MLS (late-night) roundup: TFC-ATL thrills; RSL win big in a blizzard
With five MLS Saturday afternoons/evenings officially in the books, only 29 more to go…
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Toronto FC 2-2 Atlanta United
It’s still early, but Toronto and Atlanta threw their hat in the ring for Game of the Year consideration, as TFC remained unbeaten on the season (one win, four draws) and Atlanta moved to four games without a defeat (two wins, two draws).
The game was played at roughly 500 mph, which suited both teams just fine. Hector Villalba opened the scoring after 15 minutes, slotting past Alex Bono after reeling in Miguel Almiron’s incisive through ball, but Sebastian Giovinco pulled TFC level with an easy finish after Jozy Altidore’s clever backheel flick.
Justin Morrow put TFC in front a minute before halftime, but Leandro Gonzalez Pirez found Hector Villalba with a deft 50-yard ball behind the TFC defense, and the Argentine beat Bono with ease.
Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland Timbers
Philadelphia are five games without a win to start the season, and Jim Curtin is answering questions about his job post-game. Richie Marquez headed the home team in front after 26 minutes, but the lead was short-lived and everything came unraveled just as quickly.
Darlington Nagbe slotted a long-range effort past Andre Blake six minutes later, and Portland were in control from that point forward. Roy Miller didn’t make it 2-1 until the 66th minute, but the eventual result was hardly ever in doubt. Fanendo Adi completed the scoring from the penalty spot, his 46th goal for Portland, making him the club’s all-time, all-division leading scorer.
FC Dallas 2-0 Minnesota United
For the second time in six games, Minnesota conceded fewer than four goals and the made FCD genuinely work for the three points. It was 0-0 until the 43rd minute, Minnesota’s longest stretch of game time before conceding a goal at the start of a game this season. Javier Morales bagged the opener, and Michael Barrios made it 2-0 four minutes after halftime, as FCD delivered the perfect response to being knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League in such heartbreaking fashion earlier in the week.
Real Salt Lake 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
More than an inch of snow fell and accumulated on the field at Rio Tinto Stadium between the opening and full-time whistles, which meant weird things were bound to happen. Happen, the weird things did.
In this instance, the “weird” a truly dominant performance as new head coach Mike Petke made his RSL debut. New Designated Player Albert Rusnak bagged his first MLS goal, which turned out to be the winner, nine minutes into the second half. Yura Movsisyan tallied his third of the season to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute, and Luke Mulholland completed the rout four minutes later.
Extreme weather conditions or not, RSL looked comfortable, composed and in total control.
San Jose Earthquakes ___ Seattle Sounders
For 83 minutes, a stalemate with virtually nothing to separate the two sides. Then, a stunning hit from Nicolas Lodeiro, and a Chris Wondowloski specialty — “Who? Me? You don’t see me gliding to the far post. No need to follow me there,” and he scores.
Elsewhere in MLS — AFTERNOON ROUNDUP
Chicago Fire 1-0 Columbus Crew SC
New England Revolution 2-0 Houston Dynamo
D.C. United 2-1 New York City FC