This week around MLS Week four: Recapping all the games, goals and glory

The Crew continue to roll, Portland is still desperate for goals, and NYCFC stays strong without Villa. Take a look back at the action. This week around MLS Week four.

New England Revolution: 2 (1-1-1)

NYCFC: 2 (3-0-1)

Once again without David Villa, NYCFC was able to hold off another opponent and continue their season without a loss.  His temporary replacement, Ismael Tajouri, recorded a brace, including the game-tying goal in the 75th minute.  The Revolution were looking for back-to-back victories after their opening day shut-out loss to Philadelphia.  Although a draw against one of the best clubs in MLS is nothing to hang your head about, first-year head coach Brad Friedel can’t be happy with his team’s performance.  New England lost the possession battle 71% to 29% at home.  It will be tough to find a more lopsided possession battle the rest of the season.

They’ll have to get right back at it Saturday night in a tough visit to Houston to battle the Dynamo.  The Revolution will have their work cut out for them as Houston will be well-rested, having this week off.  NYCFC  continues their road trip in San Jose this week to take on Chris Wondolowski and the Earthquakes.  It will be interesting to see if their undefeated streak will continue with or without David Villa.

Highlights

FC Dallas: 1 (1-0-2)

Portland Timbers: 1 (0-2-1)

This was a match-up of two clubs coming off completely opposite performances in their last match.  FC Dallas thumped a tired and frustrated Seattle team 3-0 last week, while the Timbers were throttled by the Red Bulls a few weeks ago, 4-0.  Things were again looking bleak for Portland as they trailed 1-0 early in the 2nd half.  That’s when winger Sebastian Blanco blasted a fabulous hooking shot into the left side of the net, tying the match at one for the Timbers.  His second goal of the season is only the second that his club has registered thus far this season.

FC Dallas will be kicking themselves for not capitalizing being up a man for the last twenty minutes of the match due to Portland midfielder, Lawrence Olum, being shown two yellow cards. Olum was gone after seeing his second yellow card (a clear handball in the box), and will have to sit when his teammates take on the Fire in Chicago Saturday night.  The post-Caleb Porter era is not looking great at the moment.  FC Dallas gets to rest this week and stay at home to play the Colorado Rapids in two weeks.

Highlights

Columbus Crew SC: 3 (3-0-1)

DC United: 1 (0-2-2)

The story of this one was Columbus midfielder, Federico Higuain, who on an assist in the 40th minute to Ricardo Clark, became the 19th player in MLS history to join the 50-50 club (50 goals and 50 assists in a career).  Higuain added another assist for good measure only two minutes later, on an excellent effort from the left side, finding Pedro Santos in the box.  The new center back pairing of Steve Birnbaum and Frederic Brillant has not yet gelled for the club from our nations’s capitol.  Granted, DC United is faced with a funky schedule as they wait the opening of Audi Field in July.  With no wins in their first four games and a goal differential already of -4, they better straighten things out quickly.  A last place club opening a new field won’t look good at all.

The Crew will look to continue some home cooking this week against the Whitecaps, while things don’t get any easier for DC.  The last thing they needed was a trip to Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, and that’s exactly what they’re getting.  Sporting KC can’t stop anyone from scoring either, so the result here will be one to keep an eye on.

Highlights

NY Red Bulls: 3 (2-1-0)

Minnesota United FC: 0 (2-2-0)

The Loons (I just love saying “the Loons”), ran into the injury bug, as well as the international break bug.  Due to both of these, they had to start a brand new back four against the Red Bulls.  Two of the new defenders were rookies, Carter Manley and Wyatt Omsberg, both forced into their first MLS start.  Things got off to a bad start for them when Alex Muyl dribbled through several defenders to take the lead in 15th minute.  Bradley Wright-Phillips took the new kids to school in the 42nd minute, bullying his way into the box and then sliding behind the back line for an easy tap in.

The goal of the match came in the 78th minute on another Wright-Phillips netter, but this one was special due to the brilliant service from Alex Muyl.  Make sure to check that one out below.  It’s a shame for Minnesota because their defense was playing considerably well.  Hopefully they will put this one behind them as they have a tough task at home vs Atlanta this week.  The Red Bulls hope to keep things rolling when they head to the magic kingdom to battle former teammate Sacha Kljestan and Orlando City Saturday afternoon.

Highlights

Colorado Rapids: 2 (0-1-1)

Sporting Kansas City: 2 (2-1-1)

The defense of Sporting KC has failed to show up this season.  Already surrendering 7 goals coming into this past week’s match, they surrendered another two goals in the first 8 minutes at Colorado.  Colorado’s first goal by Dominique Badji looked like a result of simply out-working the backline.  The second goal by Rapids newcomer Joe Mason, was a case of the Kansas City defense falling asleep.  It’s hard to pinpoint what the issue is.  Other than midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, no one behind the front three for Kansas City is new to the club.  Best I can tell it seems like a team-wide issue.  Luckily for them, goals from their side haven’t been hard to come by either.

The aforementioned Gutierrez was the fortunate recipient of a bounce off the post, leading to an easy put away in the 57th minute, tallying his fourth goal of the campaign.  Diego Rubio salvaged a draw after a nifty back heel pass from Khiri Shelton early into extra time.  The Rapids look to nail down their first win of 2018 when they host the Union this Saturday.  This will mark only the 3rd match for each club.  Sporting KC will tangle with DC United this week, who is desperate for three points of their own.

Highlights

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 0 (2-1-1)

LA Galaxy: 0 (1-1-1)

This would be the first post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing match for the Galaxy and it looked from the start that they were playing for the draw.   With only four non-goalkeepers on the bench, manager Sigi Schmid wasn’t taking any chances.  The defensive affair saw only three total shots on target, even with Kei Kamara back for the Whitecaps.  LA lost the possession battle but were content with a bend-don’t break attitude for a point on the road.  The best chance for either side came when Vancouver midfielder Yordy Reyna came streaking down the left side of the pitch late in the first half.  Although I have to give Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham the award for most pretentious comb-over in MLS, I also have to give him credit for a solid blocking stop on Reyna.

David Bingham

This week the Whitecaps have a tough task, traveling to Columbus to battle the Crew.  And lest I forget, it could possibly be Zlatan time in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon for the first clash of the two LA franchises.  I say possibly because these superstar signings almost never result in immediate appearances on the field.  We’ll see in a few days!

Highlights

Week 4 goals

Week 4 saves

Team of the week

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/03/26/team-week-presented-audi-sporting-kcs-gutierrez-leads-week-4

Player of the week, week four

Week Four Power Rankings

Week Five Fixtures

Friday, March 30th:

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake | 8:00 PM EST

Saturday March 31st:

Orlando City SC vs New York Red Bulls | 1:00 PM EST
Columbus Crew SC vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC | 3:00 PM EST
LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC | 3:00 PM EST
Chicago Fire vs Portland Timers | 6:00 PM EST
Minnesota United vs Atlanta United | 8:00 PM EST
San Jose Earthquakes vs New York City FC | 8:00 PM EST
Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution | 8:30 PM EST
Sporting Kansas City vs DC United | 8:30 PM EST
Colorado Rapids vs Philadelphia Union | 9:00 PM EST
Seattle Sounders vs Montreal Impact | 10:00 PM EST

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