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MLS Cup Review: July 22-24

This week in the MLS saw a top of the table clash. Colorado hosted the league leaders Dallas in a crunch match in the Western. There was also the Hudson River Derby which the Red Bulls took control of once again. Elsewhere, both Didier Drogba and Sebastian Giovinco scored hat-tricks as Montreal and Toronto both won big.


Friday 22 July

Real Salt Lake 1 (Mulholland) – SJ Earthquakes 1 (Wondolowski)

Wondo got his scoring boots back with his first goal since returning from the Copa Centenario, earning the Quakes a draw. It was Chris Wondolowski (9’) that opened the scoring early on for the Quakes, bundling the ball home from a corner kick. When Yura Movsisyan went off injured just before the half, it looked like RSL were out of it. However, Luke Mulholland (64’) came up with the equaliser, volleying home from a Javier ‘Javi-Mo’ Morales flick. The draw keeps RSL unbeaten at home in the MLS in 2016, and in the playoff places. The Quakes are just outside the top six, three points below the red line.


Saturday 23 July

Portland Timbers 1 (Valentin) – LA Galaxy 2 (Keane, Zardes)

Two early goals were enough for the Galaxy to beat the reigning MLS Cup Champions. Robbie Keane (7’) carried on his fine form with the opener after a 1-2 with Giovani dos Santos. Just four minutes later, Gyasi Zardes (11’) doubled the lead. The Timbers struggled without skipper Liam Ridgewell at the back, and when Nat Borchers went down injured, they lost another centre half. They did get a goal back before the break when Zarek Valentin (41’) rolled the ball into the back of the net. The Galaxy held on through the second period to take the three points. It keeps them in sight of the top two in the West, with Portland just staying above the red line.


Columbus Crew 2 (Tchani, O Kamara) – Orlando City 2 (Molino, Larin)

Despite being two down at half time, Orlando came back to take a point in Columbus. The hosts took the lead through Tony Tchani’s (20’) first goal of the season. That lead was doubled deep into first half stoppage time. Ola Kamara (45+6’) slotted a spotkick home to make it 2-0 before the whistle. After Kaka came on with half an hour to go, the game changed. His corner found Kevin Molino (65’) who got a goal back for the Lions. Molino then found Cyle Larin (70’) who got the equaliser. Both goalkeepers made saves in the closing stages to keep the scores level. Orlando’s 11th draw of the season keeps them 7th in the East. A tenth draw for the Crew keeps them 9th in the Conference.


Montreal Impact 5 (Drogba 3, Piatti, Mancosu) – Philadelphia Union 1 (Pontius)

Didier Drogba got his second MLS hat-trick as the Impact ran riot in this Eastern top 4 match-up. Drogba (19’, 42’, 52’) scored the first three goals of the game. The Ivory Coast man showed the form he is in going in to the All-Star game. He was helped along the way by Ignacio Piatti (86’), who had a goal and two assist on the night. Piatti and Drogba could cause hell for Arsenal on Thursday night. Matteo Mancosu (90+1’) got his first MLS goal to round the night off. The Union did not turn up, with Chris Pontius (72’) getting their only goal but it was just a consolation. With the win, the Impact move just a point behind the Union, in 3rd and 2nd respectively, before the Derby on Sunday night.

Didier Drogba - Impact
Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Montreal ran riot on Saturday (5-1 win v PHI).


NE Revolution 1 (Watson) – Chicago Fire 0

An unlikely source gave the Revs victory with a late goal against the league’s bottom side. Once again, the Fire looked good away from home, but they could not hold on to take anything back to Chicago. Je-Vaughn Watson (85’) got the late winner for the Revs, scoring his first goal for two years. It has also been two years since Chicago last won away from home in the MLS. 35 games have passed since July 12, 2014, when they last won a road game. They sit bottom of the MLS with another defeat, while New England are just above the red line in the East.


