Mauro Manotas

Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLS Saturday wrap: Quakes keep firing; Toronto, SKC falter

Leave a comment

MLS doesn’t have too many days like Saturday, with four away teams collecting wins on a seven-match docket.

The surprise is lessened a bit by the identity of the losing hosts: struggling Vancouver, Colorado, and Sporting KC: Wow, that last one is taking some getting used to, isn’t it?).

[ MORE: Where will Bale go? ]

In a league where only two of 24 teams are above .500 on the road (DC United and LAFC), it’s still saying something about a hot weekend in these United States of America (and Canada).

Columbus Crew 2-1 Montreal Impact

The Crew’s early advantage looked like business as usual by halftime, as Caleb Porter’s struggling men conceded in stoppage time, but David Accam netted right after the break to give Columbus a much-needed three points.

Toronto FC 1-3 Houston Dynamo

TFC opened the door for New England or Orlando City to climb into the top seven by going into an early hole and failing to rally. Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore came off the bench, the latter scoring, but the Reds did little on Alejandro Pozuelo’s day off and the Dynamo get a big road win to move without touching distance of a playoff position.

This is not adequate defense.

Philadelphia Union 2-0 Chicago Fire

Marco Fabian scored a beauty and Anthony Fontana also netted as the Union assured themselves another week atop the Eastern Conference. Chicago remains winless away from home.

Sporting KC 0-2 FC Dallas

What in the world is going on? SKC could not find the net with more than one of their 17 shot attempts, and fell five points back of a playoff spot. Worse, the hosts allowed sixth-place Dallas to move five points clear of them.

Colorado Rapids 1-2 New York City FC

It didn’t take long for youngster Sebastian Anderson to go from hero to goat, as the soon-to-be 17-year-old gave the Rapids a sixth minute lead before taking a red card 27 minutes later. Heber and Alexandru Mitrita scored late in each half to drive NYCFC’s dreams of the top spot in the East. The visitors are now seven points back of first, but have four matches-in-hand on Philadelphia.

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Minnesota United

Darwin Quintero and Marcelo Silva traded goals in a fair result.

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-3 San Jose Earthquakes

Make it three-straight wins for the Quakes, who rode Cali Clasico momentum and overcame an early Doneil Henry goal through Vako, Chris Wondolowski, and the in-form Magnus Eriksson.

Fernandez scores on debut to snare Portland point in Texas

Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brian Fernandez scored on debut to lead the Portland Timbers in a 1-1 draw with the Dynamo in Houston on Wednesday.

Portland moves to 3-6-2 on the year, while Houston remains fourth despite moving onto 20 points.

Houston led on a 40th minute goal from Mauro Manotas, and Timbers boss Giovani Savarese turned to his new record signing in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

A dozen minutes later, Sebastian Blanco hit this dime to Fernandez, who arrived from Necaxa last week.

The 24-year-old Argentine picked up where he left off in Liga MX, where he scored 18 times in 32 matches.

CONCACAF Champions League: Houston advances; No miracle for TFC

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

One Major League Soccer team is out, and another has moved on following a day of CONCACAF Champions League second legs which included a lightning delay, frigid temperatures, and a frenetic end in Texas.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s PL match recaps ]


Toronto FC 1-1 (1-4 agg.) Independiente

There was a school of thought that Toronto FC could come back from its 4-0 deficit given the quality of its club, presuppositions about the Panamanian visitors, and the cold weather in Ontario.

And it was 1-0 at halftime through Jordan Hamilton, but Toronto, well, let’s just say Laurent Ciman is a much better player than this:

Houston Dynamo 2-1 (3-1 agg.) Guastatoya

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champs had to work for their spot in the quarterfinals, and they also had to wait.

Delayed more than two hours due to lightning in Texas, the Dynamo gave their 1-0 advantage back to the visitors via a 72nd minute Aaron Navarro goal.

But Mauro Manotas scored twice in eight minutes to push the Dynamo into the next round.

Houston Dynamo win 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Leave a comment

Mauro Manotas’ first half goals were enough to lead Houston Dynamo to their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title.

The home Dynamo bested the visiting Philadelphia Union 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday, handing the Union a third USOC Final loss since 2014.

Philadelphia saw an own goal from Auston Trusty in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings ]

The ball was in each goal twice in the first four minutes, but only the latter counted on the score board.

Philadelphia’s Fafa Picault headed over Joe Willis, but was offside.

At the other end, Alberth Elis’ cutback pass from the touch line was missed by Philly’s Jack Elliott and Andre Blake, with Manotas stooped to nod the opener into the goal.

He’d score another in the 25th, dribbling down Main Street to drive a low left-footed shot past Blake, off the post, and into the goal.

Top-seeded Timbers ousted, at home, by road-woeful Dynamo

Photo credit: Houston Dynamo / @HoustonDynamo
1 Comment

The game in 100 words (or less more): One by one, the trendy, higher-seeded favorites are falling away in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs — same as the postseason has ever been. Sunday saw the Eastern Conference’s 2-seed, New York City FC, bow out at the hands of 5th-seeded Columbus Crew SC, not long before the Western Conference’s top-seeded Portland Timbers fell victim to 4th-seeded Houston Dynamo. Having secured a 0-0 draw in the first leg down in Houston, Caleb Porter’s side entered Sunday’s second leg with a decided advantage — Houston won just once away from home all season, and managed just 10 points in total from 17 tries. After Dairon Asprilla put Portland 1-0 ahead in the 39th minute, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the 2015 champions would move on to face the defending champs, their Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders, in the West finals beginning on Nov. 21. Alas, Dylan Remick, a former Sounder himself, made it 1-1 just four minutes later, and Mauro Manotas delivered the final blow 13 minutes from full-time to propel Wilmer Cabrera’s side into the final four. In their 12 seasons of existence, Houston have been to the playoffs eight times, reached the conference finals seven times, appeared in MLS Cup four times, and won it twice.

[ MORE: 3 keys to Sunday’s 2nd legs ]

Three moments that mattered

39′ — Asprilla fires home the opener — Diego Valeri played the ball wide to Vytas, who lofted it into the box. Asprilla was quickest to react when the cross was a bit too deep, and the Colombian hit an unstoppable ball past Joe Willis.

43′ — Remick smashes home a loose ball for 1-1 — Tomas Martinez played the free kick into the box, Jalil Anibaba headed it down, and Remick smashed it past Jeff Artinella to put Houston ahead on away goals.

77′ — Manotas hits a slow bouncer past Attinella for 2-1 — Insurance.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Juan Cabezas

Goalscorers: Asprilla (39′), Remick (43′), Manotas (77′)