Monday, September 19, 2011

MLS Recap Week 27

Week 27 of MLS action certainly cleared up the race of the playoffs. Teams were clearly fighting for their lives. Real Salt Lake showed impressive resilience in against Sporting while Portland humbled the dismal Revolution. Chicago pulled out a win despite a valiant comeback by Chivas. Here's your Week 27 Recap.

Columbus Crew 2, Houston Dynamo 2

Columbus and and Houston squared off in a mid-week match that brought 10,709 fans to Crew Stadium. Despite the unseasonably cool weather the match got off to a heated start with Emmanuel Ekpo getting a Red Card in the 11' after a stiff arm to the face of Houston's Adam Moffat. Houston capitalized on the man advantage in the 34' when Je Vaughn Watson elevated over his man in the box to meet Jermaine Taylor's cross. The Dynamo continued to pressure but couldn't finish their chances.
Then in the 64' Houston's Cam Weaver was called for a hand ball in the box and Columbus' Andres Mendoza buried the ensuing Penalty Kick to level the score. The Crew would once again convert from the penalty spot in the 76' after goal-scorer Je Vaughn Watson would give a high boot to Columbus' Dilly Duka on a cross in the box. The Dynamo would need some late game magic to salvage some points on the road and it was delivered by second-half sub, Calen Carr on a feed from Geoff Cameron.

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Portland Timbers 3, New England Revolution 0

Portland hosted the New England Revolution on Friday Night Soccer in America action in front of a record crowd of 20,323 at Jeld-Wen Field. They didn't take long to get on the board as Diego Chara found the back on the net in the 9'. Portland's Lovell Palmer chased down a ball in the corner and sent a dangerous cross into the box that Chara took down with a clever touch and then poked past Matt Reis for the 1-0 lead. Kenny Cooper put an end to his scoring drought in the 32' when he deflected a Mike Chabla cross off his though and into the net giving Portland a 2-0 advantage. The Portland Timbers continued to create chances in the second half but couldn't put any away until Rookie Darlington Nagbe headed home a Kalif Alhassan cross. The New England Revolution could not get on the board and went home empty handed in the end.

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Toronto FC 2, Colorado Rapids 1

The 2010 MLS Cup Champion, Colorado Rapids, hit the road to face Toronto FC at BMO Field where 20,318 unwelcoming fans were there to greet them. Both teams had a couple of decent opportunities in the first half but neither could put one away. Toronto's big Dutch Striker, Danny Koevermans, finally put Toronto ahead in the 52' with a nice side footed shot off an Ashton Morgan cross from the left side. Just minutes later Koevermans would score again with a great header from a pin point cross by Nick Soolsma. Colorado's Sanna Nyassi would pull one back for Colorado in an impressive counter-attack by Colorado. Toronto would sustain some intense pressure by Colorado late in the game, but Defender Richard Eckersley would supply a goal-line clearance that would preserve Toronto's 2-1 victory on the night.

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Chicago Fire 3, Chivas USA 2

The Chicago Fire treated the fans at Toyota Park to an absolute thriller as they hosted Chivas USA. Veteran Chicago Defender Corey Gibbs put Chicago ahead in only the 2nd minute of the game. Gibbs was able to get up on a Sebastian Grazzini corner and send a header back back across goal and in. Then in the 26' a Pavel Pardo free-kick was dangerously sent into the box and bounced off Chivas' Juan Pablo Angel and into his own net to give Chicago a 2-0 advantage. Things appeared to take a turn for the worse for Chicago in the 37' when goal-scorer, Corey Gibbs was sent off for a dangerous sliding tackle on Chivas' Michael Lahoud. Chivas took advantage of being a man-up in the 61' when Juan Pablo Angel put a second goal away on the night; however this time it was in the oppositions net and pulled Chivas within 1. Chivas would get another goal in the 63' following a Mondaini corner that Zarek Valentin kept alive to Nick LaBrocca who made a clever little ship into the net. Chicago pulled out the late game victory in the 85' following a wonderful passing sequence between Patrick Nyarko and Diego Chavez that ended with a Dominuc Oduro wide open goal. The Fire secured 3 points at home and kept their slim play-off hopes alive.

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Philadelphia Union 1, Columbus Crew 0

This big Eastern Conference showdown at PPL Park didn't produce many goals but it did treat it's 18,906 fans to Philadelphia's first victory in it's last eight matches. Philadelphia got the only goal of the game in the 32' when Roger Torres launched a long range pass from mid-field to Sebastian LeToux, who was able to get behind the defense and finish it past Will Hesmer. The Union put additional pressure on the Crew for the remainder of the night, but could not get another goal on the night. The Crew could not get any offense together on the night and went away empty handed on the night.

