9 things we learned from MLS gameweek 8

It’s not a fair fight, considering it’s NYC against New Jersey, but it’s reality. The Red Bulls, unfortunately for everyone involved, aren’t exactly one of the league’s premier franchises.

6. Big win for Toronto 

Toronto has a killer road-trip to start the year. Seven straight away from home as renovations finish on BMO Field. Five games through, it’s been tough – but TFC righted the ship on Sunday night with a big 2-0 win in Orlando.

It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Toronto won with their full squad healthy and energized, and with their star players firing – things that they didn’t have over their recent swoon.

As long as Toronto’s defense is as tough as it was as the Citrus Bowl, this is a playoff team and arguably one of the three favorites in the east alongside Columbus and New York. Giovinco and Jozy Altidore will get the goals, and Michael Bradley is a hell of a lot more valuable and fun to have around if things are going well.

Firing Greg Vanney – regardless of whether he was and is the right and best man for the job – would ruin this season. Vanney is a cool head, and this team has enough leadership to run itself. Just wait until they hit the second half of the season, which they’ll play almost exclusively at home.

7. The Klinsmann-Garber feud continues

Don Garber has had enough of Jurgen Klinsmann, and he’s already come to best represent the faction of American soccer that is tired of Klinsmann’s consistent belittling, patronizing treatment of MLS and belief that he has no transformational ideas.

This split with Garber and MLS, and the bad blood that clearly exists between the two parties, is one of the many reasons that Klinsmann’s job looks tenuous. The reason it doesn’t is the continued, unwavering support of Sunil Gulati, who once again came to his coach’s defense after Garber’s comments. Stay tuned.

8. Philadelphia’s Slide Continues 

The Union was dismantled in Columbus, and they continue to be the league’s worst team since FC Dallas shocked Colorado into life on consecutive Friday nights.

It’s not just the results. It’s the play. Philadelphia cannot complete passes – short or long. They don’t appear to have any idea how they want to play. How did it get this bad? It’s hard to say exactly, and it’s hard to pinpoint just how much of the woe is on head coach Jim Curtin.

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