Reviewing Days three, four & five of the MLS is Back Tournament

This past weekend there was a lot of action in the MLS is back Tournament. Friday, Saturday and Sunday provided five matches. Games from Group B, D and E went down. Here’s a look back at the wild weekend in the tournament.

Mandatory Credit: MLSSoccer.com

Day Three:

Seattle and San Jose kicked off play in Group B on Friday night. The Sounders were thought to have a cake-walk in this one as the reigning MLS champions. San Jose gave them a fight, and at times looked like the better team. There were plenty of chances for both sides, but the rust was apparent. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. The best chance came from San Jose’s Jackson Yueill. His long-range effort almost beat Stefan Frei, but the MLS Cup winner got his fingertips to it and saved the Sounders, earning him man of the match honors.

Man of the Match:

Day Four:

Saturday evening had some fun matches in Group E. Atlanta United renewed their rivalry with New York Red Bulls, while he Hell is Real Derby between Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati had it’s first showing of 2020.

The Atlanta United-New York Red Bulls match was one that many were waiting for, and it didn’t take long for there to be fireworks. A break for New York saw Kaku find a brilliant pass ahead to Florian Valot. Valot split the Atlanta centerbacks and was in on goal. He put the ball past the onrushing Brad Guzan. The Red Bulls went up in the fourth minute. Atlanta lacked the quality to score a goal without their star Josef Martinez. The Red Bulls will love getting three points over their rivals, while Atlanta will need to figure out a way to score in their next group stage matches.

Man of the Match:

The second match of Day 4 saw the two teams from Ohio clash. However, it was clear from the start that this game would be less of a clash, and more of a route in favor of Columbus. FC Cincinnati stood their ground for the first 20 minutes but after that Columbus found a breakthrough and never looked back. In the 27th minute, Lucas Zelarayan took a free kick for Columbus and scored the first Golazo of the MLS is Back Tournament. A swerving free-kick hit the top right corner of the post and ricocheted in. Columbus then scored three more goals throughout the game showing their dominance as Group E favorites. Zelarayan was awarded man of the match honors for his goal and two assists he provided.

Man of the Match:

Day four saw all four teams from Group E play, here’s where they stand after one matchday.

Day Five:

Group D kicked off play Sunday evening with a thriller between Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United, and a one-sided affair between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids.

Sporting Kansas City took on Minnesota United FC in what may be the craziest match of the tournament so far. The game was very open, and Kansas City opened the scoring at the end fo the first half. Some great ball work from Alan Pulido opened the field up to see a streaking Khiry Shelton. Shelton made the run into the box and looked to open his body up to square a pass across the box. This made Minnesota keeper cheat to the middle of the goal, Shelton then was able to slot the ball at the near post to give SKC the lead. As the match progressed to the second half, things got crazy.

A charging run from Sporting KC’s goalkeeper, Tim Melia saw him get a red card for clipping a Minnesota United player who was in on goal. SKC went down to 10 men and the Loons went on the attack for the final 15 minutes of the match. Into the seven minutes of stoppage time, Minnesota took advantage of the man advantage. A free-kick was placed in the box and accidentally turned into the SKC net by Shelton. After the match was tied Minnesota smelled blood in the water, and some good possession and crossing found an open Kevin Molino. He forced home the finish securing all three points for Minnesota.

Man of the Match:

The second match of Day five saw Colorado take on RSL in a Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry that took place far away from the Rockies. Colorado was many peoples pick to be a dark horse in this competition. It turned out that Real Salt Lake was more prepared to make a difference in this match. In both halves, the two teams were able to create some chances, but it was RSL who converted. Albert Rusnak scored in the 27th minute, and Damir Kreilach scored in the 76th minute. Colorado could not find their finishing boots and start the tournament behind the eight-ball with a loss.

Man of the Match:

After Day five, all four teams in Group D had their shot at securing points, here’s where they stand.

Whats on deck for Day Six?

On Monday, July 13th, we get the first day with three matches.

Toronto FC takes on DC United early in the morning after their match was postponed on Sunday due to false-positive Covid-19 tests. This match has already been played, look for a recap on it tomorrow!

In the evening, Group F kicks off with LAFC taking on Houston at 8:00 p.m., then LA Galaxy takes on Portland Timers at 10:30 p.m.

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Mandatory Credit: MLSSoccer.com

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