But you know what is hard to believe? MLS having quite a boring week. While the Fire was winning, the rest of the league was just as exciting as the current state of MLB’s NL Central.
Seattle Sounders 1 - 1 LAFC
The battle of the two probable Western Conference champions ended in a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoon. Both Seattle and LAFC were evenly matched throughout the first half, with an equal amount of possession and the same number of shots (6).
Seattle eventually found the net in the second half with a goal from Alber Rusnak after a nice build-up in the 58th minute. LAFC woke up and applied the pressure, and it paid off with a header from Cristian Arango nearly 20-minutes later. After 20 minutes of action, the game reverted back to the nothingness of the first half for the rest of the match.
LA Galaxy 1 - 1 Portland Timbers
Why would you look at this, another 1-1 draw involving a Southern California and Pacific Northwest team. As with the previous match, the stats were split evenly between both the Galaxy and Timbers. Yimmi Chara broke the deadlock with a goal in the 38th minute. Portland’s goalkeeper, Aljaz Ivacic, made save after save, denying the Galaxy three goals until the 88th minute. Dejan Joveljic scored near the death salvaging a point for the home team.
New York Red Bulls 2 - 0 Toronto FC
The Fire won, and the New York Red Bulls won a home game. It must be the end of the world.
The energy drinks scored within two minutes against a floundering Toronto FC courtesy of Sunderland legend Lewis Morgan. Luquinhas doubled their lead in the 56th minute. Under Fire legend Bob Bradly now turned saboteur, Toronto is now an eight-game winless streak when they are playing away. Good Job Agent Bob, but your job is not done yet.
Columbus Crew 1 - 1 Charlotte FC
A heavily injured Columbus Crew drew against newcomers Charlotte FC on Saturday. Erik Hurtado recovered the ball after a poor touch from Charlotte’s goalkeeper and scored in the 41st minute. Nine minutes into the start of the second half, Charlotte’s new signing Andre Shinyashiki scored his second goal in five appearances giving some spark to a rather dull game.
Montreal 0 - 1 Austin FC
Another Canadian club lost on the same day, this time CF Montreal. Against an eventual 10-man Austin FC, Montreal lost by one goal when their former employer, Maximiliano Urruti, scored against them in the 67th minute. Despite Montreal’s dominance in the stat department, they couldn’t get past a stubborn Austin side. Coincidently, their starman Djordje Mihailovic is out due to an ankle injury.
Philadelphia Union 1 - 1 FC Cincinnati
Oh, look, another draw.
But it was a surprising draw, a competent Philadelphia Union team against another Eastern conference meme team, FC Cincinnati. After a nice build-up from the Union, Fire legend Alejandro Bedoya made an embarrassment out of a Cincinnati defender and scored to the far corner of the net in the 17th minute.
In the 39th minute, Brandon Vasquez scored a header from a corner kick leveling the game for Cincinnati. The game remained level throughout the match, with the Union gaining the upper hand at times, but they could not finish despite Cincinnati gifting them chance after chance.
Orlando City 2 - 1 Houston Dynamo
On Saturday night, two winless teams faced each other, and one was victorious. While that may sound like a plot from certain Midwest MLS teams this time, it involved everyone’s two favorite states, Florida and Texas. Orlando’s star DP, Ercan Kara, who coincidentally made his fame with SK Rapid Wien like another former Fire DP, Robert Beric - was the man of the hour. Unlike Beric, he can score when his team needs him. Kara scored a brace in the 25th and 58th minutes. Houston got their consolation goal of the night one minute later when Sebastian Ferreira scored his second goal in three matches.
FC Dallas 0 - 2 Vancouver Whitecaps
A plucky Vancouver beat FC Dallas for the second time this season. Lucas Cavallini picked up a ball from Dallas’ Facundo Quignon and scored within two minutes. Towards the end of the first half, Vancouver won a free-kick and Deiber Caicedo cooly shot it over the wall and into the net. The game then went fairly quiet after a busy first half.
Real Salt Lake City 2 - 0 San Jose
Despite their ridiculous name, I sometimes forget Real Salt Lake is a thing.
But their fans won’t forget the 2-0 win against the bottom-feeders San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night. Marcelo Silva scored first thanks to a Jefferson Savarino assist, who later scored himself in the 81st minute.
Atlanta United 2 - 0 Inter Miami
I don’t want to propagate any Bobby Shuttleworth slander, he was a good guy for the Chicago Fire. He stepped up when the club needed him. But when Atlanta benched him against the game against Inter Miami, they got their first clean sheet in nine games. [insert thinking emoji here]
Luis Araujo, with a Josef Martinez assist, scored within four minutes. Araujo later returned the favor to Martinez, assisting his goal in the 61st minute. It also didn’t help that Miami was down to 10 men after a silly challenge from Jean Mota.
New England Revolution 2 - 1 Minnesota United FC
A reckless challenge from Andrew Farrell gave Minnesota the early lead over New England when Emanuel Reynoso slotted in their penalty in the 37th minute. Minnesota couldn’t keep their narrow lead for long. They weren’t as confident as they were at the start of the first half, and New England took advantage of this scoring twice in 16 minutes. First, it was Dylan Borrero in the 53rd minute, with Gustavo Bou finishing it off in the 69th (nice) minute.
NYCFC 1 - 1 Colorado Rapids
For a moment, it looked like someone was actually going to walk away with three points from a baseball stadium. Michael Barrios beat three NYFC defenders to score the first goal of the match after nearly 68 minutes of nothingness. But Colorado couldn’t maintain that lead, and Talles Magno (note: it took me four times to properly write out his last name because I kept spelling it as “mango”) chested the ball to his right foot and scored against an off-guard Colorado defense.
Nashville SC 1 - 2 Sporting Kansas City
What MLS does best that no other league can replicate is anything can happen. A flopping Sporting Kansas City broke Nashville SC’s 25-game unbeaten streak at home. SKC scored twice in 10 minutes from Felipe Hernandez and Graham Zusi (remember him?) to send Nashville into their misery. Ake Loba scored for the hosts in the 63rd minute, but that wasn’t enough to prevent an SKC win.