MLS Week 9 Recap, Highlights: Red Bulls’ big win, more

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER

Week nine of the Major League Soccer season didn’t do much to change the standings status quo. Out of 13 games in the week, eight finished with draws.

New York Red Bulls 4-0 FC Dallas

New York delivered a statement win in trouncing Dallas on Friday night. The Red Bulls controlled the run of play from the opening whistle, but it took a clever and perfectly-executed set piece to break the deadlock. Lloyd Sam’s goal late in the first half paved the way for a second half romp, with goals by Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella, and Felipe.

This makes two wins in a row for the Red Bulls, who seem to have found their scoring touch after a slow start. Dallas has now lost two games in a row by a combined 7-0, and despite one of the league’s best records, they have a goal differential of -2.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Sporting Kansas City

Vancouver and Kansas City traded first half goals in a midweek draw. A good volley by Christian Bolanos on a corner kick in the 14th minute gave Vancouver an early lead. A well-timed run from Diego Rubio resulted in SKC’s equalizer. After the hot start, neither team would score in the game’s remaining hour.

 Sporting Kansas City 1-1 LA Galaxy

After a fun first half, Kansas City and LA petered out into a draw.Brad Davis scored a gorgeous curling shot to give Sporting the lead after half an hour, but it might not have been the game’s best goal. SKC controlled the first half, but a lightning-quick counter the other way ended with Giovani Dos Santos chipping the ball past Tim Melia to level the game. The second half sparked up in a 30-second span in which Ashley Cole earned a yellow card for time wasting and then a second yellow for a studs-up challenge. But SKC was unable to make the most of their man advantage, and the game remained tied.

SKC entered the week on a three-game losing streak, so they can’t be too upset about their two draws. But this result may feel like a missed opportunity.

New England Revolution 1-1 Portland Timbers

A late own goal turned a loss into a draw for New England in midweek. The Revs had 16 shots to Portland’s eight, but each team had just two on target. The Timbers took the lead on Jack Barmby’s goal in the 64th minute, a bouncing side-volley that looped past Bobby Shuttleworth. Their lead slipped away in the 89th minute, when Jermaine Taylor bundled a free kick into his own net.

Remarkably, the Revs have now drawn seven of their first ten games.

Portland Timbers 2-1 Toronto FC

Will Johnson scored a goal in front of the Timbers Army, but his old team got the last laugh in an entertaining Sunday game. Johnson perhaps could have been sent off for a challenge in the first half, but wasn’t even carded. Fanendo Adi had given Portland the lead by that point, but Johnson scored the equalizer in the 40th minute. Diego Valeri’s stellar free kick proved the difference in the scoreline, but a great deal of credit for the win belongs to Timbers keeper Jake Gleeson, who made multiple incredible saves.

Portland’s win helps them keep pace in the Western Conference. TFC will feel unlucky with the loss, but have every reason to be proud of their performance through eight road games.

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Houston Dynamo

Houston scored first, but once again let the lead slip as Real Salt Lake stormed back to win. The win was preserved by Nick Rimando’s incredible double save in the 80th minute.

It’s the fifth time this year that the Dynamo have failed to win a game in which they held a lead. That’s cost them 13 points, or, the difference between the top of the league and the bottom where they currently sit.

New York City FC 1-1 Montreal Impact

A late Montreal goal denied New York City a win in midweek. NYCFC had the majority of the game’s chances and shots, and took the lead early in the second half. RJ Allen scored the goal, his first in MLS. That lead held up until the first minute of stoppage time, when Dominic Oduro headed in a free kick from Didier Drogba.

New York City FC 3-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

NYCFC overcame an early mistake in defeating Vancouver. Cristian Techera’s pressure on Josh Saunders created a goal for Octavio Rivero in the game’s first minute. It would be half an hour before the hosts responded, but they did so in a big way. David Villa’s equalizer was followed six minutes later by a go-ahead goal. Christian Bolanos converted a penalty in the 64th minute to level the match at 2-2. The scoring was capped off, however, by Steven Mendoza, with his first MLS goal.

It’s just the second win of the year for NYCFC, and their first in six tries at home. The Whitecaps have overcome their earlier scoring struggles, but stringing together results is a must to compete out West.

New England Revolution 2-2 Orlando City SC

Orlando fought back twice to force New England to settle for another home draw. Lee Nguyen’s backheel assist provided the space for Diego Fagundez to score the opening goal. A collision between Revs defenders allowed Kevin Molino to equalize for Orlando. Juan Agudelo came off the bench in the second half and promptly scored, but the lead wouldn’t hold up. Carlos Rivas beat London Woodberry to a cross in the 90th minute and directed it into the net. Even in stoppage time, both teams had chances, but the score remained 2-2.

New England and Orlando played to the exact same scoreline just two weeks prior in Orlando. The Lions have yet to beat New England in MLS play.

Montreal Impact 2-2 Colorado Rapids

Colorado was able to grab a draw from Montreal despite falling behind twice. Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a free kick, just as he did last year in Colorado. Just after halftime, Shkelzen Gashi tied the game for the Rapids. The Impact responded quickly, retaking the lead through Maxim Tissot just three minutes later. They wouldn’t be able to hang on, however. Bobby Burling scored on a set piece in the 72nd minute, earning a point for Colorado.

The Rapids are unbeaten in their last four games, and should be very pleased with their efforts on the road in Montreal.

Seattle Sounders 1-0 Columbus Crew SC

Seattle found a late winner to grab all three points against Columbus. The Crew held their own for the majority of the match, thanks in part to seven saves from Steve Clark. But Clark’s final save gave up a rebound to Jordan Morris, who smashed it in and gave the Sounders the win.

The rookie didn’t score in his first five MLS games, but now has a goal in three straight. Morris’ efforts have helped his team claw out from a slow start with three wins from their last five games. Still, the Sounders find themselves eighth in the tremendously tough Western Conference.

Philadelphia Union 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes

10-man San Jose managed to pull out a draw in Philadelphia. Chris Pontius headed in a free kick to give the Union in the 30th minute. Replays showed that a pick allowed Pontius to get into the space unmarked. Things got worse for the Earthquakes when Anibal Godoy received his second yellow card in the 59th minute. Despite being down a man, the Quakes outshot their hosts. Simon Dawkins weaved his way through a couple defenders to create space for an equalizer in the 83rd minute.

Chicago Fire 1-1 DC United

Patrick Nyarko scored against his former team in earning a point for DC. It was a wet and dreary day in Chicago, leaving the crowd more sparse than usual. Rookie defender Jonathan Campbell gave the fans something to cheer about with a goal just before halftime. But the Fire’s free kick goal was mirrored by United in the 64th minute. Nyarko, who spent eight seasons with the Fire, did not celebrate his goal.

 


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