Like/Don't Like: Bocanegra a Goat, Oduro returning to form, Houston Dynamo's slide continues
In this week’s Like/Don’t Like, we highlight Bocanegra as a Goat, the entertainment on display last weekend, and the notable overreaction to a penalty call.
Goals, goals, goals! Last weekend was a great time to be an MLS neutral, or at least a fan of FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado or San Jose. All four teams won or tied high-scoring games, three with goals in second-half stoppage time. For diehard fans of particular teams, seeing their side gut out a 1-0 win is plenty good, but it’s nice to see the goal explosions as well. For those with frayed nerves, let’s send a note to players: Can we stretch out the heartstopping results over multiple weeks in the future?
Chivas USA sign Bocanegra: Of all the teams in MLS, who expected Chivas USA would be the one to sign Carlos Bocanegra? Pretty much nobody. But the Goats got a player who can fill multiple needs, as a defender, a leader, and a face that will resonate in the league and perhaps in marketing campaigns. For a team that looked dead to rights, this could be the jolt of electricity they need to be competitive again.
Oduro’s evolution: Dominic Oduro entered MLS as a fast player. He’s still fast, but he’s done a very good job jumpstarting his career once again, this time for the Columbus Crew, by torturing opponents on counterattacks and poaching lazy passes for killer goals. Was this an element of his game just a few years ago? No. But by adding it to his repertoire, the veteran has shown he’s willing to learn some new tricks to stay on top of his game.
WATCH: Oduro works his way past Nielsen
About that penalty at RFK: If you had heard the quotes coming from D.C. United following their 1-0 loss to Vancouver last weekend, you would have thought the penalty that led to the deciding goal was the worst call in the history of soccer. Sure, Ben Olsen’s rant was entertaining, but one of the reasons it’s hard to find enough referees at a high level is because subjective calls like the penalty on Bill Hamid for taking Matt Watson down in the box are always so cut-and-dried in the minds of partisans. Your team has the ball? It’s a stone-cold penalty. Your side’s defending? Then it becomes a question of how in the world is that a penalty? The point I’m making is as hard as it might be, there needs to be room for perspective on these matters.
Houston’s slide continues: We know the Dynamo are built to compete in the playoffs, but the current winless streak they are on is pretty surprising for a team of their caliber. The seven-game slide, including Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, gives them the second-worst form in the league at the moment, and with starters Corey Ashe and Will Bruin away for Gold Cup duty, the question is will it get worse before it gets better?
Canada’s boo-boo in SoCal: You may or may not have heard that Canada drew USL PDL side Ventura County Fusion 1-1 Tuesday in a scrimmage. As a scrimmage, it’s not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Canada have assembled a young squad for the Gold Cup, and they are trying to look ahead to the cycle of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. That’s all well and good, but still, a national team tying a PDL side, albeit a pretty good one, is quite the black eye. Maybe this will give Les Rouges the kick they need heading into the Gold Cup next week.
What do you like? What do you, er, Don’t Like? Let us know in the comments below.