Well this weekend was pretty grand, fireworks in the sky, on the field, and in the standings. Sounders got back to their winning ways beating Supporter's Shield leader DC United and then the Vancouver Whitecaps, tied with the Sounders on points, lost to Colorado (yes, you read that right). So a "six-point" game for Seattle and the 'Caps lost in a choppy affair.
Houston Dynamo 1 - Chicago Fire 1: This could be the match that turns it all around for Chicago. Patrick Nyarko is back from an ACL tear back in October, subbing on at halftime. He earned a yellow in the 86th for dissent in a true hero's fashion for the night as it was Nyarko's take out of Tyler Deric and resulting goal that tied things up and earned the Fire a point. This will not be a turn around for CHI but fans of the Bridgeview side can hope. As for Owen Coyle, he seems to be following the narrative that foreign coaches without MLS experience, as a player or assistant, do not succeed here. Also that "injured" Brad Davis that was pulled from the Gold Cup magically was not hurt and played 77 minutes and was even named MoTM by the Texas club.
Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) July 4, 2015
Sounders FC 1 - DC United 0: Welcome to the "First Goal in 5 Years by a Defender" Club Tyrone Mears. A beautiful strike late from the Englishman helped the real Soccer City USA take down the US Capitol side. Mears joined Leo Gonzalez in that 5 years club, find time everyday till the Chicago match to watch the goal again because it was a nice one. This put the Sounders back three points of DC in the Shield, with two in hand.
Saturday 7/4- (Fireworks/Independence Day)
Columbus Crew 2 - Red Bulls 1: Energy Drink FC had turned it around after losing four straight with two wins including last week's multi-goal second half beat down against rivals Manchester City Lite FC. This week though, Red Bulls could not hold a lead. Anatole Abang finished off a quick-counter attack that started with a 1-2 with Bradley Wright-Phillips. It might have been the slowest shot he could have taken at a poor angle from near the top right of the 18 but it beat Steve Clark anyway. Ethan Finlay decided that today was not the day to lose, taking control of most of the attack for Columbus and capped it off with 33rd and 74th minute goals to get the construction Crew a win. Goal one was the result of a long kick from Clark, a perfect flick of the head from Kei Kamara, and then great skill in the box by Finlay. Kamara again found Finlay for the second showing he is more than just a scorer. RB looked disinterested for large swaths of the match, almost like they did not care about the result. Jesse Marsch has good players but too many times they seem to just not care about the game.
Montreal Impact 1 - New York City FC 2: Not every New
Amsterdam York team lost on the 4th. The miniature English outfit took it to the Canadians because 'MURICA. No really, this Montreal team is a mess when it comes to predictions and analyzing them. They play like crap against bad teams and great against good ones, like San Jose, but unlike SJ they have some real talent and moments of brilliance. MTL's only goal came off an Ignacio Piatti PK in the 77th. It looked like the Impact was pulling back a point after a 34th minute goal by DP David Villa. But Villa had something else to say about it striking again in the 82nd minute to steal three points.
FC Dallas 3 - New England Revolution 0: The home side just took it to Jay Heaps' side in this one. Mauro Diaz started the scoring early in the 9th minute. It took a while for them to get one past Bobby Shuttleworth again but it was not due to control. They controlled the attack and possession for the entirety of the 1st half. The second half the Revs came out strong but could not get the equalizer. Things took a turn for the impossible for the Revs when Fabian Castillo scored one in the 64th. Michael Barrios capped off the night with one of his own in the 73rd. FCD has won two in a row and starting to look like a top of the table club again. Meanwhile the NE has lost four in a row and five of the last six. They are reeling and going nowhere fast.
Colorado Rapids 2 - Vancouver Whitecaps 1: This one got exciting and fast. Two minutes. That's how long it took for Vicente Sanchez to give the Rapids a lead. Kekuta Manneh tied things up in the 20th as the match showed no signs of slowing down. Oh and it was assisted by the former Seattle, Mauro Rosales, and I still want Mauro because it is Mauro. Anyway back on the game, it took only about 10 minutes in the second half (instead of two) for the Rapids to score again. Kevin Doyle perfectly headed Lucas Pittinari's cross into the bottom corner off the post and in for his first MLS goal. The Rapids did us a solid here and gave the US six points of six, so far, against Canadian sides on Independence Day.
