Author: Richard Farley

Portland Timbers against the Seattle Sounders

Late night sprint: Columbus comes back in Houston; Colorado, Toronto snap losing streaks


Major League Soccer scheduled four games with near identical kickoff times – the main reason why you’ll only see one detailed recap from the league’s late Saturday games.

Thankfully, MLS’s one-match Sunday gives us plenty of time to catch up on the day’s action. For now, though, we’ll have to content ourselves with the highlights and recaps for the three game were weren’t able to watch.

If you focused on one of these and skipped the action in Dallas, check out what happened in Frisco here. Otherwise, let’s do this together. Time to get up-to-date on what happened tonight in Major League Soccer:

Chicago 1-1 Toronto

Missed penalty kicks again cameback to hurt Chicago, though at the time Jeff Larentowicz failed to convert the Fire’s latest try (and Quincy Amarikwa hit Joe Bendik with the rebound), things didn’t look so bad for the home team. Up 1-0 in the 57th minute (after Lovel Palmer’s 11th minute opener), Chicago was looking for insurance – a cushion they didn’t need until late.

In the 89th minute, Dwayne De Rosario scavenged his first goal of the season, ending Toronto’s three-game losingstreak while casting more doubt on Chicago’s fading playoff hopes. The only silver lining for the Fire: Toronto had a late winner disallowed.

(As you’ll hear in the highlights, the reason for the “seasonal” orange at various places on Chicago’s field: Multiple football games being played recently on Toyota Park’s pitch. If this a “pro” for FieldTurf or a “con” for football on MLS fields? Ah, that pesky word “or”.)

Houston 2-2 Columbus

The Dynamo looked poised to avenge their loss in Ohio when Giles Barnes’s deft finish built on Adam Schoenfeld’s unfortunate finish into his own net, giving the home side a 2-0 lead before halftime. Nine minutes into the second half, however, that lead was gone, with a Wil Trapp drive and an Ethan Finlay header pulling the Crew even.

The take away from this match is less likely to be the score than two moments of Columbus hope that descended into controversy. In both halves, Ricardo Salazar awarded a penalty to the visitors only to wave it off after conferring with this assistants. Whereas twice rookie A.J. Cochran thought he had conceded a spot kick, twice he was left thanking Salazar’s sideline help.

Colorado 2-2 Portland

A terrible start for the Timbers was forgotten by halftime thanks to a Diego Valeri volley that blew through Steve Berner’s hands and inside the olorado keeper’s left post. In the 48th minute, however, luck shined on the Rapids when a fortunate whistle gave Dillon Powers a chance to equalize from the spot. After seven straight losses Colorado was within reach of an actual result.

That reach became a grasp in the 66th minute when a sharp-angle header from Deshorn Brown found Donovan Ricketts’ left side netting, giving Colorado a 2-1 lead. Ten minutes later, however, a Diego Valeri pass took a fortunate bounce behind the Rapids’ defense, where Gaston Fernandez was able to hold off the returning Shane O’Neill to put home Portland’s equalizer.

MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

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One game, 100 words (or less): Two goals from Blas Perez, a full one of them on purpose, have FC Dallas back in the win column, with a resilient performance from Vancouver thwarted when the chaos after a late set piece left the Dallas striker with an open goal. Blasting his shot home from 14 yards out, Perez snapped Dallas’s two-game losing streak, his seventh and eight goals of the season giving the home side a 2-1 win.


Dallas: Blas Perez 20′, 78′
Vancouver: Hurtado 67′

Three moments that mattered:

20′ – Your latest goal of the season – There’s no way Blas Perez was trying to score, but goals don’t have to be planned to count. With a ball that could have been confused for a gridiron punt, the Panamanian international scored one of the goals of the season, arcing a shot from against the sideline, eight yards from the goal line, into David Ousted’s far side-netting.

67′ – The Rosales pay-off – Mauro Rosales was one of the night’s best players from the get go, but just after the hour mark, his influence finally found its way to the scoresheet. Attacking a Dallas defense adjusting after Matt Hedges’s foray into midfield, Rosales found the seem between right back Jair Benitez and Hedges’s partner, Zach Loyd. In for Darren Mattocks, Erik Hurtado powered his first touch past Raul Fernandez, giving Vancouver hope of a result.

