There were 12 matches over this week. Three mid-week and nine over the holiday weekend. That's a lot of soccer, but I still want to watch more. Why couldn't the MLS schedule a game on Memorial Day? There are 3 Canadian teams that aren't participating in the US Open Cup. Nothing would scream "memorializing those who fought for American liberty" more than teams from Vancouver and French speaking Montreal in a game that is overwhelmingly popular everywhere except America. Next year, MLS, make it happen.
This week had a number of 3-2 goal extravaganzas, a few of which had the added bonus of last minute heroics. Saer Sene scored (again), Darren Mattocks netted his first career goal and Kris Boyd also ended his scoreless drought. All this and more after the jump!
Dallas 1 @ Chicago 2
Chicago has to quit depending on their opponent's mistakes to win matches.
Columbus 2 @Seattle 0
Bwaaaa-hahahahahahahaha! As nice as it would have been to have Columbus lose, this was still very pleasing. I guess every dog does have his day. The Columbus defense was able to bend and not break. Seattle had plenty of shots on goal, but very few of those shots were high quality chances. The few good chances Seattle did muster, Andy Gruenebaum was there to stone wall them.
San Jose 3 @2
San Jose looked incredibly flat for the first 50 to 60 minutes against L.A. The Quakes conceded an early goal, and really had nothing going by the end of the first half. L.A. In the second half, Hector Jimenez made a foolish challenge and saw straight red for it. Even after L.A. was down a man, the Quakes still struggled to get their act together. A disadvantaged L.A. side went up by two in the 73rd minute when Mike McGee made a commanding drive to the net and scored thanks to poor defending by San Jose.
L.A. eventually collapsed, though. Even though they were up by two, a defensive lapse on a set piece and a handball in the box on Mr. Fruit Smoothie allowed San Jose to level the match. Then L.A. topped all of that with one of the most uninspired defensive efforts of the season. San Jose sent a long ball into the box, and neither of the two Galaxy defenders near Alan Gordon really bothered to actually mark him. The ball took a pleasant hop, and Gordon was able to head home the most memorable (and probably easiest) goal of his career. Gordon received a yellow card for excessive celebration. I think that excessive celebration shouldn't count for last minute, match winning goals.
L.A. Galaxy 1 @ Houston 2
For a second straight match, L.A. looked fairly competent for most of 90 minutes. Also like the last match, they had an early lead from a Edson Buddle goal in the 10th minute. As much credit as the oppressive Houston heat gets for being a factor, L.A. has started a recent trend of mucking things up late in games. This match could have been played indoors with air conditioning, and L.A. still would have found a way to relinquish the lead.
Houston, dressed up like Flaming Hot Cheetos, leveled the match from a Mike McGee own goal in the 38th minute, and netted the game winner in the 57th minute off a corner kick goal from Andre Hainault.
Philadelphia 0 @ Toronto 1
I want to take footage from Toronto's win and set it to the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's Messiah. Even though TFC just became the best team in Canada on Wednesday, they were two minutes and some added time away from drawing Philly and continuing on as the worst team in America. A draw probably would have been satisfactory for TFC in a way, but a win truly gets some pressure off of the Reds.
Chicago 1 @ Columbus 2
Even if Chicago managed to level the match at 2-2, Columbus seemed more than capable to get another one past our defense.
New England 2 @3
This one is pretty heartbreaking for the Revs. Just like the last match between these two teams, New England seemed to be the better team on the pitch, but not the score board. This time around, however, New England did themselves no favors starting off slow and getting down two goals before halftime.
With the start of the second half, a completely different New England team came out onto the field. They moved the ball better and 10 of their 13 shots came in the second half. In the 47th minute, Bill Hamid couldn't handle a shot from Benny Feilhaber and the rebound fell to the feet of Saer Sene. Two minutes later, A. J. Soares headed home a corner kick to tie the match at 2 all.
Maicon Santos netted the game winner in the 61st minute, just 4 minutes after coming on as a sub for Branko Boskovic.
Bill Hamid made this acrobatic save in the final minute to help D.C. to their third straight win:
Dallas 2 @ Real Salt Lake 3
This was easily the most exciting game of the weekend as there were four goals in the last 15 minutes plus added time. Dallas fought until the very last minute and nearly came away with a draw thanks to a flub from Nick Rimando's fill in, Kyle Reynish. RSL pulled out another win late in high scoring match. Nat Borchers scored the game winner in added time.
Montreal 2 @ Colorado 3
No Omar Cummings. No Conor Casey. No Brian Mullan. No Marvell Wynn. Honestly, I didn't know the names of a good number of players on the Rapids squad from Saturday. After going down a goal early, a draw for Colorado would have been a welcomed result. Instead, they took the lead in the 39th minute, conceded the lead in the 48th minute and went down a man in the 61st after Tyrone Marshall received his second red. Then in the 83rd minute, the luckiest goal I have ever seen happened:
Vancouver 1 @ Portland 1
The month of May has been a busy month for quite a few MLS clubs, but Vancouver has had it a little worse than everyone else. On Saturday night, Vancouver's toughest stretch of the season came to an end with a draw in Portland. The draw makes Vancouver winless in their last five matches across all competitions.
Kris Boyd got off his scoring drought. It wasn't the prettiest goal in the world, but it definitely was a goal that displayed his skill as striker as he cleaned up a loose ball out of mid-air.
Darren Mattocks netted his professional goal in the closing minutes of the match to bring the score level. Many Vancouver fans are hoping that what they saw from Mattocks is just the start of good things to comes.
Seattle 1 @ Chivas 1
Juan Agudelo got his first goal in a Chivas uniform (and first of the season) in the 57th minute. It's good to see Agudelo getting playing time instead of sitting on a bench. Chivas didn't keep the lead for long as David Estrada scored a nice one touch equalizer a few minutes later.
On the one side of this result, it's great to see what Chivas has been doing this year. I was pretty down on this team to start the season, but Robin Fraser seems to be turning things around for the goats. One the other side, Seattle is starting to slide as they've only earned 2 out of 9 points, and and had to come from behind just to snag those two points.
San Jose 1 @ Sporting KC 2
San Jose got a beat down for the first 45 minutes of this match. Superhero/supersub, Alan Gordon, had his first start of the year. He was fairly ineffective for most of his 60 minutes on the pitch. It wasn't necessarily all his fault as the Earthquakes could hardly manage to get the ball into Sporting's half. Within the first 5 minutes of the match, Sporting put together this nice little passing build up and C. J. Sapong finished it off nicely:
Sporting pressed high and pressured San Jose in the first half and created all sorts of trouble for the Earthquakes. Frankie Yallop made some offensive minded substitutions in the second half to get the Quakes back into the match. The substitutions worked in that they gave San Jose some life, but unfortunately, no real scoring opportunities were created. The Quakes only goal came from a Simon Dawkins chip shot from distance.
Sporting has finally ended their winless streak after starting off the season as the hottest team in the league.