Sunday, April 3, 2016

It Happened in America: Sounders earn first win, Toronto looks sad in Colorado

Chicago Fire 1-0 Philadelphia Union
Philadelphia have been one off to a surprising start with six points through two matches. Their trip to Chicago began with some heavy wind and snow that persisted for the first 20 or so minutes of the match. After the clouds thinned and the snow fades away, the game began to open up a bit. The Fire had a great chance called back on offside, but Kennedy Igboananike forced a save out of Andre Blake anyway. A minute later, C.J. Sapong floated a header that was stopped by only the fingertips of Matt Lampson before wafting into the crossbar. The Union were able to muster a couple other chances before halftime, but inaccuracy, missed passing, and a post kept getting in the way.

Philadelphia stomped out their chances in the 47th minute when Warren Creaville was shown a second yellow for a stomp to the back of Razvan Cocis's leg. The Fire went in front on a nice shot by Igboananike just four minutes later. After that, Philadelphia had no life to their attack and were unable to really get anything going. The Fire were in control of the ball for much of the time and were simply toying with their opponents on their way to their first win in 2016.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Toronto FC
The Toronto FC Epic Road Trip 2016 Edition took them to altitude to face the Colorado Rapids. This match came with the added intrigue of Clint Irwin returning to Colorado for the first time since he was sent off to Toronto. Things didn't get off to a clean start for Toronto. Benoit Cheyrou somehow managed to collect a pair of yellow cards within the first quarter hour to get sent off nice and early. Toronto would have to play for over 75 minutes with only ten men. Little more than five minutes later, Colorado had the lead after a short range goal from Luis Solignac, who had found his way behind the weakened Toronto back line. The Rapids really should have scored a couple more goals, but some limited passive play combined with Colorado's rough finishing ability kept the score at 1-0 for the duration. 

Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City welcomed in Real Salt Lake to Children's Mercy Park, where they hoped to continue their perfect start to the 2016 season. they could do it against an extremely weakened RSL sde who was missing nine players due to injury or suspension. Being shot on players didn't affect RSL's ability to go ahead first. A 29th minute free kick found the head of Justen Glad who was able to direct the ball into the goal for the opener. SKC's disconnected attack would come to haunt them for not managing to get an equalizer. A 79th minute corner also led to disaster for them as their inability to clear the attempt led to Luke Mulholland getting a low, long shot through tons of traffic for the second RSL goal. A stoppage time penalty allowed Benny Feilhaber to pull one back, but it wasn't enough for a sloppy SKC to pick up a result and keep their undefeated season going. 

FC Dallas 1-1 Columbus Crew
The Crew needed something to get their season moving, and an early goal from Justin meram was pretty important for them. The Iraqi international had Columbus in front in the ninth minute. It would take a while,. but FC Dallas would eventually find a determined equalizer in the 77th minute. Maxi Urruti fired a shot off the post that Tesho Akindele pounced on for the tap in at the empty net to level the score. The draw means Columbus is still without a win on the young season and Dallas is at the top of the pile with ten points.

Seattle Sounders 1-0 Montreal Impact
A turf game means no Didier Drogba for Montreal, but they've done well despite this restriction so far. A trip to pointless Seattle could spell trouble for the Impact, though. It took well into the second half to get the first goal in this one. It came from Clint Dempsey heading home a 79th minute corner to give Seattle a leg up on their first points of the season. They would hold on despite a little bit of Montreal pressure. It makes me wonder what sort of difference Didier Drogba could have made for the Impact. Seattle was no longer pointless as they win their first game of the season.

Vancouver Whitecaps 0-0 LA Galaxy
The Galaxy put their ugly road form to the test against Vancouver, who struggled at home last season. LA had all the pressure in this one. They owned over 60% of the ball and bombed 15 shots. Only four of them made it on target, though and they couldn't get anything in the net. The scoreless draw fit both clubs' characters to a tee. Vancouver disappoints at home and LA fails to get a result on the road.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 D.C. United
D.C. United have been off to a shaky start this year. Their defeat at home against Dallas last weekend was the pinnacle of their winless start and they were hoping to rebound on the west coast. They got the jump on the Quakes, too. Patrick Nyarko had them in the lead in the 34th minute. The Quakes would eventually equalize through Adam Jahn in the 88th minute. They kept the pressure high into stoppage time, but nothing went through and the points had to be shared.

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