MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 2-2 NY Red Bulls

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One game, 100 words or less: Bang. That’s how quick you can concede a goal.

The US National Team figured that out the hard way against Portugal at the death, and with USMNT winger Brad Davis back to captain the side, the Houston Dynamo also discovered that against New York. In fact, both sides did.

Bradley Wright-Phillips continued his blistering run, bagging his 13th and 14th goals of the season to lead the league.

Three moments that mattered:

1′ – Houston strikes early – Well, that was quick. Kofi Sardokie shot up the right touchline, and sent a dangerous cross into the box.  The defending was horrific, and the ball sailed a wide-open Will Bruin and fell to an equally as wide-open Giles Barnes who headed home.  There was absolutely no man-marking by the Red Bulls, who were all caught ball-watching in the opening seconds. Oops.

72′ – BWP does it again – Yea, he’s on fire. After scoring in the 13th minute out of nothing, he picked up a brace. Ambroise Oyongo made Andrew Driver look silly on the left flank, and Wright-Phillips fired home his league-leading 14th goal of the season. He skipped away with a carefree

81′ – Davis returns in style – Ehhhh. A penalty for a handball allowed Houston a way back in, albeit a soft one. Chris Duvall was called for the foul, but replays showed the ball likely hit his shoulder legally. Brad Davis, back from World Cup duty, calmly and cooly equalized by converting low for a 2-2 draw.

Three lessons going forward:

1. Defending lasts for 90 minutes

Both teams learned in the opening 15 minutes that one iota of relaxation at the back can result in a concession. New York took the opening minute to get their legs under them, and it resulted in a disastrously defended corner.  Houston then let up for a moment, and they were punished for a second of losing concentration.

2. Misses matter

Will Bruin will be kicking himself. Chris Wondolowski missed a sitter to send the US past Belgium at the end of regulation, and Bruin had a wide open goal at the end of the first half that ended up being a big miss. Gotta take the chances the opponent gives you.

3. Petke won’t like this

It could be ugly for Mike Petke postmatch, as he will surely be asked about the penalty that allowed Houston to steal a point. The Red Bulls benefitted from Wright-Phillips’ wonderful form, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to earn all the points. Well…it was, except that it wasn’t. The match was wide open, but New York, er, Wright-Phillips was more clinical in front of net.  Look out Red Bulls reporters, Petke could be heated.

Where that leaves them:

Nobody wins here. Both teams would have been clamoring for a win, but a point each leaves the sides in eighth and fifth respectively.

  • New York sits on 20 points, sitting them in fifth place having played 17 matches to a 4-8-5 record.
  • Houston jumps to 18 points, good enough for seventh place with 18 matches under their belt on a 5-3-10 record.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)