Monday, March 26, 2012

MLS Recap Week 3

Week 3 of MLS action saw quite a few goals being scored in front of some fairly impressive crowds. Some, like Seattle, left extremely happy with the result. Others though fell at home, sending fans home unhappy. Pedro Gomes recaps the weekend for us.

Seattle Sounders 2, Houston Dynamo 0

The Houston Dynamo looked to continue their unbeaten road record as they traveled to face the Seattle Sounders in front of 38,304 supporters at Century Link Field. The Dynamo came out strong as they put some decent pressure on the Seattle Defense that was highlighted by a Will Bruin one-timed volley that was tipped over the bar by Michael Gspurning. However, the Sounders would answer back with a goal from last Saturday’s Hat Trick Hero, David Estrada in the 23’. Estrada’s strike took wicked deflection off of Geoff Cameron on its way toward goal that Tally Hall had little chance to get to following an Alvaro Fernandez corner.
A couple of minutes later Seattle would add a second goal from the penalty spot as Seattle Defender, Patrick Ianni was pushed in the back by Geoff Cameron going for a header from a corner kick and awarded the penalty. Brad Evans buried the ensuing spot kick and the Sounders had a 2-0 advantage. They held the Dynamo scoreless for the night and earned some valuable home points in the tight Western Conference.

Toronto FC 0, San Jose Earthquakes 3    

The San Jose Earthquakes traveled to BMO Field to face Toronto FC in their 2012 Home Opener where 20,070 fans came out to watch. San Jose wasted little time in ruining Toronto’s homecoming as Chris Wondowloski headed a Sam Cronin cross past Milos Kocic in the 9’ as he was left unmarked in the box.  The Earthquakes would add a second in the 56’ on a 5 on 3 counter-attack. Marvin Chavez received the ball on the right flank and slipped a ball back across the center of the box that Shea Salinas ran on to and put past Kocic for the 2-0 lead. San Jose put away their third in the match in the 68’ when Sam Cronin sent a wonderful ball over the Toronto Defense that put second half substitute, Rafael Bacca, in on goal. Bacca chipped it to the back post where Chris Wondolowski was able to finish it. The San Jose Earthquakes held onto this result and completed their role of home opener spoiler.

New England Revolution 1, Portland Timbers 0

The New England Revolution held their Home opener at Gillette Stadium as they hosted the Portland Timbers in front of 12,925 fans as they searched for their first points of the season. It didn’t take long for the Revs to put one on the board as Striker, Saer Sene, headed one past Troy Perkins within the first minute of play. The Revolution worked the ball across the field from right to left and Chris Tierney eventually sent a deep cross from the left wing into the box that Sene was able to beat his man to and put past Perkins. Not only was the goal in the first minute of the game but was also Sene’s and the team’s first goal of the season. Both sides had decent opportunities to add some goals to the scoreboard but each attempt fell just a little short. The matched end with a much needed victory for the Revs and a disappointing loss for the visiting Timbers.

 Columbus Crew 2, Montreal Impact 0

The Columbus Crew hosted the Montreal Impact at Crew Stadium in front of 18,197 supporters. The Impact looked as if they might jump out on an early lead when Syanni Nyassi nearly put a header past Andy Gruenebaum in the 15’, but the Crew keeper was able to make the close range stop. However, the game took a drastic change just minutes later when Montreal’s Jeb Brovsky, led with an elbow on a loose ball challenge in the air and was shown a straight red. Then in the 29’ Columbus’ Emilio Renteria earned a tough fought penalty as he battled 3 Montreal Defenders before being taken down by Felipe at the end of the play. Milovan Mirosevic converted the subsequent penalty and Columbus had a 1-0 lead. The Crew would add a second in the 66’ when Shawn Francis sent a quality cross into the box that Crew Forward, Olman Vargas, buried into the bottom corner of the near post. Neither team would earn another goal due to some top class saves from both keepers.