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FC Dallas 0, New York Red Bulls 1

New York went on the road to play Western Conference powerhouse, FC Dallas in a must-win situation in order to stay in the play-off chase. Dallas came out with some early pressure and Forward, Maicon Santos, just missed putting a couple past New York's defense. New York turned the pressure around when Stephen Keel sprung Juan Agudelo with a long pass out of the back. Agudelo then sent a low cross to Luke Rodgers in front of goal who was able to get enough on the shot to sneak it by Kevin Hartman and into the net. New York nearly added a second goal in the second half but Joel Lindpere sent his shot high over the goal after beating his defender with a deft cut-back. New York left Pizza Hut Park with a crucial 3 points and the and the 17,019 fans in attendance saw their home side struggle to put something together.

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Houston Dynamo 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

Houston and San Jose clashed at Robertson Stadium in front of 18,129 fans on Saturday night. It looked as though the Dynamo had earned a Penalty in the 18' when Brad Davis appeared to get brought down in the box, however he was called for a dive and shown yellow. San Jose would be the first to score in the 40' when Steven Beitashour found some space on the right side and sent a chip into the box that Khari Stephenson snatched out of the air with a right footed volley and into goal. Then just after half, Houston's Brad Davis was brought down in the box again and this time a penalty was called on San Jose. Davis converted the spot kick and the game was level. San Jose nearly jumped ahead after Khari Stephenson collected a Dynamo defensive miscue at the top of the box but his shot went wide of the mark. Minutes later the Dynamo would jump ahead when Will Bruin one-timed a Luiz Camargo cross out of the air and past Jon Bush for the lead. Houston held on to the lead and earned a valuable 3 points at home.

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Real Salt Lake 1, Sporting Kansas City 0

Sporting Kansas City had not played a match away from LiveStrong Sporting Park in what felt like an eternity, but on Saturday night they found themselves trying to earn a victory at Rio Tinto. Sporting came out strong, forcing RSL Keeper Nick Rimando into a point-blank save on Aurelin Colin in the 24'. Sporting KC had another decent chance at goal in the 41' but Roger Espinoza's cross in front of goal was gobbled up by Nick Rimando. However, RSL got the lone goal on the night in the 54' when Kyle Beckerman's Free Kick found Nat Borcher's in the box and he was able to head it past Jimmy Neilsen for the 1-0 lead. Both teams continued to press for another goal but their respective keepers were up to the task and the match ended 1-0 in favor of RSL. The 19,888 fans at “The Fortress” left happy after watching their team hold on for 3 points at home.

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Seattle Sounders 3, DC United 0

Seattle hosted the DC United in front of 36,242 fans at Century Link and they were looking to continue their run at 1st place in the West and a possible Supporter's Shield. They got off to a great start in the 35' when Mike Fucito got behind the United defense and slotted a shot past Joe Willis. The Sounder's made it 2-0 in the 2nd minute of 1st half stoppage time after a wonderful passing sequence between Freddy Montero and Mauro Rosales led to Rosales slotting a perfect through ball to Alvaro Fernandez who neatly put it away. Fernandez would add another in the 60' after Freddy Montero's point blank header was saved by DC Keeper, Joe Willis, but Fernandez was there to clean up the rebound and give Seattle the 3-0 lead. Kasey Keller would ensure the Sounder's finished with a clean-sheet by making some great saves late in the game and ensuring the Sounders 3 points.

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Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Vancouver Whitecaps 0

Los Angeles hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps at the Home Depot Center and they delivered yet another convincing victory to stay atop the Western Conference and in the lead for the Supporter's Shield. Vancouver's Eric Hassli had a great chance in the 32' but Josh Saunders came up with t big save to keep the score at 0. The Galaxy were able to get on the scoreboard first in the 40' when Robbie Keane found a streaking Mike Magee in the box who was able to get his shot past Joe Cannon for the lead. Robbie Keane played the role of goal-scorer in the 64' when Bryan Jordan sent a cross into the box and a wide open Keane buried his header. LA added a third on the night in the 75' when Mike Magee headed home his second on the night from another Bryan Jordan Cross. The Galaxy defense held strong and maintained their clean sheet and treated the 22,959 fans to a victory.

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MLS Weekly Recaps are written by Pedro Gomes. You can follow him on twitter @MLSSuperSub or email him at

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