MLS Week 14: What We Learned

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By RYAN BRISTER

MLS logoSoccer fans may have had their attention elsewhere over the weekend (Champions League final, United States national team games), but Major League Soccer played on.

Revolution Snaps Toronto’s Streak

New England (5-5-5, 20 points) ended Toronto’s eight-game unbeaten streak in a 3-0 victory. TFC (8-2-5, 29) will feel unlucky about the result, given its first-half performance. The Reds, who were playing without Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore who were on national team duty, hit the post twice before the break, and had either of those gone in, the game would have been 1-1. As it was, the Revolution took control after halftime, with goals by Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo.

Orlando Sees Red

Referee Ted Unkel became the story Sunday night when he reflexively sent off Orlando’s Rafael Ramos in the 28th minute in the game against Chicago (7-3-4, 25). In the 67th, Antonio Nocerino compounded his side’s problems when he was show a red card. Despite spending so much of the match shorthanded, Orlando (7-5-3, 24) did not break, battling to the 0-0 draw.

Atlanta Struggles Against Set Pieces

Kendall Waston, normally a solid defender was transformed into an unstoppable attacking force on Saturday. The Costa Rican center back had two goals and an assist, all on set pieces, in Vancouver’s (6-6-1, 19) 3-1 win over Atlanta (5-5-3, 18). For good measure, Waston also cleared a ball off the line and earned a yellow card in his defensive duties. Set piece defending was Atlanta’s Achilles’ heel, and despite two-thirds of possession, it managed only seven shots. 

Up-and-Down Week for the Crew

Columbus (7-8-1, 22) had a topsy-turvy week. It began at home with a 3-0 win over Toronto. Federico Higuaín and Justin Meram each scored from outside the box in the first half . The Crew were 10 minutes away from winning at Colorado (4-8-1, 13) when things fell apart when Columbus was unable to hold on to a 1-0 lead. Kevin Doyle and Alan Gordon led a late comeback for the Rapids.

Petke Has His Hands Full

Real Salt Lake (4-10-2, 14) received a pair of Texas-size beatdowns last week, first in Houston, then in Dallas. For the Dynamo (7-6-2, 23), Alex, Mauro Manotas and Cubo Torres each had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 win. Then things got worse for RSL. On Saturday it allowed five firs- half goals, a league record, in a 6-2 loss at Dallas (6-2-5, 23). Roland Lamah completed his hat trick by the 31st minute, the second-quickest in MLS history. RSL’s lone goal after halftime was scored by Jesus Ferreira, 16, who made his MLS debut off the bench and became the second-youngest player to score a goal in the league.