Saturday, August 13, 2016

It Happened in America: Wild finish in Columbus, Galaxy home streak continues

D.C. United 2-0 Portland Timbers
Extreme heat delayed the start of this match for an hour, but D.C. United weren't interested in delaying the first goal once the game started. Steve Birnbaum's headed corner gave his side the lead in the seventh minute. Portland's leaky defense continued to be on display in the 29th minute. Luciano Acosta collected a wonderful chipped pass to slot past Jake Gleeson. Portland's best chance of the half came shortly before that when Bill Hamid tipped a Jack McInerney breakaway into the crossbar. The Timbers looked a little better in the second half, although their defending was still suspect. United should have gone up 3-0 at the hour mark, but a botched shot from Patrick Mullins led to a fingertip save by Gleeson to keep it a two goal game. In fact, Jake Gleeson was the only reason Portland was even remotely in this game. Without his efforts in goal, Portland probably would have found themselves losing 5-0 or 6-0 instead of only 2-0.

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Montreal Impact
Ignacio Piatti scored for the Impact in the 21st minute, but that would sum up their good fortune for the night. Bradley Wright-Phillips equalized a minute later and added a second in the 41st. Sean Davis scored his second in as many games to make it 3-1 just after halftime. Things got even worse for Montreal in the 48th when Ambroise Oyongo was given straight red for a rough challenge. The Red Bulls didn't need to do much after that. They simply coasted to their easy win.

Columbus Crew 3-3 New York City
Severe weather in Ohio forced this one to start close to an hour after scheduled. Once it did, New York City's Frank Lampard continued his hot streak with a goal in the 41st minute. Lampard couldn't do much about defense, however. Justin meram equalized for the lowly crew four minutes after the second half began. The match really took off in the final ten minutes and stoppage time. The Crew would take the lead in the 80th minute when Ethan Finlay converted from the spot. they would not hold that lead for very long. NYC's otehr big name European, David Villa, put them on terms three minutes later. Villa scored again three minutes into stoppage time. That looked to be the winner until the fifth minute of added time when a mad scramble resulted in Finlay's second of the game. The wild finish appropriately earned both sides a point.

New England Revolution 0-4 Philadelphia Union
The once East leading Philadelphia Union haven't won in their last four tries, so this game was an important one for them. Add in Alejandro Bedoya making his Union debut and you've got quite the contest here. C.J. Sapong got them started in great fashion with a goal within two minutes. Although there was no more first half scoring, the second half also got off to a quick start. Chris Pontius doubled the Union lead in the 51st minute. Richard Marquez tripled it three minutes later. Not that they needed it, but Roland Alberg, who had replaced Bedoya in the 72nd minute, found the fourth goal deep into second half stoppage time to cap off the thrashing.

FC Dallas 2-2 Sporting Kansas City
A wild ten minute stretch in the second half broke the scoreless deadlock. First off, Tesho Akindele put one in for Dallas in the 66th. Then, Dom Dwyer intercepted a Brad Davis shot and flicked into an open net thanks to a confused Dallas keeper in the 68th. Five minutes later, Dwyer picked up his brace with a determined effort through the FC Dallas backline. Not to be outdone, Maxi Urruti bicycle kicked home the tying goal in the 76th. There were a couple other nice chances, including a wide open header from point blank range for Dallas, that never panned out and the points ended up split.

Houston Dynamo 0-0 Toronto FC
Heat and thunderstorms were wreaking havoc all over MLS this weekend. This match was hit hardest of them all. It was so hard hit that it was postponed until Sunday night.

LA Galaxy 1-1 Colorado Rapids
The Rapids are looking to catch FC Dallas in the Supporters Shield race and end LA Galaxy's crazy home unbeaten streak at the same time. The Galaxy would spend most of the first half on the front foot, but Tim Howard's goalkeeping and Colorado's general defensive discipline kept the game scoreless after 45 minutes. The Rapids would take the lead in the 51st minute with a first time blast from Skelshan Gashi into the top corner. LA would put the press on after that and Daniel Steres penetrated the Colorado shell to equalizer in the 61st. The match slowed down a lot once it was level again. It really slowed around the 80 minute mark when LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe took a hard slide on a 50/50 ball and had to leave the game. That led to eight added minutes that featured a couple of half chances for the Galaxy, but no goals.

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