Real Salt Lake 1 - Orlando City SC 1: Kaka did it all in this one a goal and his first straight red in his career. He picked up his scoring binge with a 5th minute goal. After Pedro Ribeiro and Eric Avila played a small two-man game at the top of the box, Ribeiro found Kaka who just had to beat Jeff Attinella, who is no Nick Rimando. Sebastian Jaime brought RSL back in the 28th with a brilliant header from an even better Tony Beltran cross. Salt Lake gets the man advantage in the 45th and have a whole half to run rampant over the Florida side but instead they fall flat again. This should be taken as a bright spot for Orlando, who held a dangerous enough RSL side to no goals while a man down in Utah for a half.
Red or not?
Los Angeles Galaxy 4 - Toronto FC 0: For Galaxy fans this was great, for the rest of annoying as possible. Robbie Keane, prickishly scored three goals and Steven Gerrard was announced to fans. Keane's first one was a 9th minute PK after Sebastian Lletget drew, getting tripped from behind by Warren Creavalle. Lletget also scored LA's fourth in second half stoppage. Good news for non-Galaxy fans is post-game it was announced that Stefan Ishizaki is going back to Sweden and suited up for the last time in MLS. For Toronto this is just a sign of things to come, without Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley this team is lost. Sebastian Giovinco is good but he can not be expected to run the midfield defensively and start attacks, it is that simple.
Keane's 3rd just exemplifies what how TFC played
Only one MLS game today because WORLD CUP DAY!!! US Women's National Team tore apart Japan with a Carli Lloyd hat trick to start it. A beautiful truly display.
Portland Timbers 1 - San Jose Earthquakes 0: These teams do not like each other, one iota. To make things more fun Ricardo Salazar has about as much control of this match as I do towards the weather (and I hate heat so trust me, I haven't controlled the weather to make it this hot). Surprisingly no cards in the first half even though at least one elbow was thrown. I'm pretty sure that Timber Joey caused a free kick to be missed for Portland because he revs the chainsaw during the run up of the kick. If you played in this game, you got elbowed at least once. It is a new drinking game. Portland got a late winner which I could post or I could show you gifs and vines of all the bad calls, the lack of reds and the superfluous nubmer of thrown elbows, instead he's a couple of tweets reacting to the match:
Whoa an Earthquakes match is involving a lot of elbows and blood? that is a v. big surprise to me, this is my surprised face— Joshie Johnston (@sea_soc) July 6, 2015
So I think I figured it out, Timber Joey is actually anti-Portland. His chainsaw pollutes and is in favor of clearcutting #PORvSJ— Jacob Landsberg (@jhlands) July 6, 2015
Salazar had missed three clear penalties and two clear red cards in this game— Clont Dompsey (@AaronCampeau) July 6, 2015
Sounders still are not leaders of the Shield but they did what they needed to do. They took care of their business and brought themselves back to three points back and two in hand behind DC United. Same number of games played as Vancouver and same number of points, tied at 32 points through 19 matches. Same 10-7-2 record. It goes to GD, which the Sounders are a nice +7 while Vancouver is only a +4, giving us the lead and control. LA Galaxy now lead in GD with a handful of major blowouts recently (PHI, POR, and TOR) but are only at +8. They're a point back in 3rd but have played two more matches, the Sounders have control there too. We control our destiny and with a win under our belt, it'll be a good July run against cellar-dwellers Chicago, Colorado, and Montreal (the three bottom point earners in MLS).
Portland held on:
If Portland holds on, that means San Jose can no longer catch Seattle with games in hand. Only KC can.— Randy Meeker (@meeker253) July 6, 2015
Sounders 2 did not do well in their trip to Canada on the 4th (the trick for MLS sides was hosting sides on the 4th, going 3-0-0). Falling 3-1 against Whitecaps 2. While they had a lot of bright moments, including Sergio Mota's thunderstrike, overall they looked tired and lost late in this one and Vancouver took full advantage. S2 sits in 3rd, a point back of the leaders but Colorado has two games in hand, while 2nd place Sacramento has played one more than S2, sitting at 30 points.