By Tony Edwards – San Jose, CA (Oct 18, 2011) US Soccer Players — With the regular season coming to a close in Major League Soccer, Tony asks about Sporting's record, DC's lapses, and Red Bulls' future before moving to facial hair in Serie A. As always, your comments are welcome.
Is Sporting Kansas City’s road record really that bad?
Well, yes, 3-7-6 isn’t good, but if you divide it into pre- and post-Livestrong Park opening, then no. Going into their last game of the regular season, Sporting has two wins, three ties, and a loss (at Salt Lake) in their last six road games dating back to June. Hard to argue against that, considering the records of other MLS teams that should've expected to finish ahead of Sporting a couple of months into the season.
What happened to DC United in stoppage time this weekend?
Intelligent play from the Fire, especially on the game-winning goal, but DC’s defense was disorganized and/or far too flat on both goals. The defenders needed some additional help from the midfielders and forwards, but it appeared DC was holding an offside line at the top of the 18 on the play that led to the game-winning goal. Even a point in that game would have made the road much easier for DC, who need two wins in their last two games now to sneak into the playoffs.
What do Drew Moor and Geoff Cameron have in common?
An extended season with the playoffs coming up, sure. But both have played almost 2900 minutes this season and both are ranked in the top 15 of the latest version of MLS’ Castrol Index (as of the end of last month). Impressive regular seasons for both Americans that should get more attention. After all, as easy as it is to place value on goal scorers, simply being available and contributing game after game should count for a whole lot in this League.
What’s going to be more interesting at Red Bull Arena: the end of the regular season or the off-season?
The Red Bulls will probably get the result they need and limp into the playoffs as the fourth wildcard, likely facing a trip to Dallas or Salt Lake. Though we know the last gasp playoff team can win a Cup, that's not supposed to be New York. How much longer can management wait for this team to show up? Hans Backe’s tough talk about the Supporters Shield at the beginning of the year was a transparent ploy to try to keep his team motivated during the endless regular season and it fell as flat as the Red Bulls‘ play. Is even the Cup enough to satisfy a team that's spent enough money to expect better?
How many Americans take corner kicks in Italy?
Chievo-Juventus wasn’t a game for the artistically minded, but Michael Bradley’s distribution led to Chievo’s best scoring chances and his positioning and willingness to do the work helped Chievo earn their point on Sunday. Bradley’s corner kicks on Sunday were often dangerously delivered. As an aside, Chievo must lead Serie A in ‘guys who spend too much time on their facial hair.’ There’s nothing to do but work on your grooming in the Verona suburbs?