Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MLS Recap Week 17

Article by Pedro Gomes

Week 17 brought plenty of goals and spectacular finishes. We had late game drama in New England, a convincing win by DC, and a California Classico that shocked and entertained us late Saturday night. It was a match-up so heated and contested that even the San Jose Mascot got dragged into the drama. Catch up with all of the action in our weekly recaps.

Sporting Kansas City 0, Chicago Fire 1

The Chicago Fire traveled to LiveStrong Sporting Park to square off against the Chicago Fire in front of 19,274 lively supporters. Both teams had a few decent chances at net in the first half of play with Sporting enjoying the greater number of opportunities but neither could break the deadlock. Eventually, the Fire were able to get on the board in the 58' when Marco Pappa finished a 3 on 2 Chicago counter-attack with a sweet finish underneath Jimmy Nielsen to put them up 1-0. Kansas City would try and find the equalizer on a number of chances in the remainder of the second half but each opportunity fell just a bit short and Chicago finished the game with a one goal advantage and the full three points on the road.

Toronto FC 1, New York Red Bulls 1

Toronto FC hosted the visiting New York Red Bulls at BMO Field where 20,071 supporters were on hand to take in the game. Much to the home fans dismay the visitors went up first in only the 4' of play off a Brandon Barklage cross into the box that Jan Gunnar Solli was able to side-foot into the corner of the net. It didn't take Toronto long to find the equalizer as Danny Koevermanns lost his mark on a corner by Torsten Frings and easily headed in the tying goal in the 7'. Both teams had a couple of chances to find the net again with Toronto coming closest in the 86' as Danny Koevermanns nearly had an easy tap in in front of goal but Stephen Keel made an acrobatic clearance to deny him the opportunity. The match ended as a draw and each team had to settle on a point.

New England Revolution 2, Seattle Sounders 2

The Seattle Sounders visited Gillette Stadium to do battle against the New England Revolution in front of a crowd of 15,262 fans. New England scored the opening goal of the game in the 12' when Blake Brettschneider dribbled around a couple of Seattle defenders and sent a ball across the face of goal where Saer Sene was waiting to tap it in. Seattle would tie it up in the 23' when Mauro Rosales took advantage of some poor defensive plays by the Revolution and sent a cross into the center of the box that Eddie Johnson rose up to meet with his head and guided it past Matt Reis. Johnson would find the net again for Seattle in the 35' from another cross into the box but this time it came from the foot of Marc Burch. New England would find a late equalizer for the second game in a row in the dying moments of the game off the head of Diego Fagundez. Fernando Cardenas found some space along the left side of the field and sent a cross to the edge of the 6 yard box that Fagundez would head into the far side of the net and save a point for the Revolution at home.

DC United 3, Montreal Impact 0

The Montreal Impact traveled to RFK Stadium where the DC United and 18,302 supporters were on hand to meet them. Aside from a couple of early chances for Montreal this match was all DC United. DC would find the first goal just before halftime when Chris Pontius weaved through a couple of Montreal defenders and finished far post for the 1-0 United lead. Then in the 50' DC would add a second goal this time from the head of Robbie Russell off a well-placed free kick by Branko Boskovic. The final goal for DC United came in the 91' following some neat passing in the box between Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, and Hamdhi Salihi. Nick DeLeon would eventually take a shot on goal that Evan Bush parried to an open Salihi who put it past him for the final goal to seal the victory for DC.

Houston Dynamo 2, Philadelphia Union 1
The Philadelphia Union traveled to BBVA Compass Stadium to face the Houston Dynamo and 19,806 fans. Houston would score the opening goal in the 19' off a clever little chip by Brad Davis. Davis made a late run into the left side of the box and Oscar Boniek Garcia fed him a nice ball in stride for Davis to finish. Philadelphia would find the equalizer off the left foot of Keon Daniel in the 46'. Daniel received the ball from Brian Carroll near the top right side of the box. He took one touch to open a bit of space and took a quick left footed shot that beat Tally Hall to his far post. However, Houston's Brian Ching would draw a penalty in the Philadelphia box in the 80' when Gabriel Farfan put a shoulder into his back as a cross was played to Ching. Ching would convert the subsequent penalty and give the Dynamo the late game lead which they held onto for the 3 points.

Columbus Crew 2, Real Salt Lake 0

Real Salt Lake traveled to Crew Stadium to meet the Columbus Crew and 19,674 supporters for a inter conference showdown. The Crew took an early lead in the 16’ when Emilio Renteria took a long ball down in the box and broke away from his two defenders near the left side of the box and cut a pass back across goal to find an open Tony Tchani for the near post finish. Columbus would add a second goal in the 43’ off a corner kick from Chris Birchall who found Josh Williams on the back post who passed it back to the center of the box where Eddie Gaven finished it cleanly. Columbus fought off the Salt attack for much of the night and finished the night with a clean sheet and 3 points.

Colorado Rapids 3, Portland Timbers 0

The Colorado Rapids hosted the visiting Portland Timbers at Dick Sporting Goods Park where 15,553 fans were on hand to witness the battle. Colorado would get the first goal of the game in the 18’ when Hunter Freeman beat his man to the right side corner and sent in a dangerous low cross that Jamie Castrillon got a shin to and deflected into the far post. Colorado added a second goal in the 22’ off a Conor Casey header in the box. Colorado’s Brian Mullan sent in an early cross from the right side of the box and Casey rose up in between two Portland defenders and finished it well. The third and final goal of the game came in the 89’ from Jamie Smith. Tony Cascio was sent through behind the Portland defense by Martin Rivero and raced toward goal. Cascio sent a little chip over Troy Perkins and in toward the center of the box that found Smith who tapped it in for his first of the season.

San Jose Earthquakes 4, Los Angeles Galaxy 3

The California Classico went down between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium in front of a big crowd of 50,391 fans. If those fans came for goals, they were not disappointed. San Jose opened the scoring in the 7’ off a rebound from a Marvin Chavez left-footed shot. Los Angeles responded with a classic David Beckham free kick in the 31’ that froze Jon Busch and probably Stuart Pearce for a moment as they witnessed the wonderful free kick go into the San Jose net. Los Angeles would regain the lead from a Jason Hernandez own goal after Hector Jimenez sent in a dangerous cross across the goal headed for Landon Donovan on the back post. Jimenez, Donovan, and Hernandez were involved in Los Angeles’ third goal of the match as Hernandez sent a bad back pass toward his keeper that was intercepted by Mike Magee and laid it off to Jimenez who found Donovan open in the box for the goal. San Jose would pull one back just before halftime off a sweet side-footed finish by Victor Bernardez off a Marvin Chavez corner. San Jose would equalize in the 47’ when Steven Beithshour sent a long ball up field that Steven Lenhart let go to Sam Cronin in stride. Cronin just beat Josh Saunders to the ball and toe poked it past him. San Jose would complete the stunning comeback in the 61’ from the wonderful flick by Chris Wondolowski following a Marvin Chavez corner. San Jose would hold onto the lead and earn all 3 points in the great match-up.

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