MLS Midweek 17 Recap, Highlights: LA makes a statement

image, LAGalaxy.com

by RYAN BRISTER
MLS Writer

Major League Soccer played a hefty midweek schedule of seven games on Wednesday night. The nationally televised match between LA and Portland promised to be the best of the bunch, but instead got out of hand.

LA Galaxy 5-0 Portland Timbers

The Galaxy have officially woken up for 2015. They thrashed the previously streaking Timbers, downing them early with three first half goals. Sebastian Lletget scored the opener in the 13th minute, then earned a penalty in the 18th. Robbie Keane scored that, and later in the first half he played a perfect assist on Robbie Rogers’ first goal in four years. Juninho and Jose Villarreal joined the scoring party in the second half. Over their last two games, the Galaxy have scored 10 goals.

Toronto FC 3-1 Montreal Impact

The stars performed for TFC. All three designated players scored in a strong performance against their Canadian rivals Montreal. The Impact actually struck first, through Ambroise Oyongo in the 19th minute. Michael Bradley got the equalizer, assisted by Sebastian Giovinco, eight minutes later. In the second half, Bradley assisted with a long pass on Jozy Altidore’s go-ahead goal. Giovinco put a bow on the performance with a late penalty kick.

Columbus Crew SC 2-1 New England Revolution

Kei Kamara’s brace led the Crew to a comeback win over the Revolution. New England scored in the opening minute, when Lee Nguyen was given too much space at the top of the box. But MLS’s leading goalscorer tied things up just three minutes later. After the initial flurry, it took until the second half for Kamara to strike again. New England protested for handball on Ethan Finlay, but to no avail. The Crew brought an end to a six-game winless streak with the victory.

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Real Salt Lake

The Red Bulls beat nine-man RSL to snap a five-game winless streak. Mike Grella got the only goal of the match in the 4th minute, tapping in at the far post when Sean Davis’ attempt skewed in his direction. Salt Lake was awarded two questionable red cards, one on either side of halftime. First Javier Morales was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, and then Demar Phillips was red carded for a late tackle. The Red Bulls were unable to get an insurance goal, but did get three points.

Philadelphia Union 1-0 Seattle Sounders

The Union grabbed three points from an experimental Seattle XI. CJ Sapong scored the winner on a header in the 69th minute. Sapong now has goals in four straight games. Stefan Frei saved a first half penalty, but couldn’t get any help from his teammates. Once again for the Sounders, it’s a case of no Dempsey, no Martins, and no goals.

Chicago Fire 0-1 DC United

DC kept up their winning ways in Chicago. A dull game looked to be on track for a scoreless draw until the 73rd minute. After some pinball in the box, the ball fell to Conor Doyle, who launched an unstoppable shot into the top of the net. Combined with the Sounders’ loss, DC was able to extend their lead in the Supporters’ Shield race to five points.

Orlando City SC 2-0 Colorado Rapids

A pair of second half goals put the Lions past Colorado on a rainy night at the Citrus Bowl. Orlando had 23 shots, but didn’t find the net until Cyle Larin finished off Carlos Rivas’ cross in the 62nd minute. Kaka capped off a counter three minutes later, and the Rapids were effectively buried.