MLS Talking Points: Kaka is off to 'amazing' start

Out for the first three games of the MLS season with a thigh injury, Kaka had an instant impact on Orlando City, assisting on two goals in the first 32 minutes and scoring the third goal in a 4-1 demolition of defending champion Portland. 

“I don’t have the words to say how happy I am today,” Kaka said. “I’ve been out for three weeks and three games and to be back and score my first goal is amazing.” 

The goal was Kaka's first in MLS play since July 4 of last year. He finished with nine goals and six assists in 28 games, but only had three assists after his MLS performance in the MLS All-Star Game.

“I want to improve my numbers from last season,” Kaka said. “But most importantly I want to help the team first.”

CASSAR LIKES RSL FOLLOW THROUGH. The only other unbeaten team after Week 5 is Real Salt Lake, which won, 2-1, at Sporting Kansas City, which had opened with three straight wins. Injuries and suspensions kept Kyle Beckerman, Jamison Olave, Javier Morales and Juan Manuel Martinez out of the lineup, but RSL still won.

Coach Jeff Cassar said focusing on the game plan he set up was a key to the triumph for RSL, which could easily have 12 points after four games.

"We really followed through," he said. "We talked about a few things that we wanted to do all week long and the players went out there and they did it. It's a massive credit to them. I thought our back line was very good tonight. I thought their communication to the players in front of them was very good because Kansas City really had some great movement with their attacking players coming inside and bringing their outside backs forward. So you really have to be on your game to slow them down."

MARSCH BLASTS 'SHAMEFUL' GOAL. The New York Red Bulls fell at New England, 1-0, on a Diego Fagundez goal scored with injured Red Bull defender Kemar Lawrence on the ground. Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch was incensed with the decision to play on.

"You know, it's shameful for me," he said. "The game is supposed to have honor and they can claim that they didn't see them. They can claim that they weren't sure that he wasn't hurt. It was clear as day that he was down on the ground and not just one player saw him, the whole team saw him, so that part for me is shameful. The other part is that the referee had such a huge impact on this game by having a bad performance. For me, he can blow the whistle when a guy is down like that."

PAUNOVIC HAS FIRE ON GOOD PATH. It took four games, but the Chicago got its first win under new coach Veljko Paunovic, a 1-0 decision over Philadelphia.

"It means a lot for me and for this locker room who works very hard," he said. "So far, I think winning this game gave us more confidence now and believe we are on a good path, which we always knew we were but it's always very, very important to have proven our results, winning games."

Paunovic liked the improved possession from the Fire and other parts of its game, but it could still work on its finishing.

"It's always a matter of conviction," Paunovic said. "It's always a matter of concentration -- those moments count -- we need to work on that."
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