Philadelphia won a game. I’m not even kidding. It took them 90 minutes to do it, but they did it. Sporting Kansas City and Colorado didn’t even get to do it. Their match was postponed due to weather concerns. Orlando hosted 40,000 people at the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, while 3 matches this week drew less than 13,000. Do your part soccer family; support your teams.
Montreal Impact 4 – 1 Real Salt Lake
Montreal returned to MLS last week after chasing their CONCACAF Champions League dreams. Real Salt Lake is the only MLS team that had equaled the length of their continental cup run, but they haven’t been in the Champions League for a number of seasons now. On Saturday night, Montreal showcased their veteran poisonous attack against Salt Lake.
Laurent Cimon managed to steer a Marco Donadel corner kick into the net for the first goal of the match. The Belgian center back made a run towards the back post and stuck out his leg as it fell through a crowd of defenders. Sometimes you have to be present to win.
Two minutes later, Andres Romero would double the Impact’s advantage with a cool lob over Nick Rimando. The US international keeper was caught off his line and was indecisive to come further out to pressure the winger. Romero took the goal in stride and gave it a one-touch kiss for the second.
The Impact’s lead wouldn’t remain by two for long. Dominic Oduro would dispossess Jamison Olave in a sequence that would lead to a shot, from Oduro, off the post. Romero pounced on the loose ball like a cat in an alley for his first half brace. This was Montreal’s 3rd goal within eleven minutes.
Salt Lake out-passed and out-possessed Montreal, but that was not good enough to beat the Canadian Champions.
A sliver lining to the match for RSL supporters, was Devon Sandoval’s just after halftime. Luis Gil’s was tackled as he approached the corner of the 18-yard area. The ball rolled to the feet of Sandoval who curled the ball into the far corner with his first touch. It was a beauty of a finish from the third year player and only his fourth MLS goal.
Dilly Duka made a sliding finish to complete the scoring for Montreal on the night. Jack McInerney’s ball across the face of goal was deflected by Rimando, but not far enough from danger. Montreal wins emphatically, 4-1.
It was a match that RSL fans will hope to chalk up as a bad day at the office. Montreal looked fierce and dangerous from the get-go. Look for this team to continue their early season CCL success in MLS.
Next week: Montreal host FC Dallas & Salt Lake host New York City
Orlando City 4 – 0 LA Galaxy
Orlando City has won multiple USL Pro Championships at the Citrus Bowl, but they were still searching for their first home victory in MLS. The LA Galaxy have earned each of those five stars they wear above their crest. However, 2015 is a new season with new faces and Orlando City is used to winning in the Citrus Bowl.
Eric Avila was the final piece of a fantastic team goal puzzle by Orlando. Kaka slipped Rafael Ramos wide behind the defense of LA. Ramos played a cross into Brek Shea who redirected the ball back in front of goal. Avila connected his forehead to the ball and aimed to the ground past Jamie Penedo for the 12th minute lead.
Cyle Larin continued his fine form for Orlando. The MAC Hermann Trophy winner (best collegiate player) and 1st pick in the 2015 MLS Superdraft scored his 3rd goal in three games.
Referee Jair Marrufo deemed that Kaka was taken down in the goal area and awarded Orlando City a penalty in the 56th minute. The Brazilian converted the spot kick for his second MLS game with a goal and an assist.
Things continued to get worse for LA in the 73rd minute. Darwin Ceren scored a 30-yard drive that was deflected by Tommy Meyer past Penedo. Orlando City would go on to win the game 4-0. It was the largest win by a MLS expansion franchise over the MLS Cup holders.
Alan Gordon managed the Galaxy’s first shot on goal in the 88th minute. It was a comfortable return to MLS action for Tally Hall. The longtime Houston goalkeeper moved to Orlando City during the offseason while recovering from an ACL injury that kept him off the field for nine months. Welcome back, Tally.
LA is missing the veteran leadership of Robbie Keane. The Irish captain is still battling a nagging groin injury. This was the seventh straight game that the Galaxy has played without the league’s 2014 MVP.
Next week: Orlando visits San Jose & LA host Houston
Houston Dynamo 3 – 1 Portland Timbers
Both teams played similar starting lineups that gave them 2-1 wins in their respective matches last weekend. Houston’s only change was the re-inclusion of Brad Davis to their midfield. It was hot and humid in Houston on Saturday night.
Davis continued his race up the MLS all-time assist count (116) with his fourth of the year in the 9th minute. The streaky Will Bruin got on the end of the delivery after making a late run into the goal area to avoid the crowd.
Adam Kwarasey kept the Timbers in the game before halftime. A dicing run by DeMarcus Beasley lead to a stinging shot from the World Cup veteran. Kwarasey pushed it wide and then sent away by Jorge Villafana.
Portland managed to make the most of their only shot on goal of the game. After 48 minutes past, Fanendo Adi managed to score his 4th goal of the campaign. The goal came from a dispossession at midfield and a fantastic ball slipped into Adi by Diego Valeri.
Giles Barnes is on pace for a career year in Houston under fellow Britain Owen Coyle. Barnes scored his sixth goal of the season after receiving a tight pass inside the goal area from Alexander Lopez.
The Dynamo solidified their 3-1 win over the Timbers with another Will Bruin goal in the 83rd minute. The striker snuck behind the Portland backline after chasing an in swinging forward ball. Bruin lobbed Kwarasey with his first touch and left Nat Borchers in his dust.
Next week: Houston visits LA & Portland visits Toronto
Other scores in MLS Week 11:
DC United 2 – Orlando City 1
New York City FC 2 – Chicago 2
FC Dallas 0- NY Red Bulls 0
Vancouver 0 – Seattle 2
New England 1 – Toronto FC 1
San Jose 2 – Columbus 0
Philadelphia 1 – DC United 0
I feel very partial to the Orlando City team goal. It has feel-good and fun vibe to the ball movement. And some history attached is always a plus. The finish from Devon Sandoval was spectacular, although I don’t seen him repeating that again.