Thursday, July 4, 2013

MLS Weekly: Week 18

The Games

Philadelphia Union 2-2 FC Dallas

A 2-2 draw between the Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas kicked off a wild weekend of MLS, with two strong teams trading hard-fought goals. Amobi Okugo headed in a Sheanon Williams long throw-in in the 20th minute to give the Union the lead, but three minutes later, Walker Zimmerman nodded home his own header off a Michel free kick to make it 1-1. The score stayed locked there until late in the second half, but that doesn’t mean the minutes in between were free of action, with Dallas’ Je-Vaughn Watson getting sent off in the 68th minute after receiving a second yellow for diving.

Up a man, Philly pulled ahead again in the 87th minute thanks to a header from Aaron Wheeler, but they couldn’t make it through stoppage time to get the win. Controversy arose in the 92nd minute when Blas Pérez had a potential goal blocked off the line and replays showed the ball may have been in. In the dying seconds of the game, however, Pérez earned his revenge when he headed in a free kick that got loose in the box after Zac MacMath failed to catch it.

Montreal Impact 3-4 Colorado Rapids

The Montreal Impact fell at home against the Colorado Rapids in another of the weekend’s high-scoring, wild matches. The Rapids got the scoring started in the 24th minute with a header from Atiba Harris off a Dillon Powers free kick. The Impact grabbed two goals before halftime, though, first equalizing in the 38th minute through Hassoun Camara, who won a header off a corner, ended up on the ground in a scramble, and then chipped the ball to himself to hit it into the net. Four minutes later, Daniele Paponi received a pass from Marco Di Vaio and curled his shot into the far corner, giving Montreal the 2-1 lead.

In the second half, rookie Powers struck a Nathan Sturgis cross with his right foot to tie things up for Colorado at 2-2. Even with four goals between them, however, the teams weren’t finished. Paponi got a brace in the 72nd minute, tapping in a ball from Davy Arnaud at close range. But five minutes later, the Rapids got another equalizer, this time through Deshorn Brown, who rushed onto a centered ball from Chris Klute and hit it first time. Finally, deep into stoppage time, Colorado caught Montreal on the counter, and Tony Cascio’s deflected shot stole the three points for the visitors.

San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 LA Galaxy

In the weekend’s California Clásico, the Quakes served the Galaxy a cruel reminder that Goonies never say die, smashing in two second-half stoppage time goals to snatch victory against their rivals. It was the Galaxy that opened the scoring, though, with Marcelo Sarvas volleying in a goal in the 20th minute to give the visitors the lead. The score remained 1-0 until the 65th minute, when Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane combined to allow Héctor Jiménez to slot in LA’s second. Just three minutes later, though, Alan Gordon headed home his first goal of the season to bring the Quakes within one, and things started to get interesting.

San Jose’s Victor Bernardez earned a second yellow on 77 minutes after a harsh tackle on the Galaxy’s Juninho, and down a man, the Quakes seemed certain to lose. That is, until the 92nd minute, which is when Shea Salinas hammered in a loose rebound to bring his side level at 2-2. Then, in the 93rd minute, Gordon headed home the stunning game-winner in front of 50,028 fans at Stanford Stadium, and the Galaxy were left to go home defeated while the Quakes celebrated a big win in a so far disappointing season.

The Stories
Elsewhere in the league, Sporting Kansas City beat the Columbus Crew 3-2 in yet another high-scoring affair, while the New York Red Bulls put in a 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo. D.C. United lost another one, this time to the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Chivas USA came close to winning against the New England Revolution before giving up a late goal to tie 1-1.

The U.S. Open Cup semifinals (Wednesday, August 7) will feature all MLS teams, with the Chicago Fire facing D.C. United and Real Salt Lake facing the Portland Timbers.

LISTEN: Alicica Rodriguez joins Off The Bench to talk Carlos Bocanegra and Chivas USA

Carlos Bocanegra has returned to MLS after signing with Chivas USA. The former USMNT captain most recently played on loan from Rangers FC in Scotland for Racing Santander in Spain and will add a veteran presence to the struggling Goats squad.

The Tables


1. Montreal Impact (9-4-2)

2. New York Red Bulls (8-6-4)

3. Philadelphia Union (7-5-5)

4. Sporting Kansas City (7-5-5)

5. Houston Dynamo (6-6-5)

6. New England Revolution (5-5-6)

7. Columbus Crew (5-7-5)

8. Chicago Fire (5-7-3)

9. Toronto FC (2-8-6)

10. D.C. United (2-12-3)


1. Real Salt Lake (10-5-3)

2. FC Dallas (8-3-6)

3. Portland Timbers (7-1-9)

4. Vancouver Whitecaps (7-5-4)

5. LA Galaxy (7-7-3)

6. Colorado Rapids (6-7-5)

7. Seattle Sounders (6-5-3)

8. San Jose Earthquakes (5-7-6)

9. Chivas USA (3-10-3)

The Look Ahead

First up, midweek action will see Toronto take on Montreal, plus Chicago against San Jose and SKC against Vancouver. Then the Sounders host D.C. United, and RSL vs. Philadelphia finishes out Wednesday. On Thursday, Chivas travel to Dallas, while the Red Bulls head to Colorado and the Crew hit the road to take on the Galaxy.

On Saturday, the Revs host the Quakes, the Dynamo welcome the Union, and Vancouver and Seattle face off again in the battle of Cascadia. On Sunday, SKC head to Chicago and the Timbers head to Columbus, while Chivas travel to Montreal and D.C. travel to Colorado. Finally, the LA Galaxy host Dallas to close out the weekend.

The Player of the Week
Alan Gordon. Because -- Goonies, amirite?

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