Week 22 in the MLS saw some high score games along with some heartbreaks. We take a a game-by-game approach to recap week 22’s games.
Atlanta United FC VS LA Galaxy Recap
The first game of the week saw Atlanta take on a short staffed LA Galaxy in front of a record crowd of 72,548. The Galaxy struggled due to striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, defender Diego Polenta, and midfielder Efrain Alvarez all being unable to play due to penalties. Zlatan was out due to yellow-card accumulation while Diego and Efrain couldn’t play after they both received red cards against the Portland Timbers. Atlanta would push the Galaxy into a pair of major mistakes. In the 23rd minute of play, Pity Martinez made a centering pass but was deflected by Dave Romney past the Galaxy’s goalkeeper David Bingham.
HOTLANTA FIRST PLACE PUSH
Atlanta would score again in the 43rd minute when Justin Meram passed the ball into Galaxy defender Giancarlo Gonzalez who would score the second own-goal of the game. Atlanta would score again on a penalty kick by Josef Martinez after Emerson Hyndman was fouled in the penalty area in the 72nd minute. With Atlanta’s win at home they’ve become tied with Philadelphia for first place in the Eastern Division. The Galaxy have now lost three of their past four games with the only win on July 19, when they defeated LAFC 3-2.
New York Red Bulls VS Toronto FC Recap
New York had a rough start to this match against Toronto who controlled the vast majority of possession and score chances. Despite this sluggish start the Red Bulls would pull off a 2-0 win. The first goal would come from an own goal by Toronto’s center-back Chris Mavinga. The Red Bulls had multiple chances to add onto their lead, including a missed penalty shot by Daniel Royer. Tensions would rise in the later part of the match when Justin Morrow would drag Bradley Wright-Phillips down as he was behind the Toronto backline and bearing down on goal. Morrow would be shown a red card. Kemar Lawrence would score the second goal in the first minute of stoppage time.
RED BULLS KEEPER
Though it was Kaku who scored the final goal, it was Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles who kept the team in the game. Several times during the first half, Robles was forced to make big saves. In the 42nd minute, Alejandro Pozuelo created some space with a series of moves to shoot from 16 yards. The ball would hit off the post and then rebound off of the back of Robles for a Toronto corner kick. Just two short minutes later, Robles again would be needed to save a point-blank shot from midfielder Jacob Shaffelburg. He finished with three saves.
New England Revolution VS LAFC Recap
In what was touted as the possible final matchup for the MLS championship, LAFC shut out the red-hot New England Revolution in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England came into the match riding an 11-game streak without a loss. Diego Rossi would start the scoring in the eighth minute of play. Jordan Harvey would make an overhead pass where Rossi chested the ball. The pass drew goalkeeper Matt Turner off his line, then Rossi chipped the ball into the right netting. This is the sixth goal for Rossi in eight matches. Latif Blessing would score the final goal to put the Revs away in the 72nd minute on a cross from Harvey.
LAFC are now 11-1-0 when scoring first and New England is 1-8-1 when they fall behind 1-0. New England go to Seattle on Aug. 10 while LAFC play host to the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 11.
Orlando City VS FC Dallas Recap
Orlando played host to FC Dallas on Saturday. This game would see its share of penalties. Orlando would have 14 fouls to Dallas’s 16. Dallas would also receive four yellow cards during the match. Orlando would be up first via a goal by Tesho Akindele. FC Dallas would hold Orlando to just one goal until the second minute of stoppage time when Carlos Ascues right footed a center shot on goal. Orlando would go on to win the match 2-0.
Cincinnati FC VS Vancouver Whitecap FC Recap
Cincinnati would come out fast with a goal in the sixth minute. Allan Cruz would score shortly after Darren Mattocks attempted a header from the center of the box. Cincinnati would keep up the pressure with four more shots before Vancouver tied the game up in the 41st minute. The shot came from Hwang In-Beom to the bottom right corner. Both teams would struggle to make attempts to take back the lead but each goalkeeper would continue to make save after save. Vancouver would break the tie in the 84th minute when Felipe Martins made a shot attempt from point-blank range. Vancouver would go on to win 2-1.
Colorado Rapids VS Montreal Impact Recap
In a high-flying, high-scoring showdown Colorado Rapids would take the home match against the Montreal Impact. A total of nine goals would be scored and it started when Colorado’s Kei Kamara made a mistimed mistake to score an own goal for Montreal. Colorado would return the favor just three minutes later when Evan Bush scored an own goal. Colorado would keep up the pressure on Montreal in the first half and score three more goals; two coming from Kamara and one from Diego Rubio in the first half stoppage time.
