Defoe leads Toronto to victory, Week 3 Report

MLS

Week three of the MLS season saw the league’s regular referees return to action as the referee lockout came to an end with both sides negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.

Away from the business side, Toronto FC and FC Dallas continued their impressive starts with wins while the New England Revolution and Portland Timbers continue to struggle looking for goals despite maintaining most of the core group of players that made them so prolific last year.

Last week, the Whitecaps salvaged a point in their first away match in a 1-1 stalemate against Chivas USA.

New England Revolution 0

Vancouver Whitecaps 0

The New England Revolution recorded their first point of the season with a scoreless draw at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps but they still do not have a goal through three games.

Center back Jose Gonclaves returned to the Revolution lineup after reportedly being benched last week due to a contentious contract situation.  The hosts had their best chance just four minutes when Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted palmed Andy Dorman’s flicked header over the bar.

There were not that many chances as the game progressed as Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez each had decent opportunities but missed the target while the Whitecaps nearly scored off of a Pedro Morales free kick that just went wide out of Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s reach. New England will travel to San Jose while the Whitecaps will host the Houston Dynamo next Saturday.

Real Salt Lake 1 (Alvaro Saborio 19’)

LA Galaxy 1 (Robbie Keane 34’)

Neither team can come away all too satisfied after a draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

The Galaxy only have one win in their first four games this year while RSL dropped points from a winning position for the second consecutive game. The hosts got into a winning position less than 20 minutes into the game as Alvaro Saborio was left unmarked on the back post to meet a Joao Plata cross and calmly beat an onrushing Brian Perk, who replaced Jaime Penedo in goal.

LA equalized in the 34th minute on a quick counterattack led by Robbie Keane. Keane led a 2v2 break from just inside RSL’s half, ran at and dinked by Chris Schuler before hitting a powerful, right-footed shot past Nick Rimando. Perk did well to keep the score level in the second half diving to touch away a Ned Grabavoy shot heading for the far, right post. While the Galaxy are off next week, RSL hosts Toronto FC next Saturday.

Toronto FC 1 (Jermain Defoe 60’)

D.C. United 0

All three of Toronto FC’s Designated Players combined to score the lone goal in a snowy home opener for the overhauled Canadian club.

Michael Bradley initiated the attacking move with a perfectly lofted pass that allowed for Gilberto to run behind Jeff Parke and fire a shot that Bill Hamid parried. Gilberto was able to get to the rebound and cut it back to Jermain Defoe who slotted it into the empty net to give the hosts the lead just before the hour mark.

Bradley was fortunate to only escape a harsh clash of heads, moments later, with Davy Arnaud with only a cut on his head as Arnaud was subbed off with a concussion. Dwayne De Rosario nearly made it 2–0 for the hosts after 75 minutes after a quick counterattack but his shot was stopped by Hamid. Nonetheless, the hosts saw out the win and it is the first time in franchise history that Toronto won its first two games of the season. They head to Utah to take on RSL while D.C. United returns home to take on the Chicago Fire.

Columbus Crew 2 (Bernardo Anor 24’, 45’+2’)

Philadelphia Union 1 (Leo Fernandes 62’)

The new defense beat the new offense as the Columbus Crew defeated the Philadelphia Union and win the first two games of a season for the first time in franchise history.

Bernardo Anor’s brace proved to be all the hosts needed but the Crew nearly went behind inside of 13 minutes when Vincent Nogueira was able to free up some space for a shot that Steve Clark parried away. Anor scored the opener 11 minutes later after beating his mark at the far-post to head in a Federico Higuain corner.

Anor made it two in stoppage time in superb fashion. The left-winger collected a loose ball, took a touch before hitting a powerful 35-yard shot that went beyond Zack MacMath’s reach. Leo Fernandes scored the Union’s consolation and his first professional goal connecting with a Sebastian Le Toux cross and converting from close-range but the Union failed to threaten much more after that.

Philadelphia will host Montreal next Saturday while Columbus will head to Seattle to take on the Sounders.

Colorado Rapids 2 (Vicente Sanchez PEN 73’, Deshorn Brown 75’, Jose Mari RC 90’)

Portland Timbers 0 (Donovan Ricketts RC 70’)

The Colorado Rapids took advantage of the Portland Timbers’ second-half collapse to give Pablo Mastroeni a win in his first home game as head coach.

The Timbers nearly took the lead after half an hour when Mamadou Danso had a free header off a corner go wide. The Rapids nearly converted off of a corner in the second half but Edson Buddle’s flicked header missed the near post. The Timbers would get the triple whammy after 68 minutes when goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts desperately attempted to clear a ball for Deshorn Brown but ended up hacking Brown to the ground in the box conceding a penalty. Ricketts would be red carded for the foul, not for denying a goalscoring opportunity, and Andrew Weber would have to be subbed on to replace him in goal. To add to the Jamaican’s troubles, he had to be stretchered off after injuring himself in the kick.

