The MLS Recap – Week 3

Welcome to your weekly recap of MLS action on FMF. Here’s what went down in week 3:

DC United 2-2 Houston Dynamo

DC United left it late against Houston, scoring in the 97th minute to come from 2-0 down to pick up a point at Audi Field. Alberth Elis was quick to pounce on a Yamil Asad header back towards his own goal, lifting the ball over United keeper David Ousted before tapping into an empty net to give Houston a 1-0 lead on 30 minutes, and just one minute later Elis was in the right place at the right time again to jump on a wayward defensive pass from Ulises Segura before squaring the ball to Mauro Manotas for an easy tap in to double the Dynamo lead. Darren Mattocks got one back for DC on 49 minutes, playing a nice one-two on the left with Asad before breaking a tackle in the area and smashing past Chris Seitz in the Houston goal. And Luciano Acosta sent the stadium into rapture in the 7th minute of injury time after an Asad free kick from the left ended up with some ping pong in the area before falling to Acosta’s feet and he made no mistakes with a close range finish.

Minnesota United 2-1 Chicago Fire

Minnesota secured 3 points in their first home game of the season in a fairly even battle against Chicago Fire. After a goalless first half Minnesota took the lead in the 55th minute through Ibson after he got on the end of a Miguel Ibarra cross from the right, Fire keeper Richard Sanchez made a fine save from the first headed effort but couldn’t recover in time to save the rebound. Elliot Collier levelled things up for Chicago after 59 minutes with a close range strike after some hapless United defending, but Sam Nicholson got the decisive goal for Minnesota after 66 minutes, heading home an Ethan Finlay cross.

Philadelphia Union 0-0 Columbus Crew

Columbus and Philadelphia both continued their undefeated starts to the season but neither side were able to convert their chances in a goalless draw at the Talen Energy Stadium. Haris Medunjanin came close for the Union with a free kick on 21 minutes, and Gyasi Zardes should have done better for Columbus with a one on one after 26 minutes. It was Zardes who had the best chance of the game on 50 minutes but he headed a Milton Valenzuela cross wide, and he also failed to convert another one on one on 63 minutes.

Montreal Impact 1-0 Toronto FC

Reigning champion Toronto FC’s dismal start to the campaign continued as they fell to a second successive defeat at the hands of Montreal. Sebastian Giovinco came close to scoring for Toronto on 32 minutes but his curling effort was saved well by Montreal keeper Evan Bush. Impact broke the deadlock in the 41st minute, with Jeisson Vargas’ deflected effort from just inside the area creeping past Alex Bono and into the back of the net. Montreal almost doubled their lead just a minute later but Nick Hagglund was there just in time to block an Ignacio Piatti shot. Toronto dominated possession and pushed for an equaliser but Bush was in fine form, stopping well from Jozy Altidore on 64 minutes and again on 83 minutes to ensure Montreal secured the victory.

New York City 2-0 Orlando City

Early pace setters New York City picked up their third straight win with a 2-0 victory over Orlando City. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came close to scoring for New York in the 31st minute but his headed effort bounced off the right hand post. Justin Meram had the best chance of the game for Orlando on 51 minutes but his effort from the right side of the area crept past the left post. Just 1 minute later Maximiliano Morález also saw a close range effort go just past the post for New York and both teams had to be wondering what they needed to do to score. But it was Tajouri-Shradi who broke the deadlock on 61 minutes, capitalising on a mis-control by Orlando keeper Joe Bendik and tapping into an empty net. Morález confirmed the victory with a 73rd minute goal, driving low and hard from just inside the area into the bottom left corner.

Atlanta United 4-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Josef Martinez hit a hat-trick for Atlanta – his 4th in just 27 MLS appearances – as they eased to a 4-1 win over Vancover. Their task was made easier as the Whitecaps were reduced to 10 men after just 13 minutes when VAR ruled defender and captain Kendall Waston elbowed Atlanta’s Leandro González Pirez when defending a free kick. A penalty was also awarded because of this and Martinez got his first of the day, sending Vancouver kepper Stefan Marinovic the wrong way. Atlanta got their second goal thanks to Whitecaps defender Aaron Maund, who inadvertently put a Julian Gressel cross into his own net on 58 minutes. Martinez got his second and Atlanta’s third on 60 minutes, breaking free from an offside trap before calmly finishing a one on one. Erik Hurtado pulled one back for Vancouver on 85 minutes as he was the benefactor of some route one football, finishing a one on one of his own. But Martinez secured his hat-trick and the match ball on 88 minutes, heading home an Andrew Carleton cross.

