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MLS Roundup: FC Dallas gains top spot; expansion teams earn stripes

Our auld rivals in the Brimstone Cup are now the only team with maximum points; Orlando City and NYCFC both win their first games

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando City 1, Houston Dynamo 0

Through over two-thirds of the game, Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric was having a fine game, including an out-of-this-world save on a bending Kaka free kick. Then the 74th minute happened. After a simple back pass from David Horst, the first touch by Deric had a little too much oomph to it. Orlando sub Pedro Ribeiro pounced at the loose ball and both him Deric watch as the ball arched into net. Really a bizarre scenario, which saw Houston drop points in front of over 22,000 home fans, as Orlando went top of the Eastern Conference table.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Chicago Fire 0

See recap.

Columbus Crew 2, Toronto FC 0

It was chapter one in the battle for the Trillium Cup at the confusingly re-named MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. Just less than 16,000 spectators had filed in to see a very testy first half which saw Toronto defender Justin Morrow sent off with a straight red in stoppage time. The red card left captain Michael Bradley so incensed he was still shouting about it as Toronto headed into the locker room.

Roughly seventeen minutes into second half, Justin Meram picked up where he left off last year with the Crew by heading them into the lead. Four minutes later, new addition Kei Kamara sealed the victory with a goal of own – and perhaps trumping Dom Dwyer’s selfie goal celebration from last season in Kansas City.

Columbus were fortunate to be a man up, but they seized the opportunity. Toronto fans will be harping about this one for some time.

FC Dallas 3, Sporting Kansas City 1

The season is young but - after just two weeks - Dallas is the lone team to secure maximum points. Blas Perez scored twice along with Fabian Castillo. Roger Espinoza netted for SKC. Perez’s second goal was certainly offside but wasn’t called. Things didn’t get any better in the 80th minute for Kansas City, despite being awarded a penalty. Dom Dwyer sent the spot kick to the keeper’s right, and Chris Seitz guessed correctly to make the save. It hasn't been a great start for Peter Vermes and company, but on the flipside Oscar Pareja’s men keep improving.

Real Salt Lake 3, Philadelphia Union 3

If you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t hear about this game, here’s the short end of it: it was freaking insane!

Javier Morales opened up the scoring in the 29th minute on a free kick at the edge of the box. The position of the spot was ideal and Morales sent it into the upper 90. No chance for M’bolhi.

Philadelphia’s new DP striker Fernando Aristeguieta scored twice in five minutes not long after the Morales goal. What’s this? A DP striker that scores goals? Chicago Fire please take note.

The second half was where the real madness took place. Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu earned a yellow card apiece within seven minutes. Jamison Olave would then tie things up shortly after when he got at the end of a set piece. He wouldn’t be riding high for long, because only three minutes later he would re-gift the lead to Philly after an own goal – a very embarrassing own goal. It was the first RSL own goal in years according to the broadcast team. I wonder if Red Bull fans miss him.

The 86th minute was where the game turned for the worse. Maurice Edu was judged to have fouled Luke Mulholland in the box, and a penalty was subsequently awarded. Replays showed there was no foul and Mulholland admitted as much after the game. Alvaro Saborio had no trouble stepping up and burying the ensuing penalty kick.

San Jose Earthquakes 3, Seattle Sounders 2

As quickly as Seattle had risen to the top last week, the lesson in humility occurred equally as quick. Clint Dempsey scored thirteen seconds into the match. THIRTEEN SECONDS. From that point on it appeared Seattle put it into auto pilot, and then forget where they hid the switch.

A Marvell Wynne cross from what was practically the right corner flag found Chris Wondolowski in the box who buried his shot. Wondo would strike again in the 48th minute on a horrible mistake by Brad Evans who turned the ball over in his own box.

Four minutes later Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez was shown red for a serious fall. One would think Seattle would have viewed that as an opportune time to grab the game by the throat and at least make things level. Instead, in the 70th minute, DP midfielder Innocent Emeghara scored on a swerving shot from close range after a nice give and go with Adam Jahn.

Obafemi Martins would make things interesting for the Sounders with a goal of his own in the six yard box. However, Seattle couldn’t muster a point salvaging goal in the dying minutes or in stoppage time.

New York City 2, New England Revolution 0

The first half of what could continue a deep New York–Boston rivalry was chock full of chances. The Revs were at the end of most of those chances, but NYCFC were the ones who capitalized.

David Villa took on multiple defenders and jolted into the box off of a nice 1-2 with Ned Grabavoy to open his account – on a beautifully placed shot - in the 19th minute. Straight into the second half, NYCFC had their foot firmly on the pedal, with Villa coming close to bagging a brace in the 50th. Three minutes later Jeb Brovsky would send in a rocket from outside the box that narrowly missed. Rookie Khiry Shelton’s introduction to the game caused problems for the Revs defense. Dribbling into the box in the 66th minute, Jose Goncalves was forced to foul Shelton just outside the box, resulting in a straight red card. Slovakian Adam Nemec hit an absolute laser inside the box that hit the side netting.

That would foreshadow the final NYCFC strike. In the 83rd minute former New England 2014 first round pick Patrick Mullins subbed in for the aforementioned Nemec. Two minutes later the University of Maryland product found himself tapping in the end of a wonderful set up by David Villa and sending a majority of the 43,507 announced fans in Yankee Stadium home happy.

Portland Timbers 2, LA Galaxy 2

A capacity crowd was on hand at Providence Park to see two things: goals and a win. They saw goals, and were mere minutes from a win.

The first goal went coast to coast. Goalkeeper Larsen Kwarasey laid the ball to Diego Chara who found Darlington Nagbe, who then sent a nice back-heel pass down the left to Rodney Wallace who put a through ball onto Fanendo Adi who curved his shot out of reach to Brian Rowe’s left.

Exhausted yet? I apologize.

Much of action was to be found in the latter third of the second half. In the 65th minute, Jose Villareal raced down the left flank and sent a lovely cross into the box. An oncoming Gyasi Zardes raced to the ball and delivered a front kick that any fan of Mortal Kombat would be proud of, sending the ball into the back of the net. The final minute sent the Timber faithful into euphoria. Darlington Nagbe latched onto a long ball, marched into the box as he was shoved and still managed to find Fanendo Adi who struck home what looked to be the winner from short range.

Not to be outdone, Alan Gordon put on his clutch hat for LA. Two minutes into stoppage time, the former Timber (from their A-League days) put his head to corner and sent it goal bound, saving a point for the defending champion Galaxy.