With another international window and US Open Cup round wrapped up, MLS got back into full swing this weekend, with 11 games in under 48 hours. Here are your CliffsNotes.
Brek’s Zepplin lands in time
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads and kids out there – ICYMI, everyone’s favorite offbeat Vancouver Whitecaps winger became a daddy for the second time over on Saturday. Brek Shea’s wife Carling gave birth to their second child, son Zepplin Brekken Shea, just in time for the proud papa to peel off for a few hours and start for the ‘Caps in their 1-1 draw vs. his former club FC Dallas.
“He told me he had a good night's sleep, which probably means that he had 20 minutes sleep,” wisecracked VWFC coach Carl Robinson afterward. “He literally texted me an hour before my meeting and said 'I'm a new dad, I'll be there in half an hour, make sure my name's on the team sheet'. So that shows character.”
ATL resume doing ATL things
Atlanta United had a rough road swing earlier this month, losing in Vancouver and Chicago. But on Saturday afternoon they dug back into Southern home cooking with gusto.
The 3-1 win over Crew SC – in front of another packed crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium, it must be noted – was keyed by Tata Martino’s bread and butter: Fierce pressing that forced two Crew SC turnovers deep in their own end to set up rapid-fire goals for Tito Villalba and Josef Martinez. Don’t play with fire when you visit Hotlanta.
Gordo: Still Goonie, still Gonzo
Alan Gordon wears the colors of the Colorado Rapids these days, but he seems to carry the spirit of the San Jose Earthquakes’ “Goonies” era wherever he goes. As the Rapids’ Richard Fleming detailed earlier this month, the big targetman has scored 13 of his 53 career MLS goals in the 80th minute or later, and 10 of them were equalizers or game-winners.
Bingham to Zusi: #nope
Speaking of the Quakes: This weekend they rode their luck, and the goalkeeping of David Bingham, to a 0-0 home draw against an otherwise dominant Sporting Kansas City side. And the local kid saved his best for last.
Deep into injury time, Graham Zusi dashed forward to carve open the San Jose backline and shoot from inside the shadow of the goalposts – only to be denied by his US national team colleague. Zusi could only smile, and hug it out:
Yura hushes the...well, someone
Coming into their meeting with Minnesota United, Real Salt Lake were 2-7 in their last nine matches. Their star striker Yura Movsisyan began three of those games on the bench and of the ones he did start, he lasted the full 90 minutes in only three of them. And it seems safe to say that Yura was not happy about being left out of the XI yet again on Saturday.
After resourcefully chipping home the game-winner, he made a point to hold his finger to his lips in the direction of the RSL bench – at least it appeared that way. Having once benched the mighty Thierry Henry, head coach Mike Petke is comfortable with frank discussions, and invited his goalscorer to partake in another one whenever he’s ready.
Alessandrini the angel, again
Arguably the most heated debate of the weekend unfolded out in SoCal. Up 2-1 on the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center, the Houston Dynamo seemed set for their first road win of 2017, only to be gut-punched by an injury-time leveler from Romain Alessandrini, the French winger who just keeps bailing out his mercurial Galaxy side.
But as you can tell from the video below, there is some discussion over Alessandrini's position on the play:
Of Montreal and Florida men
A six-goal thriller on a muggy night in the Sunshine State. Need I say more? The Montreal Impact and their suddenly irrepressible duo of Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili tore Orlando City’s backline to shreds repeatedly, but there were more than a few twists in this tale, the final one arriving deep in injury time. Just watch:
David Villa, half-centurion
New York City FC’s Spanish superstar was pivotal yet again this week, scoring both of his team’s goals in a rain-soaked 2-1 comeback win over Seattle at Yankee Stadium to push his MLS career total to 51 goals in just 78 games.
Few players in league history have bagged goals at that pace, and who would really be surprised if he kept it up for another season or three? Watch and enjoy all of them here:
The Black-and-Red have scored a league-worst 10 goals all season – for comparison, top scorers Atlanta have bagged 31 in the same number of games – and they are presently struggling through a 665-minute skid without a goal in open play. A contentious penalty kick at Vancouver on May 27 is D.C.’s only league goal in seven games since the end of April.