Apr 1, 2012, 4:55 PM EDT
Saturday was a strange animal in MLS, a rare days of road rules. So to speak.
Visitors went 4-1-1, as Columbus, San Jose, Real Salt Lake and New England all prevailed away from home. (Vancouver managed a scoreless draw in Philly.)
That’s a remarkable degree of road achievement in a league where home teams won or tied 78 percent of the time last year.
Here’s the really important thing to remember about these matches: yes, we’re still quite early in the season. It’s just Round 4 of 34. But you know what they say, how they all count the same.
These are the matches that MLS clubs and their supporters tend to look back on in September, when playoff races get tight, or when the difference in a Supporters Shield chase is coming down to precious points or even goal difference.
If Los Angeles gets its defensive act together, for instance, and starts stacking up some points in the standings, they’ll look back on yesterday’s awful effort against New England as a key moment of opportunity lost.
Toronto FC, so desperate for its first playoff berth, will find it difficult to think about those two consecutive home losses in March, including yesterday’s loss to Columbus. The Portland Timbers will just hate themselves for losing an 88th minute lead at Jeld-Wen. That one hurts a lot already; if a tight playoff race happens this fall, the scars of that one will turn particularly hideous.
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market 12
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. 34
- Gareth Bale set to re-sign with Tottenham – But is it a good deal for the Welshman? 7
- Looking back at Week 6 of the NWSL season 2
- Movement in the LA Galaxy-Omar Gonzalez situation 6
- Bigger impact on U.S. soccer growth: David Beckham or Pele? (35)
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (34)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (14)
- Portland ball kid correct to deny Mario de Luna (12)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (12)
- Sharks pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- Spurs survive Grizzlies' late run, win in OT
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole
- PFT: Jim Harbaugh to drive Indy 500 pace car
- Durant pledges $1 million for tornado victims
- GTC: Garcia offers Tiger 'fried chicken' for dinner
- Play Video: Premier League drama set to thrill
- Play Video: Premier League: Real English drama
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team