Week three was full of good match ups. Leading into World Cup qualifying players and teams wanted to get a good result before somewhat of a break. Here’s all the action from this week around MLS: week three.
NYCFC 1 Montreal 1
NYCFC’s second straight home match started in the same fashion as their first. They dominated Montreal early. Rodney Wallace got his second goal in as many games in the first half. Montreal tried to break through with Piatii doing Piatti things, but the effort he created hit the post. NYCFC’s luck ran out in the second half. Montreal buckled down on defense and used Dominic Oduro’s speed to find an equalizer. The game ended 1-1. Dropped points for NYCFC at home, and a hard-fought draw by Montreal are the takeaways. Both seemed okay, but neither showed enough to win.
Atlanta 4 Chicago 0
Atlanta’s dominance from week two continued this past week. Chicago came to town and the winner of the match would move to the top of the east. This was the first ever MLS game streamed on Facebook live and it was a show. Atlanta scored early off a deflection-own goal from Chicago. A few minutes later, Chicago was down to 10 men after Johan Kappelhof took down Josef Martinez. Atlanta took the lead into halftime and smothered Chicago in the second half. Martinez found the net twice and Villalba got his first as Atlanta stomped on the Fire. Chicago had some chances going forward but couldn’t finish. Atlanta now sit a top the east, they have the best goal difference at +8 and Josef Martinez is the leagues leading scorer with five goals. Atlanta is rising, and they look hard to stop.
Vancouver 0 Toronto 2
Vancouver and Toronto came into their east vs west matchup looking for better fortunes than the past few matches. The game was even for the first 70 minutes, then Brek Shea lost it. He got a yellow for a bad challenge and continued to run his mouth at referee Ismail Elfath. Elfath was having none of it so gave Brek a second yellow. Vancouver was down to 10 men and Toronto pounced on the opportunity. Goals from Victor Vazquez and Jozy Altidore kept Vancouver winless, and gave Toronto their first win of the season. Toronto shot up the standings, while Vancouver stays at the bottom.
DC United 0 Columbus 2
DC United continues to struggle early in the season. Columbus came to town and was the recipient of two penalty calls. DC’s defense was terrible inside the box. Higuain converted a penalty in the first half, and Kamara converted in the second half. DC’s offense continued to sputter in the final third. They had chances but couldn’t convert. Columbus was lucky to get two penalties, as they could not covert chances apart from the penalties. Columbus got its first win of the season and jumped above the redline, while DC United continue to stay low in the east. DC only has one point from their first three games, and has yet to score a goal in 2017.
Orlando 2 Philadelphia 1
I did a full recap on this game here:
2-1 LOSS AT ORLANDO SHOWS THE PHILADELPHIA UNION’S FATAL FLAWS
Also Philadelphia Union’s social media person gets recognition for this, whether it’s good or bad recognition/social media is up to you.
— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) March 19, 2017
Dallas 2 New England 1
New England found an early lead from the penalty spot thanks to the new contact on set pieces point of emphasis. Lee Nguyen put the revs ahead in Dallas, but Maxi Urruti’s hot start to 2017 would not be stopped by New England. In the 71st minute Urruti found the equalizer. Then six minutes later, he found the eventual game winner. He stole the ball from a foot of a defender in the corner of the six yard box, and slotted a shot into the roof of the net! New England started off well on the road, but couldn’t hold onto their lead. Their defense let them down again, and Dallas’ hot striker continues to score important goals for them.
Sporting Kansas City 2 San Jose 1
This game was one that San Jose will want to have back, and one that SKC will take as their first win of the season. Sporting Kansas City scored first off a golazo from Benny Feilhaber. His wonder-shot will have USMNT fans wondering why he wasn’t included to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers roster. SKC got their eventual game winning goal in the 90th minute. A tame shot came towards San Jose’s keeper David Bingham. Bingham fell on the ball, but had it slip through his legs, and went into his own net. San Jose came right back and scored a goal, to get them back in the game. Florian Jungwirth scored for San Jose. San Jose’s dream started ended when their keeper accidentally scored an own goal. SKC will be thankful for their first win of 2017 off an own goal.
