51314_bradleygonzalez_isi_mlsbb073113111 Bill Barrett/isiphotos.com
MLS Roundup

15 MLS Players Named to Prelim World Cup Squad

Landon Donovan's scoring drought continued, Chicago beat New York 5-4, and nearly half of Jurgen Klinsmann's provisional roster hails from Major League Soccer.
BY Nick Kariuki Posted
May 13, 2014
10:21 AM

The Game You Wished You Saw

The Chicago Fire’s 5-4 away win against the Red York Red Bulls featured controversial and unexpected goals, trademark scoring plays, and more hat tricks than the league has ever seen in a single match before. After the contest Red Bull’s coach Mike Petke was asked if there were any positives: “Yes. I’m going to go and have a vodka.”

We love that response. When a game this insane and exciting comes around, rather than immediately criticizing the defensive errors or trying to understand why the momentum swung as much as a weather vane, you’re better off just sitting back submitting to the spectacle.

The scoring opened controversially in the 4th minute when Fire rookie Harrison Shipp curled in a through ball to an offside Mike Magee. The striker followed the pass but did not attempt to play the ball, leaving it to go past the clearly thrown off Luis Robles and into the goal. The officials judged that Magee was not affecting play and the goal was given, despite the protests from the Red Bull’s players and staff.

New York was able to even up the score two minutes later when Eric Alexander put in a perfectly weighted cross to Tim Cahill. The Australian rose in front of the six-yard box and headed the ball in for his first goal this season.

Apart from a close attempt by Magee in the 38th, the Red Bulls remained in control until half time. The host’s dominance paid off in the 39th minute when Bradley Wright-Phillips volleyed in a cross from a surging Thierry Henry.

Chicago took control of the game after the break and in the 49th minute Quincy Amarikwa made a well-timed run into the the box to head in a lofted pass from Jeff Larentowicz for the equalizer.

Shipp shifted into high gear at this point: The Fire's Homegrown Player scored his second in the 54th minute with a low shot in the box. His third came five minutes later when he capitalized on Kosuke Kimura’s lax defending to run in and shoot around Robles.

After back-and-forth strikes and a ton of action, the final 10 minutes proved suspenseful for the Fire, which had blown a two-goal lead last weekend to lose to Real Salt Lake. This time they were able to see out the game with Sean Johnson coming up with two huge saves in the dying minutes. Check them out below:

When the dust settled, Chicago prevailed, 5-4. The loss ended a four-game unbeaten streak for the Red Bulls. It was also the first game in MLS history to feature two hat tricks. Crazy, fun, compelling action.


Michel’s rocket of a free kick earns the top mention this week, even if it only served as a consolation prize in FC Dallas’ 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. The ball travels so fast if you blink you may might miss it.

The runners-up this week include Erik Hurtado’s curling left-footed shot in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew, which would have impressed Arjen Robben impressed.

Midfielder Javier Morales, also on the hat trick list this week, opened the scoring for Real Salt Lake 15 seconds into the match with this audacious chip.

And take a look at Diego Fagundez’s second goal, a composed trap-and-finish effort off a cross-field pass from Teal Bunbury.

Who's Hot

  • Seattle's five-game win streak ended abruptly and ignominiously on Sunday as the Sounders fell to New England, 5-0. The loss is Seattle’s third of the season but had little effect on the club’s place at the top of the Supporters Shield standings.

  • With four wins and a tie in its last five games, the Revs also arguably replaced the Sounders as the team currently in the best form with the victory.

  • Unbeaten in its first 10 games, Real Salt Lake are also worth considering when debating the best current form. The side is now just two games shy of matching the Galaxy’s record unbeaten start from back in 2010.

  • Despite a strong start to the season, Dallas has now lost four straight games. The Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC, and the Crew have all dropped three in a row.

    Stats and Standings

  • Despite losing on Sunday, Seattle still holds first place in the Western Conference standings, with Real Salt Lake in second. In the Eastern Conference Sporting KC remain at the top of the standings.

  • Wright-Phillips’ second hat trick this season makes the Englishman the new current top-scorer with nine goals. Clint Dempsey, who hasn’t found the net in the past three games, has eight goals this year—tied for second best alongside Chivas USA’s Erick Torres. In the Eastern Conference Sporting KC remain at the top of the standings.

  • Obafemi Martins picked up two assists in Seattle’s 2-1 win over Dallas on Wednesday, raising his season’s total to six. Houston Dynamo captain Brad Davis and New York’s Lloyd Sam both have five.

    In Other News...

  • Was Chivas USA attacker Marvin Chavez happy to score against his former club, the Colorado Rapids, on Saturday? Watch the video below and see what you think.

  • Landon Donovan's pursuit of MLS's all-time goal-scoring mark will likely have to wait until July, as the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder failed to score his 135th over the weekend and will now be joining the U.S. national team as it prepares for the World Cup.

  • All told, 15 Major League Soccer players made the provisional roster:
    Donovan and Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles)
    Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Deandre Yedlin (Seattle)
    Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
    Clarence Goodson and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
    Michael Bradley (Toronto)
    Michael Parkhurst (Columbus)
    Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
    Maurice Edu (Philadelphia)
    Brad Davis (Houston)

  • Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer announced a new television and media rights partnership with ESPN, Fox, and Univision on Monday. The eight-year contract, valued at a combined $90 million per years, will establish game-of-the-week windows on all three networks. Univision will handle Fridays while ESPN and Fox will broadcast a doubleheader every Sunday at 5 and 7 p.m. All in all, the three networks will show about 125 MLS games each season until 2022.

    Nick Kariuki is an American Soccer Now columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
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