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MLS Cup 2017 Review: May 10-14

Toronto carried on their amazing run in the MLS this week, winning twice to take them to a club-record six straight wins. Elsewhere, the Union have found form, winning on the road for the first time, and the Galaxy came out on top in the blockbuster match against the Red Bulls on Sunday.

 

Wednesday 10th May

Columbus Crew SC 1 (Higuain p28’)

Toronto FC 2 (Ricketts 81’ 90’)

Despite being behind for most of the game, Toronto managed to get another win on their remarkable run of form. Federico Higuain scored the Crew’s opener, with a wonderful Panenka penalty. Toronto then missed a penalty of their own, as Zack Steffen saved Jozy Altidore’s effort. However, they managed to grab the victory thanks to Tosaint Ricketts, who came off the bench to score twice in the final ten minutes. The Canadian side move clear at the top of the table with the win, while the Crew stay in the playoff places.

Tosaint Ricketts had a week to remember, scoring three times in two games

Friday 12th May

Houston Dynamo 2 (Elis 15’, Torres 68’)

Vancouver Whitecaps 1 (Shea 85’)

The Dynamo took the win on Friday night, to move them top of the Western Conference, for the time being. Alberth Elis scored the opener, thanks to Romell Quioto’s cross. Erick Torres then doubled the home side’s lead in the second half. Brek Shea came off the bench to score for Vancouver for the second week running, but it would not be enough, as Houston held on for the victory. The Whitecaps stay in the top six of the West, despite losing.

 

Saturday 13th May

Chicago Fire 4 (Nikolic p25’ 76’, Accam 60’, Solignac 73’)

Seattle Sounders 1 (Dempsey 28’)

The reigning Champions poor start to the season continues, with this big defeat away in the Windy City. Nemanja Nikolic carried on his fine scoring form for Chicago, opening the scoring for the penalty spot. Clint Dempsey scored an equaliser soon after but the second half was all Fire. David Accam scored on the hour mark, before Luis Solignac doubled the lead. Nikolic got his second of the night to round of the win, before Joevin Jones was sent off for the Sounders late on, adding to their woes. They now sit 9th in the West, but still only three points off the playoffs. The Fire are 6th in the Eastern, just inside the playoff places.

 

Colorado Rapids 3 (Gashi 29’ 56’, Badji 35’)

San Jose Earthquakes 0

Colorado grabbed their first win since the season opener, ten weeks ago, as they breezed past San Jose on Saturday. Shkelzen Gashi scored the first for the Rapids, before Dominique Badji doubled the lead just six minutes later. Gashi then got his second after the interval as the Rapids took a surprise victory. Having snapped their seven-game winless streak, they still sit bottom of the Western, but only a point behind 10th place. The Quakes were shocked on the road, but remain in 5th in the West.

Shkelzen Gashi scored twice as Colorado won their first game since March

D.C. United 0

Philadelphia Union 4 (Medunjanin 39’, Onyewu 64’, Picault 78’, Herbers 88’)

Having grabbed their first win of the season last week, the Union now look like the form team in the MLS, with this big win on the road. Haris Medunjanin scored the opener, and his first of the season, just before the break. Luciano Acosta was then sent off for DC, allowing their visitors to pounce. Goals from Oguchi Onyewu, Fafa Picault and Fabian Herbers gave the Union their biggest win for some time, and they move up to 10th in the Eastern. DC sit just a point above them in 9th.

 

Montreal Impact 2 (Piatti 52’, Jackson-Hemel 77’)

Columbus Crew SC 3 (Meram 14’ 28’ 90+1’)

A Justin Meram hat-trick saved the Crew from a second half collapse, as they just saw off Montreal on Saturday night. Meram gave the visitors a two goal lead in the first half, with two solo goals. However, goals from Ignacio Piatti and Anthony Jackson-Hemel seemed to have turned the game in favour of the Impact. But then, in stoppage time, Meram popped up again on the counter attack to give Columbus the road win. They move up to 2nd with this victory, while the Impact stay bottom of the Eastern.

Justin Meram scored a hat-trick for the Crew at the weekend, as they won out

New England Revolution 4 (Caldwell 4’, Kamara 18’, Fagundez 34’, Nguyen 41’)

Real Salt Lake 0

The Revolution scored four first half goals as they ran riot at home to Real Salt Lake at the weekend. Scott Caldwell scored their first after just four minutes, before Kei Kamara doubled the lead. Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen also scored before the break to make the second half very comfortable for the hosts. Their first win in a month moves them up to 7th in the East, while Real Salt Lake are still 10th in the West.

