Some weeks are easier than others for Major League Soccer to keep its name in the news during the season. The biggest soccer news this past week was the arrest of a number of FIFA officials in Zurich and the laughable spectacle of Sepp Blatter’s reelection –and later resignation– as president of FIFA. However, the 13 games available for soccer betting in the season’s schedule still took place, and the league’s power rankings adjusted as a result. Before we get to the rankings, here are a couple of observations. The first comes from Texas, as FC Dallas appears to be showing signs of its usual summer slump coming on. Several years in a row, FC Dallas has roared out of the gate, only to start dropping games in droves. Friday saw them fall in ugly fashion to Sporting Kansas City, 4-0. They have also dropped a 4-0 result to Colorado and a 3-1 loss to Portland. They are currently winless in three matches, a streak that can drop a team out of playoff contention in a hurry – as FC Dallas have learned quite often in recent years.
Another observation comes from New England, where the Revolution and LA Galaxy played out their rematch from the 2014 MLS Cup, drawing 2-2 and scoring all four goals in the first half. There was chaos all over the field, as neither team could take charge of the match. In the second half, both teams were clamping down so much to maintain control of affairs that neither could find a way to score. The challenge that MLS teams face when moving from entertaining side to champion involves finding ways to take hold of these types of games.
This moves to our next point: the fact that 63 goals out of 308 in MLS play this year have occurred in the 76th minute or afterward. FC Dallas pulled out two quick goals late in a 2-1 win over Houston on May 9, while the Timbers gave up a late equalizer to the Rapids and then scored a game winner just before the ending whistle this past week. Teams are having a hard time closing out games defensively.
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