The Summer of Soccer is coming to a close while the second half of the MLS season is warming up.
Minnesota United kicked off the week on the road – splitting points with LAFC in a last-minute game-winner from Hassani Dotson. The Black-and-Gold, who are sitting in fifth place, has been having a rocky season, to say the least. The Loons went on to earn another point against the Vancouver Whitecaps three days later.
A Chicharito-less LA Galaxy cut down the Timbers in a drastic 4-1 win thanks to a Rayan Raveloson bicycle-kick and a penalty.
The chaos began late in the half when Galaxy got the opener. Then the Timbers rallied for an immediate response for the equalizer. Moments later, Galaxy regained the lead before the half.
Orlando City downed the southern kings 3-2, even after Josef Martinez’s long-range put Atlanta up early in the first minute with a right footed shot from outside the box.
It’s been a questionable season for Atlanta after the departures of several key players like Miguel Almirón, Michael Parkhurst, and Jeff Larentowicz. As well, having been without goalkeeper Brad Guzman due to international duty. But their poor performances have not deterred fans who continue to fill up Mercedes-Benz stadium.
The loss helped FC Cincinnati climb another spot in the Eastern Conference Standings.
Yes, you read that right.
Cincinnati escaped a scoreless draw against D.C United and is not dead last anymore, for now. Inter Miami has taken last place due to a string of poor performances despite topping Montreal on Saturday. I can only imagine what David Beckham is thinking now.
Speaking of disappointments, Sporting KC had a chance to reclaim the top spot in the Western Conference standings but failed after falling to FC Dallas 1-2 in another controversial match that could have awarded them a penalty.
Although the home side seemed sluggish for most of the first half, captain Johnny Russell pulled one back to spark life back in KC. However, Jose Ferreira cut celebrations short after snagging the winning goal.
Like how Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin described the Union’s 1-1 draw against Chicago as “the [one] point has an empty feeling to it.” There were still a few surprises last week.
Now that the USMNT has claimed their seventh Concacaf Gold Cup trophy, players will return to their clubs before potentially joining the national team again later in the year for World Cup qualifiers.
Club of the Week:
The Club of the Week goes to Minnesota United.
- image courtesy of Minnesota United
Let me explain.
Although this week’s results did not surprise most, Minnesota was the only club to play two road matches in four days.
The Loons split points with LAFC and Vancouver, earning two points total. The first came at the Banc of California stadium when Carlos Vela struck first, and Minnesota equalized shortly after the restart.
Tristan Blackmon then put the Black-and-Gold back on top in the 77th minute and looked to have secured the win. But then Hassani Dotson scored an absolute banger in the last minute of stoppage to steal the point.
Four days later, they traveled to Sandy, Utah, to face the Whitecaps. Like their previous match, the Whitecaps struck first, and the Loons wasted no time claiming the lead with two early second-half goals from Ethan Finlay and Robin Lod. While things looked, Vancouver earned a penalty during stoppage to take the point.
The Loons will sit out Wednesday’s full slate as they prepare to host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, August 7th.
LAFC 2-2 Minnesota United
New York City FC 4-1 Columbus Crew
Orlando City 3-2 Atlanta United
LA Galaxy 4-1 Portland Timbers
Seattle Sounders 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes
New York Red Bulls 2-3 New England Revolution
FC Cincinnati 0-0 D.C. United
Inter Miami 2-1 Club Montreal
Sporting Kansas City 1-2 FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo 0-0 Real Salt Lake
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Minnesota United
Austin FC 0-1 Colorado Rapids
Philadelphia Union 1-1 Chicago Fire FC
Toronto FC 1-1 Nashville SC
- Images courtesy of MLS
To catch up on what else has been happening over the previous weeks of Major League Soccer, click here for your fill! https://challengerpitch.com/the-sideline/