Monday, June 25, 2012

MLS Recap Week 16

Article by Pedro Gomes

This weekend was full of early goals, fierce rivalries, and beautiful finishing. The action came fast and strong this weekend as teams all across the league really picked up the pace and the chase for the top of the standings. There is a new leader atop the Western Conference and almost a new team atop the Eastern. Let’s take a look at what went down and relive some exciting moments.

Toronto FC 2, New England Revolution 2

The New Enlgand Revolution traveled to BMO Field to face Toronto FC in front of a crowd of 18,877 fans. Toronto FC once again got off to a hot start as Danny Koevermans opened up the scoring account in just the 4'. Ashton Morgan provided Koevermans with a great cross from the left side of the field that Koevermans was able to beat his man to and head in just a few yards in front of goal. Toronto would add a second goal in the 42' when Ryan Johnson led a quick counter-attack. Johnson played Ashton Morgan into the left corner and Morgan returned a dangerous cross into the box that just missed a diving Danny Koevermans but fell to an open Johnson on the back post who headed it in. New England would draw one back in the 71' when Benny Feilhaber unleashed a long range shot that Milos Kocic was only able to parry the shot a few yards in front of him. Blake Bretschneider was there to quickly mop up the rebound and put it past Kocic for the goal. New England would complete a dramatic comeback in the 94' when Chris Tierney headed a Flo Lechner cross towards goal that took a deflection off Richard Eckersley and past Milos Kocic for the game tying goal.

Philadelphia Union 4, Sporting Kansas City 0

The Philadelphia Union hosted Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park where 18,207 fans were on-hand to lend their support. It didn't take long for the home crowd to get into the game as Jack McInerney put away a rebound following a scramble in front of net in just the 1'. McInerney would again find the back of the net in the 42'. It was yet another poacher's goal as Freddy Adu sent a dangerous free-kick into the box that deflected off a couple of Union players before it fell to McInerney who tapped it in for the 2-0 Union lead. Second-half substitute, Antoine Hoppenot, would draw a penalty kick in the 80' after he was taken down by Aurelien Collin. Lionard Pajoy would convert the subsequent penalty and put the Union ahead 3-0. Hoppenot would get the final goal of the game in the 87' when Michael Farfan played him in behind the Sporting KC defense with a great through-ball over the top which Hoppenot finished by chipping the keeper.

Montreal 4, Houston 2

The Montreal Impact welcomed the Houston Dynamo to Stade Saputo where 12,357 fans were on hand to lend their support. They were treated to an early goal by Montreal's Sana Nyassi in just the 4' of play. Nyassi was played in towards goal by two quick passes down the center by Patrice Bernier and Filipe Martins, he was able to somehow get the ball past the keeper and roll it into goal for the early lead. Houston answered in the 16' with a beauty of a free-kick by Brad Davis. Montreal jumped back on top in the 21' when Davy Arnaud headed in a Justin Mapp cross from the left corner of the field. Houston would tie it up just before halftime when Brian Ching played Will Bruin in behind the Montreal defense. Bruin was able to simply slot the ball past Donovan Ricketts for the equalizer. Montreal would regain the lead in the 60' when a Filipe cross that took a touch off Davy Arnaud before finding Camara alone on the back post who finished emphatically. Montreal would earn a penalty in 67' when Geoff Cameron was called for a foul in the box on Felipe. Patrice Bernier stepped to the spot and buried the penalty kick to give Montreal the final 4-2 victory.

Chicago Fire 2, Columbus Crew 1

The Columbus Crew traveled to Toyota Park to challenge the Chicago Fire in front of 17,144 fans. Chicago was another team that got on the scoreboard very early in the game as Marco Pappa uncorked a screamer from about 25 yards out in just the 2' of play. Chicago would add a second goal in the 26' when Dominic Oduro was played in-stride behind the Columbus defense by Sebastian Garzzini. Oduro received the through-ball in stride and took one touch before slotting it past Andy Gruenebaum for the 2-0 Chicago lead. Columbus would pull one back in the 36' when Tony Tchani took a Chris Birchall pass past a Chicago defender and put it past Sean Johnson with a nice finish. But despite Columbus having a man advantage for the majority of the game, they were not able to find any more goals to earn a draw or win on the road.

FC Dallas 0, Chivas USA 0

Chivas USA traveled to FC Dallas Stadium to square-off against FC Dallas in front of 13,846 fans in Frisco, TX. Both teams created a number of opportunities in the first half of play but neither side could finish any of them with enough skill or luck to earn a goal. The second half had even fewer opportunities with FC Dallas having the best of them. However, they couldn't put any away and a late game call for a penalty was called off by the referee and the match ended level at 0.

