The first weekend of July did not disappoint with 10 matches and plenty of goals, particularly in Los Angeles.
Headlining the day’s action was the LA Galaxy’s 4-0 romp against the Columbus Crew at home. Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Romain Alessandrini all scored in the lopsided win.
LAFC bounced back from a midweek hiccup against the Houston Dynamo, by rolling past struggling Orlando City 4-1. Adama Diomande scored a brace for Bob Bradley’s men, now giving him nine goals this season.
Josef Martinez netted his 18th goal of the season in Atlanta United’s 2-0 win in Philadelphia, while Real Salt Lake downed FC Dallas 2-0 at home. The Dynamo claimed a huge three points against Minnesota United, while the Portland Timbers used a Samuel Armenteros brace to defeat the slumping San Jose Earthquakes.
Here’s a closer look at all of Saturday’s MLS action:
LAFC 4, Orlando City 1 (Final)
LAFC erased a midweek disaster in Houston by steamrolling Orlando City 4-1 at Banc of California Stadium.
Adama Diomande’s right-footed finish in the 28th minute gave LAFC a 1-0 lead as the Norwegian scored his eighth goal of the season.
Latif Blessing doubled the advantage four minutes later as he scored from close range. Blessing now has five goals for LAFC since making the move from Sporting KC.
Tyler Miller has made five saves for LAFC, but the keeper could not keeper Sacha Kljestan out in the 59th minute. The midfielder scored his fourth goal of the season, for the first goal under new head coach James O’Connor.
Diomande was able to poke in his second of the evening in the 83rd minute before Diego Rossi slotted in his first since May 27th just a minute later.
The win sees LAFC claim second spot in the West, while Orlando has lost nine in a row.
Man of the Match: Diomande was important again for LAFC adding to his ever-growing number of goals.
Moment of the Match: Blessing’s goal really gave LAFC some breathing room in the match before his teammates added to their lead.
Match to Forget: The entire Orlando City backline was poor against a lively LAFC attack, but it didn’t help that captain Jonathan Spector left with a first-half injury.
Timbers 2, Earthquakes 1 (Final)
The Portland Timbers used a brace from one of their in-form attackers to down the slumping San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at Providence Park.
Samuel Armenteros scored in each half as Giovani Savarese’s side led 2-0 after 53 minutes.
The Swedish striker opened things in the 14th minute as he finished Diego Valeri’s assist. Armenteros and Valeri were at it against in the 53rd minute as the pair connected for Portland’s insurance tally.
San Jose got a goal back in the 87th minute through Florian Jungwirth but it wouldn’t be enough in the final result. Mikael Stahre’s side remain winless and have yet to taste victory since May 12th.
Man of the Match: Armenteros led the way again for the Timbers, scoring a pair of goals to lead them to victory.
Moment of the Match: The Swede’s second goal pretty much put the Timbers in a good position to finish with a win.
Match to Forget: The attacking pair of Danny Hoesen and Chris Wondolowski totaled one shot on goal, while Hoesen eventually left with an injury.
Galaxy 4, Crew 0 (Final)
Both the attack and defense showed up for the LA Galaxy on Saturday in a 4-0 shellacking of the Crew.
The Galaxy went into the half up a goal thanks to a finish from Ola Kamara just before halftime. Kamara scored against his former team in the 42nd minute and, just moments later, a Crew goal was ruled out by VAR, keeping the Galaxy ahead.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled the Galaxy’s lead from the spot in the 58th minute. The Swede was fouled by Lalas Abubakar and stepped up to score his 11th goal of the season.
From there, Romain Alessandrini took over, scoring in the 67th and 93rd minute to seal the blowout.
Man of the Match: Alessandrini stepped up with a big game to lead the way in a big Galaxy win.
Moment of the Match: Just before halftime, the Galaxy went up a goal on a finish from Kamara, earning a bit of momentum heading into what turned out to be a big second half.
Match to Forget: The entire Crew team could fit in this spot, especially the defense. Lalas Abubakar, though, had a rough game, conceding the penalty kick as part of a rough defensive performance.
Whitecaps 3, Fire 2 (Final)
The Whitecaps took the lead in the 28th minute as Kei Kamara provided his seventh goal of the season on a rebound. Nemanja Nikolic leveled the match 14 minutes later, sending the two teams into halftime at one apiece.
Jordan Mutch regained the lead for Carl Robinson’s men in the 47th minute, finishing an Efrain Juarez through ball past Richard Sanchez. Kamara added another in the 72nd minute, and that insurance goal would prove valuable as former Whitecaps midfielder Tony Tchani pushed the score to 3-2 nine minutes later.
Man of the Match: Kei Kamara provided his seventh and eighth goals of the season to lead the Whitecaps to victory.
Moment of the Match: Kamara’s insruance goal was vital as it gave the Whitecaps a cushion they ended up needing.
Match to Forget: Jonathan Campbell struggled on the day, giving the ball away several times in a match that saw the Fire defense allow three goals.
Real Salt Lake 2, FC Dallas 0 (Final)
Real Salt Lake opened the scoring in the 11th minute on an Albert Rusnak penalty kick. Sebastian Saucedo drew the penalty when he stepped in front of the ball just as Kellyn Acosta attempted to kick the ball clear in the penalty area.
Despite a few chances in the second-half to draw level, Dallas ultimately would concede the sucker blow in stoppage time.
Luis Silva took advantage of a fast break to beat Jesse Gonzalez in the 91st minute. Jefferson Savarino hit Silva and the substitute would do the rest, doubling the hosts lead.
Man of the Match: Jefferson Savarino had a strong match in the attack, providing the assist on the insurance goal.
Moment of the Match: The late Silva goal locked up the win as RSL took down the Western Conference leaders.
