Monday, August 22, 2011

MLS Recap Week 23

Amazing subplots were cast over MLS action this past weekend. Robbie Keane scored in his debut for the Galaxy while newly transferred Juan Pablo Angel did the same for Chivas USA. Coming of brilliant Champion's League success FC Dallas took on Seattle. New York and New England fans were treated to more of the same from their respective teams and Portland fans found reason to cheer. Recaps and highlights below. 

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0

The California Classico is always one of drama on some level, however there was a buzz about this game from the get go. Not only did Landon Donovan publicly state how badly he wanted to beat the Earthquakes, but it was also the debut of one Robbie Keane. The game got off to a bang quickly with Adam Cristman ringing the post in the first minute. From there the Galaxy were relentless in attack. Keane did not disappoint; in the 21st minute he slipped in behind goalkeeper Jon Busch and slotted the ball home to put the Galaxy up (what followed was his signature celebration). The assist came from none other than David Beckham. San Jose’s best chances came with shots from distance, none beating Josh Saunders. Mike Magee sealed the deal for the Galaxy in the 90th minute with a simply placed ball to beat Busch. The Galaxy are the top team in the league and certainly looked the part. There were 27,000 fans on hand.

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Portland Timbers 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

The battle for Cascadia took place in Portland where the Timbers got off to an early start, Diego Chara netting a goal in the 2nd minute of play. The Timbers doubled their lead in the 33rd off a Jack Jewsbury free kick and the ensuing scramble in the box. Jorge Perlaza banged the ball home past a helpless Joe Cannon. Vancouver did their best to start a comeback and cut the lead to half in the 88th minute on a well taken goal by Camilo. The Whitecaps were unable to grab a second and the home side won. The game was played in front of 18,627 screaming fans.

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FC Dallas 0, Seattle Sounders 1

Both teams here were coming off impressive wins in the CONCACAF Champions League. Dallas played host and gave up the games only goal in the 15th minute as Fredy Montero found Mauro Rosales who blasted the ball past Kevin Hartman. It looked as though Seattle netted a second goal off a free kick header, but the goal was rightfully shown to be offside. Danny Cruz picked up his second yellow in the 56th minute and was ejected from the game. The referee says the second card was earned due to a dive. Replays were inconclusive. Despite a flurry of attacks by both teams, more from the Sounders, the score remained 1-0 in favor of Seattle. Kasey Keller certainly came up big in the final minutes of the match. 11,635 fans came out to watch the game in Frisco, Texas.

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Colorado Rapids 2, Chivas USA 2

Two teams moving in different directions. Colorado was just coming off a solid CCL performance while Chivas simultaneously celebrated the signing of Juan Pablo Angel and mourned the retirement of Jimmy Conrad. Colorado came out firing and in the 13th minute took the lead on a Caleb Folan goal. Folan’s goal was a brilliant header nodded home from a fantastic cross. Not be be outdone, Juan Pablo Angel notched a tally of his on with a solid goal in the 36th. It was nice to see Angel score a goal in his Chivas debut. This not only helps his confidence, but starts off his time with Chivas well. The second half saw Jeff Larentowicz notch a goal to put Colorado up in the 69th. Again, the Rapids goal came from a header. However Chivas continued their assault for points and Laurent Courtois played the part of hero as he found net in the 86th to save face for Chivas. The Rapids though will feel they let down here after giving up a very soft goal in the end. 16, 852 fans were on hand.

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Houston Dynamo 3, Real Salt Lake 2

This game had heartbreaker written all over it. Both RSL and Houston had playoff aspirations on the line. The Dynamo came out swinging and nearly notched a goal in the 8th minute. The ball was cleared off the line though in the early going. The Dynamo were relentless though as Carlos Costly and Brian Ching were constant threats. Fabian Espindola gave Real Salt Lake the lead in the 28th minute against the run of play. Brian Ching and the Dynamo snagged a goal in the opening moments of the second half on a brilliant team play. Luis Gil put Salt Lake up with a fantastic header in the 61st minute off an Espindola cross. It looked as though Salt Lake might snag a win in Houston against the run of play. But it was for naught. Bobby Boswell nodded home a corner kick to tie the match at 2-2 in the 69th minute. The heartbreaker for Real Salt Lake though came in the 93rd after Nick Rimando had been brilliant on then evening. Alex Dickson fired a shot from distance into the side netting to give Houston the win. The sheer amount of chances Houston had shut down by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was remarkable. 16,247 fans came out to witness an impressive and emotional match.

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New England Revolution 2, New York Red Bulls 2

It was a battle of underperforming teams. Neither the Red Bulls nor the Revolution had been impressive this year, despite having marquee players. It was almost fitting then that the two teams would draw. Still there were some notable moments in the match. Milton Caraglio, the Revolution Designated Player, scored goals in both the 15th and the 37th minutes. A brilliant performance in the first half by the Revs had fans wondering where this form had been all season. In a shocking moment in the 45th minute after Bobby Shuttleworth hauled down McCarty in the box, McCarty was given a booking for diving. A sad moment for the referee. Then the second half came and it was New York’s turn to embarrass. Dane Richards found the net in the 53rd minute, slipping behind the Revs defense to beat Bobby Shuttleworth and then scored again in the 87th to see the teams tie at 2-2. Regardless of which teams you supported in this match, you have right to lodge a complaint. There were cards and non-calls galore. Enjoy those highlights.

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Columbus Crew 2, Philadelphia Union 1

Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference did battle in Columbus, which saw the Crew victorious over the Union. Robbie Rogers and Danny Mwanga both ripped shots from distance to give each team a scare early on. In the 37th minute Rentaria notched a surprising goal to give the Crew the lead. The Union tied the match in the 42nd minute off a corner kick nodded home by Velijko Paunovic. Sheanon Williams was called for a handball in the box in the 50th minute to give the Crew a PK. It looked as though Faryd Mondrago made the save, but the ball trickled in. Freddy Adu made an appearance in the 60th minute but there was little to say about his performance. The game remained 2-1 and Columbus took the three points in front of 13,869 fans.

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Chicago Fire 2, Toronto FC 0

12,020 turned out to watch the struggling Chicago Fire defeat Toronto FC by a score of 2-0. It was the lightning fast be typically inaccurate Chicago Fire forward Dominic Oduro who go things started in the 16th minute with an impressive redirection. Dan Gargan doubled the lead in the 69th minute with a header that beat TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic. The game was back and forth throughout but the Fire pulled out the win.

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Sporting Kansas City 1, DC United 0

A loud and boisterous crowd of over 15,000 fans came out in support of Sporting KC and bore witness to some impressive attacking soccer. The score was 1-0 in favor of SKC, but there were some very impressive moments in which either team could have notched tallies. In the end though it was Kei Kamara, who had a fantastic game, scoring in the 19th minute that proved the difference. A rip from just outside the box beat United goalkeeper Joe Willis. De Rosario was rested in the first half where DC looked lackluster in the attack. When he entered into the game at the half, United instantly found life, however they were unable to find a goal and the score remained 1-0 to the home team.

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Frustrated with your team? Proud of their performance? Mad at the ref? Sound off below or on Twitter. 

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