With a month to go in the regular season, the finish line is in sight, and the horses are sprinting down the stretch. Here's a few momentous moments from the MLS weekend that was.
MLS MVP and Golden Boot races: On and poppin’
For months it appeared that both of these awards were David Villa’s to lose. Now the Spaniard has some stiff competition, with Diego Valeri making a furious late surge via a league-record nine-game scoring streak and Josef Martinez scoring goals by the bushel down in Atlanta. Photo finish ahead?
RSL: rough, rugged, ready
It seems that the blunt, at-times brash Mike Petke has rubbed off on his Real Salt Lake charges. After the squad from Utah reeled off the latest of several impressive results with a 2-0 defeat of Seattle that further improves their postseason chances, 19-year-old left back Danny Acosta did not shy away from a brief bit of on-camera barking with the legendary Clint Dempsey.
Atlanta United beat Montreal on Sunday, only to suffer a loss that might prove quite costly. Pivotal playmaker Miguel Almiron limped off in the first half with what could be a serious hamstring injury – serious enough to leave the Paraguayan fighting back tears. Now the Five Stripes are left to ponder the risks and rewards of their packed, backloaded home schedule.
TFC get ambushed, again
Toronto FC have been MLS’ superheroes in 2017. But even Superman has his weaknesses, and the New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium home has been TFC’s Kryptonite. The Revs knocked off the Reds for the second time this season – that’s two out of TFC’s five league losses – on Saturday. Revs interim coach Tom Soehn’s first match in charge was a quirky one that burst into late life with three goals in the final 10 minutes:
The Houston Dynamo’s exciting young forward corps has been rightly celebrated this year. Some veteran savvy proved useful for the Orange, however, as they met New York City FC in East Hartford, Connecticut. The quick thinking of 37-year-old Vicente Sanchez – via a quickly-taken free kick just outside the NYCFC box – set up Mauro Manotas for the goal that earned Houston a road point:
Good one, Patrick
D.C. United’s final season at historic RFK Stadium has been marked mainly by frustration, so the Black-and-Red faithful were due for Saturday’s joyful explosion of goals – four of them, all delivered by Patrick Mullins with a true finisher’s flourish. The fastest four-goal haul in league history, it was a fine way to light up the second-to-last game at MLS’ oldest venue: