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In MLS, West is best… at least for a weekend

Mar 9, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

Armando, Kenny Miller AP

For all the talk about a power swing toward the Eastern Conference, the West sure made a stand over the opening weekend of Major League Soccer.

Yes, Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and Toronto FC have yet to make their impact on the season, and of course it’s only been one week of matches — with the West mostly at home — but consider:

– “Lowly” Chivas USA builds a 2-0 lead on the visiting Chicago Fire before overcoming the adversity of blowing said lead to win 3-2.

– Vancouver rudely welcomes the reigning Supporters Shield winners to BC Place with a 4-1 thumping, as manager Carl Robinson makes his debut with a brace from Kenny Miller.

– FC Dallas missed the playoffs by seven points last season, but placed Montreal’s opening night in the loss column with a 3-2 win in Texas.

Seattle sent a message to the champions that home field is a big deal with a stoppage time winner against loaded-for-repeat Sporting KC.

There was production in Philadelphia, where the Union stood firm against MLS Cup favorites Portland, getting a Maurice Edu-Jack McInerney link-up en route to a 1-1 draw, but overall it was a week for the Western Conference.

The Eastern Conference’s only wins on the weekend came from intra-conference beatdowns, as Houston smoked New England 4-0 and Columbus put the hammer down on DC United 3-0.

It likely means very little, but it’s a narrative we’ll be watching all year… and the first salvo belongs to the Western Conference.

Next week, we’ll see even more inter-conference match-ups, as New York and Colorado, Seattle and Toronto, KC and Dallas, and Portland and Chicago on the boil. Who’ll come out with points?

  1. lunasceiling - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Asymmetric schedule + one conference stronger than the other* = Supporters Shield irrelevance. Hard to consider it meaningful when the playing field isn’t level. Which would be no big deal…except it grants a CCL berth.

    *Mind you, one weekend of games doesn’t prove the West is stronger than the East again this year (and the league has a lot better parity than many I could mention), but still…

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