This week a lot teams played multiple games culminating in MLS' "rivalry week." Some are real, like the Cascadia Cup, and some are manufactured by MLS. No matter the case, things got heated this week (both weather and on the field). Starting with the non-rivalry midweek matches where just over half of the league suited up. In the spirit of making sure this takes less than five minutes to load, there are a few less embed videos for you but, don't worry, all the red cards of rivalry week have links!
Philadelphia Union 1 - Sounders FC 0: The bright side: three Sounders got their first MLS starts. The dark side: we lost. This team will be good to go in Portland, we hope. The Union played one of their better games this season, unfortunately for us. With most of the West losing on the night it did not hurt the Sounders' 1st place status.
Red Bulls 1 - Real Salt Lake 0: The west goes zero for six on points so far. Mike Grella gave the Red Bulls a lead in the 4th minute and from there the game just degraded into a wrestling match. Any RSL hopes took a significant blow with a 40th minute red to talisman Javier Morales. If someone still had hope they gave up and threw away the TV after Demar Phillips saw the 2nd RSL red in the 55th. RSL has to play their weekend match against Columbus without free kick mastero Morales, hurting them two games straight.
Columbus Crew 2 - New England Revolution 1: Speaking of Columbus, guess who found the win column again? The Crew won their first match since the horrendous match against the Sounders, talk about a major slump. They did it having to play only three minutes down a goal but a very nervy three minutes. Conceding a goal in the 1st minute to Lee Nguyen could have derailed everything but Kei Kamara put the breaks on that scoring his own in the 4th minute. The leading goal scorer then found the back of the net again in the 50th to single-handedly get Columbus their first three points in over a month. Surprisingly this match had no reds but it did have seven yellows (5 for CLB, 2 for NE).
Orlando City SC 2 - Colorado Rapids 0: The Western conference falls again in the eastern timezone, this time by a couple of goals. The next Canadian superstar has started to shine early for his club, scoring his 6th of the season to give OCSC a lead in the 62nd minute. The one goal lead only lasted a couple of minutes with Kaka tallying his 8th three minutes later. One of the fewest carded matches with each side only tallying one. Orlando is starting to heat up with three wins in their last four matches.
Toronto FC 3 - Montreal Impact 1: The Eastern Canadian rivalry was the Wednesday night match for these sides because it did not meet "rivalry weekend" standards. It took Ambroise Oyongo a long time to suit up for Quebec side and it took even longer for him find some form but he tallied his first point of the season giving Montreal the lead in the 19th minute. Toronto roared back with each member of the DP trio picking up a goal in this one, how nice it is to have three DPs on the field. Toronto has taken off with four wins in the last five matches.
Chicago Fire 0 - DC United 1: The Fire gets put out again. If you are playing MLS Fantasy, I have a suggestion for you; you know that Billy Joel song, just use that for roster advice, "We Didn't Start the Fire." They just suck. Conor Doyle gave DC the lead in Chi Town in the 73rd minute, scoring after about 73 rebounds from a DC free kick. DC expanded their lead over the east.
Los Angeles Galaxy 5 - Portland Timbers 0: LA is hot and that sucks.They are about to get Steven Gerrard and sadly get better. We can take them with a full roster but it will not be easy. Robbie Keane is back, starting, and in top form. Scored on a PK and two assists in LA's dismantling of the Splinters. By the time Liam Ridgewell was sent off for introducing Alan Gordon's leg to his cleats. Gordon probably deserved a red for his response but I'll let you decide and explain why. Good news, no Ridgewell against us on Sunday.
FC Dallas 2 - Houston Dynamo 0: In the first real rivalry match of the weekend, the bulls faced off against the orange. The home side cruised to victory with a two goal victory. Things got chippy with three yellow cards apiece. Owen Coyle lost the first matchup 4-1 against Dallas and his luck did not get any better with Jermaine Taylor putting his own side down 1-0 with an own goal in the 33rd. It was either the best tap in heel flick and Taylor forgot what side he is on or sad sad accident. Fabian Castillo followed up his cross turned OG with a great run into the box off a give and go before beating Tyler Deric. Castillo was on in this one, now let's hope he never is against us.
Toronto FC 0 - DC United 0: Turns out the Reds are more of a rival with the US capitol's side than they are with their fellow Canadians but this did make a great top of the East battle. The top two teams by points per game in the East faced off and what you would hope to happen did, a tough battle. Though we normally want to see a couple of goals in this one. The TFC strike force had all three DPs but none could find the back of the net. DC played like visitors, they bunkered in and tried to stop the flow of the match and were rewarded with a point and four yellow cards.
