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Five match days – that is how much took to Philadelphia Union to celebrate their first victory in this season. After just one point in four matches, the team coached by Piotr Nowak beat Columbus with a tight win and grab three points which push them away from the bottom of the table.
The match was quite balanced, without many shots on target. Almost naturally, it was a dead ball situation to decide the game, a few minutes before stoppage time. Defender Eric Gehrig deflected with his arm a curling shot by Freddy Adu and consequently provoked a penalty kick. Panama international Gabriel Gómez converted it with a delicious lob, emulating Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.
New England Revolution 1-2 DC United
A classic Atlantic-coast clash, the match between Revolution and United entertained both fans, although only visitors could celebrate the victory after the final whistle. Yet, the home side marked a stunning beginning and took the lead after less than six minutes. Midfielder Lee Nguyen fed Saër Sène on the left side, the French winger served the ball inside the box and striker José Moreno comfortably finished the action. The distraction by United defenders, who left the Colombian in complete loneliness, is quite evident.
However, the visitors soon compensated for the mistakes by equalising in less than 15 minutes. Revolution goalie Matt Reis saved on a strike by Danny Cruz, but he could not prevent Maicon Santos to score, a header which adjusted into the net a spectacular scissors kick by Dwayne De Rosario.
Since then, the Revolution had three clear chances to be back to lead, including a post hitten by Chris Tierney on a free kick. But United went onto the rescue in the final 10 minutes and were not far from scoring the second goal as forward Josh Wolff did not capitalised a counterattack. Later on, newly-entered Chris Pontius received the ball on the left side of the box, converged and flashed the ball past Reis with a cutting finisher.
Seattle Sounders 1-0 Colorado Rapids
A very important victory for the home side, as it let them getting ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Rapids themselves in the Western Conference table. Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens had immediately to save on a solo by Fredy Montero and then risked to concede the first goal, as Alex Caskey missed the target with a header. Having passed the first half-a-hour, Rapids veteran Brian Mullan scored a goal disallowed for offside.
The second 45 minutes were opened by two attempts by Montero, the latter deflected in corner by Pickens. On the subsequent corner kick by Caskey, defender Zach Scott’s run towards the goal was punctual, his header precise in driving the ball into the net. Sounders legimited their three points by coming close to add a second thanks to Montero, whose lob was miraculously saved by Pickens.
Toronto FC 0-1 Chivas USA
Five losses in as many matches played. Even the most sceptical Toronto FC fan would have not imagined such a bad opening of the season by their favourite team. The Canadians lost again, this time against Chivas USA who, quite surprisingly, have earned all their three victories only in away matches.
One goal was sufficient to the California-based side to come home with three points. This is the one scored after 30 minutes in the first half thanks to a brilliant co-operation between Ecuadorian stars Miller Bolaños and Oswaldo Minda. The former took a corner kick and crossed the ball in the heart of the box, the latter pushed it in the net with a lethal header.
But the Canadians were back into the dressing rooms with many regrets. Especially in the second half striker Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans were really close to score, but goalkeeper Dan Kennedy kept his net immaculate. The reaction by the team was commendable, still was insufficient to avoid the umpteenth defeat in this early stage of the season.
New York Red Bulls 2-2 San Jose Earthquakes
Four goals, all scored in the first half, and pleasing soccer characterised this match between two of fittest teams in the last weeks. Home strikers Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper reinforced their partnership and each one knows perfectly what the other is going to do. This was proved after just five minutes, as Cooper comfortably stroke assisted by the Frenchman. Soon the Eartquakes tied, thanks to a magnificent choral action; Chris Wondolowski controlled the ball and give it on the right side to Khari Stephenson, who enabled Rafael Baca to score very easily.
However, the Red Bulls managed to retake the leadership in the score. Dane Richards crossed from the goal line, Cooper extended the ball to Dax McCarty who found the net with a nice drop kick. Unfortunately for them, the Earthquakes equalised again, and definitely, a dozen minutes later with a diving header from Chris Wondolowski, who equalled both Cooper and Henry as MLS top scorers. Both teams got the opportunity to win the game, which instead ended with a fair draw.
FC Dallas 2-1 Montréal Impact
One week later FC Dallas got another fundamental home winning as they beat Montréal, who on the contrary failed to repeat the victory grabbed in the Canadian derby against Toronto FC.
