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MLS Weekend Recap: No Clear Leader In The East

DC, Orlando and New England pick up wins in a tight Eastern Conference

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Fire struck a blow to high-flying Columbus this weekend. DC United, Orlando and New England also picked up wins in the East. The East is crazy each and every week. The results are individually unpredictable right now.

LA Galaxy 2 –0 Montreal

Although Montreal held the majority of possession in the first half they only threatened the LA goal with clear chances on one or two occasions. The Galaxy however managed to score when Romain Alessandrini hit a shot from the top of the box that trickled past the Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush who was apparently sent the wrong way. Hassoun Camara did manage to strike the post on a free kick and late in the half Montreal was pushing for an equalizer before the referee issued Marco Donadel with a straight red. Game, set, match.

Philadelphia 1-3 Portland

The Timbers were very bad on the road last year, which is strange to say for a team that won the MLS Cup in 2015. Philadelphia scored from a corner early on through Richie Martinez. But just moments later on in the first half Darlington Nagbe cut onto his right foot and scored neatly. Roy Miller flicked a header past the Philadelphia keeper on a set piece to give Portland the lead and Fanendo Adi added Portland’s third on a PK.

Toronto 2-2 Atlanta

This was always going to be fun. On one side, Toronto is just the complete overall team tactically. On the other side, Atlanta are the new boys on the block with an unlimited amount of attacking resources but they are proving they can also grind out results. Atlanta opened the scoring with a fantastic through ball by Miguel Almiron to put in Hector Villalba who finished with power. Fast forward a few minutes and Sebastian Giovinco scored his first goal this year with a nice finish. Justin Morrow scored Toronto’s second on a tap in just before the half after some great build up play by TFC, Victor Vazquez picked up his 2nd assist of the half. Hector Villalba added a second for Atlanta to equalize at the beginning of the second half. Yamil Asad was issued a straight red, but Atlanta held on for a point in Canada.

New England 2-0 Houston

The Revs continued their fine run of form this weekend. So far they’ve thumped Minnesota, drawn in Portland and won against Houston over the weekend. Although they ceded possession over all it was all one-way traffic in favor of New England. They outshot Houston 14 to 5. The first ball came from a nicely placed pass by Lee Nguyen to slip in Kei Kamara behind the entire Houston defense. Kamara was one v one with the Houston keeper and almost made a mess of the chance but the keeper parried the ball directly back into Kamara’s path and he couldn’t miss on the second chance. Juan Agudelo scored New England’s second after the Houston goalkeeper punched a cross straight to his feet in front of the net, right place right time.

DC United 2-1 NYCFC

DC United got a much needed three points at home this weekend beating NYCFC. DC was obviously content in sitting back and letting NYCFC have an overwhelming amount of possession but the visitors never capitalized. New York gifted DC the opening goal with some sloppy defending. Lloyd Sam put some pressure on the NYCFC’s back line, New York failed to clear their lines and Sam scored easily. Luciano Acosta furthered DC’s lead slotting in a goal after Sean Johnson’s save looped into the air. Acosta was first to respond and got a goal for his efforts. David Villa pulled one back with an excellent first time finish but it wasn’t enough for New York.

Orlando City 1-0 New York Red Bulls

Despite having the majority of possession and control on the game New York failed to inflict any damage in Orlando. The only goal came through substitute Servando Carrasco who came on in the first half after Antonio Nocerino went down with an injury. For Orlando it is another win in their new building, which is looking like one of the tougher places to get a result in the Eastern Conference. For New York it is a second straight loss, they have not won since March 11th.