Timm took a little time off and Dave forgot the Friday edition of Major Link Soccer. This week's journey revisits the Dana White v Soccer "battle," the unique scheduling needs of MLS with a focus on the Chicago Fire, a look at something that Toronto FC is doing well on the field and an update from around the Major League Soccer from the weekend.
Also of note is that the Sounders Women play tonight at Starfire in their first preseason game (tickets are still available). Tuesday night will be the Seattle Sounders Reserves first home game of the year as they face the Portland Timbers Reserves (no admission fee, donations accepted).
Remember last week when we pointed out our agreement with Richard Farley that there was no need for Jimmy Conrad to challenge Dana White? Maybe we were wrong, because White accepted the challenge. Maybe, just maybe, MLS and UFC can do something to make this a bit unique and get some more publicity for both entities. I suggest the MLS All-Star Game festivities for the little scrimmage. Also, Conrad needs to do some mixed martial arts in return.
If you check the MLS standings this week, there are teams that have played six games and others with just three played. That's part of why this site tends to focus on points per match, though there may be a some component stat projection models coming out soon. Frank Kloppas doesn't understand why the Chicago Fire have so few games to start the season and would prefer a rhythm early in the year.
While Toronto FC is a huge success off the field, outside of winning a handful of Canadian Championships and progressing further than any other MLS side in this years CCL their on-field success is very limited. Farley thinkswhat they are doing with unique things with Ashtone Morgan, their young Academy product. He's a compelling attacking left back, rather than the conservatism that is typical in MLS. It's not helping them win though, at least not yet.
That's because the Montreal Impact got their first ever MLS win riding the backs of two former Sounders. Lamar Neagle assisted one-time reserve invitee Sinisa Ubiparipovic's goal as the Impact started the 401 Derby in historic fashion with Blue 2, Red 1.
Head mainly South and you'll find a club scoring goals and goals and goals and goals. Once moribund New York Red Bulls has a strike partnership that can't help but find the net. Red Bull crushed the Columbus Crew this weekend. After Thierry Henry won MLS Player of the Month in March, he's the clear early candidate for MVP.
The other star studded team isn't doing so well. There's tension in David Beckham land and the LA Galaxy midfielder didn't even travel to watch his team lose to Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on the back of Kei Kamara. The "greatest team ever assembled in MLS" is now 1-3-0 with a -3 Goal Differential. Kansas City rockets to 5-0-0 and plus seven.
They face this week's winner of round one of the Rocky Mountain Cup as Real Salt Lake beat the Colorado Rapids and sit on 15 points and plus-7 themselves. Sporks v RSL would be great television as they are two attractive teams playing soccer "the right way" and leading the conference. It won't be on TV, but wouldn't it be great if it was?
Martin Rennie is known for his offensive mind. With the Vancouver Whitecaps signing about a dozen forwards it totally makes sense that they would set a record for defensive prowess to start the season. It also makes sense that they set that record in a loss. Don't look now but the San Jose Earthquakes are actually good and won 3-1.
The less popular LA based squad beat the Portland Timbers at the Glass House. John Spencer offers the excuse that they played like an expansion team, but the expansion team we're most familiar with was actually good. Chivas USA used a second half sub to get their two goals on the way to the 2-1 win. Kris Boyd did get his trophy, so the four points in five played is a win?
Oh, and Happy Easter, Passover or just sunny Sunday. We know it was a light day yesterday if you're a fan of the site. It will not be a light week, I assure you.