Sunday, May 10, 2015

It Happened in America: Timbers win away, Crew with a statement win over Seattle

Chicago Fire 1-2 Real Salt Lake
Chicago was forced to play from behind early when Alvaro Saborio put RSL ahead in the 13th minute. Luke Mulholland doubled the lead just after halftime. Chicago had the possession and the shots, but couldn't really test Nick Rinamdo in goal. Their breath of hope came with a penalty tally from Jeff Larentowicz in the 88th minute.

Montreal Impact 1-2 Portland Timbers
This one was Montreal's first MLS match since April 11. They have been preoccupied with the CONCACAF Champions League and haven't had time for league action. The first half of this one was spend with the two sides feeling each other out. Chances were rare. After halftime, things picked up quite a bit. Portland owned the first ten minutes of the second stanza, They earned a series of corners in the first 12 minutes or so that resulted in almost chances. Montreal got some pace on the counter attack, but came up empty.

Then things got crazy. Nat Borchers put Portland on the board by being on the final end of a series of headers. Fanendo Adi had the chance right before that glanced the cross bar and fell right to Borchers for his second goal of the season. Diego Valeri, in his first start of the year, made his mark just before the 70 minute mark with a truly beautiful effort. Portland's maestro curled a perfect shot in from the corner of the penalty are to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Dominic Oduro cut into the lead less than 30 seconds after the restart by collecting a rebound and booting it home. It was thought that Portland's he had pushed off Jack Jewsbury, leading the referee to wave the goal off.

Somehow, Portland didn't go up 3, 4, or even 5-1 on breakaways that were flubbed my either bad passes, splendid goalkeeping, or awful runs with the ball. Thankfully, for them, their back line held the fort to earn all three points on the road.

DC United 1-1 Sporting Kansas City
Jario Arrieta tapped home DC United's opener in the 42nd minute, but the lead would not last the half as Dom Dwyer equalized on a fine shot for Kansas City just before the first 45 were up. Both teams had their chances in the second half, but none of them were enough to separate the sides.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 Philadelphia Union
Vancoucer just keeps on rolling, and Philly just keeps on being awful. Even with their main keeper back, Union still allowed three goals. MLS's worst defense (by far) this time allowed Pedro Morales, Octavio Rivero, and Darren Mattocks to score for the league best Whitecaps. Vancouer's 20 points have them tied with FC Dallas for the lead in the Supporters' Shield race.

Columbus Crew 3-2 Seattle Sounders
What a win for Columbus. Kei Kamara's brace turned out to be better than Clint Dempsey's in this one, as Fedrico Higauin also scored for the Crew. Columbus peppered Stefan Frei with 13 shots on goal out of 24 total. The fact that Frei only allowed 3 goals is somewhat astounding. Columbus was pretty good considering they were down 55-45 in possession by the end of the match.

FC Dallas 2-1 LA Galaxy
Dallas also keeps on rolling along as the Galaxy stumble again without Robbie Keane. Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring for the Galaxy and the 59th minute, but Dallas scored twice in the final quarter hour to earn the points at home. First, it was Blas Perez in the 77th, then Tesho Akindele in the 86th to seal the deal. Galaxy, who are now  a distant sixth in the West, should be thankful that some very big reinforcements in the form of Steven Gerrard are on their way in from Liverpool soon enough.

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