[MLS] A prolific run of scoring in MLS slammed to a halt Saturday; in seven games only nine goals were scored. Two games ended goalless and there were three 1-0 results. Not surprisingly, the back-line players get most of the kudos this week.
1. KEI KAMARA (Kansas City).
Thanks to his embarrassing miss from just a few feet away against the Galaxy three weeks ago, Kamara is a cyber-celebrity of ineptitude. Yet manager Peter Vermes’ faith in him was repaid when his two-goal burst earned Kansas City a 2-2 tie. Early in the second half, he banged a long shot along the ground and it glanced off the foot of Wilman Conde and into the net to cut a 2-0 deficit in half, and when in the 89th minute a deflection off the post rolled mockingly a yard from the goal line, instead of slipping and knocking it in with his arm, he calmly banged it home for his fifth goal of the season.
2. KEVIN HARTMAN (FC Dallas).
Hartman stoned Philadelphia numerous times and came within seconds of his third straight shutout, but Danny Mwanga’s thunderbolt in the third minute of stoppage time knotted up the scores at 1-1. Up until then, Hartman had been unbeatable. He darted to the back post to reach back and swat away a Rogers Torres header that had seemingly bounced past him, he stopped a sharp Alejandro Moreno header on a nasty short-hop, and in the 37th minute, blocked a through ball with his legs and recovered in time to parry a follow-up shot by Moreno.
3. STEFAN FREI (Toronto FC).
The second-year keeper’s superb saves helped TFC come out of Home Depot Center with a 0-0 tie against the Galaxy. He, too, got a crucial double save; in the final seconds of stoppage time, he got down low to stop a shot by Mike Magee, and a second later stuck out his legs to block Todd Dunivant’s attempt to stuff in the rebound. Earlier in the second half, he turned away a low drive by Edson Buddle and minutes before the double-dip he also stopped Magee with a kick save.
Honorable mention: Gino Padula (Columbus), Preston Burpo (New England), Mwanga (Philadelphia).