Monday, March 19, 2012

MLS Recap Week 2

Week 2 of Major League Soccer's 17th season  saw an amazing crowd fill Olympic Stadium for Montreal's season opener. The Dynamo continued to remind the league that the East is not a one team conference and Los Angeles got those points we all thought they'd have day one. Pedro Gomes has your recaps here. Follow Pedro on Twitter @MLSSuperSub

Montreal Impact 1,  Chicago Fire 1

58,912 fans packed Olympic Stadium in Montreal to watch the Montreal Impact home opener against the visiting Chicago Fire. The crowd was electric at kick-off and both teams seemed to feed off the energy as they created a few decent scoring opportunities to open the game. But it wasn’t until the 56’ when the game saw its first goal. It also happened to be a historic one. Montreal’s Captain, Davy Arnaud, headed a Sanna Nyassi cross into the top left corner of the goal for Montreal’s first MLS goal. The atmosphere was thunderous as nearly 60,000 blue-clad fans erupted in support.  The Chicago Fire would eventually find an equalizer in the 71’ when Domic Oduro poked home a Sebastian Grazzini chip pass into the box. Although the record crowd wasn’t treated to a home victory, they did witness the Montreal Impact’s first points in MLS as they grabbed an early point in the season.

San Jose Earthquakes 0, Houston Dynamo 1

The San Jose Earthquakes hosted the Houston Dynamo at AT&T Park in front of 21,816 fans.  It was an interesting atmosphere as the Earthquakes drew roughly ten thousand more fans to the game than can fit at Buck Shaw stadium but the layout of the Baseball Park made for a different television product experience.  The Earthquakes almost jumped ahead to an early lead in the 9’ when Chris Wondolowski was nearly able to put away a long throw-in after the Dynamo defense hesitated a bit in its clearance but Wondo’s was only able to hit the side netting after he nearly headed the ball out of Tally Hall’s grasp. But the game took a dramatic and strange turn minutes later when Adam Moffat floated a high ball into the penalty box. San Jose keeper, Jon Busch, hesitated a bit coming out and failed to make a clean grab of the ball and instead collided heavily with Houston’s Brain Ching. Busch was whistled for a penalty and Brad Davis converted the shot for the 1-0 Houston lead. The Dynamo defense and Tally Hall held strong for the remainder of the game and earned their first road win of the season.

FC Dallas 1, Portland Timbers 1

The Portland Timbers traveled to FC Dallas Park to face FC Dallas where 12,203 fans gave their home team full support. Dallas fans only had to wait until the 22’ until they saw their team go ahead. Defender, Carlos Rodriguez played a nice early cross into the box the skipped past the defense and found Homegrown Midfielder, Bryan Leyva, on the right side of the box. The sent a low blistering shot toward the far post that Goalkeepr, Troy Perkins, was only able to paw toward the center of the 6 yard box. New Panamanian striker, Blas Perez was there to put back the rebound for the 1 goal lead.  The Portland Timbers would begin to apply pressure on the Dallas backline and it eventually paid off. Dallas Goalkeeper, Kevin Hartman, miss-hit a back pass that was only able to get a few yard outside the penalty box. The ball was misplayed by Daniel Hernandez and it fell to an open Darlington Nagbe who slotted it past Hartman for the equalizer. The match ended as a tough fought draw for both sides.

Sporting Kansas City 3, New England Revolution 0

Sporting Kansas City played the role of rude hosts as they welcomed the New England Revolution to Livestrong Sporting Park. 19,777 fans created yet another fantastic atmosphere for Major League Soccer. The game took a dramatic twist early on. Rev’s Defender Stephen McCarthy was shown a straight red card after getting into a bit of a tugging match with CJ Sapong. The controversial decision put New England on the back foot early and Sporting took quick advantage and never looked back.  Sporting’s first goal came in the 28’ when Graham Zusi poked home a Kei Kamara volley from his backside just a few feet in front of goal. Kei Kamara would add a goal of his own in the 39’ following some ncie build-up play from Sporting KC. Seth Sinovic sent a dangerous cross into the box that Matt Reis was able to punch away, however the rebound fell to Kamara who took a quick shot that was also blocked but his follow-up found the back of the net. Seth Sinovic would set up Sporting third goal just minutes into the second half as he was able to get behind the defense and found CJ Sapong alone in the center of the box and he confidently buried the chance. The Revolution will have to look to next week for their first points of the season.