Sporting Kansas City 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Sporting KC were involved in another high scoring affair, holding off San Jose to secure back to back wins. Ilie Sánchez opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 25 minutes, converting a perfect penalty to the right after Johnny Russell was upended by Earthquakes keeper Andrew Tarbell. Valeri Qazaishvili levelled things up for San Jose on 33 minutes as he tapped home from close range on a rebound. Graham Zusi restored the KC lead on 56 minutes with the goal of the weekend – he broke in from the right before hitting a curling left footed effort into the top left corner of the goal (loved the Zusi for president shout from the commentator on this one). Felipe Gutiérrez made it 3-1 after 68 minutes with a low driven effort from just outside the box into the bottom right corner. Chris Wondolowski grabbed one for San Jose in the 91st minute after latching onto a through ball and finishing cooly into the bottom right corner but it would prove to be nothing more than a consolation.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 New York Red Bulls

Real bounced back from last week’s embarrassing 5-1 defeat to LAFC with a 1-0 home win over New York Red Bulls. They took the lead in extraordinary fashion in just the 4th minute – a free kick had been awarded just outside the box after Carlos Rivas pulled down David Horst when defending a set piece, VAR ruled it was actually a penalty and Albert Rusnák calmly played a Panenka straight down the middle past a diving Luis Robles. It was primarily all New York after that but they couldn’t find a way past Nick Rimando in the Real goal – he made a fine save on a Vincent Bezecourt effort from outside the area in the 25th minute, and another one from a close range Tim Parker header after 52 minutes.

Dallas FC 3-0 Seattle Sounders

Former Premier League favourite Clint Dempsey saw red for Seattle as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the Toyota Stadium in Dallas. Roland Lamah opened the scoring on 20 minutes as he tapped in a square ball from Michael Barrios into an empty net. Dempsey was sent off in the 37th minute after VAR revealed he threw an elbow to the gut of Dallas midfielder Jacori Hayes away from play. Dallas should have doubled their lead before half time but Maximiliano Urruti saw his effort cleared off the line by Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam. Urruti did get Dallas’ second after 58 minutes, smashing home from outside the area into the bottom right corner. The game was put beyond doubt in the 63rd minute when Lamah got his second and Dallas’ third with a lovely dinked finish over the on-rushing Stefan Frei from the Seattle goal. The defeat leaves Seattle without a point from their first 2 games of the season.

Eastern Conference Table

New York City FC 3 3 0 0 +5 9
Columbus Crew SC 3 2 1 0 +3 7
Atlanta United FC 3 2 0 1 +1 6
Philadelphia Union 2 1 1 0 +2 4
New York Red Bulls 2 1 0 1 +3 3
Montreal Impact 3 1 0 2 -1 3
New England Revolution 2 1 0 1 -1 3
DC United 3 0 2 1 -2 2
Orlando City SC 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Chicago Fire 2 0 0 2 -2 0
Toronto FC 2 0 0 2 -3 0

Western Conference Table

LAFC 2 2 0 0 +5 6
Minnesota United FC 3 2 0 1 +1 6
Sporting Kansas City 3 2 0 1 0 6
Vancouver Whitecaps 3 2 0 1 -1 6
Houston Dynamo 3 1 1 1 +3 4
FC Dallas 2 1 1 0 +3 4
Real Salt Lake 3 1 1 1 -3 4
San Jose Earthquakes 2 1 0 1 0 3
LA Galaxy 2 1 0 1 0 3
Colorado Rapids 1 0 0 1 -1 0
Seattle Sounders FC 2 0 0 2 -4 0
Portland Timbers 2 0 0 2 -5 0

Top Scorers

Player Team Goals
Josef Martinez Atlanta United 4
Diego Rossi LAFC 3
Felipe Gutiérrez Sporting KC 3
Gyasi Zardes Columbus Crew 3
Alberth Elis Houston Dynamo 3

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