This was the week to be the home team as only one home team did not earn at least a point, cough cough Vancouver, and we are not going to complain about that. Every week there seems to be a blowout that carries some level of shock; that goes to the Galaxy who got blown out 4-0 in Orlando today. They may not be as good as they were when they walked off with the MLS Cup last year and were without Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez, who was on the bench) but still they showed no fight. With that being said, let's jump into the rest of MLS' games this week.
DC United 2 - Orlando City SC 1: Wednesday's other games were Amway Canadian Championship games, so all MLS eyes were on this one and what happened? DC came out flat. They chose to not start Chris Rolfe, who's been the man running the offense. Giving up an 11th minute goal only made things worse for DC but the home side refused to be denied. Chris Rolfe came on in the 54th and changed the dynamic. DC started creating chance after chance until the 70th minute when a Taylor Kemp free kick was headed home by Kofi Opare. 9 minutes later, Chris Rolfe finished with an acrobatic volley and getting DC all three points.
New York City FC 2 - Chicago Fire 2: Chicago is just bad and this game may have showcased how bad. They went into a baseball stadium and scored a run in the 14th minute (so what's that, the top of the 2nd inning?) A quick Shaun Maloney free kick found Razvan Cocis in the box, who headed it past Saunders with ease. An inning later, RJ Allen took out David Accam in the box and the umpire immediately ejected him. Jeff Larentowicz converted the solo home run from the spot and put the Fire up 2-0 in the 27th, with a man advantage. That should have sealed the deal, right? Wrong. Medhi Ballouchy showed up again for NYCFC, this time in 1st half stoppage. Then 1st round draft pick, Khiry Shelton finished a ball from David Villa in second half stoppage. While a point on the road is not a bad result, blowing a 2 goal lead with a one-man advantage is just sad.
FC Dallas 0 - New York Red Bulls 0: Two of the top sides in MLS right now finished nil-nil in a fairly interesting Friday night match. While it did not have the goals or fireworks that the NYC match did, the "other New York" side just played a good game. The sides finished with an expected goal total of 1.1 vs 1.0. The teams combined for 27 shots but only six on target. The Red Bulls definitely came out with a good game plan and just out-possessed Dallas, controlling the ball 60% of the time. Even with Damien Perrinelle and Sacha Kljestan earning yellows 11 minutes from halftime (one 11 before, one 11 after) and no NYRB CB stud (so far) Matt Miazga, it was a bit shocking to see Dallas not test the Red Bull defense more, and goes to show that Fabian Castillo, a typically very electrifying player, can easily disappear from a match and if he does, Dallas will not have an effective offense.
Montreal Impact 4 - Real Salt Lake 1: I would be lying if I said Montreal was good. I would also be lying if I said Real Salt Lake was good, which is why this match does not come in as the biggest shocker of the week. Montreal made an Impact early with Laurent Ciman scoring in the 18th minute. Two more goals, both by Andres Romero, in the next nine minutes as the Impact went into the half up 3-0. Dilly Duka capped off the scoring with second goal of the season in the 78th minute. I would not expect Montreal to keep up this scoring but it was fun for a week and for their first win. Salt Lake's lone bright spot was Devon Sandoval, who's 47th minute goal was a beauty.
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 - Sounders FC 2:If you missed this match, go watch it now. If you saw it, go watch it again. At least go watch Barrett's goals. This one was a complete performance for the Sounders and was the lone game to see a road team pick up a win. I would say more but what else can I say, we just took over and maybe Vancouver our secondary home.
New England Revolution 1 - Toronto FC 1: Toronto goes back on the road and picks up a point. Greg Vanney may be safe, right now, drawing a team like New England but if TFC wants to be thought of as something more than where expensive players go to lose, they need to win these games. Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, and Jozy Altidore are capable of amazing things and Bradley scored a DP level goal after a dicing run through the Revs backline but the defense is still questionable and they are not scoring enough to make up for that. New England showed they can still be considered a top team and can hang with anyone but us, and put themselves firmly in second place in the East but they'll need more offense going forward to keep up their 1.73 ppg pace.
