1. Toronto Relies Too Much on Altidore
Toronto’s signings of Giovinco and American Jozy Altidore over the off season would seem good moves, but Toronto was clearly lacking the American’s presence going forward over the weekend. Unavailable due to his international commitments, Altidore has already provided a few key moments and game winners, but the intensity in attacking play was lacking for Toronto in their 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. It would appear while the money would justify Altidore’s purchase, Toronto FC might have put all of their eggs into one basket.
2. Portland: New Year, Same Look
This is far the side that Caleb Porter took to the MLS Cup Final only a few years ago. Even more so, it would appear Portland’s defense is still an issue for them as proven by the goal conceded late to tie LA 2-2 and now their loss to Vancouver over the weekend. Portland look like they might struggle for the final playoff spot again this year, something that could come with some sour taste given their incredible run into the post-season just a few short years ago.
3. Real Salt Lake’s Allen Could Come Good
Having missed most of the 2014 season with an injury, Jordan Allen could prove to be the star player he’s been billed to be after all. Many worried the injury he had in 2014 would set him back, but his game winning goal against Toronto shows his mind is still in the right place during games and certainly that will only help propel him to become an even better player.
4. Philadelphia’s Stock Is On the Decline
I hate to say it, but the Union look rubbish. After 2 straight games playing with 10 men, a shaky and unconfident goalkeeper between the sticks, and a lack of explosive scoring, the Union look like the first team to miss the playoffs and very much could finish the season where they find themselves now: at the foot of the Eastern Conference.
5. Dallas’s Form Is Not Temporary
Legitimate playoff and MLS Cup contenders last season, FC Dallas look to be just a bit stronger than last season, which saw a late minute goal knock them out at the hands of the eventual MLS Cup Champions: the Los Angeles Galaxy. Their draw with Seattle is a good result and they’re previous 3 wins just a clinical show of what playing good football can do. They look set for another post-season year but perhaps this time, with a little more bite than bark.