I’m not sure what to make of my new-found desire to flip on the tele and quickly tune in to MLS. What is happening?!
Watched both–freaking–games this evening. It’s tax season!
A few bullets from Thursday and a weekend preview…once again treading lightly.
SuperClassico (2-0 Galaxy over Chivas)
• I’m back on the Edson Buddle bandwagon (one week after professing I wouldn’t jump back on). Buddle’s goal tonight against Chivas was sublime, from the well-timed run, to the lean in to the Chivas defender at the right time, to half-flick to direct it perfectly. Basically, he did everything you’d want Robbie Findley to do on the national team.
Beyond that I will concede it was only a 6 or 7 out of 10 game for the New Rochelle, NY native. (I’ve got to root for Buddle as he played for FC Westchester where two of my teenage friends played.)
So why do I believe he should get a glimpse (not a look yet, but a glimpse):
» He’s 6’1”, 185lbs…(imagine him paired with Jozy)
» He’s got decent, not shocking, but decent speed.
» He’s 28-years-old…he’s been around the block.
» He already plays with Landon Donovan and knows how and when to make runs off Donovan’s plays.
» He knows how to “make himself small”…that is, he knows how to move out-of-the-way when others are doing the offensive work.
» Negatives? When he’s got the ball sometimes he’s got to do too much. A glimpse at this point; that’s all I’m asking.
If you’re going to give a look-see to Herculez Gomez for his goals (most by headers) than you must concede, by the same logic, that Buddle is now 3-for-2.
I’ll likely regret this bullet point in a month, but I’m known to hang on to bandwagons for too long anywho. It’s something I’m trying to work on.
• Landon Donovan belongs in the EPL. He’s worlds ahead on the pitch; he’s playing a different game. It’s almost embarrassing. Continually, Bruce Arenas’ team, in the two games I’ve seen them, are well-organized for it being early in the season. Boring, but effective game plan for Arena’s squad on the evening.
• Sean Franklin, TSG’s choice for Most Improved Player, plays with the confidence that you want Jonathan Bornstein too. He, combined with Omar Gonzalez, are probably the best right side defense in the league (that’s a bold statement from me because I cannot name all right side combinations…scold me in the comments.)
Question: If there is a better heading defender than Omar Gonzalez in the league, please let me know.
• Alexi Lalas complains that Sacha Kljestan is not getting the ball: Uh, he’s on a side with Donovan and Franklin. Kljestan is not a winger; for the second game he was ineffective.not as effective as he could have been. Mr. Fifa’s most effective plays were made inside the hash marks on the evening, a hitching-in shot that went right to the keeper and a chip pass that Chivas should be embarrassed they didn’t score on.
Kljestan’s positioning is the coach’s fault not his. And seriously, he’s up against Donovan on his flank. There is a reason in baseball why managers who know their ace is weaker than the opponents sometimes move their ace back a game in a series.
• Not sure why Jason Braun made USMNT camp in January based upon his performance tonight. He receives the ball likes it’s a hot potato. Kyle Martin made the point last night and he was spot on.
• Anyone else like Kyle Martino as a color man? Simple and effective.
Houston vs. RSL (2-1 Dynamo)
• I’ve read the complaints about Dominic Oduro in the TSG comment section…and now I know why. A very frustrating player on the evening for Houston.
• Geoff Cameron, as many of you have mentioned, is most certainly not a central midfielder, in MLS or elsewhere. I know Houston is lite there with Holden and Clark now overseas, but consider this. Why take a player who can be a genuine threat overlapping from a rear flank position and move him to the midfield where he is probably above average, but not natural. Doesn’t make sense.
• Let’s hope Brian Ching makes a swift return from what is being called a hamstring strain.
• Unimpressed with the play of World Cup hopeful Robbie Findley, subbed in after the half and John Harkes called this one right, Findley needed to “find the game more.” Findley reception tonight was completely off as well.
• I hate comparing Jude Law (Brad Davis) to Bobby Convey, but he reminds me more and more of him as I watch him. Davis’s impact on the Dynamo though reminds me of Joe Dumars on the Pistons: always solid, occasionally the star, the glue that keeps a team together.