This week’s Major League Soccer fixtures were mostly in favor of the home side. There were six wins for the home teams in Week 12 and four draws. Only Philadelphia was able to win on the road this week at New York.
Sporting Kansas City 4 – 2 New England
We start in the middle of the country at Sporting Park on a chilly Wednesday evening. Kansas City looked to keep their unbeaten home record against a New England side that hasn’t lost since the second week of the season. The Revolution bench was loaded with veteran players while Sporting KC was only able to dress 17 players, including all four rookies and two goalkeepers.
Both teams had chances early, but only New England was able to capitalize on them. After a misplaced pass through the midfield by Benny Feilhaber, Kelyn Rowe intelligently played Juan Agudelo through on goal. Kevin Ellis recovered to defend, but Agudelo calmly slotted the ball in the lower corner of the goal.
New England certainly looked the more dangerous in the first 28 minutes, mostly because of the gaps being left between Matt Besler, Ellis and Soni Mustivar. Kansas City out shot New England 6-2, but only one shot was on frame for each team. In the 29th minute, the game took a turn in favor of the home team.
Dom Dwyer scored what could be his best goal in Sporting blue. A quick cross from Krisztian Nemeth set up a chest-to-volley strike for Dwyer while he completed a 180° turn like Tony Hawk.
Sporting took a 3-1 lead into halftime following a 39th & 43rd minute penalty. Krisztian Nemeth headed home an in swinging Benny Feilhaber freekick to the near post past Brad Knighton. Knighton replaced the usual Revolution starting goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth on the night.
Kansas City benefited from a soft penalty call by referee Allen Chapman. Dwyer received the ball on the edge of the goal area. As Jose Goncalves touches Dwyer’s shoulder as he momentarily lost balance. Chapman deemed it enough for a penalty call and Feilhaber converted the chance for Kansas City.
The momentum continued in favor of Sporting inside the opening seconds of the second half. Jacob Peterson beat Kevin Alston to a through ball. Peterson slotted the pass to the free and goal ward bound Nemeth to score his team leading 5th goal of the season with only five shots on target.
The Revolution were able to get a goal back from Scott Caldwell in the 64th minute. Second half sub Charlie Davies found himself behind the KC defense and found Caldwell making a late run into the 18 yard area.
Sporting Kansas City was on its back heels for the next 26 minutes and could not find a goal to kill the match. Opportunities were there for the visiting side to come back into the game, but it was not meant to be on the night.
SKC broke a winless streak against the Revolution after losing all three match ups in 2013. New England also dropped a league high 9-game unbeaten streak.
Next week: Kansas City host Dallas & New England host Los Angeles
Columbus Crew SC 2 – 2 Chicago Fire
Coming into Friday’s game, Columbus and Chicago found themselves on opposite sides of the playoff line. Columbus continues to push for a playoff bye, while Chicago is struggling to keep playoff form. Not much would change in this match as the teams end equal at 2-2.
Kei Kamara continues to have an All Star caliber year. Kamara put the Crew up 1-0 after touching home a low cross from Ethan Finlay. The opportunity was created by Justin Meram’s dribble through midfield that attracted the attention of multiple Chicago defenders.
Columbus was able to score a second from a Kamara header in the second half. Federico Higuain’s corner kick was flicked on by Kevan George to the back post. Kamara made a late run into the 6-yard area and powerfully played it past Jon Busch.
Chicago continued to search for their opening goal. Three minutes after Kamara’s second, David Accam found his second career MLS goal. Built upon pressure to the back line, Kennedy Igboananike’s deflected cross fell favorably for Accam to head home.
The Fire gained momentum after their first goal and pushed for an equalizer. In the final half hour of the game Chicago out shot Columbus 9-3, but it was greater product of Columbus absorbing pressure than the Fire creating chances. Quincy Amarikwa had a dangerously moving volley that struck the post, but it did not beat Steve Clark.
After multiple stoppages in extra time, the referee allowed an additional extra time minute than what was originally scheduled. Chicago took full advantage of the 94th minute and scored to draw 2-2. Former Crew player Eric Gehrig’s cross found the free running substitute Jason Johnson. It was Gehrig’s second career assist and Johnson’s second career goal.
Next week: Columbus visit Orlando & Chicago host Montreal
Montreal 2- 1 FC Dallas
FC Dallas has been a threat to those who stand in its way this season. Montreal is coming off of their first league win of the season and is looking for consistency. This was only the fourth meeting between the two cross-conference opponents.
Action begins in this match during the 24th minute. Andres Romero was recovering a loose ball in the Dallas goal area when Moises Hernandez runs Romero over from behind. The referee called for a penalty and Ignacio Piatti comfortably scored for the lead.
There were only four shots on target during the first half, one of them being the penalty. Dan Kennedy ended the game with one save on the night. Evan Bush was a little bit more active in the late stages of the match.
In the 50th minute Jack McInerney helped himself to the game-winning goal for Montreal. McInerney played the ball to Piatti on top of the goal area and made his run to the side of his captain. Piatti laid the ball back for McInerney who sidefooted his shot low and hard to the far post.
FC Dallas made tactical changes after the second goal to bring more offense with just over a half hour remaining. Dallas controlled the play while Montreal tried to score another on the break.
Matt Hedges was able to get one goal back for Dallas after a save from Bush was pushed to his feet. Hedges unmistakably put the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-1. The Hoops ran the ball back to the center circle looking for a second.
Dallas was not able to overturn the two goal deficit. A remarkable save by Bush from a Blas Perez header was pushed away. A minute later there was a goalmouth scramble sequence where two blocks and two more saves were made by the Impact.
This was the Impact’s second consecutive MLS win since August of 2013. Dallas could not capitalize on their 15 corner kicks or 29 crosses. Evan Bush had a big game in goal for the Montreal Impact. Bush kept the Impact alive and saved a total of seven shots for the win.
Next week: Montreal visit Chicago & Dallas visits Kansas City
Other scores in MLS Week 12:
LA Galaxy 1 – Houston 0
Seattle 0 – Kansas City 0
Toronto FC 1 – Portland 0
New England 1 – DC United 1
Colorado 1 – Vancouver 0
Real Salt Lake 2 – New York City FC
NY Red Bulls 0 – Philadelphia 2
San Jose 1 – Orlando City 1