 Chicago Fire 1, Philadelphia Union 0

The Philadelphia Union traveled to Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire in front of a crowd of 18,075 in search of their first points of the season. The Fire came out strong as they put good pressure on the Union Defense and Keeper, Zac MacMath, had to come up with a couple of decent saves to keep it level. However, the Fire eventually broke through the Union Defense in the 28’ when Marco Pappa sent in a great cross that Dominic Oduro was able to head in as he was moving away from goal. Oduro nearly got his brace in the 40’ when Patrick Nyarko slipped a pass in behind the Union Defense that Oduro was able to run on to. He rounded the Keeper but he shot was stopped near the line by Chris Albright to keep the Union in the game. The Fire had a number of good scoring opportunities but couldn’t get past the keeper or the post. The Union had their share of chances near the end of the game but Fire Keeper, Paolo Tornaghi, came up with a couple of key saves to make sure the Fire earned the crucial 3 points at home.

Real Salt Lake 0, Chivas USA 1

Real Salt Lake hosted Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium in front of 20,415 fans as they looked to extend their unbeaten streak. The game got off to a controversial start as an early Chris Schuler goal was wiped from the board as the referee deemed Salt Lake started play before he was ready.  Chivas would respond a few minutes later with a couple of scoring chances from a corner but Nick Rimando made two quick saves to keep the score at 0-0. A few minutes later, Chivas’ Keeper, Dan Kennedy pulled off some heroics of his own as he came up with a quality save to his left from a close range Fabian Espindola rocket. Chivas was able to break the deadlock in the 72’ when Rookie, Casey Townsend, challenged for a ball in the box that fell out of Rimando’s hands and Casey was able to tap it in for the 1-0 Chivas lead. Real Salt Lake put pressure on Chivas late in the game but couldn’t get a shot to find the back of the net. Chivas earned an important 3 points on the road and their first of the season.

Vancouver Whitecaps 0, DC United 0

DC United traveled to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps at BC Place in front of a lively crowd of 19,394. The Whitecaps came out with good energy to start the game and put United under good pressure, however, they couldn’t find enough quality to finish their chances early on. The second half saw some more opportunities to find the back of the net for both teams but the best on the night went to DC’s Hamdi Salihi. Salihi sent a wonderful header low and to the right of Joe Cannon from a corner kick, but Cannon was able to get down quick and paw the effort off his goal-line. Cannon would make another good save later in the game on Dwayne DeRosario and he ensured the 0-0 draw for Vancouver. United leave Vancouver with their first point of the season and look ahead to next week to add some more to their total.

New York Red Bulls 4, Colorado Rapids 1

The Colorado Rapids traveled to Red Bull Arena to face the New York Red Bulls in their home opener in front of a 21,024. The Rapids would face the Red Bulls without two key central midfielders, Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz, and their absence was quickly noticed as Thierry Henry capitalized on a turnover by stand-in, Ross LaBauex, in the 3’ and slotted home his first goal of the game. It only took 3 more minutes for the Red Bulls to capitalize on another Colorado turnover in the midfield. This time Thierry Henry played distributor as he threaded a pass to Kenny Cooper who got around Drew Moor and sent the ball to the far corner and in for the 2-0 NY lead. New York would add a third in the 53’ when Wilman Conde sent a nice free kick over the Colorado Defense which Henry was able to bring down and finish with a tough far post shot. Colorado would pull one back in the77’ when Rafa Marquez gave the ball away in the New York defensive third and Omar Cummings was able to send a near perfect shot to the upper right corner of the net. New York added a fourth and final goal in the 89’ when Kenny Cooper sent in a close range shot in front of goal from an assist from Roy Miller. New York earned their first points of the season in dramatic season and look to continue their form next week against Montreal.

Sporting Kansas City 2, FC Dallas 1

Sporting Kansas City hosted FC Dallas at LiveStrong Sporting Park and 15,161 fans were in attendance for the game. Kansas City had a decent opportunity to get on the board first in the 20’ when Graham Zusi unleashed a long range rip that Kevin Hartman was able to palm away. However, it was Dallas who would strike first in the 25’ when Ricardo Villar was able to get a free-kick up and over the Kansas City wall and into the near corner of the net for the 1-0 Dallas lead. Kansas City would answer back in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time when Aurelien Collin was able to gently flick Graham Zusi’s set-piece into the back of Kevin Hartman’s net to level the score at one. Kansas City would look to take the lead in the 50’ when Chance Meyers was taken down in the box by Ugo Ihemelu for a penalty kick. Kei Kamara’s ensuing penalty was saved by Kevin Hartman with a diving stop to his right and the game remained level. Kanasas City would eventually find the game winner as Chance Meyers won a footrace down the right side of the field and slid a near-post pass to Kei Kamara who finished the chance for the 88’ winner.

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