This post was put together by our MLS and San Jose Earthquake writer, Alyssa Olszewski.
It was a comparatively low-scoring weekend in MLS (all except one game–read on to see which!), but one that had some major consequences in the standings.
It all started on Friday, when the Houston Dynamo defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0 to overtake them at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Despite NY pulling out all their big guns, including Tim Cahill in his team debut, it was Houston’s Jermaine Taylor and Calen Carr who put their team up 2-0 in the first half. Dynamo keeper Tally Hall only had to make 2 saves to preserve the clean sheet.
Sporting Kansas City found themselves tied with Houston at the top of the Eastern Conference standings after putting down the New England Revolution 0-1 on Saturday, thanks to a goal from Teal Bunbury. This was their first win in 4 matches. New England, in their first game without former captain Shalrie Joseph, lost their fourth in five matches.
DC United hung on to the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference after their 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew. Chris Pontius put his team up in the 49th minute. He nearly scored another in the 58th minute, but in the end it didn’t matter as United managed to make his goal stand up.
The Montreal Impact moved to within 2 points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference through their 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, their fourth straight victory at home. Montreal went up in the 44th minute due to a goal from Andrew Wenger. Both teams went down to 10 men in the 69th minute after Montreal’s Nelson Rivas headbutted Antoine Hoppenot after a hard challenge. Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney came in to defend his teammate, and both he and Rivas were ejected. Felipe Martins sealed the deal for Montreal when he scored in the 78th minute.
The Chicago Fire came back from a couple defensive miscues to defeat Toronto FC 2-1. Toronto went up in the 16th minute after Ryan Johnson intercepted a bad back pass from Marco Pappa and converted past Sean Johnson. However, Pappa made up for his mistake in the 64th minute when he scored to tie the game up at 1-1. Defender Austin Berry secured the win in the 84th minute after Toronto went down to 10 men in the 79th.
The Colorado Rapids finally broke their 6 game losing streak in a 1-0 win over Rocky Mountain rivals Real Salt Lake, denying them the opportunity to overtake San Jose at the top of the Western Conference standings. This was Colorado’s first win over RSL in 9 matches since May 2009, and it was brought about by Joseph Nane’s first career goal.
Sunday continued to feature Western Conference match-ups, with the two bottom teams Portland Timbers and FC Dallas playing to a 1-1 draw. Brek Shea was back on the field for Dallas after not playing since July 18, and he provided the assist to Scott Sealy’s goal in the 51st minute. Within a minute, Dallas went down to 10 men after Zach Lloyd received his 2nd yellow card of the day. They nearly hung on for a much needed win, but Portland’s Jack Jewsbury evened the score in the 79th minute and in the process snapped his team’s five-game losing streak.
In the final match of the weekend, the Seattle Sounders served up a 4-0 thrashing to the recently resurgent LA Galaxy. They got on the scoreboard early, with Eddie Johnson scoring in the 6th minute, and kept right on scoring until the 88th minute, when Andy Rose put an exclamation point on the game with his first career goal. Fredy Montero and Alex Caskey, also with his first career goal, scored in the 52nd and 61st minutes. The Sounders extended their unbeated streak to 6 games while snapping LA’s 5 game unbeaten streak.
Image courtesy of mlssoccer.com