1) No Stopping MLS – World Cup Qualifying or No
Even during the World Cup break, MLS rolls on. The United States domestic league is not the only league to play through the FIFA sanctioned break, but they are like the only “major” one. And so that is number one, Top of the Pops on this weeks, GotSoccer Big 5.
2) Montreal – Tres Bien!
We marveled at the Impact’s performance last week, and while we loathe to repeat ourselves, attention must be payed. Montreal are a perfect 4-0-0 and lead the Eastern conference by five points over Columbus.
3) The Chicago Fire were beaten 4-1 by Chivas USA and that brings us to numbers 3 and 4 on our list. In the third spot Chivas USA, because we try to accentuate the positive.
The Goats were busy this past off-season signing strong minded Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, AKA El Chelis to run this moribund franchise. With rumors of a move away from The Home Depot Center/StubHub Center on the back burner for now, Chivas USA made a big point of going back to their Mexican/Hispanic roots. That unsettled some, who wondered, was this racial profiling? The debate has been bandied about some in the media, but with the season underway, Chivas now have seven points and are just two behind first place F.C. Dallas, another early surprise, in the West.
Juan Agudelo, a Colombian born, U.S. raised, USMNT player, starred with a goal and an assist against Chicago- see how tricky this ethnic business can get. Maybe this will be the year that it all comes together for the talented Agudelo.
4) Which Brings Us to Chicago
A raft of off-season moves was supposed to firm up the Fire midfield and set the Fire on the road to the playoffs, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Key veterans were injured, in particular former German international defender Arne Friedrich, and winter pick ups Joel Lindpere and Jeff Larentowicz haven’t worked out so far. We say so far, because as any follower of the league knows, it takes a very, very bad start to bury yourself in MLS.
L.A. and Houston both gave it a shot with awful starts last year and of course, they met in the 2012 MLS Cup. But Chicago had better wake up soon; They have scored one goal this year while surrendering nine, a pretty bad ratio.
5) Let’s face it, in American soccer circles this week is all about the men’s national team. So how about a shout out to the current and former MLS talents who suited up for the nats in Colorado for Friday night’s invaluable win, and who will be there for the big challenge on Tuesday in Mexico.
Of Friday’s eleven U.S. starters, only German born and raised Jermaine Jones has never played in the MLS. Two of the three subs used in Colorado currently play stateside, while Maurice Edu got his start in MLS. Of the remaining nine bench players in Colorado seven play or have played in the U.S. domestic league. So, well done Major League Soccer as we close out this weeks MLS Big 5.