Monday, June 13, 2011

MLS Offers Great Weekend Excitement

Alan Gordon was stellar for Toronto.
Even with the Gold Cup in full swing, MLS rolls on. The teams are depleted but that hasn’t stopped some from stepping up. Players like Steven Lenhart are on fire and staple stars like Henry and Beckham remain impressive. Taking a look back at MLS’s most exciting matches from the weekend, here’s your hope for soccer after the USMNT’s failure against Panama.

LA Galaxy 2 Toronto FC 2

With the game destined for a one-one draw, some of the 20,675 fans were already starting to exit the building. However the many who remained were treated to some late game heroics from both sides. Juan Pablo Angel buried a volley in the 92nd minute to put the Galaxy 2-1 with only injury time remaining. Former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon though had other plans for Toronto. Gordon buried a chance in the 95th minute for his second goal of the night bringing the score line to 2-2, where it would stay. Gordon has played for both Los Angeles clubs and always seems to play well against them. His goal would surely be a Goal of the Week Candidate, if not for Eric Hassli’s strike in the Seattle/Vancouver match.
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Seattle 2, Vancouver 2

Like Alan Gordon, Eric Hassli scored twice in a battle of Northwestern powers. Perhaps powers is a bit generous in regards to Vancouver, but the Whitecaps rarely disappoint when it comes to excitement. Hassli buried a penalty kick in the 29th and it looked as though Seattle might disappoint the home fans again until Mauro Rosales pulled one back in the 81st. His goal was quickly followed up by a well taken strike from Osvaldo Alonso gave the Sounders the lead 2-1. Not to be outdone Hassli scored what will surely be a Goal of the Year candidate one minute later. The first meeting of these two teams in MLS and the 123rd all time meeting ended 2-2 in what will surely be one of the most exciting matches of the season.
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FC Dallas 1, Kansas City 4

FC Dallas has been a force in MLS recently while Sporting have been bottom feeders in the power rankings. It seems neither team was aware of the script. A disappointingly small crowd of 10,450 were on hand to be…disappointed. Sporting Kansas City, clearly inspired by the opening of LiveStrong Park scored four goals to counter Dallas’s one. Graham Zusi was and offensive weapon for Sporting with two goals and an assist to punish Dallas for lax defending.
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DC United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 4

This goal-fest came at the expense of the home fans in DC. With Chris Wondolowski away on National Duty, the scoring duties fell to Steven Lenhart for the Earthquakes. His endeavors were successful as he netted a hat trick for the visitors. Goals were provide from young stars in the making for United as Najar and newcomer Blake Brettschneider both landed on the scoreboard. It was all for not though as Lenhart’s three goals along and assist gave the Earthquakes a well earned road victory.
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Portland Timbers 0, Colorado Rapids 1

It was Drew Moor who played hero for the visitors with a stoppage time goal at JELD-WEN Field. The Portland Timbers battled the defending champion Rapids for 91 minutes until Moor broke the deadlock late. The game itself was fairly standard, each team forcing the other to only a few impressive saves. Portland did look to outplay the Rapids in the second half, though the effort fell short. The crowd in Portland was boisterous as always and it was a shame they left unhappy after such a defensive effort.
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Chicago 1, Columbus 0

Another stoppage time winner for a visiting team. Chicago substitute Cristian Nazarit scored a stoppage time goal for the Fire in the 91st minute. The game was destined for a scoreless draw despite Chicago having the run of play. Orr Barouch and Nazarit both came in to provide in the second half, it worked quite well. The Fire forced the issue and Nazarit buried the goal off a rebounded save from Will Hesmer.
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Philadelphia 1, Real Salt Lake 1

18,728 fans were on hand to witness a showdown of two teams who are very similar in style and tactics. Real Salt Lake have struggled as of late and a road point in the powerful house of the Union is nothing to be ashamed of. Fabian Espindola canceled out a goal from Keon Daniel in the 53rd and the teams stayed deadlock at 1-1 for the remainder of the match. The game itself was enjoyable despite the low scoring. One point of note, Jack McInerney seems to be developing nicely. The young attacker nearly drew a penalty and if the Union’s finishing was better on the day, they’d likely have taken three points from RSL.
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1 comment:

  1. Much more entertaining weekend compared to the previous weekend of draws. Alan Gordon, when healthy, has been one of TFC's best players, I'm not sure if that is saying much though.