5 Things We Learned from MLS Week 5

Clint Dempsey Returns to Form

Dempsey was heralded in a prodigal son type manner on his return to Seattle. His return was expected to lead the Sounders towards that elusive MLS Cup. The reality was all together very different. He struggled for form, and scored a solitary goal. The biggest game was in the playoffs against the Timbers, where the American looked mostly lost. His bizarre decision to return to England with Fulham was an odd one, considering his acrimonious  departure from there to go to Spurs. Not only was it bizarre, but he rarely played, and didn’t have an impact.

It was hardly the ideal preparation, but his first full season in MLS has been one of improvement. He was involved in Seattle’s winner against Kansas City, but ruined his progress with a ban of utter stupidity soon after. Returning to the team after his suspension gave him the chance to rewrite his history against the Timbers, which he did with a sensational hattrick in a goal bonanza that finished 4-4. The score was 4-2 with only five minutes remaining before Dempsey inspired the comeback. His return to form is timely with the World Cup on the horizon.

DC United Can Win a Game

DC United’s streak without a win finally ended as they topped a poor New England Revolution. Last season’s defensive rock Jose Gonclaves comically scored an own goal, to spark United to their first victory of the season. It was a game that lack incisiveness, but debutant Chris Rolfe rounded off the victory for a 2-0 win. The victory was the first in a new-look DC season. A clean sheet and some of the team beginning to gel may mean this could be the turning point for a poor DC side.

Montreal’s Defense is Still Poor

With Marco Di Vaio returning to the team, there was a perception that Montreal would turn the leaf. After the first 20 minutes of their fixture against the New York Red Bulls, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the case. A well worked goal gave the Impact a deserved lead, and the perennially offside Italian was causing mayhem. Unfortunately for Di Vaio, their back-line was also causing mayhem, just not in a good way. The decision to not overhaul the defense looked a costly one as a Peguy Luyindula-inspired New York turned the game on its head in the space of two minutes. While the Impact grabbed a equalizer, the general feeling in Canada is that this team will concede more than it will score.

Michel’s Return to Dallas Increases Their Threat

Okay, the Dallas midfielder only found himself in the team due to the enforced absences of Moffat and Jacobson, but the midfielder’s set piece prowess was a nightmare for the Houston Dynamo as the corners and free kicks continued to look dangerous. When the Dynamo’s night got worse with the dismissal of David Horst, the absence of his height, power, and ability allowed Michel’s set pieces to become more threatening. It was no surprise they scored from a corner after his dismissal.

MLS is Still Wildly Unpredictable

4-4 in the Portland and Seattle derby, with Dempsey on song. Over in Columbus, and the winning streak was ended by a Jermain Defoe-less Toronto. Last year’s Supporters Shield winners New York Red Bulls  have still been unable to win this season, and last season’s surprise team Portland haven’t either. So far impressive, the Dynamo, were ripped apart by Dallas. Amazingly, DC United have finally won this season, after last year’s disaster. The Whitecaps on the other hand have been impressive, and it was amazing that they were beaten by two Mari wonder goals. In short, don’t ever bet on MLS. Nothing is predictable.