This is the first article of a weekly series that we will be starting where we wrap up the past week’s matches in the MLS, highlighting the best performances, as well as a look towards this week’s matches, plus a quick look at the Eastern Conference and Western Conference tables.
Last week was packed full of matches, with games being played on four different days.
May 31st: New York City FC and the New England Revolution played to a 2-2 tie. The Houston Dynamo, behind four different goal scorers, defeated Real Salt Lake 5-1. Columbus Crew and Orlando City both had clean sheet victories, the Crew winning 3-0 over the Seattle Sounders, and the Lions defeating D.C. United, 2-0. In that game, Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik was caught outside the 18 yd. box, but Lamar Neagle’s shot on goal was blocked by Lions defender Jonathan Spector and then the rebound was acrobatically cleared away by Bendik, one of the moments of the season so far.
June 2nd: The lone match of the night featured two Western Conference teams, the Portland Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes. Behind two goals from Diego Valeri, the Timbers blanked the Quakes, 2-0.
June 3rd: There were eight matches on Saturday. In the early match, New York City FC scored two goals in the last ten minutes of regulation to stun the Philadelphia Union 2-1 at Yankee Stadium. Saturday featured one draw, a 0-0 tie between D.C. United and LA Galaxy, and two 3-0 score lines, the New England Revolution defeating Toronto FC 3-0, and Sporting KC defeating Minnesota United 3-0. The Vancouver Whitecaps defeated Atlanta United 3-1, behind two goals from defender Kendall Watson. In the late match, the Colorado Rapids matched NYCFC, by scoring two goals of their own in the last 10 minutes of regulation to defeat Columbus, 2-1. The most notable game of the day featured FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. FC Dallas became the first MLS team in history to score five goals in one half, including a hat trick from Roland Lamah only 31 minutes into the game. They ended up defeating Real 6-2.
June 4th: Sunday’s action featured a two-match nightcap. In the first game of the night, Orlando City and the Chicago Fire played to a 0-0 draw, however, the game was much more intense than the score line indicates. The Lions were reduced to nine men, but the faithful at Orlando City Stadium willed them to the draw, which included the Fire hitting the bar twice in stoppage time in the second half. In the later game, a 69th minute goal from Will Bruin was the difference in Seattle’s 1-0 win over Houston.
After last week’s matches, Toronto FC still leads the Eastern Conference with 29 points. Chicago, NYCFC, and Orlando City follow close behind with 25 and 24 points respectively. In the Western Conference, Sporting KC holds a two-point lead over Houston and FC Dallas with 25 points.
Nemanja Nikolic of Chicago is still leading the league with 11 goals, but Erick Torres of Houston is not far behind with 10. Victor Vazquez of Toronto leads the way with eight assists, one more than Yamil Asad of Atlanta, Alex of Houston, Lee Nguyen of New England, and Maximiliano Moralez of NYCFC.
Next week features only three matches, all taking place on June 10th: Chicago against Atlanta at 4 p.m., Sporting KC against Montreal at 8 p.m., and Portland against FC Dallas at 10:30 p.m.