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Russell Berrisford

Russell Berrisford

Russell’s support of Derby County eventually led him to leave the country. He has lived in Canada since 2007 and currently writes about soccer for The Vancouver Sun.


TANGENTS

MLS Review

Written by on April 18, 2011 | 3 Comments »
Posted in MLS

Aron Winter’s purported “Total Football” experiment with Toronto FC descended into a total mess on Saturday when his side lost 3-0 at home to DC United. Toronto were two goals down in the first nine minutes and barely threatened the United goal throughout the game.

The Dutchman has asked for patience in his team building effort, but how long will it be before the ‘Winter of Discontent” headlines are rolled out?

DC though will have taken heart from yet another goal from Charlie Davies that accompanied a brace from Chris Pontius.

United supporters may feel that their season is starting to gain momentum. Toronto fans not so much.

The Vancouver Whitecaps may not have lost at home this season but it’s likely that their failure to get a win at Empire Stadium since the opening day will cost them dearly at the end of the campaign. The Whitecaps had the best of the chances in their 0-0 draw with Chivas USA but the visitors retained the bulk of the possession.

Chivas lacked the cutting edge to ever genuinely threaten the Vancouver goal, a fact that goes some way to explaining why they have yet to pick up a win this season.

The LA Galaxy were without Beckham, Donovan, and Juninho for their trip to Chicago on Sunday but still looked better than a poor Fire side in their 2-1 win.

LA are now level on points with Real Salt Lake at the top of Western Conference (although they have played two games more) and Chicago are dead last in the Eastern and are the less than proud owners of the worst defensive record in the whole of MLS.

Portland followed up their first win at Jeld-Wen Field on Thursday with another three points in their 3-2 win against FC Dallas. Portland may not be the prettiest team to watch (few in MLS are) but they are pacey and direct when they attack, and Kenny Cooper is a constant threat from set pieces.

Dallas scored two late goals to make the game interesting and Portland coach John Spencer will be concerned that his team have made two seemingly comfortable home wins harder than they should have been.

Elsewhere Houston Dynamo got their second win in a week with a 1-0 win against New England, and Columbus beat Kansas by the same score, whilst Seattle continued to improve and grabbed a late point in a 1-1 draw at Philadelphia. Michelle Ackermann’s report on the Red Bulls much-needed win against San Jose is here.

What have we learned from the latest round of games? Well, the Galaxy can still get a win without their stars, the officials seem to have eased up on the handing out of cards, and there may be some life left in Thierry Henry after all.

 

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3 responses to “MLS Review”

  1. John Bladen says:

    Thanks for the summary, Russell… it helps those of us who were ‘road warriors’ through the last week.

    TFC’s shabby display was worrying, particularly because of the curious lineup choices Winter seems to be making. I’m all for ‘seeing what you’ve got’, but some of his choices have bordered on absurd.

    What’s your take on FCD? They’ve lost a couple of good players from last year, but they just don’t look like defending champs… even in the excessively equalized MLS realm.

  2. Russell Berrisford says:

    John- from what I’ve seen of FCD they look far worse than last season. I’m seeing them in person when they visit Vancouver on Saturday so that will give me a better idea of where they stand.

  3. John Bladen says:

    err, make that finalists, sorry Russell.

    Yeah, they just don’t look very good, do they?

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