MLS Review Part 1: Kansas City v New York and SuperClasico

13 July 2008

Kansas City Wizards 2 New York Red Bulls 1: Frankly to me the first half was not even a competitive contest. As I said in the chat at the time, I almost saw no reason to bother with the second half at all. LukeSassano epically was a waste of space and it was no surprise to me that he did not see any action at all in the second half.
Kevin Goldthwaite has to take the blame for both Kansas City goals. On the first, he did nothing to stop Jimmy Conrad from getting into the space he should have been occupying in the first place on the Claudio Lopez corner. On the second, he was simply the closest defender burned by a through ball in which no one else was back(the second closest was Dave Van denBergh). At that point, you could call the game over...or could you?
Two changes compounded New York's efforts in getting back into the game. The first being the substitution of Scott Sealy for Roger Espionoza and the second being Dane Richards inclusion for Carlos Mendes. The changes seven minutes apart completely changed the balance of the game as New York's shape completely threw Kansas City for a loop.
Juan Pablo Angel had a couple of nibbles in the first half and did well for himself to create space. Dane Richards and Van den Burgh gave him enough service late, but it really was too little too late. The ineffectiveness ofSassano (already mentioned), Mike Magee, and Oscar Echeverry really hurt New York's cause in the first half. When your attacking options aren't getting enough quality touches on the ball, disaster isn't farbehind.
Ivan Trujillo would be better off asking for his release. I have yet to see him put together a complete performance this entire season.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1 Chivas USA 1. In an good derby match, the Galaxy needed a 72nd minute equalizer to pull off the 1-1 draw.
To me, the Galaxy were bossed around in the first 55 minutes of this game. It goes to show you how thin the Galaxy back is when Abel Xavier doesn't play but Greg Vanney does. When Ante Jazic was subbed due to back spasams, Mike Randolph didn't seem all the comfortable in the back. While I still disagree with the substitution of Joe Franchino for Carlos Ruiz, that seemed to be the move to spring the Galaxy into action. Buddle's goal really came as Francisco Mendoza abandoned his space to double Beckham allowing Vagenes to spot Buddle.
Chivas though should have capitalized on the chances they created for themselves in the first half. Once the Galaxy started turning the screws, Chivas USA only had one decent half chance on goal.
The biggest surprise to me was how ineffective Landon Donovan seemed. He seemed more content to cry about the officiating (which I thought was fine for what it was, minus Preki's sending off) than scoring.
This game showed while they are both decent sides in their own right, there is still a killer instinct that has yet to come out. A team who wanted it would have found a winner out of nothing. The Galaxy over the last couple of weeks have to be a little concerned that the offensive input has dropped off every so slightly and with a bulk of their next games on the road, injuries at the back is the last thing they need. Chivas USA needs to find more scoring options. With the injuries to Eskandarian and Galindo, a huge chuck of their attack was erased. Hopefully for Chivas, Jorge Flores can return from an ankle sprain and continue to show why he has been this season's surprise package.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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