6. NY RED BULLS (12-10-2), 4.
Three days after playing 120 minutes against FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup, NYRB head coach Jesse Marsch made nine changes for the interconference game. Vince Bezecourt made his
MLS debut, Dilly Duka played his first game for the club, Sacha Kljestan came off the bench, and Bradley Wright-Phillips didn’t play. Much more important is the Friday night
derby with NYCFC, which has already captured the season series by winning the first two meetings.
7. SPORTING KC (10-5-10), 8. So far, there is life – and goals – after Dom Dwyer. Diego Rubio and Gerso Fernandes did the honors as the Tim Melia Express (10 shutouts, 0.76 goals allowed average) rolls on. Going forward, does SKC fight tooth-and-nail for a spot in the Western Conference’s top two, or measure player minutes to avoid playoff fatigue?
8. VANCOUVER (10-9-4), 9. The emergence of Yordy Reyna gathers momentum. He scored a brilliant winning goal after earning the penalty kick converted by Fredy Montero and the Caps have won four of their last seven. This week? Hey, about a home Cascadia Cup game on Wednesday against Seattle and a cross-country flight to the heat of Orlando three days later?
9. HOUSTON (10-8-7), 7. Left home to rest for a run of three games in eight days, Erick Torres, Vicente Sanchez and Ricardo Clark sat out the defeat in Vancouver. Trailing 2-0 early in the second half the Dynamo got a goal from Romell Quito and threatened a few more times, so the battle with FC Dallas on Wednesday looks like a real Texas tangle.
10. PORTLAND (10-9-7), 15. Three wins in the last five games have lifted the gloom, somewhat, though rarely do the Timbers finish a game with as few as seven shots. Los Dos Diegos provided the decisive moment, when Chara chased down a ball into the corner and centered it unerringly for Valeri to stroke home first-time. Portland overcame a red card in the 80th minute to Larrys Mabiala by netting a Kekuta Manneh clincher deep into stoppage time.
11. SAN JOSE (9-10-6), 12. Two more goals conceded on set plays -- including yet another from a throw-in -- required the Quakes to strike in the final seconds, which they did. Chris Wondolowski converted a penalty kick to extend his run of seasons with at least 10 goals to eight. A wonderful goal by Designated Player Vako had opened the scoring, but scuffed clearances and second balls continue to plague the defense.
12. CHICAGO (12-8-5), 6. Yes, in MLS even a good team can slog through a messy patch, but the Fire are leaking goals at a notorious rate: it has allowed 15 in the last six games, five of which are defeats. A packed house of 21,891 watched the first home loss of the season despite an equalizer by David Accam early in the second half.
13. FC DALLAS (9-6-8), 11. FCD is the other good team sinking like a stone but the problem is at the other end. In the last four games it has scored one goal and been blanked three times (obviously). Against SKC, FCD maintained only 38.1 percent of possession and managed only two shots on goal.
14. REAL SALT LAKE (8-13-5), 13. A terror for much of the match, Luis Silva scored an excellent goal as a good run of three straight road wins ended, as did a six-game unbeaten streak. A return home finds RSL five points out of the playoff tier and four behind San Jose, the visiting team on Wednesday. Colorado drops by on Saturday.
15. PHILADELPHIA (8-11-6), 16. With seconds of a road win that would have done wonders for momentum as well as mindset, Philly wound up tied on penalty kick awarded for a very late and very correct foul called on defender Josh Yaro in the box. His centerback counterpart, Jack Elliott, had scored from a scramble to tie the game and nodded a throw-in that Roland Alberg swept into the net first-time from a fair distance. Up next is a killer double-dose of Toronto away and Atlanta at home.
16. NEW ENGLAND (8-11-5), 14. As many teams have done this season, the Revs fell victim to the curse of conceding late, late road goals that strip away points. A lead provided in the 57th minute when a rebound fell right into the path of Teal Bunbury eventually ebbed away even though they finished with a 16-12 edge in shots.
17. COLUMBUS (11-12-3), 17. A free kick headed home by Lalas Abubakar and a few clutch saves by Zach Steffan earned Crew SC the point, a pretty good return from a match of being outshot, 20-4.
18. COLORADO (6-13-4), 18. The debut of Steve Cooke as head coach turned on a long-distance own goal by Jared Watts steered just out of keeper Tim Howard’s reach and just over the goal line. Two shots hit the woodwork and several others forced good saves. Only wins can chase away the specter of Pablo Mastroeni.
19. MINNESOTA UNITED (6-14-4), 19. His first goal with a target on the front of his jersey marked a milestone for Ethan Finlay, but opportunities squandered by Abu Danladi and a last-second handball decision against Jermaine Taylor doomed the Loons. The equalizer came from a free kick they defended poorly and their 18 goals conceded on set pieces is the most in MLS.
20. ORLANDO CITY (8-10-7), 20. A fortress no more: the Lions string of Orlando City Stadium games without a win stands at five. They landed eight of 20 shots on target but only scored with Giles Barnes’ equalizer midway through the second half. On the positive side, Dom Dwyer came on for his first home appearance in the 63rd minute, but his presence and a man-advantage for the final 13 minutes didn’t yield a winning goal.
21. D.C. UNITED (6-15-4), 22. From the wreckage of this season will emerge a few survivors vital to the team’s future. Goalie Bill Hamid did his thing once again to preserve a shaky victory fashioned by the work of Paul Arriola, who tormented Colorado’s back line repeatedly. Still it took one of the own goals of the season to snap an eight-game winless skid.
22. L.A. GALAXY (6-12-5), 21. No game last week. Stiff tests Wednesday in Columbus and at home against San Jose on Sunday.