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MLS Roundup: D.C. United win battle of conference elites

Fours are wild as four teams score four goals each, including a wild 4-4 draw between Kansas City and Houston

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Fire 1, New York City FC 0

See the full recap here.

Colorado Rapids 1, FC Dallas 1

Two weeks after embarrassing FC Dallas in their own stadium by a final score of 4-0, Colorado could only muster a draw at home against the very same opponent. The footballers from Frisco opened up the scoring in the 31st minute following some fancy foot work by Fabian Castillo. Mauro Diaz found himself in position to pounce on Castillo’s pass and had an easy goal. Blas Perez’s red card in the 59th minute for fighting turned the game on its head. Colorado would continue to control possession for the remainder of the game. Midfielder Juan Ramirez was the catalyst for the tying goal, sending in a pass from the left wing to Dylan Powers in the box. Powers would head the ball straight into the path of Nick LaBrocca who tapped home as he was nearly guillotined by Dallas keeper Dan Kennedy. The draw leaves Colorado at the bottom of the western conference with seven points. FC Dallas remains in second place on fourteen points.

Columbus Crew 4, Philadelphia Union 1

Columbus cemented themselves as the top scoring team thus far in MLS, albeit against an awful Philadelphia team. Crew forward Kei Kamara drew first blood, chesting an Ethan Finlay cross, letting the ball bounce once and then thundering it in with his left foot. Finlay himself would strike just eleven minutes later when a Waylon Francis cross that was too high for a leaping Kei Kamara fell conveniently into the path of Finlay to slide home. A minute before the half, Crew winger Justin Meram would score from the left on a goalkeeping howler by John McCarthy. Too little came too late in the 64th minute when half time sub Eric Ayuk Mbu drove in a lovely header to get Philadelphia on the board. Man of the match Ethan Finlay capped the scoring on the night with a wonderfully slotted shot made possible by a brilliant pass by Kei Kamara. It’s a shame for Columbus that such an offensive clinic was put on amidst pretty awful attendance. Nevertheless that yellow team sits in fourth place in the east on eleven points. Misery continues for the Union as they only sit atop Montreal in the standings on six points.

New England Revolution 4, Real Salt Lake 0

Not to be out-done by their conference foes, New England put a hurting on perennial playoff team Real Salt Lake. Chris Tierney and Juan Agudelo would put the Revs up by two before the half. Tierney put his seldom used right foot to work, sending a bender into the upper 90 of Jeff Attinella’s goal. Agudelo pounced on a save off a Charlie Davies shot. Davies would score himself, five minutes into the second half. His goal came off a header set to expert mode from a nice pass by Scott Caldwell. Working off the theme "sharing is caring" in this game, who better to score the Revs final goal than Caldwell? The lead up to the goal included some samba style ball movement by the United Health Care reps, but ultimately the ball fell to Caldwell after some shoddy defending. The little midfielder-that-could scored his first career goal. New England remains atop the east on goal differential with fourteen points. RSL are only above Colorado, on nine points.

Houston Dynamo 4, Sporting Kansas City 4

To borrow a term from former WWE commentator Jim Ross, Houston vs SKC was a real slobberknocker. The newly minted conference rivals began things very early when SKC forward Krisztian Nemeth scored in the second minute. Less than ten minutes later Giles Barnes leveled the score. Will Bruin would give Houston the lead just before the half, heading in a Brad Davis corner. Giles Barnes would once again score immediately at the start of the second half. It looked like smooth sailing to a packed BBVA Compass Stadium. The SKC comeback was sparked – oddly enough – by Giles Barnes of the Dynamo. Barnes had a horrible back pass intercepted in the 74th minute by Dom Dwyer who had zero difficulty putting his chance away to make it 3-2. Six minutes later a very questionable handball penalty call was made against Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor. Benny Feilhaber calmly slotted home the ensuing penalty kick to even the score. Only three minutes after the spot kick, Houston found retribution as Raul Rodriguez powered in a header. The lead would last ten men Dynamo all the way until the dying seconds when Feilhaber would strike once again with a rocket from outside of the box. Both Houston and SKC are neck and neck in the standings at fifth and sixth place respectively and even on points with ten.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1, D.C. United 2

Vancouver opened up the scoring in front of a raucous home crowd with a skilled shot by Pedro Morales. Perhaps the Caps let it get to their heads. Bobby Boswell would head in the equalizer for United seven minutes later. In the 34th minute, Caps midfielder Matias Laba was given a yellow card for handball. Eight minutes later he received a second yellow and subsequent red for another foul. D.C. would hold the lion’s share of possession throughout the match. It paid off in the 64th minute when a Steven Beitashour slide tackle dispossessed Chris Pontius but left the ball in the path of Chris Rolfe who snapped in a booming shot for the goal. If Rolfe were a Mortal Kombat character, that exact type of shot would be his fatality maneuver.  The loss doesn’t do too much damage to Vancouver as they still maintain first place in the west on sixteen points. D.C. United remain in second place (on goal differential) with fourteen points.

New York Red Bulls 1, LA Galaxy 1

Not only was it a draw, but this match saw six combined yellow cards, more than the combined five shots on goal. It wasn’t looking so bleak from the start. The first goal came nine minutes in, courtesy of Bradford Jamieson. At eighteen years old, Jamieson made Red Bull defenders look like school children, mesmerizing them with his dribbling ability as he danced into the box and let loose a left footed shot for the opener. Felipe’s equalizer for NYRB came in the 58th minute and made a great effort at being Bad News Bears the soccer version. The ball took at least two pinball like deflections before finding Felipe’s head. Jaime Penedo did well to make another couple of great saves, and perhaps LA would have been deserving of the win this time around. The draw left them in fourth place on twelve points. New York keeps the title of unbeaten, sitting in third place on twelve points.

Orlando City 0, Toronto 2

Jozy Altidore scored his third and fourth goals in a crucial win for Toronto. With the roster they’ve assembled, there are no excuses if they miss the playoffs. Orlando enjoyed a majority of the possession in front of 30,000+ home fans, but their opportunities were wasted. Kevin Molino had an open look at goal after Toronto keeper Joe Bendik had left his post to make a clearance but ended up shooting straight at Bendik. In the 50th minute Altidore placed a perfect low shot that Orlando keeper Donovan Ricketts got a hand on but could neither push away nor smother, as the ball slid into his net. Rookie Cyle Larin had a chance to equalize minutes later but sent his header just wide. Jozy Altidore sealed the deal for the reds in the 83rd minute, getting Ricketts and his marker off balance before poking home his second goal. The win is not enough for a playoff spot at the moment for TFC, and they sit in seventh place on six points. Despite the recent skid, Orlando holds onto sixth place with eight points.

Seattle Sounders 1, Portland Timbers 0

It was a cagey Cascadia affair in Seattle. Possession was nearly equal and chances were sparse. Obafemi Martins had the first good chance of the game in the 10th minute, turning a firing just low and wide of the Timbers goal. At the tail end of the first half Lamar Neagle’s shot on goal was met with a diving save by Adam Kwarasey. Portland’s first shot on goal came in the 61st minute with a distance shot from Diego Chara that was caught by Stefen Frei. Darlington Nagbe would try his luck from nearly the same spot as Chara, but sent it wide. Minutes before Seattle’s goal, the Timbers would waste their best chance as Fanendo Adi headed wide from point blank range. Clint Dempsey made them pay by tapping in a bumbled save that Adam Kwarasey probably should have had full control over. It appeared the Timbers would have been good with an away draw, and were unfortunate to drop all three points. Their nine points are good for eighth place in the western conference standings. The victory for Seattle puts them in third place with thirteen points.