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MLS Cup 2017 Review: Apr 28-30

This week in the MLS, there was plenty of action to be found. There was a three-goal comeback in Seattle to a five-goal thriller in Columbus, while Orlando carried on their fine home form, with their fifth straight win at their new stadium.

 

Friday 28th April

Toronto FC 2 (Altidore 16’ 32’)

Houston Dynamo 0

Jozy Altidore scored twice in the first half as Toronto as BMO Field ringed in its ten-year anniversary in the MLS. After Sebastian Giovinco scored twice last week, Altidore did the same this time out, with goals in the first 32 minutes giving the hosts an unassailable lead. Houston may have had more shots, but their poor finishing means they are now 0-3-0 on the road, and without a point on their travels. They remain in the top four of the West thanks to their home form, while Toronto move up to 5th in the East.

Jozy Altidore (17) scored twice on Friday night, his first brace of 2017

 

Saturday 29th April

Columbus Crew SC 2 (Higuain 29’, Kamara 49’)

New York City FC 3 (Harrison 8’ 76’, Herrera 64’)

Despite going behind just after the break, New York City came back to take all three points in Columbus on Saturday night. Jack Harrison opened the scoring in just the eighth minute, but Federico Higuain equalised for the hosts before the break. Ola Kamara then put them in front four minutes into the second half, but goals from Yangen Herrera and Harrison’s second of the game gave NYC the road victory. Despite not having Andrea Pirlo or David Villa on the pitch, the New Yorkers pulled a win from nowhere, moving them to up to 3rd in the East. They move above the Crew, who now sit 4th after two straight defeats against New York sides.

Jack Harrison had his first brace in the MLS this week, as he led NYCFC to victory

FC Dallas 2 (Urruti 61’, Akindele 80’)

Portland Timbers 2 (Adi 30’, Blanco 71’)

Despite going behind twice, FC Dallas came back to draw a tight match with the 2015 MLS Cup Champions. The Timbers took the lead on the half hour mark through Fanendo Adi, and they kept that lead until the half. Maxi Urruti then brought last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners back into the game with a goal on the hour mark. Sebastian Blanco then put Portland back in front, but a late goal from Tesho Akindele levelled the game once more, giving both sides a point at the end of the ninety minutes. FC Dallas stay unbeaten, but remain 3rd in the West, two points behind Conference-topping Portland.

 

LA Galaxy 0

Philadelphia Union 0

Both the Galaxy and the Union could have done with a win here after poor starts, but misfiring forwards meant it stayed a goalless draw. The Union came into this one without a win in 2017, and carried that on, but they will be happy to com away from the West Coast with a point. The hosts played the better, but saw Joao Pedro’s shot bounce off both posts before staying out, with their best opportunity of the match. LA have seven points through eight and sit 10th in the West, while the Union are bottom of the Eastern, with four draws and four defeats from their eight games.

 

Minnesota United 0

San Jose Earthquakes 1 (Jungwirth 54’)

Just a single goal was needed at TCF Bank Stadium, as the Quakes came away from Minnesota with a victory. Minnesota had extended their clean sheet run to 180 minutes, but a goal from Florian Jungwirth was enough for San Jose to take the win. The Quakes’ first win since Week 2 sees them move up to 5th in the West, five points off the top. Minnesota are down in 9th in the same Conference, but only two points off the red line.

Florian Jungwirth has become a key player for the Earthquakes, and his goal was the winner in their match in Minnesota this weekend

Montreal Impact 1 (Donadel 9’)

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Jacobson 29’, Techera 79’)

Despite going behind to their Canadian rivals, Vancouver came back to win away from home and take all three points. The Impact were hindered in the fifth minute, when Matteo Mancosu had to go off through injury. Howlever, they opened the scoring just four minutes later, through Marco Donadel’s long-range effort. Andrew Jacobson levelled for the visitors before the interval, with Cristian Techera being the unlikely hero for the Whitecaps with his goal winning it ten minutes from time. Vancouver’s first road win sees them move above the red line and into 6th in the West. The Impact remain 10th in the East, falling further below the red line.

 

New York Red Bulls 2 (Wright-Phillips 37’, Lawrence 71’)

Chicago Fire 1 (Nikolic 59’)

Despite conceding their first home goal in 2017, the Red Bulls found a way to beat the Fire, and former man Dax McCarty. Bradley Wright-Phillips opened the scoring with eight minutes of the first half left, before McCarty stole the show. His wonderful assist, against his old team, saw Nemanja Nikolic equalise for the Fire. Kemar Lawrence won it from left-back for the Red Bulls, who have won all three matches in their home-stand. It keeps them 2nd in the Eastern, two points off the top, while the Fire are now below the red line, sitting 7th.

