The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United delivered convincing victories on a busy Saturday of MLS action.
The Red Bulls dominated New York City FC in a 4-0 thrashing at Red Bull Arena. Kaku led the way, playing a hand in the Red Bulls’ first three goals on a day when NYCFC was thoroughly dominated.
Atlanta United continued its unbeaten run with a 2-1 road win against the Chicago Fire. Ezequiel Barca scored his first goal for his new team, which moved into first place in the Eastern Conference with the win.
Saturday also saw teams overcome early red cards to secure hard-earned results. Both Minnesota United and the Columbus Crew saw players ejected early, but both avoided defeat. The Loons held on for a 1-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps, while the Crew grabbed a precious road point against the struggling Seattle Sounders.
Here is a rundown of all of Saturday’s action:
Earthquakes 0, Timbers 1 (Final)
Diego Valeri’s 88th-minute free kick beauty helped the Timbers earn a 1-0 victory over San Jose at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night.
Valeri broke the deadlock when he curled his right-footed free kick around the wall and just inside the right post, leaving Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell with no chance.
Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was outstanding, making four saves to preserve the shutout, including a diving save on a dangerous Vako chance in the 32nd minute.
Vako also came close with a 29th minute free kick that nicked off the Timbers wall before bouncing just wide of the mark.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jeff Attinella came up big with four key saves to keep the Timbers in the match.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s tough to top Valeri’s free kick.
MATCH TO FORGET: Chris Wondolowski had a forgettable night, failing to offer much of a threat before being pulled in the 71st minute.
Red Bulls 4, NYCFC 0 (Final)
The New York Red Bulls started hot and never looked back en route to a commanding win over their local rivals.
Less than two minutes in, the Red Bulls took the lead through Alejandro Romero ‘Kaku’ Gamarra. Bradley Wright-Phillips broke through the defense, forcing a tough save out of Sean Johnson. Unfortunately for NYCFC, ‘Kaku’ was waiting on the backpost for 1-0.
Moments later, it was 2-0 as the Red Bulls scored their second with four minutes. Florian Valot’s initial shot was deflected up and over a helpless Johnson, who could only watch as the shot trickled in.
After a relatively quiet half hour, the Red Bulls added yet another on a Wright-Phillips finish. Moments after seeing a one-on-one saved by Johnson, the English striker was left with a free header from inside the six, extending the lead to 3-0 in the 35th minute.
The fourth came in the 80th as Derrick Etienne Jr. added yet another for the hosts. On a sequence that saw Valot hit the crossbar, the ball eventually fell to Etienne, who rounded Johnson to conclude the scoring.
MAN OF THE MATCH: With a goal and two assists, ‘Kaku’ narrowly edges out Tyler Adams for Man of the Match honors.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: From the opening seconds, it was obvious that the Red Bulls were in firm control with Valot’s goal all but ending the match just four minutes in.
MATCH TO FORGET: NYCFC’s defense has been a strength this season, but Maxime Chanot and Alexander Callens were far from their best on Saturday.
Fire 1, Atlanta United 2 (Final)
It may have taken Atlanta United a little while to get going in Chicago but the offense heated up in the second half to help claim a 2-1 road victory against the Chicago Fire.
Ezequiel Barco netted his first goal for the club, roofing a left-footed effort past Vincent Sanchez in the 53rd minute. The Argentine was picked out by Miguel Almiron and did the rest on his own.
Josef Martinez doubled the lead in the 57th minute as the Venezuelan slotted in Darlington Nagbe’s assist. Martinez now has seven goals on the season.
However, Chicago did not lay down after conceding twice. Defending Kevin Ellis pulled one back in the 61st minute for his first MLS goal since Sept. 2016.
Brad Guzan was a busy keeper in the final moments keeping Alan Gordon’s header out in stoppage time. The American keeper made five saves in the win, which sees Atlanta’s unbeaten run extend to eight matches.
