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MLS Cup 2017 Review: Apr 14-16

The 2017 MLS season is well and truly underway now, but the Union still do not have a win to their name, following another defeat this weekend. Elsewhere, there were last minute goals from San Jose, Orlando, Montreal and Real Salt Lake to add to the drama of another week’s action across the pond.

 

Friday 14th April

Philadelphia Union 0

New York City FC 2 (Harrison 52’, Villa 90’)

Six games into the 2017 season, and the Philadelphia Union remain winless following this two-goal defeat to NYCFC. After a goalless first half, the visitors went in front soon after the break. Jack Harrison scored the opener, and winner, seven minutes after half time, latching on to a great assist from Ronald Matarrita. However, it was to be overshadowed by David Villa’s last minute wonder strike to double the lead. The Spaniard showed his class by shooting from 50 yards, lobbing Andre Blake in the Union goal. The victory keeps NYC in 4th in the East, just three points behind the leaders. The Union, on the other hand, are now cut adrift at the bottom of the East, with just two points from their opening six games.

 

San Jose Earthquakes 1 (Hyka 90+4’)

FC Dallas 1 (Acosta 78’)

The Quakes rescued a point with the final kick of the game on Saturday night, levelling against the defending Supporters’ Shield holders. Somehow, FC Dallas did not take the lead in the first half when Cristian Colman missed when it looked like he HAD to score.

He would have been relieved when, twelve minutes from time, Kellyn Acosta scored the opening goal of the game for the visitors. However, it was not to be for Dallas, as Jahmir Hyka equalised in the 94th minute to snatch a point for San Jose. FCD will not believe they are only taking a point back to Texas, but they are still unbeaten in 2017. They sit 3rd in the West, but only two points off the top with games in hand on those around them. The point leaves the Quakes in 5th in the West, a point above the red line.

 

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Montero 65’ 80’)

Seattle Sounders 1 (Bruin 89’)

This Cascadia rivalry saw a former Sounder com back to haunt his former team, as the Whitecaps took a narrow victory on Saturday. Fredy Montero was the hero for Vancouver, having previously played for Seattle between 2009-2012. His second half double gave the Whitecaps a two goal lead, before Will Bruin got one back late on. The hosts also needed two goal-line clearances to hold on for all three points. David Ousted also help the Whitecaps to victory by saving from Clint Dempsey three times in the game, including tipping shots on to the woodwork twice from the USMNT star. Neither side is in the top six in the West, with Vancouver 7th and Seattle 9th.

 

Saturday 15th April

Chicago Fire 3 (Schweinsteiger 45’, Nikolic 47’ 73’)

New England Revolution 0

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic combined for all three goals as the Fire’s good form continued against New England this weekend. The game turned when Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off for a second bookable offence after just 27 minutes. From there, Chicago dominated. Schweini put the hosts in front on the stroke of half time, and that was followed up by Nikolic’s first of the game two minutes after the break. The Hungarian then doubled his tally for the night late on to seal the victory. The Fire are up to 3rd in the East, who the Revs are just outside the playoff places, in 7th.

 

 

Bastian Schweinsteiger (31) and Nemanja Nikolic (23) have been on Fire since the German moved to Chicago, with the team having a 2-0-1 record in their last three

 

Colorado Rapids 1 (Doyle 29’)

Real Salt Lake 2 (Movsisyan pen 85’, Lennon 88’)

Real Salt Lake scored twice in the final five minutes to snatch victory away from Colorado. Kevin Doyle opened the scoring after some brilliant play down the wins from the Rapids. However, the last five minutes saw action, and lots of it. Firstly, Jared Watts handled the ball on the goalline, setting up a penalty kick which Yura Movsisyan tucked away. Then, three minutes later, Brooks Lennon scored his first MLS goal to give Mike Petke his second straight win as RSL coach. They now sit in 6th in the West, just above the red line, while the Rapids are bottom of the Conference.

 

Columbus Crew SC 2 (Kamara 37’, Meram 44’)

Toronto FC 1 (Altidore 21’)

Despite going behind, Columbus came back to take all three points against Toronto on Saturday night. The first match of the Trillium Cup series saw Jozy Altidore give the visitors an early lead, but they were behind before half time. Goals from Ola Kamara and Justin Meram turned the game around in the first half, and the Crew’s solid defence led them to another win in 2017. The hosts have not conceded a second half goal in their last five matches now. Toronto now sit 9th in the East, having just won a single game this year, while the Crew are top of the Conference with 13 points.

