MLS Roundup: Toronto, Chicago, and Kansas City all drop points as the race for the Supporter’s Shield comes closer

After the international break, MLS action kicked off again with plenty of excitement as the front-runners for the MLS Supporter’s Shield faltered and FC Dallas took first position in the West away from Kansas City. The MLS is starting to get close, and with 2/3 of the season over, there isn’t much longer for teams to fight for the MLS Cup spots.

New York Red Bulls 5-1 San Jose Earthquakes

The Red Bulls stomped the Earthquakes in this cross-country showdown. In what was a relatively quiet first half, Sean Davis opened up the scoring for the Red Bulls from inside the box with a second-touch half-volley in the 38rd minute.

The second half would turn out to be where the game got really exciting though, with Sacha Kljestan scoring the Red Bulls’ second goal in the 73rd minute after a deflected ball rolled into his path from 15 feet out. Two minutes later, Felipe Martine scored from 20-yards out off a deflection to put the Red Bulls up 3-0. The 88th minute saw Valeri Kazaishvili score on his debut to finally get the Earthquakes on the board, but it would prove to be too little too late. Daniel Royer scored the Red Bulls’ fourth goal from a very tight angle in the 90th minute, and then scored again the next minute with an excellent curled shot from 15 yards out to earn his brace.

Montreal Impact 2-1 Philadelphia Union

The Impact overtake the Union in bottom of the East clash. Michael Salazar put the Impact ahead in the 19th minute with an excellent header after a beautiful cross from Chris Duvall. The Union responded in the 41st minute with a goal from Fabrice Picault following a misplaced pass behind the Impact’s defence.

Blerim Dzemaili scored the winner for the Impact in the 51st minute after he attempted a pass in the box which actually ended up back in front of him about 8 yards from the net.

New York City FC 2-2 Toronto FC

Toronto rescue late draw away at NYCFC as the East grows closer. Toronto took an early lead with an eleventh minute goal by Ashtone Morgan after a wonderful short cross from Jack Harrison. David Villa drew NYCFC level in stoppage time of the first half after recovering from losing the ball to strike it home from just outside the 18-yard box.

Toronto nearly pulled ahead three minutes into the second half after a goal was ruled offside after Ben Spencer’s header hit Jay Chapman’s foot before going into the net. Maximiliano Moralez instead put NYCFC into the lead in the 56th minute after his shot from close-range was deflected in. Toronto rescued the game in the 91st minute with a penalty won by Jordan Hamilton and tucked away by Victor Vazquez.

Minnesota United FC 0-0 Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo fail to take any points away from bottom-of-table Minnesota in a game where either team could have won.

The Dynamo had the first chance to score when Andrew Wenger missed an absolute sitter in the seventh minute. Both teams would have multiple clear chances to score throughout the game, but none would be quite as clear as Wenger’s missed opportunity.

Seattle Sounders FC 4-3 DC United

The Sounders overcome three-goal deficit to beat DC United and continue their climb toward the top of the East.
The first half only saw goals come from DC United as Deshourn Brown scored in the eighth minute after Patrick Nyarko’s incredible run right up to the box and pass right in front of the goal. Ian Harkes scored DC United’s second in the 27th as his first two touches inside the box set up a beautiful shot.

DC United were the first out of the gates in the second half too as Lloyd Sam scored in the 50th minute. The Sounders finally responded in the 51st minute after Will Bruin flicked a wonderful header into the back of the net from close range. The Sounders continued with their second after Brad Evens took his turn to score a header from close range. Gustav Svensson miraculously brought the Sounders level in the 74th minute with a resounding volley directly off a corner kick. Christian Roldan scored the winner in the 78th minute after he beat his man by flicking the ball around him and then scored right through the legs of DC United keeper Travis Worra. A red card was shown to Nicolas Lodeiro in the 89th minute after retaliating to a slight kick while he was down put a mark on what was otherwise a splendid comeback by the Sounders.

Portland Timbers 1-4 Real Salt Lake

RSL kept the Timbers out of third place with a resounding victory in this ill-disciplined game. RSL took first-blood in the 10th minute as Kyle Beckerman struck a well-placed shot at the far post from about 30 yards out. Joao Plata doubled RSL’s lead in the 50th minute after burying a penalty earned by Jefferson Savarino.

The Timbers’ night went from bad to worse after Victor Arboleda was issued a straight red in the 53rd after appearing to elbow Joao Plata in the face. Timbers’ Fanendo Adi and RSL’s Kyle Beckerman were both issued straight reds only a couple of minutes later after a rough altercation between the two.

RSL scored their third in the 68th after Albert Rusnak’s shot bounced off the crossbar, into the ground and then off the back of Timbers keeper Jake Gleeson’s head to go in. RSL continued to add to the pain for the Timbers as Joao Plata scored his brace in the 80th minute after a fantastic run from the halfway line. Jack Barmby scored a consolation goal for the Timbers in the 93rd minute off of the fingertips of RSL keeper Nick Romando from about 30 yards out.

LA Galaxy 0-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps done just enough to take three points away from LA. The Galaxy were nearly the first to score several times in the first half but ultimately fell short on multiple occasions.

The Whitecaps did manage to score in the 62nd minute of the game after looking like the worse team for most of the game. Tony Tchani scored a solid header off a free-kick. Despite the Galaxy looking threatening on throughout the end of game they weren’t able to finish off any chances.