Chicago dropped to eighth in the East following the home defeat.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Since his move to Atlanta, Ezequiel Barco has been waiting for his chance to shine for his new club. The Argentine shined bright on Saturday, scoring his first goal which helped spark the Atlanta offense.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Just like a week ago, Chicago fought their tails off for a share of the spoils. Guzan was huge keeping Aleksandar Katai out in the 92nd minute, before handling a Gordon header four minutes later.
MATCH TO FORGET: Nemanja Nikolic was sometimes unnoticeable in the loss, failing to have a shot on goal. The Hungarian needs to have a better impact in every match for Chicago to have chances at points.
LAFC 1, FC Dallas 1 (Final)
LAFC wasn’t able to carry over any of the magic from its home opener into its second game at Banc of California Stadium.
However, unlike in last weekend’s home opener, the home side wasted no time getting their first goal in their second game at their shiny new stadium. Steven Beitashour got the home side by getting free behind the FC Dallas back line thanks to a well placed pass from Diego Rossi. and He slipped a shot through Jimmy Maurer’s five-hole to open the scoring in the ninth minute.
FC Dallas struggled to generate much in the attack throughout the match, but they would pull even early on in the second half. Maxi Urruti smashed a low shot from distance past a diving Tyler Miller in the 55th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Maxi Urruti scored the tying goal and was overall the top piece in the FC Dallas attack.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Urruti’s goal gave Dallas a little life when they were really in search of something.
MATCH TO FORGET: Carlos Vela was ice cold up front for LAFC. He did take four shots, but none of them were on target and all but one of them were harmless. His egregious miss at the end of the match truly cost his team all three points.
Sounders 0, Crew 0 (Final)
The Sounders were up a man for 75 minutes, but their anemic offense still couldn’t produce a goal against the Columbus Crew.
Disaster struck for the Crew after a quarter hour when Pedro Santos was sent off. After a brief consultation with the VAR, Hilario Grajeda brandished the red card for Santos, who followed through in a clearance and saw his studs dig into Alex Roldan’s neck.
The Sounders, however were never able to take advantage of the situation. Columbus played stout defense and limited their opponents to only two shots on target.
One of those shots did trouble Zack Steffen, though. Clint Dempsey was gifted a chance from point blank range in the 72nd minute and Steffen reacted well to get a strong palm to the attempt before it was cleared away.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Zack Steffen wasn’t called upon often, but when he was summoned to duty, he was most impressive.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Santos red card set the tone early in this one. Even though VAR was required, it was the right call and it put the Crew in a tricky situation early on.
MATCH TO FORGET: Clint Dempsey is in need of a breakout game and this one wasn’t it. The leader of the Sounders attack is still without a goal on the season and couldn’t buy one tonight against ten man opposition.
Dynamo 3, Galaxy 2 (Final)
In a five goal thriller in Houston, the Houston Dynamo defeated the LA Galaxy 3-2 thanks to a go ahead goal by Memo Rodriguez in the 90th minute. Rodriguez finished calmly after Romell Quioto struck the post on a prior effort.
The match was back and forth fo the most part with the Galaxy pegging Houston back twice.
Ola Kamara tied the match at 2-2 after the Norwegian striker slotted in Dos Santos’ assist in the 85th minute. Kamara now has four goals scored on the season and two in his last two appearances.
Quioto’s free kick in the 47th minute had given the Dynamo a 2-1 lead. It was the Honduran’s second goal in his last three matches, and a wonderful goal to say the least. Dos Santos’ close range finish had the sides level at 1-1 in the 39th minute, after the Mexican forward finished a rebound after Joe Willis repelled Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s effort.
The Dynamo grabbed an early lead at BBVA Compass Stadium with Alejandro Fuenmayor scoring in the third minute. Fuenmayor’s left-footed shot beat David Bingham to the bottom-right corner for an early warning by Houston.
Bingham made six saves in the loss for LA, while offensively has teammates only created four shots on goal in their third straight loss.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Rodriguez earned man of the match honors, scoring the winner for Wilmer Cabrera’s side. Houston battled their tails off and got it in the dying moments.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Kamara leveled the score for LA, it looked the sides would share the points in the end. However a frantic passage of play by Houston late allowed the hosts to grab three points against a Western Conference favorite.
