MLS - Week 17 Notes (plus Gold Cup)
|1) The USMNT have now gone 16 matches in a row undefeated in Gold Cup play, dating back to the 2003 third place match. That ties the record set by Mexico, whose streak lasted from 1991-2000 and also began in a third place match.|
The USA has still only lost four games in Gold Cup history, twice each to Brazil and Mexico.
I wasn't too worried during the match, as I remembered the last minute goal the USA scored the last time we played Haiti. Danny Califf scored in the 94th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw in Miami in 2004. It was also notable for being the only time John Wolyniec started for the USA.
Incidentally, I almost forgot the USA was playing yesterday due to the lack of an off day between the second and third group games. Totally missed Friday's games because of that.
2) Home/away discrepancy update:
NY - played 3 more away games
CHI, NE - played 2 more away games
CHV - played 2 more home games
SEA, TOR - played 3 more home games
3) Did you know that of the 39 nominees for MLS Rookie of the Year from 1996-2008, only three were teenagers? I'm going by the age they were on July 1st. Those three were Santino Quaranta, Freddy Adu, and Chad Marshall (none of whom won). None of the main candidates this year are that young.
The average of a ROTY nominee is 21.91 years, while the average age of the winners is slightly older at 22.13 years. The three oldest winners, all over 23, were Mike Duhaney, Rodrigo Faria, and Sean Franklin. That's not good news for Franklin to be in the same boat with arguably the worst two winners in league history.
4) Most sub appearances without starts. This little known single season record could be in danger of falling in 2009. Jamil Walker is the current record holder with 19 in 2003. However, he has a few serious challengers this year, most notably Eric Avila of FC Dallas. Through 17 games, Avila has come off the bench 14 times without starting (including last night).
Unfortunately, FCD is likely to fall out of contention very soon which means that he probably will be starting a few matches at least. Other contenders for the record (or at least the top ten) are Michael Kraus (11), Mike Banner (9), Greg Dalby (8), Roger Levesque (6), and Duncan Oughton (6).
5) Bruce Arena's LA Galaxy team has now won three straight 1-0 matches to jump up the standings. The team is winning with their defense (4th in the league) because their offense certainly hasn't been up to the task (13th).
It's not normal for Arena's teams to be defense oriented, however. In the four full seasons he's coached in MLS (1996-98, 2007) that hasn't been the case. In each of those years his teams have ranked higher on offense than on defense. Look:
* Only coached 12/32 games.
** Only coached 10/30 games.
*** Season is not over yet (17/30 games).