MONTREAL, CANADA - JUNE 23: Patrice Bernier #8 of the Montreal Impact celebrates a goal with teammates during the MLS match against the Houston Dynamo at Saputo Stadium on June 23 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Getty Images)
This past week of MLS action saw a few great games that managed to thankfully cure some of the boredom created by a very "blah" weekend of Euro 2012 matches.
Chronological order is a thing of the past! We're going to go in an order defined as "Whichever Strikes My Fancy".
Seattle lost at Portland and the biggest thing we can all take out of this is that a) Spencer's job got a lifeline and b) the Sounders have taken a long walk off a short cliff.
What is it with Seattle's recent struggles? There was a point in this season when it was between them and RSL for the league lead. Now? Should Seattle drop a few more and teams behind them win a few, Seattle is starting to look like they could fall as low as sixth. Seattle's last stretch of games have been very poor, and have resulted in a 0-4-3 record. The biggest statistic that jumps out is their defense, who have been mediocre to bad the last few games, as all of a sudden their back four have sprung a leak and have allowed goals at the worst times and in bunches to boot.
Real Salt Lake, while still the best in the league I think, have shown that they are not the instoppable juggernaut many think they are. In fact, over the course of the season they have produced some rather uninspiring results. Losses to San Jose, Chivas and now San Jose again show that they have their share of weaknesses and this could easily be exploited by a well-prepared team.
Continuing the notion of dispelling myths, Sporting Kansas City looked god-awful ugly with their loss at Philly. While Philadelphia is as capable as pulling off an upset as any other team in the league, they dismantled Sporting to the tune of 4-0. Whether that's a sign of things to come for Philly (doubtful) or an indictment of Sporting's defensive issues (likely) is anybody's guess.
It is possible that Philadelphia started a hard-turn starboard against SKC and are now taking a new course, I think it is more likely that the high pressure style Sporting plays is starting to gain a lot of attention. With the extra scrutiny comes the easy (though not always easily executed) answer: High pressure teams leave lots of gaps that a quick team can exploit. Sporting has stabilized since their swoon but, as this loss shows, they are very much a beatable team.
I won't waste much time on Philadelphia because the likelihood they are going to thrash more teams 4-0 is close to zero. Getting rid of Nowak was a good first step though.
Los Angeles has started to FINALLY put it together after a convincing 3-0 thrashing of Vancouver. A few more results and LA might win itself a playoff spot after all, something that seemed like an impossibility two weeks ago. The match had Robbie Keane pay tribute to the Irish fan who tragically died during the Euros, a nice gesture from a man the fan surely admired.
Montreal embarrassed Houston which I think is something we can all get behind. Again Houston showed that it really isn't much of a team without Brad Davis as he was their only real threat. With all those talks surrounding Geoff Cameron going elsewhere and Brian Ching aging fast, the Dynamo need to start their rebuilding quickly.
Or they could wallow in obscurity and accept their fate. All of Houston's teams have been bad for ages (The Texans don't count, nobody cares about them anyway) and it's time for the Dynamo to walk onto the Pantheon of Suckage and take their rightful place beside the Disastros and the Rockets.
It's their destiny!
Mocking aside, I'd be pretty proud of my team if I was a Quebecian (Quebecan? Quebecistan?). A solid first year effort from Mr. Marsch so far.
Any thoughts on Week 16?