Derbies headline Saturday’s Major League Soccer action with multiple teams seeking important wins in the ever-changing playoff positions.
The main course comes from Red Bull Arena with the New York Red Bulls hosting the New England Revolution in an Eastern Conference clash. New York snatched their first win under new head coach Chris Armas last weekend, and will seek a similar result on Saturday.
The Texas Derby also occurs tonight with FC Dallas facing the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both teams grabbed points in their last league matches, with Dallas shutting down Chicago 3-1 at home.
Also, the Los Angeles Galaxy travels to face the Philadelphia Union, while Wayne Rooney and D.C. United face Atlanta United away from home. The Seattle Sounders will seek a win over rivals Vancouver at home, while the night concludes with Portland’s home date with Montreal.
Here’s a closer look at all of Saturday’s MLS action:
Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 1 (Final)
Josef Martinez stole the show, as he often does, as Atlanta United took care of D.C. Untied without much trouble.
D.C. went on top early thanks to a goal from Zoltan Stieber, but the rest of the game belonged to Martinez, who recorded his third hat trick of the year the sixth of his career, setting a new MLS record.
His first goal came in the 30th minute when he headed home a cross from Hector Villalba. His second gave Atlanta the lead in the 54th minute. It was another header off a deflected cross from Julian Gressel. The record setting third goal came in the 74th minute, when he picked up a pass, weaved through the defense, rounded David Ousted in goal, and tapped the ball into an empty net.
Atlanta uses the win to maintain their hold on the top spot in the Supporters Shield standings. Four points seperate them from New York City FC in second place.
Man of the Match: All Josef Martinez does is score goals. Today was his third hat trick of the season and an MLS record sixth of his short MLS career.
Moment of the Match: Martinez’s second goal made D.C. United’s early lead a distant memory, but it was his third that took the most skill and made a little bit of history.
Match to Forget: Steve Birnbaum had a weak day in central defense.
Sounders 2, Whitecaps 0 (Final)
Referee Chris Penso awarded the Sounders a penalty kick in just the fifth minute for a handball in the penalty area on defender Doneil Henry. Nicolas Lodeiro easily converted past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic for his third goal of the season and the early 1-0 lead.
Lodeiro doubled the lead with a thunderous strike from 25 yards out just past the half-hour mark. The Uruguayan midfielder seemed to catch Marinovic — who managed to get a glove on the ball despite diving the wrong direction — napping. It was Lodeiro’s fourth goal of the season, while Victor Rodriguez earned his second assist of campaign on the play.
Penso initially awarded the Whitecaps a penalty kick late in first-half stoppage time for a handball on Chad Marshall. After reviewing the play, however, he ruled that the ball struck Marshall in the shoulder.
Whitecaps midfielder Efrain Juarez was ejected from the match in the 77th minute, picking up one yellow card for a rough tackle and quickly earning a second card for dissent.
Designated Player Raul Ruidiaz made his Sounders debut in the 60th minute to raucous cheers from the crowd of 41,849. The two-time Liga MX golden boot winner drew a yellow card moments after entering the match. He nearly opened his account in the 68th minute, tracking down a through ball behind the defense but failing to seriously challenge Marinovic.
Man of the Match: Nicolas Lodeiro. Scored both goals, and probably should have had an assist. Among the team leaders in touches and passes, he frustrated and flummoxed Whitecaps defenders all afternoon. A vintage Lodeiro performance.
Moment of the Match: The fifth-minute penalty kick allowed the Sounders to play on the front foot for one of the few times this season.
Match to Forget: Doneil Henry. Committed the hand ball that gifted the Sounders an early lead. Picked up an early yellow card in a dangerous spot that could have led to a second goal. Earned one of the Whitecaps’ few good looks of the afternoon in the 20th minute, but sent a short-range header well over the crossbar.
Fire 1, Toronto FC 2 (Final)
Toronto FC continues to try and find its way, and Saturday may just be a good place to start as the reigning MLS Cup champions took down the Chicago Fire, 2-1.
Just two minutes into the second half, Sebastian Giovinco broke the deadlock, scoring on a Michael Bradley assist to give TFC the lead.
The Fire’s star responded with a goal of his own as Nemanja Nikolic pulled the hosts level in the 62nd minute on an assist from former TFC product Raheem Edwards. However, that deadlock lasted just three minutes before Jonathan Osorio restored the advantage, sealing the win for TFC.
Man of the Match: Jonathan Osorio stepped up for TFC, scoring a big goal while providing a big presence in the midfield.
Moment of the Match: Just minutes after conceding the lead, TFC snatched it back on Osorio’s goal.
Match to Forget: Richard Sanchez could have done better on the second goal, which proved to be the winner.
Union 1, Galaxy 3- Final
A Borek Dockal pass found C.J. Sapong who was able to redirect it past David Bingham for a 1-0 Union lead.
The Galaxy needed just three minutes of the second half to equalize, with Ibrahimovic springing Ola Kamara with a perfect pass that Kamara converted to make the score 1-1.
Romain Alessandrini skipped past Ray Gaddis and hit Zlatan just inside the penalty area. The Swede rifled a right-footed effort into the bottom-right corner for a 2-1 Galaxy lead.
