By TRAVIS CLARK
Major League Soccer is back with a weekend of action already in the books. Picking up where it left off at the start of June, a full slate of action greeted fans across the country. Perhaps the biggest news was the opening game at PPL Park, as Philadelphia downed Seattle 3-1 along the banks of the Delaware River.
The break in the action gave some teams a chance to regroup and rest, at least in some corners of the country, while others were itching to keep its momentum rolling into the hot summer months. For many sides, the same issues plaguing them before the break continued. Teams badly in need of a win — the likes of Chivas USA, D.C. United and Kansas City — all came up empty.
Others saw success continue — particularly for the Red Bulls, as a Juan Pablo Angel brace keyed a 3-0 win over the Wizards.
Here's a look at the MLS action from this past weekend:
San Jose Earthquakes 0, Real Salt Lake 0
Jon Busch made his debut in a San Jose Earthquakes uniform, and put in a performance that suggests he might not relinquish that role for awhile. Busch was only called into action a few times, but he looked sharp and provided a strong vocal presence to help keep San Jose's young defense organized. Fabian Espindola left the game's best chance begging, unable to hit the target as the two sides finished scoreless. Sam Cronin also made his debut for the Earthquakes after getting traded from Toronto earlier last week.
Toronto FC 0, Los Angeles Galaxy 0
This was one of the those matches where the break was telling — both sides struggled to create chances, and the G20 Summit in Toronto left its impact in the stands as Toronto and the Galaxy sputtered to a 0-0 draw. Los Angeles' impressive defensive run continues — this made it clean sheet number ten for Donovan Ricketts and the Galaxy defense, allowing just four goals in 14 games.
New York Red Bulls 3, Kansas City Wizards 0
An encouraging win before the break gave Kansas City hope. They had snapped an eight-game winless streak against Philadelphia prior to the World Cup, hoping to steer the team's trajectory towards the top of the table. However, a Wizards defensive mistake in the second half by Aaron Hohlbein let Salou Ibrahim open the scoring, before a hustling Juan Pablo Angel added two late goals to seal the 3-0 win. Kei Kamara was one of Kansas City's only bright spots, testing Bouna Coundoul on a few occasions.
Columbus 2, D.C. United 0
Controversy marred this match out in Ohio, as Guillermo Barros Schelotto's hand played a role in his control over the game's decisive tally in the second half. United had its chances, mostly in the first half, but the profligacy of Chris Pontius and Santino Quaranta proved costly. Eric Brunner then padded the lead off a Schelotto corner kick in the 87th minute, comfortably securing the Crew victory.
FC Dallas 2, Chivas USA 1
Life without Sacha Kljestan began Saturday night, and it began in disastrous fashion as Chivas USA were unable to deliver and send FC Dallas home as losers. An own goal by Ante Jazic — who had a poor night in the Chivas backline — pegged them back before an Osael Romero equalizer, but when Jazic committed a foul in the box, and David Ferreira's penalty made up the difference at the Home Depot Center.
Colorado Rapids 2, Houston Dynamo 2
One of the solid performers pre-World Cup, Colorado, continued to post positive results, earning a point at Robertson Stadium. Houston's Joseph Ngwenya popped up to score an equalizer late in the second half, denying the visitors from grabbing all three points. Danny Cruz gave Houston the lead, before a pair of defensive errors gifted Colorado two goals — Conor Casey put one home, and then a Lovel Palmer own goal handed the lead to the Rapids.
Philadelphia Union 3, Seattle Sounders FC 1
Fueled by the emotion of a new stadium and a boisterous home crowd, Philadelphia fought back from a 1-0 deficit to win the first-ever game at PPL Park over the Seattle Sounders. Pat Noonan's goal before the half gave Seattle a lead, but it wouldn't last long, as Sebastian LeToux equalized from the penalty spot. Chris Seitz then came up big for the home side, stopping a Noonan penalty kick later on, before Fred and Danny Mwanga each scored, sending the Sons of Ben home happy.
Chicago Fire 1, New England Revolution 0
Even with a healthy Shalrie Joseph back and in the lineup, the New England Revolution couldn't finish chances in front of the goal, and a Marco Pappa goal was enough for Chicago to go home winners at Gillette Stadium. Rookie Zack Schilawski wasted two chances in front of Andrew Dykstra's goal. There was some good news for New England, as Matt Reis started in goal for the first time this year.
What did you think of this weekend's action? Who stood out? Were you at PPL Park?
Share your thoughts below.
Ignorance? You seem to be under the mistaken impression that I’m a Union fan. Rest assured that I’m not.