Colorado 2 Minnesota 2
The Loons went to Colorado with drastic lineup change. Minnesota started off slow like they have in their two previous matches, conceding in the first 20 minutes. They would redeem themselves in the second half through a penalty. Seven minutes later they found their first ever lead in a game! They found this in Colorado which is impressive, see as Colorado hadn’t allowed two goals in a game since they played the Union last season. The lead would only last one minute, as Colorado quickly answered. The game would end 2-2. What is the first ever point for Minnesota, will be two home points lost for Colorado.
Real Salt Lake 1 LA Galaxy 2
Real Salt Lake has had a tough start to 2017, and it would continue this past week. RSL opened the scoring in the first 20 minutes, but LA would find life thanks to Kyle Beckerman. Beckerman picked up two yellow cards before the end of the first. LA used their one man advantage to find the win at RSL. Emmanuel Boateng scored the game winner. Boateng has made a living scoring agaisnt RSL. He has 5 goals in four matches agaisnt RSL, and 0 goals in 27 matches against every other MLS team. RSL have fired their coach, Jeff Cassar, due to their slow start, while LA seems to be gelling nicely in 2017.
Portland 4 Houston 2
Two of the top western conference teams met in Portland. The home team went up 1-0 after a handball in the box awarded them a penalty, Valeri converted. 20 minutes later Houston was awarded a penalty as well, and Cubo converted. Houston went up right before half thanks to Romell Quioto. Portland equalized quickly in the second half, thanks to a Valeri header. Portland then added two late goals to bury Houston. These two are top in MLS; Houston’s hot start will likely continue thanks to Wilmer Cabrera. Portland are the only team to win all three of their games. Their early dominance has them firing on all cylinders.
Seattle 3 New York Red Bulls 1
The final game of the weekend, saw the 2016 champions return home. Their test was to stop the high-flying Red Bulls who won their first two games thanks to own goals. Seattle was on the board first. After winning a penalty, and having Clint Dempsey convert. The Red Bulls countered in the second half from the head of Bradley Wright-Phillips, but Seattle’s Championship celebration would not be halted. Jordan Morris found the back of the net after a nice sequence for Seattle, and Harry Shipp put the game away after deflecting a Joevin Jones shot behind Robles. New York will be upset losing their first match, While Seattle’s playmaker’s seem to be gelling nicely.
Also another controversial flop occurred in this match, leading to yet another piece of social media beauty!
— MLS Watercolorist ⭐ (@MLSwatercolors) March 20, 2017
Here’s where everyone stands after the third week of the season:
|Atlanta United FC||6||2||3||2||1||0|
|Orlando City SC||6||3||2||2||0||0|
|New York Red Bulls||6||2||3||2||1||0|
|New York City FC||4||1.33||3||1||1||1|
|Columbus Crew SC||4||1.33||3||1||1||1|
|New England Revolution||0||0||2||0||2||0|
|San Jose Earthquakes||6||2||3||2||1||0|
|Sporting Kansas City||5||1.67||3||1||0||2|
|Seattle Sounders FC||4||1.33||3||1||1||1|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||1||0.33||3||0||2||1|
|Real Salt Lake||1||0.33||3||0||2||1|
|Minnesota United FC||1||0.33||3||0||2||1|
Here’s week three’s goals of the week, saves of the week, and team of the week
Goals of the week:
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 20, 2017
Save of the week:
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 21, 2017
Team of the week:
Bench: Joe Bendik, ORL; Brent Kallman, MIN; Marc Burch, COL; Hernan Grana, DAL; Cristian Roldan, SEA; Rodney Wallace, NYC; Jozy Altidore, TOR
There are three MLS games this coming week, even with the World Cup qualifiers. They are:
Saturday March 25th:
New England vs Minnesota 2:00 PM streamed on MLS Live
New York Red Bulls vs Real Salt Lake 4:00 PM streamed on Facebook Live
Columbus vs Portland 7:30 PM streamed on MLS Live.
We’ll see if these six teams in action will be able to do well while missing some players. Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for a look at the Hex and the US Men’s national team’s route to Russia 2018, and a preview of the US Mens National team’s World Cup qualifier vs Honduras later today. Until then, peace out!
Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports