Thursday, September 17, 2015

Midweek MLS Madness: Revs jump into first, Lampard scores first MLS goal

Amidst all the UEFA (and CONCACAF) Champions League action this week, we are treated to a trio of domestic league games right here is the USA.

New York City 2-0 Toronto FC
Frank Lampard got his first MLS goal in the 20th minute on a beautiful cross from RJ Allen. It was a splendid shot for the former Chelsea and Manchester City star as he makes his first truly meaningful contribution to his new club.

Michael Bradley barely missed an equalizer on a counter attack about five minutes later. After receiving a pass from Sebastian Giovinco, the American captain's shot bumbled wide of the far post. Toronto kept swinging and earned several respectable chances leading up to the half hour mark. Jozy Altidore was robbed by the fingertips of Josh Saunders hardly a minute after the Bradley miss. Giovinco had a shot blocked from point blank range. By the halftime whistle, New York City was only barely clinging to their one goal lead.

Toronto continued pressing the NYC line in the second half, but Saunders was up for the challenge of each one of Toronto's attempts, especially a pair of bullet free kicks off the boot of Giovinco. Despite those advances, it was Patrick Mullins heading home an Andrea Pirlo corner in the 77th minute to double New York's lead.

City still has an uphill climb towards the playoffs they are two points back of Montreal for that sixth and final Eastern playoff spot. Toronto aren't quite at risk of dropping out of the East playoffs, but if they don't turn things around soon, they might miss out on the postseason party yet again.

New England Revolution 2-1 New York Red Bulls
Plenty of early fireworks here as both sides found the scoreboard within six minutes. Diego Fagundez, who has now scored in for straight matches, put New England ahead before two minutes went by. Not too be outdone, Mike Grella rocketed home a sixth minute equalizer. That would be it for the first half, however.

After nearly an hour without a goal Kelyn Rowe gave New England the lead back in the 65th minute. This time they would remain ahead for more than a few minutes. In fact, they held it for the test of the game and took a big three points at home to leap frog the Red Bulls into first in the East.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Montreal Impact
San Jose, looking to get back into the West playoff race, hosted Montreal, who was looking to solidify their position in the East playoffs. In a tagger writer first half, the heat action cane from captain Chris Wondolowski banging home a loose ball in the 35th minute.

The second half didn't get off to the best of starts for the Impact. Ambroise Oyongo was sent off for delivering an aggressive slide to the knee of Matias Perez-Garcia in the 49th minute. But ten man Montreal was not phased at all. In the 65th, Kyle Bekker scored on a shot from outside the penalty area that David Bingham would love to have back. The San Jose keeper was caught wrong footed and handed the shot quite awkwardly as it passed him by inside the near post. Despite some close calls, Montreal was able to defend their way to a point on the road to move a full point ahead of Orlando for sixth place in the East. San Jose still remains a point back of Portland for sixth out West.

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