MLS Weekend Wrap
Major League Soccer was turned on its head early on Saturday night, as two of the season's most desperate clubs pulled off big victories.
After D.C. United and the Chicago Fire surprised plenty of fans, and possibly even themselves, with wins, one of the most consistent franchises over the past few years took center stage once again.
With their win at home, Real Salt Lake overtook FC Dallas as the Western Conference leaders.
On Sunday. Portland and Philadelphia turned in dominant performances that ended in the exact same result.
Read on for comprehensive recaps for all eight matches played in MLS so far this weekend.
D.C. United 1, San Jose Earthquakes 0
Goal: Chris Pontius (DC) PK 11'
Yes, you are reading the title of this slide correctly. D.C. United actually won their match against San Jose at RFK Stadium.
The match winner came in the 11th minute as Chris Pontius coolly slotted home a penalty kick past Earthquakes keeper Jon Busch. The cause of the penalty came just before that, as Justin Morrow tripped up Chris Korb in the penalty area.
The win by D.C. marked the first time it earned a full three points in a match since March 9 against Real Salt Lake.
As for the unfortunate losers on Saturday, the Earthquakes proved their win in Colorado last week was just a fluke and that there is something terribly wrong with this year's side.
Chicago Fire 2, Columbus Crew 1
Goals: Federico Higuain (CLB) PK 7'; Dilly Duka (CHI) 52'; Mike Magee (CHI) 54'
The Chicago Fire needed just a two-minute span in the second half to put away their Eastern Conference rival Columbus on the road.
Dilly Duka opened Chicago's account in the 52nd minute with a shot that rattled the top of the netting on the goal defended by Andy Gruenebaum. Two minutes later, the savior of Chicago's season, Mike Magee, silenced the crowd at Crew Stadium with his 10th goal of the season.
Magee's goal was his fourth in four matches for his new club, and it also handed him a share of the league scoring lead alongside Marco Di Vaio and Jack McInerney.
FC Dallas 2, Sporting Kansas City 2
Goals: Kei Kamara (SKC) PK 43'; Je-Vaughn Watson (FCD) OG 57'; Andrew Jacobson (FCD) 88'; Walker Zimmerman (FCD) 90'
For 87 minutes, all signs were pointing toward a Sporting Kansas City victory at FC Dallas Stadium, but unfortunately for the visitors, a soccer match is played for 90 minutes.
In the 88th minute, Andrew Jacobson sparked an unlikely comeback for the hosts with a header that beat Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Two minutes later, another pulverizing header by Walker Zimmerman equalized the match for an FC Dallas club that lost its lead in the Western Conference standings with the result.
Houston Dynamo 0, Toronto FC 0
Houston ended its short but rather unusual two-match losing streak at BBVA Compass Stadium with a disheartening draw against Toronto FC.
Facing their second Canadian opponent in four days, the Dynamo failed to earn a full three points in front of the Houston faithful.
The two clubs combined for seven shots on goal during the match that lacked an attacking impetus that the other four matches on Saturday experienced.
Real Salt Lake 2, Seattle Sounders 0
Goals: Kyle Beckerman (RSL) 41'; Robbie Findley (RSL) 46'
Real Salt Lake catapulted themselves to the top of the Western Conference standings for the first time this season as they took down hated rival Seattle at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Kyle Beckerman's 41st-minute golazo opened the scoring and sent the crowd in Sandy, Utah into an uproar.
Another MLS veteran on the rebuilt RSL squad, Robbie Findley, scored in the 46th minute after his original shot on goal was saved by Sounders keeper Michael Gspurning.
The victory also made Jason Kreis' team the first club to reach 30 points in MLS this season.
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Philadelphia Union 3, New York Red Bulls 0
Goals: Conor Casey (PHI) 7', 64'; Antoine Hoppenot (PHI) 88'
Philadelphia silenced their critics with a thoroughly dominant performance at home against a depleted 10-man New York squad.
Conor Casey netted a double before he was substituted for Antoine Hoppenot, who sealed the deal in the 88th minute with the third goal of the match for the home side.
The engine powering the Union attack all day was Sebastian Le Toux, who carved the Red Bulls fullbacks to shreds as he sent in cross after cross.
The Frenchman was finally rewarded for his performance when Hoppenot connected to his cross in the 88th minute and he earned an assist.
Portland Timbers 3, Colorado Rapids 0
Goals: Frederic Piquionne (POR) 12'; Will Johnson (POR) 45'; Ryan Johnson (POR) 84'
The Timbers became the second club in MLS to cross over the 30-point barrier this weekend with their win over Colorado and in the process they made a bit of history.
With Frederic Piquionne's 12th-minute opener, the former Lyon and West Ham United player scored his first goal for the Timbers, his goal also counted as the 100th goal in Timbers' franchise history.
Will Johnson extended Portland's lead in the 45th minute before Ryan Johnson added plenty of insurance through his 84th-minute strike.
The win extended Portland's unbeaten streak to 15 matches and it cemented their position as the best club in the league at the moment, although some Real Salt Lake supporters would love to debate that statement.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Chivas USA 0
Goal: Gyasi Zardes (LA) 44'
The latest installment of the SuperClasico saw a familiar result as the Galaxy defeated Chivas USA at the StubHub Center.
Gyasi Zardes' header right before halftime was the difference maker in the match of two clubs headed in entirely different directions.
In the last 17 SuperClasico matches, the Galaxy have won 11 and drawn five with their rival that needs to step up their game in the rivalry and in overall league play to be taken seriously.
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