Man of the Match: Zlatan Ibrahimovic needed some time to get going but once he did he could not be stopped. The Swede scored the winner while setting up Kamara on the equalizer.
Moment of the Match: Soon after the Galaxy tied it up, the pressure did not stop as Ibrahimovic rifled the eventual winner past Blake. Alessandrini sub truly changed the match.
Match to Forget: Ray Gaddis was beaten on the eventual winner by the Galaxy, getting brushed to the side by Alessandrini.
Red Bulls 2 , Revolution 0- Final
After a chippy and sloppy first half, the game’s first goal finally came in the 70th minute. The Red Bulls won a free kick to the right of the penalty area, and Mark Rzatkowski sent it to the goal line. From there, Royer finished from close range.
A second one came 10 minutes later, as Kaku’s cross found the head of Bradley Wright-Phillips. The goal puts him at 13 this season and 99 in MLS regular season play.
Man of the Match: Kaku picked up another assist on the second goal to cap off a night where the league’s assist leader was creating plenty of chances for his teammates.
Moment of the Match: Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 80th minute goal effectively ended the match, as he lightly flicked the ball with his head to record another personal milestone.
Match to Forget: Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner seemingly wasn’t prepared to stop the Red Bulls once they got going towards the end of the match. His performance was poor on both goals, marking an unmemorable night for him.
Crew 3, Orlando City 2 (Final)
After a weather delay pushed kickoff back about 45 minutes, Sacha Kljestan provided a little thunder in the 16th minute. He knocked home a bumbling cross from close range to give Orlando City a lead. It was only the fourth time all year that they scored first.
The Crew finally leveled the score in the 51st minute. Gyasi Zardes provided the fairly simple finish from six yards out, but it was Niko Hansen doing the dirty work along the right wing. He cut inside along the end line to pick out Zardes wide open in the middle.
The Lions wouldn’t let the deadlock stick around for long. After a controversial no call in the Columbus attacking third, Stefano Pinho provided the finish from extreme close range to put Orlando back in front in the 58th minute.
Some poor acting by Patrick Mullins in the Orlando penalty area was enough to convince referee Silviu Petrescu to point to the spot. After an intense round of Orlando protesting, Zardes stepped to the spot to bury his second of the game to level the score at two in the 88th minute.
Wil Trapp bagged the winner two minutes into stoppage time with a brilliant strike from over 30 yards out. His shot flew into the back of the net leaving Joe Bendik absolutely no chance to make a save.
Man of the Match: Pedro Santos was a powerful force on hte left flank for Columbus. He didn’t get on the scoresheet, but he was an important part of just about every Crew attack.
Moment of the Match: Trapp’s game-winner late into stoppage time was unstoppable, sealing the Crew win.
Dynamo 1, FC Dallas 1 (Final)
It took just eight minutes for the match to ignite as Matt Hedges scored within the first minute to give FC Dallas the early lead. Hedges’ goal came on a corner kick as the defender headed home a Santiago Mosquera corner.
That lead wouldn’t last long, though, as the Dynamo responded seven minutes later on Mauro Manotas’ goal.
From there, the teams would remain deadlocked as the first Texas Derby ended with a goal for either side. There were chances, though, as Manotas goal was ruled out by VAR while Roland Lamah saw a penalty kick saved by Joe Willis.
Man of the Match: Matt Hedges shined with his goal, his defending and his ability on the ball.
Moment of the Match: After going down early, the Dynamo didn’t fold. Rather, they scored moments later to level the match.
Match to Forget: Roland Lamah had a chance to win the game but missed his penalty kick in the second half.
Real Salt Lake 2, Rapids 2 (Final)
Real Salt Lake jumped all over the Rapids early on Saturday night, but a lengthy weather delay of more than an hour helped the Rapids regroup, and eventually recover to grab a 2-2 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Dillon Serna grabbed the late equalizer for the Rapids, finishing off a rebound of a saved shot by Edgar Castillo in the 88th minute to earn a point in the latest installment of the Rocky Mountain Derby.
RSL jumped to a two-goal lead in the first 17 minutes, scoring twice to assert early control. First up was a finish from Damir Kreilach, who scored on an assist from Joao Plata in the 11th minute. Next up was a goal from Plata himself as RSL torched the Rapids twice early to put together a good lead.
However, the weather came into play in the 24th minute, prompting a delay.
Timbers 2, Impact 2 (Final)
The Portland Timbers had to rally back from deficits on two occasions to fend off a feisty Montreal Impact in a draw at Providence Park.
The Timbers capitalized on a pair of misplayed balls by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush to score a pair of equalizers. The first was a Samuel Armenteros volley after bush spilled a simple rebound right into his path to make the score 1-1.
Matteo Mancosu responded just two minutes after Armenteros goal to give the Impact the lead again.
The Timbers fought back to tie once again in the 65th minute after Sebastian Blanco delivered a speculative cross that Bush attempted to push away, only to have Diego Valeri beat him to the rebound. Valeri headed the ball home for the final goal of the match.
The draw improved Portland’s league-best 13 matches, though the Timbers have managed just two wins from seven matches.