Real Salt Lake 1, San Jose Earthquakes 2

The San Jose Earthquakes traveled to Rio Tinto to do battle against Real Salt Lake in front of a supportive group of 18,050 fans. Real Salt Lake put an enormous amount of pressure on the San Jose defense for the first three quarters of the match. But the San Jose defense held strong and came up with a couple of huge goal saving clearances. San Jose would surprisingly strike first in the match in the 75' off the head of Alan Gordon. Gordon out hustled Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando to a ball that bounced in the Salt Lake penalty box and headed it past Rimando for the go ahead goal. However, Salt Lake would find an equalizer off the right foot of Javier Morales just a few minutes later. Morales sent a curling right-footed free-kick up and over the wall and into the back left corner of the goal. But MLS goal scoring leader, Chris Wondolowski, would play spoiler in the 84'. Justin Morrow began the play with a throw-in into the box that Alan Gordon flicked onto Wondolowski who side-footed it past Nick Rimando for the game winning goal.

Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Vancouver Whitecaps 0

The Vancouver Whitecaps visited the Home Depot Center where the LA Galaxy and 21,529 fans were on hand to meet them. The game got off to the right foot for the Galaxy as Mike Magee knocked in a ball following a number of deflections from a David Beckham corner kick in the 17'. It was a great start at home for the Galaxy. The Galaxy would make it 2-0 in their favor in the 30' off the foot of Robbie Keane. Keane received a pass from Landon Donovan near the top left side of the box and dribbled his way through a couple of Vancouver defenders before beating Joe Cannon with a nice finish to the far side of the net. The Galaxy continued to apply pressure on the Whitecap defense and eventually drew a penalty from a hand ball in the box by Captain Jay DeMerit off a Robbie Keane shot. Landon Donovan took the penalty and buried it to give the Galaxy a 3-0 lead. The Galaxy defense was able to hold and they earned the full three points at home.

Portland Timbers 2, Seattle Sounders 1

The first Cascadia Cup showdown took place at JELD-WEN Field in front of a loud crowd of 20,438 fans who were on hand to witness the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders do battle. Portland would strike first in the 16’ off the foot of Kris Boyd. Steven Smith was able to beat his man to the left corner and supplied a good low cross toward the center of the box that Boyd beat his man to and poked in for the 1-0 Portland lead. Portland would add a second goal in the 25’ during a corner kick. Franck Songo'o placed a dangerous ball right into the mixer that David Horst headed down toward goal and in between a Seattle defender and their Goalkeeper, Andrew Weber. Seattle would answer back with a beautiful left footed shot by Eddie Johnson in the 58’. Johnson cut a ball back to his left near the top right side of the box and sent a shot past Troy Perkins and into the far side netting to cut the Portland lead in half. The score would hold at 2-1 and Portland would earn a tough 3 points at home against their bitter rivals.

New York Red Bulls 3, DC United 2

The New York Red Bulls hosted DC United at Red Bull Arena where 25,187 supporters filled the seats to watch the bitter contest between these I-95 rivals. The fans would have to wait long to see the first goal of the match as Chris Pontius headed in a ball in just the 1’ of play. Danny Cruz and Dwayne DeRoasrio played a little give and go in the right corner of the field before Cruz sent in a nice near post cross that Pontius beat his defender to and headed in. New York would answer in the 20’ on a corner kick. Joel Lindpere sent a ball into the box that Brandon Barklage raced to meet and nearly Karate kicked into the net to level the score at 1. Barklage would add a second goal in the 47’. The goal came off another set-piece for the Red Bulls as Rafa Marquez’ free-kick deflected off the DC Untied wall and the rebound flew over to Barklage who volleyed it out of the air and into the back of the net. New York would add a third goal in the 55’ by Jan Gunnar Soli. The goal came off a New York attack up the left side of the field. Joel Lindpere cut a ball back across the center of the box that Soli directed towards goal, however, his shot was saved by Bill Hamid but the rebound fell back to Soli who put it off the left post and into the net. Chris Pontius would bag his second goal of the night in the 66’. Pontius was played in behind the Red Bulls defense by Maicon Santos, rounded Ryan Meara and slotted the ball home. However, the comeback came up short for DC and New York held strong to the lead and earned the full 3 points at home.

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