MLS Week 15 Recap: Montreal Lose 3-0 Twice; Quakes Beat Galaxy in Stunning California Clasico
After settling for two draws despite holding two-goal leads twice last week, Toronto FC won their second game of the season against Canadian rivals the Montreal Impact. Toronto started out strong, forcing a save from Donovan Ricketts to keep the game level in the first minute of play. The Impact had a few chances of their own, but it was Toronto that struck first. In the 52nd minute Torsten Frings blasted a free kick through Ricketts’ hands and into the middle of the goal from 27 yards out. Ten minutes later Ryan Johnson floated a shot through traffic and into the upper corner from the top of the penalty box to give Toronto the two goal lead. Toronto put the game out of reach in the 78th minute after Ashtone Morgan was freed down the left side of the box by Johnson. Morgan sent a low cross across the face of goal to an unmarked Danny Koevermans who put the ball away from a couple yards out.
Kansas City 0-1 Chicago
The Chicago Fire came away with the win over Sporting Kansas City, their third straight league win, thanks to a lone goal from Marco Pappa and excellent play from Sean Johnson and his defense. Johnson ended the game with five outstanding saves while his back four were responsible for stopping seven shots from reaching him. Kansas City dominated play throughout the game, but in the 58th minute Marco Pappa slipped a shot past Jimmy Nielsen from inside the box. Sporting threw everything they had at Chicago in the dying minutes of the game to equalize, but somehow could not find the back of the net after numerous close calls.
Toronto 1-1 New York
Two goals in the first six minutes of play could have set the stage for a goal-fest, but Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls finished even after 84 goalless minutes. The Red Bulls struck first in the 4th minute when Brandon Barklage found Jan Gunnar Solli inside the box. Toronto answered two minutes later with a strong header from Danny Koevermans off a corner from Torsten Frings. Toronto nearly took the lead in the 10th minute, but sliding saves from both New York center defenders kept the ball out of the net after Reggie Lambe got around Ryan Meara and sent a shot on goal. New York had a chance of their own just before half, but Kenny Cooper’s touch to a cross hit off the far post. Despite both teams continuing to play for the win, neither side was able to break through and take all three points.
New England 2-2 Seattle
Diego Fagundez’s goal in the 94th minute of play earned a draw for the New England Revolution and extended the Seattle Sounders’ winless streak to eight games. After two close chances in the early minutes, the Revolution took the lead in the 12th minute of play when Blake Brettschneider found Saer Sene at the back post with a low ball across the goal mouth. Seattle answered in the 23rd minute with a well-timed run from Eddie Johnson to split the defense and get a head to ball from Mauro Rosales. Johnson used his head again in the 35th minute to give Seattle the lead, this time connecting with a cross from Marc Burch. In the second half, New England pushed for the tying goal and after a couple dangerous chances finally leveled the game in the 4th minute of stoppage time when Fagundez finished off a cross from Fernando Cardenas.
DC 3-0 Montreal
The Montreal Impact suffered their second 3-0 defeat of the week at the hands of DC United. The loss featured the debut of Evan Bush in goal for the Impact, replacing Donovan Ricketts. Sanna Nyassi got the first chance of the game in the 11th minute, but it would also be Montreal’s only shot on goal of the game while DC finished the game with 7 of 18 shots on target. Despite dominating play, DC failed to score until stoppage time going into halftime when Chris Pontius collected a cross, dribbled straight at the Montreal defense into the box and beat Bush far post. Five minutes into the second half, Robbie Russell got a head to a free kick from Branko Boskovic to double United’s lead. DC’s final goal of the night came in the 91st minute after a series of passes inside the Impact’s penalty area led to a shot from Nick DeLeon. Bush made the initial save, but was helpless when the rebound fell to Hamdi Salihi who buried the ball from the top of the six yard box.
Houston 2-1 Philadelphia
A late goal from the spot by Brian Ching gave the Houston Dynamo a much-needed win and kept the Philadelphia Union from building on their 4-0 win over Kansas City. A few line-up changes and the introduction of new DP Boniek Garcia gave the Dynamo an early spark. In the 19th minute Garcia sent a ball to Macoumba Kandji at the top of the box. Kandji turned to find Brad Davis running on the left side, chipping his shot far post. The Union leveled the score line in the first minute of the second half when Keon Daniel collected a pass from Brian Carroll outside the box, turned, and buried a shot far post. Philadelphia pressed for the goal that would give them the lead, but in the 81st minute Gabriel Farfan was called for a foul on Ching in the box. Ching converted from the spot for his second goal of the year, leaving the Union no time to comeback.
Columbus 2-0 Salt Lake
In the only time the teams will face off during the regular season, the Columbus Crew defeated Real Salt Lake with two first half goals. In the 16th minute Emilio Renteria took the ball towards the endline before sending a pass back towards the penalty spot where Tony Tchani took a one-timed shot into the lower corner. Minutes before halftime a corner kick from Chris Birchall found Josh Williams, who settled the ball before finding Eddie Gaven at the top of the six-yard box for the Crew’s second goal. The second half continued to favor the Crew with Salt Lake only getting two shots on goal.
Colorado 3-0 Portland
The Portland Timbers still have yet to earn a win when playing on the road after losing to the Colorado Rapids Saturday. The Rapids put in a convincing performance that was started off in the 18th minute when Jaime Castrillon stretched to get a foot on a cross from Hunter Freeman for the early lead. Four minutes later Brian Mullan provided the service for Conor Casey’s first goal of the season. In the 37th minute Portland had their most dangerous chance of the game with a shot from Kris Boyd off a free-kick that forced a diving save from Matt Pickens. Not much changed for Portland in the second half and in the 89th minute Jamie Smith chipped Troy Perkins for his first goal in his first game since suffering a torn ACL last season.
San Jose 4-3 LA
Four goals in 13 minutes highlighted an exciting performance between the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy in the California Clasico. The Galaxy went into halftime with a two goal lead, but San Jose answered with two goals in the second half to come out on top. The first goal of the game came in the 7th minute when Steven Lenhart put away the rebound after Josh Saunders made the initial save from Marvin Chavez. David Beckham answered for the Galaxy in the 31st minute with a typical curling free-kick from outside the box. Five minutes later, Jason Hernandez inadvertently put the ball into his own net trying to clear a low cross from Hector Jimenez. Though he did not get credited with an assist on that goal, Jimenez did tally an assist in the 41st minute when he found Landon Donovan inside the box. The Earthquakes were able to cut LA’s lead just before half time with a volley from Victor Bernardez off a corner from Chavez. Two minutes into half, Sam Cronin slid to get a touch past Saunders, connecting with a flick-on pass from Lenhart to tie the game at 3-3. The final goal of the game came in the 61st minute when Ramiro Corrales redirected a corner from Chavez into the box where Chris Wondolowski connected with the outside of his foot past a diving Saunders for the eventual win.