Toronto FC 4 (Giovinco 3, Delgado) – DC United 1 (Jeffrey)

The Atomic Ant is well and truly back. His hat-trick helped Toronto to a big win at home against DC. Sebastian Giovinco (21’) started off a frantic period in the first half with the opening goal from a free kick. Jared Jeffrey (24’) got the equaliser moments after before Marky Delgado (29’) restored Toronto’s lead. He got the rebound after Giovinco hit the post. Not to be denied a second, the Italian (39’) scored another free kick before half time. Late on, Giovinco (90+1’) finally got his third, finishing from inside the box. The win keeps TFC in the chasing pack in the East, sitting 5th, while DC are 8th.

Toronto - Gio
Sebastian Giovinco got out of his goal slump with a hat-trick on Saturday (4-1 win v DC).


Colorado Rapids 1 (Hairston) – FC Dallas 1 (Ulloa)

A late goal kept FC Dallas ahead of the Rapids at the top of the table in this big clash. The Rapids will be disappointed after going in front in the first period. Marlon Hairston (44’) got his second goal in as many games after rounding the keeper before slotting the ball home. Just moments after coming on as a sub, Victor Ulloa (82’) rifled a shot from distance past Tim Howard and into the Rapids goal. This keeps FCD atop the standings, but the Rapids will not be worrying. They are three points the leaders, but have three games in hand.


Houston Dynamo 0 – Vancouver Whitecaps 0

A goalless draw against Vancouver was not enough for Houston move off the bottom of the West. David Ousted was the main man in this one, keeping the Whitecaps level with some fantastic saves. The Dane leads the MLS for total saves, and with Houston going for the win in the second half, he added to his tally with this clean sheet. The point keeps Vancouver in 5th in the West, while Houston remain bottom of the Conference.


Sunday 24 July

NY Red Bulls 4 (B Wright-Phillips 2, Zubar, Kljestan) – New York City 1 (McNamara)

The third Hudson River Derby went the way of the Red Bulls, in a similar fashion to the first match-up of the season. Bradley Wright-Phillips (20’) carried on his amazing form in the New York derby with the opening goal, thanks to Sacha Kljestan’s layoff. Kljestan (41’) then assisted Ronald Zubar (23’) from a corner kick before slotting home a penalty to make it 3-0. Thomas McNamara (43’) scored a wonderful goal to get NYC on the scoresheet, but with Head Coach Patrick Vieira being sent to the stands, along with Ethan White late on in the game, they had no chance of getting back into the game. BWP (70’) got his second goal in the second half to make it eight goals in six games against NYC. The win takes the Red Bulls up to 2nd, just two points behind their New York rivals at the top of the East.


Sporting KC 3 (Dwyer 2, Peterson) – Seattle Sounders 0

Despite beating the league leaders 5-0 last week, Seattle fell to a comfortable SKC victory on Sunday night. Dom Dwyer (21’) was the main man for SKC once again, opening the scoring with a glancing header. The lead was doubled just before half time when Jacob Peterson (45+3’) scored a dipping shot from long range. Dwyer (79’) then got his second of the game late on to seal the victory. Seattle were poor once again, only managing their first shot with two minutes to go. The defeat leaves them 9th in the West, while SKC are up to 4th.


Despite losing, NYC (33) still lead the Eastern Conference. Their city rivals, the Red Bulls (31), are now their closest challengers, with the Union (30) and Impact (29) in close range. Toronto (27) and New England (26) round out the top six. Orlando (23) and DC (22) are still in striking distance while the Crew SC (19) and Fire (17) are struggling.

FC Dallas (41) are still the MLS leaders, but the Rapids (38) have three games in hand. LA (35) also have three games to play. SKC (31), RSL (31) and Vancouver (30) are in the playoff places. Portland (29) and San Jose (26) are still in with a hope of the top six. Seattle (20) and Houston (19) are well back.

BWP CrewSC DCUnited Delgado drogba Dwyer Dynamo FCDallas Fire Giovinco Hairston Impact Jeffrey Keane Kljestan Larin Mancosu McNamara Molino Mulholland NERevs OlaKamara Peterson Piatti Pontius Quakes Rapids RBNY RSL SKC Sounders Tchani Ulloa Union Valentin Watson WhitecapsFC Wondo Zardes Zubar

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