Sunday, August 23, 2015

It Happened in America: Vancouver takes Shield lead, Crew get dramatic win

Toronto FC 5-0 Orlando City
Toronto owned the first half of this one. They held the ball for nearly 60% of the half and outshot Orlando 6-1, but failed to score any goals despite the fact that Orlando had been playing a man down since the 36th minute. Their goal came very early in the second half. Within the first minute after the break, Michael Bradley made some great headway down the left flank and into the penalty area. He slipped a nice pass to Marco Delgado, who had a wide open goal. Toronto doubled their lead in the 57th minute from Sebastian Giovinco doing what Sebastian Giovinco does. In this case, it was bomb free kicks in off the post from 20 yards out. He assisted on the third Toronto goal put in by Justin Morrow. How important is Giovinvo to Toronto FC? He has either scored or assisted on 21 of their last 28 goals. Insane. Jozy Altidore scored the fourth goal from the spot in the 83rd after Adrian Winter was sent off for a second yellow. Altidore scored the fifth with a header two minute later. Let's just say that nine man Orlando was happy when the final whistle blew and this humiliation was over.
DC United 0-2 San Jose Earthquakes
United's slide continues as the now former Supporters' Shield leaders drop another game at home to an opponent currently outside the playoff picture. Christ Wondolowski started the Quakes' night early by being in the right place at the right time to slot home the opening goal in the fourth minute. Shea Salinas added the second in the 52nd minute with what looked like an accidental shot. He got the finish, but Quincy Amarikwa was the man who did the dirty work with a filthy run through DC's flat footed midfield defense. United will really wonder how they failed to get a goal. They took 23 shots, but only four were on target. Their lead on top of the East is now down to five points, and the second place Red Bulls have four whole games in hand.
Columbus Crew 3-2 Sporting Kansas City
Kansas City has made a small habit of winning games late, but this time the tables were turned as it was Columbus with the late goals to steal three points against SKC. Sporting jumped out to the early lead with a Marcel de Jong goal in the 14th minute. Ethan Finlay levelled for the home team in the 35th minute, however. The next SKC lead emerged just after the hour mark. Graham Zusi was the man with a beautiful shot from the corner of the box that hooked its way inside the far post. SKC would hold on until the final ten minutes. Tony Tchani buried Gonzalo Higuain's free kick in the 80th minute to tie it at two. Jack McInerney won it with his first Crew goal since transfering in from Montreal.
Montreal Impact 0-1 Philadelphia Union
Sebastian Le Toux has a thing for late goals. He got the lone goal in this one in the 78th minute to steal the game for the Union and ruin Didier Drogba's MLS debut. The Ivorian legend came on just before the hour mark, but failed to have any real impact for the Impact. Although he did barely miss a free kick in the final minute before stoppage time. On the night, Montreal outshot their American opposition 16-7 and controlled 65% of possession, so they will really feel they should have at least held on for a point.
Chicago Fire 0-1 Colorado Rapids
In a battle of the last place teams in each conference, Dillon Serna wasted no time giving the Rapids a lead on the road. He scored put home Gabriel Torres's pass 47 seconds into the match. That was enough for Colorado as they held for the remaining 89 minutes. The clean sheet was not for a lack of Fire attempts. The Eastern Conference cellar dwellers launched 20 shots on Clint Irwin's goal while controlling two thirds of possession. There's a reason the Fire are in last place.
Real Salt Lake 2-0 Seattle Sounders
Seattle had their big goal scoring outburst last week, and this time they return to the recent form of staying off the scoreboard. On the flip side of that coin, Real Salt Lake probably played their best game of the season. Javier Morales scored from the spot in the 12th minute in. Sebastian Jaime doubled the lead seven minutes later and that was all RSL needed to take all three points. Seattle was lifeless on the road. They only took five shots on the night and only one landed on target. They are still in a playoff spot, but with the way San Jose has been playing, it's only a matter of time before they take the Sounders over.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 FC Dallas
Vancouver gets a mid-first half goal from Cristian Techera to snag three points from Dallas and jump into the Supporters' Shield lead. It was quite the goal too. Kekuta Manneh made a determined individual effort to run across the center of the pitch with the ball before playing a low cross towards Techera and two Dallas defenders. Somehow, he managed to get a heel to the ball and direct it into the goal. The game in general was very tight and defensive. Each side only took seven shots total. Vancouver, in general, started to defend more after they got their goal. Dallas failed to penetrate the Caps' shield and thus dropped the points. Vancouver overtakes DC United at the top of the league. Dallas stays down in fifth,  three points clear of a playoff spot.

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