Wednesday, May 29, 2013

MLS Weekly: Week 13

Article by Leanne Elston

The Games

LA Galaxy 4-0 Seattle Sounders

A first half hat trick from Robbie Keane helped see the Galaxy to a 4-0 thumping of the visiting Seattle Sounders. Sean Franklin opened the scoring for LA in the 12th minute, finishing a ball from Keane after some great combination play. Then Keane scored the first of his three goals after 24 minutes, striking a loose ball from inside the box into the bottom right corner. Two penalties in the 34th and 44th minutes sealed the game for the Galaxy and completed Keane’s hat trick. Gyasi Zardes won the first after a foul by Djimi Traoré, and though Michael Gspurning saved Keane’s first attempt, the PK was whistled back for encroachment and Keane buried his retry.

 A Brad Evans foul on Juninho prompted the second penalty, which Keane slid into the left corner. Seattle’s bad night only got worse in the 87th minute when Shalrie Joseph earned a red card after making contact with Marcelo Sarvas’ face (something that had happened earlier in the 80th minute as well). The Sounders, who had been on an upswing in recent weeks, take a step backwards with this game, but the Galaxy welcome a return to penalty converting form and a bounce back after the disappointing loss to New York last week.

Montreal Impact 5-3 Philadelphia Union

Marco di Vaio scored the first of two first-half hat tricks in MLS this weekend, netting his three goals within 32 minutes against the Philadelphia Union. Di Vaio opened what would turn into a goal fest just two minutes in, one-timing a cut back from Andrew Wenger past goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Jack McInerney responded three minutes later with a Union equalizer, and it remained 1-1 until the 28th minute, when Di Vaio flicked a ball from Justin Mapp into the net for his second goal. Di Vaio completed his hat trick four minutes after that as he slotted home a cross from Andres Romero and made it 3-1.

Second-half sub Antoine Hoppenot brought Philly within one in the 69th minute after he struck a cross that somehow found the back of the net, but the Impact scored a fourth goal in the 74th minute through Andrew Wenger. The Union came within one again in the 85th thanks to Sebastien Le Toux, but a stoppage time goal from Blake Smith gave Montreal the last laugh. Montreal now sit second in the East behind the Red Bulls, but they’ve also only played 11 games to New York’s 15, and they don’t seem likely to drop in the standings anytime soon.

New York Red Bulls 2-2 Columbus Crew

The Red Bulls held onto their top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 2-2 tie with the Columbus Crew, once more leaving things late. The Crew wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as Dominic Oduro wound his way through New York’s defense and slotted home a goal in just the 2nd minute. Pushing hard for an equalizer, the Red Bulls found one in the 31st minute when Tim Cahill sent a long ball up to Thierry Henry, who floated his shot over goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum’s head and into the net. 

The game stayed tied at 1-1 until the 73rd minute. Red Bulls defender Kosuke Kimura was whistled for a foul on Crew forward Justin Meram in the box, and Federico Higuaín converted the resulting penalty to give his side the 2-1 lead. It looked like Columbus might come away with all three points, but Jámison Olave, after having an effort of his cleared off the line in the 86th minute, struck in stoppage time to level things at 2-2. The Crew missed the chance to hop over Philadelphia in the standings and get a big away win, and while the Red Bulls might have wanted a win, they still managed to get a result in a tough game.

The Stories
One of the biggest storylines to come out of the Galaxy-Sounders match had little to do with play on the field but has tons to do with the sports world off of it. Robbie Rogers made his return to MLS in the 77th minute on Sunday to a standing ovation and became the first openly gay athlete to play in a major North American men’s sports league. Rogers’ rights were held by the Chicago Fire and traded to the Galaxy for Mike Magee, who wanted to return home to Chicago.

The US Open Cup began two weeks ago, but MLS teams get in on the action starting Tuesday evening and stretching through Wednesday. Don’t miss what are sure to be some exciting matches in an always fun tournament.

Elsewhere in MLS, Dallas still sit in first place in the Western Conference, most recently thanks to a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. The struggling Chicago Fire managed to tie with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto, while Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo battled to 1-1 draw and Chivas USA lost (again).

The Tables

East

  1. New York Red Bulls (7-4-4)
  2. Montreal Impact (7-2-2)
  3. Sporting Kansas City (6-4-4)
  4. Houston Dynamo (6-4-3)
  5. Philadelphia Union (5-5-3)
  6. Columbus Crew (4-4-4)
  7. New England Revolution (4-4-4)
  8. Chicago Fire (2-7-2)
  9. Toronto FC (1-7-4)
  10. DC United (1-9-2)

West

  1. FC Dallas (8-2-3)
  2. Portland Timbers (5-1-7)
  3. Real Salt Lake (6-5-3)
  4. LA Galaxy (6-4-2)
  5. Colorado Rapids (5-4-4)
  6. Seattle Sounders (4-4-3)
  7. San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-6)
  8. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-4-4)
  9. Chivas USA (3-7-2)

The Look Ahead


The Union head to Toronto, the Whitecaps travel to New York, and Houston hit the road for Columbus. Sporting KC host the Montreal Impact, while the Colorado Rapids welcome Dallas and Real Salt Lake take on the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto. Chivas face the Sounders, and Sunday rounds out with the New England Revolution against the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire against DC United.

The Player of the Week

Marco di Vaio. Scoring hat tricks before it was cool this weekend, Di Vaio’s performance ensured his team the win in a wild game and reassured everyone that he’s a force to be reckoned with in MLS. He’s now level with Jack McInerney in the goalscoring charts with nine.

No comments:

Post a Comment