MLS Weekend Wrap
Fans of Major League Soccer fans were left seeing double on Saturday night as three players found the back of the net twice.
Federico Higuain, Conor Casey and Kei Kamara all scored twice in their respective club's victories.
Not to be outdone, Landon Donovan found the back of the net three times on Sunday for the Galaxy against FC Dallas, who saw Blas Perez score the fourth double of the weekend.
Also going on in the league this weekend, was a debut of a certain, newly minted designated player.
Read on to see how Clint Dempsey and the Sounders fared in their match, as well as recaps from the other eight matches played across North America this weekend.
Seattle Sounders 2, Toronto FC 1
Goals: Mauro Rosales (SEA) 16'; Doneil Henry (TFC) OG 40'; Jonathan Osorio (TFC) 46'
On the night where United States international Clint Dempsey made his debut in the 34th minute for the Seattle Sounders, it was a former U.S. national team keeper who preserved a full three points for the club.
Sounders keeper Marcus Hahnemann, who was filling in for regular starter Michael Gspurning, made a match-saving stop on Jeremy Brockie in the final minute to make sure that Sigi Schmid's club would leave BMO Field with a victory.
In the first half of the match, Seattle jumped out early with a goal from Mauro Rosales in the 16th minute.
Dempsey entered the match earlier than expected when forward Obafemi Martins pulled up lame and failed to continue due to an injury.
Rosales' claim for a second goal came in the 40th minute, but an own goal was awarded to Doneil Henry instead of the Sounders midfielder.
The Reds played a solid second half in front of their home crowd, but they could only muster a 46th-minute goal by Jonathan Osorio.
Columbus Crew 2. New York Red Bulls 0
Goals: Federico Higuain (CLB) 62', 76'
Federico Higuain single-handedly quashed the New York Red Bulls' hopes of becoming the first MLS club to reach 40 points.
Higuain netted his first goal in the 62nd minute on a penalty, and then he finished off the Red Bulls with his second goal in the 76th minute.
The Argentinian's second goal of the match was a piece of beauty as he chipped a shot over the head of two defenders and New York keeper Luis Robles and into the back of the net.
The win by Columbus halted one of the worst streaks in the league this season as they had previously won just one match in their last seven appearances on the pitch.
As for the Red Bulls, their four-match unbeaten run was ended at Crew Stadium.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2. San Jose Earthquakes 0
Goals: Camilo Sanvezzo (VAN) 60'; Kenny Miller (VAN) 74'
The two primary goalscorers for the Vancouver Whitecaps made sure that their club would not lose any ground in the Western Conference playoff race on Saturday.
Camilo Sanvezzo and Kenny Miller notched a goal apiece in the second half to propel the hosts past the San Jose Earthquakes.
With his goal and Mike Magee's exclusion from the Chicago lineup against Montreal on Saturday night, Sanvezzo saw himself go back atop the MLS Golden Boot Standings alongside Magee, both of whom have 14 goals this season.
As for the playoff implications of the result, Vancouver moved themselves up to second place in the Western Conference with 36 points.
The loss for San Jose put them four points off of the fifth and final playoff spot in the West due to Seattle's win in Toronto.
Philadelphia Union 2, D.C. United 0
Goals: Conor Casey (PHI) 35', 75'
Powered by a duo of goals from Conor Casey, the Philadelphia Union stormed past league bottom-feeders D.C. United at PPL Park.
Casey was the beneficiary of two assists by league leader Sebastien Le Toux, who now has 12 assists this season.
Casey also propelled himself toward the top of the Golden Boot race as his double boosted him up to a season total of nine goals. which puts him in a tie for fifth place in the scoring race.
John Hackworth's Union side also got help from elsewhere as two of their biggest rivals in the Eastern Conference playoff race, New York and Montreal, both lost.
The losers on the night did make some history of their own as Michael Seaton became the first player who was born after the league's inception to play in an MLS game.
Sporting Kansas City 3, New England Revolution 0
Goals: Kei Kamara (SKC) 27', 50'; Benny Feilhaber (SKC) 92'
The combination of Soony Saad and Kei Kamara linked up twice to make Sporting Kansas City the leaders of the Eastern Conference once again.
Saad assisted on both of Kamara's goals, which came in the 27th and 50th minutes.
On first goal of the match, Kamara towered over New England's Kevin Alston on his way to his trademark heart-shaped hands celebration.
To make matters worse for the Revolution, they ended the match with nine men as both Dimitry Imbongo and Andy Dorman were sent off in the second half.
With the two-man advantage, Sporting struck for a third time in the 92nd minute as Benny Feilhaber curled a free kick past Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Chicago Fire 2, Montreal Impact 1
Goals: Joel Lindpere (CHI) 6'; Dilly Duka (CHI) 23'; Felipe (MTL) 58'
The summer surge of the Chicago Fire continued at Toyota Park as they downed the Montreal Impact.
Without leading goalscorer Mike Magee in the lineup, Joel Lindpere and Dilly Duka picked up the slack with a goal apiece in the victory.
Frank Klopas' club are now just two points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff position, which is currently held by Houston.
The visitors attempted a second-half comeback after Felipe powered home a 58th-minute strike.
Marco Schallibaum's club came close in the final minutes of the match, but they fell just short after Matteo Ferrari's shot on goal was saved off of the line by Chicago's Chris Rolfe.
Real Salt Lake 1, Houston Dynamo 0
Goals: Alvaro Saborio (RSL) PK 37'
Alvaro Saborio's 37th-minute penalty was the difference-maker in the MLS nightcap on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Saborio's spot kick vaulted Real Salt Lake over the 40-point mark and into first place in the Supporters' Shield competition.
With their 12th win of the season, Jason Kreis' side extended its lead atop the Western Conference standings to five points over second-place Vancouver.
As for the losing Dynamo and their playoff chances, they still sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but their lead over Chicago for the final playoff spot is now just two points.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, FC Dallas 3
Goals: Matt Hedges (FCD) 15'; Landon Donovan (LA) 45', 73, 82'; Blas Perez (FCD) 48', 86'
The latest Match of the Year candidate came to us from FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday.
FC Dallas took an early lead in the 15th minute after Matt Hedges took advantage of a defensive mishap by the Galaxy.
Right before the halftime whistle blew, Landon Donovan struck with the first of his three goals on the night.
Donovan would score twice more, but so would Blas Perez, who countered with two second-half goals of his own.
Both of the goals scored by Perez raised plenty of questions as the assistant referee should have whistled for offsides on both of the Panamanian's goals.
However, the draw did not help either club's playoff chances as both sides needed a win to boost themselves out of the Western Conference playoff logjam.
Chivas USA 1, Colorado Rapids 1
Goals: Carlos Alvarez (CHV) 5'; Martin Rivero (COL) 80'
The final match of the weekend in MLS turned into a war of attrition at the StubHub Center.
By the time the match between Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids ended, three players had been sent off and a late equalizer was the rare highlight of the match.
Carlos Alvarez opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the match for the hosts, when believe or not there were all 22 men still on the pitch.
Between the time Alvarez scored and the 80th minute when Martin Rivero equalized, Gabriel Farfan, Tony Cascio and Tristan Bowen had all been sent off.
In the final 10 minutes of the match, Colorado searched for the match-winner, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts, and they left the match wanting much more against the worst club in the West.
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