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MLS Monday Rewind: Week 2

Cards and goals abound as MLS continues to provide high scoring games

MLS: Minnesota United FC at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Week two of the MLS season provided plenty of excitement, but also some physical, sometimes dirty play, with three red cards and a staggering 42 yellow cards shown. Chicago welcomed Orlando to the truly windy city in their home opener, and looked good at times, but once again finishing plagued the Fire. New striker CJ Sapong came to the rescue again, with a 94th minute header for a feel-good point to Christian Seat Geek Stadium. Elsewhere around the league, Minnesota and LAFC continued their hot starts, Houston looked strong again, and Cincinnati got its first point in MLS.

Houston 2-1 Montreal

Tomas Martinez had the first few decent looks of the game, with two similar efforts from eighteen yards out, but it was Montreal who struck first, with this weeks’ goal of the week coming from Saphir Taider, who continued his hot start after scoring and assisting in last week’s win. Michael Azira delivered a great cross into the box following a failed Dynamo clearance, and Taider was able to hit a first-time volley into the side netting to give the Impact the lead in the 34th minute.

Two minutes later Memo Rodriguez connected with an incredible strike of his own, lashing a pass from Martinez into the top right corner, leaving Evan Bush with no chance.

The two sides played to a stalemate throughout most of the second half, but Houston found the breakthrough in the 86th minute. Romell Quioto’s initial shot was blocked, but he was able to recover and play a low ball back across the face of goal, where Mauro Manotas was able to slot home past Bush, playing the hero once again for the Dynamo this season.

San Jose 0-3 Minnesota

The Loons continued their red-hot start to the season, picking up a second consecutive road win and scoring three goals for the second week straight. The scoreline could have been more lopsided if Quakes goalie Daniel Vega did not come up with three amazing saves within a four-minute stretch midway through the first half.

VAR came into play just after halftime, ruling that the Quakes handled the ball in the box, which set up a Darwin Quintero penalty that gave the visitors the lead. Quintero then led a breakaway just moments later, setting up Miguel Ibarra, who was able to hit a great shot to beat Vega.

The Loons got their third courtesy of an own goal, as a free kick glanced off of Quakes defender Harold Cummings and snuck inside the post, with Quintero lurking in case it was going wide. For Minnesota, they started the seasons two for two on the road while waiting for their new stadium to be finished, doubling their 2018 away win tally.

LAFC 4-1 Portland

LA came out strong and looked like they would take the lead in the minute, goalie was able to make a great save. However, Mark-Anthony Kaye was able to head home the ensuing corner, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Jeremy Ebobisse equalized in the 29th minute off a great free kick by Diego Valeri, who then forced a great save from LAFC’s goalie in the 37th off another swerving free kick effort.

From there all it was all LAFC, as Christian Ramirez scored in the 45th minute and Adama Diomande and Carlos Vela each scored and assisted each other for second half goals. Diego Chara compounded the visitor’s misery, picking up a second yellow card with his team already trailing 4-1.

Atlanta 1-1 Cincinnati

Atlanta United welcomed new side FC Cincinnati to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on the night that they raised last season’s MLS Cup championship banner, which they won in just their second season after joining the league themselves.

Inside of five minutes, the hosts got off to a fantastic start, with Julian Gressel playing a beautiful through ball for Josef Martinez, who had a perfectly timed run and calmly finished to begin his Golden Boot defense. The Five Stripes looked like they would run away with the game, putting up a crooked scoreline like Seattle did last week when they played Cincinnati.

The visitors appeared to level the scoreline through Fanendo Adi’s header off a cross in the 55th minute, but the linesman, apparently incorrectly, ruled him offside. Cincy did well to not get down, continuing their search for an equalizer, which they found in the 86th minute when Roland Lamah got on the end of a good pass from Kenny Saief and was able to drive a low shot past Guzan to secure Cincinnati’s first ever MLS point.

FC Dallas 2-0 LA Galaxy

Dom Badji had two opportunities to put Dallas up early, but his finishing failed him, including a missed shot on an open net after beating the keeper. Dallas broke the deadlock on a 53rd minute penalty kick by Reto Ziegler, and completed the scoreline when Bryan Acosta rifled a shot into the net from eighteen yards out in the 61st minute.

New England 0-2 Columbus

Gyasi Zardes played the spoiler as for Columbus against New England, ending the Revs twelve match home opener winning streak. Zardes was active all night, and was able to bag a brace, scoring in the 26th minute to take the lead and the 96th minute to secure all three points on the night. On the other end, Zack Steffen continued to build his reputation, saving a penalty kick attempt by substitute Diego Fagundez in the 59th minute to preserve the clean sheet for the Crew.

RSL 1-0 Vancouver

Vancouver looked the more threatening side for most of the game, nearly taking the lead twice in the early stages, but Real Salt Lake drew first blood as Albert Rusnak buried a penalty kick in the 21st minute after a controversial decision to award the kick. Salt Lake was able to grow into the game and forced two great saves out of Maxime Crepeau late as the Whitecaps searched for an equalizer.

Seattle 2-0 Colorado

Seattle came out with a bang, continuing their red-hot form from last week, with goals from Kelvin Leerdam and Raul Ruidiaz within the first eight minutes of the match. Former Fire homegrown Harry Shipp severely mishit an open look from seven yards out, otherwise the scoreline could have been more dramatic. Colorado grew into the game as the match wore on but could not find a way to seriously threaten the Sounders goal.

NYCFC 0-0 DC United

Both sides produced a number of good chances in NYCFC’s home opener, but the night belonged to the goalies, who each produced a number of highlight reel saves to preserve their clean sheets.

Sean Johnson made terrific saves in the 10th minute and 23rd minute, the latter a great kick save to prevent Paul Arriola from playing a ball into an open net. The former Fire keeper then denied a close-up effort in the 72nd minute and made another kick save ten minutes later. Not to be outdone, Bill Hamid made a number of diving, goal-saving efforts in the second half. First, he was called upon in the 78th minute after a good free kick effort, then made a diving effort to parry away a shot in the 88th and sprawled out again in the 89th to deny a goal off a headed cross.

Sporting KC 2-0 Philadelphia

Sporting took advantage of some good breaks falling their way in their MLS home opener, with Ilie converting a penalty kick early, and Jack Elliott producing an own goal in the 80th. Meanwhile, it was a night to forget for new Union signing Marco Fabian, who missed from close range, had a penalty kick saved and earned a red card for a stomp on Johnny Russell.