Like/Don't Like: Vancouver Whitecaps' Cascadia win, silly season fun, Thierry Henry's struggles
In this week’s Like/Don’t Like, we highlight Vancouver’s headline win, the fun part of silly season, and the star who’s not getting the job done at the moment.
HIGHLIGHTS: VAN 2, SEA 0
Vancouver break their Cascadia duck: It’s not like the Vancouver Whitecaps have never won in the Cascadia Cup in the competition’s history, seeing as it stretches back before their MLS days. But the Whitecaps had never beaten the Seattle Sounders or Portland Timbers in MLS play – until Saturday, when they had a cathartic 2-0 win over the Sounders at BC Place. They may have been the first Canadian team to make the MLS playoffs, but I’m guessing the win over Seattle was just about as sweet for 'Caps fans.
Open the gates: The summer transfer window is open! Granted, it can all become a distraction at times, but here’s where the rubber hits the road, where teams can make player purchases big and small that can alter the trajectory of the season. There are going to be big name and/or big salary players who flop, and there will be additions of all kinds who make an immediate impact for their squads. Beyond seeing who will be signed, half the fun is seeing who will perform and who won’t this year.
Hope for everyone right now: Here’s an interesting fact – after every team played at least one game last week, only one team in the league is on a losing streak, and the San Jose Earthquakes have only dropped their last two. Folks may complain about fixture congestion, about the Gold Cup absences, and about a slew of other matters, but last week showed that every team, top to bottom, is capable of picking up points, and even the teams that have struggled have shown signs of life of late.
Titi’s quiet month: Thierry Henry has not scored in his last four games. OK, he’s still in the top 10 in goals scored to this point, but the New York Red Bulls have lacked consistency once again this season, and Henry’s gone awfully quiet. He’s only averaging a goal every two-and-a-half games or so at the moment, and for a player capable of the sublime unlike any other in MLS, missing Henry’s scoring prowess is hurting both his team and those of us who love watching him at his best.
HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 1, POR 0
Kah’s costly red card: Look, the Columbus Crew were already winning when Portland’s Pa Modou Kah got sent off in the Timbers streak-busting 1-0 loss last weekend. It’s entirely possible that Columbus would have won the game anyway. But Kah’s red card will be seen as the turning point in the game, and he’ll have to deal with the being the focal point in the loss. And there’s no denying that Portland had trouble getting their attack going after going down a man. The task ahead for the Timbers is to make sure they don’t end up in a sustained slump like the Houston Dynamo after ending an unbeaten streak.
WATCH: Paladini sent off
Paladini’s frustration red card: What could be worse than getting a red card near the start of a game? Getting a dumb red card at the very end of the contest, thus ensuring a game out, and perhaps more. That’s what happened with Chicago Fire’s Daniel Paladini Sunday, as he absolutely clobbered Sporting Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer in the 93rd minute of what would be a 2-1 loss for the Fire. From a team standpoint, getting a red card that late doesn’t change matters on the field much at all. But from a player’s perspective, doing something that aggressive and unnecessary means Frank Klopas may not rush to put Paladini back in the lineup when his suspension is over.
What do you like? What do you, er, Don’t Like? Let us know in the comments below.