MLS Wednesday Rewind: Crew top Union, D.C. United drops Red Bulls, and more

MLS Wednesday Rewind: Crew top Union, D.C. United drops Red Bulls, and more

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MLS Wednesday Rewind: Crew top Union, D.C. United drops Red Bulls, and more

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There is a new first-place team in the MLS Eastern Conference after Wednesday’s stacked schedule of matches.

The Columbus Crew defeated the Philadelphia Union to leapfrog Toronto FC into first place in the East.

It was a night to forget for the New York Red Bulls, which surrendered a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time to drop a brutal loss to a short-handed D.C. United.

Inter Miami was unable to escape last place in the East, but did record a hard-earned point after a goal-less draw against Atlanta United.

In the late games, LAFC hammered the San Jose Earthquakes, Real Salt Lake picked up a late equalizer against the Sounders, and the Timbers continued their post MLS is Back title slide against the LA Galaxy.

Here is a closer look at Wednesday’s MLS action:

Crew 1, Union 0

(Zelarayan 55′)

Caleb Porter’s side used a second half goal from Lucas Zelarayan to edge the visiting Philadelphia Union 1-0 at Mapfre Stadium. The Designated Player’s right-footed shot deflected in past Andre Blake, which was the only goal the Crew needed to earn its first win since the MLS is Back Tournament.

Andre Blake was the busier of the two keepers, making four saves and keeping the Union in the match early. However, the Union couldn’t put away some good opportunities from Brenden Aaronson in the opening half, before ultimately missing a golden chance after the Crew took the lead.

Sergio Santos blasted a shot over the crossbar from close range instead of opting to pass to a wide open Kacper Przybylko. The Union would ultimately suffer its first defeat since Orlando, sitting five points back of the Crew in the East.

Man of the Match

Lucas Zelarayan scored the only goal of the game and overall was the best player on the field. He had two shots in total and completed 82% of his passes. The Designated Player almost iced the match not long after giving the Crew a lead and showed once again why the team acquired him this offseason.

Moment of the Match

Sergio Santos had a golden chance to tie things up for the Union, but instead trusted his ability in front of goal. After creating room for a shot, Santos ripped a shot from close range which landed in the stands. Kacper Przybylko was wide open in front of goal screaming for the pass and was left frustrated after it never came.

Match to Forget

After scoring in his last two games, Przybylko failed to record a shot on goal in the loss. The German striker couldn’t get on the end of any crosses into the box despite playing the full 90 minutes. Jim Curtin will hope Przybylko can bounce back this weekend at FC Cincinnati.


Red Bulls 0, D.C. United 1

(Sorga 90+7′)

The New York Red Bulls faced a severely short-handed D.C. United side that went to Red Bull Arena hoping to escape with a point and watched the visitors take all three in dramatic and gut-wrenching fashion.

Erik Sorga came on in the 90th minute and scored the winner, hitting a hopeful shot from the top of the penalty area that took a slight deflection before beating Ryan Meara.

The Red Bulls squandered an opportunity against a D.C. United side playing without Bill Hamid, Edison Flores and Steve Birnbaum. Chris Armas’ side outshot D.C. United 14-5, but only four of those shots were on target and the Red Bulls struggled to generate truly dangerous chances.

The Red Bulls best chances came in the 24th minute when Tom Barlow forced a strong save out of Chris Seitz before sending his follow-up shot off the post.

Man of the Match

Donovan Pines was a force in the D.C. United defense, recording eight clearances, six interceptions and six recoveries to help keep the Red Bulls off the scoreboard.

Moment of the Match

Erik Sorga’s speculative shot came in the dying seconds of the match and delivered a much-needed win for D.C. United.

Match to Forget

Tom Barlow was active, but ineffective, and will kick himself for not finishing his chances on a night when D.C. United was there for the beating.


Atlanta United 0, Inter Miami 0

Atlanta United and Inter Miami played to a scoreless draw in a cagey affair at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday night. Both teams had chances to break the deadlock in a game that finished with 39 combined fouls, but neither side found the necessary quality in front of the net.

Inter Miami had arguably the best two chances in the Eastern Conference clash, with Nicolas Figal scuffing a point blank shot in the 39th minute and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez firing another close-range effort over the crossbar in the 55th.

Atlanta United could have gone up after just 11 minutes, but Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres’ volleyed attempt went high and wide of the frame after getting on the end of a cross from Brooks Lennon.

Man of the Match

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Helped keep Atlanta United at bay for much of the 90 minutes and passed well out of the back. He should have done better on his golden chance early in the second half, but all in all he enjoyed a solid return to Atlanta.

Moment of the Match

Mystifying Miss. Nicolas Figal is a defender so finishing is clearly not his forte, but he still should have done better on his glorious opportunity right in front of goal minutes before halftime. A horrible miss he will surely rue.

Match to Forget

Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres. The Atlanta United striker failed to put away a good look early on, and then disappeared for much of the remainder of the match. He did not get a whole lot of service, but still needed to do more to find the game and give his team more of a threat.