MATCH TO FORGET: Romain Alessandrini continues to be quiet for LA so far this season. The French winger only has one goal through seven matches and was subbed off after the hour mark of his side’s defeat.
Sporting Kansas City 1, Rapids 0 (Final)
Sporting Kansas City bounced back from a tough loss at New England by easing squeaking past the Colorado Rapids 1-0 at home.
KC got the action underway with Daniel Salloi giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.Salloi was in the right place at the right time, scoring from a rebound after Khiry Shelton headed off the right post. Salloi now has two goals on the season.
Salloi struck the post in the 71st minute as KC looked to add to their lead.
Rapids keeper Tim Howard made six saves in the loss. Colorado only had two efforts towards goal, losing their third result in a row.
Offensively, Colorado has plenty of questions to answer with only one goal in their losing run.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Salloi scored the lone goal in the match and had several chances to add to his stats later on. The 21-year-old will look to build off of this performance.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After being in the right spot for the goal, Salloi had a great chance to slam the door shut earlier for KC. However, the Hungarian struck the post in the second-half which kept Colorado alive at that point.
MATCH TO FORGET: Jack McBean got the nod up top with Dominique Badji but was subbed off at halftime. The 23-year-old will surely need to do more if he wants to remain a starter.
Impact 4, Revolution 2 (Final)
A second half explosion led the Montreal Impact past the New England Revolution.
With just seconds left before the whistle, the Impact scored to snag the lead just before halftime. Anthony Jackson-Hamel provided the goal, giving the Impact the advantage heading into the second half.
Shortly into the second stanza, Jackson-Hamel scored another to push the lead to two. Both goals were assisted by Ignacio Piatti, who became the club’s all-time assist leader in the process.
The Impact added two more in rapid succession through Raheem Edwards and Piatti, who pushed the lead to 4-0 on goals in the 65th and 68th minutes, respectively. Wilfried Zahibo scored for the Revs a few minutes later before adding a second, giving somewhat of a consolation to a big-time Impact performance.
MAN OF THE MATCH: With one goal and three assists in his 100th MLS game, Ignacio Piatti once again proved his worth with the Impact. With the tally, the Argentine became the franchise’s all-time assist leader with a total of 26.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Roaming into the Revolution’s end, Ignacio Piatti locates Raheem Edwards to his right side. The young Canadian international’s goal brought the score to 3-0 and Piatti to the Impact’s all-time assist leader title.
MATCH TO FORGET: Despite a pretty solid performance in the first half, Andrew Farrell along with his defensive corps cracked under pressure. For Farrell specifically, Piatti was simply too much to handle and his team fell short.
Minnesota United 1, Whitecaps 0 (Final)
Miguel Ibarra’s goal just before the hour mark gave ten-man Minnesota United the full points against a wasteful Vancouver Whitecaps side.
The Caps had this one on a platter for much of the match. Anthony Blondell had several chances in the first half, but none of his were better than the one from Kendall Waston that was cleared off the line. His header off a corner in the eighth minute should have put the visitors up 1-0 early on.
Making things easier for Vancouver was Mason Toye getting sent off less than five minutes into the second half. His overly aggressive challenge on Waston should have been a gift for the Caps, but they failed to take advantage for the 40-plus minutes they spent with the man advantage.
Ibarra’s goal came against the run of play just after the clock hit 59 minutes. He collected a pass from Alexi Gomez and saw his initial shot stopped by Stefan Marinovic, but he diligently followed his shot and tapped the rebound into a gaping net.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ibarra scored the goal, but it was Bobby Shuttleworth’s goalkeeping that allowed the Loons to hang on to all three points.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Miguel Ibarra’s persistence and determination to stick with his saved attempt were enough to give a defensive minded Minnesota United team a big win at home.
MATCH TO FORGET: Mason Toye will want to put his first career start behind him as soon as possible. A poor performance capped with a silly red card is no way to introduce oneself to the starting 11.