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MLS Wrapup: San Penedo and the skid-breakers

Colorado broke loose in a big way, scoring four on the road against suddenly-struggling Dallas; Union stop skid; Penedo stones Seattle in prime-time showcase

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas 0, Colorado Rapids 4

A tailspin the last few weeks was exacerbated on Friday, as Oscar Pareja’s men were thrashed by his former side. Heading into the match, Colorado had failed to score a single goal through four games. It took a mere two minutes for them to open their account when Dominique Badji connected with a Dillon Powers cross. The assistor became the assisted in the 43rd minute, as Powers received a pass from Marcelo Sarvas on the left, strolled in the box and sent a low shot passed Chris Seitz. Gabriel Torres would repeat the two point performance in the second half. Torres was in the perfect position to drive home a loose ball in the box in minute seventy. Fifteen minutes later, Dillon Serna – assisted by Torres – would send a laser shot beaming into the back of the net from nearly ten yards outside the box. FC Dallas remains in second place in the west with 10 points; Colorado is second from bottom on six points.

New England Revolution 0, Columbus Crew 0

Both teams earned their second draw of the season, and retain playoff positions. Columbus controlled possession but it was New England that had more shots on goal (3 to 0). Jermaine Jones was booked in the 12th minute for cutting down US national teammate Tony Tchani. Jones was subbed off at half time. Tchani found himself in the referee’s book in the 62nd minute. Arguably, the best chance of the match for either team came in minute 36 when Lee Nguyen had his short range flick saved by Crew keeper Steve Clark. New England and Columbus are now in fourth and sixth place respectively.

Philadelphia Union 2, New York City 1

Out of the 18,603 spectators packed into PPL Park on Saturday, a sizeable chunk consisted of traveling New York supporters. The long term jury may still be out on how well the expansion team will draw in fans, but so far this season they’ve silenced the doubters. Initially, Philadelphia’s opening goal was awarded to Eric Ayuk Mbu, who might still be doing flips somewhere in Pennsylvania. Credit for the goal was later correctly awarded to Zach Pfeffer. In the 55th minute, designated player David Villa leveled the score, after crisp passing inside the box left debuting Union goalie John McCarthy way off his post. Stoppage time proved crucial to the home side. A failed Josh Saunders clearance – that could have been a foul on Connor Casey for interference - fell into the path of Vincent Nogueria, who had no problem burying the winner. Despite the win, Philadelphia remains directly behind seventh placed NYCFC. Both teams are at five points.

D.C. United 2, New York Red Bulls 2

The original New York team was at the opposite end of last minute theatrics. A Perry Kitchen brace in front of the RFK faithful made it appear as though D.C. were on their way to maximum points. One minute after Kitchen’s second goal, Damien Perrinelle headed NYRB onto the score sheet. In the 90th minute, a spilled free kick was poked in by Lloyd Sam. The midfielder from Leeds has found himself a huge goal scorer for the club this season. Despite the dropped points, D.C. United remain top of the east with ten points. New York Red Bulls are right behind them with eight.

Houston Dynamo 3, Montreal Impact 0

Frank Klopas had a tough dilemma. With CCL advancement, the Impact coach could have decided to rest his starters. Being in last place, Klopas decided to stick with his ‘A’ squad and it didn’t go as planned. It took just fifteen minutes for Houston to get on the board via a Giles Barnes header. Montreal would dominate possession throughout the game but late in the second half, the Dynamo would score twice more. Ricardo Clark scored a beauty in the 72nd minute, after making it look like he has about to pass to a teammate who was well in an offside position. His looping shot was impossible for Evan Bush to stop. Rob Lovejoy – who assisted on Clark’s goal – did his best Frank Lampard imitation eight minutes later with a blast from just outside the box, sending the orange fans home with wide grins. Houston Dynamo now sit in sixth place on eight points. Montreal Impact still occupy the standings basement with two points.

Sporting Kansas City 0, Real Salt Lake 0

Wasted chances by SKC and mounting yellow cards for RSL made for a disappointing and uninspiring game at a capacity filled Sporting Park. Of the five total yellow cards in the game, only one was given for an on-the-ball foul. The first chance for SKC came in the 6th minute when Jalil Anibaba had a close shot saved by Nick Rimando. Seconds into the second half, Krisztian Nemeth hit the post for SKC. Less than ten minutes later, Benny Feilhaber sent a through ball to Dom Dwyer who put the ball into the net but was deemed to be offside. RSL and SKC are both at nine points with RSL ahead in the standings on goal differential at fourth.

San Jose Earthquakes 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 0

Not only are the San Jose Earthquakes quickly turning the brand new Avaya Stadium into a fortress, they are showing zero fear against the league’s best opposition. In a rare display of keeping Whitecaps striker Octavio Rivero off the score sheet, the Quakes pulled off the win late. Former Fire winger Sanna Nyassi pounced onto the ball after two successive deflections, lifting it into the roof of the net with his weak foot. The game turned ugly in the dying minutes as both Vancouver’s Pedro Morales and San Jose’s Adam Jahn were red carded for fighting. Arguments can be made on both sides as to whether straight reds were deserved. Vancouver still holds the best record in MLS with thirteen points while San Jose improves to third place in the west on nine points.

Portland Timbers 0, Orlando City 2

Portland Timbers might be the most impressive last place team through six games in recent MLS history. With that said, getting shut out and losing in front of yet another home crowd this season must be frustrating. Orlando City on the other hand are far from your typical expansion team. First overall draft pick Cyle Larin opened his MLS account in the 30th minute. The goal came after horrible clearance attempts by Portland defenders fell to Kevin Molino who dribbled down the right and sent in a rocket of a cross that shot off of Larin’s chest like he was playing dodgeball. Timbers keeper Adam Kwarasey fouled Orlando’s Carlos Rivas in the box. The ensuing Kaka penalty attempt was actually saved by Kwarasey but an infraction was called. Kaka got a second chance and made not mistake this time, burying his shot out of arms reach. Portland is in last place in the west with six points. Orlando City occupies third place in the east on eight points.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Seattle Sounders 0

As expected, Stub Hub Center was at max capacity as those pesky Sounders visited Carson, California. No better candidate could have scored the game winner than Alan Gordon. It wasn’t his trademark, stoppage time, goal at the death, but it was all LA needed. In the 23rd minute, Juninho sent in a deep free kick which was met by Omar Gonzalez. The tall defender headed the ball straight into the path of Gordon who got his own head onto the ball and sent it into the top corner. Seattle were without Clint Dempsey and suffered with possession, but also had their fair share of chances - Galaxy keeper Jaime Penedo made 10 saves to earn the shutout. The Sounders now sit in eighth place on seven points, while the Galaxy are one place ahead of them on eight points.