This past weekend was the most MLS weekend ever. We saw several entertaining matches, and the teams we expected to be dominant this season returned to fine form. We saw ups and downs, a flurry of goals (32 in total) and many questionable calls from the Professional Referees Organization’s finest officials. Let’s take a look at this week’s biggest story lines.
Philadelphia 3-3 Montreal
Everything started so well for the Union on Saturday, but it was a game of two halves. Roland Alberg gave the Sons of Ben something to cheer about in just the 5th minute, after he shook a defender at the top of the box and curled it past Evan Bush. C.J. Sapong doubled Philadelphia's lead in the 23rd minute, and Alberg bagged a second from the spot in the 39th minute. And then everything went wrong. The Union, who got far too complacent far too fast after their third goal, conceded an Ignacio Piatti goal in the 41st minute. The wheels further fell off the wagon in the 69th minute when Anthony Jackson-Hamel made it 3-2, and then the Canadian international equalized in the 87th minute. It was an epic meltdown from the Union, who remain winless this season.
Dallas 1-0 Kansas City
FC Dallas and Sporting KC both arrived in Frisco, Texas undefeated, and both had their eyes on the top of the Western Conference table. And, well, the game did not disappoint. What proved to be an extremely open-ended affair was settled on a 77th minute header from Maynor Figueroa at the back post. There’s not a ton to take a way from this match. FC Dallas and SKC have both been tremendous so far this season, and this match reflected that. One story line, though, was how well both goalkeepers played. Jesse Gonzalez, the futue Mexico number one, kept his Texas-based side in the match with a series of saves in the first half. The Mexican international’s counterpart, Tim Melia, didn’t disappoint either, making several big saves to keep the match as tight as it was.
Portland 2-1 Vancouver
Vancouver arrived at Providence Park on Saturday hoping to win their second Cascadia Cup match in as many weeks. They left with a bitter taste in their mouths. A Darlington Nagbe stunner in the 18th minute put the Timbers up 1-0, a lead that was doubled when Darren Mattocks finished off a clinical counterattack in the 40th minute. Fredy Montero wouldn’t let the Whitecaps go down without a fight, though, scoring on the rebound of his own saved penalty in the 59th minute. Overall, this game lived up to everything you would expect from a Cascadia Cup match, and Portland held on for a 2-1 win. The Timbers find themselves top of the Western Conference with 16 points.
NYCFC 1-2 Orlando
Orlando City has been enjoying their new-stadium-bounce thus far, winning all four of their home matches. On Sunday, they traveled to Yankee Stadium to play their expansion partners New York City FC. The Lions ran wild—more specifically, Cyle Larin. The Candian Messi scored twice in the Bronx, bagging goals in the 31st and 51st minutes. The striker, who is the future of Les Rouges, has scored 6 goals in as many games so far in 2017. NYCFC didn’t go away, though. David Villa, ya know, that guy, scored in the 74th minute to make the game interesting. Teigning MVP came close to a second, forcing an incredible save out of Joe Bendik in the 94th minute. But Orlando ultimately secured their fifth win of the season.
Hot (Time) Take
Overall, it was an action-packed weekend of games. MLS never disappoints (unless you’re a Union fan), and this weekend has shown everyone that this season is going to have fireworks. The likes of Seattle and Minnesota also picked up wins this weekend, and clubs around the league look to be hitting their strides. The unpredictability of this league is what makes it so fun, and, well, who’s looking forward to next weekend already?