Match to Forget: It was a rough day for Kellyn Acosta, whose foul on the penalty was the major lowlight.
Dynamo 3, Minnesota United 0 (Final)
Two goals from an unlikely source pushed the Dynamo past Minnesota United.
Philippe Senderos scored twice from corner kicks, leading the way as the Dynamo earned a 3-0 win over the Loons.
A few minutes before halftime, the Dynamo jumped into the lead on a goal from Senderos, who rocketed a shot from inside the six-yard box to give the hosts the advantage.
Senderos added a second moments into the second half, finishing off another corner to give the Dynamo a 2-0 lead that they would never relinquish. Alberth Elis added further insurance in stoppage time, pushing the score to 3-0 while locking up the three points.
Man of the Match: There’s little doubt that Senderos takes home the honors with two goals and a clean sheet.
Moment of the Match: Senderos’ second goal just after halftime all but put the game out of reach.
Match to Forget: Recently in great form, Darwin Quintero was held completely silent as he fired just one shot all night.
Sporting KC 2, Toronto FC 2 (Final)
Toronto took an unexpected lead in the 25th minute on just their second shot of the game. Jonathan Osorio provided the finish thanks to a well placed cross from Justin Morrow.
After 55 minutes of mostly harmless possession, SKC finally got their chance to level the score in the 56th minute. Gerso Fernandez was taken down near the six-yard box by Eriq Zavaleta, which set up Ilie Sanchez from the spot. Sanchez slotted home calmly, putting SKC on level pegging.
Johnny Russel made sure the tie didn’t last long. He collected a through ball in the 61st minute from Diego Rubios and placed a perfect shot that left Alex Bono helpless in goal.
The goals continued flying at Children’s Mercy Park. Jordan Hamilton took advantage of a midfield turnover from SKC and smashed a shot home from long distance to tie the game at two in the 69th minute.
SKC had the better of the chances after the equalizer, but they couldn’t put a quality shot on target in the end and they were forced to share the spoils at home against a struggling Toronto FC.
Man of the Match: Jonathon Osorio scored TFC’s unlikely opening goal and was a major force on the wing all game long.
Moment of the Match: Just when it looked like Toronto was destined for another second half collapse, Jordan Hamilton smashed home an impressive goal from long range to earn his team a valuable point in a difficult road match.
Match to Forget: Tim Melia will feel like he should have done more to stop both Toronto goals from going in.
Impact 2, Rapids 1 (Final)
Saphir Taider has broken the deadlock from Stade Saputo, giving the Impact a 1-0 second-half lead.
Alejandro Silva’s assist found Taider inside of the box and the midfielder beat Tim Howard to the bottom-left corner. It was Taider’s second goal for the team this season.
Howard was the busier of the keepers in the first-half, as Colorado has struggled to get much going offensively. Yannick Boli had the best chance in the opening 45 for Anthony Hudson’s team.
Taider doubled the lead a minute later as he finished Nacho Piatti’s assist past the American keeper.
The Rapids caught one back at the 78th minute on their first shot of the game. Chris Duvall deflected a shot off of a corner kick situation and fell straight to a wide open Dominique Badji. The Senegalese forward easily tapped the ball in to snap the Impact’s clean sheet streak.
Man of the Match: Saphir Taider dominated the storylines of this game in less than a minute. The designated players first broke the deadlock then doubled it only seconds later.
Moment of the Match: Alejandro Silva send the ball from his right flank to the left for Ignacio Piatti who then leaves it in the middle for Saphir Taider. The Algerian controls the ball with his left foot to set himself up and beats Tim Howard for the second time in less than a minute.
Revolution 0, Sounders 0 (Final)
The Revs’ clash with the Sounders proved uneventful as the two teams played to a scoreless tie on Saturday.
The hosts had the better of the possession, but failed to create good chance on goal. Matt Turner and Stefan Frei were fine to say the least, although each was only called upon to make one save apiece.
Man of the Match: Luis Caicedo. The New England midfielder was a beast in the middle of the park, dominating despite a tough matchup against the likes of Cristian Roldan and Nicolas Lodeiro.
Moment of the Match: Jalil Anibaba’s free header off a Revs corner in the 65th minute was the best chance of the night, but Anibaba couldn’t put it on frame.
Union 0, Atlanta United 2 (Final)
Atlanta United shrugged off a midweek defeat on Saturday by sweeping the season series with the Philadelphia Union. Tata Martino saw goals from Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba as the Five Stripes downed the hosts 2-0 in Chester.
Martinez’s penalty kick in the 58th minute gave the Venezuelan 18 goals this season. Miguel Almiron was bundled over by Andre Blake giving the Five Stripes the spot kick opportunity.
Blake was the busier of the two keepers in the first-half, repelling Martinez and Almiron good looks.
The Union dominated in first-half possession but was unable to score. Brad Guzan saved C.J. Sapong’s left-footed effort while the hosts lacked the final product.
Villalba doubled the Five Stripes lead in the 76th minute as he slotted into an empty net. A nice through ball by Martinez hit Almiron who slid a pass across the box for Villalba. The forward did not miss icing the result for Atlanta.
Despite three attacking changes, the Union could not muster much in the final third, eventually falling for the fourth time in their last five matches. Jim Curtin’s side have a quick turnaround as they travel to Chicago on Wednesday.
Atlanta returns to Mercedes Benz Stadium next Sunday for a date with the Seattle Sounders after hitting the 40-point mark on Saturday night.
Man of the Match: Martinez continued his terrific season with a goal and an assist in the clean sheet win.
Moment of the Match: The Union dominated the first half, but the penalty kick really flipped the match in Atlanta’s favor. Their second goal iced the result.
Match to Forget: C.J. Sapong again was a quiet product up top for Philadelphia as he sees his dismal season continue.