Week 5 in MLS is a wrap, which means that it's time for another edition of 27 Takeaways as we take stock of what it all means looking ahead to the rest of the season. Let's jump right in.
Two defeats on the bounce have taken some shine away from Austin FC's decent start. They’ve given up over 40 shots in their last two games, so being a bit stingier on the defensive side will go a long way toward righting the ship and stopping this mini slide.
Scoreless for the third game in a row and winless in 11 dating back to last season. With the next two games being at home, now is as good a time as any for this team to show some character and pick up some points. Anything less than that will dim any real hope of mounting a run for a playoff spot.
Even when they drew level late on against Miami, the fear was always that Cincinnati would still give up another goal because they’ve yet to show they can be a solid defensive team — conceding 13 goals in four games is exactly why they are where they are in the table.
The Crew's away form is a serious cause for concern as is their lack of goals — only three so far this season. The quality of this team is not in question, but no matter how good you are, you never want to dig yourself too big of a hole even this early in the season. They need Gyasi Zardes to get going ASAP.
When LAFC were leaking goals last season, there was no need to overly panic because they were still scoring so freely. Now that the goals have dried up, the defensive fragility is even more pronounced and it’s alarming how easily they ship goals. There is too much talent on this team for them to be where they are in the table and I expect them to put a run together when Carlos Vela is fully fit.
Gonzalo Higuain has been fantastic so far this term with four goals in five games. But it’s not just the goals, his movement and involvement in the general build up has also been very good. The scary part is, he still looks like he has a couple of gears he can still tap into.
Two wins this past week, both 1-0, is exactly what the doctor ordered for this team. Now the Loons need to show they can pick up points away from the friendly confines of Allianz Field.
It’s now three clean sheets in a row which means Nashville have regained what worked so well in 2020. They still need more from the attacking group if they are to make their way even higher up the table.
They’ve won every home game so far this campaign and I see no reason why that won’t continue when RBNY come to town on Saturday. A first clean sheet in three games against Columbus this weekend would have pleased Bruce Arena just as much as recording a win against one of the MLS Cup favorites heading into the season.
Seven points in the last three games shows that Philadelphia are starting to click into gear. They’ve only conceded one goal in that span, and until their offensive game gets going, they’ll need to keep riding their defensive play into getting good results.
A much needed win away to San Jose came by way of going back to basics — 4-4-2, playing mainly on the counter, and being defensively sound. With only 34% of the ball, the Timbers still managed to have 18 shots which shows that perhaps this team is at their best when they let the opponent dictate the game and try to play on the counter.
With a win and a draw in the past week there are signs that Toronto are beginning to find their best form. As they get healthier, I can see them putting a string of good results together, especially if Jozy Altidore can stay fit and consistently find the back of the net.