MLS Weekend Wrap: Goals, Recaps and Stats
There were 14 goals in nine total games in Major League Soccer in Week 7 of MLS action. The biggest margin of victory came in the form of a 2-0 New York Red Bull victory over DC United. Exactly one third of the 18 teams that competed failed to find the back of the net.
Houston was the only other team along with New York to score more than one goal.
FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers each collected three home points. Two away teams grabbed their first road victories of the season in New York and Colorado. Meanwhile, Robert Earnshaw for Toronto FC tied Mike Magee with five goals for the league's scoring lead.
Rookie goalkeeper Clint Irwin collected his second straight clean sheet for the Colorado Rapids. He faced another penalty in the effort as well. Landon Donovan played his first full match of the season Major League Soccer season and was persistent throughout.
The Timbers continued their winning ways, grabbing their second straight three points against the 2013 debut of Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart for the San Jose Earthquakes.
All that and more on this week's version of the Major League Soccer Saturday wrap.
All data is gather from MLS Soccer.
Philadelphia Union 1-1 Toronto FC
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Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik made nine critical saves to preserve a road draw for his team.
Earnshaw got Toronto's only goal in a physical match with a left-footed finish from outside the box
The Philadelphia Union equalized thanks to a scrum after a Sheanon Williams long throw-in. McInerey got his fourth of the year with a calm finish in front of net. The Union also debuted their shiny new Designated Player, Kleberson.
Toronto took 18 total shots, 10 of which were on target. Of those , eight were from outside the box and two were blocked.
Both teams are in action next week. The Philadelphia Union travel to DC United, while Toronto FC host the Houston Dynamo.
Seattle Sounders 0-0 New England Revolution
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The Seattle Sounders are the only MLS club without a win this season thanks to a 0-0 draw with a New England Revolution side that is difficult to break down. New England has now gone 388 minutes without a goal.
The Sounders had the better of chances and passing throughout the match, but they simply could not finish chances.
For New England, it was another match in which they did not challenge the opposing goalkeeper. Still, they will take the road point against a confused Seattle team searching for an identity.
These teams were similar in terms of defensive activity. Each recorded exactly 22 clearances in their respective defensive thirds.
Seattle intercepted 10 passes in the aforementioned location on the pitch, while New England intercepted 13. The Sounders blocked four shots. The Revolution did not block any, although they had little opportunity to do so considering New England manged only five total shots. Each Revolution shot missed the target.
The Sounders visit the Colorado Rapids, and the Revolution travel to New Jersey to face the New York Red Bulls.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Real Salt Lake
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Camilo rescued a point for the Vancouver Whitecaps with a late penalty finish after Garcia opened the scoring with a crack from outside the box.
Real Salt Lake held the ball throughout the majority of the match, at times utilizing its short possession tactics. The Whitecaps generated far more chances, though. In fact, they took 12 more shots than Real Salt Lake. Of their 16 shots, the Whitecaps placed just under half on frame (seven).
Camilo was a threat for much of the match, but Real Salt Lake was forced to play without midfield general Kyle Beckerman for just about 60 minutes this match. The American left the field with an injury in the first half.
Young Pyo-Lee had the most touches of any player on the Whitecaps. He was all over the right side of the pitch and served eight total crosses in the box. Three of them found a fellow Whitecap, and one led to a shot.
Vancouver heads to Texas to face FC Dallas, while Real Salt Lake host Chivas USA next week in MLS action.
DC United 0-2 New York Red Bulls
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Thanks to a brilliant effort from Thierry Henry, the New York Red Bulls picked up their first road win of the season against Atlantic Cup rivals, D.C. United, 2-0.
Once again, the Red Bulls grabbed an early first-half lead on the road. This time, Henry's strike from beyond the box held up as the game-winner. Jamison Olave added a second goal after he put in a close-range effort orchestrated by an Henry-inspired short corner kick play.
New York's defense looked far improved, as Roy Miller returned to the starting lineup to replace Heath Pearce.
DC United got little help from halftime sub Dwayne De Rosario. It was an overall poor offensive effort from Ben Olsen's side.
Henry had his best game of this year by far. The Frenchman was in creative-genius mode all night. Particularly impressive was his quick play in terms of short distribution. His eight layoffs and five successful non-headed flick-ons set the tempo for New York's quick ball movement.
The Red Bulls host Sporting Kansas City in a midweek battle at Red Bull Arena. D.C. United is home against the Philadelphia Union.
FC Dallas 1-0 Los Angeles Galaxy
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FC Dallas: George John 87'.
FC Dallas scored a late goal to secure all three points in a 1-0 victory against the defending MLS Cup Champions Los Angeles Galaxy. George John finished a close-range effort following a corner kick late in the match for the victory.
