Here are some numbers, from the best goalscorers in MLS, over their last 34 club games (regular season & playoffs included):
- Bradley Wright-Phillips: 26 goals, 5 assists
- David Villa: 24 goals, 7 assists
- Ola Kamara: 21 goals, 2 assists
- Jozy Altidore: 20 goals, 10 assists
- Ignacio Piatti: 20 goals, 7 assists
- Sebastian Giovinco: 18 goals, 18 assists
- Diego Valeri: 17 goals, 8 assists
- Fanendo Adi: 16 goals, 4 assists
- Cyle Larin: 16 goals, 2 assists
- Dom Dwyer: 15 goals, 3 assists
I chose 34 games because that's a full season. I omitted Clint Dempsey (15g/5a) since we've got to go all the way back to 2015 to get a full sample for him, and the same for Juan Agudelo (14g/5a). Guys like Nico Lodeiro, Matteo Mancosu, Christian Ramirez and all those dudes with Atlanta United obviously haven't come close to 34 games just yet.
The one missing man from last year's top scorers is the Galaxy's Giovani Dos Santos, who has scored just once in 2017. Over his last 34 games he's put up 11g/11a, which isn't a bad return. But it's not happening at an elite level for the Galaxy's star attacker right now, and that much was apparent in Saturday's scoreless home draw against still-winless Philadelphia.
LA now have eight goals and seven points in eight games. They've dropped 11 home points (three losses in addition to Saturday's draw), and their -5 goal differential is 18th best in the league despite their home-heavy schedule. Last time things were this ugly in Carson was in early 2008, just before Bruce Arena took over.
The upside is that they're still just two points out of a playoff spot in the West. Early struggles are often papered over by mid- or late-season hot streaks, and it looks like that's the blueprint LA will have to follow.
Let's look at the rest of the weekend:
Between Me and You
The Vancouver Whitecaps are one of those teams sitting just in front of the Galaxy, on 10 points and officially above the red line following Saturday's come-from-behind 2-1 win at Montreal. Vancouver have been better than what I expected coming into the season, doubly so because they've had to deal with the added miles and stress of CONCACAF Champions League play.
So it's made for some uneven performances, and a little bit of a disjointed midfield and backline. That was very much on display in Week 8's 2-1 loss at Portland. Volume up if you want the analysis:
They are, however, less dominant as a possession team than they were in recent years. Like just about everyone else they appear more interested in dominating transition opportunities than in dominating the ball.
2. San Jose ended their three-game road trip with a much-needed three points courtesy of a 1-0 win at Minnesota United. They used a hybridized 4-2-1-3 with Chris Wondolowski and Jahmir Hyka taking turns swapping between attacking central midfield and the right wing.
That may seem kind of shocking, but remember that Wondo won his first Golden Boot, way back in 2010, primarily as a right "winger" (really a raumdeuter) in a 4-5-1.
1. And finally, our Face of the Week goes to Will Bruin. He got a goal, helped get his team a point, and got a yellow card in style:
Seattle's 3-3 home draw against the Revs had to be alternately exhilarating and dispiriting for both sides. It was a very, very MLS adventure.