… MLS had a family reunion field day on Saturday. And the sad thing is, in two of the three matches that finished 1-1, one team scored both goals.
Here’s a quick look around the league as I saw it:
CREW 1, TORONTO FC 1
* Just your average MLS Saturday night, huh? Nothing more to see there, right? Ugh. On the field, Guillermo Berros Schelotto scored from the spot, only to see that lead disappear when Gino Padula’s own goal left the sides level. Toronto goalkeeper and rookie Stefan Frei left the match injured at halftime. This game, as did many in MLS since they played on a FIFA date, saw personnel missing for national team matches. So, perhaps you can take these results with a grain of salt.
But I’m all out of salt.
RED BULLS 1, REVS 1
* This time, it was the visitors from New England who did for New York what it couldn’t do for itself – score a goal. The Red Bulls haven’t found the net on their own yet this season, but got a point here after last week’s debacle in Seattle thanks to a Jay Heaps own goal. Kenny Mansally scored in the right direction to get New England a point.
Jay Heaps. Own goal. The same week as Duke hoops gets thrashed by Villanova in the Sweet 16. Priceless.
UNITED 1, FIRE 1
* This was like watching two entirely different games. Thankfully I only had to buy one ticket. Good effort from United in the first half, a Luciano Emilio goal, a couple other chances, and very little from the Fire. United are back! Home win! Not quite. Patrick Nyarko beat Dejan Jakovic like a rented Red Star Belgrade reserve center back early in the second half, and the Fire somehow squandered three clear chances late to leave the match square.
Meanwhile, United have somehow found a clone of Zach Wells in goal, with Josh Wicks. Wicks incredibly dropped two near his goal line – with one almost going over it, while he made a recovery save on Brian McBride on the other. But then he turned around and made a spectacular tip save on Chris Rolfe. Go figure. Head coach Tom Soehn says there’s competition for the position between Wicks and Louis Crayton? Wasn’t Crayton signed last season to boot Wells out of the net? Ugh.
Sorry. Got a little carried away.
On to matches over the weekend that actually had winners.
SOUNDERS 2, REAL SALT LAKE 0
* Lots of folks I’ve heard from say RSL is a threat in the West this year, after they broke through last year and got to the Western Conference final. I tended to believe them. Apparently, RSL must break through the Great Wall of Seattle first. The Sounders have now outscored their opponents, 5-0, with Kasey Keller posting two shutouts. Fredy Montero scored again (his third) for Seattle, who also got a goal from Nate Jaqua.
RAPIDS 2, WIZARDS 1
* I’ll come out and say it – I kind of thought the Wizards would be somewhat decent this year. But a home loss to Toronto FC last week, and now a road defeat at Colorado, who got goals from Terry Cooke and Omar Cummings, kind of makes me wonder. To be fair, KC was without Davy Arnaud, who scored twice in the opening week loss, and was listed as Probable with a neck strain, but didn’t get on the field.
EARTHQUAKES 3, DYNAMO 2
* Nice win for San Jose at home in a wild affair that saw the Earthquakes grab the lead then double it just after the half-hour, before Houston’s Chris Wondolowski quickly bagged a goal and an assist as the Dynamo got even at 36 minutes. That didn’t last, however, as San Jose showed some resiliency and Cam Weaver netted in the 44th minute with what turned out to be the game-winner. It’s a special night in San Jose when a team with both Chris Leitch and Eric Denton doesn’t allow a goal in the second half, allowing the Earthquakes to hold the lead and win.
CHIVAS USA 2, FC DALLAS 0
* There may have been more TFC fans at the game in Columbus than there were FCD fans at the game in Dallas. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but let’s just say there were plenty of good seats available Sunday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park. It was almost as if Rachel Phelps bought the team hoping to move it to Miami. But the fans didn’t miss much from the home side anyway. Eduardo Lillingston and Bojan Stepanovic, no relation to Steve Stipanovich, scored for Chivas USA. FC Dallas fell to 0-2, with one goal for and five against.
Chicago, Toronto FC, and New England all share the lead in the Eastern Conference with four points, while Chivas USA and Seattle both have six in the West to set the pace. Through two weeks, Seattle has the best goal differential and the most goals scored, while New York and Salt Lake have yet to score for themselves.
Salt Lake gets a chance to break that skid Thursday when it hosts Columbus on ESPN2 (9 p.m., also available on ESPN Deportes). The Crew then have to turn around and play Sunday at Chivas USA (8 p.m.). Must be a perk for winning MLS Cup or something.
Elsewhere (all times Eastern):
Seattle at Toronto, 4 p.m., FSC
FC Dallas at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at DC United, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
New York at Chicago, 3 p.m., Telefutura
San Jose at Kansas City, 3 p.m.
Enjoy your soccer this week.