MLS roundup: Sporting, RSL drawn late; Houston perfect after two
From Jermain Defoe’s first goals in Seattle to San Jose’s late comeback in Santa Clara, Major League Soccer made up for a week two downturn in goals with an uptick in drama. Each of Saturday’s six games was decided by one goal or less, with three matches seeing points change hands thanks to late goals.
When the dust (mostly kicked up by the events at Buck Shaw) settled, the Houston Dynamo had a two-point lead on the rest of the league, with FC Dallas, Philadelphia, and Real Salt Lake moving to four points through two rounds. At the other end of the spectrum, New England and Montréal lost their second games of the season, with Jay Heaps ‘team sitting with a -5 goal difference after being shut out twice.
Here’s how the second Saturday of the 2014 Major League Soccer season played out:
New York Red Bulls 1-1 Colorado Rapids
New York’s attempt to rebound from last week’s disappointment was undone by a controversial late penalty, with Vicente Sanchez’s conversion earning Colorado a point at Red Bull Arena. While it was a strong result for Pablo Mastroeni’s head coaching debut, New York remains winless, its Supporters’ Shield defense yielding one point through two games.
Philadelphia Union 1-0 New England Revolution
The Union needed one huge save from Zac MacMath, but other than Diego Fagundez’s failed try from close range, Philadelphia was able to keep a lid on the winless, goalless Revolution. Holding nearly 60 percent of the match’s possession, the Union made Sebastien Le Toux’s first half goal hold up, moving to four points through two rounds.
Seattle Sounders 1-2 Toronto FC
Two first half goals from Jermain Defoe got the England international’s Major League Soccer career off to a flying start, but thanks to a second half goal from Clint Dempsey, Ryan Nelsen’s team were left holding on at match’s end. Winning its season opener, TFC also sent Seattle to its first loss of the season.
- Five takeaways from Toronto’s 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders
- Two goals in Seattle from Jermaine Defoe get new era off to winning start for Toronto
- Clint Dempsey takes out his frustrations on Toronto’s Mark Bloom
- Jermain Defoe scores two goals in his first 24 Major League Soccer minutes
Houston Dynamo 1-0 Montréal Impact
Will Bruin’s 40th minute goal and some dodged bullets in Saturday’s second half have Houston out in front of the league - the only MLS team on six points through Saturday’s action. Chivas USA or Vancouver can join them tomorrow, but for now, powered by Bruin’s three goals on the season, Houston is tops in Major League Soccer.
- Grindhouse: Bruin goal enough to give Houston 1-0 win over Montréal
- WATCH: Will Bruin retakes MLS goal scoring lead with first half score against Montréal
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 FC Dallas
Matt Hedges made up for his inability to stop Aurélien Collin’s 81st minute goal with a 90th minute equalizer, with the third-year pro heading home from close range to keep Óscar Pareja’s team undefeated through two games. Sporting, on the other hand, finish its season’s second weekend without a win, the start to its title defense hampered by its need to balance domestic concerns with Champions League’s challenge.
San Jose Earthquakes 3-3 Real Salt Lake
RSL’s 3-1, halftime lead only set them up to be “goonied” in Santa Clara, with a pair of late Victor Bernardez goals allowing the Earthquakes to salvage a result. With the last kick of the match, Bernardez scored from seven yards out, giving San Jose its second comeback victory of the week.
- Two late goals from Victor Bernardez leave Real Salt Lake “goonied” at San Jose
- This save from Nick Rimando is proof: RSL’s veteran keeper is deep in ‘The Zone’
- WATCH: Saturday’s top 5 goals in Major League Soccer