Eight draws in Week 8 of Major League Soccer is a new season high for the league. Sporting Kansas City spent 63 minutes across two games this week with a man advantage and did not record a shot on goal in that span – which lead to two 1-1 draws. Jordan Morris has now scored in three straight games for Seattle, who took three points from the Columbus Crew. Real Salt Lake remained perfect at home with a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo.

New York City FC 3 – Vancouver Whitecaps 2

New York City responded well after going down a goal in the opening minute and took the lead twice to earn their second victory of the season.

An early mistake by Josh Saunders gave the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead before the first minute eclipsed. Nicolas Mezquida pressured the goalkeeper clearance outside the narrow field. Octavio Rivero was in the right place at the right time to push pass the ball into the goal.

Rivero could have made it two for Vancouver in the 15th minute, but was not able to get a shot off after rounding Saunders. Rivero would have to come off later in the first half because of an injury.

David Villa took advantage of his two shots on goal in the first half. His 7th MLS brace gave NYCFC the lead going into halftime. The first was a simple strike to the far post following a great dispossession of Vancouver by Khiry Shelton – the second was a sensation full volley that came from the training ground.

As great as the goal was, it may be the last time that NYCFC score from the routine. Frederic Brillant was involved in the holding of two Whitecap players that allowed Villa to cleanly strike the ball. The infraction was clear on replay, but would have been difficult to spot during the run of play.

New York City kept the ball for the majority of the game and rarely let the Whitecaps play the ball in the attacking half.

Ethan White brought down Kekuta Manneh just inside the goal area and won a penalty for Vancouver in the 62nd minute. Saunders blocked the initial effort by Christian Bolanos, but was not there to recover the second.

Kekuta Manneh will most likely see a one-match suspension for his dangerous tackle on Federico Bravo. The crunching mid-shin challenge was shocking.

Thomas McNamara played a blind diagonal cross through the Vancouver goal area and it came to the feet of Steven Mendoza. This was Mendoza’s first goal for NYCFC and first shot on goal after 17 attempts this season.

Next week: New York City visits DC & Vancouver hosts Portland

New York Red Bulls 4 – FC Dallas 0


Three points seemed to be an oddity to consume this weekend, but the New York Red Bulls managed to digest them well. NYRB showed their potential with a professional performance over the early Western Conference leaders FC Dallas.

April showers in Harrison, New Jersey set the stage for a chilly and slippery evening. With all things even, a set piece routine by the Red Bulls separated the two teams. Sasha Kljestan’s lobbed free kick was headed down at the back post to Lloyd Sam by Sal Zizzo. It was a Sam’s first goal of the season and Kljestan’s fourth assist in three games.

Going into the second, the Red Bulls had dominated, but it was expected to see Dallas turn up the pace of the game in the second half. Dallas was unable to connect in the final third, but New York capitalized on their chances when they came.

Jesse Gonzalez came off his line to clear a ball but it deflected off of his own player into the midfield instep of Lloyd Sam. The midfielder put his 40-yard effort off the cross bar and Kljestan headed home the rebound past a helpless Gonzalez.

The Red Bulls made it 3-0 with a bullet header from Mike Grella. Felipe Martins’ cross from the corner of the area was like a guided missile to the forehead of Grella.

Felipe made it four for the Red Bulls after his strike snuck into the top of the goal. Gonzalez got his fingertips to the shot, but was not able to parry the ball over the bar.

The Red Bulls will take these two home wins on the road and look to keep the results coming their way.

Dallas will use the blue shorts as an escape goat and place this result on a crummy night in New Jersey, like most of us do. They will not waver at this result, especially with the expected return of center back Matt Hedges in the coming week.

Next week: New York visits Orlando & FC Dallas visits Toronto

Montreal Impact 2 – Colorado Rapids 2

Mauro Biello’s Montreal Impact took the lead twice against the surging Colorado Rapids and could not secure the three points inside a sunny Stade Saputo.

Didier Drogba scored from an early free kick. It was his second of the season for the Impact and was the only shot of his seven that he managed to place on goal.

The Impact took the lead into halftime and let it slip away in the 47th minute. Shkelzen Gashi scored with his knee after Mekeil Williams found space behind the Impact defense.

Colorado defended an offensive throw in twice, but it was the third loose ball that fell to Maxim Tissot that lead to a second goal and a second lead for Montreal. Tissot’s precise effort was well struck from 25 yards and skipped across the grass into the far corner.

Bobby Burling scored the final goal of the match to draw it level, 2-2. It was Burling’s 5th goal in his 10-year MLS career. The defender pounced on a loose ball after Axel Sjoberg headed it down towards goal.

At the end of the weekend, these two teams are now at the top of their respective Conferences in MLS. The draw keeps the Rapids unbeaten in their last four matches – a record that they will happily return home with for the next two matches.

Montreal will face three straight Eastern Conference foes in the next three weeks. Cross conference points are bonus, but they must take points away from the clubs beneath them to remain leaders.

Next week: Montreal visits Columbus & Colorado hosts Salt Lake

Other scores in MLS Week 9:

New York City FC 1 – Montreal Impact 1

New England Revolution 1 – Portland Timbers 1

Vancouver Whitecaps 1 – Sporting Kansas City 1

Philadelphia Union 1 – San Jose Earthquakes 1

Seattle Sounders 1 – Columbus Crew SC 0

Chicago Fire 1 – DC United 1

New England Revolution 2 – Orlando City SC 2

Real Salt Lake 2 – Houston Dynamo 1

Portland Timbers 2 – Toronto FC 1

Sporting Kansas City 1 – LA Galaxy 1


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