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Six thoughts from MLS Week 5
by Ridge Mahoney, April 26th, 2010 5:18AM

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TAGS:  chivas usa, columbus crew, mls, new england revolution, toronto fc

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[MLS] Maybe it’s taken a while for the goalkeepers to find their form this season; after numerous gaffes resulted in goals the first four weekends, more than a few keepers played top-notch stuff. Goalkeeper heroics are one of the six thoughts we take from Week 5. ...

GOALIE GLORY. Stefan Frei stymied Brad Evans and Nathan Sturgis on a one-v-ones, and preserved TFC’s 2-0 home win over Seattle by repelling a thunderous Fredy Montero blast in the final minutes.

Donovan Ricketts stopped Roger Espinoza from point-blank range and also denied Davy Arnaud and Jack Jewsbury as the Galaxy escaped CommunityAmerica Ballpark with a 0-0 tie.

Will Hesmer stood on his head a few times to thwart RSL in the Crew’s 1-0 win, and Andrew Dykstra earned his second straight shutout with key saves as the Fire downed Houston, 2-0.

AS DE RO GOES … Dwayne De Rosario
had scored all of Toronto FC's goals this season heading into Sunday's game against Seattle. He scored again, and TFC managed to earn three points, thanks to finally getting a goal from another.

After pouncing on a Oswaldo Alonso giveaway to blast a shot past Kasey Keller to give TFC a 1-0 lead early in the second half, De Rosario had scored all five of Toronto’s 2010 goals.

That streak ended in the 76th minute when he chased a ball from Dan Gargan down the right flank and centered it for O’Brian White to slam home the winner in a 2-1 victory.

SIGI’S CHANGES. The Sounders came out of their Thursday-Sunday double-dip in Dallas and Toronto with just one point. Coach Sigi Schmid took 20 players on the trip, yet still found himself short of options up top when injuries sidelined Michael Fucito and Pat Noonan.

In all, Schmid made five changes and left Steve Zakuani, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Fredy Montero on the bench to start the match. Brad Evans -- midfielder and sometimes right back – got a start at forward and squandered a great chance in the 60th minute when he could only hit a great bending ball from Zakuani – who had just entered the match as a sub – weakly into Frei.

Yet Evans did more in attack than Freddie Ljungberg, and it was Oswaldo’s hiccup that gifted TFC its first goal, so the coach’s moves can’t absorb all the blame.

SANCHEZ STRUGGLES. Without Brazilian midfielder Andre Luiz, Quakes coach Frank Yallop turned to Salvadoran international Ramon Sanchez to play alongside Brandon McDonald, and they came off second best to the Chivas USA rookie duo of Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski.

McDonald did the better work, winning balls and breaking up passing sequences, but Sanchez failed to close down Sacha Kljestan prior to Kljestan belting a 25-yard missile for the game’s first goal, and in general looked off the pace. Brad Ring eventually replaced Sanchez as the Quakes, who’d played impressively a week earlier in beating New England, 2-0, seldom matched Chivas USA in the middle of the field.

During warm-ups for the match Andre Luiz suffered swelling and tightness in the same left knee on which arthroscopic surgery was performed in preseason, and health concerns persist about the 35-year-old who has brought class and poise to San Jose.

RAPIDS ROLL ON THE ROAD. Colorado won its second away match in three tries by downing New England, 2-1, at Gillette Stadium.

After beating Chivas USA, 1-0, at Home Depot Center to open the season and losing in Kansas City by the same score two weeks ago, the Rapids took home a victory fashioned on long-range shots by midfielders Mehdi Ballouchy and Pablo Mastroeni. While Ballouchy’s bending shot from distance took a bounce past ex-Rapids goalie Preston Burpo, Mastroeni’s screamer from nearly 30 yards ranks as perhaps the best of his club career.

Another former Rev, Jeff Larentowicz, is adding bite and guile to a Colorado midfield that is very much a critical piece to their early-season success.

MEETING OF THE CHAMPS. A steady downpour and heavy field at Columbus Crew Stadium didn’t give the past two league champions, Columbus and Real Salt Lake, much opportunity to show their class.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto
netted the only goal of a 1-0 win from the penalty spot awarded when Robbie Russell bowled over namesake Robbie Rogers in the penalty area.

Yet RSL, playing without the injured Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert, and Robbie Findley and Javier Morales as subs, conjured up the better chances without finding the finishing stroke to beat keeper Will Hesmer. It has added a different look in left-sided midfielder Nelson Gonzalez. Columbus – winner of MLS Cup 2008 -- gained some measure of revenge for losing last year’s conference semifinals, 4-2, on aggregate to the eventual champion, which is 1-3-1 so far this season after playing four of its first five on the road.



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