Week 5 in Major League Soccer didn’t disappoint as there were plenty of thrills from eight different games on Saturday.
Landon Donovan returned to action for the L.A. Galaxy, the Montreal Impact finally lost a game and the U.S. U-20 contingent continued to impress.
Check it all out in this week’s MLS roundup.
A mere week after returning to training from his nearly four-month hiatus from the game, Landon Donovan came onto the field in the 61st minute of the L.A. Galaxy’s 2-2 away draw to Toronto FC.
After the game, Donovan said, “I felt like I felt when I was a little kid today. That's the feeling I want back. I was excited to be out there. I was engaged, I was aware and sort of in the moment, and enjoyed it. For the last while before that [last year], it hadn't been that way, so I'm very fortunate I was given this opportunity to clear my head, and now I'm excited to be back and help this team.”
His return is good news for Galaxy fans, United States men’s national team fans and MLS fans.
In Toronto, Mike Magee opened the scoring in the LA/Toronto matchup with his tally in the 16th minute of the contest.
The goal puts Magee at the top of the MLS scoring charts with five goals in four games.
Jose Villarreal is really starting to make a name for himself. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder for the Galaxy made 11 substitute appearances last year and has already made two starts this season.
Villarreal, who was a big part of the U.S. U-20’s recent World Cup qualification, scored this terrific equalizer on a scissor kick in the 92nd minute of Saturday’s 2-2 draw between LA and Toronto FC.
The Montreal Impact, the last of the MLS unbeatens, found their first defeat on Saturday at the hands of Sporting KC.
The Impact’s impressive start was ended in the 2-0 away loss.
Highlighting the scoring for Sporting Kansas City were two solid goals from Claudio Bieler and Graham Zusi.
Sporting’s first goal came on a great strike from Bieler, who was put in on goal by Benny Feilhaber before cutting back an Impact defender and slotting home.
Sporting’s second goal was just as good and came on an effort from Zusi. Put in behind the Montreal defense, again on a pass by Benny Feilhaber, Zusi outmuscled Impact defender Karl Ouimette and then chipped a shot past goalkeeper Troy Perkins to collect his goal.
In the 78th minute of the Toronto FC/LA Galaxy contest, Luis Silva and Jonathan Osorio, both substitutes in the game, put together a great combination to give Toronto the lead late in the contest.
First, Osorio flicked a beautiful pass to Silva on the wing, and Silva beat 2012 MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez with some fancy footwork to get off the cross. Orosio continued his run and got on the end of the service, flicking it past Galaxy keeper Carlo Cudicini.
Thierry Henry finally got himself among the goal scorers, and the New York Red Bulls finally got themselves a win on Saturday, due to Henry’s fantastic game-winning goal.
On the play Peguy Luyindula feathered a perfectly textured pass to Henry, who took one touch with his thigh before blasting it past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath on the volley.
Despite heavy criticism heading into the season due to their offseason transfers, Chivas USA has defied all expectations and finds itself in second place in the highly competitive Western Conference after five games with a 3-1-1 record.
The game-winner on Saturday, as Chivas beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1, came on a beautifully placed volley by Eric Avila in the 55th minute.
Real Salt Lake found its first win since Week 1, beating the Seattle Sounders 2-1. Highlighting the game was the outstanding game-winning goal by U.S. U-20 star Luis Gil, who headed home a nice effort on a Real corner kick.
The Sounders, who were one of MLS’ best team in 2012, now find themselves at the bottom of the table in the Western Conference with a 0-3-1 record.
In a matchup of winless teams, the Portland Timbers and Colorado Rapids played to an almost predictable 2-2 draw on Saturday.
The highlight of the game was Colorado Rapids rookie Dillon Powers opening his account on a terrific strike into the upper 90 on a shot 25 yards from goal.
The Houston Dynamo won their third game in four tries on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Dynamo had two solid goals, the first coming from Will Bruin off some great work by Boniek Garcia on the flank.
The second Dynamo goal was even more impressive with Giles Barnes heading home a courageous effort after Brad Davis sent an enticing ball right in front of the Earthquakes' goal.
The Earthquakes are now 2-2-1.
Follow me on Twitter @JohnDHalloran
Follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/AmericanTouchline