Once again the fun and crazy side of Major League Soccer was brought out into full force this weekend. Either the results were low-scoring and boring or they were wild and crazy.
We'll dive plenty into FC Dallas' game over Montreal as there is plenty to discuss from around the league.
Anyways, there is plenty to go over from this past week around the league.
No one knows defense in NY
During the pregame stuff at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, I sat around watching the spectacle that was New York and Houston. I got to listen to a decent portion of this game on the radio on the way into the stadium and then caught a lot of it before FCD's kickoff.
I'll say this much, that game was every bit as crazy as the scoreline suggests. New York was denied a penalty kick early in the game but rebounded to get a goal from Sasha Kljestan. Houston responded with two straight from Will Bruin. New York came back only then to allow Houston to tie it up and regain the lead again. Then Felipe Martins took over for the Red Bulls and damn did he ever have a nice free kick goal for the win.
This game proved one thing to me out of the gate, Houston is entertaining to say the least. They're not going to sustain this kind of attack (11 goals in three games) for the long haul. Most of that has to do with how their defense is. Sure, they shut out FC Dallas a week ago at home but I don't see FCD getting shutout like that again this season. Teams that give up this amount of scoring (remember they gave up three goals in week 1 to New England), tend to struggle over the course of the season.
New York isn't in any better position here either, even with the win. Who would have thought that losing Matt Miazga would hurt them this badly. In truth, their defense is making them appear like a team that is destined to miss out on the playoffs this year.
Columbus and Chicago looked out of ideas
Normally I would pass up a game like this but I'm still interested in what the Fire are building these days and how the Crew are going to continue to improve as a title contender out of the east. But man oh man, this game was one of those duds not worth taking in at all.
The two Midwestern rival sides struggled in the offensive end on Saturday. The Fire came out in a 5-3-2 on Saturday, a formation that shows to me that their new manager Veljko Paunovic is going all in on the 'work-in-progress' mentality. Nothing about that formation and group appeared to even have a hope of securing three points on Saturday. If anything, it was a way to keep the Crew honest and defend for 90+ minutes. Columbus is a team that wants space on the wings to create. By adding in more defenders to that space, it limited what the Crew were able to do going forward.
Was it pretty? No. But it was effective.
A whole lotta money for Timmah
The reports finally came true over the weekend as Colorado announced the signing of Tim Howard. In some ways this is a great signing for the league and the Rapids. It helps make a fairly irrelevant team matter again.
That cost though for him (reported $2 million a year plus a transfer fee to Everton) is way more than any MLS team should ever spend on a goalkeeper.
MLS is a league that you can get good goalkeeping for cheap. We're talking a maximum of $300k for a good, All-Star level keeper. A lot of teams have done well with even cheaper than that over the years. I mean, just look at this tweet below, it shows that Colorado is basically spending the same on Howard that every other team combined last year to spend on a starting keeper:
Tim Howard's salary reported as high as $2.8m a year, more than all current MLS starting GK's made in 2015 combined. pic.twitter.com/VaXOTzNVFZ— Kurt Austin (@kaustin01) March 20, 2016
Colorado is showing that they are willing to spend big on players but possibly the wrong kinds of players.
Other random thoughts:
New England is in bad shape. I know we're still in the "it's still very early stage" of the season but boy do the Revs look in rough shape after three weeks. Two draws and a loss so far to open the season, not going to cut it if they keep that kind of pace up.
KC continues to make me look dumb. I keep saying KC won't be a top team in the west this season but they are making me look silly so far. They are the only 3-0-0 team on the table and while the play isn't pretty at times it is getting the job done.
Sounders are in trouble. Three straight weeks, three straight losses. How much longer will Sounder fans put up with this kind of performance?