78′ – On purpose – Perez may  have lucked into his first goal, but his second was finished with too much authority to leave any doubt. After a set piece won by Vancouver’s Kendall Waston deflected into the left of the penalty area, Perez first-timed a rocket into an abandoned goal, with Ousted leftf in no one’s land after indecision on the initial ball.

With his second goal of the night, Perez matched his total for Panama at the Copa Centroamericana. He also put his team back in the win column.


Dallas: Fernandez; Watson, Loyd, Hedges, Hernandez (Benitez 45′); Castillo, Michel, Ulloa, Escobar (Dias 57′); Akindele (Acosta 82′), Perez
Vancouver: Ousted; Sampson, Waston, Dean, Harvey; Teibert, Laba, Ballouchy (P. Morales 57′); Rosales (Manneh 81′); Fernandez, Mattocks (Hurtado 62′)

Three lessons going forward:

1. Neither team is back – Returning at home, Dallas had a chance to jump back into the win column after two straight losses on the road (Chicago, RSL). Likewise, Vancouver had a chance to carry over momentum from Wednesday night, when they broke a long scoreless drought while notching a much-needed win.

To a small extent, both of those things happened at Toyota Stadium, but Dallas didn’t look as impressive as it had before its momentum was blunted in Chicago. And Vancouver, while now capable of scoring goals, still doesn’t look like the team that played so well this spring.

If Dallas is going to be a contender in the West, it needs to show its summer surge was more than an isolated hot streak. And Vancouver may need to play closer to its talent level to hold off Portland.

2. Waston is impossible on set pieces – A header off a Vancouver corner in the 92nd minute generated a moment of controversy, with a redirection finding Loyd’s outstretched arm. Most of the time, that infraction’s a foul, but on Saturday, the Whitecaps saw no mercy.

Amid the controversy was a detail that will have a more lasting significance: Kendall Waston was again doing damage on set pieces. Coming into the night, the Costa Rican was averaging 4.5 aerial duels won per game, a number that puts him above the likes of Eddie Johnson, David Horst, Aurelien Collin, Chad Marshall, and Omar Gonzalez (one-through-five in MLS in duels won). Though one of Waston’s wins on Saturday ended up working against his team, the 26-year-old has been unstoppable on dead balls since arriving last month.

Had the whistle blown on Saturday, unstoppable would have meant a point in Frisco.

3. That Mauro Rosales trade’s working out okay – Granted, it gave Carl Robinson an excuse to shake things up again, and this Vancouver team needs to pick a plan and go with it, att some point …

But damn if Mauro Rosales isn’t a good soccerer (TM). Started at the tip of the Whitecaps’ midfield diamond, Rosales out-Moralesed Pedro Morales, supplying the Chilean’s playmaking while adding a defensive intensity Vancouver’s typically lacked.

When he arrived, it was unclear where he’d play. All we knew was (a.) Rosales was very talented, (b.) he only cost Nigel Reo-Coker, and (c.) the Whitecaps still seemed stacked.

Now, it looks like Rosales will be a key part of Vancouver’s stretch run – if not the key part.

Where this leaves them:

  • The win moves Dallas within one point of RSL for third in the West. Catch them, and FCD avoids that four-five, play-in game.
  • Vancouver re-opened the door for Portland, but with the Timbers graciously ended Colorado’s seven-game losing streak, the Whitecaps stay in fifth place, one point up on their rivals.

Early deficit can’t keep New England from fifth straight win

Kelyn Rowe 2
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Frank Klopas’s starting lineup hinted he was looking toward Champions League mid-week, but there was a moment on Saturday where it seemed Montreal could actually pull off anupset in New England. Thirteen minutes in, after Jack McInerney had beat Andrew Farrell to a long diagonal, Calum Mallace buried the Impact’s first big chance, giving Klopas’s newly competitive team an early lead at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution may have won four-in-a-row — and Montreal’s lineup may have been missing Marco Di Vaio, Ignacio Piatti, Felipe, Matteo Ferrari, and Hassoun Camara — but the Impact’s new, more confident approach was going to test New England.

