There were five games midweek in the MLS, including another big win for the Union, who have turned their season round since the start of May. There were also solid wins for Chicago, Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC on Wednesday night.
Chicago Fire 3 (Nikolic 15’ 74’, Accam 57’)
Colorado Rapids 0
Nemanja Nikolic’s brace led the Fire to another victory, with their home unbeaten streak now at six games. The Serb opened the scoring after fifteen minutes, giving Chicago the lead at half time. David Accam then doubled the lead after the break, before Nikolic got his second of the game to seal the victory for the Fire. He now has a league-leading ten goals from eleven games in 2017. The Fire move up to 4th with the victory, seven points off the top in the Eastern Conference. At the other end of the table, the Rapids remain bottom of the Western with just seven points all season.
Philadelphia Union 2 (Picault 17’, Ilsinho 38’)
Houston Dynamo 0
After not winning in their first eight games, the Union have now won their last three, after this comfortable win against the high-flying Dynamo. Fafa Picault opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour with his second goal in as many games, before Ilsinho doubled the lead before the break. The win moves the Union up to 7th in the Eastern, just below the red line. Houston have lost all four road games in 2017, but still sit 2nd in the West thanks to their home form.
Real Salt Lake 2 (Rusnak 39’, Maund 51’)
New York City FC 1 (Okoli 4’)
Despite going in front early, New York City failed to take a single point away from Salt Lake City on Wednesday night. Sean Okoli put the visitors in front after just four minutes, when he scored his first ever MLS goal. However, goals from Albert Rusnak and Aaron Maund, who got on the scoresheet for the first time in 21 months, turned the game on its head, and gave Real Salt Lake their first win in five matches. The win moves them above Seattle into 9th in the Western Conference. On the other side of the league, NYC drop down to 5th in the Eastern.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 (Wondolowski 83’)
Orlando City SC 1 (Rivas 80’)
In what was a dull match-up, the substitutes sparked the game into life in the final ten minutes, as this one ended up a draw. The first 75 minutes saw no real chances, but the introduction of Carlos Rivas and Kaka for the visitors saw the game change. The latter assisted the former, with Rivas opening the scoring with ten minutes to go. However, San Jose substitute Tommy Thompson assisted Chris Wondolowski for the equaliser just three minutes later. Orlando sit 2nd after this draw, five points behind Toronto in the East, while the Quakes remain 5th in the West.
Sporting Kansas City 3 (Gerso 56’ 58’ 69’)
Seattle Sounders 0
Three goals for Sporting KC, and three goals for Gerso, who led Kansas City to victory over the reigning MLS Cup Champions. Surprisingly, they failed to get a shot off in the first half, but that all changed when their playmaker got going. Gerso scored three times in a destructive thirteen minute spell to send the hosts to victory, as the Sounders fail to score yet again this term. Guinea-Bissau is now the 33rd different country to have a player score an MLS hat-trick. The victory takes them three points clear at the top of the Western Conference, while Seattle are struggling, down in 10th.
Standings – team points (games played):
TOR 25 (12), ORL 20 (11), CLM 19 (12), CHI 18 (11), NYC 17 (11), RBNY 16 (12)
PHI 13 (11), NE 13 (11), ATL 12 (10), DC 11 (10), MON 10 (10)
SKC 22 (12), HOU 19 (11), FCD 19 (9), POR 18 (11), SJ 16 (12), VAN 13 (10)
LA 11 (10), MIN 11 (11), RSL 11 (12), SEA 10 (11), COL 7 (10)
- 10 – Nemanja Nikolic (CHI)
- 8 – Erick Torres (HOU)
- 7 – Justin Meram (CLM), CJ Sapong (PHI), Cyle Larin (ORL)
- 8 – Victor Vasquez (TOR)
- 6 – Chris Pontius (PHI), Alex (HOU)
- 5 – Carlos Rivas (ORL), Joevin Jones (SEA), Sacha Kljestan (NY), Haris Medunjanin (PHI), Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
- 7 – Tim Melia (SKC)
- 5 – Andre Blake (PHI)
- 4 – Jesse Gonzalez (FCD), David Bingham (SJ), Luis Robles (NY)
There is a full compliment of fixtures at the weekend, including league-leading Toronto travelling to the Red Bull Arena on Friday night to start it all off. There are also two other all-playoff-places match-ups in the Western Conference, as Sporting KC host Vancouver, while San Jose travel to Dallas.
- NY Red Bulls v Toronto (Fri)
- Atlanta v Houston
- DC United v Chicago
- FC Dallas v San Jose
- Montreal v Portland
- Philadelphia v Colorado
- Seattle v RSL
- Vancouver v Sporting KC
- Minnesota v LA Galaxy (Sun)
- New England v Columbus (Sun)
- Orlando v NYCFC (Sun)