By RYAN BRISTER
Expansion Atlanta continued its strong and surprising play during Week 6 in Major League Soccer. In terms of sheer optics, Real Salt Lake’s snow globe victory against Vancouver at Rio Tinto Stadium takes the prize. On Friday, Jermaine Jones helped Los Angeles to its second win in three games.
The most exciting game of the weekend was the 2-2 draw between Toronto and Atlanta. United scored first at BMO Field, but had to fight back after halftime and hang on with 10 men. The draw comes after last week’s scoreless tie in Seattle, but upped United’s unbeaten streak to four games. It’s early in the season, but Atlanta, under the Argentine coach Tata Martinez, has started fast and right now is among the top teams in MLS. But it’s a long, long season.
The Jermaine Jones Experience was on display Friday night in Carson, Calif. He scored his first goal for the Galaxy in their win over Montreal. Equally significant, he engineered a red card out of nothing for Marco Donadel. Jones went down clutching his face after being caught in the ribs, a performance Donadel nominated for an Oscar after the game. Referee Armando Villarreal bought the act, but the league’s disciplinary committee might have other ideas.
Salt Lake and Vancouver played in a snow globe on Saturday night. The conditions suited the hosts just fine as RSL took a commanding 3-0 win in the debut as coach of Mike Petke. The win was the first of the season for RSL.
Philadelphia was the only home team to lose this weekend. The Union blew an early lead against Portland and is one of two teams without a win so far this season (Montreal is the other). In all, Philadelphia has gone 13 competitive games without a win, and Coach Jim Curtin is certainly feeling the pressure. On the flip side, Portland has as many points on the road this year as the Timbers did in 2016.
After being ousted from the CONCACAF Champions League in the middle of the week, Dallas beat Minnesota, 2-0, on Saturday night. It was a comfortable and expected result, but the scoreline was misleading. The Loons put a lot of pressure on Dallas after halftime, and created some significant chances. The shut out is a testament to the play of Jesse Gonzalez in goal. The was the young keeper’s turn to start in Coach Oscar Pareja‘s rotation. He made five saves, many of the impressive variety. Gonzalez, 21, broke in with Dallas in 2015, but fell behind Chris Seitz on the depth chart.