FC Cincinnati 0,  Fire 0

With its last open-play goal coming on July 22nd in the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament, FC Cincinnati was blanked again, and twice in as many weeks by the Chicago Fire.

A goalless first half was headlined by a pair of chances from Cincinnati, one where Jürgen Loacida found himself offside after drawing Bobby Shuttleworth off his line, and another where Siem de Jong rushed himself to sky one over the bar from the middle of the box.

Much of the same story in the second half, and it looked like the deadlock was broken in the 70th minute when Ignacio Aliseda ripped one past Przemysław Tytoń at point-blank, but a handball by Boris Sekulic in the build-up warranted the slate being wiped clean after review.

Issuing consecutive scoreless draws to the two most recent teams to defeat it, FC Cincinnati and new coach Jaap Stam will desperately need to get someone going as a consistent goal scorer.

Man of the Match

Fire backup goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth delivered a big performance, and one of his three saves stopped Locadia from point-blank for what was the best individual play of the game.

Moment of the Match

Siem De Jong had a chance to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead as the first half came to a close, but he was not calm in the highest-leverage situation of the game and wasted a golden opportunity.

Match to Forget

In FCC’s restart efforts, the new DP striker has yet to score from open play. With his best look ruled offside, he was denied by Shuttleworth in the 55th and left with nothing showing his new boss something positive.


Revolution 0,  NYCFC 2

(Mancienne (OG) 60′, Heber 72′)

NYCFC won its second straight match and halted a seven-match unbeaten run by New England on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.

Anton Tinnerholm helped open the scoring for NYCFC in the 60th minute when he raced down the right wing and served up a dangerous ball toward the front of goal that was redirected into the net by Revs defender Michael Manciennes.

The Revs saw a would-be equalizer denied when a long-range blast from Gustavo Bou forced Sean Johnson into an excellent reaction save.

Brazilian striker Heber scored his first MLS goal of 2020 in the 72nd minute when he headed home a Ronald Matarrita corner kick to make the score 2-0.

 Man of the Match

Ronald Matarrita did it all for NYCFC on Wednesday, delivering a game-high nine tackles and four interceptions while also providing the assist on Heber’s goal.

Moment of the Match

Sean Johnson’s save on Gustavo Bou in the 70th minute denied a tied-turning equalizer and came just two minutes before Heber provided the insurance tally.

Match to Forget

Michael Manciennes didn’t just surrender an own goal, he had a rough night passing-wise, and provided little defensively in a forgettable overall performance.


Real Salt Lake 2, Sounders 2

(Lodeiro 29′, Gomez Andrade 69′) (Glad 50′, Ruiz 85′)

Pablo Ruiz scored a long-range late equalizer to salvage a 2-2 home draw against the Seattle Sounders at Rio Tinto Stadium.

With his team trailing 2-1 in the 85th minute, Ruiz stepped into a cleared corner kick and unleashed a 30-yard rocket that deflected off defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade before finding the back of the net.

Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 29th minute, giving the Sounders a 1-0 lead after defender Aaron Herrara was whistled for a hand ball.

Justen Glad equalized for the hosts in the 50th minute, heading home an Albert Rusnak corner kick for his first goal since 2016. Glad nearly gave his team the lead on another header moments later, but goalkeeper Stefan Frei delivered a fine save for the Sounders.

Gomez Andrade put the Sounders up in 69th minute, heading an Alex Roldan cross past goalkeeper Andrew Putna for the 2-1 lead.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alex Roldan. Cristian Roldan’s younger brother had only played 44 minutes in 2020 before earning a start on Wednesday night. The 24-year-old converted right back submitted a quality effort throughout and delivered his third career assist in a performance that will surely earn him more minutes in a congested schedule.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Stefan Frei came up with a series of big saves over the course of the second half. None was bigger than Frei’s diving effort to deny Albert Rusnack in the 64th minute, temporarily preserving a 1-1 tie.

MATCH TO FORGET

Aaron Herrera. Conceded a penalty kick that Lodeiro converted for the 1-0 lead, then lost Gomez Andrade on the Sounders’ second goal.


Dynamo 3, Minnesota United 0

(Quintero 28′, Lassiter 65′, 70′)

Darwin Quintero punished the team that let him go, scoring the opening goal in Houston’s resounding win over Minnesota United.

Quintero blasted a low shot into the lower corner of the near post in the 28th minute, finishing off a pass from Memo Gonzalez to open the scoring for the Dynamo.

Ariel Lassiter made it 2-0 Dynamo when he finished off an Alberth Elis pass in the 65th minute.

Lassiter and Elis joined forces for the final goal of the night in the 70th minute, with the two working a give-and go that sprang Lassiter in the penalty area for his second goal, giving the Dynamo their second consecutive three-goal victory.

Man of the Match

Though Alberth Elis certainly merited consideration, the nod here goes to Ariel Lassiter for his two-goal performance.

Moment of the Match

Quintero’s opening goal provided some sweet revenge against his former team and also set the tone for a memorable night for the Dynamo.

