Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MLS Weekly: Week 22

Article by Leanne Elston 

After a bout of high-scoring affairs, MLS cooled it off a bit this week. The Revs and Galaxy bested conference foes, while SKC got three big points on the road to fellow leaders RSL. Both New England and SKC left it late, though, and the Galaxy had to go down a goal before they secured their win.

The Games

Columbus Crew 0-2 New England Revolution

After two halves with no goals, the New England Revolution put two stoppage time goals past the Columbus Crew to snag three points and a road clean sheet. Both teams were misfiring all night, missing chances to break the deadlock and seemingly headed for a 0-0 draw. However, as the game entered stoppage time, the Revs at last found the back of the net. Jose Goncalves headed home a Lee Nguyen corner kick in the 91st minute to finally give the match a goal, and Diego Fagundez sealed the win with a slotted finish in the 94th after a Crew turnover.

New England continued a strong defensive record, having only allowed 18 goals all season (tied with the Portland Timbers for fewest goals against). Columbus, meanwhile, notched their fifth loss in seven games, falling into eighth in the East.

Real Salt Lake 1-2 Sporting Kansas City

A goal deep into stoppage time stole all three points for Sporting Kansas City at Rio Tinto against Real Salt Lake. The game was chippy from the start, with Chris Wingert receiving a yellow card just three minutes in, but the score stayed locked at 0-0 until the second half. Robbie Findley put the home side up 1-0 with a header in the 56th minute after Jimmy Nielsen misplayed an RSL free kick sent into the box. Ten minutes later, Wingert earned a second yellow and RSL were forced down to 10 men, and SKC wasted no time in taking advantage.

LISTEN: Soony Saad joins Off The Bench to talk about his red hot form

In the 67th minute, Soony Saad leveled things with a goal from close range after the ball pinged around the box when RSL failed to clear it. Then, just when it seemed the teams would have to settle for a point each, Ike Opara headed in a Graham Zusi corner kick in the 97th minute to snatch the victory for the visitors. SKC now lead the Eastern Conference, while RSL maintain first place in the West even with the loss.

LA Galaxy 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

The LA Galaxy came back from 1-0 down at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps to win all three points on Saturday. Camilo Sanvezzo, who has been on a tear recently for the ‘Caps, scored first in the 19th minute to give his side the lead, slotting a ball home after being released into space. The Galaxy struck back ten minutes later, though, as Jose Villarreal had the easy finish after Omar Gonzalez headed a Juninho free kick into the box.

Gyasi Zardes got the game winner in the 57th minute, capitalizing on LA’s offensive dominance. Todd Dunivant sent a long ball up to Zardes, who sped forward and rounded his defender before beating Brad Knighton near post. With the win, the Galaxy move into third place in the Western Conference behind the Portland Timbers. Vancouver sit in fourth.

The Stories

The Chicago Fire signed a new DP on Tuesday in Ecuadorian forward Juan Luis AnangonĂ³. The Montreal Impact have also gained a new DP, signing Argentinean central midfielder HernĂ¡n Bernardello.

D.C. United continue to struggle after a 4-1 road loss to the Chicago Fire that brings their record so far this season to 2-14-4, though Luis Silva scored a great goal in his DCU debut. The Seattle Sounders, though not in nearly so dire a position, managed only a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids at the weekend and currently sit out of playoff contention in seventh place in the West.

The Tables


1. Sporting Kansas City (10-5-6)
2. Montreal Impact (9-5-5)
3. New York Red Bulls (9-7-5)
4. Philadelphia Union (8-6-7)
5. Houston Dynamo (8-6-5)
6. New England Revolution (7-7-6)
7. Chicago Fire (7-9-3)
8. Columbus Crew (6-9-5)
9. Toronto FC (2-10-8)
10. D.C. United (2-14-4)


1. Real Salt Lake (11-6-4)
2. Portland Timbers (8-2-10)
3. LA Galaxy (10-8-3)
4. Vancouver Whitecaps (9-6-5)
5. FC Dallas (8-5-8)
6. Colorado Rapids (8-7-7)
7. Seattle Sounders (7-7-4)
8. San Jose Earthquakes (6-9-6)
9. Chivas USA (4-11-5)

The Look Ahead

The Columbus Crew head to Toronto, the New England Revolution travel to face D.C. United, and the LA Galaxy head to Colorado. The Montreal Impact host Sporting Kansas City, the New York Red Bulls welcome Real Salt Lake to town, and the Vancouver Whitecaps take on the Philadelphia Union at BC Place. The Chicago Fire hit the road to face the Houston Dynamo, with the San Jose Earthquakes against the Portland Timbers closing out Saturday and the Seattle Sounders against Chivas USA rounding out the weekend as the only Sunday game.

The Player of the Week

Chris Rolfe. He put two past D.C. United in the 4-1 victory at home, grabbing his first just three minutes in. It’s performances like his that the Fire will need if they want to battle into playoff contention.