It was an eventful Week 6 in MLS that saw some surprising results, highlight-reel golazos and a couple of teams get their first wins of 2021. As usual, there's plenty to take stock of coming of all the action.
Here's this week's edition of 27 Takeaways, one for every MLS team.
I think it’s a great sign when you can get a point at a place like Seattle without being at your best. Atlanta's passing and movement in the first two thirds is excellent, you can see Gabriel Heinze’s ideas coming to fruition but there is still work to be done in the final third. Another plus was Santiago Sosa — he is a fantastic passer of the ball.
Three defeats on the bounce will always be a cause for concern, but Austin are only a couple of wins away from being right back in the mix. In order to get those wins they will have to do a lot more with their possession — there’s no point having 60% of the ball if you only get one shot on target.
A win, finally. With five of the next six being at home, this is as good a time as any to string together some results and go on a run. In order to do so, they will need to get Robert Beric going — no goals or assists in his last five games is nowhere near adequate for a player who got double digit goals in the last campaign.
The win was important, but more importantly was the manner of the win. For a team struggling as badly as Cincinnati have, to be away from home and win after falling behind has to be the biggest confidence boost you can get. They must use that momentum to finally get things going and reward their loyal fans.
They could have been down two or three at halftime against NYCFC, but the sign of a good team is getting results when you are not at your best. This is the kind of win that can really get a team going, and if the rest of the attacking core can start helping Lucas Zelarayan with goals of their own, the Crew will continue their ascent up the table.
When you have over 60% possession, nearly 30 shots and score a go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute, you should probably win the game. The fact that Dallas didn’t is going to sting all week but the reality is that if they keep playing like that, they’ll win more often than not.
D.C. have not scored more than a goal in a game since week one of the season and they’ve been shut out in three of their seven games. Chance creation isn’t the issue as they had 17 shots with seven on target against the Union, but the lack of a clinical finisher could be what negates their playoff ambitions.
With just one defeat in five, Houston suddenly find themselves in fourth place in the West. To stay there, or possibly go higher, they’ll need to show that they can get points away from home — especially since that’s where they’ll be for three of the next four games.
They looked a little more like the LAFC we know they can be and knowing that they have three home games coming up, they should feel very confident about climbing back up the table. I have no doubts that Carlos Vela will start finding the back of the net soon, probably as soon as this weekend.
It was all downhill after Derrick Williams' red card. Conceding goals is nothing new for this team and that’s the one thing that can really hinder their turnaround — it’s rare to see a third placed team have a negative goal difference. Good teams bounce back from defeats so we are about to learn a lot about the Galaxy this coming weekend.
To have one shot on target against a team that was winless in 11 isn’t going to inspire much confidence that Phil Neville’s team will be able to compete with the top teams in the East. However, if the attacking cast — especially Lewis Morgan — can consistently find the same form Gonzalo Higuain has mostly found — I expect them to be a playoff team.
A bye week after two straight wins should have given them enough time on the training pitch to get healthy and to work on the things they needed. If they can beat Real Salt Lake away from home this weekend, it’ll be safe to say that their turnaround from the slow start is complete.
With just one win in six, it’s time to get a little concerned about Montréal. They need someone to step up and become a consistent goal scorer. Without that happening, they’ll find themselves on the wrong side of these close games they’ve been losing now.
Another week, another clean sheet — Nashville truly are a great defensive team. If they can keep that up, they have a real chance of ending in the top three.
The Revs put together their best game of the season after falling behind. The win was emphatic in nature — the result was a fair reflection of their dominance as an attacking force. Four straight wins at home have been the catalyst for their two point lead atop the East.
They’ll need to bounce back from this disappointing loss. When you play as well as NYCFC did in the first half, you really should be getting three points. A test of their character will be how they bounce back from this letdown.
Three cleans sheets in four and Orlando keep winning. I don’t think they’ve hit their very best form yet which is actually a good sign for a team that currently sit in second place in the East. Tesho Akindele followed his assist in the previous game by scoring the winning goal against Toronto, his uptick in form will no doubt please Oscar Pareja.
Ten of their 11 points have come in the last four games — they are red hot right now. How are the Union doing it? By being defensively stingy. When you concede only one goal in four games that’s usually a good sign.
Once the Galaxy went down to 10 men, the Timbers didn’t hesitate to punish them. It was emphatic and dominating. They are still not at full strength and I have to feel that once some of their key guys are back, we will be talking about them as a potential top two or three seed in the West.
Three home defeats in a row against three of the better teams in the West should tell us exactly what this team is right now — good, but not on par with the top teams. San Jose now go on the road for their next three and if their away form is anything like their home form, all of that early season optimism will officially be wiped away.
Sometimes when a team is lacking that little something extra, it’s tough to know what it is. In Toronto’s case, it’s not tough to know at all — they are missing Alejandro Pozuelo badly. But who wouldn’t? Although they are creating chances and showing promising signs in attack, he’s the one with the ability to make all the good approach play count for something.