Don't jump to conclusions in April

Jason Kreis and Raul Diaz Arce have each totaled 14 goals in April to lead the way. Right behind them are names you might expect to see such as Jaime Moreno (13), Ronald Cerritos (12), Brian McBride (11) and Carlos Ruiz (11). Ante Razov's goal against Los Angeles over the weekend gives him eight for April, as well.

Much of the same exists as far as assists go, as the names are all familiar ones: Preki (15) Marco Etcheverry (14), Carlos Valderrama (13), Steve Ralston (12), and Mauricio Cienfuegos (10).

Maybe Edson Buddle goes for 20-plus goals in '05. Maybe he accounts for 11, as he did last year. Columbus fans would have to be happy either way. It's just impossible to tell right now.

Will it get better for Club Deportivo Chivas USA? It has to. When you give up two soft goals in your home opener, it's never a good sign. It'll only get more difficult when you're playing on a Saturday in Foxborough, Mass., after flying 3,000 miles across the country.

Whatever the case, you're never as good, or as bad, as you think you are in April.

So stop the e-mails, Columbus fans. No one owes you an apology ... yet.

And let's not hear any booing in L.A. this weekend, no matter what happens against Real Salt Lake. Naldo is going to be a factor once he gets ingrained to the team and his visa worries are behind him. Having Landon Donovan and Memo Ramirez in the midfield will surely produce enough magic to keep you humming throughout the summer, as well.

It's early. For the diehard fans out there, it's better to keep it at an even keel. Life will look a little different around Mother's Day or, in same cases, after Week Two.

Marc Connolly writes for and several other publications. This column runs each Wednesday on and Marc can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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