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MLS roundup: Free-kick fever infects MLS; Seattle the last point-less side

Fabian Castillo

FC Dallas forward Fabian Castillo (11) is pulled by Montreal Impact defender Hassoun Camara (6) during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGAZINES OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES


A few late-night thoughts on the majority of Week 3 of the 2016 Major League Soccer season, which featured an inordinate amount of stunning free-kick goals…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

New York Red Bulls 4-3 Houston DynamoFULL RECAP

Entertainment doesn’t necessarily equal quality, and no one will mistake the former for the latter in this seven-goal thriller which featured some of the worst defensive gaffes — elementary whiffs on simple clearances — and a late comeback by the Red Bulls to win their first points of the 2016 season. For brevity’s sake, just click the link above and watch the highlights.

FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal ImpactFULL RECAP

Don’t count anyone out in March, and don’t ever crown anyone in March in MLS either. Based on last week’s results, FC Dallas were a dumpster fire destined to miss the playoffs, and the Impact were MLS Cup champions-elect. The great thing about MLS is this: if you don’t like your team’s form, wait a week, it’ll change. The most important thing for FCD on the night: the clean sheet, seven shorts days after shipping five goals.

[ MORE: New York City FC 0-1 Orlando City SC — Friday night ]

Seattle Sounders 1-2 Vancouver WhitecapsFULL RECAP

Three games played, and the Seattle Sounders have zero points to show for their efforts. Far worse is the manner in which they handed the Whitecaps both of their goals Saturday night — from the penalty spot. Sure, the first penalty was never a penalty and Blas Perez baited Chad Marshall into the second, but the visitors created, essentially, nothing to score twice on the night, and left with all three points — too similar to their season-opening loss to Sporting Kansas City and last week’s loss to Real Salt Lake.

Portland Timbers 2-2 Real Salt LakeFULL RECAP

For more thoughts on RSL’s penchant for capitulation, head over to the recap. For more on the magic of Providence Park, consider this: the Timbers scored 10 times (in 17 games) in the 75th minute or later at home in 2015. They’ve done it three times (in two games) already this season, including twice Saturday night to steal a point from RSL. Of all the demoralizing things in sports, holding a late lead at Providence Park and knowing it’s only going to slip away, then watching it slip away, has to be one of the most demoralizing.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

LA Galaxy 3-1 San Jose EarthquakesFULL RECAP

Steven Gerrard left Saturday’s victory over the Earthquakes with fewer than three full minutes on the clock, to be replaced by Baggio Husidic. Whatever you think of Gerrard’s time in MLS thus far — no one’s been more critical than yours truly — that’s a massive drop-off… I think. At this point, who knows what to make of Gerrard? Who knows what to make of the Galaxy. I’m waiting to see them play someone other than San Jose or the Colorado Rapids or D.C. United before I form a definitive opinion on the league’s first seven-Designated Player team.

Chicago Fire 0-0 Columbus Crew SCFULL RECAP

I wrote in the game recap about how the Fire are a wayward franchise at the moment. I’ll expound Monday in my weekly MLS column about Crew SC’s early-season struggles — I’ve a theory or two — and what it’s going to take for Gregg Berhalter to right that ship. For now, the less said about this game, the better.

Follow @AndyEdMLS