Knowing how to make it count
time will give him the needed cool at key moments.
Then there is D.C. United's Jaime Moreno. What a transformation he's made from the last couple of years. He is playing a little deeper, with more of an eye for making the game rather than relying on flat out speed. But he has returned as one of the best playmakers in the league. Last week against New England he took a quick short throw-in that was the start of the winning goal sequence. Small things done the right way impact the game. He is such a good dribbler every defender has the same fear: do NOT let him push it through my legs. He has the best nutmeg move in the league.
The Dallas-Los Angeles match was a game that turned with the insertion of Andy Herzog. His corners are a little better, his passes a little more thoughtful. Once Joseph Ngwenya came on as well the game became real fun. The Andy-Joseph combo ending with a Herzog backheel blocked by a defender was special.
Soccer is a difficult game. It is not like the other pro sports in this country. Baseball, basketball, football and hockey all allow you a break or a timeout to catch your breath and get your wits about you as a key moment approaches. In soccer, it is a constant non-stop playing and decision-making process. Special players that make special plays are the spice the game needs. You need the consistent players to allow a team to have those special players.
But I hope this weekend we will see players rise to the occasion and make plays. I know we have these players in our midst -- although I also know we could use some more.
Sigi Schmid is one of the winningest coaches in MLS history, having led the Los Angeles Galaxy to four honors in his five-plus years at the helm, including the 2002 MLS Cup championship. Send comments to Sigi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs.