Monday, August 27, 2012

MLS Recap Week 26

Don't look now, but it's not even September and these games have all the fire and excitement of the playoffs. Montreal and Columbus didn't get the memo about being rollovers and Seattle hasn't taken kindly to being labeled inconsistent at the beginning of the season. Real Salt Lake is losing hold on the second place position in the West and Kei Kamara scores for two teams in the same game. Teams change positions in the standings, announcers are baffled and this could easily be the most exciting season in Major League Soccer history. Here's how week 26 breaks down.


Philadelphia Union 0, Real Salt Lake 0

The Philadelphia Union hosted Real Salt Lake at PPL Park and 18,441 of their closest friends were on hand to take in the event. If you are a fan of goals this was not the game to watch. Both teams did not create a great number of goal scoring opportunities and when they did they couldn’t convert. The best goal scoring opportunity in the first half came from the Union. Michael Farfan displayed a nice bit of skill to get past an RSL defender near the top of the box. He slid a centering pass to an open Danny Cruz who sent it way over the goal and out of play. RSL had a good opportunity in the 85’ as Kyle Beckermen sent a long ball behind the Union defense that Johnny Steele was able to get on the end of. Steele got past an on-rushing Zac MacMath but he couldn’t get the ball off his feet to find an open Alvaro Saborio at the top of the box. The game ended in a 0-0 draw and both teams had to settle on a point.


Montreal Impact 3, DC United 0

The Montreal Impact hosted DC United at Stade Saputo and 20,011 fans were in attendance to cheer on their respective sides. Montreal jumped on the board first in the 24’ thanks to the right foot of Marco DiVaio. DiVaio had been toeing the Offside line a number of times before the goal. However, he was able to beat the offside trap that instance and calmly finished a nicely weighted through ball by Patrice Bernier to the top right corner for the 1-0 Impact lead. The Impact would add a second goal just after the break from the penalty spot. DC United’s, Emiliano Dudar, pushed Colin Warner to the ground in the box and Patrice Bernier converted the subsequent penalty. Bernier would add a second goal on the day in the 92’ with an impressive run. Bernier received the ball in his own half and beat four United defenders on his way to the goal. His final shot was deflected by Bill Hamid by a United defender and sneaked into the near side of the goal. Montreal earned a valuable 3 points at home against their Eastern Conference Playoff competitors.



Columbus Crew 4, New England Revolution 3

The New England Revolution traveled to Columbus to face the Crew and 13,651 fans filed into Crew Stadium to take in the match. The Revolution jumped out in front early in the 17’ off a left footed blast from outside of the box by Ryan Guy that took a slight deflection past Andy Gruenebaum and into the net. New England would add a second in the 23’ from Jerry Bengston. Bengston was played in behind the Crew defense, rounded the on-rushing keeper and slotted one in off the left post to give the Revolution and early 2-0 lead. However, the Crew’s Federico Higuain pulled one back for the Crew in the 26’ off a great free kick that found the upper right corner of the net. The Crew would pull level in the 32’ of the match from a rocket into the near side of the net by Jairo Arrieta. Arrieta got in behind the Revolution defense with a ball in over the top by Mirosevic and charged his way to the near left side of the net. He uncorked a point blank rocket that beat Matt Reis to level it at 2.  The Crew would take the lead in the 43’ from yet another Federico Higuain free kick but this time it was to the upper left corner of the net. The Revolution would tie the game in the 81’ from the penalty spot after Diego Fagundez was pulled down in the box by Julius James. Lee Nguyen converted the subsequent penalty and the match was tied once again. However, the Crew would get the game winning goal in the 86’ from Jairo Arrieta who was once again played in behind the Revolution defense with a ball over the top and calmly poked it past Reis to give the Crew the victory and a much needed 3 points at home.



Houston Dynamo 1, Toronto FC 1

Toronto FC traveled south to BBVA Compass Stadium to square off against the Houston Dynamo and 19,320 supporters were in attendance. The Houston Dynamo earned the first goal of the night courtesy of Will Bruin in the 21’. However, it was Oscar Boniek Garcia who displayed some great skill in the midfield to control a difficult ball, get by a Toronto defender, and then send a pin point diagonal pass to Will Bruin who coolly poked it over Freddy Hall for the 1-0 Houston lead.  Both teams poked and prodded at their oppositions net a couple of time but couldn’t break through, until the 85’. That was when; Terry Dunfield was left unmarked in the Dynamo box and put away a nice header from long cross by Darren O’Dea to bring the teams even. That was how the match would end and Houston wound up dropping two important points at home late in the match.



