Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Major League Soccer Recaps: Week 10

Article by Pedro Gomes

Week 10 of MLS action saw the Galaxy continue to struggle finding points as they tied the expansion Montreal Impact. The Seattle Sounders saw their chance to climb up in the standings slip away as they lost at home to Real Salt Lake and somehow, the New York Red Bulls are in first place in the East. Here are your recaps from Major League Soccer's Week 10

Montreal Impact 1, LA Galaxy 1

The Los Angeles Galaxy traveled north of the border to face off against the Montreal Impact. 60,860 fans packed Olympic Stadium to the rafters for a chance to watch their team battle against the defending MLS Champions and get their first opportunity to see the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan, and Robbie Keane showcase their talent on the field. But it was the Impact who struck first in the 8’. Davy Arnaud got in behind the Galaxy defense as a long ball out of the back was misplayed by the Galaxy central defenders. Arnaud controlled the bouncing ball and took a few touches in on goal before side footing it past an on-rushing Brian perk to give Montreal the 1-0 lead. The Galaxy would battle back in the second half as Landon Donovan nearly found an equalizer in the 56’ but Donovan Ricketts was able to keep the curling shot out. However, Ricketts couldn’t keep David Beckham’s splendid free-kick out of his net in the 62’ as Beckham found the upper right corner of the net with one of his trademark free-kicks. The match would end in a tough fought draw and the historic crowd at the Olympic Stadium walked away entertained.

Houston Dynamo 1, DC United 0

MLS had yet another historic day this weekend as the Houston Dynamo opened their new stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium, as the DC United came into town to do battle for the first MLS match at the new stadium. A sold out crowd of 22,039 fans made their way to downtown Houston to witness the historic match that they have waited nearly 17 years for.  Houston controlled much of the first half of action as adrenaline fueled the players on the field. They threatened on a few corner kicks and the run of play but couldn’t put one away. The Dynamo continued to pressure DC and eventually the moment everyone was waiting for on the day came to fruition in the 67’. Brad Davis uncorked a blistering left footed shot from over25 yards out that was destined for the top right corner. Bill Hamid was able to get a touch to the shot but it still found the back of the net. A sea of orange exploded around the stadium and Davis took a few extra moments to celebrate with the crowd and soak in the occasion. Houston almost put the cherry on the top of the Sundae when Brian Ching had two good chances to put one away but couldn’t get his shots to go. Houston held onto their 1-0 lead for the remainder of the game and put away storybook victory at their new home.

New England Revolution 4, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

The New England Revolution hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps at Gillete Stadium in front of a crowd of 12,112 supporters. Vancouver fielded a backup defensive team and the results on the field proved it. Clearly Vancouver was saving their starting Defense for their upcoming Amway Canadian Championship showdown with Toronto FC for the Cup and an automatic berth into the CONCACAF Champions League next season. The Whitecaps would strike first in the 5’ with a quick attack that ended with Sebastian LeToux setting up Eric Hassli for a shot in the box that he rifled under Matt Reis for the quick Whitecap 1-0 lead. The Revs Lee Nguyen would answer back a minute later following. Benny Feilhaber centered a ball into the fray of Revs and Caps players in the box then took a few bounces before settling to Nguyen’s foot and the powered it home to equalize. Nguyen would play provider in the 24’ when he showed some great touch near the left side of the field. He cut in towards goal and slipped a great entry pass to Saer Sene who ran onto the pass on the left side of the box and finished past Joe Cannon to take the 2-1 lead. Sene would be involved in the third goal for New England in the 33’ when he sent a low cross into the box that was poorly cleared to the feet of Sharlie Joseph who blasted it into the net. Nguen would cap the night off with a wonder strike in the 72’. He controlled a throw-in near the touch line and struck the ball on a volley from roughly 25 yards out that found the top right corner of the net and gave Joe Cannon no chance to stop. The Revs earned the full 3 points at home in impressive fashion.

Columbus Crew 2, FC Dallas 1

FC Dallas traveled to Columbus to square off against the Crew at Crew Stadium where 11,120 fans were ready to show their support. It was FC Dallas who got off to a good start at Fabian Castillo struck first in the 22’. It was an awkward play as Columbus’ Tony Tchani was defending Castillo near the left touch line and thought the ball went out of play. As Tchani looked to the official Castillo dribbled straight in on goal and squeezed a low shot under Andy Gruenebaum to give Dallas the 1-0 lead. The game shifted in favor of the Crew in the 63’ minute as Zach Lloyd received his second yellow card on the night and was shown the exit. Columbus’ capitalized on the man advantage a few minutes later as Justin Meram took a long range shot that found the bottom corner of the net. Columbus would find the same corner of the net in the 72’ following a corner by Nemanja Vukovic. The ball sailed to the top of the box and Sebastian Mirand was able to head it to the bottom corner of the net with just the right amount of power and placement. The Crew held onto their lead and the 3 points at home for the remainder of the game.