Vicente Sanchez calmly converted the penalty down the middle as Weber guessed wrong and dove to his left. Less than 20 seconds after the Timbers resumed play, they conceded another penalty as Dillon Powers intercepted a pass and slid a through ball for Sanchez who was tripped by Weber in the box. Weber received a yellow card but was able to stop Brown’s weak penalty. However, Weber gave up a rebound that Brown was able to put away before Weber could reclaim the ball.

Jose Mari would get sent off in the 90th minute for a late challenge on Will Johnson that served as the only dark point for the Rapids who will host Sporting Kansas City while the Timbers look to get their first win of the season on the road against FC Dallas.

Sporting Kansas City 1 (Dominic Dwyer PEN 57’)

San Jose Earthquakes 0

Sporting Kansas City were the side able to move on from Champions League defeat as they recorded their first win of the 2014 season.

The hosts somehow failed to take the lead in the 18th minute after a Matt Besler long-throw was headed goalbound by Ike Opara but Earthquakes midfielder Jean-Pierre Pierazzi was able to clear the ball off the line. Seconds later, Sal Zizzo had a long shot beat Jon Busch but hit the post. Opara was there to bundle it in but his rebound hit the post and his second-chance went wide.

Fortunately for Opara, he would be involved in forcing the game’s decisive penalty as he fought for a loose ball in the box with Steven Lenhart who handled. Dom Dwyer converted the penalty. The Earthquakes had their best chance to equalize after 70 minutes when Chris Wondolowski’s shot from 12 yards missed the target. Sporting will head to Colorado next Saturday while the Earthquakes will host the New England Revolution.

FC Dallas 3 (Fabian Castillo 71’, Je-Vaughn Watson 78’, Michel 86’, Hendry Thomas RC 90’+4’)

Chivas USA 1 (Erick Torres 81’)

FC Dallas won for the second time in as many home games and ended Chivas USA’s early-unbeaten streak.

The hosts needed 70 minutes to breakthrough with a well-worked set-piece. Hendry Thomas headed Mauro Diaz’s chipped free kick down for Fabian Castillo who had no problem beating Dan Kennedy from six yards out to give Dallas the lead. Diaz would be instrumental in creating Dallas’ second as he played a long ball for Je-Vaughn Watson that Chivas USA left back Tony Lochhead could not deal with. Watson collected, rounded Kennedy and slotted it home.

Chivas USA would respond three minutes later as Erick Torres was able to score his third goal in as many games roofing a low cross from left-winger Kristopher Tyrpak. However, Michel would seal the game for FC Dallas with a free-kick that took a deflection before beating Dan Kennedy at the left post. Dallas will look to extend its home winning streak against the Portland Timbers while Chivas USA head east to take on the New York Red Bulls.

Chicago Fire 1 (Jeff Larentowicz 6’)

New York Red Bulls 1 (Dax McCarty 21’)

Two holding midfielders scored off of corners as Chicago and New York each continue their search for their first wins of the season.

Jeff Larentowicz opened the scoring after 5 minutes redirecting a Harrison Shipp corner towards goal that Luis Robles could only get a touch on before it went in. Shipp should have a second assist just before the 19th minute when his cross beat the New York defense but was just out of the reach of a diving Quincy Amarikwa.

The Fire would be burned by their inability to finish minutes later as Dax McCarty leveled the score for the Red Bulls. Chicago failed to clear a corner that eventually fell to McCarty who was able to beat Sean Johnson to his right.

Neither team were able to gain full control of the play although Robles kept the Fire at bay in Man of the Match efforts for the Red Bulls who host Chivas USA next Sunday. Chicago will play in the nation’s capital on Saturday against D.C. United.

Montreal Impact 0

Seattle Sounders 2 (Troy Perkins OG 8’, Obafemi Martins 58’)

The Seattle Sounders had to wait a day to beat the Montreal Impact but still came away with a sound victory even without Clint Dempsey.

Seattle took the lead after seven minutes when Lamar Neagle headed a free-kick to the far post that hit the crossbar before bouncing off of goalkeeper Troy Perkins and into the net. Perkins redeemed himself ten minutes later making a one-handed save on an Obafemi Martins’ header that was bound for the backpost. Martins would put the Impact away 12 minutes into the second half with a backpost header after Kenny Cooper did well to get to a loose ball headed towards the byline and floating a cross that the Nigerian was able to meet and beat Perkins who could only get a hand to the ball. The Sounders head home to take on the Columbus Crew while the Impact will look to snap a three-game losing streak when they play at the Philadelphia Union.

STANDINGS

140324 - MLS

ChristianAraos

Click on Christian’s name above to follow him on Twitter

Advertisements