Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
What to look for in Week 10
by Ridge Mahoney, May 28th, 2010 7AM

TAGS:  chivas usa, columbus crew, houston dynamo, kansas city wizards, mls, real salt lake


[MLS] A showdown of conference leaders highlights a seven-game Saturday slate, as a few teams get back their players that didn't make the U.S. World Cup roster and they get a chance to take out their disappointment in league play. Here's what to watch for this weekend ...

LEADERS OF THE PACK. The Crew is at home, this game falls near the 11th anniversary of the first MLS game at Columbus Crew Stadium, and the rate of exchange coming out of the U.S. training camp definitely favors the home team, with Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall on hand, and Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle - a former member of the Crew -- with the U.S. team in Philadelphia.

When Rogers races up the flank, perhaps only the speedy Sean Franklin can contain him, and those runs can carve open space for Guillermo Barros Schelotto. How smoothly and quickly the Galaxy switches assignments as Schelotto floats and darts may determine how many chances they concede; how sharply the Galaxy gets into its counterattacks is another key factor.

They may not square off often except on set plays, but watching Marshall - if healthy - roil the same goalmouth as Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez will be a true battle of the big men. The Crew will have every edge as it attempts to break LA's unbeaten start to the season; with eight goals conceded by the teams in their 18 matches, a single goal might do the trick.

CHING'S CHALLENGE. Upon returning to Houston after getting the bad news from U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, Brian Ching was given the option of not training, but decided instead to get back into it to prepare for the Dynamo's home game Saturday against Philadelphia.

"The guys didn't know how to approach me at first, but once we got that out of the way, it was business as usual," Ching said to "Being around the guys today really helped lift my spirits."

That's not good news for the Union, which is still looking for the second win of its inaugural season and have to hope Alejandro Moreno can cause some problems against the team with which he won an MLS Cup in 2006. The ground may shake underfoot when Union defender Danny Califf squares off with Ching.

HOME STRAGGLERS. New England and D.C. United have won a combined three of their 19 games, and though the Eastern Conference standings are more spread out than those in the West, both teams desperately need points in their home matches this weekend.

United showed some zip and purpose Wednesday in beating AC Milan, 3-2, but it has already demonstrated this season that midweek form may be irrelevant on the weekend; a month ago, it snappily beat FC Dallas, 4-2, in the U.S. Open Cup, and three days later succumbed at home to New York, 2-0. United does meet a struggling opponent in Chivas USA, but its 3-6-1 record is still superior to that of D.C. (1-8-0).

The Revs were surprised and strengthened last weekend by the return of Shalrie Joseph after he attended the league's substance-abuse recovery program, but still they lost, 1-0, in Toronto. They have not won in their last four home games and on May 12 were thumped by New York, 3-0, in the U.S. Open Cup. Yet the Red Bulls have lost their last three league games while scoring just one goal, and won't have midfielder Carl Robinson, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. His absence may give Joseph the midfield foothold to dictate play.

WHO'S GOT THE MIDDLE? Speaking of the midfield, the battleground where most games are won or lost, etc.,etc., Real Salt Lake hosts Kansas City as both teams ponder how to fill yawning absences. A foot sprain suffered last weekend may keep Kyle Beckerman on the sideline, and a strained knee is still plaguing Stephane Auvray.

Rookie Jean Alexandre came into the game after Beckerman hobbled off as RSL struck late through Fabian Espindola to down Chivas USA, 2-1. Alexandre and Ned Grabavoy are among the candidates to replace Beckerman; the Wizards must shore up the middle without Auvray and will again be without left back Roger Espinoza, a member of the Honduran World Cup team, as they attempt to break a six-game winless streak.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: May 28, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.
    Ridge, i beg to disagree; the MF is not where the games are won or lost in the's the team which limits the unforced giveaways in that part of the field that has a better chance to win. As for the NYRB, they are regressing to the Metrostar mentality. I wouldn't read too much into the DC triumph of AC Milan...the latter was in second gear and had no motivation. Ching has to overcome his disappointment; IMHO, he should have been selected not only for his abilities , but for his constant work rate, high tensity and passion on the pitch.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives