Another exciting week of MLS action is over, and the standings in both conferences are starting to take some shape. There were 34 goals scored in the 11 games this week, giving an exciting average of 3.09 goals per match. Here are our key takeaways from the action:
1. LA Galaxy are back in business.
LA Galaxy made the most of a double gameweek, by winning both matches in front of their own fans against FC Dallas on Wednesday and Philadelphia Union last night. Robbie Keane scored in both games and now has seven for the season, but Landon Donovan makes all the headlines after he made MLS history by becoming the all-time leading goalscorer. The Galaxy looked much better in both games and will look to make it three on the bounce when they travel to Chicago Fire next weekend.
2. Sporting Kansas City stuttering form continues.
Kansas City hosted Toronto FC on Friday night, looking to avoid losing three in a row, and they did. Though they couldn’t hold on to win as a late Toronto goal ensured that points were shared. Sporting now sit five points behind Eastern Conference leaders New England, in second place and must turn things around quickly if they are to meet their target and win the Conference. They are significantly weakened defensively, and had no centre-backs available for Friday’s match, but will want to get back to winning ways against New York tomorrow night.
3. New York Red Bulls are in trouble.
Speaking of the Red Bulls, they are a team in very poor form by their high standards, and fell to their third defeat on the spin on Saturday night against Portland. The Timbers came from behind to win 2-1, thanks to a brace from Maximiliano Urruti and were the only side to win on the road this week. New York look vulnerable defensively, and will continue to ship goals regardless. They must make sure they try and outscore their opponent to enjoy success. A dangerous tactic, but with the players available, it would appear to be the only possible approach at this point.
4. Columbus finally win.
The Crew ended their eight-game winless run with a 2-0 victory against a poor Chicago Fire on Saturday night, and the much needed win could help them kick-start their season once more. They hadn’t won since March 29, after winning the first three of the season but got back to winning ways, with Federico Higuain the catalyst once again. He got another two assists with two excellent passes, and now has five for the season. Ethan Finlay scored his second in as many weeks in his first start of the season, and looked a constant threat with his blistering pace a dangerous outlet of attack for Columbus. They face Toronto FC on Saturday in what should be an exciting game.
5. Houston Dynam-oh-no.
Houston played two away games in week 12, and will want to forget about both pretty quickly. They lost both and failed to score a goal, losing 2-0 at DC United on Wednesday, before going down 3-0 at the San Jose Earthquakes yesterday. They were defensively poor in both, but particularly embarrassing in Sunday’s loss, as they conceded two very sloppy goals. The first was a free-kick inside the box, after Tally Hall forgot the rules as he picked up a back pass. And the goalkeeper was at fault for the third goal too, as he came charging out of his box, only to realise he couldn’t use his hands and lost in the aerial battle with Atiba Harris, who tapped in following up on his initial headed effort which hit the post. Houston travel to Colorado next, and will need to shore up their defence if they are to get anything there.