MLS Game Reviews August 17
Montreal Impact 2 DC United 1
The hosts snapped their two game league losing run and avenged the 3-1 lost to United a couple of weeks ago when the teams last met in DC. A brace from Marco Di Vaio sealed the points and although they still stay fourth in the standings it brings them to within a point of leaders Kansas City, although they have yet to play this weekend. Di Vaio first strike came 2 minutes from the break, but 9 minutes from time Conor Doyle cancelled their advantage out. If was a short lived lifeline for the visitors as 2 minutes later Di Vaio was on hand to net the decisive goal as they claimed their first win in four MLS games. United, who had coach Ben Olsen sent to the stands along with opposite number Marco Schällibaum after a side-line spat with 15 minutes left after DC’s James Riley seemed to push Montreal’s Justin Mapp into a TV camera, has now lost two straight.
New England Revolution 2 Chicago Fire 0
The hosts ended their two game losing run as they claimed their second success over the Fire this campaign to jump over them and claim the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. Juan Agudelo set them on their way as he scored 9 minutes into the second half and the nerves were settled 1 minute into stoppage time when Kelyn Rowe doubled their advantage. In an unsavory end to the encounter both Saer Sene of New England and Bakary Soumare of Chicago were red carded after the final whistle for their roles in a scuffle at mid-field. The visitors saw their two game winning run and four match unbeaten MLS streak broken as they now sit two places and five points off the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Columbus Crew 2 Toronto FC 0
Columbus claimed back-to-back victories and made amends for the previous loss to the Canadian team when two sides last met in July. Federico Higuain was again the hero as he grabbed a double for the second match running. His first strike came after 18 minutes and he made sure the points were safe when he found the net again after 67 minutes. The win keeps the Crew’s faint hope of post-season play going, but they still have to make up three places and seven points on fifth place Houston if their dreams are to become a reality. The visitors have now lost two consecutive outings.
New York Red Bulls 0 Philadelphia Union 0
Going into the match both sides knew a win would see them lead the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately no one could seize that opportunity and it ended in a goalless stalemate. New York who had lost last week stay in second place but are now level on points with leaders Kansas City, who have still to play this weekend though. The Union who consolidated on last weeks win to say third, although that is now also only on goal difference after Montreal’s win. The closes chance went to the Union who were denied by the crossbar from a shot by Sébastien Le Toux.
Houston Dynamo 3 Seattle Sounders 1
The hosts got back to winning ways to hold on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Englishman Giles Barnes set the home side on their way when he struck first after 17 minutes then doubled their lead when he found the net again 4 minutes later. Seattle who were without Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins and brought Brad Evans off the bench pulled one back after 65 minutes with a goal from Shalrie Joseph, but the home side made sure there was not going to be a comeback as Will Bruin scored with 16 minutes remaining. The away team had their five game unbeaten run ended and now sit two points and one place outside the playoff positions in the Western Conference.
Colorado Rapids 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Gabriel Torres and Vicente Sanchez made their home debuts as the Rapids extended their current league best undefeated run to eight games after they were victorious in their first encounter of the season with Vancouver. Deshorn Brown was back on the score sheet after his missed penalty last week against Chivas USA, with his second in three games when he found the net after 36 minutes. Edson Buddle made sure there was not going to be any late drama when he doubled their advantage with 11 minutes to go as the Rapids moved up to second in the Western Conference. The Whitecaps who had previously held that position droped all the way down to the final playoff spot of fifth after tasting defeat for the first time in their last three outings.
LA Galaxy 4 Real Salt Lake 2
The Galaxy improved on last weeks draw against FC Dallas to climb back up to fourth spot as they avenged the 3-1 defeat they suffered when the two sides last met in June and closed the gap to within four points of the Western Conference leaders. Things looked rosy for the visitors as Joao Plata Cotera gave them the lead after 53 minutes. That seem to spur the hosts into action and in particular captain Robbie Keane who after witnessing last weeks hat-trick by Landon Donovan completed one of his own this time. His first came to level things up for LA after 56 minutes, before he put them in front 11 minutes later. Omar Gonzalez increased their advantage after 75 minutes, before Keane got LA’s fourth after 86 minutes as he netted his tenth league goal of the season. Robbie Finley got a consolation tally for the away team 5 minutes in stoppage time as their two game unbeaten run came to an end. The defeat sees their lead shrink to just two points over Colorado at the head of the Western Conference.
Portland Timbers 2 FC Dallas 1
The Timbers, missing captain and midfielder Will Johnson in addition to first-choice fullback Jack Jewsbury and forward Frédéric Piquionne due to injury secured a second straight win over Dallas this term as they moved up a place to third in the Western Conference on returning to MLS action after being idle last weekend. Ryan Johnson netted for the second straight league game to give the hosts the lead after 26 minutes, but 2 minutes later Mauro Alberto Diaz reclaimed parity for the Texas outfit with his first MLS goal for them. Darlington Nagbe scored the decisive goal for Portland after 33 minutes as they held out for the win. FC Dallas’s horrendous form continued as they have now only take five points from a possible thirty in their last ten outings. Amazingly they are still only two places and three points out of the last Western Conference playoff spot.