With the US Open Cup taking over the midweek, we start with the single Friday match this week. MLS sides came close to sweeping the Open Cup this round with the Sounders being one of the few teams that lost to an amateur squad (Daniel Radford, though the Timbers are amateur). Some teams showed fatigue, some just showed no class, and some were galvanized for the weekend which was filled with multi-goal victories. The Sounders also fell from grace after DC United shot the moon against New England, taking three points and 1st in the Shield Standings. Sounders do hold two games in hand on DC and can move back into first with a beating of Philly midweek.
Colorado Rapids 1 - FC Dallas 1: The mustache is gone. It was only thing that was remotely interesting to talk about with this Colorado side. There are reports that it was shaved because it was an impenetrable barrier and he was not able to eat because of it. Also reports that it just simply slide tackled away his food, so it had to go. Maybe it helped, they drew a Dallas side that was coming off very poor performances in San Jose and Seattle and did not look much better Friday night. Dallas has not really changed under Oscar Pareja, they are still one of the most streaky sides in MLS. When they are on, they blow sides out with reckless abandonment. When they are not, they are a bottom level side that looks more disinterested than me watching Vanilla Ice on the DIY network. Fabian Castillo put FCD up 1-0 in the 71st but even with subbing on the extra defender, Matt Hedges, Dallas could not stop the Rapids as Dillion Serna saved his side and with a tally in the 88th earning COL a point.
Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) June 20, 2015
Sounders FC 0 - San Jose Earthquakes 2: We played our depth side and part of them were hurt/sick anyway. Not the result we wanted but no DPs, Evans left at the half, and no real release valves up top. Maybe time to start Vic Mansaray and Darwin Jones and see what happens. San Jose is a giant killer but they get beat a lot by poor sides, so it balances out.
Toronto FC 0 - NYCFC 2: Toronto was supposed to run away with the East. Then they didn't on their road trip. Then Greg Vanney was threatened, win or be sacked. He won. But at home this week, with Altidore back on the bench, they laid an egg against a NYC side that is starting to click. If NYCFC keeps up this stretch, they'll jump into playoff contention from laughing stock status. David Villa scored both goals with one coming from the spot. In what is becoming a trend, I have very little data to claim this (but trust me on this), cards. Allen Chapman handed out eight yellows in this one. I'm not ready to say NYCFC is here and nor am I going to say that TFC is becoming a normal Toronto side (spend and lose) but if it happens against next week, ring the alarm bells.
Jozy goes full Kelly Olynyk on Chris Wingert's right arm. There goes his jump shot. #TORvNYC— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) June 21, 2015
New York Red Bulls 1 - Vancouver Whitecaps 2: Two PKs and a red card for the energy drinks. In the opposite of their NY counterparts, the Red Bull DP penalty taker did not convert. Twice. Bradley Wright-Phillips missed PKs in the 5th and 65th and in both cases David Ousted saved them. Sacha Kljestan saw a red in the 11th and that gave Vancouver (one of the three sides that did not play midweek. All Canadian. Interesting, eh?) the advantage they needed to win at RBA. Kekuta Manneh converted in the 15th and the even younger Kianz Froese, gave them a two goal lead in the 77th. RBNY gave it their all all with Anatole Abang finishing in the 82nd (after BWP left in the 77th for Manolo Sanchez) but that is where it ended. Vancouver is looking strong and going to keep things interesting with the Sounders while RBs could be looking at being the second-best NY named side but on the plus side, they'll always be the best side in Jersey.
Montreal Impact 2 - Orlando City 0: Montreal hosted a hot Orlando side (both results and weather related) and disposed of them with relative ease. Donny Toia opened the scoring at Stade Saputo in the 36th. Auerelien "Somehow did not get a yellow this game" Collin was subbed off in the 49th. The playmaker, Pedro Ribeiro, did not start and came on in the 77th but it was too late for the Purple Lions. Dominic Oduro got purchased an insurance policy and put it to use, scoring in stoppage time. By the way, this is not the Oduro that played for Man City. After a poor result last week, I started to re-mock Montreal... If you want to root for Montreal, tell me. I will keep mocking them because that seems to make them win. I am not claiming to be the sole reason Montreal players motivate themselves and win matches just to prove me wrong, but...meh why not, good of a reason as any.
