The weekend brought another busy slate of MLS action featuring all 22 member clubs. If you couldn’t catch all of the nearly 1,000 minutes of play, here’s a few points to ponder.
Jermaine Jones grabbed the mic earlier in the week, telling ESPNFC’s Herculez Gomez and Max Bretos that he’s “pissed off” because “the criticism is always on me,” and in heavier doses than his US national team colleagues receive. On Friday night, he did his talking on the field with a goal and a central role in a red-card flashpoint as his LA Galaxy banked a much-needed win over Montreal. JJ flirted with “heel” status, however, by theatrically grabbing his face after his run-in with the Impact's Marco Donadel, who dropped his own spicy soundbite postgame:
Out in Sandy, Utah, Vancouver’s visit to Real Salt Lake started normally enough. But when a spring snowstorm rolled in off the Wasatch, Rio Tinto Stadium turned into a snowglobe with stunning speed. Sure, it degraded the technical virtuosity on display – “soccer kind of goes out the window,” said new RSL head coach Mike Petke – but it made for some truly beautiful images. And both Petke and his club will treasure their first win of 2017. The rest of us can also appreciate some in-game snowball throwing from Luis Silva...
pic.twitter.com/a2CjzS48dZ — Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) April 10, 2017
The Schweinsteiger bump?
Don’t look now, but the Chicago Fire – unhappy residents of the MLS basement for two years running – are sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1-2 record, fresh off a 1-0 victory over frontrunners Columbus Crew SC. It’s the Fire’s first win since the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who – as promised – seems to have given the entire club a lift. But Saturday’s hero wasn’t Schweini. It was Dax McCarty, who ruled the midfield and served up a delightful assist for Nemanja Nikolic on the winner.
A tip of the cap is due to the defenses of the New England Revolution and Orlando City SC after they posted clean sheets against two of the most fearsome forwards in the league – Houston’s Erick “Cubo” Torres and the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips, respectively. The Revs’ win at Gillette Stadium marks the first time the Dynamo have been shut out this year, while Orlando have extended RBNY’s winless skid to four games.
Goalkeeping game on in Dallas
Four days after their agonizing loss to Pachuca in Mexico, FC Dallas waved off the idea of a CONCACAF Champions League hangover with an assured 2-0 defeat of Minnesota United. But it wasn’t entirely business as usual: Young goalkeeper (and 2015 playoffs hero) Jesse Gonzalez stepped in for erstwhile starter Chris Seitz and posted his second clean sheet of the year. The race for FCD’s starting GK job might be wide open again.