Houston Dynamo 3 - Portland Timbers 1: Houston is starting to figure it out with two wins in a row. They may be over Toronto and Portland, but good wins for them nonetheless. Houston's win moves them into the playoff picture and importantly pushes the Timbers into 9th. Will Bruin did a great job in this one getting the bookend goals in the 9th and 83rd minute for the Dynamo. Giles Barnes showed no confidence issues, though he was not at the spot, getting a goal himself. Fernando Adi gave a glimpse of what could be coming this season with a goal after connecting Diego Valeri for his first assist of the year. The best part of this might have been Bruin's second goal or at least the Houston tweet describing it.
Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) May 17, 2015
San Jose Earthquakes 2 - Columbus Crew 0: Someone please explain this to me, how is San Jose unable to beat RSL, they looked poor in many other matches, yet beat us, Vancouver, and now Columbus? I mean really, do they only show up for games that matter? Anyway after pushing us around last week, Columbus went to SJ and failed miserably. The big issue was going down a man after 33 minutes. Mohammed Saeid saw an early yellow for pulling down Matias Perez Garcia by his jersey and then decided that being careful was overrated and took out Shea Salinas in the 33rd, seeing a 2nd yellow. From there on, Columbus was not able to run their attack and had to do everything they could to not give up goals. Chris "Can't score when I want him to" Wondolowski, tallied his 99th career regular season goal in the 55th and which was the deciding goal in this one. Shea Salinas notched his second of the season five minutes later. With that, SJ sits in 4th in the West two points behind us.
Orlando City SC 4 - Los Angeles Galaxy 0: As I mentioned in the opening, Orlando blew out LA. They truly took control. LA was without their DPs but still this is a team that is expected to play much better than this. OCSC put up two goals in each half, including a PK for Kaka in the second half and former Goat, Eric Avila, opening his Orlando account in the 12th minute. While Orlando only had one more total shot than LA, they out shot them 7-1 on goal. LA is stronger than they played tonight but they are sitting in 7th, outside of the playoffs, and that is a reason to celebrate.
The #LAGalaxy get their first shot on goal in the 88th minute of play.— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) May 17, 2015
Philadelphia Union 1 - DC United 0: What happens when you have to play with 10 men in stoppage time? You give up a goal. DC United was down a man for last few minutes of regulation and all five minutes of stoppage, due to a Silva injury. Philadelphia native Zach Pfeffer scored the deciding goal in the 93rd minute, ensuring that they will not go three games in a row without scoring a goal. Multiple late free kicks for DC were cleared by a resolute Philly defense. Which story is bigger, Philly found a GK to keep a shutout (this week) with loanee Brian Sylvestre or that Philly native Zach Pfeffer got the stoppage time winner? I'd say for the day, Pfeffer, for long-term possibly Sylvestre.
The Sounders were unable to move up in the standings this week and stay sitting in 3rd after picking up three points. With FCD drawing, they move into 1st place on 21 points. Vancouver stays ahead of the Sounders by a point but having played two more games. The Sounders sit in 3rd with 19 points, two back of Dallas with a game in hand, and one back of the 'Caps with two in hand. The Sounders lead the league with a GD of eight. The one down side is that we sit two points back of DC in the shield race but we do have a game in hand after they lost to Philly today.
The key to Sounders 2 winning is 1. Playing at home and 2. Me attending the match. Well, they are the same thing really but overall we are perfect at home and perfect when I attend, so I'm going to take credit. Excluding that discussion though, S2 may not have manhandled OKC like the first team did against Vancouver, but they did end up with a pretty good looking scoreline thanks to two goals by Andy Craven and one by Oalex Anderson. The win moved the Sounders into 1st place, at least for a couple of nights, and a one point lead over Sacramento Republic and the Orange County Blues. OC Blues are done for the weekend and will stay behind S2 but Sacramento plays LA2 late tonight and could overtake the Sounders.
Sacramento Republic FC beat Los Dos 1-nil. Unfortunately, this means S2 has fallen to second place after the Republic moved to 18 points. This puts them two points clear of S2 but they have now played one more game than us.
There would be an updated picture but the USL standings update at strange times and as of this moment had not updated so...you get my summarized change of the standings instead of another picture of them.