1. Nick Rimando is Scott Sterling
Everyone's favorite short and stocky goalie got in a candidate for save of the year this week with a double save against Houston, first getting fingertips to a shot after initially jumping the wrong way, then scrambling the point blank rebound away...with his face.
.@scottstirlinggk has NOTHING on @NickRimando. #RSLvHOU https://t.co/gPqvqaIGlj— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 1, 2016
Eat your heart out, Scott Sterling.
2. Two Es
Jake Gleeson is one of four Timbers players that remain on the roster from their inaugural 2011 season (the other three being Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, and Darlington Nagbe). You'd be forgiven for not noticing him, because the 25-year-old New Zealand international has spent all that time as a backup keeper to Troy Perkins, Donovan Ricketts, Andrew Weber, and Adam Larsen Kwarasey at one point or another. But with the Timbers current number 1 out for an extended period of time, Gleeson is getting a run of starts to himself.
Standing On Your Head: A How-To Guide by Jake Gleeson #PORvTOR https://t.co/BfD3ZjWCS0— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 1, 2016
Safe to say those goalposts in Portland appreciate the help.
3. A W in NYC, but None for Kwadwo
NYCFC finally managed to break their duck at home, running out 3-2 winners with the help of this David Villavolley/scissor kick hybrid. But what many fans are wondering is how Kwadwo Poku still hasn't managed to find Patrick Vieira's lineup.
At this point, we've heard all the stories. Poku isn't a practice player. Poku finds another gear in games. Poku is or is not motivated. What can't be denied is that NYC has had a fairly lackluster start to this season, and Poku was one of their primary sparkplugs last season, when NYC looked hopeless for long stretches. At any rate, I'm sure Minnesota and Atlanta are looking at next year's expansion draft with Poku as a very realistic prize that could be there for the taking.
4. LA Finally Coming Up Stars
LA looked unbalanced and inconsistent at the start of the season, and after losing Robbie Keane to injury and Nigel de Jong to suspension, it seemed perfectly reasonable to question some of LA's more conspicuous names and their lack of production. Steven Gerrard looked old and slow in the midfield. Gyasi Zardes's fairy dust had seemed to wear off for both club and country. Worst of all, Gio Dos Santos looked like a very, very expensive luxury player who was out of ideas in the midfield.
But times have changed, and LA's attack is finally clicking. They scored five in the next game against Real Salt Lake, dropped four on the Dynamo in Houston, and managed to engineer this bit of magic against Sporting KC:
¡Te pasaste, @OficialGio! Golazo con definición de crack del mexicano #SKCvLAhttps://t.co/Wch3YUoDJ0— Fútbol MLS (@futbolMLS) May 2, 2016
As LA's attack goes, so goes their results. Good thing for them the pieces finally seem to be falling into place.
5. Three in Three
The Jordan Morris train rolls on with his third goal in three games. The kid looks loose, light, and like he's understanding the pace and flow of the game week-in, week-out. And while cleaning up the trash in the box isn't a terribly impressive goal to score, the ability to pop up in the box and find the goal is an invaluable skill in any league or team in the world. Looks like Morris will be alright for the Sounders this year after all, and might have a thing or two to say about the Copa America as well.