As we recuperate from all the St. Patty’s Day festivities and try to puzzle together the weekend’s events from our hazy memory, let us look back at week two of the Major League Soccer season.
There have been great highlights and player of the week performances, but today I would rather break down six players who I thought did not perform to the standards expected by their team and fans.
All together now: “What was he thinking?”
Two minutes after the Colorado Rapids scored their first goal against the Philadelphia Union, Jeff Larentowicz earned his second yellow card and was dismissed from the match, leaving the Rapids playing with ten men.
A players like Larentowicz should have known better than going for a careless tackle when carrying a yellow card. As soon as he hit the ground and the ref blew his whistle, Larentowicz new he was a goner.
Larentowicz’s needless ejection could have changed the momentum in favor of the home Philadelphia Union side and cost Colorado the three points.
Lucky for the midfielder, Colorado doubled its lead and survived with a 2-1 score over the Union.
Now the Rapids won't be able to count on Larentowicz's services when they face the New York Red Bulls next week.
However, Houston escaped San Jose with a 1-0 win over the Earthquakes, all via a penalty kick.
Ching was on the receiving end of the Jon Busch’s foul in the box, but Ching wasn’t much of a threat after that.
He only tallied one shot in 67 minutes of action. If this trend continues, it would explain why Houston left the 33-year-old forward unprotected after the 2011 season.
Even though the Galaxy did win, the play of Sean Franklin wasn’t on par.
Don’t get me wrong; offensively he was great in pushing the attack. But Franklin is a defender first, and his duties in the back were not up to standards usually seen in Los Angeles.
Franklin lost his marker on several occasions throughout the match, leading to opportunities on goal for D.C., which the visitors weren’t able capitalize.
The only time the Galaxy paid for Franklin’s mistake was when rookie Nick De Leon broke the offside trap, blew by Franklin, and slipped the ball unchallenged to the upper corner of Josh Saunders' goal.
On the other side of the LA Galaxy - D.C. United match, there was Dwayne De Rosario. It’s early in the season, but the reigning MLS MVP hasn’t been able to create much offensive threat for his team in two games.
De Rosario disappeared for the majority of the match against LA. He had couple of looks at goal, the most threatening being in the early part of the match when he tried to catch Saunders out of position from the midfield.
Someone made a comment to me last week saying D.C. will rise and fall with De Rosario. If Sunday’s match was any indication, that person isn’t far off.
Even though Chivas hasn’t yet resolved its striker issues, Braun never brought the team the success that they had hoped, and that trend continues in Montreal.
The Impact earned its first point in MLS in front of more than 58,000 fans at Olympic Stadium with 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire, but Braun squandered several opportunities to give the home team its first lead of the season.
Braun hasn’t been able to find his finishing touch as of late. He takes too many touches on the ball, which only leads to the defense collapsing on him or a diminished angle for a shot.
It might be a confidence issue that Braun is suffering from, but until that trend is broken, it will be very hard for Montreal to find any success.
It’s always hard for a team to play one man down, and after defender Stephen McCarthy was sent off in the 14th minute due to a soft but justifiable red card, it was on Sharlie Joseph’s shoulders to cover the space that was left unmanned.
Unfortunately for New England, Joseph’s defending responsibilities weren't enough, as Sporting Kansas City decimated New England with a 3-0 shutout. Joseph was involved in all three goals for Kansas City.
He failed to properly clear Seth Sinovic’s cross, which lead to a scrabble in the box and Graham Zusi’s eventual tap in.
Moments later, Joseph didn’t close the space on Sinovic, allowing him a free cross that Kei Kamara blasted past goalkeeper Matt Reis.
In the second half, it was Sinovic again that blew past Joseph and allowed the KC defender to cut the ball back to C.J. Sapong for the final tally.