This week of MLS was once again exciting and very emblematic of what MLS is. The top teams from last season continue their struggles into the third week of the season.
Montreal Impact 1-0 Toronto FC
The peak of MLS talent in a team, Toronto FC, went down to their rivals in Montreal this weekend, it was not the most impressive performance, and if finishing is measured in sharpness then they were quite flat. Some are pointing to the fact that they played a very emotional game a few days earlier in the week. They took down one of the best, if not the best, team in Liga MX during the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Side note: This means they will be playing Club America in the semi finals of the Champions League, which if they can get through, and they definitely can, then they will surely be the favorite for the competition against anyone on the other side of the bracket (NYRB-Chivas).
After a rocky start away from home that had two losses (Whitecaps, Crew) Impact impressed at home with their new manager arriving from overseas, the former Aston Villa man, Remi Garde. They had a lot of defending to do and got stretched multiple times but Toronto could not take advantage of the situations they got in their favor.
It was truly a game of inches, there was multiple moments Toronto could have tied it up and you could say that they deserved to leave with at least a point, dominating possession and shots on goal, but in the end the most important stat is the amount of balls that make it over the line, and the Impact got it done.
Around the League:
DC played against the Houston Dynamo at one of the two stadiums they’ll be using until their new home Audi field is constructed. The SoccerPlex in Maryland was the lucky host and was even proud to have it “packed.”
It was like a time machine to the early days of MLS, and some of the Dynamo players were quite upset, or more specifically DaMarcus Beasley.
Apart from the stadium controversy, DC narrowly avoided another disappointing loss and salvaged a point from the game and need to build upon that, though they might find it hard with their next game against a Columbus Crew that is clicking.
Next, Minnesota United is flying high at the start of this season, and in week 3 they beat up the Chicago Fire 2-1. Notable moment, their fans sing Wonderwall at the end of the game and it comes out awesome.
Later that day, Atlanta United continued the bounce back tour to beat the Whitecaps 4-1 at home to another rocking Mercedes-Benz stadium crowd. Not quite the number as last week but the atmosphere was incredible, and Josef Martinez scored another hat trick, just one away from tying Donovan’s record. Also, small notable moment in addition, Andrew Carleton, 17 year old American, got his first MLS assist on a perfect pass to Martinez.
Last bit, the only MLS game on Sunday was a glorious one for FC Dallas and many MLS fans, but a terrible one for the Sounders who lost 3-0 at FC Dallas. They went down early after the defense completely fell apart and left Stefan Frei out to dry. To make matters worse, not too long after this Dempsey lost his head and was sent off for violent conduct, as if the Sounders offensive problems weren’t bad enough. They eventually cracked mid way through the second half and let two goals in which effectively ended the game.
Cascadia teams have fallen very low this year, the Whitecaps are the only team with any points at all from the region, however it is still way too early for any worry.
That’s the MLS this week, thanks for reading!