It seems that Dallas always gets a lucky break or two in the results around the league when they drop points. This week again has a team that stumbled and helped Dallas out a bit.
The Montreal Impact lost to the Columbus Crew 2-0, a scoreline that is convincing and reassuring to Crew fans. The most incredible part? According to MLSsoccer.com, this is the first time in thirty (30!) matches that the Columbus Crew has defeated someone above them in the standings. That's staggering to think about.
That's a pretty shocking number, and it should give pause to those wanting to believe in a Columbus renaissance. It's a stepping stone regardless. Columbus can take this victory against one of the best teams in the league and use it to fuel their campaign from here on out.
Montreal played without the headbutt-happy Alessandro Nesta and Champion Bottle Thrower Marco Schällibaum. While Schällibaum's absence doesn't necessarily lead directly to a loss, it's easy to see why Nesta's absence would be more acutely felt. Both of the Crew's goals came before the 25th minute, and the calming influence of a veteran defender makes the early-goings of games much easier to withstand, especially away.
Columbus got a bit of good news in the form of Chad Marshall coming back from injury. His return will help not only in defense, but on set pieces where his massive frame creates trouble around any opponents' box. Of course, it's almost a zero-sum benefit for the Crew, who have lost Eddie Gaven for the season just recently.
Thank you, Columbus, for helping out our Supporter's Shield ambitions.
Canada has declared a three day period of celebration after TFC finally won a game. The Reds downed the absolutely abysmal D.C. United 2-1 in the MLS Basement Bowl (don't remember where I heard this) and now hold the dubious honor of not being quite as bad as Chivas or DC United.
TFC still has that positive outlook for the future. It's hard to aim criticism at them on the week of one of their only wins of the season.
DC management has voiced their faith in manager Ben Olsen, and it's easy to dismiss those statements as PR hooey. The thing is, DC ownership has gone above and beyond the standard lines, and have repeatedly backed Olsen publicly despite continued disappointing performances. It's possible the management knows that their terrible personnel decisions tie Olsen's hands rather a lot. Given their complete ineptitude in the transfer market, it's not difficult to see why Olsen doesn't get as much blame as he could.
DC isn't afraid to admit mistakes though, and they must be given some credit for that (whether they learn from them is debatable). They have released their latest ineffective signing, Raphael Augusto, from the club. What sack of meat will they sign next to clutter up their roster?
The San Jose Earthquakes have benefitted from the usual dead-cat-bounce that bad teams seem every year, beating the Rapids 2-1. It was the rare Quakes win that helps FCD in small ways in the standings, and for that we should all be grateful.
They can go back to losing now, until we need them next.
The Vancouver Whitecaps knocked gunned down the New England Revolution 4-3. This game was a goalstorm, and New England's well documented defense was in tatters by the end of it. In another odd switch, New England continued their goalscoring exploits. This time it wasn't enough to help them out, but if they can continue putting the ball in the back of the net, the Revs will feel good about their playoff chances going forward.
People won't stop talking about Darlington Nagbe's goal, but have they seen Kenny Miller's strikes? Both of his goals against the Revs were feats of pure skill, much like Nagbe's. The Caps keep slowly making progress from their poor form, and Martin Rennie seems to have relinquished his spot on the hotseat after a few morale-boosting victories.
With the Caps taking Chivas on at BC Place next week, it's shaping up to be a very good three week period in British Columbia.
Food for Thought:
- With Montreal losing to Columbus, are Portland the biggest threat to our SS campaign? Or is it someone else?
- How do you feel about a week that includes a win and a loss to Houston and Portland?
- Are you watching the Confederations Cup? What are your thoughts on that competition?