By Alex McMahon
There were just four MLS fixtures this week
Week 16 in the MLS season saw just a handful of matches take place this weekend. Newly formed sides New York City FC and Orlando City SC were both in action, with the former looking to claim their second victory in a row after beating Philadelphia Union in Gameweek 15. Furthermore, current conference leaders DC United and Seattle Sounders were also in action in what was an incredibly entertaining weekend of MLS action. We take a look at some of the weekend’s key moments and individual standout performances.
Seattle extended their advantage in the Western Conference
The Sounders strolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory against FC Dallas to ensure they remain at the top of the MLS’ Western standings. A second string Dallas unit gave a good account of themselves in a scrappy first-half as they went into the break at 0-0, but Seattle stepped up a gear in the second period to earn all three points. Lamar Neagle opened the scoring after 56 minutes before former Newcastle United striker Obafemi Martins slotted home to double their advantage. The goal was Martins’ seventh of the MLS season so far. To rub salt further into the wound, Leo Gonzalez smashed home a third in stoppage time. The veteran, who has now played 131 times for the Sounders, had previously scored just once in his Seattle career.
New York City FC earned their second MLS victory in a row
The newly formed side picked up back-to-back wins for the first team in the franchise’s brief history as they defeated Montreal Impact. David Villa opened the scoring midway through the opening half before Mix Diskerud extended their advantage in the 76th minute. The visitors threatened a remarkable, late comeback when Wandrille Lefevre slotted home with just two minutes remaining but the hosts secured the victory as Kwadwo Poku scored in stoppage time. The result meant that City are now equal on points with Montreal in a three-way tie at the bottom of MLS’ Eastern Conference.
Orlando City SC shocked Eastern leaders DC United
Brazil star Kaka was once again the hero for Orlando City as they earned a crucial 1-0 victory over DC United. After an end-to-end opening half hour to proceedings, the home side were awarded a penalty for a foul on Pedro Ribeiro. The Brazilian stepped up and, although his original penalty was saved, slotted home to give the home side a deserved lead. Although the visitors piled on the pressure, they couldn’t find that all-important equaliser and Orlando City held on for a huge MLS scalp.
LA Galaxy were held to a draw at Columbus Crew
LA Galaxy were left to rue their missed opportunities in the first-half as they were pegged back by Columbus Crew. The visitors took the lead after just 14 minutes as Sebastian Lletget danced past two Crew defenders before providing a neat finish past the onrushing goalkeeper. Galaxy should have been at least two-nil up by half-time but an excellent performance from goalkeeper Steve Clark kept Columbus Crew in the match. The hosts were much improved in the second-half and equalised after 66 minutes. After a lovely passing move, Federico Higuain made no mistake to tie the game. Although both teams pushed, neither could find a vital winning goal and shared the spoils. If Galaxy striker Robbie Keane had been available, this could have been a different story.
Can anybody beat Seattle Sounders this year or are Clint Dempsey’s men destined for success? Also, just how will Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard’s arrivals impact New York City FC and LA Galaxy? Let us know your thoughts below!