Monday, March 21, 2011

Five Things We Learned From This Week's MLS Action

1. Charlie Davies is back- More than a year ago, US and Sochaux forward Charlie Davies was seriously injured in a car accident, ruling him out of Bob Bradley's squad for the 2010 World Cup. Now, eighteen months later, Davies is back, with rejuvenated MLS club DC United. Last weekend, Davies scored twice against Colombus on the day of his first competitive match action since the crash. His second goal in particular was classic Davies, with the pacey striker knicking the ball off a defender before rounding the keeper to score. Certainly, if Charlie Davies can keep up this fine, goal scoring form, his return to the US will be very short lived.

2. Sporting KC are more than a fancy new name- New name, new stadium, new DP and hopefully a new start for the former "Kansas City Wizards" as the newly branded Sporting KC begin an exciting new era in MLS history. Cursed with a run of away games to kick off the season, Sporting got off to an ideal start on Saturday as new signing Omar Bravo scored twice on his debut. If Bravo can continue to score goals, then he, coupled with the double threat of Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury, should form part of an exciting attacking triumvirate, capable of causing MLS defenses all sorts of problems.

3. Juan Agudelo is better than Altidore- After starring with the national team during a recent match against South Africa, Agudelo once again showed his class with a stunning effort, that gave the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. Agudelo showed all the characteristics of a top class center forward, displaying strength and pace to shrug off his marker, before producing a devastating finish that left Kasey Keller with no chance. Bulls fans will certainly hope that Agudelo continues to make his mark the season, and beyond, possibly eclipsing another American forward, Villareal's resident flop, Jozy Altidore.

4. Juunniinnhhoo- Lets face it, when Juninho crashed the Sounders' net with a stunning drive from outside the area, none of us saw it as a sign of things to come. However, 1-0 down early doors, the LA Galaxy once again relied on the midfielder to get them out of jail, with a powerful drive from long distance giving the Galaxy a deserved point. Just today writer Kyle McCarthy wrote an interesting article about LA's striking deficiencies, but with Juninho popping up with screamers every week, who needs a forward?

5. The Caps aren't just here to make up the numbers- As one of's MLS analysts put it, it wouldn't take much testicular strength to predict both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers to struggle during their debut seasons in MLS. However, the Whitecaps have done their best to prove this thought wrong, and their victory in MLS' first Canadian derby showed that they mean business. DP Eric Hassli looked good, scoring the Whitecap's first MLS goal, and the fact that the expansion team was able to bounce back after De Ro's equalizer shows that the team have the mental strength to succeed in MLS.

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