Two games in, two sucker punches to the gut. Injuries galore, but hey they are not hamstring injuries so...Good news though, Seattle is one of four teams sitting at 0-2-0 (W-L-T), the other three? New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, and Vancouver. Three other playoff teams that were expected to make deep playoff runs this year, instead all four of us sit with zero points in two matches, losing one at home and one on the road. Losing hurts but we are definitely not out of this after only two matches.
Friday March 11th-
Orlando City 1 - Chicago Fire 1: With how well Chicago played against the other second-year expansion side, you would have expected a barn burner scoreline again but instead both teams settled down a bit. Orlando for the second home game in a row went up a man and failed to do anything with it. Cyle Larin scored in the 4th, then they blew the lead in the 14th when David Accam outran two CBs on a long counter attack. Michael Harrington received a red card for showing his dislike of Brek Shea's hair in a rather unconventional manner. Orlando should be disappointed, up a man for about an hour and holding 65% of the possession they converted a total of zero times including during a 15 minute interval to end the match where they held about 70% of the possession. Chicago was lucky to get out with a point.
Saturday March 12th-
New England Revolution 0 - DC United 0: In a battle of former Federal Way stars, though only Lamar Neagle started, neither side found the back of the net. A handful of yellows and 26 shots (18 for New England) turned out to be a fairly boring match. The Fed Way battle was a draw too, Kelyn Rowe had two shots in 16 minutes of play versus Neagle's one in 84 minutes but Neagle's was on target while neither of Rowe's were.
Montreal Impact 3 - Red Bulls 0: New York picked up where they left of the week before, playing miserably. At one point it'll probably click for the energy drinks but until they get their wings, they'll continue to get beat up and blown out on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Oduro is pairing up well with Piatti and Shipp running the offense. Even without Didier Drogba, Montreal can score goals and that's scary. If Piatti keeps up his trend for the first two matches, another goal and assist, he'll be league MVP (yes it's early but so what!).
Real Salt Lake 2 - Sounders FC 1: We took the lead. We blew the lead. We had a lot of injuries. I'm unhappy. We'll be back though, so...Go TEAM!
Colorado Rapids 1 - Los Angeles Galaxy 0: Marco Pappa. 95th minute. Stabs it through the Galaxy defense...sorry that joke is too easy. He cut through....did it again. Anyway, just watch the goal. Pappa beat the Galaxy though proving that he is their kryptonite since all he did here was score on them it seems. Also the Galaxy look old, shocker.
Columbus Crew 1 - Philadelphia Union 2: Remember when I said the Crew have lost both of their matches, well they lost to the UNION. The team known more for having DP goalies that get scored on about twice an hour than scoring themselves but they found the back of the net twice somehow. Both goals were unassisted and by Chris Pontius. Meanwhile, DP Kei Kamara, scored in the 87th off a corner but it was too little too late. More sad for Crew fans, they outshot Philly 19-8 and 7-4 on target.
Houston Dynamo 5 - FC Dallas 0: Who thought FC Dallas would be a challenger this year? (Yes I know you all raised your hands) Now, who thought Houston wouldn't suck? The people raising your hands, stop lying and put them down. Owen Coyle wasn't expected to get his team to be any type of a contender this year but he showed his squad can show up every now and then at least blowing out their Texan counterparts. No reds. No major injuries (barring Castillo) in what was still a very even match on paper or in the favor of FC Dallas. But a David Horst goal in the 6th started a rush of goals with Matt Hedges getting an OG in the 13th as the flood gates bursted. Ricardo Clark, Andrew Wenger, and Will Bruin all contributed with a goal of their own as Erick "Cubo/Wasted DP Slot" Torres watched from the bench, again.
Sporting Kansas City 2 - Vancouver Whitecaps 1: Well Vancouver did something we couldn't, score against KC. Specifically with a man down. Though to be fair, it was a Pedro Morales PK in the 70th that was the goal. 5th and 41st minute goals for Dom Dwyer gave KC a 2-0 lead before Jordan Smith saw marching orders in 1st half stoppage. He won't be a major lose this weekend as VAN visits us at CLink but you know Kendall Waston wants to commit the same foul here. SKC looks like they'll always play poorly and foul a lot, but won't see a red and will somehow win. It sucks. Go ahead and hate on Vermes, I will be.
Sunday March 13th-
Toronto FC 2 - NYCFC 2: So...NYCFC can score. Six goals in two games. This time both are from David Villa, one through a PK. Not surprising, TFC fought back with a goal in first half stoppage to go into the half down only one. Seba Giovinco assisted that one and scored one of his own in the 76th to tie it up and get his team a point. In a battle of two great free kick takers in Gio and Pirlo and with both putting in perfect balls that lead to goals, we were treated to the show we expected. NYCFC did try a 3-2-2-3/3-2-4-1 formation and might try more 3-man backlines. They gave up less goals this week than last so maybe that is a good thing?
New York City FC (@NYCFC) March 13, 2016
In post-game comments, Patrick Vieira mentioned that he’d be utilizing 3-man formations throughout the season, including a 3-3-4.— Hudson River Blue (@hudsonriverblue) March 14, 2016
San Jose Earthquakes 2 - Portland Timbers 1: Portland lost!!! That's a great thing. What's weird is that SKC and now San Jose are tied for 1st in the West and with Montreal are the only teams with two wins from two matches. It doesn't fit. They'll collapse back down to earth but they could make the playoffs this year instead of being a punching bag. It was Quincy Amarikwa's 1st half stoppage time goal was amazing and ended up being the deciding factor with Chris Wondolowski scoring earlier in the match for the second time in two games. New to Portland striker Jack McInerney scored in the 89th but it was too late. PDX fans will likely hate Porter because of this loss and go back to blaming Fanendo Adi for his lack of goal scoring.
Yes every game counts the same in the standings. And yes, it hurts to lose any game, especially two in a row. But late season matches carry more weight and momentum because there is no time to fix errors, sign new players, try new formations, tinker, etc. Losing your first two sucks but you can't tell me you'd rather lose the final two matches of the season. The boys will wake up and go on the hunt but until then let KC and SJ have their time in the sun. They won't be there for long and it'll be impossible to get back.