This was a wild affair in which two penalty kicks were attempted, and both were saved.
First, Kenny Cooper was denied by Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. Just minutes later, Landon Donovan had his attempt saved by Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernández.
Galaxy back Leonardo received a red card in 60th minute for a challenge on Dallas striker Blas Perez.
FC Dallas remain atop the Western Conference table.
Landon Donovan's first full MLS match this season was an eventful one. Donovan had the most touches of any Galaxy player. His nine recoveries and two interceptions are particularly impressive.
Both teams are at home next weekend. FC Dallas welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps, while the Los Angeles Galaxy face Sporting Kansas City.
Chivas USA 0-1 Colorado Rapids
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Colorado: Deshorn Brown 7'.
Deshorn Brown's early penalty conversion after being taken down in the box by Chivas USA defender Eric Avila, ensured Colorado a 1-0 win, their second straight of the season.
Chivas USA had a chance to equalize after drawing their own penalty, but Jose Correa’s shot hit the post. Another penalty faced for rookie goalkeeper Clint Irwin. It was Irwin's second straight consecutive clean sheet.
Despite creating chances, Chivas USA's recently potent offense was nowhere to be found on the afternoon.
Chivas USA generated much more wide play than the Rapids. The Goats pumped in a total of 27 crosses, six of which were completed.
The Rapids only attempted eight total crosses, six from the right side of the field.
Colorado hosts the Seattle Sounders, while Chivas USA head to Utah for a test with Real Salt Lake.
Montreal Impact 1-1 Columbus Crew
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The Columbus Crew's Dominic Oduro scored just four minutes after Marco Di Vaio had taken the lead for the Montreal Impact to secure a 1-1 road draw for the crew.
What was mostly a benign match saw a two pretty goals within scant minutes of each other.
Da Vaio continued his hot start to the season with a strike from distance with just twenty-two minutes to play. Oduro's control and left-footed finish into the top corner may have topped the Italian's effort. Both goals were gems.
Impact speedster Syanna Nassi gave the Crew trouble. A late shot of his pinged the crossbar leaving the score level on the day.
Only six fouls committed by the home Montreal side. Columbus more than doubled that total, conceding 15 total.
Speaking of fouls, the Impact were very disciplined and careful about the rare occasions on which they did give up a free kick.
Of the six fouls they lost all of them were inside the midfield third of the pitch. Perhaps their strategy was to limit the set-piece opportunities for Federico Higuain?
If so, they worked this to perfection.
The Montreal Impact are off this weekend in MLS play. Their next match is a midweek contest against Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship semi-final. The Columbus Crew are on the road against the Chicago Fire.
Houston Dynamo 2-1 Chicago Fire
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It was a another home win, 2-1, for the Houston Dynamo thanks to a late cross by left-footed magician Brad Davis that went untouched through the box and into the back of the next.
It was a productive day at the office for Davis who setup the first goal for Houston with a divine cross right onto striker Will Bruin's head.
Chicago quickly answered with a finish from Chris Rolfe who found the back of the next from within the box mere minutes later.
It looked as if the Fire would gain a road point in one of the toughest places to play in MLS but confusion following the Davis cross sealed their fate as the losing team.
Recovering from an offensively-challeneged start to their campaign Chicago generated more chances than in previous games, matching the Dynamo with 12 shots. Their accuracy needs improvement, though, as they only tested the Dynamo keeper with two on target.
The wide-play was in affect for both teams, as the Fire and Dynamo pumped in 20 and 18 crosses respectively.
Apart from scoring and assisting, Dynamo captain Davis was precise in his crossing game.
Just under half of his crosses found a teammate and two led directly two shots. Four of his nine crosses were served from open play. The rest were off of corner kicks.
The Houston Dynamo are on the road against Toronto FC next weekend in MLS action. The Chicago Fire host the Columbus Crew.
Portland Timbers 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
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Portland: Will Johnson 78'.
Will Johnson's swerving effort directly off of a free kick from outside the box helped the Portland Timbers win a second straight match, 1-0, against difficult San Jose Earthquake side.
It was the first time this season that Earthquake manager Frank Yallop was able to trot out his preferred strike-pairing of Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon.
They could not stay on the field for the entire match, though, as Gordon received a second yellow card in the 69th minute of the match thereby forcing San Jose to play with 10 men. Lenhart was subbed out with about 30 minutes left on the clock.
This was a contest with few shots on target and many individual battles throughout the pitch.
There were 85 total ball recoveries in the midfield third of the pitch. The home team won the lion's share, re-gaining possession of the ball in the aforementioned third 46 times compared to 39 recoveries for San Jose.
A re-match between the two clubs is scheduled for next weekend. The competition shifts to California as the San Jose Earthquakes will be the home side in this match.