 

Orlando City SC 2 (Rivas 70’, Kaka 90+1’)

Colorado Rapids 0

Orlando came into this one on a four-game home win streak. They made it five with a victory over the struggling Rapids. There were no goals until late on, when Carlos Rivas scored a wonder goal from 25 yards out to give the hosts the lead. Kaka, who returned from injury on Saturday night, scored the safety goal in stoppage time. The Lions continue to lead the way in the East, and the MLS as a whole, with 18 points from their seven games. The Rapids are at the other end of the table, with just four points from their opening seven.

Carlos Rivas (11) and Kaka (10) both scored at the weekend, as Orlando stayed top of the Supporters’ Shield standings

Seattle Sounders 3 (Lodeiro 75’, Bruin 85’, Alonso 88’)

New England Revolution 3 (Kobayashi 15’, Agudelo 26’ 54’)

The Sounders were 3-0 down with fifteen minutes to go, but they staged a remarkable comeback to grab a point at home to the Revs. Daigo Kobayashi rifled in the opening goal, and New England’s first in Seattle for six years, after just fifteen minutes. Juan Agudelo then doubled the lead ten minutes later, before making it 3-0 ten minutes after the break. However, the Sounders wouldn’t go away, and goals from Nicolas Lodeiro, Will Bruin and Osvaldo Alonso saved a point at CenturyLink Field. Last year’s MLS Cup Champions carry on their momentum with this comeback, and are now in 7th in the West, while the Revs sit 9th in the East, and will wonder how they managed to drop two points in this one.

 

Sporting Kansas City 3 (Feilhaber 17’, Dwyer 51’, Gerso 90+5’)

Real Salt Lake 0

SKC’s big three scored their goals as they ran out comfortable winners against the in-form Real Salt Lake. Benny Feilhaber scored the first goal after just quarter of an hour. Dom Dwyer then added the second just after half time, before Gerso wrapped up the victory with a stoppage time finish. Kansas City move up to 2nd in the Western, just two points off the top, with RSL dropping down to 8th, two points off the playoffs.

 

Sunday 30th April

Atlanta United 1 (Jones 9’)

D.C. United 3 (Parkhurst og 25’, Acosta 36’, Le Toux 55’)

Despite going in front early on, Atlanta’s run of bad form continued, as they went down to the travelling DC United on Sunday evening. Former Stoke City man, Kenwyne Jones, opened the scoring for the expansion side after just nine minutes. However, they were behind before the break, thanks to one of their own. Michael Parkhurst scored an own goal to level the scores, before Luciano Acosta made it 2-1. Sebastien Le Toux doubled the visitors’ lead after the break, giving DC a comfortable victory, in the end. After starting well, Atlanta are dropping down the Eastern standings, now down to 6th. DC have the same amount of points, but sit 8th, showing how close the midfield battle is in the Conference.

Luciano Acosta has been in fine form this year, scoring again on Sunday to help the capital’s side to victory in Atlanta

Standings – team points (games played):

Eastern Conference:

Orlando 18 (7), NYRB 16 (9), NYC 13 (8), Columbus 13 (9), Toronto 13 (8), Atlanta 11 (8)

Chicago 11 (8), DC 11 (8), New England 10 (9), Montreal 7 (8), Philadelphia 4 (8)

Western Conference:

Portland 17 (9), SKC 15 (8), FCD 15 (7), Houston 13 (8), San Jose 12 (9), Vancouver 10 (8)

Seattle 10 (8), RSL 8 (9), Minnesota 8 (9), LA 7 (8), Colorado 4 (7)

 

There are two midweek games in the MLS this week, as Toronto take on Orlando, and the Red Bulls travel to Kansas City, both on Wednesday night. League leaders Orlando then travel to Houston at the weekend, while the Red Bulls stay on the road with a trip to the winless Philadelphia Union. Elsewhere, Eastern leaders Portland travel to San Jose, and there is a big inter-conference game between the Fire and the Galaxy.

Fixtures:

  • Sporting KC v NY Red Bulls (Wed)
  • Toronto v Orlando (Wed)
  • Colorado v Vancouver (Fri)
  • Columbus v New England
  • DC United v Montreal
  • Houston v Orlando
  • LA Galaxy v Chicago
  • Philadelphia v NY Red Bulls
  • RSL v FC Dallas
  • San Jose v Portland
  • Seattle v Toronto
  • Minnesota v Sporting KC (Sun)
  • NYCFC v Atlanta (Sun)

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