And you have fun continuing to live in ignorance…
I suppose the amenities will help distract from the disaster on the field, so that’s a plus
Been to both. Your wrong on both accounts. PPL Parks amenities are way better. You just make yourself look like a moron but whatever.
I’m pretty sure there is a picture of Findley next to the definition of “lifeless and poor finishing”.
Again, Ives didn’t write this post. It was Travis Clark.
There are probably many such people, so I’m not really sure who you’re referring to.
And Ives irrational discarding of FCDallas’ strengths continues unabated. Instead of crediting FCD with the win he claims that Chivas gave the game away. Again, I argue that you didn’t bother to watch the game and just went off the stats line and a few goal highlights. FCD dominated play and earned both goals by creating goal scoring opportunities and attacking pressure. They are now in a playoff spot, yet you’ll probably still have then in 12th place on your power rankings.
I had no idea there was a full schedule of MLS games over the weekend. I’m in a World Cup box.
Just wait until you get Findley back.
all: thanks for the first hand accounts. I figured it wouldn’t be as bad as it was made out. usually the truth is somewhere in the middle. I hope all the new traffic helps the local business. I also hope people don’t get priced out of their own neighborhood though.
Guess who supports a team w/ no stadium or no draw?
Yeah parts were pretty ran down but over all everyone in the town seemed genuinely interested in what was going on at the game. We’ll keep packing the stadium for sure. 12,000 season tickets have been sold leaving just 6,000 general admission seats left. Attendance won’t be a problem.
I’m confused. See, that seems like a question, but the lack of a question mark makes it difficult to tell.
If it was a question, no, I did not go to the game. I don’t hate myself; hence I have no desire to go anywhere near Chester.
Have fun continuing to rock out to your battle for last place with DC.
Did you even go to the game or did you look it up on Google. Besides the stadium rocked and that is what’s most important.
I left the stadium after the game and went to get a bus that the team had provided to get back to the train but with the line so long we decided to walk. Let me tell you it was eye opening, along the way people from Chester saw us and asked did we go to the game and if the team won. I can tell you in the that time we must of come across about 15 different groups as we walked threw a park and everyone was just so nice. I must say at the end of are walk we had to wait about 45 min. for the train so we stopped at one of the local watering hole and found more of the same. The bar was nice, the beer was cold and the people at the bar said they hope to see us again. I can’t wait to the next game as it’s just a block from the highland station. Oh and most important they have AC that kicks.
PPL Park looks like a AA ballpark in a suburb of Camden. Actually, the Trenton Thunder’s stadium looks nicer.
Chester by a hair
In all fairness, there are some seriously lifeless games in the EPL as well, or any world class league for that matter. But, yeah, you are right, I watched the game on direct kick, and it was ehhh.
The Philly game was sweet though. I love that Le Toux is sticking it to Seattle for trading him. I’m not saying that with hindsight either, I was scratching my head when they left him unprotected last year for the expansion draft.
I brought two guests from England out to Rio Tinto to show them our local team and give them a taste of MLS. I came away embarrassed. RSL couldn’t finish and the game felt lifeless. Best part were a couple of key saves from Rimando.
Gotta admit, the crowd turn out was awesome at Rio Tinto, but that game was shameful. I’ve been spoiled on WC soccer and now the MLS seems like high school ball.
i was upset with our world cup exit and admittetly it was a bit hard to jump right back to mls ….and then i see ppl park wow is soccer here in the usa next year kansas city wizards stadium…….cant wait
On the bright side for the Revolution, there were no major injuries this game…I’m going to count that as a plus.
just to point out – Travis Clark wrote that article. Ives is still in South Africa.
Ives, in the TFC-LA match you talk of the Galaxy’s defensive strength, but say nothing of how the Reds haven’t lost at home since sometime way, way back in 2009. What gives!?!?
what is worse… chester or the highjack zones in south africa?
Parts of it are bad and parts are not so bad. Generally though I think people give it more of a bad rap then it deserves. Most of the violence is related to drugs or some beef someone has. In the parts of town the stadium and parking is the people are not going to mess with you unless you do something stupid. Plus, there is enough of a police presence around those areas during gamedays that doing something like that would be pretty stupid.
Stadium looked nice, the bridge view is sweet. I am really happy for the supporters there, I hope you guys can keep packing the stadium. Would be nice to see the recent Expansion teams continue the trend of sellout stadiums. If Toronto, Seattle, Phila, and the next three teams can consistently sellout that would be awesome for MLS.
Is it as bad in Chester as the news reports make it out to be? I know it is a depressed neighborhood, but is it really that bad? BTW, I think it is awesome that the Union are there to help turn things around economically.
I was at PPL Park (Sons of Ben section). Freaking awesome. I can’t believe it finally happened.