This past weekend of Major League Soccer was not the most exciting one of the 2012 season. With five draws and four wins throughout the league, it may seem as if there is not much to talk about. Not true. This weekend reinforced three critical points in MLS right now; Toronto still has not won a game as they sit at 0-9-0, the LA Galaxy have gone from first to worst, sitting dead last in the Western Conference, and the New York Red Bulls are quite simply dominant.
Toronto FC is either a horrible football team, or they have become victims of an extreme case of bad luck. That bad luck continued when the struggling club took on DC United, a squad that has now won three of its last five. Before they even knew what to do with themselves, Toronto was down 1-0 as Dwayne De Rosario connected with a header off a 40 yard free kick in the opening minute.
De Rosario would pick up his second goal of the match in the 43rd after picking up a pass in the box. Toronto's keeper Milos Kocic got a hand on the ball, but could not prevent it from going in the net. From that point on, it was pretty much curtains for Toronto. Danny Koevermans, who came on as a sub, would score a conciliation goal for his squad in the 71st, but it would end up being for naught. DC would put their third goal on the board just two minutes later after Hamdi Salihi connected with the ball off a low cross from Andy Najar.
Toronto will next play Vancouver in the Canadian Championship on Wednesday, before taking on the Union at BMO Field this Saturday. More on that game in the match to watch out for. DC United will try and make it three in a row when they take on New England at RFK.
The Galaxy are on a five game winless streak and three of those five games have been losses. This weeks match should have been an LA Galaxy win, but Chivas USA, the team LA shares the Home Depot Center with, got their first home win of the season and first SuperClasico win in five years.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that LA couldn't quite start calling for Bruce Arena's head. After comments some comments he made earlier today, I'm retracting that statement. After Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan left to go train with their respective international camps, Arena told mlssoccer.com, "We haven't won with those players, so I don't think it's going to hurt us." Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, along with David Beckham are the undisputed leaders of the Galaxy, and without them, they very well could have been winless along with Toronto.
Landon Donovan looked to be one of the only players who had any hustle Saturday night and probably should have left the game with two assists had his teammates finished the ball properly. Instead, after a 70th minute red card resulting from a hand ball off the arm of David Junior Lopes, Chivas won the game with a penalty shot. David Beckham came into the match as a late substitute and tried to reignite his squad, but could not come up with an equalizing goal.
The Galaxy have a short turn around this week and a big test ahead of them as they take on second place San Jose on Wednesday. More on the Galaxy in the match to watch out for. Chivas also have a short turn around this week as they take on the first place Red Bulls in Harrison, NJ. New York has won five in a row.
It wasn't an easy fifth straight win for the Red Bulls. Montreal, who prior to this game had yet to lose at home, opened up the scoring with a penalty kick in the 22nd minute. Montreal was awarded the penalty after an apparent hand ball in the box, despite the fact that it wasn't very clear if a hand had actually been used.
If there is such a thing as a make up call, one would be given to New York in the 36th minute. The assistant referee awarded a penalty to the Red Bulls after calling hand ball on Montreal, despite the ball never touching the Montreal player. Kenny Cooper would take the kick and equalize in the 37th.
New York would lose a man in the 58th minute after Victor Palsson picked up his second yellow card of the game. The ejection would not end up hurting New York as Dane Richards picked up his team's fifth win in a row with a 67th minute goal. While New York take on Chivas at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, Montreal will have a few more days to rest until they travel to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Saturday.
This past weekend only saw one other win, which came out of Portland. The Timbers picked up not only the victory, but their first goal in over a month. The first goal came in the 20th minute from Eric Brunner. The second goal was an unfortunate own goal off of Chicago's Logan Pause. The Fire will look to rebound with a game against Dallas on Wednesday, while Portland hosts Vancouver this Saturday. Vancouver is coming off a 2-2 draw this past Saturday against Seattle.
San Jose squeaked out a 1-1 tie as they hosted Columbus. Alan Gordon scored the equalizer for San Jose in the 90th minute, saving a point for the second place squad.
Houston also waited until the dying embers of their match to pick up an equalizer against New England. Luis Camargo picked up the 87th minute knock off an assist from veteran striker Brian Ching to tie the match at two a piece. Saer Sene picked up both of New England's goals in the match.
Despite going down 2-0 in the first half of the game, the Rapids would come back and tie their match up in the second half as they took on struggling SKC. Teal Bunbury picked up both of Sporting's knocks, but it would not be good enough as Tyrone Marshall and Kosuke Kimura both picked up second half goals for Colorado. Sporting Kansas City will play again this Sunday when they take San Jose.
FC Dallas and the Philadelphia Union played to a 1-1 draw. Dallas scored early on in the first half with a 7th minute goal from Blas Perez, but Gabriel Gomez would equalize for the Union with a brilliant header in the 58th. That brings us to our first of two matches to watch out for this week.
The Union travel to Toronto this Saturday hoping to pick up their third win of the season while dealing the struggling Canadian club their tenth straight loss. Look for both teams to play their hearts out, as both squads are dying for a win. Despite being at home, Toronto has lost their first nine, so look for Philadelphia to have the advantage, especially with Freddy Adu returning off of his suspension. I will personally be at this match, so look for some in depth coverage of this one in next weeks MLS Wrap-Up. Philadelphia vs. Toronto can be seen on The Comcast Network and MLS Live at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Finally, the second match to watch out for comes out of Houston's brand new BBVA Compass Stadium as the Dynamo take on the ever struggling Galaxy. Houston will look to pick up their second win in their new home, while Bruce Arena's squad travel shorthanded without Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane. This one could see Bruce Arena eating his words if the Galaxy don't win this one. Houston will play harder being the match is in their new stadium and Brian Ching will be looking to score his first goal there. This is a nationally televised game and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET next Saturday.