It was a wild night in MLS action — even by Major League Soccer’s lofty standards of weirdness — headlined by the debuts of Wayne Rooney and Audi Field in Washington, D.C., Orlando City SC winning a game, and Sporting Kansas City’s ongoing slide down the Western Conference standings.
D.C. United 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps — FULL HIGHLIGHTS
Rooney and Audi Field were meant to be the stars of the night, and they will ultimately be remember as such, but Alphonso Davies did everything in his power to steal the headlines. Despite the fact his Whitecaps were 3-0 down late in second-half stoppage time, Davies scored one of the goals of the season after taking on a trio of United defenders at the corner of the penalty area.
Yamil Asad’s opening goal, the first in the history of Audi Field, wasn’t half-bad either, and at some point on Saturday, United morphed into Barcelona (Lite) and shredded the Vancouver defense with a pair of tiki-taka sequences for a second and third goal.
As for Rooney, he was quite good. The 32-year-old notched an assist on goal no. 3 (Paul Arriola) and was pretty clearly the sharpest, quickest-thinking player on the field. His speed of play — receiving the ball, reading the field and getting rid of the ball — was phenomenal and he stood out as the best player on the field during his 32-minute shift.
New York Red Bulls 3-2 Sporting Kansas City — FULL HIGHLIGHTS
Sporting KC, without the like of Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Felipe Gutierrez (in the starting lineup) or a natural left back, were in a strong position to secure a quality result away from home, but came away empty handed after conceding a pair of late goals at Red Bull Arena.
Bradley Wright-Phillips put the home side ahead after just four minutes, but the lead last only as long as it took to establish it, as Johnny Russell scored for a second game in a row to make it 1-1.
Six minutes into the second half, Roger Espinoza smashed his own Goal of the Week nominee past Luis Robles to put Peter Vermes’ side ahead and, it appeared briefly, in position to snap a three-game winless skid.
It wasn’t to be, though, as Marc Rzatkowski scored twice in quick succession — in the 72nd and 79th minutes — to punish Sporting’s shorthanded defensive unit and give the Red Bulls a much-needed boost and first victory under new head coach Chris Armas. The win sends New York to 35 points, five clear of fourth-place Columbus in the East, and keeps them within touching distance (five points back) of both Atlanta and New York City with a pair of games in hand. Sporting, meanwhile, remain third in the West, five points back of first-place FC Dallas.
Orlando City SC 2-1 Toronto FC — FULL HIGHLIGHTS
It’s been a rollercoaster season for Orlando, who won six straight games between the end of March and the start or May, then lost nine straight immediately thereafter. Jason Kreis was fired as a result, and now — after more than two months without a win, or a point — the Lions are winners again. Somehow, some way, they are only five points out of sixth place in the East.
Toronto, on the other hand, are 11 points back and with each passing game and draw/defeat, they must overcome an even taller task just to return to the playoffs a year after winning MLS Cup.
Chris Schuler scored the opener in the 34th minute and Dom Dwyer made it 2-0, which turned out to be the game-winning goal, three minutes into the second half. Nick Hagglund’s 94th-minute tally was merely a footnote on a relief-filled night at Orlando City Stadium.
New England Revolution 2-3 LA Galaxy — FULL HIGHLIGHTS
In a battle of two teams about which no one understands anything after more than half of the season, the LA Galaxy made the most of the 67 minutes playing with a man advantage… by scoring in the 92nd and 93rd minutes to overcome a 2-1 deficit and win 3-2 at Gillette Stadium.
Cristian Penilla was sent off after 23 minutes, but Diego Fagundez and Luis Caicedo had Brad Friedel‘s side 2-1 ahead at halftime (Chris Pontius made it 1-1 at one point). No more goals were scored until Dave Romney made it 2-2 in the 92nd and Pontius completed the scoring in the 93rd. Just like Sigi Schmid drew it up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic not making the trip to Foxborough.
Minnesota United 3-2 Real Salt Lake — FULL HIGHLIGHTS
Darwin Quintero has singlehandedly made Minnesota not only watchable, but downright delightful to watch. At some point, MLS goalkeepers are going to remember that he’ll go for the chip, and he’ll probably beat them with it.
After the game, RSL head coach Mike Petke delivered another all-time great MLS rant. Speaking about the inconsistencies with video-assistant review (VAR), Petke hit every high note in perfect pitch (watch until the very end, please, we beg of you).
Elsewhere in MLS action
Montreal Impact 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
New York City FC 2-0 Columbus Crew SC
FC Dallas 3-1 Chicago Fire
Colorado Rapids 0-0 Houston Dynamo