Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday MLS: Portland shocks LA, Red Bulls win the East

DC United 4-0 Chicago Fire
This was pretty much what you would expect from the last place team in all of MLS coming into RFK Stadium. Chris Pontius got it all started in the 39th. Bobby Boswell got one on the 67th. Four minutes later it was Fabian Espindola with the third goal. Alvaro Saborio put the finishing touches on the blowout in the 80th. Chicago is now married to their last place fate. DC climbs back into second place and controls their own destiny as far as a knockout round bye is concerned. Because of what the Red Bills did later in the day, though, they can't take first.

New York Red Bulls 4-1 Philadelphia Union
The Red Bulls answered the United threat at first place with four goals of their own and they didn't waste time getting them. Mike Grella set an MLS record by scoring seven seconds after the opening kickoff. Bradley Wright-Philips had one in the fourth. Grella got another one in the 17th and Kemar Lawrence finished it off in the 41st. Not that it mattered, but Philly pulled one back with Sebastian Le Toux in the 55th. As mentioned earlier, New York cliches the first seed in the Eastern Conference.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Seattle Sounders
The first half was goalless and pretty unspirited for both sides. Seattle, especially probably could have shown a lot more life in a pretty important match. A turnover in Seattle's defensive third led to Ricardo Clark getting space avg fitting a low roller that caught Stefan Frei off his line for the Houston goal in the 65th minute. Seattle finally found the equalizer when Obafemi Martins was wide open in the six yard box on a corner in the 82nd minute. His headed finish was so awkward looking, it almost seemed as he accidentally put the ball in. Seattle came closest to finding a winner with a Clint Dempsey free kick that pinballed it's eau through before hitting Tyler Deric's hand. The point helps Seattle a bit, they sit in fifth place with their playoff fate still in doubt heading into the season's final day.

LA Galaxy 2-5 Portland Timbers
What a massive win for the Timbers. Last time these two met at the Stub Hub Center it was the Galaxy doing all the talking, this time out was Portland with an emphatic second half demolition of the defending champions.

Robbie Keane had LA up at the break with a 35th minute goal, but once the hour mark struck, Portland caught fire. Fanendo Adi scored their first in the 65th and waited all of three minutes to add the second one from the penalty spot. In the 74th Diego Chara made it 3-1 to the visitors. Keane scored his second of the game in the 84th, but it was not enough to stop the Timber onslaught. Less than a minute after Keane's tally, Darlington Nagbe got a rare goal to put Portland back up a pair and Maxi Urruti made it five in the final minute before stoppage time. We are used to seeing Timbers matches featuring many missed opportunities where they could light up the scoreboard for five goals. If this is what they look like when they can actually finish, watch out.

The huge sees Portland into fourth place and controlling their own destiny against lowly Colorado next Sunday evening at home. Galaxy are now out of the hunt for the top spot on the West and they could fall as low as sixth if things break against them enough next weekend.

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