2016 MLS Wrap-Up Week 2

The home side dominance of Major League Soccer has begun. The only team to lose at home this week was the 2015 MLS Cup Finalist Columbus Crew SC. Winter transfer Chris Pontius and the Philadelphia Union surprised the Crew with two goals at MAPFRE Stadium. New England hosted a scoreless draw with DC United to open their home campaign. Colorado scored AND beat LA with a Marco Pappa strike at the death. Joao Plata’s assist double lead Salt Lake over their visitors, Seattle. A cool brace by Dom Dwyer gave Sporting Kansas City 6 points to start the season. Two successive draws for Orlando City make you think they’re just waiting for Kaka to get the W’s.

Houston Dynamo 5 – FC Dallas 0

When you finish your scoring chances, soccer can be a lot of fun. The Houston Dynamo had a lot of fun against FC Dallas in the Texas Derby this weekend. Four goals inside the opening half hour gave the Dynamo control over the game.

Goals came quick and in a hurry from David Horst, Ricardo Clark, Andrew Wenger & Will Bruin tacked on a late goal as well. Houston certainly made the most of their opportunities, scoring four goals from five shots on target (not including the own goal).

The Hoops enjoyed the better of possession away from home and had plenty of time to come back into the game. Mauro Diaz had three attempts from outside the area but could not break the back line of the Dynamo for a closer attempt.

Dallas captain Matt Hedges had a night at the office to forget. The starting center back for Dallas misplayed a back pass to goalkeeper Jesse Gonzales in the 13th minute. The ball skipped past the rushing Gonzales and nestled into their net.

Former Hermann Trophy winner Andrew Wenger has to be enjoying his time in Houston so far. He equaled his 2015 season scoring and assist tallies with Philadelphia by the 27th minute. Wenger had two assists – to Horst and Clark – and cleaned up a defensive miscue by Dallas to make it 4-0.

Joe Willis still had plenty to-do to keep Dallas off the score sheet. The second year Dynamo keeper faced 6 shots on goal and made each one look easy. It was Willis’ first clean sheet in MLS since July 2013.

Owen Coyle has his first win of 2016 and first against FC Dallas. Coyle and his staff will be targeting many more to keep the Dynamo above the red line this year.

Oppositely, Oscar Pareja suffered his first career defeat to the Dynamo. In his previous four meetings against them Dallas outscored Houston 14-3.

Next week: Houston visits New York & Dallas hosts Montreal

New York City FC 2 – Toronto FC 2

David Villa scored twice in the first half at Yankee Stadium but it wasn’t enough to give New York City FC three points at home. Patrick Vieira took a chance at a back three against reining MLS MVP Giovinco and it bit him in the end.

Villa’s first goal came from the penalty spot. Marco Delgado made contact with Thomas McNamara in the goal area as he was attacking. The Spanish designated player cooly placed the penalty to the right side of Clint Irwin.

Will Johnson had a chance to score his first goal in the red of TFC but pushed his chance wide of the goal. A couple minutes later Toronto would score before halftime thanks to a set piece delivery by Giovinco. Damien Perquis found himself on the end of the cross with his central run on goal. It was his second career MLS goal.

New NYCFC center back Federic Brilliant had a good opportunity on the hour mark. TFC defense was late to react to a Pirlo corner and the Frenchman put it right into the hands of Irwin. McNamara also had an opportunity that was lost by a poor first touch in the goal area. Either chance could have changed the pace of the game in NYCFC’s favor.

Those missed chances allowed Giovinco’s 76th minute strike to draw the game at 2-2. Sebastian ran at Brilliant after picking the ball out of the midfield and put a slippery slider passed Josh Saunders. For those who are keeping track at home, that is Giovinco’s 24th goal and 18th assist in only 35 career MLS appearances.

The back three for Vieira may not have given him a clean sheet, but it seems likely that this will be the formation of choice for the new head coach at home.

Both teams remained undefeated after their opening day victories. After four games in this series, they average four goals per game. The two sides will collide again in Toronto on May 18th.

Next week: New York City hosts Orlando & Toronto visits Kansas City

Montreal Impact 3 – New York Red Bulls 0

The Montreal Impact turned a stale first half into a three-goal decision over Supporters Shield-holder New York Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls had the better of chances through the first hour. The Impact’s Danny Toia even escaped a penalty call when he brought down Bradley Wright-Phillips in the goal area after 11 minutes, but the whistle never came.

Dominic Oduro capitalized on a midfield giveaway by Gideon Baah to opened the scoring in the 58th minute for the Impact. The goal brought the 27,500 in attendance at Olympic Stadium back into the game to spur the team on from there.

Wright-Phillips had a point-blank opportunity to bring the game equal and put his shot off of Evan Bush’s onrushing body. The Impact sprung on the counter attack following the save. Danny Toia provided the second goal to Ignacio Piatti on the open right wing of the Red Bulls. Going back to last season, Piatti now has four goals in his last four regular season games.

Montreal homegrown player Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored his first MLS goal in the final seconds of the game. Harry Shipp’s intelligent scoop into the goal area lead the young forward to goal and poked it comfortably passed Luis Robles.

Robles is eight game clean sheet-less streak. This streak has more to do with the Red Bull’s revolving backline than it does of him. Baah and Ouimette are about as inexperienced as it comes in Major League Soccer and have had little time to gel together as a partnership.

Montreal showed MLS that they do not need Didier Drogba to be successful in this league. Their form right now is comparable to their sensational run to the CONCACAF Champions League Final a year ago, which is not good for anyone who is next on the schedule.

Next week: Montreal visits Dallas & New York hosts Houston

Other scores in MLS Week 2:

Orlando City SC 1 – Chicago Fire 1

New England Revolution 0 – DC United 0

Real Salt Lake 2 – Seattle Sounders 1

Colorado Rapids 1 – LA Galaxy 0

Columbus Crew SC 1 – Philadelphia Union 2

Sporting Kansas City 2 – Vancouver Whitecaps 1

San Jose Earthquakes 2 – Portland Timbers 1

Seriously, just give it to Quincy Amarikwa. That was a goal from a visionary!

 

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