MLS Week 28: What We Learned

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MLS_logo.svgA slew of Major League Soccer teams in playoff positions dropped points over the weekend in five draws. That made it a good weekend for winners like Sporting Kansas City and Chicago. Here’s what we learned over the weekend.

Atlanta and Orlando Put on a Show

A record crowd in Atlanta (12-8-7, 43 points) got its money’s worth, as the home side and Orlando (9-12-8, 35) played to a 3-3 draw. Three times the visitors took the lead, and each time they were answered by Josef Martínez, who put up a hat trick in his second straight game. Dom Dwyer scored his first two goals for Orlando, but it wasn’t enough for a team that could have used the three points.

Traded Players Trade Goals in Vancouver

Kekuta Manneh stole the show on his return to Vancouver (13-9-6, 45), getting an assist and a goal for Columbus (13-12-5, 44) against his former club. But that narrative was reversed in the end as Tony Tchani, the other part of that early-season trade, leveled the game with a stoppage time goal to rescue a 2-2 draw for the Whitecaps. It was a back and forth, entertaining match, with the Crew holding much of the possession and Vancouver hitting back on the counter.

Big Changes to Playoff Picture in the West

San Jose (11-12-6, 39) and Salt Lake (11-14-5, 38) both pulled themselves into playoff positions with wins on Saturday. Chris Wondolowski scored the only goal of the game as the Earthquakes beat Houston (10-10-8, 38), which fell to seventh. RSL rode goals from Albert Rusnak and Jefferson Savarino to beat Portland (12-10-8, 44). Both teams were aided by Dallas’ (9-8-11, 38) scoreless draw, as last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners dropped to eighth.

Logjam at the Top

The top four teams in the West are separated by one point. Seattle (11-7-11, 44) was on the other end of the draw in Dallas. Kansas City (11-6-11, 44) joined the Cascadia trio with a win over 10-man New England. It was an unpleasant return to KC for Krisztian Nemeth, who was sent off for an elbow in the 11th minute. The hosts were trailing at the time, but quickly took control with the extra man. Diego Rubio scored twice in the win.

Late Drama in Montreal

Minnesota (8-15-5, 29) went to Montreal (10-12-6, 36) and delivered an upset. The Impact took the lead twice, early in each half. But the Loons showed fight in quickly equalizing both times. In the 89th minute, Abu Danladi gave the visitors the lead and the win with a rocket of a shot into the far side of the net. It’s a missed chance for the Impact, who could have gained ground against the teams in the East that dropped points ahead of them.