This weekend was packed with fixtures including a double game week for Philadelphia and New York City FC. Neither of those teams could make up lost points from their draw last weekend. Columbus Crew SC roasted a 10-man Orlando City & the Los Angeles Galaxy won late against Sporting Kansas City. Also, the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Real Salt Lake to take their league-leading 5th win in 2015.
FC Dallas 3 – 2 Toronto FC
FC Dallas and Toronto FC braved a 3 and half hour weather delay on Saturday evening that finished just short of 1am on Sunday. Toronto was able to get 2 second half goals from designated player Sebastian Giovinco, but that would not be enough for TFC after they dug themselves into a three goal first half deficit.
Fabian Castillo helped himself to a brace inside ten minutes. His opening goal came after 29 seconds. It was the fastest goal in Dallas history. Castillo made Nick Hagglund twist and turn nine minutes later before he expertly placed a curling effort inside the far post for his second of the evening.
Defensive woes continued again for the Canadian side in the 27th minute. Damien Perquis and Collen Warner collided into each other, leaving the ball free for Blas Perez to add to his tally of 4 goals this season. Toronto FC had two weeks to prepare for this matchup and certainly did not get off on the right foot.
Play was halted in the 43rd minute as a storm moved into the Frisco, Dallas area. Play did not resume until after midnight local time. It was a break that did wonders for Toronto. They were able to settle nerves and collect their pride for the second half.
Second half substitution Luke Moore had a fantastic chance to put Toronto on the board in the 76th minute. Sprung from the midfield, Moore took down the ball, but powered it over the goal.
Giovinco showcased his undeniable talent in the final ten minutes of the match. The Atomic Ant beat ran by his defender on the byline and chip goalkeeper Chris Seitz over his shoulder. It was a brilliant individual goal that brought TFC back to life.
Giovinco’s second goal came from a set piece that he won in the 89th minute. The Italian was able to bend a curling effort up and over a 7-man wall to beat Seitz again.
Dallas improved their unbeaten record at home versus Canadian opponents an overall the record of 14 wins and 2 draws.
Toronto FC has given up ten goals in their past four — all away matches. They will be on the road for 3 more games before reopening their expanded BMO Field.
Next week: FC Dallas visit Colorado & Toronto FC visit Orlando City
Colorado 1 – 3 Seattle
The Rapids were coming off of their best game in this young season. Colorado came out attacking against the Seattle Sounders, but did not have enough accuracy to beat the Supporter’s Shield and US Open Cup holders.
Dillion Powers had a chance to score after 4 minutes. His effort looked like it would bounce in, but it would not go in in off the post. Seattle picked up the loose ball and strutted straight down the field with confidence. Lamar Neagle picked up the ball wide and placed a dipping curler into the top corner that gave the Sounders a one goal lead.
The Rapids high pressed the Sounders through the midfield and managed to win a misplaced pass. It was quickly moved up the field to Gabriel Torres who managed to split the defense and calmly finished the chance to tie the game 1-1.
The game was only tied for three minutes before Seattle responded. Lamar Neagle scored his second of the night when his first attempt was not properly dealt with. Curt Irwin made the save, but it bounced off James Riley and fell towards Neagle who did not miss from inside the 6-yard area.
Seattle’s Chad Barrett was lucky to avoid an early red card after a dangerous challenge on Vicente Sanchez. The teams went into halftime with Seattle ahead 2-1.
The moment of the match and perhaps this weekend in MLS goes to Obafemi Martins. The Nigerian international brought down a 40-yard ball from Andy Rose by doing a Cruyff turn into the goal area and smashed it past the helpless Irwin.
Colorado pushed forward for the rest of the match, owning the majority of possession. Seattle was comfortable sitting back and absorbing pressure while Colorado attempted from outside the goal area. The Rapids attempted 7 shots on goal after the Martins goal – none were on target.
Seattle’s win is their 5th straight against Colorado with a combined score of 14-3 in those matches.
Next week: Colorado host FC Dallas & Seattle host Portland
Philadelphia 1 – 2 New England
It was an intense match up from the get-go. Fortunately, for the soccer purists out there, this match displayed better defense than last May when the teams combined for an eight-goal thriller. This game was decided by the depth of New England as they look to win the Eastern Conference again.
Jermaine Jones made his long awaited return to the New England starting XI. Jones has been recovering from an offseason sports hernia surgery. Instead of playing Jones in his traditional midfield role, coach Jay Heaps played Jones in his alternate center back position to replace the injured Jose Goncalves.
The first goal came from a Cristian Maidana 28-yard free kick. Maidana bent the ball off the post to beat an outstretched Bobby Shuttleworth. Jones needlessly committed the foul during transition.
Philadelphia held onto the one goal lead going into half. The Union did not allow a shot on target in the first half. This would change in the second.
Heaps brought on Teal Bunbury in the 61st minute. The striker-turned winger made an immediate impact by beating Ray Gaddis on the wing and serving Charlie Davies his first goal of the season.
New England would make another substitution that would trouble the Union. Diego Fagundez came on in the 71st minute and provided Bunbury with the go-ahead goal that was similar to the first.
Both of New England’s goals were well placed crosses behind the defensive backline of Philadelphia. It was John McCarthy’s third start in goal for Philadelphia.
New England is now undefeated in their last five matches and will be full loaded to make a long run this season.
Next week: Philadelphia visit Columbus & New England host Real Salt Lake
Other scores in MLS Week 7:
New York City FC 1 – Philadelphia 1
NY Red Bulls 2 – San Jose 0
DC United 1 – Houston 1
Columbus 3 – Orlando City 0
Real Salt Lake 0 – Vancouver 1
LA Galaxy 2 – Sporting Kansas City 1
New York City FC 0 – Portland 1
Okay, so we know that Obafemi Martin’s goal is probably going to win all the votes this week, but I want to bow down to Giovinco for a moment. So far, Toronto is getting their Canadian pennies’ worth. Giovinco could take the Reds to the playoffs for the first time in team history if their backline can hold a few results. Enjoy this chip!