Like/Don't Like: Assessing young strikers, golazos & the Chicago Fire's attack (or lack thereof)
This week, we’re introducing a new column: Like/Don’t Like.
In this edition, young strikers and a true golazo get the thumbs-up, while a goalkeeper struggles and a couple of teams show us how not to do it.
Jack Mac: If you think young Jack McInerney – yes, the current Budweiser Golden Boot leader – is getting too much hype, consider this: All of McInerney’s eight goals this season have been in winning or drawing efforts for the Union, and he’s scored the winning goal for Philly five times this season.
In other words, his goals have contributed to 17 of the 18 points the Union have earned so far. Hype that.
Agudelo’s frequent flier reward: After being traded across the country for the second year in a row and spending more than a month on the sideline because of an injury, New England’s new striker, Juan Agudelo, made an instant impact in his first appearance, a surprise 2-0 win over Houston. No surprise there, really: Agudelo has yet to lose when debuting for a club (two wins and a draw).
Having a weapon like Agudelo could have shaken the Revolution’s attack out of the doldrums. Now will that shake the cobwebs off Agudelo’s scoring touch?
The beauty of an Olimpico: FC Dallas midfielder Michel’s Olimpico needs to be treasured. Sure, the goal came in FCD’s first loss since March 10, and, yes, Eddie Johnson stole the headlines with his brace. But sometimes, the glorious moment will be remembered longer than the moment.
Carlo’s Way: LA Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has made only 19 saves so far this season. Partly that’s due to the Galaxy defense’s being among the best in the league. But with Bruce Arena unafraid to call Cudicini out after Tim Cahill’s stoppage-time winner in last week’s loss to the Red Bulls, it shows that he expects his Italian goalkeeper – who was brought in for his experience – to make the most important saves.
Cudicini may not have to stand on his head for his team, but he certainly needs to make the manageable plays to get his team a share of the spoils.
Defending the Goats: Through the first eight games, Chivas USA conceded 11 goals. OK, not an overwhelming positive stat, but not too shabby. Over the last three matches, however, the Goats have equaled that number, putting them last in the league in goals conceded.
The deficiencies of Chelis’s high three-man system were laid bare last weekend against Real Salt Lake, who consistently beat the offside trap and scored three of their four goals on breakaways. RSL deserve credit for picking apart Chivas’s defense, but it’s probably time for a more non-Chelís-ian defense. We haven’t seen a five-man backline in a while, have we?
Smoke but no Fire: Here’s an amazing stat: The Chicago Fire have been shut out in seven of their 10 games. For a roster with the likes of Chris Rolfe, Maicon Santos, and Patrick Nyarko, this is dismal.
The problem is, they aren’t getting the ball often enough in good positions. And when the rare chance does appear, they’re not putting them away. Oduro, where art thou?
What do you like? What do you, er, Don’t Like? Let us know in the comments below.