By Ridge Mahoney
Home teams held serve for the most part in MLS last week, though FC Dallas’ home unbeaten record this season crumbled in a 3-0 loss to top-ranked Real Salt Lake.
No. 2 Portland prevailed at its Jeld-Wen Field fortress, knocking off the Galaxy, 2-1, and Sporting Kansas City’s run of good form enabled it to sweep aside Toronto FC, 3-0. FC Dallas' loss leaves Vancouver, a 3-1 winner over Chivas USA, as the league’s only team unbeaten at home.
Philadelphia, New York, Houston and San Jose also posted home wins in a week that featured no ties in the eight games played. Montreal’s woes continued as it was thrashed, 4-0, at Red Bull Arena.
The Quakes' 1-0 defeat of Seattle moved them ahead of the idle Crew, which was the only change amongst the bottom six teams.
Week 20 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings:
1. REAL SALT LAKE (11-5-4), 1.
2 PORTLAND (8-2-9), 2.
3. SPORTING KC (9-5-6), 4.
4. VANCOUVER (9-5-5), 6.
5. MONTREAL (9-5-4), 2.
6. PHILADELPHIA (8-6-6), 8.
7. FC DALLAS (8-5-7), 5.
8. NEW YORK (9-7-4), 12.
9. COLORADO* (7-6-6), 9.
10. SEATTLE (7-7-3), 7.
11. HOUSTON (8-6-3), 13.
12. NEW ENGLAND (6-6-6), 10.
13. LOS ANGELES (9-8-3), 11.
14. CHICAGO (6-9-3), 14.
15. SAN JOSE (6-9-6), 16.
16. COLUMBUS* (6-8-5), 15.
17. TORONTO FC (2-9-7), 17.
18. CHIVAS USA (3-11-5), 18.
19. D.C. UNITED* (2-13-4), 19.
*Did not play.
THE BEST.Hard to believe that RSL won in the state of Texas for the first time, but such is the case after Javier Morales scored a goal and assisted on tallies by Ned Grabavoy and Olmes Garcia for its 3-0 win. In relief of U.S. keeper Nick Rimando, ex-Galaxy goalie Josh SaundersandJeff Attinella shared the shutout. RSL had lost 18 games and tied three in 21 previous visits to the Lone Star State.
The Timbers rallied to beat L.A. after falling behind in the 17th minute; Ryan Johnsonheaded an equalizer 10 minutes later from a free kick, and in the 94th minute Andrew Jean-Baptiste nailed the winner from a corner kick.
Soony Saad netted his first MLS goals since 2011 as SKC won its second straight match and third in the last four. Saad scored in the 21st and 51st minutes and Claudio Bieler notched his team-high ninth goal as SKC piled up a 24-4 edge in shots.
The Impact is winless in its last four after the 4-0 thumping by New York. Canadian rival Vancouver boasts the league top scorer: Camilo took over the league lead in goals (12) and earned Player of the Week honors by scoring twice. Rookie Kekuta Manneh came off the bench to set up Camilo’s second goal and ice the win himself by scoring in the 84th minute.
The Union fell behind Chivas USA in pouring rain at PPL Park yet prevailed, 3-1, despite the ejection of head coach John Hackworth. Conor Casey’s header bounced into the net off teammate Brian Carroll to tie the game andSebastien Le Touxtapped a free kick that Michael Farfanslammed into the roof of the net. Recent signing Fabinho marked his MLS debut with an assist by setting up Casey in the 89th minute.
THE MIDDLE. The Red Bulls’ demolition of Montreal was only its second win in the last six games following a six-game unbeaten run, so where they go from here is hard to predict. Thierry Henry’s one-goal, two-assist effort was ably complemented by his teammates, of which Eric Alexander, Tim Cahill and Peggy Luyindula also scored. Seattle’s 1-0 stumble in San Jose was marred by injuries to midfielder Brad Evans(rib contusion) and goalkeeper Michael Gspurning (broken wrist), and head coachSigi Schmidbitterly criticized the lax refereeing of Sorin Stoica.
Two golazos by Adam Moffat powered the Dynamo past New England, 2-1, as the unlucky Revs lost for the second time in the last four matches. Moffat smashed home a left-footed volley from a clearance to put Houston ahead, and after Saer Sene equalized by pouncing on a deflected cross, Moffat did it again with a rip from just outside the penalty arc.
The Galaxy’s season has been a case of two steps forward and one step back, or vice versa, and after winning back-to-back home games it took another backward step by losing, 2-1, in Portland. Marcelo Sarvas headed L.A. into the lead before an Omar Gonzalezheader hit the crossbar and several other chances were snuffed by a former teammate, keeper Donovan Ricketts.
THE REST.After winning four games during a six-game unbeaten streak, the Fire lost its second straight game and is eight points out of a playoff spot. Patrick Nyarkoheaded home Joel Lindpere’s cross in stoppage time to avert a shutout in Vancouver.
San Jose rebounded from losses at Chicago and New England to beat Seattle, 1-0, on a Walter Martinezgoal early in the second half. Jon Busch posted just his second shutout of the season to get the Quakes only their third win in the last 10 games.
TFC went down, 3-0, at Kansas City and went down to 10 men in the 56th minute when Reggie Lambe’s wild tackle drew a red card. Chivas USA started well in Philly, exploiting the wet conditions to convert a turnover into a goal by Jose Correa. But a harsh backpass call prompted a second yellow card to Josue Soto as he and his teammates contested the ruling, and also provided Philly with an indirect free kick from which it scored the winner.