The Bernies ! - MLS clubs better get used to them. Patrice Bernier and Hernan Bernardello were not good but great against the Houston Dynamo. If the counterattack was on form tonight, more often than not it originated with the pair providing the breakout pass to Felipe and Mapp.. Bernardello was a force all night long in quite possibly his best game with the Impact. With each passing game, the chemistry between the Bernies is growing strong.
-Credit to the coaching staff for returning with the 4-4-1-1 formation; a formation that allows the Impact's most skilled players to be on the field. Better yet, the formation has allowed Felipe Martins to regain his 2012 form in playing the link between Marco Di Di Vaio and the Bernies.
-As difficult as it was to watch Wednesday's uninspiring loss to C.D. Heredia, the Impact raked the benefits of fresh legs against Houston. Look no further then the reenergized Alessandro Nesta, who resembled nothing of the Nesta of the past few weeks.
The only players to start both games this week were Felipe and Jeb Brovsky a.k.a goal scorer extraordinaire a.k.a proud leader of the Jebi Knights!
Mapp - Building on his D.C. United performance, Justin Mapp has clearly found his dominant early season form. The game was decided in a three minute span of the first half in which Mapp played the decisive pass in each of the Di Vaio and Felipe goals.
But above the assists, Mapp was a force all game long and even provided a blast outside the box that rang off the crossbar.
The finishing - With no threatening speed, intimidating size or ability to out jump a defender for a header, Marco Di Vaio maybe the most intimidating striker in the MLS at the moment. Why? Because one momentary slip or soft defending is all he needs to get past a defender and bury it top corner.
Ask D.C. United's Dejan Jakovic or Houston's Corey Ashe. With two more goals to his tally, Di Vaio has now sole possession of the MLS scoring lead, shots on target and off course...off sides!
Troy Perkins- With all the goals, it's easy to forget that with the Impact leading 2-0 in the first minutes of the second half, Perkins robs Will Bruin with a brilliant glove save on the line. A rare but well earned clean sheet for Perkins.
Adam Moffat vs Hernan Bernardello- In one of the more intense moments, the two fiery competitors clashed in a passionate battle for a loose ball. The incident should be subject to league review as kicks were exchanged and none more dangerous than Moffat's back kick that just missed Bernardello's head.
Will Bruin -Someone please send the above text on finishing to Mr. Bruin. In what could have dramatically altered the tone of the game. Will Bruin whiffed on an early game opportunity to put Houston up 1-0.
Alone in front of the net, instead of heading the go ahead goal, Bruin chooses to let the ball fall to his feet in which time the new energized Nesta comes to the rescue of his goalie and puts an end to the opportunity.
The Houston Dynamo ......
....alright as tempted as I am to leave it at that, no need to add salt to the wound. It just clearly wasn't Houston's night. Plain and simple, the defensive line was under attack or may I say, counterattack, all night long. The midfield support didn't help their case and neither did any tactical halftime adjustments. This is still one of the better MLS clubs and no reason they can't rebound down the stretch.