MLS Week 16 Wrap-Up: DC Widens Eastern Conference Lead

Real Salt Lake got a much needed win against Kansas City, which ended Sporting’s seven-game unbeaten run. Colorado drew their league leading ninth match of the season at home against FC Dallas. New York City FC surprised Toronto FC winning 2-0 at BMO Field. San Jose took full advantage of a weakened Seattle with a win away from home. Portland and Montreal both won 2-0 at home. That and much more this week in the Week 16 Wrap-Up!

LA Galaxy 5 – Philadelphia Union 1

The added boost of captain and reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane helped give the Galaxy their prowess back. LA had five different goal scorers in a 5-1 rout of the Union. The Galaxy has kept a playoff spot this year without having Keane for a majority of the season.

Philadelphia enjoyed their soccer the past four weeks with three wins from their five games. Until the Galaxy scored their first goal, it was the Union that looked to be the most dangerous of the two teams.

Baggio Husidic scored the first goal to give LA the lead in the 23rd minute. Husidic notched his second goal of the season after rebounding a Gyasi Zardes shot that came off the post.

The second Galaxy goal came from a patient and simple ball out wide from Zardes that opened space for Juninho to run into. The Brazilian midfielder took a heavy touch into the goal area but slide down to finish past Brian Sylvestre. The Galaxy took a 2-0 lead into half time.

Zardes played Keane into the wide left channel on a counter attack during the 56th minute. Keane drifted wide and made his defender dance while Zardes continued a 50-yard run to side volley ball in the goal to make it 3-0.

CJ Sapong continues to be the brightest star in the Union camp. The former Rookie of the Year took his 5th goal of the season very well. The forward held up A.J. DeLaGarza and struck the ball past Jaime Penedo to break the shutout.

The most impressive goal of the evening came after a free kick was redirected in front of goal by Omar Gonzales. Stefan Ishizaki waited for the looping header to fall to the ground before smashing it just before it touched a blade of grass. The shot made its way past on coming traffic and avoided the blinded Sylvestre.

The final goal of the evening came from a intelligent pass from Zardes. The US international left the ball on top of the goal area after allowing Sebastian Lietget to join in on the attack. Lietget took his goal well by push passing the ball with pace into the far right corner.

I am sure it was a quite airplane ride home for Philadelphia, but the Union had some good moments offensively that they should take with them forward. The defense, however, will need some work if the Union want post season soccer this fall.

Next week: Los Angeles host Portland & Philadelphia host Seattle

New York Red Bulls 1 – Vancouver Whitecaps 2

The New York Red Bulls had never beat the Whitecaps going into Saturday night’s meeting at Red Bull Arena. The Whitecaps have been hot and cold the past six matches; winning three and losing three.

This match got off to a quick start. After only three minutes, referee Jorge Gonzales awarded New York a penalty after Steven Beitashour was ruled to have taken down Sal Zizzo just inside the goal area. Red Bulls hero Bradley Wright-Philips took the penalty. Vancouver’s goalkeeper David Ousted came up with the big save early in the match.

After starting the match 11 vs 11, New York lost Sasha Kljestan to a silly red card in the 11th minute. The American international was playing games with Kendall Watson and could not keep his cool. Kljestan turned an elbow into Watson and kicked out at the defender.

Vancouver quickly took advantage of their additional man. Beitashour played Cristian Techera down the line and played an early cross into Kekuta Manneh. Manneh has his mark burned the second the first ball was played. You could see this goal coming from a few states away and Manneh touched it in past a helpless Luis Robles.

The Red Bulls were not able to manage another shot on target the entire first half. The second half would introduce us to Anatole Abang, the 18-year-old Cameroon striker that scored his first MLS goal in New York’s last match.

Wright-Philips had an opportunity to redeem himself for his missed penalty in the 65th minute. A second penalty was awarded to the Red Bulls and again it was unconvincingly taken by Wright-Philips and dominantly rejected by Ousted.

The Whitecaps sealed their unbeaten record against the red side of New York with a goal by 19-year-old homegrown player Kianz Froese. Octavio Rivero and Froese ran 2v2 against the NY backline after winning the ball and they beat them with speed. Froese’s finish was calm and well placed at pace to the far post.

Chris Duvall provided the assist on New York’s goal in the 82th minute. As the ball was arriving to Abang just before the penalty spot the young player held up his run and redirected the ball into the near post. The ball curled past the fingertips of Ousted this time and ended the game 2-1 in favor of Vancouver.

The Whitecaps continue to quietly climb the Western Conference table. They now sit tied on points with leaders Seattle, who have a game in hand. This could be a good year for Vancouver if they are able to stay healthy throughout the fall.

Next week: New York host Salt Lake City & Vancouver visits New England

DC United 2 – New England 1

DC United vs. New England

Image: USA Today Sports

DC United came into Sunday’s affair with four losses in their past six matches. Thanks to their good form during April and May, the Eastern Conference regular season title is still up for grabs. The Revolution sit just behind United in the table and could narrow the gap with a win.

Charlie Davies sparked New England early with a delicate finish from 10-yards. Lee Nguyen made a good run into the wide channel and to find a flicked on pass. His run opened up an early cross for Davies who stroked in a goal for the Revolution.

Fabian Espindola became the difference make for DC in the 70th minute of the game. The United forward provided his 5th assist of the season in six games to Chris Rolfe to get DC on the board. Espindola chipped a floating cross to the far post and found a patiently waiting Rolfe for the volley.

Rolfe would score his 6th goal of the season eleven minutes later. A penalty was called for DC when Steve Neumann caught Miquel Aguilar on the edge of the goal area. Rolfe sent New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth the wrong way and push passed his spot kick calmly into the side netting.

With their win, DC United momentarily take first place in the Supporter’s Shield race. All three Cascadia teams are all within reach of the mantle and loaded with games in hand. New England will not be in jeopardy of a playoff place this season, but they will need to get into form shortly. The fall is just around the corner and the Revolution are still searching for consistency in results.

Next week: DC United visit Chicago & New England visits Columbus

Other scores in MLS Week 16:

Colorado 1 – FC Dallas 1

Montreal 2 – Orlando City 0

Seattle 0 – San Jose 2

Toronto FC 0 – New York City FC 2

Portland 2 – Houston 0

Real Salt Lake 2 – Sporting Kansas City 1

 

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About the author: Henry Hauck

 

I love watching American soccer grow, I collect official match balls & dabbling in photography.

Website: https://hhfooty.com/

 

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