After a goalless first half, during which Impact goalie Donovan Ricketts shown some uncertainties, the match turned to be more vivid 15 minutes within the second half. Italian striker Bernando Corradi celebrated his first goal in MLS by converting a penalty kick sanctioned against FC Dallas due to a foul by George John over captain Davy Arnaud.
Half-a-hour later, the comeback of FC Dallas abruptly began as striker Blas Pérez tied by polishing a header by John off the crossbar. Then, in the dying minutes Fabián Castillo assisted Brek Shea in his overwhelming solo towards the net, ended with the 2-1 goal which guarantees FC Dallas the third place in the Western Conference table.
Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Real Salt Lake
Doubtless, this was the big match of the week, a battle royal between the teams who earned the highest number of points (15, although Sporting Kansas City have one match in hand).
The final score enlightens the high balance which marked this game. A first incident took place whilst approaching to half time, as Kansas City striker C.J. Sapong’s header into the net was not allowed because of a supposed-to-be push over an opponent.
The home side were back from stoppage time with hunger for victory and restarted by putting pressure on Real Salt Lake rearguard. Their efforts were rewarded as French defender Aurélien Collin stood over the rest on a corner kick by Graham Zusi 18 minutes within the second half. On a similar action, Kei Kamara headed through the net but Nick Rimando made what was awarded as the “save of the game”.
Without suffering that much, Sporting won their sixth, consecutive game and they are still the only one team without draws and losses since the season kickoff. This is the second 1-0 defeat for Real Salt Lake in the season, after that against Chivas USA.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 Portland Timbers
Is David Beckham an amulet? You might think yes, he is. As long as the Englishman recovered from an injury and found a role in the Starting XI, the Galaxy went back to victory in MLS and abandoned the bottom of the Western Conference just to the detriment of the Timbers.
Yet, the Oregon-based side were put in front after 22 minutes, as Kris Boyd sprinted onside on a feeding pass by a team-mate and drove the ball into the net from 20 yards with a crosswise shot. He doubled three minutes later, but the goal was disallowed for offside. However, the situation turned in favour of the Galaxy just before stoppage time. Robbie Keane carried the ball along the goal line and served it to Landon Donovan, who scored through a sort of moving penalty kick.
The final 20 minutes gave a miserable missing by Galaxy defender David Lopes, a clearance off the line by Franck Songo’o, a crossbar hit by Eric Alexander and, above all, two other goals by the home team. Brazilian midfielder Juninho gave the lead to Galaxy with a precise level shot, then Beckham added a third during additional time with a marvellous long range shot just below the crossbar.
Chicago Fire 1-1 Houston Dynamo
The last game of the match day was an anything but boring one. The play was interrupted after a dozen minutes, as a downpour did not let the teams playing regularly. After a 70-minute weather delay, the match started again but it was stopped a second time in the 66th. The teams definitely remained in their dressing rooms and agreed to end the match and to make the temporary score (1-1) official.
The two goals were scored in a short space of three minutes. In the 22th Dynamo striker Brian Ching served Will Bruin who ran towards the opponents’ goal and beat goalie Sean Johnson. Three minutes later the Fire got the equaliser thanks to captain Logan Pause, whose last goal dated back to May 2010, who deflected into the net a free kick by Pavel Pardo. The matched ended with many regrets by the home side, considering the higher number of shots both on and off target.
|1||Sporting Kansas City||18||6||6||0||0||9||1||8||4-0-0||2-0-0||W-W-W-W-W|
|2||New York Red Bulls||10||6||3||2||1||16||10||6||2-0-1||1-2-0||L-W-W-W-T|
|5||New England Revolution||6||6||2||4||0||5||8||-3||1-1-0||1-3-0||L-W-W-L-L|
|1||Real Salt Lake||15||7||5||2||0||11||5||6||3-1-0||2-1-0||L-W-W-W-L|
|2||San Jose Earthquakes||13||6||4||1||1||10||4||6||2-1-0||2-0-1||L-W-W-W-T|
|3||Seattle Sounders FC||10||5||3||1||1||6||2||4||3-1-0||0-0-1||W-W-L-T-W|
|7||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||8||5||2||1||2||4||3||1||1-0-1||1-1-1||W-W-T-T-L|
7 goals: Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry (New Tork Red Bulls) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes). 4 goals: David Estrada (Seattle Sounders).