 

Houston Dynamo 2 (Manotas 14’, Elis 43’)

Minnesota United 2 (Ramirez 47’, Venegas 59’)

The cliche “a game of two halves” was apt for this one, as Minnesota United came from two down at half time to grab a point in Houston. Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis scored the Dyanmo’s goals, as it looked like they would ease to victory, and continue their perfect home record in 2017. However, the Loons came back, despite having to make two substitutions in the first half. Both Rasmus Schuller and Bobby Shuttleworth went off with injuries late on in the first stanza. No matter, as Christian Ramirez and Johan Venegas scored the visitors, who salvaged an unlikely draw in Texas. Minnesota sit 10th in the West, three points off the playoffs, while the Dynamo are in 4th in the Conference.

 

Montreal Impact 2 (Piatti pen 45+5’, Jackson-Hemel 90+3’)

Atlanta United 1 (Jones 40’)

A controversial red card, and goals at the end of either half were just enough for Montreal to take all three points in this one. Atlanta went in front through former Premier League striker, Kenwyne Jones. Then, just before the interval, the game changed on a decision from the referee. He awarded the Impact a penalty, and sent off Leandro Gonzalez Perez for a foul on Matteo Mancosu. Ignacio Piatti stepped up and scored in his first game back from injury to level the game. The visitors had to pay the second half with ten men, and they nearly held on, but for a 93rd minute winner from Anthony Jackson-Hemel. The Impact picked up their first win of the season, but remain 10th in the East. Atlanta now have 2s across the board from their six games, and sit in 6th.

Ignacio Piatti came back from injury this weekend, and it was a much-needed boost for Montreal, who recorded their first win of the 2017 campaign

 

New York Red Bulls 2 (Muyl 46’, Wright-Phillips 62’)

D.C. United 0

Two second half goals were enough for the Red Bulls as they extended their unbeaten run in New York to 17 matches. Alex Muyl opened the scoring in the first minute of the second half, before Bradley Wright-Phillips nutmegged DC ‘keeper Bill Hamid to double the lead. It got worse the the visitors late on when USMNT defender Steve Birnbaum was stretchered off through injury. They now sit 8th in the Eastern, while NYRB sit 5th, three points above DC.

 

Orlando City SC 2 (Johnson 9’, Larin 90+1’)

LA Galaxy 1 (Alessandrini 83’)

Orlando made history with this last gasp win at home, becoming the first team to win their first four games at a new home stadium. The Lions took the lead early through Will Johnson’s ninth minute strike. They looked comfortable for most of the game, until Romain Alessandrini scored his fourth of the season to level the game up with seven to go. However, Cyle Larin won the game for the hosts in the 91st minute with a beautiful volley, maintaining Orlando’s home record. They jump into 2nd in the East, while LA Galaxy are 8th in the West and struggling for form.

When Orlando need him, Cyle Larin always steps up. Orlando have now won all four home matches this season, becoming the first team to do so at a new stadium

Portland Timbers 0

Sporting Kansas City 1 (Dwyer 53’)

Just a single goal was enough in this one, as Sporting KC came away from Portland with all three points. Portland led the Western Conference coming into this one, but their high-powered offence could get nothing going on Sunday evening. Dom Dwyer scored the only goal of the game, early on in the second half. It was enough for SKC to take the victory, and record their fourth shutout of the year. SKC move up to 2nd in the Western, a point behind Portland, who still lead the way.

 

Standings – team points (games played)

Eastern Conference:

Columbus 13 (7), Orlando 12 (5), Chicago 11 (6), NYC 10 (6), RBNY 10 (7), Atlanta 8 (6)

New England 7 (6), DC 7 (6), Toronto 7 (6), Montreal 6 (6), Philadelphia 2 (6)

 

Western Conference:

Portland 13 (7), Sporting KC 12 (6), FC Dallas 11 (5), Houston 10 (6), San Jose 8 (6), RSL 8 (7)

Vancouver 7 (6), LA Galaxy 6 (6), Seattle 6 (6), Minnesota 5 (7), Colorado 4 (5)

 

There is one midweek game this time round, with New England hosting San Jose on Wednesday night. Next weekend, San Jose stay on the road, with the trip to Houston, with the Revs host DC United. There are two big games in the East as #1 Columbus travel to #5 RBNY, while #4 NYCFC host #2 Orlando. In the West, 2nd plays 3rd as Sporting KC travel to Dallas, while two big teams struggling for form face off. Seattle travel to LA Galaxy with neither side in the playoff places

Fixtures (Saturday unless stated):

  • New England v San Jose (Wed)
  • FC Dallas v Sporting KC
  • Houston v San Jose
  • LA Galaxy v Seattle (Sun)
  • Minnesota v Colorado (Sun)
  • New England v D.C. United
  • New York City v Orlando (Sun)
  • NY Red Bulls v Columbus
  • Philadelphia v Montreal
  • Portland v Vancouver
  • Real Salt Lake v Atlanta
  • Toronto v Chicago (Fri)

About Matt Coles

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