The Fire picking up three points at home this weekend in front of a raucous crowd was certainly one of the bigger results around MLS this weekend. Here is how the rest of the teams in the East fared.
Toronto 3-2 Minnesota
Toronto just keeps on rolling. They won midweek in Columbus and followed that up with a come from behind win at home against Minnesota. Tosaint Ricketts was once again the hero scoring the late winner and proving that Toronto is not all just Gio and Jozy. It is now six wins in a row for TFC who has separated them selves from the rest of the East. Sebastian Giovinco had to leave the game early dealing with some sort of injury so that is something to keep an eye on. Both of their wins weren’t that pretty this week but they were wins nonetheless; everything is going great for TFC.
Montreal 2-3 Columbus
Montreal continues to struggle this year and after losing this one to Columbus at home they must be scratching their heads and wondering how they can get back on track. New signing Blerim Dzemaili made his debut for Montreal in what was a pretty exciting encounter. Montreal dominated possession and had a whole lot of chances but Justin Meram stole the show for Columbus. Meram is one of the most in form players in MLS right now and his hat-trick this week just solidifies that.
DC United 0-4 Philadelphia
Philadelphia continued their turn around with a 4 goal shellacking of a DC team who is continuing their downward trajectory. DC has not shown any sort of consistency yet this year, even at home. After allowing four goals this week it appears that their ship is taking on water. Luciana Acosta saw straight red in the second half and after that the floodgates opened. Philadelphia has suddenly turned it around winning two straight.
Orlando 2-2 Kansas City
Orlando has been nearly perfect at home this year but Kansas City was able to travel to central Florida and pick up a point. Kansas City opened the scoring through Latif Blessing early on and the game took off from there. Kyle Larin equalized and shortly after that Kaka gave Orlando the lead. It looked like another home win for Orlando but Latif Blessing bagged the second goal of his brace in the second half to tie the match back up. It was an exciting end-to-end game. Orlando’s hot start has gone a bit off the rails lately. Even though Larin keeps scoring Orlando hasn’t won in any of their last three games.
New England 4-0 Real Salt Lake
Scott Caldwell scored in the fourth minute for New England and they didn’t look back. Kei Kamara added a second for the Revs and it was off to the races. It was a much-needed win for the Revs and even though it was against struggling Salt Lake it was an impressive performance. This one wasn’t close.
Portland 1-1 Atlanta
Atlanta secured a nice away point in Portland. Julian Gressel scored right after half time for Atlanta but his goal was almost immediately cancelled out at the other end by a Liam Ridgewell header. Atlanta went about the game trying to dominate possession and control the flow of the game. In many ways they succeeded in that respect. Atlanta is still playing without Josef Martinez who is still missing due to injury. I was very high on Atlanta toward the beginning of the season, and while that has changed a bit I still feel like they are as dangerous as anyone on a given day.
New York Red Bulls 0-2 LA Galaxy
The Red Bulls gave up two early goals to Romain Alessandrini who is trying to pull the Galaxy out of the gutter. A lot of the talk around MLS circles has been about the Galaxy struggling and I believe the same narrative could be used in regard to the Red Bulls. These are both clubs that you expect to be near the top year after year and both are struggling. New York tried to storm back but was unable to overcome the early goals they gave up.
FC Dallas 1-1 NYCFC
NYCFC went to Dallas and picked up a nice away point. Kellyn Acosta had given Dallas the lead but NYC was persistent in trying to level the game. Eventually Tommy McNamara scored by following up a free kick from David Villa that came back off the cross bar. Overall it was a solid game for NYC as they try to keep within striking distance of Toronto.
Hot (Time) Take
There were a number of notable results this weekend and as I mentioned the Fire were definitely one of the big winners this weekend. New England and Philadelphia both ran riot in route to clear wins while Columbus won a big one on the road. Having said that, it is basically Toronto against everybody. Six wins in a row have put them head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. The pack of chasers that has emerged would appear to include Columbus, NYCFC and Orlando. About a month ago it would have been possible to make the argument that Orlando was ready to challenge TFC but their poor form recently suggests otherwise. Beyond that lurks a group of teams that are more inconsistent and still trying to figure things out.