It wasn’t quite the goal-fest of opening day, but Week 2 of the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season offered no shortage of talking points. Here are three things that stood out to me:
1. SLOW STARTERS
What do Vancouver Whitecaps FC have in common with Seattle Sounders FC, New York Red Bulls, and Columbus Crew? They were each among the top six teams in Major League Soccer last season – New York and Columbus met in the Eastern Conference Final.
And they’re all at the bottom of the MLS table thanks to a 0W-2L-0D start to 2016. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
I know I didn’t.
It’s not easy when the hunter becomes the hunted, and I suspect that’s part of the reason (no, not the only one) for these teams’ slow starts.
The question now becomes: how quickly can they get back on track?
Vancouver and Seattle will both be looking to do so on Saturday, when the Cascadia rivals meet at CenturyLink Field (7 p.m. PT on TSN1 and TSN 1410) for the first time this season. Safe to say there will be some desperation on both sides for this one.
As if these Cascadia derbies weren’t already interesting enough.
2. IMPACT KEEP ROLLING
It seemed all the talk around Montreal Impact in the offseason was around Didier Drogba. Would he return to Montreal for a second season? Would he go back to Chelsea? Would he play on turf?
So far in this young season, it’s been a moot point.
After defeating Whitecaps FC 3-2 in last weekend’s season opener, the Drogba-less Impact thrashed New York Red Bulls 3-0 on Saturday in their home opener. Ignacio Piatti once again led the way with a goal and an assist, after putting on a show a week ago against Vancouver.
It’s still early, but it sure seems like the Impact are for real.
3. WAIT, WHAT?
Many pundits predicted FC Dallas to be an MLS Cup favourite in 2016.
And considering they had won seven straight games against Houston Dynamo over the last three seasons, outscoring them 23-7 in the process, you can guess who most people had their money on heading into Saturday’s Texas Derby.
But as I’ve said before, it’s never wise to try predicting results in MLS.
The Dynamo put on a clinic against Dallas and cruised to a 5-0 victory, scoring four goals in the first 30 minutes alone.
I'll leave you with this goal that was #1 on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10.
Goal of the Week? How about Goal of the Year?