An exciting round four of the 2014 MLS Season saw 28 goals and four stoppage-time goals. It also saw home teams drop 15 points this weekend as the season is already on its way to being as unpredictable as can be.
The New England Revolution won for the first time in 2014 while the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders, playoff teams in 2013, lost home games at the death. The goonies (San Jose Earthquakes) got goonied and Toronto FC came down to Earth as they were outclassed by Real Salt Lake.
Philadelphia Union 1 (Vincent Nogueira 35’)
Montreal Impact 1 (Andrew Wenger RC 76’, Marco Di Vaio 80’)
Marco Di Vaio made up for lost time saving the Montreal Impact from a probable loss.The Impact struggled throughout the game only recording two shots on goal to go with their 67% passing accuracy and 42% possession rate and had been reduced to ten men shortly before Di Vaio’s goal.
The Impact fell behind to the hosts, Philadelphia, after a costly turnover from left back Heath Pearce. Union Midfielder Brian Carroll intercepted Pearce’s weak pass and then hit a direct pass to Jack McInerney who slid a throughball in for Vincent Nogueira. Nogueira got behind the Impact defense and beat Troy Perkins to his left shoulder to give Philadelphia the lead on 35 minutes.
Montreal nearly equalized 22 minutes into the second half when Di Vaio went on a 80-yard run after Perkins collected a Union corner and rolled it to the Italian who ran all the way from the edge of his area to inside the Union’s area before firing a shot well over the goal. The Impact were reduced to ten men after Andrew Wenger’s reckless challenge on Nogueira on 76 minutes. Three minutes later, Di Vaio equalized with a well-placed shot into the upper-far-right corner. The draw is the Impact’s first point of the 2014 season and they will host the New York Red Bulls while the Union head to Chicago to take on the Fire.
D.C. United 2 (Fabian Espindola 35’, Perry Kitchen 73’)
Chicago Fire 2 (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 27’, Quincy Amarikwa 82’)
D.C. United saw their winless streak extend to a club record 15 games as the team has not won a game in more than seven months while the Chicago Fire secured a second straight hard-earned draw.
Although the hosts had the early chances, the Fire took the lead in the 27th minute as center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado headed a corner into the top corner. D.C. would equalize nine minutes later off of a well-worked freekick as Nick DeLeon took a small touch to let Fabian Espindola fire a quick shot from the edge of the area under Sean Johnson.
United would take the lead in the 73rd minute off of another set piece as the Fire failed to clear a corner allowing Perry Kitchen to get on the loose ball and score from six yards out for only his third goal in four year. However, Quincy Amarikwa grabbed a share of the points for the Fire after converting a cutback from Patrick Nyarko. Chicago head back to Illinois to host the Impact while DC United will host the New England Revolution.
Colorado Rapids 2 (Vicente Sanchez PEN 60’, PEN 78’, Marvell Wynne RC 85’)
Sporting Kansas City 3 (Graham Zusi 50’, Benny Feilhaber 79’, Dom Dwyer 90’+2’)
Sporting Kansas City rallied to steal all three points from the Colorado Rapids after a five-goal second half.
Graham Zusi opened the scoring four minutes into the second half with a tap-in on the far post after Sal Zizzo surged past Rapids left back Marc Burch and hit a low cross for the unmarked American international. Colorado were able to equalize from the spot through Vicente Sanchez after Sporting center back Ike Opara handled in the area. Sanchez put the Rapids in the lead on 78 minutes from the spot again after Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber brought down Shane O’Neill. Colorado has scored all five of its goals this season from the spot with Sanchez scoring four of those.
Feilhaber immediately atoned by bundling in a loose ball in the box after Zizzo headed down a Zusi cross to level the score. Zusi played a hand in getting Rapids center back Marvell Wynne sent off in the 85th minute after he cleverly forced Wynne into a professional foul earning him second yellow card. No surprise who created the winner as it was Zusi who played Dom Dwyer in and the striker calmly freed some space for himself before firing a shot into the upper corner of the near post to give Kansas City the win.