Chivas USA 2, Seattle Sounders 6

Chivas USA hosted the visiting Seattle Sounders at The Home Depot Center and 11,973 supporters made their way out to the stadium to see it all happen. The goals in the match came fast and furious. The first goal came in the 10’ when Freddy Montero sent a great through ball onto the run of Brad Evans who slotted it past Dan Kennedy for the 1-0 Seattle lead. Montero would put Seattle up by 2 in the 27’ when he put away a tight angled shot in the box after making a nice diagonal run and getting a nice feed from Mauro Rosales. Montero added a second goal to his total with another crafty run across the top of the box that was rewarded by another great pass from Mauro Rosales and Montero simply flicked it past Kennedy for the goal. Chivas USA’ Juan Agudelo would convert from the penalty spot in the 38’ following a handball in the box by Seattle. Chivas would get another goal in the 64’ when Miller Bolanos ran at two defenders and sent a low hard shot to the far post that got by Michael Gspurning to give Chivas USA some hope. However, Freddy Montero would put Seattle up by 2 again in the 67’ when he once again was played in behind the Chivas defense by Mauro Rosales. Montero dinked one defender and then put it away far side netting.  Seattle would add a 5th in the 80’ off the head of Samuel Ochoa. The final Seattle goal came in the 91’ of the match as Chivas USA defender, Ante Jazic, headed it into his own net.  And that was how the match would end and all three points went to Seattle on the road.



Portland Timbers 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

The Vancouver Whitecaps traveled to JELD-WEN Field to face the Portland Timbers and 20,438 supporters were in full voice. The Portland Timbers put away the first goal of the match in the 41’ off the right foot of Darlington Nagbe. Nagbe made a diagonal run into the Whitecaps box and Jack Jewsbury passed it to the Midfielder’s feet, who took one touch and finished to the left of Joe Cannon for the 1-0 Timber lead. The Whitecaps would pull level just before the break. Kenny Miller put away a ball that fell to his feet following a flurry of play that saw the Timber defense fail to clear a Whitecaps corner. The Timbers would regain the lead in the off of a Frank Songo’o free kick that Joe Cannon let squirt under his hands at the near post. The match would end 2-1 in favor of the Timbers, who earned their first victory under Gavin Wilkinson.



San Jose Earthquakes 4, Colorado Rapids 1

The San Jose Earthquakes hosted the Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium and 10,525 came out to take in the match. The Earthquakes jumped to an early lead in the 11’ when Simon Dawkins took a defender one-on-one and finished with a low hard show to the left corner. San Jose would get a second goal I the 43’ off a Rafael Baca cross from the left side of the field that was finished in the 6 yard box by Alan Gordon. Colorado would get a goal of their own in the 54’ when Tyronne Marshall headed in a Martin Rivero corner to bring the Rapids within one. The earthquakes pulled away in the 68’ when Simon Dawkins got his second on the night with a nice outside of the right foot finish from inside the box. They would add a further and final goal in the 75’ courtesy of Alan Gordon who finished coolly in the box following a poor defensive sequence by Colorado. The Quakes would hold on to win the match and earn yet another 3 points on their quest for the Supporter’s Shield. 



Los Angeles Galaxy 2, FC Dallas 0

FC Dallas traveled to The Home Depot Center to face the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of a crowd of 21,933. Both teams had a couple of decent chances in the first half but couldn’t convert to go ahead in the match. The best chance of the half came from FC Dallas when Fabian Castillo got past the LA defense before being brought down by Todd Dunivant who controversially only received a yellow for the tackle. The Galaxy would eventually pull in front in the 66’ when Juninho put away a square ball into the box after Jose Villareal stripped the ball off the foot of a Dallas defender, rounded the keeper and fed Juninho for the goal.  The Galaxy would add a second in the 84’ following a great bit of intricate passing by the Galaxy before Todd Dunivant finished the chance to the far side netting. The Galaxy would hold of Dallas and earn all 3 points at home.



Sporting Kansas City 1, New York Red Bulls 1

The New York Red Bulls traveled to LiveStrong Sporting Park to face Sporting Kansas City in a crucial Eastern Conference Showdown and 18,491 fans were on hand to take in the occasion.  Sporting Kansas City jumped out to an early lead in the 4’ thanks to Teal Bunbury chasing down a long ball sent over the top and flicking it over an on-rushing, Bill Gaudette, to Kei Kamara he was able to out jump his defenders and put away the chance on an empty net. New York would level the score in the 28’ on an own goal by Kei Kamara. Kamara was marking, Tim Cahill, on a long flighted ball into the Kansas City box and headed it into the back of his own bet to get New York level at 1. Both teams had some good opportunities to pull out a winner, with non-better, than Dax McCarty deep into stoppage time but his one-on-one with the keeper failed to produce even a shot on target. The match ended in a draw and both teams had to settle for a point.



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