MLS Week 3 Recap, Highlights: Chaos in NY, Free kicks galore

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER

Three weeks into this year’s Major League Soccer season, teams are still figuring out their identities and places in the pecking order. It was a weekend marked by goals from free kicks and refereeing controversy.

New York Red Bulls 4-3 Houston Dynamo

The weekend’s wildest match ended with the Red Bulls scoring last. It was not smooth sailing for the hosts by any means. Will Bruin’s first half brace gave Houston the lead heading into the break. Making matters worse, Jesse Marsch had to use all of his substitutions due to apparent hamstring injuries. but Felipe came through with two goals from outside the box to tie and then win the game late, and the Red Bulls grabbed their first win of 2016.

The Dynamo have scored 11 goals in their opening three games, but managed only four points in spite of that. New York broke their early season scoring drought in a big way with four on the night.

Portland Timbers 2-2 Real Salt Lake

Two red cards were too much for RSL to withstand as they let a lead slip at Portland. The visitors scored first on Joao Plata’s free kick in the 19th minute. Kyle Beckerman was given a straight red later in the half, but RSL would double their lead through Yura Movsisyan. The Timbers got one back when Fanendo Adi buried a rebound in the 79th. RSL’s collapse was completed as Jamison Olave committed a penalty, which Adi scored. Olave’s red card was the 10th of his career, an MLS record. Portland had time to seek out a winner, but couldn’t come up with one.

Salt Lake still hasn’t lost in 2016, but they have let a pair of two goal leads escape their grasp. Five points to them will seem like a missed opportunity. Likewise, the Timbers will feel like they could have done more given the red cards.

Seattle Sounders 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

A pair of penalties lifted Vancouver over Seattle on Saturday night. Sounders fans have every right to be upset about the first, as replays showed very little, if any, contact between Joevin Jones and Christian Bolanos. Nevertheless, Pedro Morales put the Whitecaps in front. Andreas Ivanschitz curled a free kick inside the post to equalize. But when Chad Marshall went through Blas Perez in the box, Mark Geiger pointed to the spot again, and Vancouver had their winning goal.

The Sounders have never before started an MLS season with three straight losses. They will feel unlucky not to have gotten at least a point Saturday night, but their poor start reflects deeper issues than luck.

FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal Impact

Dallas grabbed a pair of late goals and all three points against Montreal. Didier Drogba made his first appearance of the season for the Impact, but if his presence shifted the game, it was in Dallas’ favor. Mauro Diaz’s dipping free kick broke the deadlock in the 79th minute. Maxi Urruti scored on the half volley eight minutes later to secure the win.

After two solid wins to start the season, the Impact were outplayed in game number three. It was a bounce back victory for Dallas after their performance the week prior in Houston.

LA Galaxy 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes

LA claimed bragging rights over their California rivals on Saturday night. The first half produced little of note aside from Simon Dawkins’ straight red card. A clever Galaxy set piece broke the deadlock after halftime, with the ball eventually falling to Gyasi Zardes for v a simple tap in. Zardes scored his second off a failed clearance in the 62nd minute. Chris Wondolowski scored for San Jose, but thoughts of a late comeback were dashed by an ensuing penalty to LA. Robbie Keane sealed the deal.

Philadelphia Union 3-0 New England Revolution

CJ Sapong scored first for Philly on a shot that was deflected by Jose Goncalves. Sapong scored again in the 34th minute, doubling the Union’s lead. Things got worse for New England from there. Lee Nguyen managed to hit both posts with a free kick, and a minute later Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off for a tackle on Roland Alberg. Bobby Shuttleworth stopped two penalties, but eventually the Union got their third goal.

With two wins from their opening three games, the Union sit atop the Eastern Conference in these very early days.

New York City FC 0-1 Orlando City SC

Cyle Larin’s early goal held up for Orlando despite the best efforts of NYCFC on Friday night. Larin, who had a hat trick at Yankee Stadium last year, scored the game’s only goal with a header in the 7th minute. New York had two thirds of the possession and significantly more shots, but their poor finishing cost them in the end. The result is Orlando’s first win and NYC’s first loss of the season.

Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Toronto FC

Sporting Kansas City won a testTFC had a chance to open the scoring on the hour mark, but Tsubasa Endoh’s shot was saved onto the bar by Tim Melia. Ten minutes later, a strong individual effort by Brad Davis gave SKC the lead. Davis muscled off Justin Morrow in scoring his first goal for Kansas City. The hosts withstood the late red card to Roger Espinoza and hung on to win.

SKC is the only team in MLS with three wins from three games.

DC United 1-1 Colorado Rapids

DC and Colorado played to an ugly draw at RFK Stadium. Colorado’s only shot on target came from Dillon Powers on a corner kick in the 69th minute. In a testament to efficiency, he found the back of the net. DC had more shots, but weren’t particularly impressive. Fabian Espindola scored for United to level the match.

DC is still looking for their first victory; the Rapids have managed four points from just two goals so far.

Chicago Fire 0-0 Columbus Crew SC

Chicago and Columbus played to a scoreless draw. The visiting Crew had significantly more shots and possession than the Fire, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Matt Lampson made four saves to preserve his clean sheet.

The Crew have yet to win in 2016, a mystery will Gregg Berhalter have to figure out sooner rather than later.


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  • Pele

    The east is wide open (like always), but if Toronto stays healthy and Jozey plays how he’s getting paid then Toronto can run away with the east.
    Too bad nycfc don’t have a proper size field to win home games at, they have a pretty good team.
    As for the west, like always a massacre but something tells me Galaxy will win the west at the end, not the whitecaps or fc Dallas.
    MLS cup
    Toronto vs Galaxy and Toronto win MLS cup in their remodel stadium with snow coming down.

    • Hernando Peralta

      Did you Know? Charleston Battery 3 – COSMOS 0

      How did you like that?

      • What Hernando really Means

        I know. I know. NYCFC also lost pre season games to lower division teams. I didn’t comment then. I only comment now because I am obsessed with the Cosmos and because I am a very desperate and lonely man who needs help.

      • Devin

        peralta why don’t u go to hell ? jerkoff !

  • EPL fan

    MLS is like snoozefest its not high level soccer at all. Embrace the reality !!!!!

    • slowleftarm

      Oh good, EPL fan back to tell us how everything sucks and is much better in the country he left behind. Fascinating….

      I also don’t see anyone saying MLS is “high level” but keep arguing against that straw man.

      • EPL fan

        you have been fooled and your knowledge of soccer is very limited. This is evident when you would rather talk about other teams than your own. You are pathetic !

        • slowleftarm

          Interesting that “william” has dusted off this name again. It’s still tiresome though.

          • EPL fan

            LOLOLOLOLL William ? William who what a fool !

            • slowleftarm

              At least we can agree that William (aka Angry Bill) is a fool.

              • EPL fan

                I don’t know who William is ? you are an odd person. Go get a dog or something


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