Sunday, April 24, 2016

It Happened in America: Galaxy hand RSL first loss, Rapids, Union stay hot

Philadelphia Union 2-0 New York City
The surprising Philadelphia Union were Yvette beneficiaries of some pretty standard New York City defending. Chris Pontius was the provider of the first goal I the 24th minute in and CJ Sapong got the second in the 41st. Both were preventable from an NYCFC standpoint. Philadelphia needed nothing more from the second half to coast home with a 2-0 home win. 

Montreal Impact 0-2 Toronto FC
Didier Drogba finally made this season's home debut for Montreal on the opening day for Stade Saputo. He was rather silent inn the first half, but Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco was not. After Jozy Altidore was tripped inn the penalty area in the 40th minute, the Italian scored his fifth of the year from the penalty spot. He stuck again late in the second half. While Montreal was holding the ball and looking non threatening, Toronto mounted a counter attack that resulted in Jonathan Osorio laying off for Giovinco for a low shot inside the far post for an 81st minute insurance goal and three points for his club.

D.C. United 3-0 New England Revolution
D.C. United are still trying to turn things around. This home match against the Revs helped. They went up in the 33rd minute from a Lamar Neagle penalty that may or may not have been drawn by a dive. Je-Vaughn Watson gave a slight shove to Marcelo Sarvas on the edge of the box. Sarvas may have emphasized the contact a little bit in order to get the call. It was no matter, though. Despite having the advantage in possession, New England was lifeless on the day. United grabbed two more goals to solidify their win. The first was a fantastic  chip from Luciano Acosta in the 86th and the second came from an Alvaro Saborio tap in during stoppage time.

Columbus Crew 1-0 Houston Dynamo
The Crew continue to struggle with finishing as they really should have scored more than once in this one. The lone goal came from the penalty spot after Tyler Deric tripped up Justin Meram on a clear goal scoring opportunity. That earned him a straight red card and gifted Kei Kamara with a goal from the spot in the 21st minute. Even with Houston playing with ten men for the better part of 70 minutes, Columbus and their trademark poor shooting prevented them from taking advantage and pushing the lead any higher.

Colorado Rapids 3-1 Seattle Sounders
Jermaine Jones seems quite happy in Colorado. He rose to get his head to a free kick at the stroke of 19 minutes to give the Rapids the lead. Around ten minutes later, he almost repeated that feat, but sent the header over the bar. Seattle failed to put much pressure on, even after down a goal, and eventually gave up a second early in the second half. Luis Solignac converted a sliding shot into an open net after receiving a nice feed from Dominic Badji on a 51st minute counter attack. The Sounders began to show a little life once the hour mark hit. Jordan Morris scored his second professional goal in the 63rd minute by beating two Rapids defenders and forcing a shot through traffic and inside the far post. The Rapids almost got their two goal lead back at 67 minutes when Stefan Frey made a huge penalty save on Shkelzen Gashi. The Rapids would get their insurance goal, eventually. A slower paced counter attack in the 86th minute ended in a cross and a toe poke by a probably offside Kevin Doyle. The flag never went up, however, and the Rapids had their fourth straight home win to open the season. 

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 FC Dallas
Vancouver was expected to challenge FC Dallas for the top spot in the West. So far, Dallas has upheld their end of that bargain, but Vancouver has been rather quiet. With Dallas in town, it was thought Vancouver was in for a rough time. However, it was the Caps gnabbing the first goal thanks to Maynor Figueroa putting one into his own net in the 35th minute. The Caps maintained their lead thanks to a series of wonderful saves by David Ousted in goal. He was stellar in keeping Fabian Castillo, Tesho Akindele, and every speedy Dallas attacker off the scoresheet. This allowed Jordan Harvey to bang home a 63rd minute corner to stretch their lead to two goals. Kekuta Manneh put it away with some hard work and speed in the 77th. It was a surprising defeat for Dallas. They are still in first but Colorado (!) is right behind them 

LA Galaxy 5-2 Real Salt Lake
Real Salt late tested their unbeaten record against LA, who are always tough at the StubHub Center. Their opening here was pretty strong as well. Nick Rimando stopped Steven Gerrard from the penalty spot in the sixth minute. Juan Manuel Martinez had them in front in the 16th minute with a back post header. That would pretty much end their good fortune for the first half.

Gyasi Zardes and the Galaxy had a quick response to the Martinez goal. The USMNT forward fired home a shot from just outside the penalty area to level the score in the 19th minute. Mike Magee was the next to capitalize. Emmanuel Boateng swung in a cross that fell to the foot of the former Fire player for an easy second goal in the 26th minute. Boateng would end up scoring one before halftime. He stormed through the RSL back line in the 41st minute to collect a deflection off Zardes for the third Galaxy goal of the first half. Giovani Dos Santos made it four with a great chip over everybody and under the bar in the final minute of the first.

Galaxy didn't need more in the second half. They defended throughout and only slipped up At the 70 minute mark when the conceded a penalty and allowed Javier Morales to capitalize off it. Steven Gerrard did add a fifth in stoppage time, just because he needed to prove that he can, in fact, score down in MLS.

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