The San Diego Sockers beat the Tacoma Stars on Landon Donovan’s debut to round out a magical night before a modern day Sockers record 8,492 fans, but it was easily overshadowed by seven sub-2,000 crowds around the league, four of which failed to even reach 1,000.
Monday’s de facto game of the week also failed to generate much frisson as the Monterrey Flash vaulted back into first place with a very controlled 5-2 win over the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas.
The MASL has 12 games on the schedule this week with half of them on Sunday. The big stakes are all in the Eastern Conference as eight of the 12 games will be played out of the Eastern and South Central Divisions. None of the four Western Conference games have any head-to-head playoff implications.
The Baltimore Blast, Utica City FC, Orlando SeaWolves, and St. Louis Ambush will have the most on their plates. St. Louis and Baltimore get to enjoy home cooking, but the Ambush’s guest list of Orlando and the Florida Tropics is far more palatable than’s Baltimore’s menu of the Milwaukee Wave and Utica. Orlando, on the other hand will be hoofing it to St. Louis and Kansas City while Utica visits Mississauga and Baltimore.
Tacoma had to face the Sockers twice last weekend, while the Ontario Fury had an easy home game against the El Paso Coyotes. This weekend the schedule reverses and Tacoma enjoys a winnable road game at the Turlock Express and a home game against the Dallas Sidekicks while Ontario has to travel to Rio Grande Valley and Monterrey.
The Sockers are having their Landycakes and eating it, too. Twelve in a row.
Milwaukee needs to figure out a way to encase Josh Lemos in bubblewrap if this season is going to end the way they want it to.
The Flash suffered the most embarrassing loss (Dallas) in their two year resurrection, but then rebounded for one of their biggest wins (Rio Grande Valley) Monday.
The Barracudas, meanwhile, had no trouble with Dallas, but gave a very flat performance in Monterrey, to end their eight game winning streak and slip right back into second place.
The Blast got a tight little win in Mississauga, but now face the double challenge of hosting Milwaukee and Utica this weekend.
The Comets regression over their last three games is puzzling, but they were totally out of Milwaukee’s league on Saturday.
The SeaWolves climbed back to .500 for the second time and now have to show they can take it to the next level with big divisional games against St. Louis and Kansas City on tap.
Ontario takes advantage of favorable scheduling to pull ahead of Tacoma.
The Stars swoon reaches seven defeats in their last nine after home-and-home losses to San Diego.
Dallas stumbled against the Barracudas, but got their first win against a Monterrey team in over 14 years.
The Heat had a great opportunity to pick up their first road win, but blew a 4-1 lead, allowing Mississauga to end their own eight-game losing streak.
Florida got blown out by Orlando at home for the second straight time, their eighth loss in nine games overall.
The MetroStars got back in the win column by rallying to surprise the visiting Heat.
The franchise’s turbulent season turned tragic when Frank Briones was killed in a car accident two days after he and the team endured a 12-4 loss in Ontario.
Turlock got their first comfortable win of the season, taking down El Paso 12-8.