THE SECOND HALF
The second half would pick back up with the fast scoring when Maximiliano Urruti scored in the 55th minute. Kellyn Acosta would be shown a yellow card allowing Montreal to score their third goal on a penalty shot by Saphir Taider. Colorado just two minutes later scored a goal on a header by Andre Shinyashiki and they didn’t look back. Kamara would cap off a clinical performance with a hat trick in the 90th minute. Colorado wins 6-3.
Houston Dynamo VS Chicago Fire
The struggling Houston Dynamo came home to BBVA Compass Stadium with hopes of taking advantage of the dwindling Chicago Fire. Chicago would put the pressure of first with three shots in the first 10 minutes. Chicago would have six shots in the first half until one found the net in stoppage time. Nemanja Nikolic would receive a pass from Nicolas Gaitan behind the Houston defenders and scored on a close range shot. Though Houston had the ball for the majority of the play time and more on goal shots, Houston loses this match 1-0. Houston falls further out of the playoff contention with their 11th loss on the year.
Real Salt Lake VS New York City FC Recap
Real Salt Lake would start this match in neutral and would allow a goal in the fourth minute by Alexander Ring. Real Salt Lake would find its footing late into the first half when they would tie the game up when Jefferson Savarino would shoot the ball over Heber’s head. Midway through the second half Real would take the lead with a shot by Albert Rusnak to the bottom left corner of the net. Nick Besler would take a shot from close range and score a put away goal for Real Salt Lake. Real was able to put NYFC away 3-1 despite NYFC’s ability to shoot accurately on goal and their slow start to the match.
San Jose Earthquakes VS Columbus Crew SC Recap
San Jose has been one of the hottest teams winning 7 out of the last 10 matches before this match. Columbus has struggled much of this year but has been able to somehow come back to win or draw the match. Columbus would hold San Jose scoreless for much of the first half. Magnus Eriksson would score the matches first goal in the 41st minute on a penalty kick.
COLUMBUS BATTLES BACK
Columbus would bounce back to tie the game up in the 65th minute on a header from Gyasi Zardes. San Jose out played Columbus in every way; they out-shot Columbus, had more corner kicks, and had 63% of possession time. Eloy Room should be the Columbus player of the game. He ended the day with four saves.
Seattle Sounders FC VS Sporting Kansas City Recap
Seattle has been up and down recently and this match was a down time. Sporting came into Seattle losers in their last five games and secured another win. The Sounders were inconsistent throughout the match and should not have lost the match. Sporting was outshot 14 to 10 and only had the ball 35% of the time. This match would also see its fair share of penalties as well; a total of 34 fouls and six yellow cards would be shown before the match ended. Felipe Gutierrez would score two for Sporting (12’, 33’ PEN) during the first half.
SEATTLE’S UPHILL BATTLE
Seattle would find its way and score in the first minute of the second half. Sporting would score again on a Erik Hurtado shot to the left corner of the net. Seattle would battle back and score again in the 82nd on a Jordan Morris shot from outside of the box. Sporting Kansas City would hold on to win 3-2.
D.C. United VS Philadelphia Union Recap
The fourth ranked D.C. United hosted the number one Philadelphia Union in the nation’s capital. Alejandro Bedoya would give Philadelphia the lead in the third minute for his third goal of the season. Just before half time D.C. United defender Junior Moreno was issued a red card for grabbing Kacper Przybylko for a high ball in the middle of the box. Przybylko’s penalty kick would sail over the cross bars. Marco Fabian would make it a 2-0 match in stoppage time just before halftime. Przybylko would extended the Union’s lead to 3-0 off an assist by Warren Creavalle.
PUT IT ON THE BOARD
DC would finally get on the board with a goal by Frederic Brillant off of a Steven Birnbaum header by the goal line. That is the first goal Brillant has scored this season. Fabian would make it 4-1 with his second goal of the night by firing a shot from the right edge of the six-yard box. The shot would bounce off of Birnbaum’s leg and go inside of the right post. Fabrice Picault would cap off the night with a goal in the 90th minute.
Minnesota United FC VS Portland Timbers Recap
Minnesota put their six game unbeaten streak on the line as Portland is trying to move above the playoff line on Sunday night. These teams played a defensive game. Portland would get the first chance at a goal in the third minute when Brian Fernandez forced a turnover and passed the ball to Sebastian Blanco who’s shot went wide. Angelo Rodriguez made an attempt four minutes later via a header. Miguel Ibarra then missed a shot high in the 19th minute.
NON STOP ACTION
Near the 30 minute mark Vito Mannone had to make back-to-back saves on shots by Jorge Moreira and Blanco. He added a stop from Fernandez just two minutes later. Fernandez nearly took the lead for Portland in the 79th minute but would ultimately hit the post. Ethan Finlay would take the lead in a penalty kick in the second minute of stoppage time. The shot came from a VAR reversal after it revealed that Larrys Mabiala had a handball. The call on the field was not for a handball but video review showed a handball and Minnesota was awarded the spot kick to win the game.
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