Starting XI: MLS Week 15

11 thoughts about the MLS weekend that was.

1 -- An acceptable performance from FC Dallas Sunday night. They were completely overmatched for the first 30 minutes and the better team for the rest of the match. Credit to FCD for weathering the storm from a young and hungry Seattle lineup and getting a huge road point in the end.

2 – What a contrast of low scoring games we saw Sunday in Seattle and Johannesburg. Show your buddies who may have gotten into soccer during the World Cup that FCD game to see just how exciting a low scoring game can be.

3 – David Ferreira is a man. You’ll be hard pressed to find a player that means more to his team anywhere in the world. It would be easier to express just how important he is to FCD by seeing a lineup without him, but then he hasn’t missed a start since arriving here at the beginning of last season.

4 – A very impressive starting debut performance from Seattle’s Miguel Montano before a moment of madness erased it all. Montano came out of the locker room like a bat out of hell, giving FCD’s left back Jair Benitez all sorts of trouble. However, Montano lost his head, like you might expect an 18 year old to do, and gave FC Dallas the advantage they needed to grab a point with his rash swing at Brek Shea.

5 – New England’s 2-0 win over league leading LA Galaxy was as head-scratching a result as we’ve seen this season. A team that had scored in one their last seven league games puts two past a team that had allowed five goals all season. I wouldn’t read too much into the result, New England is still terrible and Los Angeles is still the team to beat, but for those who want to bet on MLS I present exhibit A.

6 – It’s great to see Matt Reis’ gum-smacking, hard-nosed, bald-headed face back in MLS. It could be next season before he’s back to his regular form, but it’s not the same to watch a Revolution game without Reis between the pipes.

7 – While it’s not terribly surprising to see Houston struggling, given their failure to replace Stuart Holden and losing Geoff Cameron, what is surprising is their problems are at the back. The Dynamo, who has led MLS in goals against the last three seasons, has allowed 22 goals in 16 games this season. While that’s not a disaster of a total, it’s just seven goals off their entire tally from last season and without a stout defense, Houston can’t hope to go anywhere this year in the playoffs.

8 – Don’t forget about Superliga starting this week. Sure, it’s not what it was, but it’s some decent soccer in the middle of the week. Brush up on your Spanish and turn the dial to Telefutura (keep it on ESPN the rest of the day) for some decent soccer. The full schedule is at www.superliga2010.com.

9 – Can someone please get the memo to Jordan Harvey that you don’t let Arturo Alvarez cut onto his left foot?

10 – Seriously, it’s MLS defending 101 that when Arturo Alvarez is running at you, he finishes like Arjen Robben when cutting onto his left foot and Chad Barrett when cutting onto his right. For a defender to allow Alvarez onto his left foot in a tied game heading into stoppage time is inexcusable and Philly paid for it.

11 – Cure the soccer hangover that hits us all on the week after the World Cup by heading out to Pizza Hut Park on Saturday night. The reigning champs from Salt Lake are in town for a huge conference match up with FC Dallas. Come out and see what moment of brilliance David Ferreira will pull off next.