Kansas City will move on from their first road win onto a rematch of the MLS Cup Final with Real Salt Lake while the Rapids head to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (Jordan Harvey 14’, Kenny Miller PEN 58’)
Houston Dynamo 1 (Ricardo Clark 75’)
The Vancouver Whitecaps maintained their perfect home record while ruining the Houston Dynamo’s perfect record.
Whitecaps left back Jordan Harvey opened the scoring 13 minutes in after a well-worked reload off of a corner. Midfielder Matias Laba sent in a deep cross form left wing that was headed down by center back Andy O’Brien in a perfect place for Harvey to run onto and dink it past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. Vancouver had the better of the game throughout keeping the Dynamo from recording any chances in the entire game.
The hosts doubled their lead before the hour mark as forward Kenny Miller converted a penalty conceded by Kofi Sarkodie when the right back handled in the area. The Dynamo got a consolation after midfielder Ricardo Clark headed in a Brad Davis free kick but it was not enough. The Dynamo will head home to face another impressive Western Conference Team in FC Dallas while the Whitecaps stay in British Columbia to host the Colorado Rapids.
FC Dallas 2 (Je-Vaughn Watson RC 40’, Blas Perez 45’+3’, Mauro Diaz 84’)
Portland Timbers 1 (Michael Harrington RC 39’, Matt Hedges OG 66’)
In one of the weirdest matches in recent history, FC Dallas completed an undefeated month of March to end up atop the Supporters Shield Standings.
In a bizarre moment five minutes before halftime, Timbers left back Michael Harrington and Dallas center back Je-Vaughn Watson were simultaneously sent off for an incident that only the assistant referee spotted. It would eventually be revealed that Harrington and Watson had punched each other away from the play and cameras making the official explanations for each player’s dismissal violent conduct.
Dallas took the lead just before halftime when Kellyn Acosta headed down a Jair Benitez cross to the far post for an unmarked Blas Perez to nod in. The Timbers equalized through a freak own goal by Dallas center back Matt Hedges. Portland striker Max Urruti tried to slip a through ball for winger Kalif Alhassan but the pass ramped up Hedges’ foot as he tried to intervene and wound up lobbing over goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
The hosts would secure the points through Mauro Diaz who cleverly created some space after recovering a loose free kick on the edge of the area. Diaz took advantage of the space to place a low shot past Andrew Weber and inside the far post to extend Dallas’ unbeaten run to four games as they head to Houston next week. The Timbers host the Seattle Sounders in the first Cascadia Cup match of the season.
Real Salt Lake 3 (Alvaro Saborio PEN 11’, 55’, Luis Gil 28’)
Toronto FC 0
Toronto FC came down to Earth as they passed off the pitch by Real Salt Lake in a vintage performance by the hosts.
Costa Rican international striker Alvaro Saborio bagged a brace and opened the scoring from the spot after he was brought down in the box by Toronto center back Doneil Henry. Luis Gil made it 2–0 to the hosts inside half an hour as his low finish took a deflection that wrong-footed Julio Cesar. Saborio rounded off the scoring with a cool flick off the outside of his right foot after he ran onto a chipped pass from Javier Morales.
The win completes an unbeaten March for RSL who look to avenge their last defeat—the MLS Cup Final to Sporting Kansas City. Toronto heads to Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew.
Seattle Sounders 1 (Kenny Cooper 22’, Djimi Traore RC 58’)
Columbus Crew 2 (Federico Higuain PEN 59’, Justin Meram 90’+4’)
While the Seattle Sounders started the month of March off with a stoppage time win, the Columbus Crew saw to it that the Sounders ended the month with a stoppage time loss.
