Outside90’s Daniel Fraiz-Martinez breaks down all the biggest talking points to come from the latest round of Major League Soccer action.
Jones making light work of Rocky Mountains
He may be much maligned in sections of the national media, however, it is incontestable that US international Jermaine Jones has proved the catalyst for one of the league’s most unlikely of turnarounds.
Since his somewhat serendipitous arrival in MLS with the New England Revolution, Jones has shown he has the ability to impact notably on his side’s endeavors. Therefore, it should perhaps come as no surprise to see his new team the Colorado Rapids rocketing up the table, in no small measure down to the three goals in three games since his offseason arrival and relative suspension being served.
Jones’ strike that ensured a 1-0 victory over local rivals Real Salt Lake, in what is commonly known as the ‘Rocky Mountain Cup’ rivalry, ensured not only bragging rights, but that his team remains atop the MLS Western Conference standings.
The cautionary note for Rapids fans? Jones is set to depart on Copa America duty in the not to distant future. So the side will likely need the improved performances from Messrs Pappa, Luis Solignac, Kevin Doyle and company to ensure their talisman can continue to propel them to a better finish than last season’s dismal showing.
Piatti and Drogba’s ‘chemistry’ the key for Montreal’s comeback
The game of matchday 9, in fact perhaps of the season to date, came over in Columbus. The home side let a 4-1 advantage slip, allowing the Montreal Impact the opportunity to salvage a 4-4 draw with a stoppage-time Dominic Oduro equaliser.
The result not only leaves the Columbus Crew languishing near the foot of the Eastern Conference table, but also comes with a potentially fractious break up of the teams two star players in Kei Kamara and Federico Higuaín, over (somewhat bizarrely) the penalty taking duties, of a scored spot kick that would put their team 4-1 up.
In-fighting and histrionics aside, the contest would have entertained many a neutral and Impact fan alike, with the difference perhaps indeed coming in both sides dynamic (or not so much so) duos.
Montreal’s Didier Drogba and Ignacio “Nacho” Piatti where also involved in all of their side’s four goals, however, Piatti’s first strike in particular was one of the most picturesque of the weekend. Alongside Drogba, he proved to have the additional chemistry that is seemingly lacking among Kamara and Higuaín, if not indeed the whole Crew side at present.
‘Gio-Lazo’s’ the order of the day as the stars continue to shine in LA
The LA Galaxy’s ‘Galactico’ style adventure may well still ultimately prove unsuccessful, but one thing that is virtually guaranteed is with the likes of Robbie Keane, Giovanni Dos Santos, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes and company in their XI, fans will no doubt get a fulfilling dose of entertainment at the very least.
Soccer Sunday’s (far more one-sided encounter than the scoreline suggests) 4-2 victory over the New England Revolution went someway to effectively demonstrating this.
In a game that will surely be primarily remembered for a thunderous volley “Gio-Lazo” from Mexican star Dos Santos, Bruce Arena’s Galaxy put on a show of their diverse attacking talents that also includes MLS hardened contributors such as Mike Magee, Alan Gordon, Baggio Husidic and not to mention the exciting new addition Emmanuel Boateng. A New England side, who have in truth been inconsistent so far this term, was blown away.
With the season still taking off, the Galaxy are seemingly just beginning to rev their engine at this stage. However, if this is the case, there may well be a few concerned sides for when they decide to go full throttle.
NYCFC continue to keep ‘turning their corner’
Soccer Sunday’s matinee performance saw Patrick Viera’s New York City record their second consecutive victory, and perhaps even more surprisingly a clean sheet en route to an unexpected 2-0 result over Ben Olsen’s DC United, in the nation’s capital.
The triumph helped springboard NYCFC above their hosts, pushing Viera’s men into a somewhat more comfortable surrounding.
Predictably, David Villa was once again at the heart of New York’s most exciting play, not to mention on the scoreline. His manager and teammates will no doubt be relived that unlike some of the other marquee players, Villa is not set to leave his side on international duty anytime in the near future.
Indeed, due to the all together frustrating failure to pause the competition significantly during this summer’s international showpieces, NYCFC may well have found an inadvertent advantage against some of their playoff rivals.
Nonetheless, Viera and company will need to keep taking advantage of this (as well as praying for a consistent Villa) should they have any real chance of engendering any type of notable second season improvement.