WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: Blas Perez #9 of the FC Dallas and Perry Kitchen #23 of the D.C. United go up for a header at RFK Stadium on March 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Week 4 is now in the books. After what was a dull week 3, week 4 had a little bit more excitement to offer. This week seemed to have two themes - penalty kicks (there were 4 this weekend) and second have scoring bonanzas (at least 3 games having 3 or more goals scored in the second half). Let's run down the action!
FC Dallas 1 @ DC United 4
This Nick DeLeon kid DC has looks good. The rookie got a goal and an assist for DCU as they grab their first win of the season. Maicon Santos scored 2 goals and had an assist against his former club Dallas. The entire game belonged to DC, especially in the second half where they put 3 into the net.
The only Dallas goal came off a DC mistake and a blown offside call. Talk about getting a little help. I wouldn't start panicking in Dallas just yet, but the last few matches have seen some dreadful second half performances against Portland, Sporting KC, and now DC.
Columbus 1 @ Toronto 0
Toronto came close to getting their first point(s) of the MLS season. Chances were there for Toronto, but they couldn't get anything into the back of the net. There are still issues on defense, and Columbus exposed this on counter attacks. The game's only started with a midfield turnover by team captain Julian de Guzman. Columbus midfielder, Bernardo Anor put it away in the 66th minute.
Columbus midfielder Milovan Mirosevic, who has been touted as the second coming of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, missed a penalty kick this weekend. Mirosevic still seems to be finding his rhythm with Coloumbus.
Montreal 2 @ New York 5
This could have gone really bad for New York. Montreal came ready to play. Sanna Nyassi got the first goal of the match off of a bad clearance by the Red Bulls. 10 minutes later, and Thierry Henry scored off a header assisted by Rafa Marquez. Another 10 minutes later, Justin Mapp scored one for Montreal thanks to the Red Bulls defense giving him space to shoot. Then just before halftime, Montreal defender Matteo Ferrari took down Dax McCarty in the penalty box. Kenny Cooper took care of the penalty kick to put the game on equal footing.
Once the second half started a different Red Bulls team came out to play. Dax McCarty intercepted a pass in Montreal's defensive third, passed it to Henry at the top of the box where Henry took a slightly awkward shot to beat Donovan Rickets. Mehdi Ballouchy got his first goal of the season in the 7nd minute thanks to a slick back heel from move from Henry. Then the Red Bulls got a nice garbage time goal when Kenny Cooper fired a shot from distance and a streaking Henry cleaned up a generous rebound thanks to Donovan Rickets.
The Red Bulls have out scored their opponents at home 9 to 3. It looks impressive. but a lot of New York's goals have come off opponent's mistakes.
Vancouver 0 @ Philadelphia 0
What really sums up this game is a free kick that Philly had in added time at the end of the game. The kick wasn't in an incredible dangerous spot, but it was still setting them up for a possible goal scoring opportunity and the chance to get a win in the final moments of the game. So teh team would naturally be sprinting down field for this one last challenge, right? Wrong. The entire team walked it.
Vancouver's attack is still not working. I imagine they'll get better as the season goes on, but at the moment they're not getting a whole lot of chances. Vancouver is a pretty tough cookie defensively, and Joe Cannon has made some stellar saves this season. After four games, this team has yet to concede a goal.
Real Salt Lake 3 @ Portland 2
Portland was looking to bounce back from a disheartening loss to the New England last week. Real Salt Lake was looking to bounce back from an even more disheartening loss to Chivas.
For Portland, Nagbe controlled portions of this game for the Timbers and scored 2 impressive goals, however, he seemed to fade towards the end of the match. Jorge Perlaza needs to start finishing chances. He's fast and very dangerous. If he could finish his chances, he would be one of the best strikers in the league.
RSL, as always, dominated possession. This time they out possessed Portland 61 to 29. Javier Morales, Álvaro Saborío and Nat Borchers finally started their first match of the season. I think RSL is over their loss to Chivas.
The scoring started with a Portland's Rodney Wallace getting called for a handball inside the penalty box. Saborío knocked the penalty kick in to give RSL the lead in the 39th minute. Then Nagbe had a crazy goal from distance in the 48th and then managed to out do himself in the 65th minute and give Portland a 2-1 lead.
For the last ten minutes, Portland started to bunker down and play defensively. RSL newcomer Chris Steele scored an equalizer in the 89th minute. For minutes later in added time, Kyle Beckerman buried the game winner from distance off a cross from Fabian Espindola.
The cross to Beckerman never should have happened. Fabian Espindola had two Portland defenders on him. And neither challenged him. It seemed like he had an eternity to stop, look around, see Beckerman, think about it passing the ball to Beckerman, try to remember if he left the porch light on at home, think about passing the ball to Beckerman again, then actually cross it Beckerman.
San Jose 1 @ Seattle 0
I love San Jose's Marvin Chaves. He's my new favorite non-Chicago Fire player. His speed causes so many problems for opponents. Defenders can't keep pace with him when he makes runs down the wings. Defensively, opponents aren't able to react quick enough when he closes down on them. He's a lot of fun to watch.
These two teams are very evenly matched. If it wasn't for a blatant tripping penalty inside the box from Seattle defender Marc Burch, there wouldn't have been a goal in this one. Wondolowski sent the penalty kick home for his 4th goal of teh season. Steven Lenhart played a very physical game and was a pain in Seattle's backside all afternoon. Eventually, Lenhart got a yellow card 64th minute and, a few minutes later, had to be subbed off.
New England 3 @ LA Galaxy 1
New England was suppose to be terrible this season right? They did start the season off with two losses, but those two loses were on the road again Sporting KC and San Jose, which are very tough places to get points at. Now, after their home opener win against Portland, and this drubbing of the Galaxy, should we be concerned?
I don't buy the excuse that the Galaxy were flat after 2 weeks off (the MLS FO obviously expected that they would be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League). The Galaxy were lucky this game didn't end 5-1. Even after going down 2-0 after Chris Tierney's 13th minute goal, the Galaxy didn't seem worried. New England's attack was clicking all game against the defending champs. Things don't necessarily get easier for New England in the next couple of weeks, so I think we'll have a good idea whether or not this game was a fluke by the end of this month.
Chicago 0 @ Colorado 2
Well...there's not much to say here. For more on this one, check out Mr. Coston's recap from yesterday. "Ugh." pretty much says it all.
Sporting KC 1 @ Chivas 0
Chivas came on strong for the first twenty minutes or so, but Sporting gets stronger as the match wears on. Once KC got rolling, the match became more lopsided. Chivas had a total of 6 shots and none were on goal. C.J Sapong's goal in the 47th minute was all Sporting needed to wrap this one up.
Week 5 will begin on Wednesday night this week with Real Salt Lake hosting Montreal.