Imagine you're attending your first Major League Soccer game in San Jose, Columbus, or you were off to see Chivas USA this weekend. What you got were goals, lots of them. Now, imagine your surprise when you figure out this isn't MLS as usual. What? This isn't a league where teams regularly combine for 5, 7, and 8 goal games?
Saturday's late show takes the prize for goals scored, with Seattle knocking off Chivas USA 6-2 at the Home Depot Center. Fredy Montero did half of Seattle's scoring, with goals in the 27th, 34th, and 67th on his way to what should be a Player of the Week award. He also picked up the assist on Brad Evans's 10th minute opener. Seattle was ahead by three goals when Chivas USA's Juan Agudelo got them on the board in the 38th minute. The game looked within reach when Chivas USA's Miller Bolanos made it 3-2 in the 64th. The Montero goal three minutes later and Samuel Ochoa scoring in the 80th put the game to bed. Chivas USA got credited with a stoppage time own goal to finish off the scoring.
Columbus's 4-3 win over New England gave us our seven-goal thriller. It was the Revs taking the early lead on the road through Ryan Guy (17th) and Jerry Bengston (23rd). The Crew responded with a three goal comeback in the second-half with Federico Higuain (26th), Jairo Arrieta (32nd), and Higuain again (43rd). Lee Nguyen equalized for New England in the 81st, but it was Arrieta scoring Columbus's winner in the 86th minute.
San Jose's 4-1 win over Colorado is our five-goal game. Simon Dawkins opened the scoring for the Quakes in the 11th minute, and it was 2-0 going into the half courtesy of Alan Gordon. When hostilities resumed, Tyrone Marshall got a goal back for the Rapids in the 54th. It would be 14 minutes of Colorado thinking they could get back into this one. Dawkins scored again in the 68th and so did Gordon in the 75th.
“That goal was a bit of a wake-up call for us that we needed as a reminder to keep our game from the first half and attack,"Dawkins said. "We managed to get back on track and tacked on a couple goals by the end.”
Montreal had started the night with their own offensive display, putting three past DC for a 3-0 win at Saputo Stadium. Marco Di Vaio opened the scoring in the 24th minute and Patrice Bernier had two goals in the 50th and 92nd. Toronto cancelled out Will Bruin's 21st minute opener at BBVA Compass Stadium with an 85th minute Terry Dunfield goal to finish 1-1 with the Dynamo. Portland's Darlington Nagbe (41st) and Vancouver's Kenny Miller (46th) traded goals but it was the Timbers' Franck Songo'o coming up with a 55th minute winner.
Friday's game beside the bridge in Chester ended scoreless between Philadelphia and Salt Lake.
On Sunday, the Galaxy shutout FC Dallas 2-0 with goals from Juninho in the 66th and Todd Dunivant in the 84th minute. In the nightcap, Sporting Kansas City and New York drew 1-1. Kei Kamara scored Kansas City's goal in the fourth minute with an own-goal equalizing in the 28th.
What Did We Learn?
1. Numbers matter. Here's New England defender Chris Tierney: "It was a tough one, we did well going up two goals, unfortunately they got back into it. It was a crazy game. Bottom line is, even though we are happy scoring three goals away from home we have to avoid giving up four.”
2. DC United didn't look that great in a flattering score line win on Wednesday night, and followed it up by getting shutout in Montreal. There's the feeling that the mid-table teams in the East are flattering to deceive. We're supposed to think this is a stronger conference than it's been in recent years, but the quality of play is noticeably different than their contemporaries in the West. Fortunately for the East, the Conference playoff format means that doesn't really mean a whole lot this season.
3. A pet peeve this season has been the Player of the Week voters collective insistence on not weighting games. What are we on about? Simple, if a player has a quality 180 minutes to work with instead of 90, that player is far more likely to win the weekly honor. That gives the schedule too much influence in our not so humble opinion, and it needs to be tweaked for next season. If a player has two standout performances, he's probably going to be player of the week anyway. But giving someone the nod because of two good showings when another candidate only had one game to play? That's not exactly fair, and it should be either Wednesday or Saturday's game in determining if two of the Crew's multi-goal scorers had a better week than Fredy Montero. Don't even get us started on the uphill fight a goalkeeper has in weeks where any player scored more than once.
1. San Jose: Obviously, the Earthquakes make a triumphant return to the top slot with their multi-goal win. Are they the best team in MLS? Let's go with a calculated 'maybe.'
2. New York: Dropping out of the top spot with a draw instead of a win.
3. Kansas City: An odd night for Sporting at home.
4. Seattle: Holding their place and scoring a lot of goals in the process.
5. Columbus: Welcome to the top five in a week where they took all six of the available points.