Philadelphia Union 2 - Montreal Impact 2: A good week for Philly, four points out of six this week. For the Impact, a very insignificant impact on the standings with only one point from six this week. The Union moved past the Impact Wednesday in the standings, sitting just outside the playoffs, the draw keeps them ahead but with a laughable five games in hand. Philly had the bookend goals in this one with Eric Ayuk Mbu scoring in the 8th and Maurice Edu in the 76th. Ignacio Piatti scored in the 28th to tie the match up and then former Union Jack, Jack McInerney gave his side the lead in the 70th but could not hold it. This match saw not one but two reds and each side picked up a goal after seeing red. Patrice Bernier in the 67th and Mbu in the 77th were given marching orders for their second yellows.
New England Revolution 1 - Vancouver Whitecaps 2: I'm taking credit for this one because I was in Vancouver while they played. It seems to work, if I go to another team's city while they are not there and they play, they win. So...'Caps owe me. Anyway, how'd it go down? The young Cristian Techera got an early one with an 18th minute goal on some of the worst defending I've seen this season. Then Andrew Farrell joined the red card club this weekend and yes you do seem to need an invite. This match saw two yellows for Farrell and then another six yellows come out split evenly for the sides. Teal Bunbury made it nervy for 'Caps fans late but Vancouver held on securing yet another road win while New Engalnd loses their 3rd in a row and fourth of the last five.
Sporting Kansas City 2 - Colorado Rapids 0: Pablo Mastroeni's side can NOT score. Two matches this week and the typically staunch defensive side gave up four goals and scored an insulting low tally of...zero. There's nothing else really to say about this team, the rules of this game are simple. You have to score more than your opponent to win and more specifically you have to score to have any hope for more than a draw. Give up one and save 20 shots and you've still lost and Colorado is learning about that. Oh and one small error by the grounds crew at SKC in this one.
Real Salt Lake 2 - Columbus Crew 2: The Columbus winning streak stopped at one. The Salt Lake losing streak stopped at one but frankly neither side deserved any points in this one but unlike @Midnight, you can't give zero points to both sides. No Javier Morales meant no attack for RSL, right? Nope, two goals with Sebastian Jaime and Olmes Garcia pushing their side through this one. The Crew found the back of the net again multiple times with neither coming from Kei Kamara. Tony Tchani and Ethan Finlay get tallies by their name with Finlay also earning an assist in this one. It looked like the Crew would take three points after getting the momentum, tying it two in the 62nd and then watching Jordan Allen receive his marching orders in the 77th but they could not beat Nick Rimando again.
San Jose Earthquakes 3 - Los Angeles Galaxy 1: How the mighty have fallen, after winning back to back games by a combined score of 10-1 (over Philly and Portland) the Galaxy can only manage one goal against San Jose. Meanwhile the Earthquakes again show that they are a pretty respectable squad and put another notch on their belt. The 'Quakes are starting to string stuff together and I really hope it stops...Juninho gave Starship a lead early but it only served to wake up the home side who is begging for respect in California. Chris "can score anywhere when it is not the USMNT" Wondolowski started the scoring in the 28th and brought the game into half with a tie. Clarence Goodson and former Sounder Cordell Cato both found the net in the 2nd half to give SJ an insurmountable lead. Shockingly there were no reds in this one.
NYCFC 1 - Red Bulls 3: Cliche match, tale of two halves. NYC had control of the 1st half and took a 1-nil lead to half. New Jersey Red Bulls took over in the second half with three strikes and should have another three goals to their name in the half. Oh and it is rivalry because of geography, well one day it will be but as of right now it is just a rivalry in name only. No animosity on the pitch whatsoever. This marks the first time that RBNJ scored three goals this season. Other than not much worth talking about from this one because it was just the understudy game for the Sounders today.
Portland Timbers 4 - Sounders 1: That was not fun. That's all I'm going to say. I'll cover where we are in the standings and leave it at that. I'm letting my anger out on Twitter and at one point will understand why we have injuries.
The Sounders fell to second with the same number played as Vancouver, who's ahead by three points now. Portland moved to being behind us by one point and the same number of matches played. LA sits in 4th tied on points with Portland but less wins and two more matches played. Kansas City owns the leagues best goal differential after PDX took us down... with +8, the Sounders and DC United sit at +6. After this week, the Sounders have fallen to 3rd in the Supporter's shield six points behind DC United, with two in hand. We can catch them but Vancouver can as well.
There will be no USL update for today with S2 playing tomorrow night against Timbers 2. The club beat Real Monarchs Thursday 1-nil and sit in 4th in the Western Conference. They also lost their top scorer and assister with Andy Craven signing to the 1st team. While he'll be loaned back often, there is a higher chance he plays less games for S2 than he was planning to just a two days ago.