Sunday, June 19, 2016

It Happened in America: Late drama in Orlando and Colorado

After a couple of weeks off for Copa America, MLS was back in action this weekend. Needless to say with the tournament still going on and two knockout matches being played tonight, domestic club soccer was more or less on the backburner for most fans. Regardless, here's the recap of Saturday's eight matches.

New York City 3-2 Philadelphia Union
It was a good afternoon at Yankee Stadium for New York City's European imports agaisnt the Eastern Conference leaders. First off, it was a rare Frank Lapboard sighting. He pounced on a deflected shot in the eighth minute to start the scoring. Minutes after, David Villa tied to catch James Blake off his line with a bomb shot from near the halfway line. His shot sailed over Blake and off the crossbar. In the 21st, the Spaniard would capitalize to double the City lead. It went to 3-0 in the 50th minute with a goal from Andrea Pirlo. New York City's leader and their two most criticized players had all contributed to the dominating first hour, which must be pleasing for Patrick Vieira to see

The Union would muster a slight come back. A penalty in the 55th minute lead to Roland Alberg getting them on the board. The would control the majority of possession in the final half hour, but an 88th minute own goal off Frederic Brillant was the only tally they could collect.

Philly still heads the East by two points over second place New York City.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 New England Revolution
New England headed to the Great White North of Vancouver looking to get back into the top six. They got what they needed in a 2-1 win with goals from. London Woodbury in the 31st minute and Kellyn Rowe in the 55th. They did most of the damage agaisnt the run of play, too. Vancouver more than doubled them in shots and controlled 63% of possession. All they got was one goal from Nicolas Mezquida in the 41st. After ripping off a six match unbeaten streak, they have now failed to win in their last three tries and sit in...place out West.

Columbus Crew 0-0 Montreal Impact
The main story around the Crew this season has been poor finishing. With Kei Kamara having been traded after the last match against Montreal, things have not improved. Their inability to find goals was on full display tonight. They were the better team for much of the match, but none of their chances were going in. It was unfortunate for them because Montreal wasn't exactly playing well. Didier Drogba was held to a pair of off target shots. Without Ignacio Piatti in the lineup to back him up, the Impact were more or less lifeless. The scoreless draw has the Impact in third place with 20 points.

Orlando City 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes
A more or less lifeless match picked itself up in the second half. Seb Hines started the scoring in the 66th minute, but the final five minutes and stoppage time were electric. First, San Jose equalized through former Sounder Chad Barrett in the 85th minute. Orlando found what they thought would be one of their many late winners when Julio Baptista scored in the first minute of stoppage time. The Quakes had otehr plans, though. Shea Salinas provided an unassisted equalizer in the fourth minute after the 90 to earn a share of the points for his side.

Toronto FC 1-0 LA Galaxy
The Galaxy are weakened at the moment, but not for the same reasons as everyone else. Yes, Robbie Keane is away at Euros. Gyasi Zardes is with the USMNT. But Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos are both out injured. Because of that, Toronto was able to keep this game in check with a single goal. Drew Moor found it in the 76th minute to give Toronto another trio of points.

Colorado Rapids 2-1 Chicago Fire
The Rapids may be without Jermaine Jones here, but they did quite well for their early season without him. The bigger problem would be the absence of Skelshan Gashi, who is over in France with Albania for Euro 2016. The first half was not extremely exciting. The lack of top talent on the field led to very little going forward for either team. Colorado found their all important first goal in the 57th minute from Kevin Doyle. The Fire would be able to scrounge up a tying goal. It cane from Joey Calistri in the 81st minute. However, their dreams of an unexpected point against the Supporters Shield leaders would be dashed by Marco Pappa, who came on as a sub and scored the winner in the 89th minute.

Houston Dynamo 0-0 D.C. United
A delayed start thanks to awful weather did not help these teams get going. The opening 45 minutes gave us six total shots and zero goals to speak of. The second half wasn't much better. The shots showed up, but they were mostly off target and also didn't lead to any goals.

Real Salt Lake 2-2 Portland Timbers
Portland was om control early on. but it was Real Salt Lake with the first goal. Juan Manuel Martinez's nifty finish gave them the lead in the 17th minute. The timber would find an equalizer before too long. The RSL back line allowed Fanendo Adi to get behind them in the penalty area to collect a through ball and poke home the tying goal. The Timbers would go in front jsut before halftime. In the 44th Diego Valeri got free on the left edge of the penalty area and clanked a shot off the post. The rebound came right to Lucas Melano for the smashing finish. The Timbers were holding onto the lead, but just barely. They lost it in the 70th minute after Jermaine Taylor committed a penalty and Yura Movsisyan snuck home the spot kick. The best chance for a winner came in the 87th minute when Darren Mattocks looked to have scored, but was millimeters offside when he collected the pass.

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