MLS Week 12 Recap: Toronto Gets First Win; DC Climbs to Top of the East
An early second-half goal from Chivas USA forward Juan Pablo Angel kept the New York Red Bulls from their 6th straight win. Unfortunately for Chivas, Kenny Cooper answered nine minutes later with his 11th goal of the season, splitting the points between the two sides. There wasn’t much to the first half, but in the 25th minute, Angel nearly put Chivas up with a shot that beat Ryan Meara, but not the near post. In the 47th minute Angel would not be denied again as he pulled off an acrobatic side volley after Rauwshan McKenzie headed a ball into the middle of the box. New York’s response was not as flashy. After receiving a through ball from Brandon Barklage, Dane Richards continued down the right flank until sliding a cross through the box to an unmarked Cooper who could calmly slipped the ball past a diving Dan Kennedy. New York pushed to get a second goal, but strong defensive plays from the Chivas backline kept the scoreline level.
Chicago 2-1 Dallas
FC Dallas’s search for their first win in seven games, and their first win away from home, was spoiled by Marco Pappa and the Chicago Fire. Dallas took the lead in the 41st minute after Matt Hedges headed home the rebound after Sean Johnson made the initial save when Blas Perez got a head to a corner kick. Chicago quickly answered just before half when Pappa found Sebastian Grazzini at the top of the box. Grazzini took a few touches toward goal before sending a curled shot into the upper corner of the goal. FC Dallas looked to re-take the lead after Dominic Oduro was called for a foul in the box, but Johnson got down stopping the PK from Perez. Ten minutes later Pappa earned a PK for the Fire. Hartman matched Johnson’s save, but could do nothing to stop Pappa, who was well inside the box when the penalty was taken, from burying the rebound and giving Chicago the win.
Seattle 0-2 Columbus
The Columbus Crew defense and ‘keeper Andy Gruenebaum held strong against a Seattle Sounders attack that fired 21 shots, but could not find the back of the net. Although the Crew were only able to manage one shot on target each half, Columbus made them count. The Crew’s first goal came in the 15th minute when Justin Meram connected with a cross from Dilly Duka with a diving header. Seattle kept control of the ball for the remainder of the game and pressed forward, but Gruenebaum, who finished the game with six saves, was up to the task each time the Sounders got a shot on target. Columbus doubled their lead in the 76th minute after Emilio Rentería released a half-volley from distance catching Bryan Meredith off his line.
LA 2-3 San Jose
After suffering their first SuperClasico loss to Chivas USA in five years last weekend, the LA Galaxy looked to rebound against the San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clasico. Things started out well for the Galaxy with two unanswered goals by the 73rd minute, but San Jose responded with three goals including a 94th minute strike by Alan Gordon. LA started the scoring in the 3rd minute after Chad Barrett found Hector Jimenez inside the box with a back heel. Jimenez then slotted a low shot far post. In the 59th minute Jimenez put his name in the book again when he was shown a red for a studs-up tackle. Playing with 10 men, LA struck again in the 73rd minute when Mike Magee dribbled past a San Jose defender and around Jon Busch before slamming the ball into the top of the net. San Jose quickly answered in the 76th minute with a diving header from Steven Lenhart. The Earthquakes leveled the scoreline in the 82nd minute from the spot after David Beckham was whistled for a handball in the box. It looked like the two teams would split the points until Alan Gordon beat Brian Perk to a bouncing ball in the box and headed the ball home sealing San Jose’s win.
Houston 2-1 LA
The LA Galaxy failed to improve from their mid-week loss despite taking the lead against the Houston Dynamo early in the second half. Playing once again without Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, the Galaxy found themselves in front when Chad Barrett found Edson Buddle inside the box where he calmly slotted his shot past Tally Hall. After the goal, both teams pressed forward getting closer to scoring each time until the 38th minute when a shot from Brian Ching hit off the post. Caught by surprise, Mike Magee attempted to collect the ball inside the box, but inadvertently sent it into his own net. The game stayed level until Andre Hainault ran onto a corner from Brad Davis, sending his header just inside the far post.
Toronto 1-0 Philadelphia
In their 10th game of the season Toronto FC were finally able to come away with points, by defeating a Philadelphia Union team that has also been struggling this season. Toronto started the game strong in the 8th minute when a quick free-kick freed Joao Plata on the right side. Plata’s first attempt was saved by Chris Konopka, but Plata got to the rebound only to send it screaming across the goal mouth. Toronto ended the first half with two more near misses, but found themselves on the defensive as Philadelphia came alive in the second half. The game seemed destined to end in a tie until Danny Koevermans poked home a rebound after the Union defense failed to clear their box of danger in the 88th minute to give Toronto and their fans a much needed first win.
