By Paul Kennedy
So, let's have a show of hands.
Who says their favorite MLS team is playing well? OK, let's not have everyone raise his or her hand at once. We see a few hands reluctantly go up from the South Ward. Who'd have bet on the Red Bulls
being unbeaten six weeks into the MLS season?
But just about nobody can be happy with the way things have been going this MLS season. The season started brightly for FC Dallas and
Vancouver but what have they done lately? MLS: Week 6 Results & Standings, Week 7 Schedule
FC Dallas opened with three wins and
a tie but has lost 3-1 and 4-0 in the last two games, conjuring up memories of last year when it started out 5-1-1 only to follow that up with six losses and two ties in an eight-game winless
Just last week, Vancouver was the toast of MLS after a dominating performance against the Galaxy. What did the 'Caps do for a followup? They could only manage a 2-2 tie at home
against Columbus, which didn't bring its entire team to B.C. Place, and they fell at San Jose, 1-0, in a match neither team, frankly, deserved to win. Avaya Stadium's largest outdoor bar in North
America would not have been long enough for if all the disgruntled fans had sought relief along the rails.
There's been a lot of that recently. Brutal halves. Or brutal games. Or brutal
games following quality outings.
Welcome to MLS 2015, not a very pretty sight.
Also on Saturday, Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake almost matched the futility of FC
Dallas-Seattle two weeks earlier as it produced just one shot on goal and ended 0-0. What makes it so discouraging is that these are not downtrodden clubs that might be looking to eke out a meager
result. All have won MLS Cup or the Supporters' Shield.
MLS is averaging a scoreless draw every six games. Last year, it was one 0-0 tie every 19 games.
MLS's owners crave
parity, and they've gotten it: Just six teams with winning record. Seven teams have losing records. That leaves the other seven teams at .500.
In the Western Conference, only Portland can
be unhappy as it has the only sub-.500 record (barely) at 1-2-3 following its 2-0 loss at home to Orlando City.
You know things are bad when even Timbers coach Caleb Porter
, who always seems to have a sunny outlook, no matter the result at Providence Park or weather in Portland, can't find any positives.
"I couldn’t tell my
guys after the game that they played well and deserved to win today," he said.
That's Porter-speak for saying the Timbers were really bad. MLS
Scoring: WEEK AVG.
Week 1: 1.60
Week 2: 3.13
Week 3: 1.25
Week 4: 1.90
Week 5: 2.63
Week 6: 2.20 Season: 2.09 Week 6: Three goals you must watch 1. DILLON SERNA vs. FC Dallas.
Serna closed out Colorado's stunning 4-0 win at FC Dallas
with a left-footed blast from distance. What makes the goal so
remarkable is that he has already done it before, scoring this golazo
2. DAVID VILLA vs. Philadelphia.
Villa's nifty back heel was the highlight of the six-player
that ended with the Spaniard walking the ball into the goal after the initial shot was blocked. 3. ROB LOVEJOY vs. Montreal.
Carolina product was one of three rookies who scored his first MLS goal
along with Cyle Larin
(Orlando City) and Dominique Badji
(Colorado), who both had winners. Lovejoy capped Houston's 3-0 win over the Impact when he lofted a delicate shot over
. (The Dynamo's second goal after Ricardo
Clark nutmegged Bakary Soumare
was also sweat.) What Worked in Week 6 ...
Portland's poor showing shouldn't take anything away from a quality win by Orlando
City, its best performance of the season. Brek Shea
continues to be a handful coming forward from his left-back position, and Kevin Molino
, while still looking for his first MLS goal, was dangerous on the right wing. They opened up space for goalscorers Larin and Kaka
to operate in the middle. What Didn't Work in Week 6 ...
Goalkeeping continues to be an issue for many clubs. Bill Hamid
, a contender to start on
Wednesday against Mexico, got back into the national team on the strength of his consistency throughout D.C. United's strong 2014 season.
But the normally reliable Hamid took the blame
for D.C. United leaving its match against the Red Bulls with one point when he coughed up Sacha Kljestan
's dipping free kick, allowing Lloyd Sam
to put away the rebound and make it 2-2 in the 90th minute. National Team
Watch Clint Dempsey
's injury paved the way for rookie Cristian Roldan
, who dropped down to the 16th
overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft, to start his second game for the Seattle Sounders, this time in front of family and friends at StubHub Center for Sunday's game against the Galaxy.
Roldan, who grew up in nearby El Rancho, was a projected top-five pick out of the University of Washington but dropped in January's draft until the Sounders traded up to snatch the midfielder. He
created several chances for Obafemi Martins
and Marco Pappa
as the Sounders peppered Jaime Penedo
in the Galaxy goal.
Roldan has never played for the U.S. U-20s, but he could make a late case to join them along with Zach
, who scored against NYCFC, and RSL's Jordan Allen
. All three missed Concacaf qualifying and recent U-20 trip to England.
U.S. UNDER-23s. Starters:
Alashe, Gil, Trapp, Zimmerman. Subs:
Serna, Shelton, Villarreal.
U.S. UNDER-20s. Starter:
Miazga, Pfeffer, Roldan. Sub:
Allen, Thompson. U.S. UNDER-18s. Sub: