Major League Soccer week 10 weekend games commences tomorrow, and it promises to be an exhilarating spectacle. In action will be a team looking for its first win of the season, multiple teams looking to assert themselves into the playoff picture, some players looking to break goal scoring droughts, and United State National Team players hoping to sneak into the world cup roster.
Here are three intriguing talking points from this packed weekend.
Will Eddie Johnson score his first DC United goal?
We start off with a potential member of Jürgen Klinsmann’s world cup squad.
Instead of making headlines for his goal scoring, Johnson is once again at the center of a controversy after a ridiculous comment he made during an interview.
According to mlssoccer.com, Johnson said, “I felt like I didn’t have to run as much because we (Seattle Sounders) had better guys that had more quality on the ball.”
The 30-years-old’s frustration towards his teammate is because of his shortcomings in front of goal. He’s started seven games this season but hasn’t found the back of the net. The limited forward doesn’t seem to understand the team’s style of play, which is somewhat disappointing for a designated player.
Against Philadelphia Union on Saturday, the pressure is on Johnson to reprise his role as one of the deadliest forwards in front of goal. If he fails, he could lose his spot on the world cup roster to in-form Chris Wondolowski.
Can Chicago Fire secure its first three points?
Mike Magee has picked up where he left off last season, but unfortunately so as his team. Chicago has redeemed its role as the team that disappears during pivotal moments of the game.
Last Saturday, the Fire’s player marched out for the second half with a comfortable 2-0 lead against undefeated Real Salt Lake. Forty five minutes later, they quietly walked back into their locker room as 3-2 losers. This Saturday, they face the team that laid a 5-2 beating on them on the last day of last season.
The New York Red Bulls are currently flying high with seven points from their last three games. The toughest challenge for Magee and his teammates will be the containment of in-form Bradley-Wright Phillips and Thierry Henry.
Frank Yallop’s defensive strategy will be to neutralize New York’s wide players in other to stop counter-attacks and prevent crosses into the box. If the two wide players are rendered ineffective, Henry will have to drop back into the midfield in order to create. Without Henry causing chaos around the box, Chicago Fire’s two center-backs will have only Phillips to deal with.
Can Seattle’s defense keep a clean sheet?
Sigi Schmid’s players score lots of goals, but they also concede too many goals. This season, the Sounders have only recorded two clean sheets from 10 games. With experienced Djimi Traore and Chad Marshall leading the back-line, it’s shocking that the Sounders have managed to let in 14 goals.
Week in, week out, Seattle’s defense has falling asleep and given up easy goal scoring chances. Against the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas, the Sounders back-line was dissected with long balls that could have been dealt with quite easily.
The defense’s lapse in concentration could be blamed on the team’s high pressure style of play. When wide players like Lamar Neagle are pressuring the opposition in their halves, Seattle’s outside backs push high up the field, which leaves the two center backs vulnerable.
On Sunday, Seattle is hosted by a very technically sound New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. If they continue to press high up the field, players like Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen can punish the Sounders back-line.
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