The Sounders started off strong with a couple of quick counterattacks and it was through that means that they opened the scoring in the 22nd. Kenny Cooper scored his first goal as a Sounder after Obafemi Martins beat Giancarlo Gonzalez to a loose ball and sprang Cooper for a 2v1 break from midfield. Cooper got into the area, waited for Michael Parkhurst to commit to the block before curling a shot into the backpost.
The Sounders continued to generate chances but paid the price for not finishing when center back Djimi Traore fouled Dominic Oduro from behind in the box shortly before the hour mark. Since Traore was the last man between Oduro and goalkeeper Stefan Frei, he was sent off and Federico Higuain converted the ensuing penalty to equalize. The Crew stole the three points in stunning fashion with seconds remaining in stoppage time as they took a quick corner kick shortly after the Sounders cleared a shot off the line and Higuain found an unmarked Justin Meram just inside the area and Meram curled a shot past the jumping Dylan Remick and into the top corner while Frei was left rooted to his spot.
The stunning win continues the Crew’s best start in franchise history and they head home to host Toronto FC in a Trillium Cup match while the Sounders head to Portland to take on the Timbers.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 (Chris Wondolowski 69’)
New England Revolution 2 (Victor Bernardez OG 35’, Lee Nguyen 90’+3’)
In another case of reversing conventional wisdom, the San Jose Earthquakes would lose a game on a stoppage time goal as the New England Revolution scored their first goals of the season and got their first win of the season as well.
The Revolution created a few chances in the early going with Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch doing well to stop Saer Sene and Teal Bunbury. However, Busch’s biggest problem in the first half was his own defense. Earthquakes left back Jordan Harvey attempted to clear a chipped pass that the oncoming Busch would have likely collected but accidentally redirected towards the vacated goal. Center back Victor Bernardez’s hurried clearance was miscued into his own net for the own goal.
The Earthquakes equalized in the 69th minute as Chris Wondolowski atoned for an earlier miss by collecting a loose ball and slipping a shot past Bobby Shuttleworth’s right foot. The Earthquakes nearly got their stoppage time winner as Wondolowski did well to win a header off a free kick but the effort went narrowly wide.
However it would be the Revolution who would steal the points in a similar manner to the Crew as Charlie Davies quickly took a free kick in his own half. Davies found Scott Caldwell who played Lee Nguyen in on a 2v1 break. Nguyen cut inside and deked Clarence Goodson before firing a near-post shot past Busch. It was the Revolution’s first goal to be scored by one of its players in 2014 and it gives them a valuable win as they head to D.C. United while the Earthquakes are off next week.
New York Red Bulls 1 (Peguy Luyindula 90’+5’)
Chivas USA 1 (Erick Torres PEN 25’)
The New York Red Bulls salvaged a draw at the death but continued their struggles against Chivas USA at Red Bull Arena.
The visitors can credit their goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for nearly stealing all three points but definitely ensuring they took home at least one for their efforts. They would take the lead from the spot after Red Bull right back Richard Eckersley hauled down Thomas McNamara as he tried to get to a far-post cross. Erick Torres converted the penalty in the 25th minute for his fourth goal in as many games.
The Red Bulls pressed for an equalizer throughout the second half and saw a Peguy Luyindula goal disallowed 20 minutes in after Bradley Wright-Phillips, who replaced an injured Tim Cahill, barged into Kennedy forcing him to drop the ball. Kennedy stopped Wright-Phillips seven minutes later on a 1v1 as Wright-Phillips tried to roll it past the goalkeeper but Kennedy stuck a foot out to direct it away. Kennedy then tipped a Dax McCarty half volley from 20 yards over the bar as it was bound for the upper corner.
The Red Bulls would get their equalizer through Luyindula at the death as he lost his mark and redirected a corner into the net from the edge of the six-yard box. The Red Bulls go winless in their first four games for the second consecutive year but will head to Montreal to take on the Impact while Chivas USA will play their co-tenants, LA Galaxy, in the first SuperClasico of the season.
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