MLS Wrap-Up Week 6

MLS is back again with Didier Drogba back heels, the rare orange ball appearances & tasty chips catching keepers off their lines!

Portland dropped a midweek game to Dallas, but returned home to beat San Jose over the weekend. Sporting Kansas City lost twice this week while dealing with multiple starters with injuries. No Javier Morales – no problem, Joao Plata keeps Real Salt Lake undefeated through six. Sebastian Giovinco’s early tap in gave Toronto FC three points over a struggling DC United. Seattle’s hero Jordan Morris opened his professional goal scoring account with the winner over Philadelphia AND finally, New York Red Bulls continue their worst start to a season since 2009 (when they finished last by nine points).

Columbus Crew SC 3 – New York City FC 2

MLS Cup finalists Columbus Crew SC managed a 3-2 victory over New York City FC on Saturday night. It was the first win for the Crew in 2016 after going winless in their first five matches of the season.

Designated player and front man for the Crew, Kei Kamara, and wingers Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram combined for the goals. Meram assisted Finlay for the opening goal and Kamara’s goal after halftime.

Finlay returned the favor in the 80th minute and Meram gave Columbus the game-winning goal they have been searching for this season.

David Villa make the Crew work for their first three points of the season. The Spanish national team leading goal scorer drew the game level at 1-1 with a wonderful header that was delicately placed to the far post past Steve Clark.

The two sides were level at 1-1 going into half time. Columbus had multiple chances to score a second or third in the opening half hour. Kamara pushed a chance wide from a Meram in the 13th minute. Seconds later, Kamara almost completed a sliding challenge on goalkeeper Josh Saunders that redirected the ball back into the goal.

In the 86th minute of the match, with the game at 3-1, Columbus center back Tyson Wahl fouled Kwadwo Poku in the goal area and NYCFC was awarded a penalty. After issuing the penalty, referee Ted Uncle mistakenly sent off Michael Parkhurst instead of Wahl for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Villa went on to score the penalty and complete his second brace of the year.

As Columbus ended a five game winless streak, NYCFC increased their winless streak to five at the end of the evening. The second year franchise is looking for that second victory of 2016, something that NYCFC wasn’t able to obtain until June 6th last season.

Now that the winning vibe is in Columbus, expect it to stay. The red card mistakenly issued to Parkhurst has been rescinded by the league and placed on Wahl.

Next week: Columbus hosts Houston & New York City visits Philadelphia

Houston Dynamo 1 – LA Galaxy 4

The LA Galaxy responded to a first minute goal by David Horst with four of their own to win in Texas. Nigel De Jong was suspended, but the emergence of Giovani dos Santos from the shadows and his two goals propelled the Galaxy to their third win of the season.

Houston had a dream start to the match after Horst headed home a goal only 58 seconds into the game. Minutes later a misfortunate collision between Dynamo defenders Raul Rodriguez and DeMarcus Beasley left Dos Santos alone on goal without any pressure. The Mexican international capitalized on their mistake.

Baggio Husidic gave LA the lead with his goal in the 21st minute. Houston’s goalkeeper Joe Willis muffed a punch out from a cross. It fell a couple feet away in Husidic’s lap and volleyed the ball under a diving Willis.

Steven Gerrard’s assist on the second goal for Giovani dos Santos was a marvelous 40-yard pass that was intelligently placed into the goal area. After a first touch around Alex, a half volley finish into the side netting gave LA a 3-1 advantage just after the half hour mark.

After the third goal, Houston began to maintain the control of possession but was not able to find Will Bruin or Giles Barnes in scoring positions.

The Galaxy closed the game out with a Gyasi Zardes goal after halftime. Sebastian Lletget assisted Zardes after gathering the ball from dos Santos in midfield. Lletget used his pace on the right flank to separate himself from the pack and found a wide-open Zardes at the back post for the easy finish.

The Houston Dynamo did not truly test Brian Rowe in goal for the Galaxy. The men in orange only managed two shots on goal following their first minute goal. Rowe comfortably took both chances. This is Rowe’s third MLS win this season, which equals a career high for the long-time Galaxy backup.

It is still early days, but the Dynamo sit at the bottom of a highly competitive Western Conference; 12 points underneath leaders FC Dallas. Incidentally, Dallas has only one loss on their record and that was a 5-0 bashing from said Dynamo.

Nigel de Jong will miss the next two games for LA, per his three match suspension for his tackle on Darlington Nagbe last week. The Galaxy are headed to the Rocky Mountains to face an undefeated Real Salt Lake that are looking like their dynamic old self, even without Javier Morales.

Next week: Houston visit Columbus & LA host Salt Lake

Orlando City 2 – New England Revolution 2

36,000 people packed a windy Citrus Bowl in Orlando to witness yet another game with extra time goals and added drama. Kevin Molino’s 92nd minute goal was turned around and drawn level by a Lee Nguyen penalty.

After missing over a year of soccer, Kaka’s countryman Julio ‘The Beast’ Baptista drew a penalty for Orlando inside the first 12 seconds. A moment of fortune as Baptista never had control of the ball and it seemed to play off of his arm in the mix. Kaka, as he always does, converted the spot kick for his team.

The Revolution managed a goal with their first shot on target in first half. Teal Bunbury smashed in his first of the season after receiving a cross from Gershon Koffie inside the six-yard area. It was Bunbury’s first MLS goal in 21 appearances.

The two teams played a mediocre second half that began to ratchet up coming into the final half hour of the match due to offensive substitutions by both teams. Orlando substitute Cyle Larin thought he was going to break the deadlock a few minutes after coming on. New England’s Je-Vaughn Watson expertly beat Larin to the cross of Kaka. Charlie Davies had an opportunity to head home a back post run, but it fell into the hands of Joe Bendik.

As Orlando grew close to extra time, they put the pressure on the New England defense. The Lions relentlessly attacked the goal area with crosses and long range efforts to draw New England defenders out of the area. Their efforts were rewarded with a Kevin Molino finish that dropped to his feet from a set piece. New England felt robbed after referee, Baldomero Toledo, did not see the ball came down off Molino’s bicep before the shot.

Two minutes later in added time, Nguyen’s cross on the edge of the goal area was deflected away by Servando Carrasco’s shoulder. Toledo gave a penalty to the New England Revolution and Nguyen slid the penalty kick past Bendik. The two goals should not have counted in extra time, but they did and thankfully not to the benefit of one side or the other.

New England continues to gain points, but is not pulling out the winning results that will bring them bonus soccer in November. The Revolution leads the league with five draws through their opening seven matches.

Orlando will be glad to have Cyle Larin back at full strength soon and continue his 5-in-5 goal pace to begin the season.

Next week: Orlando visits New York & New England visits DC

Other scores in MLS Week 6:

Sporting Kansas City 1 – Colorado Rapids 2

Portland Timbers 1 – FC Dallas 3

San Jose Earthquakes 2 – New York Red Bulls 0

Chicago Fire 1 – Montreal Impact 2

DC United 0 – Toronto FC 1

Colorado Rapids 2 – New York Red Bulls 1

Real Salt Lake 1 – Vancouver Whitecaps 0

Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Philadelphia Union 1

Portland Timbers 3 – San Jose Earthquakes 1

FC Dallas 2 – Sporting Kansas City 1

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