Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the week that was in Major League Soccer—the best games, the best goals, the essential news, and nothing superfluous.
April 14, 2014
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THE GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN
Saturday's matchup between the Philadelphia Union and Real Salt Lake may not have seemed like a likely candidate for the best game of the weekend, but the 2-2 draw provided plenty of intrigue, two late goals, and U.S. national team relevance
—that's a trifecta in our book.
There was an early penalty six minutes into the game when Union defender Austin Berry bundled over Olmes García on the inside edge of the box. Keeper Zac MacMath did well to parry Alvaro Saborio’s effort, aimed at the bottom-right corner, but Luke Mulholland out-hustled the Union defense to slot home the rebound.
The Union equalized in the 55th minute when Andrew Wenger deftly chested down a delightful cross-field ball from Vincent Norgueira and then tucked it under back-up keeper Jeff Attinella to score on his debut for Philadelphia. (Jack McInerney
, the man Wenger was traded for, had scored a few minutes earlier in his Montreal debut.)
The final two goals of the match came from two players vying for similar roles in the U.S. national team this summer. RSL captain Kyle Beckerman
side-footed in a cut-back from Javier Morales to put his team ahead in the 85th minute.
But then, in the 90th minute, Maurice Edu
headed Cristián Maidana’s corner kick into the goal, bringing the hosts level and boosting his chances for a Klinsmann call-up.
Both Beckerman and Edu have two goals and an assist so far this season. Edu edges Beckerman out on tackles won by a count of 17 to 12, while Beckerman has 21 interceptions over Edu’s 15.
GOALS OF THE WEEK
Clint Dempsey’s dipping free kick from well outside of the box took advantage of the windy conditions in Texas and left FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz flapping helplessly. Take a look.
With Dempsey next forcing an own-goal from Stephen Keel and later scoring his second of the day, the Seattle Sounders came from behind twice to eventually defeat their hosts, 3-2.
Other goals worth a look include Rev’s midfielder Jerry Bengston’s composed finish in New England’s 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo, and Galaxy forward Robbie Keane’s well-timed run-and-volley to give Los Angeles a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. See both below.
INJURY WOES UP NORTH
Toronto FC went into its game against the Colorado Rapids missing its two biggest stars— Michael Bradley
and Jermaine Defoe—as well as starters Jonathan Osorio, Doneil Henry, and Alvaro Rey.
Not surprising, Toronto lost the match, 1-0, and it may have added another name to its casualty list: Dwayne De Rosario
. The veteran limped off in the 67th minute and went straight down the tunnel for treatment. Coach Ryan Nelson later stated that De Rosario had picked up a muscle injury.
Another worrying injury: Chivas USA rookie Thomas McNamara was stretchered off in the 65th minute with a non-contact knee injury.
STANDINGS AND STATS
The Columbus Crew remains atop the Eastern Conference with 10 points. Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City (on a bye week) follow up in second and third, respectively.
Despite losing its first game this season, FC Dallas still holds the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference with 13 points. The Colorado Rapids and the Seattle Sounders both moved ahead of Real Salt Lake, with the Vancouver Whitecaps moving down into the last playoff spot.
Remember when Dempsey couldn't buy a goal? Now he can't stop scoring them. The United States captain has five goals in the Sounders’ last two games, and his six tallies so far this season rank first in the league.
Any guesses as to who is in second? Thierry Henry? Marco DiVaio? Keane? No, no, and no. It's Erick Torres. Torres' goal for Chivas in Saturday's 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers gives him five on the season. Let's see if that holds up.
Obafemi Martins heads the assist rankings with four, followed by the Montreal Impact’s Justin Mapp and New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam on three.
Five teams have yet to win this season: Montreal, Philadelphia, San Jose, Portland, and New York.
With Dallas taking its first loss over the weekend, Real Salt Lake is the only unbeaten side remaining in the MLS.
Edu, Keane, Dallas midfielder Michel, and San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski have all scored in their last two matches.
D.C. United’s 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls, combined with last week’s 2-0 win over the Revolution, marked the team’s first back-to-back wins since October 2012. With the side’s 15-game winless streak also falling last week it’s looking like brighter days for the reigning U.S. Open Cup champs.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is undergoing treatment. Fortunately, his doctors anticipate a full recovery. Garber released the following statement: “Obviously no one wants to hear that they have cancer. However, I am being treated by exceptional doctors at two of the top hospitals in the world and am confident, as are they, that the prostate cancer will be successfully treated, with a full recovery. I plan on keeping a normal schedule and will continue managing the league and Soccer United Marketing during my course of treatment. With the support of my family, friends, colleagues and doctors, I am feeling very strong, energized and extremely focused."
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