The Philadelphia Union continue to roll, with the Chicago Fire the latest team to drop points to Jim Curtin’s surging squad.
The Union have won four of five to draw closer to the playoff positions in the East.
The New England Revolution opened Wednesday’s MLS action with a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United, with Matt Turner delivering a strong effort in goal for the Revs.
Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s MLS action:
Revolution 1, Atlanta United 1 (Final)
Atlanta United may have had the quick start, but the New England Revolution answered back for a 1-1 home draw.
Josef Martinez had given the Five Stripes a 1-0 lead in New England, scoring in the 23rd minute. The Venezuelan got on the end of Julian Gressel’s assist and did the rest, beating Matt Turner to the bottom-left corner. It was Martinez’s ninth MLS goal of the season, which is tops in the league.
Both keepers were busy with Turner making six saves to Brad Guzan’s five. The Revs cooled off in the second-half, compared to the first where Cristian Penilla and Wilfried Zahibo were kept out.
New England remained in the match though with Turner making huge stops on Ezequiel Barco in the 59th and 66th minutes respectively. The American also while stoned Miguel Almiron on a breakaway.
Teal Bunbury’s penalty kick in the 88th minute leveled the score for New England as the forward finished smoothly from the spot.
Atlanta welcome the Union to town on Saturday, while New England host the New York Red Bulls also on Saturday.
MAN OF THE MATCH: The biggest reason the Revolution were able to escape with a point was the stellar play of Turner (6 saves). Atlanta dominated and had several breakaways and open looks from inside 10-15 yards, but Turner was there every time.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Revs coach Brad Friedel decided to go for it, using both his second half substitutes to replace defensive-minded midfielders with attackers, and to his credit, one of them (Nemeth) was able to draw the key penalty. Bunbury has been in good form, but deserves kudos for delivering a pressure situation.
MATCH TO FORGET: Kratz replaced Barco in the 85th minute and conceded a penalty a minute later. Tata Martino was looking for him to help hold onto the lead and he did the opposite.
Union 3, Fire 1 (Final)
The Philadelphia Union continued their unbeaten run with a 3-1 home success against the Chicago Fire.
A penalty kick by Borek Dockal iced the scoring from the penalty spot.
The Czech Republic international stepped up and slotted into the bottom-left corner after Cory Burke drew a foul from Kevin Ellis.
Ilsinho gave the hosts a 1-0 lead as he rifled past Patrick McLain into the top-left corner in the 44th minute. It was a great move by the Brazilian who was able to beat Bastian Schweinsteiger and Brandon Vincent on the goal.
Burke headed in the Union’s second in the 50th minute after a perfect cross from Dockal found the Jamaican in stride. It was Burke’s second goal of the season.
Burke and David Accam each had chances to add to the lead but missed from point blank chances.
Chicago failed to create many golden chances towards goal, with Andre Blake making seven saves in the win.
The Union are on 18 points this season and travel to Atlanta United on Saturday.
Chicago are four points back in the table, and next face San Jose at home.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Borek Dockal was huge for Philadelphia scoring the third goal and grabbing an assist on the second. Dockal was very influential in Philly’s build up play and has been over the last few weeks.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The second goal by Philly proved to be the winner but the third iced it. Chicago pressured in the second half but Dockal’s PK sealed another three points for Jim Curtin’s side.
MATCH TO FORGET: Tony Tchani was very quiet for Chicago, while both Katai and Gordon got on the point sheet. Tchani had to do more defensive work than usual, which took him away from pressing forward.
Real Salt Lake 2, Dynamo 1 (FINAL)
Real Salt Lake veteran Kyle Beckerman came off the bench to deliver an 82nd-minute winner, giving RSL a late 2-1 lead on the Dynamo.
Honduran speedster’s Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto combined on a 75th minute equalizer to help the Houston Dynamo pull even at 1-1, canceling out a first-half goal by Luis Silva.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Sebastian Saucedo set up the opening goal with a perfect cross to Luis Silva and built on his impressive performance in RSL’s win in Seattle.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Kyle Beckerman’s winner was the moment RSL needed to record a two-game winning streak for the first time this season.
MATCH TO FORGET: It was a rough 45 minutes for Jared Watts, who left the match at halftime after being in no-man’s land on RSL’s opening goal.
Galaxy 2, FC Dallas 3 (FINAL)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s pair of second-half goals wasn’t enough to help the LA Galaxy climb out of a big hole in an eventual 3-2 loss at StubHub Center.
The FC Dallas attack proved too much for the LA Galaxy defense to handle, as a pair of first-half goals gave the visitors control before Carlos Gruezo finishing off an FCD counterattack in the 66th minute to make the score 3-0.
Ryan Hollingshead finished off an excellent passing sequence with a deft finish in the 33rd minute to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead on the Galaxy at StubHub Center.
Hollingshead played provider on Dallas’ subsequent goal, setting up Cristian Colman to give the visitors a two-goal cushion heading into the halftime break.
FC Dallas went down a man in the 80th minute when Cristian Colman was sent off for hands to the face of Michael Ciani.
The Galaxy showed some life late as Ibrahimovic volleyed a Chris Pontius header past Jesse Gonzalez in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, but time ran out before the Galaxy could muster an equalizer.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Hollingshead scored a goal, set up another, and cleared a Galaxy shot off the line to spearhead the FCD victory.
MATCH TO FORGET: Hollingshead’s goal capped a beautiful passing sequence by FC Dallas that left the Galaxy chasing shadows.
MATCH TO FORGET: Tomas Hillard-Arce is a rookie so he can be forgiven for a rough night, but this performance won’t be one he’ll want to remember.
so are philly contenders or pretenders?
Probably neither. I am a Red Bulls fan and when they play against another team from the East early in the season, I always want them to win because I know they will eventually find a way to lose lots of points and at best barely make playoffs.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s pair of second-half goals wasn’t enough to help the LA Galaxy climb out of a big hole in an eventual 3-2 loss at StubHub Center.”
it’s interesting. i’m glad he’s here.
The LA Times pointed out today that the Galaxy right now are worse than they were at a similar point last season. How bad would they be without Zlatan? Before the season started I wrote here that the Galaxy shouldn’t have any trouble scoring goals, but their defense was suspect so I guessed they hoped to win a bunch of games 3-2. As it has turned out, they have lost a bunch of games 3-2. Their defense was horrible for the first two goals, totally disorganized. Some major changes definitely need to be made since their personnel is better than what their record is.