Match to Forget

Michael Boxall was beaten on both of Lassiter’s goals, though he was far from alone in suffering breakdowns in the Loons backline.

Sporting KC 1, FC Dallas 1

(Shelton 45+3′)-(Jara 9′)

Sporting Kansas City made up for an early error to dominate FC Dallas up front, but poor finishing and good defense meant they only left Children’s Mercy Park with a draw.

Poor ball movement at the back from Sporting KC allowed Franco Jara to score an easy first goal of the game, and his first for Dallas, in the ninth minute. A poor back pass from left back Luis Martins took a touch off an FC Dallas player and came right to Jara, who had no trouble chipping over a helpless Tim Melia in goal.

The lead would only last until just before halftime, however. Khiry Shelton provided the finish off an FC Dallas turnover and some fine passing in the buildup from Gerso and Felipe Hernandez.

Kansas City had the better of the chances in the second half, but the FC Dallas defense managed to hold strong and come out of the game with a draw.

Man of the Match

Gerso created SKC’s goal and had a hand in several of their chances throughout the night.

Moment of the Match

SKC had many chances to pick out a winner in the second half, but none were better than Dallas backup keeper Kyle Zobeck barely palming away Daniel Salloi’s stoppage time attempt that would have gave them all three points.

Match to Forget

A lazy back pass from Luis Martins in the ninth minute gave Dallas their only goal and cost SKC a victory when all was said and done.


Nashville 1, Orlando 1

(Leal 47′)-(Michel 17′)

Scoring chances were hard to come by as Orlando City and Nashville battled to a 1-1 draw.

Benji Michel opened the scoring in this one in impressive fashion in the 17th minute. He managed to muscle a ball away from Anibal Godoy before taking a couple of touches and launching the ball inside the far post from well outside the penalty area.

Nashville put together a fancy team goal early in the second half for their equalizer. Godoy started the move with a great pass to Hany Mukhtar, who proceeded to pick out Randall Leal for his first MLS goal.

Orlando had a chance to win the game late on, but Joe Willis somehow managed to stop Junior Urso from scoring at point blank range in the 84th minute.

Man of the Match

Randall Leal was Nashville’s most dangerous player on the night and he was rewarded with his first MLS goal.

Moment of the Match

Willis’s late save preserved a point for Nashville and left Orlando wondering how they didn’t steal a win.

Match to Forget

The Orlando back line deserves a team loss for their iffy defensive work on the Nashville goal. but Robin Jansson was a little over ambitious and left too much room for Leal to exploit.


Timbers 2, Galaxy 3

(Mora 67′, Valeri 90+1′)-(Alvarez 15′, Pavon 50′, Corona 71′)

The Galaxy remain undefeated since the MLS is Back Tournament ended while the Timbers continued their slide since winning it.

The Galaxy jumped out to an early lead when Efrain Alvarez jumped on a loose ball and hammered a shot past Jeff Attinella  from the center of the box. They doubled their lead early in the second half through Cristian Pavon’s solo effort.

The Timbers jumped back into the game in the 67th minute when Felipe Mora jumped on a rebound and half-volleyed a shot home, but the hope was short-lived thanks to Joe Corona. He roofed a shot from just outside the 18 in the 71st minute to restore the Galaxy’s two goal advantage.

Portland had their chances, but nothing came from any of them. Sebastian Blanco smacked the crossbar in the 76th minute and Jeremy Ebobisse had a header called back for a marginal offside flag in the 80th. Diego Valeri scored his 80th career MLS goal in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late for the Timbers.

Man of the Match

Cristian Pavon was a beast and his goal was an excellent display of dribbling and shooting skill.

Moment of the Match

The Corona goal stomped out any hope the Timbers built for themselves early in the second half.

Match to Forget

Tomas Conechny got the chance to start in the midfield and made very little of the opportunity. Portland’s attack really picked up after he came off the pitch.


LAFC 5, Earthquakes 1

(Rossi 21′, 69′, Wright-Phillips 49′, Cifuentes 64′, Musovski 83′)-(Hoeson 90+1′)

LAFC had no trouble at all hammering the San Jose Earthquakes at Banc of California Stadium.

Diego Rossi scored twice in the match as LAFC had little trouble picking up offense without Carlos Vela in the lineup. His first came in the 21st minute while his second added to the rout.

Bradley Wright-Phillips had the most impressive finish of the bunch early in the second half. He showed real determination to take on the entire San Jose deense by himself before sliding a shot into the net.

Jose Cifuentes and Danny Musovski also scored and both were the result of lazy Quakes defending.

San Jose’s goal came from Danny Hoesen and was way, way too late to have any sort of impact.

Man of the Match

Diego Rossi bagged a double and really set the tone for LAFC.

Moment of the Match

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored what turned out to be the winner and it was the best of the five goal set.

Match to Forget

Every San Jose player will want to pretend this match didn’t exist, but goalkeeper Daniel Vega will wish it most.

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