Monday, March 9, 2015

It Happened in America: MLS Matchweek 1

Here's your review of last weekend's MLS action:

LA Galaxy 2-0 Chicago Fire
Galaxy had a plethora of chances in the first half that just lacked the finishing touches. Despite being outplayed early, Chicago almost went ahead early in the second half when Robbie Rogers maybe brought down Quincy Amarikwa in the box, but referee Jair Marrufo let the men play on. Galaxy finally broke through in the 65th minute when Jose Villarreal found himself on the right side of some sloppy Chicago defense to slot in an easy tally. Robbie Keane added the second just after the 80 minute mark. In reality, the 2-0 final could have been 4-0 or more.

DC United 1-0 Montreal impact
Not the most exciting match ever. Much of it was spent watching the two teams feel each other out until Jario Arrieta received a fortuitous bounce on a long ball and slotted it past the oncoming Evan Bush. Neither attack was really all that potent, as only seven shots made it on target between the two teams.

Philladelphia Union 0-0 Colorado Rapids
A 0-0 draw that probably should have gone Philly's way. They enjoyed more than 60% of the possession and held Colorado to only two shots, both off target. Then again, Union only had 4 or 16 on target, so maybe things went the way they were supposed to.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-3 Toronto FC
Probably the most exciting match of the week. It was very free flowing nad featured many almost chances to go along with the four goals. Vancouver was beyond threatening early as Octavio Rivero flubbed a shot at a gaping goal inside the six yard box. It could go down as the worst miss of the season. Rivero would make up for his mistake by burying the first of the game in the 19th minute when he got behind Toronto's high back line and beat keeper Joe Bendik one on one. Toronto was mostly lifeless for the first half hour. but that changed when new designated player signing Sebastian Giovinco made a beautiful through pass to fellow newcomer Jozy Altidore, who buried the shot to level the score. Robbie Findley finished off a wonderful toronto counterattack in the 59th to give them the lead for good. Altidore nothced his second after Po Madou Kah brought him down in the box. The American international converted the ensuing penalty to finish the 3-1 scoreline.

Houston Dynamo 1-0 Columbus Crew
Columbus enjoyed the majority of possession, more than doubled Houston's shots, and controlled all but maybe ten minutes of the game, but Housont got one strong counter attack in that saw Giles Barnes give Dynamo the 1-0 vicotry.

FC Dallas 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
It was a seesaw battle that Dallas managed to punch through and win two minutes into stoppage time when Blas Perez headed home the winner at the end of a scramble in front. San Jose keeper David Bingham punched away a cross, but it went right to Moises Hernandez, who floated a perfect pass to Perez for the easy header.

Portland Timbers 0-0 Real Salt Lake
A 0-0 draw that probably could have been 3-0 to the Timbers. Neither team had too many chances in the first half, but Portland poured it on after the hour mark. In the closing minutes of stoppage time, I have no idea how they didn't score twice. Nick Rimando was the only reason it stayed goalless as Portland was routinely able to swing crosses in from the outside. At the end of each one, it was either Rimano making a huge save, or Portland failing to find the target.

Orlando City 1-1 New York City
Orlando's home opener in front of 62,000 at the Citrus Bowl may be a slight disappointment, but I doubt too many will say either team deserved to win. Orlando had the better chances early on, but NYC keeper Josh Saunders was up to the task. Saunders was part of a scary moment early when he was shoved in the air after collecting a cross. He slammed his head into the post on his way down. He remained in the match despite the wound on the side of his noggin. Miz Diskerud gave NYC the lead with a pretty shot from the top of the box in the 76th minute. Just before the 84 minute mark, Orlando City's Aurelien Collin was shown straight red for a malicious challenge on David Villa. That didn't stop ten man Orlando from equalizing when Kaka took a free kick that deflected off the New York wall in into the goal just before the final whistle.

Sporting Kansas City 1-1 New York Red Bulls
Two quick goals from each side early in the second half sealed the result here. Ike Opara got things started for KC in five minutes into the second frame, but the lead was squandered quickly as New York's Lloyd Sam put one behind just four minutes later. Sporting's Matt Besler was sent off for earning a second yellow in the 70th minute and ten man Kansas City held on for the draw.

Seattle Sounders 3-0 New England Revolution

No Jermaine Jones for New England meant that they were never really in the game. Seattle was the recipient of a dubious penalty call when Clint Dempsey was doubtfully tripped Juan Agudeo. Dempsey scored the easy penalty kick and the rout was on. Obafemi Martins made it 2-0 after 40 minutes and Dempsey added a second midway through the second half.

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