez in the 41st for Dallas), United piled it on in the second. Nick DeLeon and Danny Cruz scored and Santos grabbed a second before Dallas saw the game out playing a man down.
"In the second half I though we were pretty good," DC coach Ben Olsen said. "We executed some of the things we talked about all week very well and we scored two goals."
This wasn't the only East beats West Game, and it wasn't the biggest surprise. That was New England beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday. Without Landon Donovan, New England were up three goals from Kelyn Rowe (10th) Chris Tierney (13th) and Saer Sane (65th) before Robbie Keane ruined Matt Reis's shutout attempt in the 78th minute.
"We did the exact same thing we did in the first few games and that’s concede sloppy goals," Keane said. "Every goal that we’ve conceded so far has been very, very similar it’s stuff that you do when you’re a kid defending and we didn’t do it properly tonight. We’ve only got ourselves to blame so we can’t point the finger anywhere else but at ourselves and we have to take it as a team and try to move on to next week."
Also on Saturday, Columbus beat Toronto 1-0 on a 56th minute goal from Bernardo Anor in front of 18,944 fans at BMO Field. Montreal actually led 2-1 at halftime at Red Bull Arena, but New York's Kenny Cooper equalized in the 48th minute and Thierry Henry finished off a hat-trick in the 5-2 win. New York's attendance dropped to 13,415 for their second home game of the season.
Philadelphia and Vancouver drew 0-0. Salt Lake needed a stoppage time goal for the 3-2 win over Portland at PPL Park. After RSL opened the scoring through Alvaro Saborio in the 39th minute, Darlington Nagbe scored for Portland in the 48th and 65th. That seemed to be the story before Jonny Steele equalized a minute from time and Kyle Beckerman won the game with a 93rd minute goal. Finishing off the Saturday scores, San Jose beat Seattle at Century Link Field 1-0 on a goal from… yes, you guessed it… Chris Wondolowski in the 24th minute.
Sunday's early game saw Colorado shutout Chicago 2-0 at home. Omar Cummings scored in the 58th and Kamani Hill doubled that two minutes into stoppage time. In the late game, Sporting Kansas City beat Chivas USA 1-0 from a C.J. Sapong goal in the 47th minute.
What Did We Learn?
1. Forcing the mainstream fan to make decisions that aren't likely to fall in MLS's favor is a tough call. It's not likely to be the NCAA Tournament and MLS. It's one or the other. MLS can talk about going their own way, and fair enough. But it's one thing to ignore the wider world of European soccer since those games normally happen outside of regular pro sports viewing hours. It's quite another to act as if the wider American sports marketplace should have relatively little impact on the soccer crowd.
2. MLS's odd version of parity was out in force over the weekend. Games that should've been predictable were anything but, and once again we saw how hard it is to define 'good' in this League.
3. A question everyone should be asking is what happens if Thierry Henry has a season-long reminder of why he was once considered one of the best players in the World. An MLS summer is no joke, but Henry is well aware of what that's like. He's playing like the start of the MLS season is a continuation of his loan to Arsenal, and quickly making himself the story in 2012.
1. Sporting Kansas City: The problem with early season rankings is that they're all over the place. Few teams show much consistency, and in a 19-team league that means clubs rise and fall every week. Not Kansas City. It's interesting that this hasn't been an unrivaled run of dominance. They played close against DC and this week against Chivas USA, but still ended up with all three points.
2. San Jose: Onward and upward relying on Chris Wondolowski. Hey, it's working.
3. Real Salt Lake: Up a spot and it took an injury time goal to do it. Other results downplay losing to Chivas USA last week.
4. New York: Unranked last week, and beating up on Montreal after a win over Colorado is enough to not only get them in, but ahead of Colorado. Is this fair? Probably not. The Rapids have the better record, but New York plays the head-to-head advantage.
5. Colorado: Nine points after four games for third in the West. They rebounded nicely from the loss to New York.
The 2012 Season So Far: