Monday, September 12, 2011

MLS Recap Week 26

Charlie Davies scored a hat trick, Real Salt Lake won on the road in a 10 vs 10 matchup and the Galaxy cemented their case for best team in MLS. Here's your week 26 recap from Pedro Gomes.

Philadelphia Union 4, New England Revolution 4

The New England Revolution went into PPL looking to get the win against an always boisterous 16,148 fans. The two put one on of the craziest performances of the year. New England came out to an early lead in the 9' wen A.J. Soares headed home a Chris Tierney corner. New England added another in the 21' on a Lekic Penalty Kick after he was clipped in the box. New England's Zerka headed home another in the 26' from a Chris Tierney cross. Philadelphia finally got on the board in the 28' when Roger Torres sent a pretty curling left footed shot into the upper far corner of the net. New England answered back in the 33' when Benny Feilhaber blasted a low hard shot from outside the top of the box.   

The second half was all Philadelphia and it started in the 54' with Freddy Adu notching his 1st MLS goal since his comeback into the league. Sebastian LeToux put away a Penalty Kick in the 80th after he was taken down in the box moments earlier for Pat Phelan. LeToux caps off the amazing comeback in first minute of stoppage time off a low hard volley. New England failed to yet again close out another game after taking the lead.

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Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 0

Los Angeles continued their winning ways as they put Colorado away in front of  20,068 fans at the Home Depot Center and became the 1st team this year to clinch a Play-Off spot. Colorado's Matt Pickens was sensational in net and made a remarkable save on a Todd Dunivant header in the 26' to keep the score level. He made another great save on LA's Cardozo in the 29'. Cardozo looked lively all night and displayed some great individual offensive skill. Landon Donovan scored the only goal of the night in the 36' following a nice series of passes by the Galaxy. Colorado's Well Thompson seemed to have equalized in the 57' minute but his goal off a rebound was ruled Off-Side and disallowed. The game would end 1-0 in favor of LA and they maintained their unbeaten record at home.

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Sporting Kansas City 3, Houston Dynamo 0

Kansas City took the field at LSP on Saturday with an opportunity to make a claim for 1st place in the East. Teal Bunbury made a quick contribution to that effort as he scored on long pass from mid-field by Graham Zusi that put him beihnd the Houston defense. He deftly poked it past Tally Hall for the 1-0 lead for KC. Houston nearly tied it up when Carlo Costly sent a low hard shot to the far side of goal that hit off the post and out. KC Seth Sinovic missed an absolute sitter from about 2 yards out shortly after and couldn't give KC the 2 goal lead. The game took a dramatic change in the 64' when Houston's Carlo Costly was shown red for a tackle on KCs Chance Myers. Teal Bunbury got his brace in the 73' from a ball that appeared to be a clearance by KC Defender Julio Cesar sneaked in behind the Houston defense and onto Bunbury. He put away the finish and the game for KC. Rookie C.J. Sapong would add another goal in the 79' to make the final score 3-0 in favor of KC and send the 14,791 fans home happy.
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Seattle Sounders 1,  Real Salt Lake 2

Seattle entered what appeared to be the “Twilight Zone” on Saturday in front of 35,940 fans at Century Link Field. The strange play began in the 13' with an own goal by Seattle's Kasey Keller as he appeared to have scooped a Fabian Espindola cross into his own net. Seattled then drew a Penalty in the 16' when Mike Fucito was brought down by RSL's Olave, however Mauro Rosales pushed his shot wide left of the net. RSL would go down to 10 men in the 36' when Tony Beltran saw his second yellow on the day. The bizzarre occurances continued in the 39' when SEA defender John Kennedy Hurtado saw a straight red for an apparent high elbow on RSL's Saborio. Seattle would level the score in first half stoppage time following a nice give and go between Montero and Rosales that ended in Rosales crossing it into the box and finding Freddy Montero who put it away. Saborio gave RSL the lead in the 56'. His first shot was blocked by the Seattle defense but he managed to get the rebound and put it away. The 2-1 score would hold and RSL secured the 3 points away from home.

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New England Revolution 2, FC Dallas 0

In a stunner over the weekend, the New England Revolution not only managed to knock off one of the best teams in MLS but also managed to hold onto a lead to secure a victory. The goal-scoring was started by New England's Shalrie Joseph in the 14' when he headed home a beautiful cross by Moncef Zerka. Both teams had a number of decent chances to put away a goal or two but either lacked the quality to put them away or saw the opposing keepers come up with big saves for their club. However, Rajko Lekic was able to added a second goal for New England on the night in the 85' following a cross by Benny Fielhaber that was flicked on to the back post by Ryan Cochrane where Lekic was left alone for the goal. The 15,498 fans at Gillete Stadium were treated to an unexpected victory by their club.

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Philadelphia Union 0, Portland Timbers 0

This match-up saw two teams experiencing to opposite runs of form. The Union have struggled of late to secure victories while Portland was carrying a 2 game win-streak into the match. Neither team was able to produce any real quality opportunities to score throughout the match. Most attempts were from way outside the box or rolled wide of the net. However, Philadelphia would see the best chance for a goal in the 88' when Nakazawa ran onto a great centering pass at the top of the box but saw his effort only rattle the crossbar. The match ended in a 0-0 draw and the 18,504 fans at PPL Park went home empty handed.

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New York Red Bulls 1,  Vancouver Whitecaps  1

The New York Red Bulls hosted the team with the worst record in MLS in what many considered a must-win for them in order to keep their play-off hopes alive. Right from the start Vancouver showed great energy and nearly went ahead in the match. However, Camillo's beautiful finish through the legs of NY Keeper Bouna Condoul was called off for what appeared to be a questionable off-side ruling. Both sides had a couple of quality chances to jump ahead but their keepers came up with big stops to keep it level. Vancouver finally did take the lead in the 23' when Camillo dribbled through the NY defense toward the touchline and passed it into the box where David Chumiento volleyed it to himself, spun and slammed home the volley. Things only got harder for NY when Jan Gunnar Soli saw straight red in first half stoppage time  on a questionable call. Then in the 68', second half substitute Juan Agudelo, side-footed home an excellent cross from Rafa Marquez to tie the game for the Red Bulls. The 1-1 score held and the 19,684 fans at Red Bull Arena witnessed yet another draw for their club.

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Columbus Crew 2, Toronto FC 4

Eastern Conference leaders, Columbus, hosted Eastern Conference cellar-dwellars Toronto FC at Crew Stadium looking to put some distance between them in the Eastern Conference play-off race. However, Toronto had other thoughts. They jumped out onto an early lead in the 21' when Nick Soolsma put away a rebound from a long range Torsten Frings effort. Then Ryan Johnson added a second goal for Toronto just before half with a nice header over Columbus' Will Hesmer and into the far side of the goal. Columbus' Tommy Heinemann pulled one back in the 67' to make it 2-1 in favor of Toronto. Julian DeGuzman put away a third goal for Toronto with a low hard drive into the left corner from outside the box that sealed the game for them. Columbus would add another goal in the 87' from Andres Mendoza only to see Toronto put another away themselves in the 92' from Danny Koevermans. Toronto FC secured 3 points and their first ever victory at Crew Stadium.

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Chivas USA 0, DC United 3

This match saw the potential resurgence of DCs Charlie Davies who netted a Hat Trick on the night and  the continued struggles of Chivas USA. Davies first goal came in the 11' when Chris Pontius was sent behind the defense with a long pass behind the defense by Dwayne DeRosario. Pontius then sent a low cross across goal that Davies slid onto and put away for the first goal of the night. Davies second goal occurred only minutes later when an Andy Najar cross was poorly cleared by Chivas and fell to the feet of Chris Pontius. Pontius chose to pass to a wide open Charlie Davies who one-timed it into the far net, instead of take the shot himself and DC was off to a 2-0 lead. Davies completed his Hat Trick in the 66'. The play started with a nice ball from Dwayne DeRosario into space for Chris Pontius who took one touch past his defender and was behind the defense. Pontius then slid a great through-ball onto a wide open Charlie Davies who put it away. DC united held off for the victory in fron of the reported 12,245 fans at the Home Depot Center, however, it wasn't all glory for the squad as Pontius had to leave the game with what turned out to be a broken Tibia.

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San Jose Earthquakes 2, Chicago Fire 0

San Jose was hoping to put an end to their 13 match win-less at home and they did just that in front of 10,525 fans at Buck Shaw Stadium. They got on the board early when Chris Wondolowski finished a wonderful cross with an equally impressive one-time volley in the 10'. The Fire's Dan Gargan, Patrick Nyarko, and Pavel Pardo each had a couple of chances to pull on back but one hit the left post and the other two were denied by San Jose's Busch respectively. The Earthquakes had a chance to go ahead by two in the 52' when the Fire' Jalil Anibaba was called for a handball in the box, but the ensuing PK by Wondolowski was saved by Sean Johnson. The Earthquakes finally put a second goal past Sean Johnson in the 69' when Ramiro Corrales was put onto goal by a nice ball from Wondolowski that he buried past Johnson.

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Pedro Gomes is the a regular contributor and can be reached at uvagnomes@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @MLSSuperSub

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