The schedule in week four was a light one in Major League Soccer thanks to the international window being played. While most of the league's teams were on a break, six teams were out on the field for 90 minutes looking for more points in the early part of this season.
Vancouver brings Houston back down to reality
Houston had their moments. Let me be clear of that but what happened late Saturday night in Vancouver was a reality check for the Dynamo. Their attack that had brought them 11 goals in the first three games cooled off in the quickest way possible against a stout Whitecaps defense.
Vancouver made some key changes to their lineup that was struggling early on this season and the result paid off. Sure, they won off a penalty kick (something I fully expect them to do a little too much of this season), but the defensive work was solid in this one.
Some of that defensive work had to do with Pedro Morales tracking back in the midfield. While the playmaker isn't always known for his defensive skills, he made things happen on both sides of the ball Saturday night, which caused the Dynamo a lot of fits in the center of the park.
If anything this result looked like the Houston of last year more than the one we saw in the first two weeks of this season. They riled heavily on crosses on the wings and had no one crashing the box to find the goal. Not to mention their defense looked lost on the field at times, which shouldn't be a shocker considering the fact that they have given up eight goals now on the season.
New England and NYC show more of the same
The more I see New England this season, the less I am impressed with what they are doing. Which is a total shocker considering the amount of young talent that team still has on the field. Maybe it is the lack of a true midfield destroyer now that they have given up on Jermaine Jones, or it is that maybe Jay Heaps is no longer getting to this club the way he was a couple seasons ago.
I'm not sure what it is but Saturday afternoon's game at NYC was just another stinker for the Revs on this early part of the season. Its not to say that NYC was any better either. City struggled to contain guys like Teal Bunbury early in the match, which resulted in a random first half substitution by Patrick Vieria to help counter that.
Other random thoughts (this time on league expansion):
Since the rest of the league was off, I will use this space to discuss one of my favorite subjects, expansion.
Miami getting stadium land. Miami got a good chunk of stadium land last week as David Beckham continues to push for a stadium near downtown Miami. I know most still loathe at the idea of a Miami team back in MLS but with the how things are going in Orlando and soon to be Atlanta, that is a good dot on the map for the league to regain and help fuel those rivalries in the south.
The waiting game elsewhere. Spots 25-28 continue to be a guessing game for anyone right now. We know Sacramento seems like a lock. St. Louis appears to be the league's new pet project. Charlotte? San Antonio? Louisville? Cincinnati? Indy? Nashville? You name it, a city is probably wanting a team right now. I would imagine by the end of the year we'll see more news on where the league goes next after Miami, Atlanta, Minnesota and LAFC enter the league in the next couple of seasons.