From hat tricks to Jedi mind tricks, it was a weird, wild and wonderful weekend across Major League Soccer. If you couldn’t catch every minute, here’s a few things worth chewing over.
Happy Mom’s Day!
MLS marked Mother’s Day with a trio of engaging matches on Sunday, and heartwarming anecdotes across the league. There’s not enough room for all of them here, but we’ll give a shout to Justin Meram and his mother Lamia, who requested that her son deliver some goals as this year’s gift. Columbus Crew SC’s livewire winger responded with a match-winning hat trick in Montreal, making him the first international from an Asian nation (Iraq) to net three times in an MLS game.
Reds won’t lose
Everything is coming up rosy – as rosy as those home uniforms – for Toronto FC these days. The Reds have won six games in a row, a truly rare achievement in modern MLS, and are doing it without Sebastian Giovinco for long stretches as the Italian dynamo nurses a nagging heel injury. Jozy Altidore epitomized their refuse-to-lose (or even draw) mindset with his bullish run to create the gamewinner vs. Minnesota:
We see you, Fire
Sure, the Chicago Fire have made some big roster moves and promised urgency both on the field and off this year. And yeah, they’ve snagged a few promising results thus far. But if you really want to turn heads with your rebuilding project, go out and smack around the defending MLS Cup champions 4-1 like the Fire did on Saturday. Bandwagon seats still available:
The Philadelphia Union’s lengthy winless skid mercifully came to an end last week with a win over the New York Red Bulls, and they didn’t have to wait long for victory No. 2 of 2017. In what is likely to be their final trip to RFK Stadium, Philly thumped their friendly rivals D.C. United 4-0 on Saturday. In the final minutes, the traveling supporters rubbed it in a bit by singing a familiar old chant: “RFK is falling down”… and brandishing scarves bearing the phrase.
Houston, we have a LARPer
The Houston Dynamo welcomed the Vancouver Whitecaps in Friday’s weekend curtain-raiser, an enthralling match decided by Cubo Torres’ penalty kick. The night was given an additional dose of entertainment with “Star Wars Night” at BBVA Compass Stadium…
Has the gorgeous venue contracted with stormtroopers for fieldside security? Was the Jedi next to him using mind control to keep the peace? So many questions.
Rapids bust loose
Entering the weekend, the Colorado Rapids had scored more than a goal in a game just once all season – surely a factor in their grisly seven-game winless skid. But the Mile High Club made a few tactical tweaks and hammered the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday, a welcome relief for coach Pablo Mastroeni. How much stress has he been under? Just look at the punch he landed to the DSG Park pitch when Alan Gordon contrived to waste an inviting early chance…
Dzemaili gets ripped in Montreal
The Montreal Impact fell to Columbus thanks to Meram’s aforementioned heroics. But they got a solid debut out of new arrival Blerim Dzemaili, as the Swiss DP went the full 90 and played a role in both of their goals. He also brought a useful intensity to proceedings, including a first-half run-in with strapping Crew SC defender Jonathan Mensah that left Dzemaili’s jersey looking a bit like…well... Swiss cheese?
The New England Revolution finally won for the first time since April 8, routing Real Salt Lake 4-0 – and Kei Kamara used his goal as a chance to pay tribute to his newborn son, via the universal “rockabye” soccer baby celebration, as you do:
Tommy McNamara might just be the No. 1 cult hero in MLS right now, and on Sunday he returned to the spotlight with a bang after his fans were forced to watch without New York City FC without him over the past weeks. As his teammate David Villa cracked a devastating free kick off the woodwork vs. FC Dallas, Tommy Mac raced in to follow up the shot, throwing himself skyward to knock home the rebound and earn a road point for City.