MLS Game Reviews
Montreal Impact 2 Philadelphia Union 1 19 October
Despite falling behind the Impact snapped their three game losing run as they claimed their second win of the season at home to the Union after a 5-3 success back in May to stay third in the East a point above the team in the final playoff spot. After 29 minutes Fabinho, who retuned to the side this week after sitting out the draw with DC through suspension put the visitors in front. Kléberson threaded a ball though to the Brazilian on the left and he set sail for the goal before hitting home from a tight angle passed Troy Perkins in the hosts net. 19 minutes into the second-half and the home side were level thanks to leading scorer Marco Di Vaio who became the eleventh player in MLS history to record twenty goals in a campaign. Impact captain Davy Arnaud help a ball on to the striker who ran at defender Amobi Okugo before curling a shot that took a deflection but still managed to find the target. Montreal also had a touch of luck for the winner which they scored 6 minutes from time. After Raymon Gaddis had committed a foul former Union player Justin Mapp played in a free-kick that cleared everyone before it found Karl Ouimette at the far post and his header hit bodies in front of the goal, but had enough steam to trickle over the line to claim the maximum haul. With this defeat Philly saw their three game unbeaten run come to an end and them slip a place to seventh in the East two points off a playoff spot.
FC Dallas 2 Seattle Sounders 0
After the disappointment of last weeks loss to Chicago which saw an end to their playoff chances the hosts got back to winnings ways and avenged the two defeats, 4-2 in May and 3-0 in August against the Sounders. The first goal for Dallas came in the 65 minute. Substitute Michel who had only being on the pitch 7 minutes after replacing Kenny Cooper sent in a free-kick and defender Matt Hedges got his head on it to send it past goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. The Sounders should have equalised less that 1 minute later as a through ball by Clint Dempsey sent Brad Evans in on goal alone, but keeper Chris Seitz charged off his line and hurried Evans into pushing his shot from 12 yards out just wide of the right hand post. That miss was to become costly as Michel turned from provider to scorer as he made the points safe 3 minutes from time. After a scramble in the visitors area David Ferreira fired an attempt on goal that deflected off defender Patrick Ianni straight to Michel who had the simply task of slotting it home. The reversal for Seattle was their fourth on the bounce and keeps them fourth in the logjam that is the Western Conference.
Colorado Rapids 3 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
The Rapids got back to winning ways with a come-from-behind victory to keep their position in the final playoff spot in the West. Young scoring sensation Kekuta Manneh put the visitors in front after 32 minutes with his fourth strike in his last two outings. Having received the ball on the left side he cut inside before unleashing a terrific strike that gave the home sides keeper Clinton Irwin no chance. 9 minutes later though the hosts were level. Drew Moor was adjudged to have being dragged down in the box by defender Carlyle Mitchell and despite fierce protests from Vancouver coach Martin Rennie referee Armando Villarreal pointed to the spot. Gabriel Torres took on the responsibility and coolly converted the opportunity. 6 minutes into the second-half and the Rapids had edged ahead. After the Whitecaps defence had let a long goal-kick bounce first-year player Deshorn Brown beat Lee Young-Pyo to the ball before executing a exquisite chip over goal-keeper David Ousted to register his tenth tally of the season and move within one goal off Damani Ralph’s MLS rookie record of eleven. With 15 minutes left the tide turned back to the Canadian outfit as this time they were the ones awarded a penalty. A rash challenge by Shane O’Neill brought down Jordan Harvey and Camilo Sanvezzo converted the spot-kick. Parity was not gained for long though as 2 minutes later Torres grabbed the winner with his second strike of the game for the Rapids. After cutting inside he shook off Harvey before hitting a thunderous effort that went into the net off the underside of the crossbar to give his side the lead that they would not relinquish. The defeat for Vancouver not only ended their two game undefeated run, but also their chance of post-season play.
New England Revolution 3 Columbus Crew 2
For the first time since September 27th New England sit in a playoff spot in the East. The success was their second straight and stretched their unbeaten run to five matches as they defeated the Crew for the second time this term after the 2-0 victory they got when the two sides last met in Columbus back in July. A.J. Soares gave the home side the lead after 32 minutes. After receiving the ball Kelyn Rowe tempted Ethan Finlay into a rash tackle on the left wing and from the resulting free-kick that he swung in himself Soares made a determined run to meet it at the near post and his glancing header found the target passed Matt Lampson between the sticks. After 58 minutes the Crew managed to get themselves level. Aaron Schoenfeld who had replaced the ineffective Finlay at the break gave his team an out-ball with his good hold-up play and that was perfectly illustrated as he laid a ball off to Dominic Oduro behind the defensive line and he did the rest smashing it home at goalie’s Matt Reis near post. The game was starting to open up now and three goals in an 8 minute span settled the outcome. The first came after 68 minutes and gave the Revs the lead back. Tony Tchani hauled down Andy Dorman on the right side of the penalty area and Chris Tierney converted having assumed the responsibility with Lee Nguyen suspended. 3 minutes later and Schoenfeld turned from provider to goal-scorer. This time Oduro provided the pass at the edge of the penalty area which the Substitute controlled well before drilling it past Reis for his first MLS tally. The final bit of action came after 76 minutes when Diego Fagundez capped off a great night for himself, as having picked up the New England Revolution team MVP award in a pre-match ceremony he showed how merited it was as he scored the winner that picked up the three points. After a long goal-kick had being flicked on and a couple of nice touches in the Crew penalty box Dorman squared a perfectly weighted ball towards the far post and Fagundez was on hand to add the final touch. The loss for the visitors was their second in a row and ended they chances of playoff action this campaign.
Chicago Fire 1 Toronto FC 0
Having gained a playoff place in the East last week the Fire were in no mood to give it away this one. A solitary goal from the penalty spot by Mike Magee after 64 minutes, his twentieth of the season, to tie him with Marco Di Vaio for the league lead, was enough to take the spoils after the previous free-kick he had taken had struck the arm of Jonathan Osorio as he manned the visitors wall inside the 18-yard-box. The victory was the home sides third in a row and extended their unbeaten run to four games to move them up a place to fourth in the standings. The reversal for the Canadians side was their second on the bounce and their fourth in their last five games.
Portland Timbers 0 Real Salt Lake 0
In a sharp contrast to the previous meetings between these two sides this term which has seen goals galore, like the six goals that were shared in a thriller the last time they met here in August and the 4-2 win for Real when they faced each other in Utah eight days later, plus there was also the dramatic US Open Cup Semi-final tie which Real won with a late goal at the beginning of the month, this was a much more cautious approach. Portland entered play knowing that they were in the post-season jamboree after Seattle had lost earlier in the day and the point they got from this game meant Real joined them as well. The result left the Timbers still out-front in the Western Conference by a point from their opponents, but they also now trail Sporting Kansas City by a point for the Supporters Shield and that could double if New York wins their game in hand. Also to worry about is LA who if they are victorious in their game Sunday they would push Portland down to second in the Conference Standings. The best chance of the first-half fell to the visitors. A lung bursting run by José Adolfo Valencia down the right flank saw him beat Chris Schuler at the byline with some nifty footwork, but all that good work was wasted when he could not find Kalif Alhassan with his pass across the face of the goal. The hosts had the better of the chances in the second stanza with RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando being called upon right on the final whistle to produce a brilliant double save from a Will Johnson’s free-kick and from Sal Zizzo who reacted first to the lose ball to preserve a share of the spoils for his side.