In this week’s Like/Don’t Like, we highlight a player brimming with confidence, a grown man who should know better with his hairstyle, and more.
Ousted’s bulletin board material for MLS: New Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted (at right) has played two games in MLS. He’s given up one goal, made 10 saves, and helped his side pick up four points.
It’s a strong start for the Dane, especially after joining midseason. He must be feeling it too, as he has declared, “I believe I ... can stop any attacker in this league.” That's confidence. His remarks will probably be circulated among opponents, and the question is whether or not he can back up that confidence the rest of the season.
Arevalo Rios’ arrival in Chicago: Clearly Clint Dempsey’s arrival has taken most of the spotlight in MLS, and for good reason. But I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the Chicago Fire’s newest Designated Player, midfielder Arevalo Rios (at right), in MLS. A fixture for the Uruguay national team, he has impressed on the international and club front.
He is unlikely to have many highlights, but his ability to boss the midfield should help free up Chicago’s attack to an unprecedented extent. Frank Klopas called him “world class,” and I don’t think it’s hyperbole.
Open playoff chase: There aren’t many have-nots at this point in the regular season, as the race for the playoffs includes nearly every team in the league. In the Eastern Conference, just nine points separate first place from seventh, and in the West, eight of the nine teams are fighting for a place and positioning in the playoffs. What does it mean? Is the league tougher than ever, or will there be considerable mediocrity in the postseason? We won’t know until the season’s fully behind us, but it’s great to see 15 of 19 clubs still battling in mid-August.
Ferreira’s hair: A feature of soccer is the variety of hairstyles sported by the players. Taste is of course in the eye of the beholder, but a strong "don’t like" has to go to FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira, who shaved off most of his platinum blond look from the week before, in favor of a soccer ball head outlined by the remaining blond fuzz. It was awful, and is worse when you consider Ferreira’s 34 years old. The previous dye job was a bit of a shock, David, but it’s miles better than that soccer ball look. You have to age gracefully, man!
Dynamo rope-a-dope? Houston have won three of their last five matches, and had a tough result Saturday against Real Salt Lake, but when was the last time they had a win over a top team? By my count, it was back on May 5, when they beat the LA Galaxy 1-0. (The July 6 win over Philadelphia came when the Union were slumping.) Houston are a mature team that knows how to kick it in gear when the playoffs come – we’ve seen that the last two years.
But at what point will coach Dominic Kinnear (at right) and his men look to turn up the intensity, and find they can’t? It’s going to happen eventually. They have 12 more games during the regular season to sort out their issues ahead of the postseason to ensure it isn’t this year.
WATCH: Instant Replay
Red card bonanza: Two games featured three red cards last weekend. While one against New England’s Stephen McCarthy was correctly rescinded on-field as he was not sitting on a yellow, four of the remaining five were about as cut-and-dry as it gets. Dimitry Imbongo is picking up quite the reputation with his third red of the season (pictured above), after two high elbows to Sporting Kansas City players. Andy Dorman brought down Kei Kamara with a dangerous tackle, Gabriel Farfan seemed to go out of his way to step on Shane O’Neill in Chivas USA’s draw against Colorado and in the worst of the bunch, Tristan Bowen appeared to spit at Chris Klute.
When we scrutinize referees, we usually point to card-happy refs as a big problem, but when players make such dangerous and/or dirty plays, they’re giving the officials no choice but to eject them.
What do you like? What do you, er, Don’t Like? Let us know in the comments below.