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Records falling in waves in MLS Round 5

Apr 9, 2012, 1:25 PM EST

New York Red Bulls v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

Round 5 in Major League Soccer was, as they say, one for the books.

Cliché alert? Yes and no. It really was one for the history books. This good piece from MLSSoccer.com fills in the “who, what, when and where” as denizens of Don Garber Valley turned up historical deeds big and small.

But that piece doesn’t even cover all of the record-rewriting level of achievement taking place over the weekend.

For instance, ProSoccerTalk’s extensive research team discovered yesterday that the Red Bull’s third big win set a new precedent. No MLS team, over 16-plus seasons, has won three in a row by three goals or more.

And this one, turned up by The Kansas City Star, is a real jaw-whopper. We all talk about Peter Vermes’ Sporting Kansas City and the big offense. But what about that smothering defense? More was on display in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the David Beckham-less Galaxy.

The Star’s Tod Palmer points out that Sporting KC hasn’t allowed a shot on goal in back-to-back 1-0 wins (over Chivas USA and Saturday’s over the Galaxy). That’s a new MLS record, 245 consecutive minutes without permitting an opposition shot on goal.

So how is that happening? The SKC midfield is pressing, pressuring beast right now. Roger Espinoza is having a good season, concentrating less on intimidating tackles and more on thoughtfully screening his defense. Center backs Matt Besler and Aurélien Collin are cops on the beat at Livestrong Sporting Park. And goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen is doing his part; even if he’s not being called up much for shot stopping, there’s a lot of leadership and communication involved in goalkeeping, as well.

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