PBP: SEEING IS BELIEVING IN WEEK 6 OF MLS

If there were any doubts about the kind of season Edson Buddle was having in Los Angeles, he eliminated all of those on Saturday.

What the Philadelphia Union saw on the weekend was a big, skillful striker, clearly at the top of his game. Forget the gawdy stats, 9 goals in 6 games, including 5 game winners. This only tells a part of the story. Edson is working hard, on and off the ball. He is showing for his teammates, always giving them an option.

 

He even set up the game's first goal, 53 seconds in, when he clearly could have taken a couple more steps towards goal to try to score on his own. Not only does he decide to pass that ball across to A.J. DeLaGarza, but he puts a perfect ball across. 

 

His timing couldn’t be better as U.S. National Team Head Coach Bob Bradley gets set to name a team of up to 30 players for a training camp that will eventually decide his 23 man roster for the World Cup. Buddle might still be a long shot to make that final list, but he appears to be a sure shot to make the initial squad of 30. From there it’s up to him. He has come a long way from not even being on the radar to at least a potential World Cup candidate.

Other observations from the past week:

D.C. United and FC Dallas are still two teams desperately looking for answers. D.C., at 0-5-0, are not just without a win, but they haven’t even scored a goal in their first three games at home. They are off to their worst start in history (D.C. is home again Wednesday vs Kansas City  ESPN’s MLS Game of the Week).

FC Dallas picked up another point with a 1-1 draw at New England, but failed to score despite a two man advantage for nearly 20 minutes. Dallas is in better shape than DC though, having picked up 4 points on draws in their first 5 games. Dallas has to travel to Houston for a midweek clash on Wednesday.

The Union continue to play some of their best soccer while playing with 10 men, but it’s obviously a trend they hope to stop soon. Three red cards in 5 games is not something the team will be bragging about. 

 

Stefani Miglioranzi’s red card is a blow because they could surely use him in Salt Lake. Miglioranzi, to me, is a very underrated player. Gets the job done, just in a quiet manner. I read some good quotes about him last week from his former coach, Bruce Arena, who had Stefani with the Galaxy. 

 

Later this week,  I’ll have more on the Union’s next game, which takes place Saturday vs the defending MLS Cup Champions.

In the meantime, congrats to Jack McInerney on his first MLS goal, and to Kyle Nakazawa who made his MLS debut last Saturday.  While both would rather have seen a better result against LA, players always remember their first goal, and their first game.

Closing thought...I still can’t believe that an MLS team has not signed Dave Van den Bergh, who last played with FC Dallas. The Dutch left sided midfielder was among the assist leaders a year ago in MLS. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a half dozen clubs who might be able to use him.