Houston Dynamo 1 New York Red Bulls 4 – 8 September
The Red Bulls got back-to-back victories and gained their second win of the campaign over Houston to stay second in the East level on points with Montreal.
Eric Alexander got the visitors off and running when he scored after 14 minutes. Having played a one-two with Jonny Steele he finished with a curling shot from 20-yards out which beat Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, who was off his line.
New York’s joy was short-lived as only 4 minutes had elapsed before the home side drew level. After a precisely weighted pass over the top of the defence from Alexander Lopez rookie Jason Johnson latched on to it took a touch before pushing his shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles for his first MLS goal.
Almost straight from the start of the second half the Red Bulls reclaimed the lead as Thierry Henry scored after 47 minutes. The Frenchman collected a ball from Bradley Wright-Phillips and after a missed tackle by Houston defensive midfielder Adam Moffat dribbled into the box and finished past Hall.
Jonny Steele gave the visitors some breathing room as he increased their advantage after 58 minutes. Wright-Phillips put a ball over the top and Steele beat the offside trap rounded Hall and calmly finished into the empty net.
The visitors completed Houston misery when they counter attacked to perfection and Lloyd Sam was the man in the right place to finish off a slick move as he scored for the second consecutive match.
To add further insult to injury head coach Dominic Kinnear was sent from the sideline by referee Chris Penso after disputing a hard collision between Red Bulls defender Markus Holgersson and Dynamo second half substitute Brian Ownby.
He will miss Houston’s next game, a trip to the Philadelphia Union, as this side have now lost two in a row and three of their last four outings and continue to sit in sixth level on points with New England who currently hold down the last playoff birth
New England Revolution 2 Montreal Impact 4
The Impact stretched their unbeaten streak to four games which has included three wins in that time as they returned to the summit of the Eastern Conference.
The drama started early in this one as New England had their goalkeeper Matt Reis dismissed after only 5 minutes for a foul on Marco Di Vaio which also resulted in a penalty kick.
Substitute goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came on and midfielder Chad Barrett was sacrificed, but he was powerless to prevent Patrice Bernier converting the spot kick. Remarkably even down a man the home side managed to draw level after 26 minutes.
After good interplay from Diego Fagundez and Dimitry Imbongo Montreal defender Jeb Brovsky went in for a tackle but to his horror his effort deflected right into the path of Fagundez who slotted the ball home for his tenth goal of the campaign. Montreal did not have to wait long to reclaim their advantage as 7 minutes later they received a second spot kick.
Felipe tumbled under Jose Goncalves challenge and once again Bernier made no mistake. 2 minutes into first-half stoppage time saw the Impact double their advantage when the leagues leading scorer Marco Di Vaio got the first of his brace.
After controlling brilliantly Hassoun Camara diagonal ball he cut inside Revolution defender A.J. Soares and lashed home inside the near post.
10 minutes after the interval the Canadian side increased their lead further. Again Di Vaio was the one responsible for putting the ball in the onion bag, his seventeenth so far this term.
As for the previous tally the key pass came from Camara but also as before it was the take-down, ease of beating his man and clinical finish that was the highlight.
Houston did get a consolation when Kelyn Rowe scored 14 minutes from time with a glorious strike but it was not enough as his team lose for the second straight game and for the fourth time in their last six outings, but they do still cling on to the final playoff birth in the Eastern Conference.
Chivas USA 1 DC United 0
The hosts got back to winning ways after their win in thIs cross Conference basement battle. Erick Torres got the all important strike 6 minutes into the second half as he beat a DC defender to a loose ball in front of goal and sent it past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid. The visitors have now dropped two straight games and six of their last eight.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 Philadelphia 0
The Earthquakes found that winning feeling again after losing last time out and moved level on points with Vancouver. The only goal was scored by Shea Salinas after only 15 minutes. Sam Cronin played a beautiful chip from just past midfield to the Salinas, who made a well-timed run into the box and found himself all alone after Sheanon Williams fell down.
The speedy winger took one touch and volleyed it past Zac MacMath After 57 minutes their job got slightly harder though as Rafael Baca was sent-off for his second yellow card. Despite the man advantage they could not find an equaliser as the Union fell to their second loss in their last three outings which keeps them fourth in the East, but they now trail the teams above them by six points.