MLS action is back after taking a week off... Well, it felt like a week off. Those 3 games still count for something, but they won't take up space in my memory. Here are the three questions I have for this weekend's games!
How does Kaka fit back into OCSC?
Through the first three games this season, Orlando has managed to go unbeaten, pulling off a win and two draws. They’ve done so without their former Ballon D’or winner, Kaka. It hasn’t been pretty for Orlando, but they’ve managed. The way they managed to not lose has been a combination of a couple of things, one of those things being Cyle Larin. Through 3 games, Orlando’s offensive strategy has been nothing short of your uncle’s favorite tactic in the annual Thanksgiving football game; “Go long!” They’ve kicked it long to Larin, and it’s worked so far. Another thing they’ve done well is have two out and out defensive midfielders helping out the back line, and that new Nocerino guy is no chump. But, with Kaka coming back, they’ll need to drastically change their style in order to incorporate him. This means they’ll probably drop one of Cristian Higuita or Darwin Ceren, and move Nocerino further back. That’s fine and dandy, except they’ve deployed Nocerino higher up the pitch so far and it remains to be seen if he can sit deeper and help the offense flow through the middle instead of just having the ball hoofed up the field. Nocerino was brought in to keep Kaka higher up the pitch, and now we’ll see if that plan is going to work.
What does LA do with all the injuries?
It was announced this week that Robbie Keane underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right leg, and he’ll be out 4 to 6 weeks. That’s in addition to Steven Gerrard’s calf injury. Oh, and whatever is going on with Gio dos Santos. Generally speaking, missing your three designated players is not a recipe for success in this league (just ask how Seattle’s summer went last season). But, assuming Gio dos Santos is healthy; I think this is a situation of addition by subtraction. The awkwardness of the Galaxy’s roster construction is well documented. With Keane out, it’ll allow Gio to play a more comfortable position as a second striker, also allowing Gyasi Zardes to move into his more comfortable position up top. As far as Gerrard goes, I think him not being in the lineup is just fine. He hasn’t offered the Galaxy very much this season.
Will the real New England Revolution please stand up?
If it weren’t for Columbus and Seattle, more people would be talking about New England’s sluggish start. Having not won a game yet this season, and being tied for second worst in goals conceded, you could make the assertion that things aren’t going as planned in Foxboro. Their back line has been less than stellar and even with Lee Nguyen; they just aren’t generating chances with any consistency. Their young players are underperforming, and at times, being asked to do too much (looking in your general direction, Andrew Farrell). To make matters worse, they’ve had a player sent off in the last two games. At the beginning of the season (just a month ago), there were a lot of people predicting this team to be very good, but they’ve been hardly that. A game against your nearest and fiercest rival is just the opportunity a team like this need to make a statement. But, will they? I remain skeptical.