Sunday, April 19, 2015

It Happened in America: MLS Matchweek 8

Games with lots of goals, games with few goals. Games with early goals, games with late goals. And a game with a three hour thunderstorm delay. Lots of excitement in MLS this weekend. Here's the report on what went down.

New York Red Bulls 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
It was Red Bull domination through and through as they blasted 21 shots  wile controlling the entire match. Sasha Kljestan and Mike Grella scored twice in six minutes midway through the first half to make it mean something. The emphatic win puts undefeated New York atop the East with 11 points and a match or two in hand on everyone within striking distance. The minor slip up for the Quakes has them in fifth.

DC United 1-1 Houston Dynamo
United once again fails to hold on to a lead at home as they squander an early lead and end up with only a point. Chris Rolfe bolted home a free kick from just outside the box to give DC the lead in the 36th. They would hold the lead on through halftime. Houston should have equalized just before the hour mark when Giles Barnes received a perfect centering pass and drilled his sot off the post. Ricardo Clark would tie the score in the 65th when he knocked home a rebound off a Brad Davis shot. The sides traded chances for the remainder of the match, but none bore fruit so the points were shared.

Columbus Crew 3-0 Orlando City
This on was all Crew all the time as Kaka and company never really got off the ground. Things got chippy after Fedrico Higuain scored the Crew's first goal. Upset with an uncalled foul, Orlando's Rafael Ramos went in with cleats up high on Waylon Francis and was justly shown straight red. Columbus used the man advantage to score twice more before the 60th minute to rout Orlando out of Ohio.

FC Dallas 3-2 Toronto FC
Toronto didn't exactly get off the bus on time in this one as Fabian Castillo scored 29 seconds into the match. Castillo scored again in the tenth minute and Blas Perez scored in the 27th. Before Toronto even realized there was a match going on they were down 3-0. The storms came in the 43rd minute and the match was delayed for more than three hours before it was continued, Sebastian Giovinco scored twice in the last ten minutes to make the match look a lot closer than it was. Dallas had been winless in three matches before this one, so a good win for them.

Colorado Rapids 1-3 Seattle Sounders
Another quick goal here as Lamar Neagle curled in a nice shot from the corner of the box to put the Sounders up five minutes in. Gabriel Torres would tie it in the 22nd for Colorado, but Neagle was at it again for Seattle five minutes later. Colorado pressured well and launched 27 shots at Stefan Frei, but it wasn't enough. Obafemi Martins put it out of reach in the 73rd and Seattle took home the points.

LA Galaxy 2-1 Sporting Kansas City
Baggio Husidic scored off a rebound in the tenth minute for LA. Kansas City struck right back with Krisztian Nemeth finishing off a great combination of passes in the 22nd. It was a nice back and forth game for most of the rest of the way. Omar Gonzalez scored the winner seconds before the death of the four minutes of stoppage time by latching onto the end of a corner and slotting it inside the post.

Real Salt Lake 0-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
First place Vancouver stays hot as Darren Mattocks broke a scoreless tie in the 80th minute of a fairly uneventful match. Mattocks's goal was the lone shot Vancouver put on goal, so I guess they just bored Nick Rimando to death, or something, before they decided to put one in. 

Philadelphia Union 1-2 New England Revolution
New England had more shots in the first half, but Union probably had the better chances. And they were rewarded for their efforts with a gorgeous free kick goal from Cristan Maidana right before halftime. New England was able to put together some better attacks after the break and a perfect cross from London Woodberry to Charlie Davies in the 64th minute tied the match at one. It was New England's first goal against an Eastern opponent in four tries, and only their fifth overall goal. They didn't have to wait long for the second as they went up 2-1 in the 76th when Teal Bunbury drilled home a point blank shot. Philly almost equalized with several consecutive chances minutes after the go ahead goal, but it wasn't enough to secure any points.

New York City 0-1 Portland Timbers
The first half was all NYC and it's a wonder they failed to score in it. Adam Kwarasey was forced to make tough saves and Nat Borchers was blocking shots while Portland's attacks were very few and far between. A rare occurrence gave Portland a chance right after halftime when Josh Saunders handled a back pass to give the Timbers an indirect free kick. They failed to score off the attempt, but it did lead to a corner. The teams then proceeded to boot the ball around the clogged Yankee Stadium pitch for 45 minutes. Portland had some chances, but not were finished until Dairon Asprilla finally converted with the help of a nice deflection in the 79th minute. New York tried to come back, but without David Villa they really had nobody to truly spearhead any attack.

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