You want goals? We’ve got goals. Start with this nutty 6-2 result in DC, featuring a Patrick Mullins hat trick the most bone-headed red card you’re likely to see this season.
To be clear: Mullins has played five games for DC, and in those five games has scored more goals than Kevin Doyle, Mauro Diaz, Dom Oduro, Javier Morales, Will Bruin, Fabian Espindola, Lucas Melano, or Nelson Valdez have scored all season (to name a few).
The weekend ended with the Portland Timbers exacting a Clint Dempsey-less Seattle Sounders side in another barn burner, taking the nod 4-2.
Jordan Morris looked to be starting a Sounders comeback in the second half, involving himself in the buildup to an own goal, nicely finishing a header himself, and nearly pulling a third one back for the Sounders if not for a key Jake Gleeson save.
You Nguyen Some, You Lose Some
Lee Nguyen has not been the same player we saw even just on the winter, when he looked like one of the most impressive players to come out of the January camp. Some thought the gravitational pull and goal-scoring prowess of Kei Kamara would help give Lee the space to work his magic and revive the Revolution’s season, but it’s time to face facts: the Revs have been awful, and Kamara and Nguyen haven’t made for a lethal partnership up top.
Nguyen’s passing chart from New England’s 1-0 to New York is demoralizing. Nguyen is at his most effective with the Revs when he’s receiving the ball in and around the box, working quick combinations and getting a shot or pass off. But with Kamara in the mix, New England’s best scoring threat is a player who constantly hangs on the back should of the defense and is looking for crosses whipped in on the break. Accordingly, this game style has moved Nguyen further back on the pitch, mostly facilitating possession. That role might suit someone like Darlington Nagbe, whose athleticism enables him to spring an attack wherever he might receive the ball, but it wastes Nguyen’s best quality: being dangerous near goal.
Keegan Rosenberry is going to be one to watch for U.S.A. fans. He’s just a really, really good defender, and his learning curve has been outrageous this season. He grabbed a winning goal in the midweek game, finishing off a ball from Tranquila Barnetta nicely. But what really stood out to me was his defensive work against Sporting KC. Tasked with covering the right flank against Graham Zusi and Sporting left back Jimmy Medranda, Rosenberry allowed exactly 1 completed cross and 1 blocked shot from both of them combined.
2 offensive actions. That’s it. Not even 2, really, More like 1.5.
Rosenberry is the type of rookie that can run out great in his opening campaign and then immediately cool off (see: Tesho Akindele) once teams get wise to his game, but if he wants to press the issue on the league’s best outside backs, this season isn’t a bad way to start that process.