Chicago Fire 2, Sporting Kansas City 1

The Chicago Fire hosted Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Park in front of crowd of 14,159 fans. It was the visiting team who got on the board first as Sporting Kansas City found the back of the net in the 31’. Roger Espinoza found some space on the right side of the field and sent a low centering pass to the center of the box that Bobby Convey was able to re-direct to the far post corner to give Sporting the lead. The Fire would get an opportunity to equalize in the 60’ when Dominic Oduro was able to get around Aurelien Collin before he was taken down from behind in the box. Sebastian Grazzini stepped to the spot moments later and put away the equalizing Penalty Kick. Things got a bit chippy on the field and eventually Roger Espinoza got a straight red card for sending an elbow to the face of Grazzini. The Fire eventually took advantage of the man advantage in the 81’.  A poor attempt to clear a cross into the box by Kei Kamara allow Patrick Nyarko to steal the ball off his foot and send a pass into the 6 yard box that Dominic Oduro was able to put into the net to give the Fire the late victory.

Seattle Sounders 0, Real Salt Lake 1

The battle for the top of the Western Conference took place at Century Link Field as Seattle hosted Real Salt Lake where the usual sold out crowd of 39,312 supporters were in full force. Seattle put on the early pressure as Andy Rose and Eddie Johnson had a couple of good opportunities to put the Sounders ahead. Real Salt Lake would begin to come alive in the second half as they put good pressure on the Sounders. They finally broke the scoring deadlock in the 51’ when Luis Gil flicked a ball into the box for Fabian Espindola to run onto. Espindola beat out two Seattle Defenders and put away the shot with a great strike to the far post. Seattle tried to fight back for an equalizer but couldn’t put any of their chances away. With the victory Real Salt Lake take the seat atop the Western Conference.

Philadelphia Union 2, New York Red Bulls 3

The Philadelphia Union hosted the New York Red Bulls in an I-95 showdown at PPL Park where 18,193 supporters made their way to the stadium to take part in the game. The home crowd was silenced in the 17’ when New York struck first against the run of play. Medhi Ballouchy made a good run towards the left side of the box and laid a pass of to a streaking Joel Lindpere who blasted the ball near post that rattled the roof the net on their first shot on goal. The union would equalize in the 31’ when a Freddy Adu cross into the box found the head of Lionard Pajoy who sent it into the back of the net.  Philadelphia continued to put lots of offensive pressure on the Red Bull Defense but the game took a dramatic change in the 43’ when Freddy Adu was shown his second yellow of the match for a dive in the box. The controversial call sent of Philadelphia’s most active and creative player on the field on the day. However, the Union would continue to push the ball and create chances.  They were able to jump ahead in the match seconds into the second half as Lionard Pajoy put a shot past Ryan Meara from a tough angle on the left side of the box.    New York would answer back in the 68’ as their big Swedish Central Defender, Marcus Holgersson headed home a corner from Brandon Barklage. New York would get the go-ahead goal in the 78’ when Rafa Marquez sent a long ball over the top of the defense. Cooper was able to take a touch around Zac MacMath and finish the shot from a tight angle on the right. The win put New York atop the Eastern Conference and gave Philadelphia their 3rd straight loss.

San Jose Earthquakes 1, Chivas USA 1

The San Jose Earthquakes were at home against visiting Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium where 9,619 fans made their way to the stadium.  Chivas stunned the crowd and the Earthquake defense as they found the net in just the 4’of the game. Veteran Defender, James Riley sent a low cross toward the center of the box that youngster, Jose Correa, was able to re-direct to the back post and in for the early 1-0 Chivas lead. San Jose had a flurry of chances in the 28’ but couldn’t put one away. The Earthquakes continued to lay siege to the Chivas USA goal for the remainder of the game and eventually their effort paid off. Alan Gordon headed home a Sam Garza cross to the near post in the 88’ to salvage a point for the Earthquakes at home. The point keeps the Earthquakes in second place in the West.

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