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MLS Week 5: Reality check for Sounders as Dallas, Red Bulls and Dynamo score first wins



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Is the MLS the most balanced football league in the world? Why does the Galaxy insist on building teams around a single player? Will Seattle recover their grove? All this and more in our MLS weekly review.

1.) Parity like no other league

I cannot think of one league in the world that has the level of parity of MLS.  The salary cap keeps teams in check, and for it, on any given day, event he worst team in the league can win a game nobody would expect them to win.  We saw that this week.  

Winless in four, FC Dallas laid into Toronto, and on the back of the do it all Kenny Cooper, grabbed a win.  The win saw them climb out of the basement of the Western Conference, one point ahead of LA.  Houston, also collected their first win of the campaign topping an inform Colorado side to move from seventh to fifth in the standings.  

In the eastern conference, New York finally got in the win column by thoroughly dismantling a strong Real Salt Lake side.  If you’re planning on placing a bet, I’d peg New York to have a good stretch coming up.  Mac Kandji and Juan Pablo Angel are finally hitting their stride.

This just goes to show that disparity between any two teams is negligent.  It’s just about which team can consistently grind out results, and put fill up the win and draw columns in the standings.

2.) Where oh where is David Beckham?

Those who said the league did not need Beckham were right and wrong.  The league didn’t need him to add to the quality of play, but they sure do need him for his media presence and the butts he puts in the seats.  The average attendance this week was 11,019, and that does not even factor in the unannounced attendance in Dallas.  Based on what I saw in the broadcast, I would say there were no more than 5,000 fans in attendance.  Yikes!  

3.) Seattle learns why MLS is so tough

Seattle jumped off to a 3-0 start, but since has lost two in a row.  They fought an uphill battle courageously after Kasey Keller was red carded last week for a hand ball outside the box, and lost on a late goal, 1-0.  This week, they faced first place Chivas USA on the road and were beaten 2-0.  They didn’t play particularly poorly, but were not the same team that dominated their opponents in the first three games.  Kasey Keller will return this week from a one game suspension, and I’m sure they will welcome him back with open arms.

4.) I’ve heard this before

I initially thought the hiring of Bruce Arena was a good move, and in all honesty, Bruce is a great coach, but the guys he has to work with are dross.  Last year the team was carried by two players, David Beckham and Landon Donovan.  This year, the team is being carried by one player, Landon Donovan.  He’s scored two and assisted on three for a grand total of five goals that he has been involved in.  That’s great production, but the LA Galaxy have only scored six goals on the season.  Credit to the man after returning from a less than inspiring stint in Germany, but really, get him some help LA!

5.) 41 and counting…

Pat Onstad came up big again this weekend.  He pulled off a miraculous penalty save with his trailing hand against Conor Casey, then had the where with all to get up and make an instinctual save on the subsequent header.  Bravo!  Not to mention he was kicked in the face by Omar Cummings as well.  At 41, you begin to wonder how long Pat can go?  I’d bet that he’ll stay in the game until Vancouver enters in 2011, and try to play his final season in his home town.  

That’s about it for the weekend’s news and notes.  Share your thoughts and comments below.