By Ridge Mahoney
A schedule lightened up by postponements to accommodate Concacaf schedules for Seattle and Los Angeles still provided opportunities for three teams to post their first wins of the season.
Bottom-tier teams Colorado, Portland and Chicago all got into the win column, leaving only the Sounders sans a victory. Their game against Chivas USA and the Galaxy-Impact match have been shifted to Sept. 4 and Oct. 16, respectively.
None of the top-tier teams won, leaving the league’s only unbeaten team, the Galaxy, atop the heap. Sporting Kansas City beat D.C. United with a late goal to move into the top shelf, and Real Salt Lake’s loss in Colorado dropped it into the bottom group.
Week 6 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (W-L-T) Last Week
1. LOS ANGELES (2-0-2), 1.
2. FC DALLAS (4-1-1), 3.
3. HOUSTON (3-2-0), 2.
4. MONTREAL (4-1-0), 4.
5. CHIVAS USA (3-1-1), 5.
6. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-1-2), 7.
7. SAN JOSE (2-2-2), 6.
8. PHILADELPHIA (2-2-1), 8.
9. VANCOUVER (2-2-1), 11.
10. COLUMBUS (2-1-2), 9.
11. D.C UNITED (1-3-1), 10.
12. REAL SALT LAKE (2-3-1), 12.
13. TORONTO (1-2-2), 13.
14. PORTLAND (1-1-3), 16.
15. NEW ENGLAND (1-2-1), 15.
16. COLORADO (1-3-2), 18.
17. CHICAGO (1-3-1), 19.
18. NEW YORK (1-3-2), 14.
19. SEATTLE (0-3-1), 17.
(Bye: New England. Postponed: Chivas USA-Seattle, Los Angeles-Montreal.)
THE BEST. Road points are precious commodities yet still FC Dallas is disappointed about leaving BMO Field with just one via a 2-2 tie despite claiming a 2-0 lead on goals by Andrew Jacobson and Blas Perez. Drenched by heavy rains at JELD-WEN Field, Houston’s attack petered out in the second half as its defense conceded twice in a 2-0 Timbers win.
SKC’s track record with Designated Players is spotty but it may have hit the jackpot with Argentine Claudio Bieler. He smacked home a feed from substitute Soony Saad, whose strip-search of Marcos Sanchez set up the chance, for his fourth goal in MLS and a 1-0 defeat of D.C. United.
THE MIDDLE. A splendid shot into the top corner by Chris Wondolowski gave way to a Whitecaps’ equalizer scored while forward Alan Gordon and defender Victor Bernardez were off the field changing their shoes. No kidding. The Goonies’ last-minute magic laid siege to former Quakes keeper Joe Cannon but couldn’t break the 1-1 tie.
Philly kept its spot above Columbus by getting its first point in Crew Stadium with a 1-1 tie that featured a Jack McInerney goal. Dominic Oduro’s equalizer extended the Crew’s unbeaten run at home to 11 games (7-0-4), though it has yet to win there this season. The ‘Caps needed extraordinary circumstances, Corey Hertzog’s goal, and desperate defending to escape Buck Shaw Stadium with a point. But escape they did.
THE REST. United succumbed in the 89th minute in Kansas City, RSL fell behind early in Commerce City and never caught up. Toronto rallied again at home to get a point, this time getting goals from Justin Braun and Darel Russell in the final six minutes to tie FCD. Portland broke out the rain gear and its Rain Man, Ryan Johnson, who scored twice in a downpour to short-circuit the Dynamo. Portland overcame injuries that sidelined Diego Valeri and David Horst during a rough-and-tumble first half.
Atiba Harris’ goal in the fifth minute and the net-work of keeper Clint Irwin that included a penalty-kick stop of Alvaro Saborio got the Rapids out of limbo, 1-0, at the expense of RSL. Two goals by well-traveled striker Maicon Santos, one of them set up by fellow goalscorer Daniel Paladini, sparked the Fire to its first victory, 3-1 over the Red Bulls.
A Seattle-New York MLS Cup is looking less and less likely, even with seven more months of season to go. Tim Cahill nodded back a cross that Brandon Barklage relayed to Jamison Olave, whose spectacular overhead kick floated into the top corner. Otherwise, the Red Bulls were full value for their 3-1 thumping and refused to be inspired by Chris Rolfe’s missed penalty kick.