Thursday, June 25, 2015

Midweek MLS Madness: Galaxy dominate, DC United extend first place lead

Philadelphia Union 1-0 Seattle Sounders
Seattle really, really misses Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. They are so shallow at forward right now, they started Lamar Neagle, a central midfielder, up top tonight. They are also kind of luck that this defeat wasn't a lot worse. Philly had a goal disallowed in the  27th minute because of a foul by Andrew Wegner. They had a penalty saved five minutes later. The Union didn't score until CJ Sapong headed home a Sheanon Williams cross in the 69th minute. Seattle stays in first over Vancouver, but they have lost that game in hand that they really needed.

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Real Salt Lake
The clock had only barely struck three minutes when Mike Grella tapped home the only goal Red Bulls needed. Even with the lead, New York made it look like RSL wasn't even there. Shots were 24-4 in favor of New York, possession was over 60-40, and Salt Lake never controlled any portion of the game at all. I guess they were just tired after their thrilling Sunday victory.

Columbus Crew 2-1 New England Revolution
The opening five minutes of this one were insane. The pitch wasn't even dry from pregame watering when Lee Nguyen opened the scoring 31 seconds in with a low bumbling shot that got by Steve Clark. MLS leading goal scorer Kei Kamara would not let that stand. He equalized with a violent header when Columbus had only been behind for less than three minutes. His second of the match, and the Crew's winner, came five minutes after halftime to keep them above the red line. New England falls further behind first place DC United in the East.

Orlando City 2-0 Colorado Rapids
Orlando has a thing for quick doubles in the second half to win them games. This time it was Cyle Larin in the 62nd and Kaka in the 65th to give them the 2-0 win over the lowly rapids. It was a deserved win for the home side. They controlled the match, took 23 shots, landed eight of them, and overall were the better team. After a sort of shaky start, Orlando City are now only a point out of second place in the East. They won't catch DC United (nobody will), but they are on track for a playoff appearance in their first season.

Toronto FC 3-1 Montreal Impact
Montreal got the first goal of the match from Ambroise Oyongo in the 19th minute, but that would be all they got. Toronto stormed ahead and took the battle of Eastern Canada with goals from Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and Sebastian Giovinco from the spot. Both these teams are sort of behind the rest of the league in terms of games played. This was only Toronto's 14th match. They are 12 points behind DC in first, but they have five games in hand. They might be in the best spot to catch United. Montreal, on a similar note, has only played 13 games. They are three points out of the playoffs with two games in hand on the sixth place Red Bulls.

Chicago Fire 0-1 DC United
It took a while, but Connor Doyle gave DC United the lead with less than 20 minutes to play. This was one of those kind of sloppy midweek games that make them so unattractive. Chicago only landed one shot on target for the whole match. Both teams each took eight overall. The goal was the result of a sort of flukey deflection. Yeah, I could have done without watching this one. United extend their lead in first to a full ten points. They look to be running away with things there, for now.

Portland Timbers 0-5 LA Galaxy
Sebastian Lleget started the party for LA in the 14th minute by completing a nice passing play that left Adam Kawarsey helpless in the Portland goal. Robbie Keane started the goal well, but Portland's defense really could have done better to prevent it. Lletget then won a penalty a few minutes later. And by "won a penalty" I really mean he got tapped in the back, felt a couple legs behind him and fell down. Keane buried the ensuing PK to make it 2-0 to the Galaxy. It became 3-0 when Portland's back line broke down once again and a pass went right to Robbie Rogers for the easy goal. In the second half, LA was content to pack up shop and take their 3-0 win to the bank, but when Jack Jewsbury turns the ball over, of course Juninho is going to take advantage and score a fourth. After Liam Ridgewell was sent off for kicking Alan Gordon, Jose Villarreal caped off the scoring with a well placed free kick in the 88th minute. It looks like that the LA Galaxy we remember from last year is starting to hit their stride for 2015. They have done nothing but score goals over the past couple matches, and with Steven Gerrard on the way in, there is no reason to think that trend will stop. 

Portland, however, played their worst game of the season, by far. They didn't even get off the bus for this one. Right after I praise their stellar defensive record, they go and give up five in a huge game. Here's hoping they can turn it around before the rivalry clash against the shot handed Sounders on Sunday.

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