PBPP: Random Thoughts on MLS, Union

JP Dellacamera looks at the past weekend around the league

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Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos

It was a busy weekend for
MLS, following Wednesday's All-Star Game vs Manchester United. All 16 teams were in
action, including the New York Red Bulls, who played their first MLS game with
Thierry Henry in their lineup.

Here are some weekend
observations, game by game:

Philadelphia 1, New England
1
  

Philadelphia was the better
team again, but still couldn’t grab three points or a shutout. I have seen some strange bounces in my
soccer broadcasting career, but can’t recall one like the bounce that Marko
Perovic received on his game-tying goal for New England.

FC Dallas 1, Colorado 1

With Kevin Hartman in goal,
Dallas always has a chance to pick up points. The Hartman pickup from Kansas City was one of the best offseason moves in MLS.

NY Red Bulls 2, Houston 2

New York can’t be happy about
giving up a game-tying goal so late, but this team now looks very good with
Angel and Henry up top, joined by
Rafa Marquez who most likely will play as a defensive midfielder. New York now has three Designated Players.

Real Salt Lake 3, DC United 0

A tale of two teams, one
going somewhere, the other (obviously DC) going nowhere. RSL on their home field is the best
team in MLS.

Seattle Sounders 1, San Jose
Earthquakes 0

It was obvious this year that
the Fredy/Freddie combo wouldn’t work in Seattle. The Sounders kept the right one. Montero is a team and league MVP
candidate. The other, Ljungberg, is now with the Chicago Fire.

Chivas USA 3, Columbus 1

Might have seen the best in
Chivas this season and the worst in Columbus, who also lost Eddie Gaven to a
first half head injury.

Chicago Fire 3, LA Galaxy 2

I watched this one last night
on FSC and was stunned at the relative ease with which Chicago was able to score
twice on the Galaxy within the first five minutes.

Staying with the Galaxy, they
might have hit the wall after a terrific start to the season. Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan have
played a grueling schedule when you combine their Galaxy games with their World
Cup experience. Now LA is playing
in the CONCACAF Champions League, while also playing Real Madrid in the midst
of a very busy MLS schedule. Last
night their overall defense looked very slow, and their goalkeeper Donovan
Ricketts looked average at best. They need to pick it up as their once double-digit points lead has now
shrunk to a mere six over the defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.

The Philadelphia Story

It’s another busy week for
the Union as they take on two very strong teams. While Columbus did not play well on Saturday, they are the
best team in the Eastern Conference. Guillermo Barros Schelotto is the obvious player to watch. ESPN2 has game coverage starting at 8:00pm on Thursday.

Eduardo Coudet
looked pretty solid in his MLS debut Saturday. More can be expected from him as he gets to know his
teammates, and they get to know him. The same can be said for Justin Mapp, who entered the game in the second
half. While Mapp was not as
effective as Coudet, you can surely see where his speed will come in handy.

On Sunday, Peter Nowak’s team
heads to hot and steamy Frisco, Texas for a matchup with FC Dallas, currently
one of the league’s hottest teams. With Kevin Hartman looming large in goal, FC Dallas is unbeaten in their
last eight games, climbing all the way to third place in the Western Conference. Fox Soccer Channel has that
match, starting at 5:30pm with their pre-game show.