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It’s been a bit over a month since the start of the 2012 MLS season, and the competition is looking as interesting as never before. Goals are flying in; some of the teams have been surprising us pleasantly, while others have been rather disappointing.
Week 7 kicked off on Thursday with the games between DC United and Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Sporting Kansas City.
Thursday, 18th of April
DC United- Montreal Impact- 1:1
After an extremely poor start of the season, DC United seem to have found their form at last. The match against the Impact was expected to be an easy one, especially having in mind that the Canadian side is still looking for their first away win in their history.
Surprisingly, the new franchise in the MLS dominated the game at the RFK Stadium and had the better chances on goal in the first half.
The goals didn’t come until the second part though, when in the space of four minutes both teams scored one each. Former Lazio striker Bernardo Corradi got one for the visitors, but Santos equalized for DC almost immediately.
Vancouver Whitecaps- Sporting Kansas City- 1:3
If before the season someone had told me that SKC would be on top of the league with a 100% winning record after 6 games, I’d have probably laughed. Well, not only did they do exactly this, but they got their seventh last Thursday- a 3-1 smashing of the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada.
Defender Aurelien Collin opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with his third goal of the season, thus giving Kansas the lead.
Half an hour later Argentinian defender Martin Bonjour scored an own goal and made it 2-0 for the away team, while Kamara scored the third in the 66th minute.
French striker Sebastien Le Toux got a consolation goal for the Whitecaps 10 minutes from time, but that’s all they had time for.
Saturday, 21st of April
Toronto FC- Chicago Fire- 2:3
Why Toronto FC are having such a bad campaign so far is beyond me, but they recorded their sixth straight loss on Saturday, this time at home to the Chicago Fire.
The Fire scored in the 25th second of the game after a horrible mistake by Torsten Frings who gave the ball away in front of his own area and Dominic Oduro banged in the goal.
Oduro was close to scoring another one in the 10th minute, when he came face to face with Toronto’s goalie Kocic, but the Serb somehow saved.
Somehow the hosts managed to turn the game around, Reggie Lambe scoring a brace before the break.
But Chicago were having none of that, and Costa Rican defender Gonzalo Segares equalized close to half time.
Fans at the BMO Field must have been hoping that their team might be able to salvage at least a point from this game, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Patrick Nyarko got the third one for the visitors on 58 minutes after a mistake by goalkeeper Kocic.
Toronto FC remain the only team with no points in the MLS, and their season is slowly turning into a disaster. Something needs to be done soon, or things will just go from bad to worse.
Columbus Crew vs. Houston Dynamo- 2:2
It’s now been three games without a win for both teams after this draw, but none of them is in a situation nearly as bad as Toronto’s.
After a relatively boring first 45 minutes, the second half provided much entertainment for the fans at Crew Stadium.
The Dynamo drew first blood, when Will Bruin scored in the 59th minute after a cross from a corner by Adam Moffat.
The Crew were level within four minutes, with Eddie Gaven scoring after some disgusting defending by Andrew Hainault, Geoff Cameron and goalie Tally Hall.
The host then got a second one, again by Eddie Gaven who scored a screamer from 25 yards out.
10 minutes from time Houston got the equalizer and earned themselves a point after veteran striker Brian Ching put the ball in Andy Gruenebaum’s net.
Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy- 1:2
Marvell Wynne must have been feeling devastated after this game, as the Colorado defender scored an own goal which gave the Galaxy the lead.
To make things worse, Landon Donovan got a second one for them, and although Omar Cummings scored for the Rapids in the second half, it was the Galaxy who came out as winners and got their second win in a row.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas- 1:0
In their second game in four days, the Whitecaps this time were victorious, as they beat FC Dallas by 1-0.
In what turned out to be a highly unremarkable game, Brazilian attacker Camilo Sanvezzo scored the only goal of the match in the 11th minute, thus winning 3 very important points for his side.
Dallas could have snatched at least a draw, but Brek Shea missed a couple of golden opportunities. They’ll need to step up their game against Real Salt Lake next Thursday if they don’t want to record a second straight loss.
Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia Union- 0:1
After losing their first 3 games of the season, the Union seem to have found their form now, as the victory against Chivas was their third game in a row without defeat.
It was in the 40th minute that Philadelphia got their goal, which turned out to be the only one of the game. Freddy Adu scored with a cheeky little backheel, but it was more of a lucky goal rather than a skillful one. Still, a goal is a goal and it got them the 3 points.
Both teams had some good chances in the second half, but no one managed to convert, so the score remained unchanged- 0-1 to the Union.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake- 3:1
Well what a game this was! All three of the host’s goals came in injury time, the first one in the first half, and the other two- in the second.
After Fabian Espindola was sent off in the 29th minute for Real, it was clear that the Earthquakes were going to win.
Khari Stevenson got the first in the 2nd minute of injury time in the first half with a flying header, but Salt Lake drew level in the 53rd by Kyle Beckerman.
But then RSL got a second red card, this time for Jamison Olave, the Colombian defender. Still, they fought bravely until the 92nd minute when Simon Dawkins scored the second goal for the hosts, and two minutes later the Quakes got a third- this time by their star striker Chris Wondolowski.
Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City- 1:0
One would have never expected the Timbers to get something out of this match against high-flying Kansas, but they surprised everyone and got the victory after 4 straight losses.
To be fair, Sporting dominated the game, but an unlucky Chance Meyers scored an own goal in the 40th minute after a cross from the right by Kris Boyd.
From then on the visitors struggled, and although they had their chances, they couldn’t find the goal and recorded their first loss of the season. They’re still 9 points clear of second-placed DC United in the Eastern Conference and 5 ahead of San Jose Earthquakes in the general standings.
Sunday, 22nd of April
Two things became clear in this game: first, that the Red Bulls are terrible when playing away from home, and second- that Chris Pontius is on fire.
The DC striker got a hat-trick, Nick DeLeon added the fourth, and Thierry Henry managed to score a consolation goal for the Red Bulls, but what a win for United this was.
They’re now second in the Eastern Conference and are on a five match unbeaten run, while Hans Backe has to figure out why his team are unstoppable at the Red Bull Arena, but get smashed every time they play away from home.
I’m not going to go into detail about the game, instead I’ll leave you with the highlights. Enjoy the Chris Pontius show!
|1||Sporting Kansas City||21||8||7||1||0||12||3||9||4-0-0||3-1-0||W-W-W-W-L|
|3||New York Red Bulls||10||7||3||3||1||17||14||3||2-0-1||1-3-0||W-W-W-T-L|
|8||New England Revolution||6||6||2||4||0||5||8||-3||1-1-0||1-3-0||L-W-W-L-L|
|1||San Jose Earthquakes||16||7||5||1||1||13||5||8||3-1-0||2-0-1||W-W-W-T-W|
|2||Real Salt Lake||15||8||5||3||0||12||8||4||3-1-0||2-2-0||W-W-W-L-L|
|3||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||11||7||3||2||2||6||6||0||2-1-1||1-1-1||T-T-L-L-W|
|4||Seattle Sounders FC||10||5||3||1||1||6||2||4||3-1-0||0-0-1||W-W-L-T-W|