Columbus 2-1 Chicago
Both the Columbus Crew and the Chicago Fire were looking for their second win of the week, but the Fire could not manage enough of a response to rebound from a 2-0 deficit at halftime. The Crew found the back of the net early in the game when Eddie Gaven threaded a low shot from the top of the 18 between Sean Johnson and the near post in the 9th minute of play. Columbus continued to pressure the Fire and was rewarded in the 43rd minute after Gaven found Emilio Renteria at the corner of the six yard box. Renteria shrugged off his defender and then turned to fire a shot far post into the side netting. In the 51st minute the Crew looked to have a 3-0 lead, but Dilly Duka’s blast from outside the box failed to cross over the goal line after clipping the underside of the crossbar. The Fire cut the lead in half after Austin Berry got a head to a cross from Dan Paladini in the 72nd minute, but was unable to pull level before the final whistle.
D.C. 3-2 New England
After entering halftime two goals down the New England Revolution leveled the scoreline five minutes into the second half, but a final goal from Maicon Santos gave DC United the win they needed to take over first place in the Eastern Conference. Brandon McDonald started the scoring in the 15th minute with a floated header off a free kick from Branko Boskovic. New England nearly tied it up in the 37th minute when Saer Sene ran onto a through ball and looked to put his shot through Bill Hamid’s legs, but the ball didn’t get through clean and ended up on the wrong side of the near post. Just before halftime United doubled their lead after Dejan Jakovic punished the Revolution defense after they failed to clear the ball out of their box. The Revolution utilized the halftime break and after a rebound goal from Sene and a header from A.J. Soares, New England was back in the game at the 50th minute. Unfortunately for the Revs, Santos stopped their comeback in the 61st minute with a driven far-post shot from 12 yards out.
Salt Lake 3-2 Dallas
Real Salt Lake came out on top after trading five second-half goals with FC Dallas. After a dull first half by comparison, Alvaro Saborio started the goal-fest in the 59th minute when Terukazu Tanaka found Saborio with a cross inside the six yard box. Dallas answered in the 75th minute with a shot from Matt Hedges that Kyle Reynish slapped out, but not before it had already crossed the goal line. After seeing their lead disappear, Salt Lake took it back in less than a minute when Saborio beat Kevin Harman for the second time when his shot deflected off a Dallas defender and ended up inside the near post. FC Dallas refused to quit and in the 85th minute Blas Perez pulled his team level for the second time after Reynish failed to properly react to his shot. Salt Lake continued to press forward during stoppage time and in the 93rd minute Nat Borchers curled home a shot after Dallas failed to clear the ball from the box.
Colorado 3-2 Montreal
Despite finishing the game with the advantage in shots, possession and men on the field, the Montreal Impact failed to come away with a win against the Colorado Rapids. The Impact started strong with their first goal coming in the 14th minute when Patrice Bernier chipped Matt Pickens as he tried to close down Bernier just outside the six yard box. Four minutes later Jeff Larentowicz leveled the score from the penalty spot after Hassoun Camara was whistled for a foul in the box. The Rapids took the lead in the 39th minute after Drew Moor beat Donovan Ricketts with a header far post off a free kick from Martin Rivero. After half time, Montreal got another early goal from Andrew Wenger who was fed a through ball into the box from Bernier. A red card issued to Tyrone Marshall in the 61st minute looked to give Montreal the advantage needed to pull ahead, but the Impact failed to find the net before Jamie Castrillon’s header in the 83rd minute gave the Rapids the win.
Portland 1-1 Vancouver
After a scoreless first half and an hour-long lightning delay during halftime, the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps each got a second half goal to split the points in the latest game of the Cascadia Cup. Both Troy Perkins and Joe Cannon had little to do during the first half, but in the 68th minute Cannon failed to get a good touch to a cross from Jack Jewsbury, allowing Kris Boyd to put in the loose ball. Vancouver leveled in the 84th minute when Darren Mattocks collected a flicked-on header with his chest and snuck a shot underneath the crossbar.
Chivas USA 1-1 Seattle
Juan Agudelo scored his first goal for Chivas USA since joining the team from the New York Red Bulls, but it wasn’t enough to get the win as the Seattle Sounders leveled the score just four minutes later, splitting the points. Fresh off his time at the US National Team training camp, Agudelo beat ‘keeper Bryan Meredith to a dangerous cross from James Riley in the 57th minute. Seattle responded quickly and pulled square in the 61st minute after David Estrada scored from the top of the six yard box by getting a touch to a cross from Alex Caskey.
Kansas City 2-1 San Jose
Two first half goals from C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara proved to be too much for the San Jose Earthquakes who were playing their third game in eight days. The goals also gave Sporting Kansas City their first win in five games. Kansas City struck early when Sapong slid to get a touch to a cross from Kei Kamara in the 5th minute. Sporting continued to press in the first half and doubled their lead in the 39th minute after Kamara beat Jon Busch with a header from the top of the six yard box. Sporting nearly made it three with another cross in the 52nd minute, but Graham Zusi couldn’t put his shot on frame. San Jose pulled one back in the 72nd minute with a well-placed shot from Simon Dawkins from the top of the box, but the Earthquakes didn’t do enough to earn another late games win.