 

Orlando City SC 2 (Larin 23’, Kaka 26’)

Sporting Kansas City 2 (Blessing 9’ 74’)

Despite goals from their big two, Orlando failed to win at home for the first time this season, after five straight wins to start the season at their new stadium. They went behind early, as Latif Blessing scored on his first MLS start. Cyle Larin and Kaka then scored within the space of three minutes to turn the game around and give the Lions the lead. However, Blessing then got his second late on to spoil the party in Orlando, giving SKC a well-earned point on the road. Both teams sit 3rd, Orlando in the East, and SKC in the West, both on 19 points.

Latin Blessing scored twice on his first MLS start for Sporting KC on Saturday

Toronto FC 3 (Giovinco p20’, Ramirez og 54’, Ricketts 77’)

Minnesota United 2 (Molino 52’ 62’)

Four games in the space of twelve days, and Toronto have won them all, thanks to this narrow victory over Minnesota. Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring for the hosts, from the penalty spot, as Toronto took the lead into the break. However, Kevin Molino scored twice at the start of the second half, either side of a Christian Ramirez og, making the score 2-2. Tosaint Ricketts then netted the winner for the second time in three days as Toronto carry on this run of form. They now sit six points clear at the top of the Western, while the Loons have dropped down to 8th.

 

Sunday 14th May

FC Dallas 1 (Acosta 20’)

New York City FC 1 (McNamara 68’)

A goal either side of the break saw this one finish level on Sunday, with New York City happy to take a point away from Dallas. Kellyn Acosta opened the scoring after twenty minutes for the hosts, but Tommy McNamara bundled the ball into the back of the net in the second half to equalise for the visitors. FC Dallas drop down from top spot, but sit 2nd in the West, while NYC are still in 4th in the East.

 

New York Red Bulls 1 (Royer 90+3’)

LA Galaxy 3 (Alessandrini 8’ 10’, dos Santos p78’)

Two early goals from Romain Alessandrini saw the Galaxy on their way to comfortable victory at the Red Bull Arena. The Frenchman scored twice in the opening ten minutes as the Galaxy came out firing. Giovani dos Santos then made it a three-goal lead late on with a spotkick, before Daniel Royer scored a consolation goal for the hosts in stoppage time. Despite the win, LA are still below the red line in the West, while the Red Bulls are now 5th in the East.

Romain Alessandrini has been a great acquisition for LA, scoring twice on Sunday

Portland Timbers 1 (Ridgewell 50’)

Atlanta United 1 (Gressel 46’)

Both goals came inside the first five minutes of the second half, as these two played out a draw on Sunday night. Julian Gressel opened the scoring just seconds after the second period of play kicked off, scoring his first professional goal in the process. Just four minutes later, however, Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell equalised. It stayed level to the end, and the Timbers drop down to 4th in the Western. Atlanta now sit 8th in the Eastern,

 

Standings – team points (games played):

Eastern Conference:

TOR 25 (12), CLM 19 (12), ORL 19 (10), NYC 17 (10), NY 16 (12), CHI 15 (10)

NE 13 (11), ATL 12 (10), DC 11 (10), PHI 10 (10), MON 10 (10)

Western Conference:

HOU 19 (10), FCD 19 (9), SKC 19 (11), POR 18 (11), SJ 15 (11), VAN 13 (10)

LA 11 (10), MIN 11 (11), SEA 10 (10), RSL 8 (11), COL 7 (9)

 

Statistics:

Goals:

  • 8 – Erick Torres (HOU), Nemanja Nikolic (CHI)
  • 7 – CJ Sapong (PHI), Cyle Larin (ORL), Justin Meram (CLM)

Assists:

  • 8 – Victor Vasquez (TOR)
  • 6 – Alex (HOU)
  • – Carlos Rivas (ORL), Joevin Jones (SEA), Haris Medunjanin (PHI), Sacha Kljestan (NY), Chris Wondolowski (SJ)

Clean Sheets:

  • 6 – Tim Melia (SKC)
  • 4 – Jesse Gonzalez (FCD), Andre Blake (PHI), David Bingham (SJ), Luis Robles (NY)

 

This week, there are five games on Wednesday night, including a great matchup between Western Conference-topping Houston, and the in-form Union. Elsewhere, the Quakes will look to bounce back against Orlando, who have been disappointing on the road in 2017.

Fixtures:

  • Chicago v Colorado
  • Philadelphia v Houston
  • RSL v NYCFC
  • San Jose v Orlando
  • Sporting KC v Seattle

About Matt Coles

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