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2. MLS WEEKEND WRAPUP: Clint's memorable return
by Ridge Mahoney, April 16th, 2007 1:05AM



By Ridge Mahoney
Senior Editor

Clint Mathis conjured up a few flashbacks to his most productive days, Colorado gained a point despite playing most of the match a man down, and D.C. United stumbled to a second straight defeat on the second weekend of league play.

A heavy rainstorm inundated Giants Stadium Sunday, and in soggy conditions the Red Bulls ran rings around a Dallas team that had flown cross-country after beating Los Angeles, 2-1, at Home Depot Center Thursday. Mathis set up the first goal and scored his first in a NYRB uniform as the Red Bulls romped, 3-0.

Jozy Altidore struck in the 18th minute and then redirected a Dane Richards cross for Mathis to slam into the net. Dave van den Bergh added the third goal three minutes into stoppage time.

Still, FC Dallas comes back from a three-game road trip to open the season with four points. NYRB also has four, which is enough to top the Eastern Conference along with Chicago. Yes, the Red Bulls are in first place!

Panamanian striker Roberto Brown had scored to commemorate the opening of Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and his impact on Sunday's game against Chicago was just as dramatic. He was sent off for a hard tackle in the sixth minute, yet the Fire squandered good chances for Chad Barrett and Gonzalo Segares.  Colorado took the lead through Herculez Gomez in the 62nd minute and nearly held out the rest of the way, but Barrett ran onto a nice Chris Rolfe chip with six minutes left to garner the Fire a 1-1 tie.

Defensive woes plagued D.C. in the latter part of last season, and in two games this year, it has conceded six goals. Eddie Johnson and the Wizards attack shredded United in a 4-2 thumping, with Johnson setting up rookie Michael Harrington and Sasha Victorine for goals and netting himself to restore Kansas City's lead at 3-2 after United had tied the match with goals by Christian Gomez and Luciano Emilio. All this occurred in the first half before 22,358 stunned fans.

Scott Sealy pounced nine minutes into the second half to drill home the rebound of a point-blank Johnson shot that had been saved by Troy Perkins, who'd been marooned once again to the extreme displeasure of D.C. coach Tom Soehn.

Also fuming is Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston. New England scorched TFC's back line repeatedly in a 4-0 rout. Two goals by Taylor Twellman in the first 18 minutes and second-half shots from Shalrie Joseph and Andy Dorman washed away the frustrations of a 1-0 loss to Chicago in the season opener and left Toronto with a goal difference of minus-6 after its first two MLS games.

After being shut out in its opener against the Galaxy, 0-0, defending champion Houston labored through more than another hour of play before scoring against Chivas USA, but that goal by Brian Ching was enough for a 1-0 win.

Chivas USA had two good looks at goal in the first half, but Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad stopped Maykel Galindo and Jonathan Bornstein. Ching escaped the Chivas USA marking to head in a Brad Davis free kick and Onstad finished with five saves to preserve Houston's unblemished defensive record.

There were saves galore, and not just by the goalkeepers, as host Real Salt Lake and Columbus scraped out a 0-0 tie. Mehdi Ballouchy and Eddie Pope cleared away goal-bound shots to help keeper Nick Rimando, whose five saves included a flying deflection of Eddie Gaven's 25-yard rising blast. The best of Crew goalie Andy Gruenebaum's six saves came when he stoned Jeff Cunningham on a through ball in the 54th minute. RSL and Columbus are in fifth place in their respective conferences with two points apiece after their first two matches.

April 14 in Salt Lake City
Real Salt Lake 0 Columbus 0.
Att.: 16,157.

April 14 in Foxboro, Mass.
New England 4 Toronto FC 0. Goals: Twellman (Cristman) 12, Twellman (Ralston) 18, Joseph pen. 60, Dorman (Ralston, Noonan) 72.
Att.: 18,184.

April 14 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 2 Kansas City 4. Goals: Emilio (Erpen, Carroll) 11, Gomez 34; Harrington (Johnson, Burciaga) 3, Victorine (Johnson, Sealy) 8, Johnson 46+, Sealy 54.
Att.: 22,358.

April 14 in Houston
Houston 1 Chivas USA 0. Goal: Ching (Davis) 65.
Att.: 16,519.

April 15 in East Rutherford, N.J.
New York 3 FC Dallas 0. Goals: Altidore (Mathis) 18, Mathis (Altidore, Richards) 34, van den Bergh 93+.
Att.: 8,865.

April 15 in Commerce City, Colo.
Colorado 1 Chicago 1. Goals: Gomez (Hernandez, Coundoul) 58; Barrett (Rolfe) 85.
Red card: Colorado -- R.Brown 6.
Att.: 12,110.

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