It took Houston 8 weeks to make my Match of the Week list, but I’m happy to report that all 20 MLS teams have now been featured, for better or worse..
You want goals? MLS has got them this week and they have certainly come in bunches. We feature some first time goal scorers and veteran goal scorers-turned creative outlets. If you’re missing these games I’ll fill you in, but go watch some next week!
Houston Dynamo 4 – 4 Sporting Kansas City
Houston and Kansas City met on Saturday night for their 16th meeting since 2011. These two teams have been known for their tight affairs. This year’s first match was full of free playing soccer that was abundant in scoring.
Krisztian Nemeth welcomed the chance to take on the Houston defense in the second minute. As Nemeth dribbled towards the top of the Dynamo’s 18-yard area, he was given plenty of space to shoot. The Hungarian’s strike would skip past Tyler Deric and into the goal for an early lead.
Kansas City looked for a second and could not find it. Houston tied the game at one when Giles Barnes found a bouncing ball wrapped in a bow. Sporting could not clear a throw in from their own goal area and Barnes struck it well for their first goal of the evening.
Houston scored just before half time and a minute into the second half to give themselves a 3-1 lead. Will Bruin was back into the Dynamo starting lineup to presumably take advantage of an Ike Opara-less backline. It was Bruin who used his size to redirect a Brad Davis corner kick into the side netting just before the whistle blew for half.
Barnes would start the scoring in the second half again for Houston. After picking the ball up in midfield, the English forward dribbled towards goal and scored similarly as Nemeth did in the first half. Kansas City didn’t step up to Barnes, which allowed for him to shoot through traffic and surprise Luis Marin.
Kansas City’s Chilean goalkeeper has been called into question again after the third goal that was conceded to Houston. Marin was hand picked by former club legend Jimmy Nielsen and has not lived up to expectation so far.
Sporting was brought back to life thanks to a miss placed back pass from Barnes. Dom Dwyer crept into the hole of Houston’s backline and finished the misplaced pass despite being taken down by Deric.
Benny Feilhaber was able to convert a penalty in the 78th minute to tie the game at 3-3. Nemeth danced and wiggled his way through the Dynamo goal area before shooting on goal. Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor was ruled to have denied a goal scoring opportunity by handling the shot by Nemeth and was given a red card. With the benefit of seeing the replay, Taylor did not handle the ball and was wrongly sent off.
Houston thought they were going to leave BBVA Compass Stadium with a 10-man win in the 83rd minute. Davis played a perfect free kick into the Sporting goal area and a was headed down and in by winter signing Raul Rodriguez for his first MLS goal.
If there was going to be a trailer for the second season of The Benny Feilhaber Show, you witnessed it in the 94th minute. Feilhaber struck the equalizing goal from about 23-yards. Graham Zusi brought down a cross with his head that was perfectly laid out for the former US international to hit first time.
Neither goalkeeper recorded a save in this game, but Deric closed the angle on Dwyer and Nemeth twice. In both opportunities, Deric was able to force their shots off frame when the KC strikers should have done better.
This was certainly an entertaining match for the neutral. Make sure you mark down July 1st on the calendar when these two teams rematch at Sporting Park.
Next week: Houston host FC Dallas & Kansas City host Chicago
Columbus Crew SC 4 – 1 Philadelphia Union
The Columbus Crew was looking to improve on their modest 2-2-2 record so far this year. The Philadelphia Union dreamed of spoiling the party for the rising Eastern Conference title contenders and win their first ever game at Mapfre Stadium.
Kei Kamara showcased his ability to be an offensive force in MLS (if you needed any reminder). Kamara scored and assisted for the second straight game to lead the Crew to a 4-1 win at home. His first goal came from a composed finish after receiving an Ethan Finley cross.
Finley also had a fantastic night for the Yellow soccer team (who wore their alternate black kit at home this weekend). Finley side-foot finished a cross from Waylon Francis in the 32nd minute.
Columbus would go into the locker room with a comfortable 3-0 lead over the Union after a Justin Merriam goal in the 44th. It was a goal of determination by Merriam who dribbled 40 yards with defenders on his back. It was shot underneath Union keeper John McCarthy who could not find the ball until it was too late.
The Union were able to close the growing gap in the 64th minute. Halftime substitute Eric Ayuk muscled his way past his defender and scored his first goal in MLS from a floated cross by CJ Sapong.
Columbus put the game away for good after Ethan Finley found his first brace of the season. Kamara this time played the role of creator when he slipped Finley behind the Philadelphia backline. Finley outraced the defense to place the fourth goal for Columbus into the net.
Philadelphia is not enjoying their soccer lately. The Union are now second-to-last in points per game and the first team in the league to reach five loses.
Next week: Columbus visit DC United & Philadelphia host Toronto FC
New England Revolution 4 – 0 Real Salt Lake
New England and Real Salt Lake meet up for their first and only regular season encounter this season. The two previous MLS Cup runners-up have met only once the past three seasons, all resulting in 2-1 score lines.
New England would eventually outscore Salt Lake by four, but the match was in the balance for a majority of the first half. Their breakthrough would come from a Chris Tierney finish that was well placed past an outstretched Jeff Attinella. First choice goalkeeper Nick Rimando was nursing a knee injury this weekend and Attinella’s service was called upon by Salt Lake.
New England was able to go up two goals before the referee ended the first half. Teal Bunbury played Charlie Davies in towards goal and put his shot on frame. Attinella was not able to control the shot and parried it into the pathway of Juan Agudelo, who did not miss from two yards out to create a two-goal gap.
Real Salt Lake could not pull their defensive woes together in the second half. When missing a centerback tandem of Jamison Olave (suspension) and Chris Schuler’s (knee) quality, its a strong ask of your reserves to keep the potent Revolution attack quite.
Charlie Davies continued his recent success with a second goal in as many games. The Revs played a short corner that found its way to Scott Caldwell. Davies was unmarked on the 6-yard area and finished with a powerful downward header.
The scoring would finish with Caldwell in the 84th minute. The original Revolution academy captain recorded his first professional goal after picking up a loose ball at the top of the area. The 3rd year pro placed the shot through some traffic and capped off a fantastic night for the Revolution.
Attinella saved 9 of 13 shots on the night. The scoreline could have easily been more unbalanced if it was not for Attinella’s strong performance in goal.
Next week: New England host NY Red Bulls & Real Salt Lake host San Jose
Other scores in MLS Week 8:
Chicago 1– New York City FC 0
Colorado 1 – FC Dallas 1
Vancouver 1 – DC United 2
NY Red Bulls 1 – LA Galaxy 1
Orlando City 0 – Toronto FC 2
Seattle 1 – Portland 0
From a personal standpoint, the Benny Feilhaber goal was the most important goal of this lot. The most enjoyable goal I feel belongs to Bradford Jamieson IV. It’s always exciting to see young players show their talent and bring new life to the game. Well done, kid. Let me know who you think deserves the Goal of the Week honor down below!