Kaka has been awful. He's hurting the team right now. The guy making more than the rest of the team combined is hurting the team. #MTLvORL— Andrew Marcinko (@Andrew_Marcinko) June 21, 2015
LA Galaxy 5 - Philadelphia Union 1: I would say this is going to light a fire under the Union before we play them midweek but we all know that will not happen. I am shocked how anyone there has jobs still, truly shocked. On the field Philly just looks sad, there is no other way to describe it. The good news for the Sounders is that Brian Sylvestre finally looked like a USL 'keeper, which is exactly what we want him to look like against us. The Galaxy had Keane for a full 90, though he was not the goal scorer for any of the five, he did make an impact and is helping jump start this lackadasical side. Throw Stevie G in the mix and this squad is ready to defend their title. Also the Union have to travel back to Philly from LA, we actually are traveling less for the match than they are, that's a nice break.
Portland Timbers 2 - Houston Dynamo 0: It would be fair to say the Timbers flopped themselves to victory, again. They played their typical foul and flop soccer and it worked against Owen Coyle's side. A 34th minute goal by Maximiliano Urruti put Houston behind the eight-ball and they never looked comfortable again. Houston can be a physical side but they still need a real flow to get into a match while Portland like no flow. It all worked out with a 61st minute penalty for PDX which Gaston Fernandez (I really wish I knew anything from Beauty and the Beast to make a reference) converted with ease. At times I feel like I should complement PDX when they get a result but their play just does not deserve it. I mean it works for them, they can get results playing bully soccer but it is disheartening to watch and I'm still sour and laughing about Tuesday.
DC United 2 - New England Revolution 1: DC stole 1st place back and stole this match. A first choice lineup, finally, for United which was only missing Sean Franklin in the XI to be their Best XI. Things were not promising after giving up a 10th minute goal to Charlie Davies. It took an hour of deficit but finally Fabian Espindola teamed up with Chris Rolfe with Rolfe tying the match at one. After Davy Arnaud got his weekly yellow card in the 78th and last week's GOTW winner, Diego Fagundez, came on the game took its final turn. A DC PK which Rolfe, unlike BWP, calmly converted in the 81st for three points and control of the East and the Shield. In a battle of 1st and 2nd in the East, it was exactly what you would expect. Hard fought with the home side and taking it in the end.
Real Salt Lake 2 - Sporting Kansas City 1: Olmes Garcia is all I have to say. Tim Meila could not do anything after Garcia's shot deflected off Kevin Ellis and lofted into the top corner. Outside of that, it was exactly what you would expect from RSL and SKC, a ticky-tack game with a lot of hard fouls. The match had six yellows, four for RSL, going into stoppage time when Garcia saw the seventh for taking off his shirt in celebration. This match was full of other issues, including what should have had a second yellow for Javier Morales and Dom Dwyer being offside on his goal.
The Sounders stay #1 in the West on goal differential, ahead of Vancouver by +6. Seattle holds a game in hand over their rivals. DC United sits in 1st now, two points ahead of us but having played two more games. Don't look now, but Cascadia runs the world. The top three sides out west, Seattle, Vancouver, and the Portland sitting four points back. Teams 2-4 in the Shield are all Cascadia. It is a good day to be a Cascadia soccer fan.
Sounders 2 imploded after a Duncan "Captain Crunch" McCormick red card in Arizona. After losing their compsure in Salt Lake in what was an excellently played game (for almost all 90 minutes) by a half 1st string- half 2nd string USL side against a fairly first choice RSL side. The team deserves a pass for their issues down in Arizona as they were without Damion Lowe and Oalex Anderson, who are with their respective U23 national teams. As well as Aaron Kovar, Oneil Fisher, Darwin Jones, and Victor Mansaray who were all with the 1st team for the weekend. While every player on that team will saying winning is extremely important and they never want to lose. Fans will say the same things. We have to remember this team is about development, at the end of the day if the players are improving and are preparing to be in the 1st team and to make an impact whenever they come on the field, then this team is a success. That all being said, they are still one of the best sides when it comes to results in USL, even with another road woe. Whitecaps 2 beat Timbers 2 in their first meeting in the USL. It was a 3-2 barn burner.
S2 is right in the thick of it, with a game in hand on the streaky Sacramento Republic, the same as LA II, and one more played than OKC (who finally lost) and the Colorado Switchbacks. All five of these squads are seperated by two points, with the California sides sitting at 25 points and COL and OKC at 24 points and S2 behind them at 23. This race is wide open with about half a season left to go and soon more S2 stars coming back, like Anderson. Ashani Fairclough will be in the lineup soon and then watch out, this club will fly back up the table.