Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday MLS: Orlando and New York score a lot, United recovers from conceding early

New York City FC 5-3 Orlando City
After a sleep inducing first half (seriously, I fell asleep after 15 minutes) that only featured one goal, the second half was wide open with free flowing excitement. The first half goal (which I had woken up for) was an impressive shot from David Villa. Less than thirty second before halftime, the Spaniard received a pass, turned around, and slotted a shot just inside the near post to put NYC up a goal. 

In the 50th minute, rookie sensation Cyle Larin equalized for the Lions with a similar shot to Villa's tally. The draw was short lived. In the 53rd minute, Javier Calle took advantage of some ball watching Orlando defenders to sneak in and tap home a Thomas McNamara cross to make it 2-1. A couple minutes later, Italian legend Andrea Pirlo was introduced as a sub for his first NYCFC action. On his first touch in the States, Pirlo lobbed a perfect pass to his former AC Milan teammate David Villa, although the not quite chance didn't amount to anything.

Larin made sure to get the Lions back even with a transition goal in the 61st minute. Once again, New York bounced back from a tying goal. In the 67th minute, Villa found his second of the day with a shot through four Orlando City defenders. Although he didn't receive an assist, Andrea Pirlo started the whole thing with a beautiful through ball to Kwadwo Poku. More poor defending from Orlando's back line lead to the fourth goal for New York in the 71st minute. This time it was McNamara wafting in behind ball watching defenders to receive a cross and an easy tap in.

Orlando City would not go away easily. After they went down a pair of goals, Josh Saunders was forced to make a couple of beautiful saves and a shot was cleared off the line by New York's defenders. In the 85th minute, Cyle Larin took a perfect shot that beat Saunders and found the upper 90 to complete his had trick and put Orlando within a goal with five minutes to play.In the second of three minutes of stoppage time, Kaka drilled the post on a free kick that set off a three on one counter attack spearheaded by Poku and Villa, and finished by Mix Diskerud.

As summer arrived, the question surrounding New York City has been whether or not Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard would be enough to vault this team into the playoffs after an atrocious start. This win puts them level on points for sixth place and Lampard hasn't seen the pitch yet. So I'd say, yes, that pair dang well could be enough.

DC United 3-2 Philadelphia Union
This one didn't take long to get started. CJ Sapong scored after all of 20 seconds by receiving a cross with his back to goal, turning around through the DC defender, and burying a shot with little resistance. After three minutes, Sebastian Le Toux scored a rather odd goal. His ball from out wide looked to be a pass looking for a streaking Sapong, but it bumbled past the him and then just... into the goal. It was a horrible goalkeeping error by Andrew Dykstra in addition to the sleepy United defending.

United had their chances to get back into the match. They did control much of the ball for the remainder of the first half. Their first real chance came when Raymon Gaddis brought down newcomer Alvaro Saborio in the box. Fabian Espindola stepped up to the spot and promptly sailed his penalty kick high and wide of the goal. A few minutes later, in the 37th, DC got a goal back with Saborio's first goal in a United shirt.

In the second half, Philadelphia was happy to sit back and defend while DC United attacked. As a result, United found their equalizer in the 66th minute. After a strong save from Brian Sylvestre, Nick DeLeon pounced on the rebound to tie the score with the first goal of his season. The final blow to Philly's upset chances came from Fabian Espinola heading home a cross in the 79th minute.

United remains seven points clear atop the East, while Union are in ninth, a pair of points outside the final playoff spot.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes
The Whitecaps jumped on the early scoring bandwagon, much like Philadelphia did, but they were able to hold onto their early gained lead. Mauro Rosales was the man for Vancouver in the fifth minute as he capitalized off a San Jose turnover in midfield. Kendall Watson added the second just after the half hour mark by heading home a Rosales corner. Octavio Rivero added a PK in the second half before San Jose got their final minute consolation goal from Quincy Amarikwa.

The win keeps Vancouver within two points of first place Dallas in the West while San Jose continues to struggle. They sit in ninth and seven points back from the playoffs.

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