Orlando City SC 0-1 Atlanta United

Brad Guzan shuts out Orlando City in his first game back in the MLS since 2008 to give Atlanta the three points.
Orlando’s Carlos Rivas nearly scored in the 36th minute with a screaming shot, but was denied by a skillful Brad Guzan to keep the game level. Guzan was called upon again in the 63rd minute to stop a Jonathan Specter header from point-blank. It wasn’t to remain level though as Hector Vilalba scored what might be the MLS goal of the week from 25 yards out in the 86th minute.

Montreal Impact 1-2 FC Dallas

FC Dallas go top of the West with two games still in hand after second-half salvo from Christian Colman.
Christian Colman was denied what appeared to be a goal by the referee in the 21st minute. Michael Salazar scored on the other end in the 23rd minute and put the Impact up 1-0.
Christian scored his first goal in 15 league games in the 52nd minute with a leaping volley after a cross by Maximiliano Urruti. Colman bagged his brace in the 62nd minute after working the ball past Impact keeper Evan Bush and tucking the ball in from a tight angle.

New York City FC 2-1 Chicago Fire

Ten-man NYCFC remained strong to upset the Fire. A second yellow in the twelfth minute caused NYCFC’s Yangel Herrera to be sent off after a brash challenge on the Fire’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. David Villa was the man to put NYCFC ahead after a stunning volley from 25 yards out in the 47th minute. Frederic Brillant scored the second for NYCFC in the 50th minute after diving to make a second header after his first header was stopped by Fire keeper Matt Lampson. David Accam scored for the Fire in the 54th with a screaming shot in off the crossbar from 25 yards off after a scramble just outside of the 18-yard box, but it wasn’t enough for the Fire.

Minnesota United FC 0-3 New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls rout Minnesota to stay with the pack at the top half of the East. Danial Royer put the Red Bulls on the scoreline in the 16th with a screaming shot from 25 yards. Minnesota keeper Bobby Shuttleworth had to make two big saves within minutes of each other right at the close of the first half to keep Minnesota in the game.

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the Red Bulls’ inevitable second goal in the 67th minute as Shuttleworth was unable to get more than his finger tips on a shot that just barely made it into the net. Alex Muyl put the Red Bulls up 0-3 with a sharp shot from just inside the penalty box.

DC United 1-3 Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo put away DC United with an early salvo in this cross-division game to keep in the hunt for the West.
Andrew Wenger opened the flood-gates for Dynamo with a headed goal off a corner kick in the sixth minute. Mauro Manotas then tucked away a ball crossed in front of the goal by Alex in the 15th minute. Memo Rodriguez then scored a towering header in the 17th after a cross from Wenger to put Houston up 0-3 early. Bobby Boswell scored a consolation goal for DC United in the 62nd minute with by heading in Lloyd Sam’s cross.

Columbus Crew SC 1-0 Philadelphia Union

The Crew take away three points from what as a relatively uneventful game. The Crew’s Justin Meeram scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute after his shot was accidentally redirected directly into the net off the foot of Union defender Joshua Yaro.

New England Revolution 4-3 LA Galaxy

The Revolution outscore the Galaxy in this battle between two bottom-five teams. Lee Nguyen opened the scoring for the Revolution in the 16th minute after his shot was slightly deflected. Daniel Steres drew the Galaxy level in the 22nd with a header from close. Kei Kamara put the revolution back into the lead in the 34th minute with a tight-angled shot from close range.

Daniel Steres’ brace put the Galaxy level again in the 53rd minute via another header from point-blank after it was initially saved. Teal Bunbury’s header in the 70th set the Revolution back on top, and then he scored again in the 73rd from 15 yards out to bag his brace. Ariel Lassiter scored the Galaxy’s third in the 79th after a goal-mouth scramble, but it wasn’t enough to bring it level again.

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Sporting Kansas City

A ten-man RSL managed to hold a relatively tame SKC to a draw. Luis Silva scored his first MLS goal for RSL in the 43rd from 18 yards out to open the scoring. Benny Feilhaber drew SKC level with a neatly tucked away penalty on the hour mark.

Toronto FC 1-1 Colorado Rapids

The Rapids score late to upset top of the East Toronto. Jay Chapman’s first ever MLS goal came in the form of a header after a scramble in front of goal to put Toronto up 1-0 in the fifth minute. Dominique Badji scored the tying goal in the 76th minute from 18-yards out after Toronto lost possession easily in midfield.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 Portland Timbers

The Timbers managed to beat the Whitecaps despite only being able to name five substitute players due to injury and suspension.

It was the Timbers who were the first to score via a goal from Jeremy Ebobisse who directed a Dairon Asprilla shot home in the 14th minute. Andrew Jacobson scored with a slight touch of a corner kick in the 45th minute to put the Whitecaps level.

Sebastian Blanco scored a well-worked Timbers play in the 49th minute that had begun in the Timbers’ half. This immediately after a free-kick was denied the Whitecaps just outside of the Timbers’ penalty box.

Seattle Sounders FC 3-0 San Jose Earthquakes

The Sounders tuck away fellow middling Earthquakes to keep in the race for the East. Despite a quiet first half, the Sounders had an explosive second half to earn the win.

Christian Roldan scored the Sounders’ first in the 54th minute with a header from just in front of the goal. Roldan earned his brace moments later in the 56th with a tight-shot from close range. The play for both goals started with long throw-ins by Kelvin Leerdam, who scored the third and final goal for the sounders in the 65th minute by tucking in a corner-kick at close-range.

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