Welcome to the Total-MLS Weekly Review. We saw some great goals, support and stories that made last week a memorable one for the MLS. Here's my recap of the good, the bad and the funny in Week six.
Team of the Week: New York Red Bulls- All I have to say is beware. The optimistic Eastern Conference fans who thought the Red Bulls were overrated can now officially sit down, as NY is ready to play. After a struggling start to the season, the Red Bulls have finally found their groove and it is dangerous. NY has dismantled their last two opponents and are finally playing the beautiful game of football we all expected. The wingers are providing great service, the defense is locking down and finally, the forwards are finishing their chances. Any club that is confident they will win despite leaving the "Chosen Juan" out of the starting lineup is in a good place. It's a place where only one other current MLS team (RSL) presides. So beware all other inferior teams, because it looks like now there are two sheriffs in town.
Player of the Week: Eric Avila- Although Avila's game winner was just a sub-plot to the devastating week for FC Dallas, it shouldn't go unnoticed. Avila might not have netted two goals like Red Bull star Thierry Henry or made history with a CCL goal like Javier Morales, but he did do something even more important–provide hope to the city of Dallas. Losing a player like David Ferreira is devastating to say the least, but it does not by any means indicate a lost season for FCD. Avila is a bright young star in a great system and, if given respective playing time, could turn into the next big thing in Big D. Bigger than Ferreira? Maybe not. But he's big enough to add some Neosporin to the harsh wound the city just endured. So before all you FC Dallas fans finish your gasp of disappointment, inhale some fresh air that might just last you until next March.
Goal of the Week: Juan Agudelo- This is for all the doubters, (If there are any still left).
Top Story: The Effect of Injuries on the MLS- I think we all wish we could unhear the bang of Brian Mullan's tackle on Steve Zakuani last week. The noise sounded as if the atomic bomb and Tyler Perry's voice made a baby and put it on display for the world to hear. The ensuing noise that followed the tackle was a shock of silence. As Zakuani laid in agony on the cold Colorado pitch, all the rest of the country could do was pray that the injury wasn't as bad as it looked.
Less than 24 hours later, reigning MVP champion David Ferreira went down with what seemed to be a serious ankle injury. The shock that spawned the day before was now growing at an uncontrollable pace. Did the MLS actually just lose two of the most exciting players in one week? That is certainly not possible!
Well, unfortunately for the MLS, apparently it is. As I read in multiple tweets this weekend, the Soccer Gods really know how to curse a league efficiently. Downing two MVP candidates in a season is hard to do by itself, but to do it in one week means we must have really pissed in their Cheerios. My twitter inbox is also full of people saying "There goes the season," and "Last week changes everything," and unless by everything they mean jersey sales, I don't see much truth in those statements. I've made a list of the pros and cons of the injuries and hopefully you will all realize these injuries aren't as devastating as first thought:
Seattle- The Sounders have the most loyal fans in the entire league. Even if half the team became lost at sea, I'm sure 30,000+ would show up at Qwest.
FC Dallas- From what I hear from FC Dallas fans, Ferreira might be the star, but isn't the fan favorite. Ferreira not on the field might change the team's performance, but maybe not the ticket sales.
Seattle- DP Alvaro Fernandez will be a fine replacement at the LM spot. I can see a lot of Seattle goals coming from him cutting in and crossing/shooting.
FC Dallas- I mentioned above that Eric Avila might be the next star if he gets good minutes. Well, if there was ever a time for Avila to shine, it would be now.
Seattle- The Sounders have dealt with adversity very well the last couple of years. Seattle's offense was still highly dangerous without Brad Evans or Alonso last year and I'm sure the Zakuani injury will not affect the squad's play too much, with Fernandez filling in capably.
FC Dallas- Dallas has been known for their strong defense and even if Ferreira's firepower is gone, the team will still manage to pick up points in low scoring affairs.
You see? It is not as bad a situation as we all thought. Is losing Zakuani and Ferreira a big deal? Of course! But is it the biggest deal? Absolutely not.