If you’re a fan of tight, defensive 1-0 soccer matches, then this past weekend was not for you. If however, you like baseball scores in a soccer match, then what a weekend it was. There were 39 goals scored all across Major League Soccer, which, if you’re counting, comes out to 5 more goals than there were seconds in Ronda Rousey’s punching practice Saturday night. Here’s what went down:
The Impact spoiled Frank Lampard’s MLS debut on Saturday, starting with a goal by Ghanaian Dominic Oduro just 5 minutes into the match. Oduro received a long lob on the edge of the box, dribbled his first touch past the keeper and put it in the back of the net. A chip shot over goalkeeper Josh Saunders by Ignacio Piatti increased Montreal’s lead to 2-0 in the 32nd. In the 68th, Ambroise Oyongo was shown a yellow in the penalty area and David Villa converted the PK to put NYCFC on the board 2-1. This situation was reversed in the 84th minute, and Ignacio Piatti scored his second goal of the match on a PK to make the score 3-1. Tommy McNamara tried to spark a NYCFC comeback just a minute later by sneaking in a low shot for his 4th goal of the season, but ultimately Montreal was able to protect their lead and take the 3 points.
DC United 6, Real Salt Lake 4
Goals, goals, goals, and more goals. Just 50 seconds into the match Joao Plata buried the ball into the left side of the net from outside the box, and in the 21st, Kyle Beckerman blasted a shot into the net from even further out. DC United struck back in the 43rd, when Chris Rolfe stripped away the ball, dribbled it around a defender and curled his shot into the far post. After halftime, Bobby Boswell was fouled in the box and Rolfe struck the PK into the top left corner to tie it up. Just moments later, Taylor Kemp picked up a loose ball at the top of the box and the ball exploded off of his left foot into the upper right corner. In the 62nd, Javier Morales looped in a free kick that Aaron Maund headed in to equalize. DC United took the ball right back down the field and Fabian Espindola took a shot that was blocked and started slowly rolling towards the goal. An RSL defender raced in to clear it, but accidently bounced it off of Espindola’s outstretched boot into the goal. In the 68th, Javier Morales passed the ball to Abdoulie Mansally who raced toward the end line and then made a shot that went sideways toward goal and snuck in the far corner. Perry Kitchen and Nick DeLeon put an end to the seesaw scoring in the 79th and 82nd to close out this goal-fest.
Sebastien Le Toux tallied the only score for the Union in this game, an equalizer in the 73rd minute that came from a rebounded cross from his teammate Cristian Maidana. The Red Bulls scored first in the 66th, when Sacha Klejstan converted a PK drawn by Shaun Wright-Phillips. A minute after Le Toux’s equalizer, Wright-Phillips served up an assist to his brother, Bradley Wright-Phillips, who netted the game winner.
The Revs rebounded well after their loss to Chicago last week. In the 35th minute, Lee Nguyen sailed in a free kick to Kelyn Rowe, who passed it to Charlie Davis, who drove it home to put New England up 1-0. A few minutes later, Jozy Altidore got heated up when New England captain Jose Goncalves tried to take the ball from him. Jozy tried to kick him, earning an obvious red card. Just before halftime, Lee Nguyen capitalized on a PK given up by Benoit Cheyrou to make it 2-0. In the 62nd, Charlie Davis got his second and put the Revs up 3-0 off of a free kick from Chris Tierney. Jonathan Osorio got one past the keeper in the 75th, but it would be Toronto’s only score.
Orlando City SC 5, Columbus Crew 2
Cyle Larin, fresh off his hat-trick last week against NYCFC, picked up a brace in Orlando’s 5-2 drumming of Columbus. 5 minutes in, Columbus took an early lead when Federico Higuain chipped in a pass from Justin Meram. A cross from former Houston Dynamo player, Corey Ashe, found rookie Cyle Larin in the 18th minute, who slapped the ball in to tie the game. In the 37th, Kaka set up Darwin Ceren, whose first shot was deflected off of Michael Parkhurst but Ceren buried the rebound. Larin and Ashe repeated their same play from earlier, and Larin tallied his 11th goal of the season, tying the all-time goal-scoring record for a rookie. In the 77th minute, Aurelien Collin bounced in the ball off of an Orlando corner, and his teammate Cristian Higuita finished an assist from Kaka in the 84th. The second score for the Crew came in the 90th minute from an own goal from Aurelien Collin, but did nothing to keep Orlando from cruising to an easy victory.
Sporting Kansas City 1, Houston Dynamo 1
Nothing is ever boring when these two teams get together. They really hate each other, and it showed Saturday night, in a game that ended with 30+ fouls, 6 yellows and 1 red card. Kansas City brought the attack early, and Dom Dwyer put KC up 1-0 in the 6th minute with a leaping header off of a Benny Feilhaber free kick. In the 79th, the Dynamo scored on a very similar play, but this time it was Brad Davis serving up a leaping header to Ricardo Clark, who injured himself on landing.
The Rapids started this match well, and took the lead in the 12th minute off of Marcelo Sarvas’ first goal with Colorado. LA answered after halftime when Sebastien Lleget blasted the ball in the far post in the 56th minute. LA took the lead at 69’ after Alan Gordon tapped in a deflected shot from former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. The Galaxy sealed the win in extra time when Gerrard served up another captain, Robbie Keane, whose right foot slipped the ball into the bottom left corner.
Seattle continued their downward skid Saturday night, getting blanked by the surging Whitecaps. Vancouver rode a brace from defender Pa-Modou Kah, who notched his first of the game and the season by burying a free kick that bounced off of opposing defender Brad Evans. His second came in style in the 49th, a gorgeous back heel courtesy of a Cristian Techera corner kick. The Whitecaps really poured it on in the 75th, with a set piece rainbow over Seattle from Pedro Morales. Seattle has handed a clean sheet to opposing goalkeepers in 4 straight matches, and have taken the L in 7 of their last 8.
There were only two draws this week, and this was without a doubt the least entertaining. Portland missed an opportunity for the win when Diego Valeri couldn’t net a PK, and San Jose had a great opportunity to score but Chris Wondolowski took too long to get control of the ball and Portland’s keeper made an easy save. Just Wondo doing Wondo things.
FC Dallas’ 5 game win streak was broken by the hapless Chicago Fire Sunday, starting with a goal by DP David Accam just 4 minutes into the contest that he tickled past the near post from a difficult angle. Neither side was able to create many more chances for the majority of the contest, until a foul in the box by Kellyn Acosta gave the Fire a PK, which Shaun Maloney snuck past keeper Dan Kennedy, who guessed correctly but couldn’t get to it.
What all this means for the Dynamo
Thankfully RSL was unable to hang on to a 2 goal lead in DC and left that match with no points, so after Saturday 1-1 draw with SKC, the Dynamo now sit in the 8th spot just one point behind RSL, and can pull into 7th next week with a win and an RSL loss or draw. That red line is so close I can smell it.
The draw between Portland and San Jose was perfect for the Dynamo. The Timbers are one of the teams that Houston is trying to catch, so it keeps them within reach, but a Portland loss would have been bad because San Jose would have tied Houston with three points.
The wins from LA and Vancouver don’t really matter; those teams are 10 and 11 points ahead, and the Dynamo are not going to catch them.
FC Dallas is also too far ahead for their loss to really affect Houston, but the world is just a much better place when they lose. Everything is just brighter and more beautiful when Dallas is sad.