Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MLS Weekly: Week 12

By Leanne Elston

The Games

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Portland Timbers

Down to ten men and trailing, the Timbers equalized late at BC Place to salvage a draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Portland dominated possession in the match, but the ‘Caps scored first in the 24th minute through a Camilo free kick from just outside the area. Vancouver kept a lead until the second half, when in the 62nd minute Will Johnson converted a penalty to bring his side level. Just two minutes later, though, Gershon Koffie curled in a shot from the top of the box to pull the ‘Caps ahead again.

In the 81st minute, Futty Danso was issued a red card for seemingly bringing down Camilo, though the decision was controversial and harsh. However, Jose Valencia equalized for Portland on 83 minutes, and the two teams had to share the points. With the draw, the Timbers made it clear that they can’t be counted out and mean to stay in the top of their conference.

Seattle Sounders 4-2 FC Dallas

The Sounders made a big statement with their wild 4-2 win over the current Western Conference leaders on Saturday. Eddie Johnson contributed two goals for his side, starting in the 16th minute with a half-volley past Dallas keeper Raúl Fernández. Lamar Neagle doubled the Sounders’ lead on 30 minutes as he collected a through ball, rounded Fernández, and slid the ball into the net. That was all for the first half, but the second half didn’t take long to get going. In the 54th minute, Kenny Cooper headed home a free kick from Michel, cutting the home team’s lead in half. Then, seven minutes later, Michel scored one of his own straight off of a corner kick -- a rare “Olimpico.”

Dallas didn’t get to revel in equalizing for long, though. Johnson pulled Seattle ahead again just a minute later, assisted by Neagle. Things got worse for Dallas in the 72nd minute when Blas Pérez was shown a straight red card for an elbow to Leo Gonzalez’s face, and then Obafemi Martins struck in the 83rd to complete the win for the Sounders.

New York Red Bulls 1-0 LA Galaxy

A late goal from Tim Cahill spoiled the LA Galaxy’s two-leg road trip and grabbed a home win for the Red Bulls. The match was the only meeting of the season for two of the league’s most high-profile teams, but it remained locked at 0-0 until second half stoppage time. Both sides had their share of chances. AJ DeLaGarza cleared a Fabian Espíndola shot off the line in the 28th minute, and New York goalkeeper Luis Robles made a point blank save on Gyasi Zardes in the 77th. It looked like it might end as a 0-0 draw, but in the 91st minute Tim Cahill nodded in a free kick from Juninho, and the Red Bulls collected all three points. The win keeps New York atop the Eastern Conference, while the Galaxy sit fourth in the West.

The Stories

After Sporting Kansas City broke the Houston Dynamo’s home unbeaten record last week, the New England Revolution came out of BBVA Compass Stadium this weekend with a 2-0 win. Speaking of broken streaks, DC United broke their dismal seven game losing streak by tying 1-1 with Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium on Sunday. DCU still sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, and while we’re on the subject of last place, Chivas USA have also taken a tumble in the Western Conference standings, most recently thanks to a 4-1 thumping from RSL.

Though he’d already left MLS, it’s worth mentioning that David Beckham announced that he will be retiring from soccer after the end of the season; he played what was likely his last match with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Saturday, wearing the captain’s armband and notching an assist.

The Tables

  1. New York Red Bulls (7-4-3)
  2. Sporting Kansas City (6-4-3)
  3. Houston Dynamo (6-4-2)
  4. Montreal Impact (6-2-2)
  5. Philadelphia Union (5-4-3)
  6. Columbus Crew (4-4-3)
  7. New England Revolution (3-4-4)
  8. Chicago Fire (2-7-1)
  9. Toronto FC (1-6-4)
  10. DC United (1-8-2)
  1. FC Dallas (7-2-3)
  2. Real Salt Lake (6-5-2)
  3. Portland Timbers (4-1-7)
  4. LA Galaxy (5-4-2)
  5. Colorado Rapids (4-4-4)
  6. Seattle Sounders (4-3-3)
  7. San Jose Earthquakes (3-4-6)
  8. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-4-4)
  9. Chivas USA (3-6-2)
The Look Ahead
DC United host the Portland Timbers while the Montreal Impact welcome the Philadelphia Union to Stade Saputo and the New England Revolution host Toronto. The San Jose Earthquakes travel to Dallas, Chivas head to Colorado, and the Chicago Fire take on RSL at Rio Tinto. On Sunday, Sporting Kansas City host the Houston Dynamo in a big East match-up, and the Columbus Crew go on the road to New York. Finally, the LA Galaxy face the Seattle Sounders at the HDC to close out the weekend’s action.

The Player of the Week

Eddie Johnson. His brace helped the Sounders dismantle the Western Conference’s first place team, and it’s his goal-scoring that will help Seattle maintain their league upswing.

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