MLS Week 20 Recap: What We Learned


MLS_logo.svgMajor League Soccer returned from its Gold Cup break with a goal-scoring outburst. More than 50 goals were stored in the 18 games, from midweek through the weekend. The highlight was Seattle’s thrilling comeback against woeful D.C. United last Wednesday.

No Lead Safe in Seattle

Through 50 minutes, last-place D.C. United (5-13-3, 18 points) appeared poised to deliver a shocking defeat against the Sounders (8-7-6, 30). The visitors had taken a 3-0 lead in front of a stunned crowd, thanks to goals by Deshorn Brown and Ian Harkes. Half an hour later, the Sounders had the lead. Will Bruin sparked the comeback with a goal in the 51st minute. That was followed by goals from Brad Evans, Gustav Svensson, and the winner by Christian Roldan. The Sounders became the first MLS team to win a match after trailing by 3-0.

Quite a Week for Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake (7-12-3, 24) made noise on and off the field this week. First, it went to Portland on Wednesday night and demolished the Timbers (8-8-6, 30), 4-1. Kyle Beckerman scored first in that game, and was later sent off. He was suspended for RSL’s home draw against Kansas City (8-4-9, 33) on Saturday. Coach Mike Petke was ejected in the match, and after the game expressed his displeasure with the referees.

NYCFC Passes a Test

New York City (11-6-4, 37) did battle with the two top teams in the Eastern Conference, and, to hear their fans talk about it, the referees. NYCFC ended the week unbowed, with a win and a draw. NYCFC was on the verge of victory Wednesday night against Toronto (11-3-7, 40) until a disputed late penalty, scored by Victor Vasquez, earned a point for the Reds. 

On Saturday against visiting Chicago (11-4-5, 38), Yangel Herrera was sent off after two yellow cards in 12 minutes. Down to 10 men, NYCFC scored twice early in the second half and hung on to hand the Fire their first loss in 11 games. David Villa opened the scoring for City, and his work rate on both sides of the ball led the Pigeons to an important win.

Colman Ends Drought

Cristian Colman has been criticized in his first season with FC Dallas (9-3-7, 34). The forward from Paraguay failed to score in his first 13 appearances in MLS. He finally broke through with a pair of goals in Dallas’ win over Montreal (6-7-6, 24) on Saturday night. He should have had a goal in the first half, but it was cleared off the goal line (or from behind it) and the referee didn’t spot it. That didn’t discourage him; after the break, Colman got on the end of a cross from Maxi Urruti to tie the game, and then gave Dallas the lead 10 minutes later. With the win, Dallas is back on top of the Western Conference. 

More Trouble for Galaxy

The Los Angeles Galaxy (6-10-4, 22) are in ninth place in the Western Conference, six points out of a playoff spot. They suffered two more losses last week, bringing their losing streak to five in league play. Tony Tchani scored the only goal of the game on Wednesday as Vancouver (8-8-3, 27) won a LA. There were seven goals in the Galaxy’s game against New England, but the result was the same. Teal Bunbury scored twice in four minutes to help the Revs (6-9-5, 23) to a thrilling 4-3 win.

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