10 things we learned from gameweek 6 of MLS

The result was hometown kid John McCarthy in goal for the Union, a stoppage time winner against NYCFC, a sweet goal call from JP Dellacamera, a rocking PPL Park, and an even sweeter postgame interview from an emotional McCarthy.

In a nutshell, this game wasn’t anything special for the Union. NYCFC is one of the weaker teams in the league, it was a home match, and Philly still played poorly for the vast majority of the game. Still, winning remains sweet no matter the circumstances. The Union players and staff that have stuck out the beginning of the year deserved their moment in the sun on Saturday.

4. Can’t predict MLS, part 3: Houston 

The Dynamo had been dreadful, especially offensively, in their first handful of games under Owen Coyle. It had been, in many cases, a worst case scenario for a career bottom-tier Premier League, middle-to-upper-tier Championship manager coming into MLS: Houston were negative, bereft of innovation, and often just plain ugly.

That all turned around on Saturday night with a resounding 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston played a proactive, open game, and was well worth its three points. But how much of the win was down to the opponent remains to be seen.

The truth is, even now, before the arrival of Cubo Torres, Houston isn’t well set up to play attacking soccer. Their central midfielders are largely defensive, they don’t have a ton of team speed, and they don’t have a forward they really trust. The Impact win might have been a flash in the pan.

5. Vancouver struggles again 

The Whitecaps have established themselves as the most inconsistent team in MLS. They highs are sensational, but the lows are equally as frequent – and damaging.

The ‘Caps are weak mentally. They have a team full of erratic personalities, from Kendall Waston, to Pa Modou Kah, to his mercurial Gambian pal Kakuta Manneh. Captain and star Pedro Morales was sent off at the end of a dreadful 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, and you just have to wonder if this team can string together enough results to make a real postseason run.

Vancouver’s results this year have far outpaced their performances. They were well beaten by Toronto in their opening day loss, but also handily outplayed by Portland and Orlando City in wins.

It’s been a heady start for Vancouver, but unless they can find some leadership and stability, they’re headed towards another up-and-down season that will most likely finish in the first round of the playoffs.

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