Real Salt Lake 2, New York Red Bulls 0

The New York Red Bulls traveled to Rio Tinto to face Real Salt Lake in front of 16,738 fans. Real Salt Lake came out fast as they put the New York Defense and Rookie Goalkeeper, Ryan Meara, under heavy pressure. They were able to withstand the early pressure, including a controversial no-call on Ryan Meara as he came out strong to stop a Paulo Jr. one-on-one. But Meara couldn’t stop Fabian Espindola in the 39’ after he beat the off-side trap and found himself in alone on the Rookie. Espindola drove a low hard shot through Meara legs and gave RSL the 1-0 lead. The home team continued to pour the pressure on the visitors and their hard work paid off once again in the 59’ when youngster, Luis Gill was able to pounce on a loose ball in the box after Fabian Espindola had a nice touch and shot that was initially saved by Meara. The Red Bull attack would come to life following that goal but none of their efforts found the back of RSL’s net and they return home following an unsuccessful two-game West Coast road trip.

Seattle Sounders 3, Toronto FC 1

The Seattle Sounder’s returned home to Century Link field following a tough CCL elimination game against Santos Laguna where 38,709 loving fans welcomed them for their MLS home opener. The Seattle attack got off to a quick start as Alvaro Fernandez showed some great dribbling skill in the box to give himself some room on the left hand side. He sent a low ball toward the front post that David Estrada was able to get to and following an absolute scrum in front of goal Estrada eventually put it past Milos Kocic for the 1-0 lead. Estrada would net a second goal in the 51’ when Marc Burch was able to slip a ball in behind the Toronto defense. Estrada had a one-on-one and slid it past Kocic for his second on the night. Toronto’s Ryan Johnson would pull Toronto to within one goal in the 62’ with a strong contender for Goal of the Week. Johnson sent a curling left-footed shot that hit of the corner far-post and into the net.  However, David Estrada would not be out done on the night. He followed up a minute later with a nice give and go with Alvaro Fernandez on the left side of the box and beat Kocic with a nice shot to the near post. The Sounders bounced back from a tough loss mid-week to prove their mettle for the MLS 2012 campaign.

Chivas USA 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

Chivas USA hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps at the Home Depot Center in front of a sparse crowd of 7,723 fans. Neither team had many offensive opportunities in the first half but the best came off the foot of MLS Rookie Casey Townsend. Townsend sent a curling right-footed shot that was destined for the top right corner of the net until Vancouver Keeper, Joe Cannon, was able to get a finger to it and deflect it over the bar. That would be Cannon’s last major contribution to the game as he was shortly subbed off due to injury. The Whitecaps would later find the back of the net as Jay DeMerit would get a flying header to a Camillo corner and give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Vancouver would hold onto that lead for the remainder of the game and go on to earn their first ever MLS road victory.

Philadelphia Union 1, Colorado Rapids 2

The Philadelphia Union hosted the Colorado Rapids at PPL that saw 19,074 fans show up in support. Both sides showed signs of offense in the first half with Philadelphia having more of the chances. However, it was the visiting Rapids who would strike first in the 56’. Jamie Castrillon was able to put away a Omar Cummings cross that went through Zac MacMath’s hands and fell to Castrillon on the back post for the easy tap in. Moments later Colorado would go down a man as Jeff Larentowicz was shown red for his second reckless challenge of the game. Despite being down a man Colorado would add a controversial second goal in the 62’ when Rookie, Tony Cascio, was able to chase down a long ball after Chris Albright fell on while trying to clear out of bounds. Albright claimed his heel was clipped but Cascio found himself in alone on goal and buried a bullet to MacMatch’s right. The Union would get one back in the 67’ when Roger Torres sent a dangerous cross into the box that Lionard Pajoy headed home. The union would continue to put pressure on the Rapids but they managed to hold on to the unlikely road victory after playing the last 30 minutes down a man.

Los Angeles Galaxy 3, DC United 1

DC United traveled to Los Angeles to face the LA Galaxy in front of 18,466 supporters at the Home Depot Center. The Galaxy dominated most of the possession in the first half and had a number of chances to pull ahead but the DC United Defense held strong and make some key defensive stops. However, LA would break through the DC defense just before halftime as Robbie Keane put away a shot following a nice cross to Todd Dunivant who was able to head the ball back across goal to a wide open Keane. Keane would add a second in the 69’ when Landon Donovan made a great tackle in mid-field to win possession for LA. Donovan slipped a pass to Keane on the left side of the box and Keane unleashed a rocket of a left-footed shot to the upper far corner of the net. The Galaxy would add a third on the night when David Beckham found Marcelo Sarvas with a cross into the center of the box.  DC united would add a consolation goal in the 87’ when Rookie, Nick DeLeon, banged a nice shot off the far post and into the net for his first MLS goal.

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