It took the Revs all of 12 minutes to pass that test, albeit with a little help. With a speculative shot in the 23rd minute, Kelyn Rowe showed why Klopas has gone away from Troy Perkins, with Montreal’s new number two letting in a soft goal in make it 1-1. Two minutes later, beautiful play between Lee Nguyen, Jermaine Jones, and Charlie Davies took advantage of Montreal’s disorganized defense, giving Nguyen an open chip from 12 yards out. What had looked like a potential upset became the game we expected in the span of 12 minutes.

Dilly Duka and Andres Romero maintained some of Montreal’s new-found danger, but just past the hour mark, any reason for doubt disappeared. With a hard foul on New England’s right flank, Impact defender Krzysztof Krol drew his second yellow card, leaving the underdogs to chase a 2-1 deficit down a man.

Given that disadvantage, it’s no surprise the game’s final numbers were so lopsided. New England out-shot Montreal 18-10 – 10-3, in terms of terms of shots on target. The Revs held 57 percent of the ball, while Montreal failed to register a shot on target after Krol’s dismissal.

But to the Impact’s credit, they kept the score within one – more than many would have expected, given Klopas’s starting lineup. Ultimately, the likes of Perkins, Futty Danso, Wandrille Lefebvre, Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, and Anthony Jackson-Hamel weren’t enough to keep New England from its fifth win in a row, a victory that moves the Revs within three of second in the Eastern Conference.

Premier League preview: Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers

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  • Red Devils looking for their first win under Louis van Gaal.
  • Rio Ferdinand makes his Old Trafford return.
  • Radamel Falcao set to debut.

Sure to get a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful, long-time Red Devil Rio Ferdinand makes his return to Manchester on Sunday, with a United team hoping for its first win of the season hosting Queens Park Rangers.  Coverage begins tomorrow on NBCSN at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the match also available to stream via NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

Ferdinand moved to QPR this summer after his contract expired in Manchester. Having joined the Red Devils in 2002 for a then-English record £34 million, Ferdinand went on to spent 12 years at Old Trafford, making 455 appearances and winning six league titles with the club.

Now the former West Ham and Leeds defender is manning central defense for Harry Redknapp, who has brought QPR back to the top flight after a brief return to the Football Championship. With one goal in three games, however, the Hoops are off to a slow start, though that single score allowed Redknapp’s team to defeat Sunderland two weeks ago.

That win leaves QPR above United in the table, with Louis van Gaal yet to record his first Premier League victory. Held to two goals in three games, Manchester United’s talented attack has yet to meet expectations, but with Colombian attacker Radamel Falcao expected to make his debut, the team will have a new dimension as it tries to break into the win column.

What they are saying

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, on his team’s adjustments to his new approach “We have to pass much quicker. We have been trying to do that already on the training pitch. It is also true that we are losing the ball too much, too early. Maybe the reason is because I am demanding much faster play. It might be a vicious circle. The pressure is much higher on the players to act quickly and they end up losing the ball.”

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand on his United departure: “I had great years at Old Trafford,’ Ferdinand told the BBC. ‘I never got to say goodbye when I left, which was unfortunate, so it will be a nice opportunity to say bye to a lot of people who supported me and helped me.”


No result would be a surprising one at this point in United’s transition, and while there is a danger the intentional break allowed players to distract themselves from the situation’s urgency, this ship will be righted, at some point.

Bloated, taking on water, United’s barge has had trouble turning into place. But on Sunday, they may find themselves pointed in the right direction. 2-0, Red Devils.

VIDEO: Pochettino disappointed to waste dominant performance at Sunderland

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Tottenham held Sunderland to one shot on target. The team tested Black Cats `keeper Vito Mannone six times while holding 63 percent of the ball.

But they also conceded two minutes after their opener, and when Harry Kane’s own goal pulled Sunderland back even, Tottenham was destined to leave the Stadium of Light with a 2-2 draw.

“When you create a lot of chances, like today, it’s difficult to accept the result, the draw,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said, after the game. “We need to improve. After we scored the first goal, we need to be more aggressive, to be more focused, because in the next action, we conceded the goal …”

That was in the fourth minute. Over the next 86 minutes, Tottenham dominated play, but come full time, Spurs were sharing points, a result Pochettino chalked up to both luck and his own team’s failings.

“You need to have luck in different moments in the game,” he explained. “And it’s true, that Sunderland today had luck …

“But you need to kill the game. Today, we [lacked that].”

You can see Pochettino’s full post-match comments, above.