It was a light weekend of MLS action as the league continues its rolling break for World Cup qualifying. Even still, there was plenty of movement in the Western Conference as five teams from the West took the field.
We start in Portland where the Timbers were hosting an FC Dallas squad that wound up without all three of their regular forwards. Already without Blas Perez, who was away with the Panama National Team, the Timbers also lost Kenny Cooper when he returned to Dallas to tend to a family emergency. That left just Eric Hassli available at forward, but then he went down with an injury and had to be replaced just eight minutes into the match. Dallas still had their stout defense, but Darlington Nagbe cracked that wide open in the 52nd minute with a tremendous spinning shot that went inside the far post for his fifth goal of the year. The 1-0 victory extended Portland’s unbeaten streak to 13 games and puts them just two points behind Dallas for first in the West at 6-1-8. Dallas is at 8-3-4 with Real Salt Lake splitting the two teams for second at 8-5-3.
The Whitecaps and Revolution played a thriller in Vancouver, as New England took an early 2-0 lead off of goals by Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe. However, a red card shown to rookie defender Andrew Farrell in the 23rd minute shifted the momentum to Vancouver. Kenny Miller scored two and Vancouver got goals from Camilo Sanvezzo and Jordan Harvey to take a 4-2 lead on the 10-man Revolution. New England would pull one back from a Dmitri Imbongo goal, but the final stood at 4-3. The win puts Vancouver just two points out of fourth place in the West at 5-5-4, while New England drops to 5-5-5, remaining in sixth in the East.
The San Jose Earthquakes played their first game without departed head coach Frank Yallop on Saturday, traveling to Colorado to face the Rapids and interim coach Mark Watson got an early advantage with a red card to Atiba Harris in the 18th minute. Steven Lenhart scored his first goal of the season in the 11th minute, but the field really tilted in San Jose’s favor on the red card to Colorado’s Harris. Sam Cronin added a goal in the 52nd minute and while former Sounder Nathan Sturgis scored his third goal of the year in the 67th minute, it wasn’t enough to mount a Colorado comeback and San Jose left with a 2-1 victory. San Jose is now 4-6-6 and remain in eighth in the West while Colorado dropped to 5-5-5 and still sit in sixth.
The struggles continue at RFK Stadium for DC United. Though they got off to a good start on a goal from Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto FC raced back with a goal from Robert Earnshaw to equalize, then benefitted from a Daniel Woolard own goal to finish with a 2-1 win. Toronto still hold the ninth spot in the East at 2-7-9, snapping their own 11-match winless streak, while DC is winless in their last 13 matches and are 10th in the East at 1-11-3.
Finally, the Columbus Crew got early goals from Matias Sanchez and Dominic Oduro to race past the top team in the East, the Montreal Impact, 2-0. Oduro finished with a goal and an assist giving him seven goals on the season as the Crew stay in seventh in the East at 5-5-5 while Montreal holds the top spot at 8-3-2.