Columbus took 3 of a possible 6 points on the road to open the 2013 season. With their first home game coming up this weekend, let’s take a quick look back at the week that was in the Eastern Conference.
MONTREAL WON AGAIN
It may be quietly but, of all the team’s that have played two games, Montreal has probably surpassed most expectations. Crew fans thought Chivas USA and Vancouver Whitecaps away were tough. Try Seattle and Portland.
These are 6 absolutely critical points for them in regards to the playoffs. They have already matched their away win total for all of last year. The Montreal Impact are not going to be any worse than they were last year. Taking down two MLS (in-house) media darlings away is very unexpected.
SHAPE UP CHICAGO
The Fire were embarrassed in LA last week and lose to New England at home this week. They look to be a team caught completely unprepared. Slow, out of shape and have little team chemistry. Bringing in lots of MLS level players like they have is a good thing but you can’t just throw them out there and expect it to happen. No doubt this team will become a tough one by summer but right now they have a lot of issues to sort.
NE Revs should be very proud of this win. Jay Heaps has them ready to go from the start. Much more than can be said for Frank Klopas and his Chicago side. Does this mean that the Revs are a force in the East this year? Probably not, but they are going to be a tough out and that means they will be shaping the playoff picture for Chicago, Columbus and Montreal or “Bubble” playoff teams, as it were.
A LEAGUE EFFORT, HOUSTON
The Dynamo had the weekend off courtesy of MLS trying to goose CONCACAF Champions League results. The league knows that success in CCL means more respectability. It is what it is (Seattle and LA also had weekend off). They only thing that can drag this talented Houston out of their playoff spot is a congested schedule but MLS doing what it can to ease that pressure.
CREW LOSE, BACK HOME OPENER
Columbus played a fairly uneven game in the loss to Vancouver. Both are moderately talent heavy sides and both looked to be trying to figure it all out. The Whitecaps aren’t pegged to be much more than mid-table. This was a very winnable game for the Crew and a draw should have been the worst possible result for them.
PHILLY BEATS A ... TEAM
The Philadelphia Union picked up a win against what’s basically an expansion side in Colorado. It’s difficult to take away much from a match like this one. The natives seem to be turning on Philly’s Jack McInerney though - and there is something to this. There’s a lot on his shoulders this year (fair or not). Watching him in person you can see that he has the intelligence, positioning and size. You have to wish he were developing professionally on a different club. Philly is in a sort of healing mode, not an environment that fosters the growth of a talented US born player.
NY was undone by their own player in San Jose. The Red Bulls had this on all but put away until Miller single handedly lost it for them. With that, a clear 3 points turned into nada for NY. Not sure this one will matter much. The Earthquakes look very beatable though. They are in Columbus this weekend for Crewsmas.
CHIVAS 7K USA, REVOLUTION
The Goats win one of two at home to start the year. Considering how far off the MLS grid they have gone it’s hard not to smile.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The North American Soccer Writers have voted this way:
Votes : Name
20 : Robert Earnshaw
7 : Adam Jahn
6 : Patrice Bernier
4 : Kenny Miller
3 : Daigo Kobayashi, Hassoun Camara
2 : Amobi Okugo, Matt Reis
1 : Dan Kennedy, Troy Perkins
Kenny Miller’s performance against the Crew was one of the better one’s I’ve seen from him in a Vancouver uniform. Earnshaw gets the nod basically because Toronto won but not sure it is deserved. Toronto moved that game against Sporting KC to the fake turf at the SkyDome. KC dropping points there is barely worth mentioning, let alone a player of the week award.
On to round three.
Photos in title post illustration taken by Anne-Marie Sorvin for USA Today Sports.