A large handful of teams were missing starters due to the Gold Cup but that did not stop this week from being full of exciting soccer. True to the MLS parity there was just one draw and it was possibly the most entertaining draw possible but we'll get to that in the Sunday section.
San Jose Earthquakes 0 - Houston Dynamo 2: The 'Quakes as we all know by now play at one of the largest outdoor bars and it turns about the players went there before going on the field. Okay that probably is not entirely accurate, they probably weren't drunk but they sure played that way. They were extremely disorganized and the offense seemed to go backwards. Ricardo Clark converted early with a header from about the PK spot. Will Bruin finished the home side off with an 81st minute goal coming on a brilliantly executed counter attack. This one just shows, SJ can't take on small sides. Somehow a game with a Dominic Kinnear had Kinnear's side with less yellows than the other team. Owen Coyle's side saw four of them to SJ's zero, I still am not sure how.
New York Red Bulls 4 - New England Revolution 1: It was 12 minutes in when this one was over. BWP and Lloyd Sam teamed up to score three goals and each picked up an assist. Andy Dorman did his part to try and rescue the Revs but it was too little too late (even though it was only the 37th). Things quieted down for the rest of the half but picked right back up after 2nd half whistle. Anthony Wallace finished his first of the season in the 56th to cap off the scoring. The "fun stuff" wasn't over though six total yellows and red coming in this one, with the last five cards coming after the final goal. The Red Bulls may be back after all but New England is definitely not losing their 5th straight and 6th in seven matches. And here's some interesting trivia:
Philadelphia Union 3 - Portland Timbers 0: They got clear cut. No other way to describe it. Feel free to insult a side that had Diego Valeri, Will Johnson, Fernando Adi, Liam Ridgewell, and Nat Borchers starting that somehow got blown out. I mean we did not play well but we did not have our DP starters so... It was a 13 minute period late in the 2nd half that saw all three goals. Cristian Maidana may not have scored himself but he connected with Andrew Wenger and then Vincent Nogueira twice between the 69th and 82nd minutes to completely shutdown a hopeful Timbers side. This gave Philly their first ever win over Portland and they won in the stands with a great display by the Sons of Ben.
Orlando City 0 - FC Dallas 2: Both Texas sides came away with 2-nil wins on the road, playing on the opposite coasts. With Kaka suspended and nowhere near a full bench that saw Aurelien Collin sitting on it. A PK in stoppage time of the first half was converted with ease by Mauro Diaz. Each sides half time speeches took a major turn at that point and Adrian Heath could not get his team up for the second half. David Texeira took the wind out of the fans sails with a 64th minute insurance goal. The match ended with Luke Boden seeing red for a pointless foul while already on a yellow.
Montreal Impact 3 - Columbus Crew 0: Yet another blowout and this one was not just a lucky scoreline but utter domination by the Canadian side. While their national team is floundering at the Gold Cup, their Quebec based MLS side lit up their MLS opponent of the week. Dominic Oduro played two seasons in Columbus before being moved to Toronto FC. This year he's suited up in the Impact Blue and finished not once but twice against his former squad. Oduro may have scored more goals than anyone else in this one but Marco Donadel's 8th minute strike was by far the best looking of the three. Side note, no reds but five yellows.
Chicago Fire 1 - Sounders FC 0: Not what any of us wanted. A late winner from Jason Johnson sunk our battleship and took away our point and unbeaten history against the Fire. Somehow only three yellows were given out in a match that should have a handful of cards.
Colorado Rapids 3 - Real Salt Lake 1: Bad thing about this one, our next opponent got a confidence boost. Good news from this, the team with the least amount of points in the west going into to the weekend is the one that got the points. They still aren't a threat in the standings but are potentially on the field next week. By the time Luis Gil forgot how to defend it was stoppage time but unlucky for RSL, two of three COL goals came in stoppage time. All three goals came in RAPID succession (pun 100% intended) with Drew Moor tying up the match in the 81st, after only being down for two minutes. Jared Watts and Juan Ramirez each tallied in stoppage time to end this one. If you want to watch just an 11th minute stretch of game (+ stoppage) it is this one. Sebastian Jaime scores and gets a red card in this stretch.
New York City FC 4 - Toronto FC 4: Well this was a fun one. Ted Unkel was the ref in this one and he was busy to say the least. Not one but four PKs in this one. Each side won two PKs and I saw won and not earned because not all of them were necessarily the right call. Sebastian Giovinco and David Villa both took PKs for their sides and both missed their first PKs. Giovinco took his first in the 19th with the ability to tie up the match only two minutes after a Villa free kick goal. 10 minutes later, Villa missed a PK himself but Patrick Mullins out hustled three TFC defenders to get to the rebound and knock it back at goal where it deflected of Damien Perquis for an own goal. It looked like no defense and Gio's inability to finish was going to be the theme of the day for Toronto but soon the winds changed. Seba went on a run with a hat trick, converting a PK in the 34th and then beating Josh Saunders twice more in the 40th and 43rd minutes to take a lead into the half. You think things are over? Wrong! Villa converts again this time on a PK in the 65th. Gio finds Marco Delgado for an easy tap in to give TFC the lead in the 82nd but defense was missing again as Mullins converted two minutes later. Easily the most exciting MLS game of the week.
If you were wondering the rules are not different based on the stadium as I was pretty sure that MLS allowed extra innings at Yankee Stadium but that was not true as I learned today, which saddened me.
This game has been kinda boring. Can something interesting happen?! #NYCvTOR— Benny Feilhaber (@b_feilhaber22) July 12, 2015
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 - Sporting Kansas City 1:Not going to lie, I did not watch this one. S2 was a billion times more exciting according to Twitter, highlights, and common sense (well if you saw S2 score four in person, you'd know why I think that). Anyway, five yellows, four of them to SKC, and for some great reasons. Argument, time wasting, foul, and dissent all showed up in the match report which is a rare bingo card filler. Outside of that it took a Kevin Ellis headed home a ball from Krisztian Nemeth cross. Overall even shots but and Vancouver even was better at hitting the target but just could not beat Tim Meila. A Vancouver loss ensures that the Sounders stay 1st in the MLS West and that is what matters.
As you just read, the Sounders stayed at #1. Supporter's Shield leader DC United took the weekend off so they did not run away from us but unfortunately we could not catch them with one of our games in hand. We still have a game in hand to get the three points we are down back. Next week's match against Colorado is still against the worst side in the MLS Western conference and that's pretty good news.
Well S2 had a nice night. Four goals. Count 'em, one, two, three, and four. Two from Oalex Anderson who subbed off with an injury. One for Aaron Long and Pablo Rossi each, with Rossi also leaving with an unfortunate injury. Tyler Miller started his first match with S2 and earned a shutout, though AZ United barely tested him.
S2 moved back into a 1st place tie with LA II, who've played one less game. LA plays again midweek after blowing out the now 4th place side Sacramento Republic 4-0 on Saturday.